Action games’ fans often consider adventure games’ fans as eccentric people who like to think hard during their leisure, when, as everybody else knows, it’s time to release all the primal emotions suppressed during the rest of the day. But that just shows how unaware they are about some of the main ingredients that constitute a true adventure gaming experience: instant dangers, hidden traps, fist fights, explosions, running away from angry mobs… So what if many obstacles standing in the way demand the usage of some basic wits to get past – it’s there just to spice up the adventure. While taking pleasure from the many highlights of the genre adventure game fans always keep a special place in their heart for martial arts scenes. And incidentally they are what we decided to dedicate today’s feature article to.


For the uninitiated, martial arts are not Indiana Jones like rough, gritty fights filled with improvised moves and stuff – no matter how impressive they may be. Martial arts are about elegance, grace, originality and the depth of the concept behind the used technique. Oh, and they have to have roots in Eastern martial arts and philosophy or other exotic (at least to me) and arcane traditions. So no pirate insult-swordfighting allowed!

OK, let’s move onto our main course. Here we present the chosen titles in no peculiar order:

8. Mei Chan vs. Shei Maon (The Riddle of Master Lu)

The worldwide known adventurer Robert Ripley did not know Kung-Fu, fortunately his girlfriend Mei Chan did. In the search for the seal of the first emperor of China that took him all over the world our eccentric hero was long followed and annoyed by two Japanese goons. Finally, one fateful day in Peiping there comes the time he can deal with at least one of them.

The way in which the duel is presented is pure classic Mortal Kombat in its digitized characters, side-scrolling glory (well, without the side-scrolling effect). But in contrast to the PC version of Mortal Kombat TRoML is in high resolution!

Finally, a word of warning. While Mei Chan is clearly a very capable fighter, if you don’t do something to help her the fight will go on and on with very specific patterns of moves repeating themselves indefinitely. Believe it or not!

Technique: Drunken Crane +  Stage Fatality

Interactivity: 29%

7. Rabbi Russell Stone vs. Joe DeMarco (The Shivah)

It may have not been a wise decision for the 50 year old down-on-his-luck Rabbi Russell Stone to agree on following the very suspicious character Joe DeMarco to the the empty underground train station. Stone probably knew that well, but he was desperate to get a lead on the murder of his former associate – Jack Lauder. However, DeMarco was soon proved to be a trained assassin who has been in his line of work since the age of 12. To make things worse he had a knife. And kept hacking our hero with it. The rabbi didn’t seem to stand a chance. But he didn’t give up…

First of all, using all his rabbinical training in making the interlocutor feel bad, Stone attacked the opponents ego. So brutally in fact that the lad ultimately dropped his knife in despair. Secondly, when hand-to-hand part of the fight ensued, Rabbi revealed his mastery of the art of boxing that he wisely kept secret before. Thus the thug was quickly completely beaten. And as Rabbi stone held the terrified Joe DeMarco in the air high above the train tracks, ready to losen up his fingers around the man’s neck at any time, he asked himself: fatality or mercy? The player provided the answer.

Technique: Boxing (as  taught at B’nai Brith Yesheva High School Boxing Team)

Interactivity: 48%

6. Giant Robot Bill vs. The Giant Beast (Neverhood)


Throughout the whole world of martial arts there’s nothing quite the same like a fight between two giant robots, or between a giant robot and a giant of a different sort.

Late in the game in Neverhood the protagonist – a certain Klayman comes upon a giant robot called Robot Bill, who likes to say: „Me, Bill!”. After messing with his controls Klayman watches him rise, roam the land, move mountains, in general – deal out destruction. Observing all this madness, the nefarious Klogg, lets out The Beast to tidy things up. Shortly thereafter, a battle between the giants ensues.

At the beginning the good natured Bill, who, coincidentaly, has half of his face blown out due to an earlier accident, is easily overpowered by the beast. However in this moment of weakness, to Bill’s horror The Beast catches his beloved Teady Bear and rips his head apart (is this head loosing theme some Freudian obsession on the game’s designers part?). Bill gets very angry. In the background we can hear an appropriate spaghetti western style tune starting, and Bill summons the power to reveal his amazing Kung Fu skills to the world. A flying super-kick and a series of devastating unstoppable combos smashes The Beast to bits.

Technique: Klaymotion + Stage Fatality

Interactivity: 0%

5. Giant Monkey Robot vs. Giant LeChuck’s Statue (Monkey Kombat 4: Escape from MI)


Insult-swordfighting may be the classiest form of combat, but it isn’t exactly what we call martial arts. However, Rock, paper, sciss… I mean Monkey Kombat most certainly is. Well, it supposedly is a form of insulting the opponent as well – the obligatory battle cries deliver insults in an ancient tongue that has a horrible magical power…blah…blah… blah… The only things of importance is that it looks like and is named after Mortal Kombat and that we have another battle of giants on the list.

This fight deserves a place in our round-up already just for its plain ridiculousness. Giant monkey robots under Monkey Island? Demon Pirate LeChuck possesses a piece of rock? Hmm… Anyway, from the press release: “Guybrush Threepwood together with friends and hundreds of monkeys uses the robotic contraption to cross miles of land and water and arrive once again at Melee Island for the ultimate melee of gargantuan proportions.”

Technique: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Interactivity: 80%

4. Edward Carnby vs. Karate Zombie “Cobra” (Alone in The Dark 3)


Zombie cowboys, shamans transforming you into a jaguar, nasty cousins of Cthulhu, lava pits, the return of a villian from AITD2 – this is just a few examples of what the paranormal investigator Edward Carnby has to face in AITD3. And yet near the end of the game Carnby has to confront “Cobra” – a half-naked karate expert and a zombie/ghost kind of a beast at the same time. He has a wide range of deadly moves and is especially good at back-flips. So let’s just say the usual set of hand combat skills that got Carnby out of trouble so many times won’t be of much use in a fight with this expert fighter. How unfortunate that firearms are so hard to get by at this point in the game. Carnby looks up his empty holster in despair.

Technique: Karate

Interactivity: 100%

Proceed onto the next page to discover The Top 3…

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