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Hokuto no Ken (NES)

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Title Screen

Hokuto no Ken

Developers: Bear's, Shouei System
Publisher: Toei Animation
Platform: NES
Released in JP: August 10, 1986

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

Hokuto no Ken for the Famicom is the first of several games based on Buronson and Tetsuo Hara's post-apocalyptic manga published by Toei Animation during their brief dabble into the video game publishing business. It's a Spartan X-style beat-'em-up, very similar to the unrelated Sega Mark III game released three weeks earlier, but nowhere near as well-regarded (in fact, it's generally considered an infamous kusoge).

However, it came out at the peak of the manga's popularity and during the beginning of the Famicom boom, allowing this sub-par game to sell over a million copies.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Unused Graphics

Fc hnk kanji.PNG

Kanji characters for unused finishing moves. With the exception of the first two ones from the top, all of these are techniques used by the game's boss characters in the manga. Presumably, they would've appeared whenever the player lost during a boss battle, just like in Hokuto no Ken 2. From top to bottom, they are:

  • Hokuto Kaikotsu Ken (Big Dipper Bone Crushing Fist) - This is the finishing move used by Kenshiro against the Golan Colonel, who doesn't appear in this game.
  • Assatsu (Crushing Death) - An original technique. Presumably, this would've been Mr. Heart's (the first boss) finishing move, since he had no named techniques in the manga.
  • Nanto Gokuto Ken (South Dipper Hell Butcher Fist) - A technique used by Shin, the second boss.
  • Hokuto Rakan Geki (Big Dipper Arhat Strike) - A technique used by Jagi, the third boss.
  • Kyokusei Jūji Ken (Pole Star Cross Fist) - A technique used by Souther, the fourth boss.
  • Hokuto Shinken Ōgi Musō Tensei (Secret Technique Subconscious Rebirth) - A secret technique used by both Kenshiro and Raoh (the final boss). During the final boss battle in the game, a blue sphere surrounds both Ken and Raoh, simulating the effect of the Musō Tensei technique of the manga, but no such kanji ever appears on-screen announcing the technique's name.

Hidden Message

This message appears near the beginning of the ROM, at offset 0x14 (it appears edited here; the lines were originally separated with forward slashes).

Hokuto no ken copyright Tue.24.Jun.1986 Shouei system
 Pic. by K.Suzuki M.Higa
 Prg. by M.Yoshihara Y.Kishimoto Y.Sakakura
 BGM by M.Hara
Trading by H.Tokuyama
OCHAKUMI by K.Yoshino N.Satoh M.Takano
 Voice data special thanks to NINTENDO WE ARE TIRED.

Easter Egg

Select two-player mode. At the title screen, shout into the microphone on the second controller 10 times, then hold Down + Left + A + B on Controller 2 and press Start on Controller 1. Now the second player's movement controls will be scrambled - when he tries to move left, it will move right, and so on.