Hokuto no Ken
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Platform(s) Sega Mark III
PlayStation 2
Release date(s) Mark III: July 20, 1986
PS2: March 25, 2004
Wii: February 26, 2008
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single Player
Rating(s) CERO-B
Media 1Mb ROM Cartridge
Input methods Gamepad

Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳) is a video game released in Japan on July 20, 1986 by Sega for the Sega Mark III gaming platform. It is a side-scrolling action game that follows the events depicted in the first television series from Kenshiro's battle against Shin and his gang to his final showdown with Raoh. The game consists of side-scrolling levels where the player must reach the goal while defeating numerous enemy grunts and sub-bosses along the way, each leading to a one-on-one battle with the stage's boss. Despite featuring similar gameplay, this game is unrelated to Toei's video game version of Hokuto no Ken for the Family Computer released a few months later. The game's lead programmer was Yuji Naka, who would later be known for his work on the Sonic the Hedgehog game franchise. Despite appearing on the cover artwork, Rei does not actually appear in this game.

The original Mark III version game is included along with an enhanced remake in Sega Ages 2500 Hokuto no Ken for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. The game was later re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on February 26, 2008. An overseas version of the game was produced for the western Master System titled Black Belt, which lacked the Hokuto no Ken license of the Japanese version and featured altered graphics as a result. The game is also an unlockable extra in Hokuto Ga Gotoku in all regions, in its original form.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Listed by order of appearance. Note aside from Devil, all of the giants in the series are significantly smaller in size in the game. One such example being Uighur standing at the same height as Kenshiro.

The Hero
Chapter 1 - Southern Cross Town (サザンクロスタウン)
  • King's Soldiers (KING兵, King Hei) - The enemy grunts of Chapter 1. Soldiers loyal to Shin.
  • Spade - The first sub-boss of Chapter 1. He attacks by throwing axes. He is changed into a Kung fu Master in Black Belt. 
  • Diamond - The second sub-boss. He attacks with a bo. Changed into a Kung fu master in in Black Belt. .
  • Club - The third sub-boss. He wields large claws on both hands and can attack while jumping. Changed into a Kung Fu master in Black Belt. 
  • Heart - The fourth sub-boss. He can only be defeated by throwing four consecutive punches on his belly. Changed into a Kung fu Master in in Black Belt. 
  • Shin - The boss of Chapter 1. His weak spot is his chest. After delivering the final punch, Kenshiro will perform the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken (北斗百裂拳) on him, knocking him dead. He is turned into Ryu, a Kung fu Master in Black Belt.
  • Yuria mannequin - A life-like doll created by Shin after Yuria's likeness.
Chapter 2 - God Land (ゴッドランド)
  • Golan Recruits (GOLAN訓練生, Golan Kunrensei) - The enemy grunts of Chapter 2. Newly recruited Golan soldiers trained by the Mad Sarge. They are turned into wrestlers in Black Belt.
  • Captain of the Elite Guard (親衛隊長, Shin'eitaichō) - The first sub-boss of Chapter 2. A whip-wielding Golan commando who is one of the hardest characters in the game.. Likely the same character as the Major. Changed into an animal tamer in Black Belt. 
  • Mad Sarge - The second sub-boss. He attacks with a combat knife and blood-sucking needle knives. Changed into a punk. in Black Belt. 
  • Colonel - The boss of Chapter 2. He attacks with boomerangs. His weak spot is his face. After delivering the final blow, Kenshiro will perform the Hokuto Kaikotsu Ken (北斗壊骨拳) on him, causing him to explode afterward. In Black Belt, Colonel becomes Hawk, a punk with a mohawk.
Chapter 3 - Devil Rebirth (デビルリバーズ)
  • Jackal's lackeys (ジャッカルの部下, Jakkaru no Buka) - The enemy grunts of Chapter 3. Members of Jackal's gang. Turned into martial artists in Black Belt.
  • Fox - The only sub-boss in Chapter 3. He attacks by spinning his blade around while jumping. Turned into a Jujutsu master in Black Belt.
  • Devil Rebirth - The boss of Chapter 3. He uses Fūsatsu Kongō Ken (風殺金剛拳) technique to create flames. He can also defeat Ken by merely jumping over him. His weak spot is his head. When finishing him, Kenshiro will perform the Hokuto Shichi Shi Sei Ten (北斗七死星点). The battle with Devil is the only boss battle in the game where Kenshiro remains in his regular size instead of using the large sprite used in every other boss battle (presumably done in order to properly convey the large size of Devil). Black Belt drastically alters the battle so Devil is a sumo and the large sprite for the player is used. Additionally the finisher is changed to the Sumo being knocked out of the ring.
Chapter 4 - The Legacy of Cassandra (カサンドラの伝説)
  • Cassandra Guards (カサンドラ衛士, Kasandora Eishi) - The enemy grunts of Chapter 4. Members of Raoh's army assigned to watch over Cassandra. They become ninjas in Black Belt.
  • Eagles (, Washi) - Enemy creatures who will descend from the sky and attack Kenshiro. Likely based off the eagle that threatened Mitsu. They are not altered in Black Belt.
  • Uighur - The first sub-boss of Chapter 4. He attacks with a body ram and his whip. He is turned into a red ninja in Black Belt.
  • The King of Fist's Royal Guards (拳王親衛隊, Ken'ō Shin'eitai) - The second sub-bosses in Chapter 4. A pair of swordsman who also attack with throwing stars. They are based on Zarqa and Qasim. In Black Belt, they become ninjas.
  • Toki - The boss of Chapter 4. Toki can only be defeated by literally exchanging blows with him until his life gauge is almost empty. During the battle, Kenshiro will learn the Fist of Softness (柔の拳, Jū no Ken) from Toki. Toki becomes a ninjitsu master with an Oni mask in Black Belt.
Chapter 5 - The Holy Emperor Cross Mausoleum (聖帝十字陵)
  • The Holy Emperor's Army (聖帝軍, Seiteigun) - The enemy grunts of Chapter 5. Souther's army of loyal warriors. They are turned into female warriors in Black Belt.
  • Flamethrower Troops (火炎放射隊, Kaenhōshatai) - The sub-bosses of Chapter 5 based off Flamethrower Man. The player will fight three groups of two throughout the stage. They are gender flipped into flamethrower women in Black Belt.
  • Souther - The boss of Chapter 5. His weak spot changes places between hits and the player must strike his head, chest, waist and legs in that very order to defeat him. Kenshiro will finish him with the Hokuto Ujō Ken (北斗有情拳) In Black Belt, Souther is gender swapped into Rita, a female martial artist who appears to serve Wang.
Chapter 6 - Raoh the King of Fist (拳王ラオウ)
  • Raoh - The final opponent. He has a very orthodox fighting style compared to other bosses, but has greater strength. His weak spot is his chest. After defeating him, he will ascend to the heavens. Black Belt turns Raoh into Wang, a martial artist with the same training as the protagonist.
  • Yuria - Kenshiro's girlfriend. She was originally captured by Shin, but managed to escape before Shin's defeat by Kenshiro. Kenshiro is reunited with her after defeating Raoh.

Tricks[edit | edit source]

  • Energy: To gain extra health in Chapters 1, 3, or 4, perform a high jump kick when the timer reaches "080". A power-up shaped like the letter "E" will appear. Pick it up to regain health.
  • Power-up: To gain temporary invicibility in Chapters 2 or 5, punch one of the dog-faced statues above any of the gates and a power-up shaped like the letter "P" will appear. Pick it up and the background music will change, making Ken invulnerable to enemy attacks while it plays.
  • Skip to the boss: If the player defeats a boss with a full life gauge, then they can skip to the next one by performing a high jump at the start of the following stage.
  • Chapter 7: After defeating Raoh, press Up twenty times when the final message is displayed after Ken and Yuria are reunited. Chapter 7 is a boss rush stage where the player must defeat all six bosses in a single life bar. There is no health recovery between fights.

Overseas version[edit | edit source]

Sega released an overseas version of their Hokuto no Ken video game for the American and European markets titled Black Belt, which lacked the Hokuto no Ken license from its original Japanese release. All of the game's graphics underwent extensive modifications as a result in order to distance it from the Hokuto no Ken franchise. Some of the game's music was also changed and the difficulty was altered as well with the inclusion of more power-up items in Black Belt.

Name changes[edit | edit source]

Hokuto no Ken Black Belt Character/Technique
Kenshiro (ケンシロウ) Riki Hero
Yuria (ユリア) Kyoko Heroine
Shin (シン) Ryu 1st Boss
Colonel (カーネル) Hawk 2nd Boss
Devil Rebirth (デビル・リバーズ) Gonta 3rd Boss
Toki (トキ) Oni 4th Boss
Souther (サウザー) Rita 5th Boss
Raoh (ラオウ) Wang Final Boss
北斗百裂拳 (Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken) 鉄拳制裁 (Tekken Seisai) First finishing move
北斗壊骨拳 (Hokuto Kaikotsu Ken) 悪党撃破 (Akutō Gekiha) Second finishing move
北斗七死星点 (Hokuto Shichishi Seiten) 闘魂一発 (Tōkon Ippatsu) Third finishing move
None (see below) 懺悔無用 (Sangen Muyō) Fourth finishing move
北斗有情拳 (Hokuto Ujō Ken) 極意炸裂 (Gokui Sakuretsu) Fifth finishing move

Toki and Raoh are the only bosses in the Japanese version in which the battle does not end with Kenshiro performing a finishing move. Toki was changed in Black Belt, in which Riki performs a finishing move which causes Oni's body to disappear, leaving his mask behind.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The original Japanese version of the game is unlockable in Hokuto Ga Gotoku (including its localized version, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise.) After finding a Sega Mark III console in the wastes, Kenshiro can take the machine to the arcade proprietor in Eden City. In the English version of the game, the proprietor references the game's localized form of Black Belt by stating that while testing it, "the blond boss" proved so difficult that he claimed Ken would "have to be a black belt to defeat him."

Cheat Codes[edit | edit source]

Infinite Lives[1]
Infinite Health (but vulnerable to Devil Rebirth)
Infinite Time

Videos[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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