Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Rising from the Turf

June 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments

KaratekaBit of a rough day here ’round Microkhan HQs, alas—a potential project just fell through, so we’re suffering through one of our periodic bouts of creative moroseness. Hopefully we’ll rebound in an hour or two, but for the moment the well is nearly dry. As such, we’re gonna go the lazy khan’s route and kick you over to one of our favorite time shredders: The Virtual Apple II version of Karateka. We’re ashamed to admit how much of 1984 we spent trying to rescue Princess Mariko (who, we should note, was a much greater damsel-in-distress than Princess Toadstool).

Alas, all those Karateka hours were spent at our friend Jake’s place. Because in 1984, our household was still stuck in the lamentable VIC-20 era. And Vodoo Castle just didn’t do it for us.

When you’re finished playing, check out this tribute from the game’s designer, Jordan Mechner. His Prince of Persia sketchbooks are worth a look, too.


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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Gramsci

    Loved me some Karateka. The graphics really were uniquely cinematographic for the time. I just remember middle kicking the hell out of the warlord at the end, and I also remember the little Thelma and Louise twist they gave you at the end if one’s 12 year old self got a little punchy and misogynistic.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Gramsci: Just a caveat to a fellow Karateka aficionado–the emulator version is pretty sludgy. Not sure how its speed compares to that of an actual IIC. Perhaps we just didn’t realize the snail-paced clock speed back in the ’80s, ’cause we had nothing to compare ’em to.

  • scottstev

    Loved that game, despite playing it on a PC. The punches were completely weak. I totally won that thing with kicks exclusively.