Vigilante: The spiritual successor to Kung-Fu Master

Vigilante spiritual successor kung-fu master

Vigilante is an arcade game from 1988 and developed by Irem, considered to be the spiritual sequel to the 1984 classic fighter Kung-Fu Master. Irem had already developed a sequel to Kung-Fu Master with a game called ‘Beyond Kung-Fu: Return of the Master’. After testing the game in 1987, it underperformed and was scrapped, this would be the game that was then re-developed for a more western market with the release of Vigilante.

Vigilante plot and gameplay

The game is set in downtown New York City, you play as the lone vigilante martial artist who is pitted against the evil gang, the Skinheads, who are ruled by their unimiginatievly named big boss called The Giant Devil. It is your job to save a female hostage called Madonna in a typical game tale of ‘Save the girl’.

The gameplay in Vigilante is much like Kung-Fu Master, a side-scrolling fighter where you punch and kick your way through the various enemies and end of level bosses. Along your journey, you will come across Nunchuks, which you can pick up and use against your enemies to inflict more damage, though if you are hit, you will drop them.

There are five stages in Vigilante, a street scene, a scrapyard, the Brooklyn Bridge, a Back Alley and the top of aa building still under construction.

Look out for the Skinhead gang members with Mohawks as they can carry knives, rifles, chains and even ride motorbikes.

The ports

The game was ported to many different consoles and computers, with the pick of the bunch being the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 version, this one was published by Irem and released in Japan and then in Noth America too. There was a SEGA Master System port, which changed the gang name from the ‘Skinheads’ to ‘Rogues’ and the kidnapped female character was renamed Maria…clearly not Madonna fans then!

Other ports inluded Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, C64, ZX Spectrum, these ports were developed by Emerald Software and published by U.S. Gold across europe. Their was an MSX port which was published by Korean company Clover.

In 2007, the TurboGrafx-16 version was release on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console too.

Vigilante Arcade Gameplay Video

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