Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Wild Fang/Tecmo Knight

When it comes to violent and bloody video games the same ones are brought up. Mortal Kombat or Splatterhouse usually. One particularly violent game from 1989 is often not remembered... and for good reason. It was pretty under the radar and your local arcade probably chose other 'barbarian' games at the time. That game would be Wild Fang or Tecmo Knight as it's known outside of Japan. At first glance you might think it's a generic beat 'um up style belt fighter. However after inserting a coin you'd find that it's REALLY bloody. Surprisingly so, blood splatter and decapitations every few seconds. I'm pretty surprised there's not more notoriety for the game considering the time, but like I said... it's a little under the radar. You probably were too busy playing Golden Axe or Rastan to notice it in the corner of the arcade.
Depending on if you're player 1 or 2, Duke and Fleet are your heroes. The two warriors have to face The Beast Demon Army in their mission to resurrect The Great Beast Demon Delgomes by large amounts of human blood gathered from sacrifice. The heroes become 'Wild Fangs' and take on these evil forces. Oddly, if you're playing Tecmo Knight the bad guy is named Wild Fang. How do the heroes become Wild Fangs? They are paired with 3 protective deities. Smokeman (a big strong giant), the tiger (a tiger), and the dragon (a dragon... as you probably guessed). Your character actually rides these deities throughout the game.

Thanks to a button on the controls you can swap between them during your adventure. Smokeman is a really strong giant, but slower. Riding the tiger is much faster, but a little weaker. The dragon is actually a special form and only granted when found. The dragon is invincible flies around breathing fire for a short time before reverting back to Smokeman or the tiger. Power-ups are gained through the skulls left behind after defeating enemies.

Enemies are various demon/beasts/monsters that make up The Beast Demon Army. You progress through each level fighting assorted army members as you go and kill them in gory glory. Nothing is safe from getting bloodied up either. A recurring enemy is a large King Kong style gorilla whose hands reach around the edges of the screen. After so many hits to these arms and they're pouring blood... it's insane. Game play is fun and swapping out deities keeps things fresh. It's unfortunate the game is lesser known. I could easily have seen a SEGA version.

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