Pin Me

Budokan: The Martial Spirit - Retro PC Game Review

by: johnsinit ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Though regarded by some as “unrealistic", at a time "Budokan" produced a fair simulation of martial combat with 4 main weapons – Karate, Kendo, Nunchaku and Bo). Read more about this once popular game in this article.

  • slide 1 of 7


    The game of “Budokan" was released in year 1989 by then not-so-known company Electronic Arts. The company went on to become a giant in the computer games industry, with its FIFA, NBA, and NHL series arguably the most popular sport games in the world. But even in 1989 “Budokan The Martial Spirit" (which is the game official title) became a popular fighting game.

  • slide 2 of 7


  • slide 3 of 7

    The fighting

    In the fighting process each fighter has 2 major attributes – “stamina" and “ki" – punch power. When stamina (affected by hits taken and by jumps performed) goes to zero – the player loses. Different moves (hits), of course, achieve different levels of damage. There are also defensive moves – if performed right they can cancel the attacking damage completely. The Stamina grows if no moves are done, the speed of this growth is defined by general “toughness" (level) of the opponent.

  • slide 4 of 7

    The courtyard and the weapons

    In the start you are a figure in the courtyard. You options are to visit one of the four “dojo"s – the training houses, go to sparring ring or take the budokan tournament. There are 4 weapons to choose from:

    • Karate - I bet you know what it is.
    • Bo – A long staff, help by both hands.
    • Nunchaku – Ancient weapon of 2 short staffs connected by a chain and held by either 2 hands (usually for defense) or 1 hand.
    • Kendo – A wooden sword and a fencing costume with protective shield.
  • slide 5 of 7

    The Dojo

    Each dojo lets you practice certain weapons – only one allowed in each dojo. You can choose “Jiu-Resnhi" (Practice the moves) or “Kumite" (Sparring against a computer opponent). There a 3 levels of “teachers" – Sankyu, Ikkyu, Shodan. The Sankyu is the easiest opponent. His attacks are very rare and his stamina grow speed is slow. The Ikkyu attacks more and his stamina grows more rapidly. Shodan is the ultimate opponent. Be sure you defeat the Shodans in dojos before you go to the Budokan Tournament.

  • slide 6 of 7

    Sparring Ground

    At the Sparring ground you can practice fighting mixed weapons – it is almost impossible to beat Shodan with Karate against Bo – but you can try nevertheless.

  • slide 7 of 7

    The Tournament

    When you feel you are ready – you are welcome to take the ultimate challenge – The Budokan Tournament. Here you will have 12 opponents (increasing difficulty), which you need to defeat one after another. If you lose 3 times – you go back to previous opponent, required to beat him once more. You have 4 weapons of every kind – be sure to use them wisely. Here is a list of recommended weapons to use for the first 8 opponents:

    1 - Nunchaku, Karate (if you are good)

    2 – Karate (just jump forward with hit)

    3 – Nunchaku, Kendo

    4 – Kendo (use the length of the Kendo to counter the opponent Nunchaku)

    5 – Bo (use the lower turn to hit your opponent)

    6 – Nunchaku, Bo – don’t you dare to try Karate – he will beat you easily

    7 – Nunchaku (try not to let him close on you, his weapon does serious damage)

    8 – Bo (I don’t think there is another choice)