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  • Hokuto no Ken / Black Belt (Sega, ’86)

    Posted on June 16th, 2010 keving 3 comments

    Many retro-fans know that the Sega Master System release Black Belt is a heavily revamped version of a Sega Mark III action game based on the Hokuto no Ken anime/manga property. A smaller minority would also know that both games were programmed by Yuji Naka, part of his rather prolific Sega 8-bit years (Girl’s Garden, Penguin Land, Great Baseball, the SMS port of Spy vs. Spy, OutRun, Space Harrier and Phantasy Star).

    Only a very tiny subset of that group, I’m sure, knows that the soundtrack for these two titles was handled by Katsuhiro Hayashi, a name I last mentioned a couple weeks back when I discussed High School! Kimengumi. You can pick up his distinctive drums throughout. Both music sets are nice, but if forced into a corner on the issue, I would take Black Belt’s songs, which sound more Hokuto-y than Hokuto’s own music.

    Here’s a video of Hokuto in action. This version had a secret warp where if you can defeat a boss without getting hit, you can execute a high jump at the start of the following stage to go right to the boss again.

    And now for Black Belt. Note how the bosses run on largely the same patterns, despite the completely revamped graphics.