Hokuto no Ken

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Introduction

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Also called HnK. An arcade game developed by Arc System Works and published by SEGA/Sammy. The characters are based on the hit anime/manga series Hokuto no Ken (also known as Fist of the North Star). Similar to the Guilty Gear games in look, feel and play style, this game currently runs on the Atomiswave hardware.

Gameplay

Controls

A = Light Punch
B = Light Kick
C = Heavy Punch
D = Heavy Kick
E = Boost

The control format is as follows:
A C E
B D

Mechanics

Recovering Life Gauge

The orange color on the life gauge indicates current life energy. The blue bar underneath the orange represents the amount that can be recovered. Recovery only occurs when a character is not being attacked or high-jumping.

Seven Stars of the Hokuto

Underneath every life bar is the 7-Star gauge. Special moves and other attacks can deplete stars at any given moment of the match. A final star will be brightly displayed on the 7-Star gauge when there is only ONE star left. The player who has the "Death Star" on their gauge is now vulnerable to a "FATAL KO." When this occurs, the words "Death Fist Blow" appear on the side of the opponent's Aura bar. If the opponent is able to land his/her FATAL KO move, the round (not match) ends immediately. However, if he/she misses the move, the victim is rewarded with an extra star, therefore eliminating the threat of another FATAL KO for the moment. Both players also recover a missing star at the beginning of each round.

Guard Gauge and Weight System

Depending on the characters being played, a Guard gauge sometimes appears. Similar to Street Fighter Alpha 3, constant blocking and defending decreases the meter. When it reaches zero, a "Guard Crush" occurs and the defending player becomes temporarily vulnerable to attacks. This gauge only appears when characters of the same weight class have a match, with the exception of middle-weights.

For instance, two heavyweights fighting each other will have a Guard gauge, as will two lightweight fighters. On the other hand, two middleweights will not. When there is a mismatch in terms of weight, only the lighter character is given a Guard gauge. For example, in a match where Mr. Heart (a heavy-weight) is fighting Mamiya (a light-weight) only Mamiya has a Guard gauge, since she is lighter and more vulnerable to being guard crushed.

The game's weight classes are as follows:

Heavyweight: Mr. Heart, Shin
Middleweight: Jagi, Juda, Kenshiro, Raoh, Rei, Toki
Lightweight: Mamiya, Thouther

Boost Gauge

The Boost Gauge raises gradually as a player performs attacks and Special moves. This gauge is divided into 3 levels, similarly, Boosts can be performed a maximum of three times. However, there are exceptions to this, such as when the Boost is performed during a combo. Boosting allows a player to dash toward opponents and perform quick combo chains, as well as acting as a sort of Roman Cancel. The Boost button is designated as the E button.

Aura Gauge

Located beneath the Boost Gauge is the 2-level Aura Gauge, which is the meter that enables the use Super moves. When one level of Aura is full, the bar changes color from blue to gold and the words "GOD FIST BLOW" appear.

Characters

Jagi
Juda
Kenshiro
Mamiya
Mr. Heart
Raoh
Rei
Shin
Souther
Toki

Tier List

Top Tier: Toki, Rei, Juda, Raoh

Mid Tier: Kenshiro, Shin, Heart

Low Tier: Souther, Mamiya, Jagi

External links

Official Hokuto no Ken site (JP) Article about the game on Wikipedia.