Centuries have passed since the tournaments of the Grand Masters. The once mighty Warriors
of the Exploding Fist have been betrayed and defeated, their fighting techniques lost
beneath the rubble of their temples. The land is blighted, the crops withered,
creatures of the night infest the rivers of forests.
The people are enslaved, ruled by an evil Warlord from his volcano fortress.
Guarded by mercenaries and warriors, protected by natural and man-made barriers,
this stronghold has been seen by no man who has lived to tell of its horrors.
But at night, around the fire, the village elders speak of walls of fire, of caverns of
purest night and choking gases, of endless underwater labyrinths, and of the unnatural
creatures that dwell therein. And the village elders tell of one who is yet to come,
who will seek the Warlord out and free from tyranny.
Such a one would needs be direct descendant of a First Master, who had acquired the
fighting skills of his ancestors and learnt the secret paths to inner harmony. For, say
the elders, legend has it that, before their destruction, the First Masters wrote the
secret of their combat prowess upon scrolls, and scattered them throughout the land.
There are rumoured hidden shrines and temples, too, where meditation may strengthen
mind and body. If one were to seek scrolls, and absorb their arcane knowledge, if one were
to conquer his inner self and master the power of the Exploding Fist - why, then the source
of evil would be destroyed and the people freed. But shrug the elders, looking deep within
the flames does such a one exist...
You take on the part of a young disciple, descended from a Grand Master, whom the village
elders have entrusted with the perilous mission to find and defeat the evil Warlord.
Inexperienced in combat and lacking in strength, you search the land for the hidden scrolls
The terrain is difficult to negotiate, for it skirts the slopes of the Warlord's
volcano and is covered in jungle and steeped with cliffs. Though some of these precipices
may be scaled with ladders, other hazards may only be overcome if you possess the
necessary skills and strength.
Treacherous river currents may carry you towards cascading waterfalls, and swamps will
hinder your passage. Some fighting moves - particularly sweeps somersaults - will be
restricted and no longer effective. Pits often lead on the underground caves which riddle
the volcano. In the depths of these cavern complexes can be found secret passages
and underwater corridors, to be explored only by swimming.
Nestled in the cliffs are the fortress towns, which wind their way up the slopes of the
volcano. Your quest depends on the successful exploration of these towns and the catacombs
which, it is whispered, lie beneath.
Gradually, if your quest succeeds, you will proceed upwards and ever nearer to the
crater, at the tip of the volcano, almost shrouded in cloud. This the village elders
believe to be the Warlord's dominion, from whence none have returned.
Only the bravest Warrior of the Fist can enter here, for the terrors are unspeakable.
As you journey you will encounter the dark servants of the Warlord, whose skills and
weapons are varied and deadly. Some will challenge you openly, while others lie in ambush.
You need not fight them to continue your exploration, though some might strike you as you
pass, but though you conserve energy by avoiding combat, you will not gain beneficial
experience. Be warned that some opponents will still pursue you even if you choose to run.
Peasant Soldiers: Fearless mercenaries recruited from the villages, these capped
soldiers are able, but not exceptional, fighters, and would
kill their own kin for a pittance. They are good adversaries for a novice.
Warrior Guards: Bestial and ferocious, bedecked in war paint, these have but recently
swept down from the crater. They can be outfought only by a true Fist Master.
Ninjas: Shadow dwellers, they attack without warning. Adept in all martial arts,
they have concealed weaponry about them. Watch out for stars.
Shoguns: Renegade chieftains, enticed by the Warlord with promises of spoils.
These masked opponents are nigh invulnerable, and
confronted with one often follows a battle with hordes of warrior guards.
Assassins: Perfect fighting machines. Assassins are despatched when your exploits have
been brought to the attention of the warlord. Utterly relentless, cannot be outrun.
Mud Warriors: Subterranean, sub-human, fearful of daylight, they lurk in the darkest of
depths. Recently, since the pall of evil has darkened the land, they have been known to
break the surface and cast their poisoned stars at the unsuspecting travellers.
And there are stories, too of strange mutated creatures which prey beyond the village
confines - venomous snakes ferocious panthers, cave bats of unnatural proportions, and even
underwater monsters. You must determine for yourself how best to handle these.
Chi - energy - is indicated by the scroll at the bottom of the screen. When you are in
combat, your opponent's Chi is similarly represented at the bottom right. Only when an
opponent's energy is completely exhausted will he die and be reclaimed by his Warlord
master. Chi affects stamina and strength.
You will be unable to smash through strong barriers, for example, with insufficient Chi.
You begin your quest with only a small amount of energy which is also your initial maximum
energy level. Should you lose energy, you will slowly recover it up to your current maximum
level, but should you be poisoned, you will not regain Chi.
Chi is rapidly depleted underwater, and in poisonous gas chambers. You can always
recover Chi quickly by meditation in a temple, and this will also cure you of poison.
Your maximum energy level will increase through meditation, depending on the number of
opponents you have defeated since your last meditation.
If your energy is exhausted, you
will die. However, for each scroll you have found and learnt, you will gain and extra life.
You will be reincarnated at the last temple you meditated at. The game is over when your
last life is used up.
Whenever you discover and enter a temple, you will automatically walk to the shrine and
meditate. As well as serving to regain Chi and rid you of poison, meditation has a more
crucial purpose. On the altar mat, you will see the imprint of a trigram.
If you have found
the scroll representing that trigram, you will, after meditation, learn all the secrets
associated with that scroll. To cease meditation, simply press the fire button and you will
leave the temple a refreshed and spiritually enhanced warrior.
The success of your quest inevitably relies upon your learning of the knowledge contained
in the scrolls. T this knowledge is symbolised by the trigram associated with each scroll.
You must discover the use to which you can put this knowledge. The following descriptions
of the trigrams contain hints as to how and when their knowledge can be used.
CH'IEN, the creative. This trigram symbolises heaven and is associated with strength
SUN, the gentle. Represents the wind and, like the wind has the ability to pass through inimicable elements
CHEN, the arousing. Like a mighty clap of thunder, Chen can awaken the dead, move the immovable
KAN, the abysmal. The trigram of danger. Linked to the image of water, it can also afford protection
KEN, keeping still. Symbolic of mountains. Ken is the trigram of patient resting, of calm, of poise
K'UN, the receptive. Representative of the earth, and of earthly strength. It may bend but cannot be broken
LI, the clinging. The trigram of fire, an eternal source of light, even in the darkest of dark
TUI, the joyous. The trigram of joy, the bringer of health, of well-being in the presence of malignance
Plug joystick in Port II. During play you may pause the game at any stage by
pressing the [RESTORE] key. Pressing the [RESTORE] key again will continue play.
Pressing the [F5] key at any stage during the game will terminate the game, and return
you to the beginning.
The [F1] key to start a game.
The [F3] key to toggle between a one or two player game.
The [F5] key to terminate a game; return to demo mode.
The [F7] key to toggle between keyboard or joystick control.
The [INST/DEL] key to toggle between sound effects on/off.
USING THE KEYBOARD
[Q] [W] [W] Player LEFT:
[A] [S] [D] FIRE BUTTON =
[Z] [X] [C] Left shift or [S]
[P] [@] [*] Player RIGHT:
[L] [ : ] [ ; ] FIRE BUTTON =
[ , ] [ . ] [ / ] Right Shift or [ : ]
The controls are as follows:
FIRE BUTTON NOT PRESSED
[LEFT] - Walk Backwards
[LEFT+UP] - Forward Somersault
[UP] - Jump/Climb Up
[UP+RIGHT] - High Punch
[RIGHT] - Walk Forwards
[RIGHT+DOWN] - Jab
[DOWN] - Duck/Climb Down
[DOWN+LEFT] - Reverse Somersault
FIRE BUTTON PRESSED
[LEFT] - Roundhouse/Turn
[LEFT+UP] - Back Kick
[UP] - Flying Kick
[UP+RIGHT] - High Kick
[RIGHT] - Mid Kick
[RIGHT+DOWN] - Low Kick
[DOWN] - Sweep
[DOWN+LEFT] - Rear Sweep
To turn your player around: to do an about, simply release the trigger anytime
after commencing a roundhouse.
Blocking: You will automatically block if you retreat when your opponent is about to
hit you. Note that as there are two blocks (a high - and a low block) you cannot survive
by simply holding a block.
Kneeling punch: this is the true Exploding Fist punch. Simply remain crouched and when
ready press the joystick forward.
Tournament allows you to develop your skills as a devotee of the Way of the Exploding Fist,
by playing against a series of computer opponents or a friend.