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Digital Eclipse, the amazing company behind the Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration, is working on a similar Karateka deep dive for some reason to be released in 2023 or 2024. Concurrently, Silverback is trying to currently beat Karateka, and asked me for some advice, and I told him to look at our cheat section for the walkthru I made in 2003, that's what the site was made for, dummy. Then he told me it wasn't on the site, and then I realized that I somehow missed moving it over to the new URL. Oops- sorry about calling you a dummy, dude. Anyways, here goes. Spoiler alert: this game still sucks.

It is bizarre, but at least a dozen websites have this "How to beat Karateka for the 7800" section located on their site, and every time I visit them I see the same thing: a game walk through for another version of Karateka that does not apply to the 7800 translation at all. The 7800 version is a stripped down application of the computer game, but still, two or three things about the game can be and is darn tricky. So without further ado, the only correct walkthru for Karateka that I have seen is now:

You are a man with blinding white hair and a gi to match. You know six different Karate attacks, and you are as slow as Christmas. Your attacks are: Face Punch (Up & Left), Straight Punch (Left), Body Blow (Down & Left), High Kick (Up & Right), Straight Kick (Right), and Shin Kick (Down & Right). For all practical purposes, the game can be beaten with one move: The High Kick.

HIGH KICK grade:(A)
The High Kick has decent range, coupled with the fact it is a good defensive move. Your body shifts away from the attacker. Also, the High Kick's target is the head, which in this game is hard to defend.

The Straight Kick has a little better range than the High Kick, and it is a good defensive attack as well. This should be used when your left foot is touching the opponent's right foot. This will be known from now on as the "FOOTSIE POSITION".

The Straight Punch can get you lit up if used at the wrong time. Your body is very vulnerable to attacks when you use this move. But, it is the best attack to use when your opponent is retreating because of it's excellent range.

SHIN KICK grade:(C)
The Skin Kick has terrible range, but it is the perfect counter to any Punch while your left foot is touching your opponent's right foot. When your opponent is kicking or not attacking, a Straight Kick should be used, but when he is punching in the "FOOTSIE POSITION", counter with your Shin Kick.

There might be a good time to use these, but I haven't found it. Your body is vulnerable when you use these and their attack ranges are poor.


I will not kid you, controlling Karateka is awkward at best. Here is a run down of how to beat the controls, before I run down how to beat the Karatekas.

The right button is used to switch from a fighting stance to a relaxed stance. It's only purpose is to get you off the board quicker. This is a silly feature anyway, because if you accidentally hit the right button during combat, you will perish upon being hit no matter how much life you have. So the number 1 Rule in Karateka is "Be Leary of the Right Button."

You can do up to five attacks in a series, and so can the computer. This means you can do high kick, high kick, straight kick, shin kick, high kick, before the Karateka guy will stop for a second (I guess to regain balance) and then continue. These attacks cannot be switch from punches to kicks or vice versa, because the Karateka will have to shift his position. This is important to know because it can really help you with your "in-game" strategy.

Controls are real slow in this game, and it takes about one half second before the move you want to do will take place. This is a severe drawback for you, but it seems to screw the computer up as much or more.


There are six different goofballs you must face to beat Karateka, but they all act the same. You can use all of these Tactics in each fight:

The Computer does not know what the heck he is doing, but that doesn't make him harmless. Most attacks are random, and thrown without care, rhyme, or reason. Even though the computer is screwy when it comes to strategy, it should not be taken lightly...this is one hard game to beat.

For some reason, the computer will decide to get closer to you, if he already is within striking range, This will happen more than likely if an exchange has taken place and either he got the best of it or it was a close fight. When he is creeping closer to you, take full advantage of this and use the HIGH KICK to beat his head. Then after your series of five kicks, be prepared to follow it up with Tactic #3.

This is a funny thing the computer does, especially with the first 4 Karatekas. You two will be fighting, then all of a sudden he will start walking towards you. Hopefully, you remembered tactic #2, and you bashed in his head with 4 or 5 HIGH KICKS. Then, like a little pansy, he will decide this wasn't the best plan of attack and then retreat. Then you should switch to the STRAIGHT PUNCH to hit him 2 to 3 times while is retreating. This will land you a 6-9 hit point advantage, and this will happen at least once or twice a fight. If you have a hit point advantage and they are hurt...CHASE THEM!!! Don't let them catch their wind!!! Show no mercy!!! There can be only one!!! Get my point? Good.

Also explained in "Straight Kick" and "Shin Kick", this is how almost every fight should begin. Simply walk towards your opponent until your left foot touches his right foot. Or to put into other words, both inside feet should touch. While in this position, Straight Kicks should be used unless the Karateka punches...then use repeated Shin Kicks.

TACTIC #5 "FILIBUSTER" A good tactic is just to let your energy bar refill. You can back away and watch your health increase, and you can also watch the opposing Karateka look like a drunken fool as he attacks the air.

TACTIC #6 "UNDERSTANDING THE HIT POINT METER" After the first Karateka, you will begin starting your matches with a disadvantage. You will begin starting the matches with less hit points than your opponent. The way to deal with this calmly and rationally is by looking at the meters in terms of percentage. If you start the bout with 9 hit points, and you have 7 remaining, and your opponent started with 23 but only has 10 left, you are still winning the match even though he has a 10 to 7 Hit Point Advantage. Try to look at this as "I am winning 13 to 2", since that is how much damage has been afflicted. You don't have to count the Hit Point Meter, but you can see who is beating who easily. It is good to FILLIBUSTER and refresh, but only until you are maxed out at 9. Waiting around longer than that only increases your opponent's strength because they can heal, too.


Here are the ins and outs of each match up...Good Luck!

(Hit Points: You 13, Aquafresh 13)
This is Karateka's version of Glass Joe...a Jobber, in other words. Hit the right button to get into your fighting stance, and then hold down the left button and push right. Walk right up to this guy and get into the FOOTSIE POSITION. Then start throwing Straight Kicks and Shin Kicks until he moves. Then either pound him with the High Kick (Tactic #2) if he approaches or pound him with the Straight Punch (Tactic #3) if he retreats. You should be able to walk all over this guy easily, since this is the only Karateka that you equal in hit points. Just remember, if you get into trouble, you can FILLIBUSTER.

(Hit Points: You 13, Tweety 17)
Use the "walk right up to him and beat his head strategy" we used against "Aquafresh", because this guy is a weenie, too. Just remember to use the opening FOOTSIE POSITION and Tactics #2 and #3. If you get into trouble, back away...there's no shot clock! But really, the first two guys are jerks.

(Hit Points: You 9, Barbie 21)
We are inside now, and there is a man in pink who wants to stop us. He must be tough since he wears pink, right?. Well, he is and he isn't. This is the first serious Hit Point Differential we see, but this guy can be easily dominated. If he approaches, use Tactic #2, if he retreats, use Tactic #3. It seems that this guy likes to use the FILIBUSTER quite a bit, so make sure you don't let up on him if you are in the lead on Hit Points. Remember to use your FILIBUSTER if you need it, but this guy ain't too tough.

(Hit Points: You 9, Liberache' 21)
Here is where the game gets fun. Everything is exactly the same as before, except someone let their pet bird out of it's cage, and now you are in trouble. Actually, this stage is not much harder than the last. Just remember that when you see a bird coming towards you, you must be kicking when it flies over your head, or it will amazingly take away 3 hit points!!! I'm not sure how the bird does it, but it does. I just think it's sad that a bird is three times as powerful as a Karateka, but hey...it's a reality in this game. Wait for the bird to appear before attacking as well, since you don't want to be caught walking forward as he comes out. If you have been using the High Kick most of the time like I told you, this bird won't be too big of a problem for most of the match. All the bird might do in this stage is break your rhythm. It also should be said that the bird can appear to be leaving, but it might make a surprise move towards you again. Always be prepared for that. Also, if you defeat LIBERACHE, you need to still be alert because the bird could still come out to hurt you. So you might have to kick until the bird leaves before you are allowed to pass.

It Gets Worse, Folks...

(Hit Points: You 9, Olive Oil 21)
Take everything I told you about the bird and throw it out the window, because in Stages 5 & 6 the bird can only be blocked by moving forward. This is more dangerous because of the possibility of being forced to move into a barrage of attacks while you are low on hit points. Like you did with LIBERACHE, wait until the bird appears before you move into the FOOTSIE POSITION. FILBUSTER often in this stage, and always wait to attack until the bird comes out. When he appears, walk forward to attack, that way the bird will not interfere with what you are doing.

(Hit Points: You 5, Akuma 24)
As far as final boss stages go, this is one of the toughest around. If you remember one vital fact about a Karateka's offense, you will remember that a Karateka can deliver 5 attacks in a row. Now compare that to your Hit Points. Yep, you can be taken out in one good combo. Couple that with the fact that birds are still flying around, you are in some deep doo-doo. Well, one good thing is that Akuma is still an idiot.

As soon as the match starts walk in toward Akuma until you are at "footsie position" (as you call it, lol). When you get there immediately do a full string of high kicks which will hit Akuma's arm as he is trying to punch you, lol. Don't worry about the bird at this point, let him get you. By the time Akuma backs off and the bird is gone you will have 1 arrow of energy left. Stay put and let Akuma kick and punch at the air until you see the bird reappear.

When you see the bird, immediately walk toward Akuma again until you are right up against him (the next level of closeness past "footsie position" which I will call "Head Striking Distance" or HSD). Start doing the high kicks to the head. Don't worry about the bird going behind you and coming back. As long as you were walking forward as it first passed you will be fine. You will get in quite a few hits but Akuma will figure he still has quite an advantage and will walk toward you even though he is just spinning his wheels because he is already as close to you as he can get. This allows you to get in another series of kicks to his head as he is walking in place rather than fighting. Then he changes his mind and backs off. Hit him with a series of straight punches as he is walking backwards instead of fighting, lol.

The bird will be on its way out at this point so walk forward again until you are at HSD and do a series of high kicks to his head. As soon as you finish the series of 5 kicks; walk forward (Akuma will also be trying to walk forward at this point, lol) because the bird will be almost at your head. Just keep walking forward even after the bird is gone because Akuma will decide it is time to back off. Keep chasing him until you are once again at HSD and kick to the head until he goes down (you won't see the bird again). You will have 2 arrows of energy left every time at this point if you follow that exactly and the brick strip on the ground will be just visible on the right side of the screen.

All I can say is wait on the bird before you move in, preferably after while Akuma is missing with his 3rd, 4th, and 5th attacks, and FILIBUSTER often!!! You may want to let Akuma come to you some, since that is a good way to get 2 or 3 cheap shots. If you beat Akuma, you beat the game. Don't expect much for an ending, because you are not going to get much of one- Maxim Recoil

Just remember, that humility, patience, and lame endings to video games is the way of the Karateka!!!