Hokuto no Ken
Developer(s) Shouei System
Publisher(s) Toei Animation
Platform(s) Family Computer
Release date(s) Flag of JapanAugust 10, 1986
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single player
Media 512k Cartridge
Input methods Controller

Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳) for the Family Computer (Famicom for short) is a side-scrolling action video game published by Toei Animation and developed by Shouei Systems. It was released on August 10, 1986 exclusively in Japan and was the first of four Hokuto no Ken video games released for the Famicom. While it features gameplay similar to Sega's earlier Mark III version of Hokuto no Ken, it is an unrelated game made by a different developer.


In the year 199X, the world was covered by nuclear flames... The road to challenge Ken-oh, the Conqueror of Century's End, will be a long one. Standing before Kenshiro's path are Heart, the homicidal maniac; Shin, the man of Nanto Sei Ken; Jagi, Kenshiro's evil stepbrother; and Souther, the strongest warrior within Nanto Sei Ken. To defeat the Ken-oh, Raoh, Kenshiro attain the secret principles of Hokuto Shin Ken.


  • Controller I
    • A Button - Punch
    • B Button - Kick
    • Up - Jump
    • Down - Crouch
    • Left - Walk Left
    • Right - Walk right
    • Select - Switch between 1-Player Mode or 2-Player Mode on the title screen
    • Start - Starts the game on the title screen after selecting game mode.
    • Pause - To pause the game, simply press Start during gameplay and you will hear a chime. Press it again to continue the game.
  • Controller II
    • Used by Player 2 during a 2-Player game. Has the same functions as Controller I.

How to playEdit

  • How to proceed - After the game begins, you can move the scenery by having Kenshiro walk to the left.
  • How to enter doors - When Kenshiro comes across certain doors, he can enter them by holding down A and B button simultaneously and pressing the directional pad up. Kenshiro will enter the door and you will enter a new level. Enter as many door as you can until you reach the end of the stage.
  • Power-up - When you defeat the red-colored enemies with punches, the word abeshi (あべし) will appear floating above him. Pick it up to increase your power level, which will be indicated by the number of stars next to your hit counter. You can increase your power level up to seven stars.
  • Hit - Indicate the number of enemies defeated. You will regain a bit of health for every tenth enemy killed.


  • Kenshiro - The player's character. The successor of Hokuto Shin Ken.
  • Yuria - Kenshiro's fiancee, who is being held captive by Raoh.
  • Lin - One of Kenshiro's two child companions. She will lead Ken to the correct path in each stage if his power level is at his maximum.
  • Bat - Kenshiro's other child companion. He tries to act like a guide to Kenshiro, but he isn't very reliable one.
Enemy grunts
  • The The King of Fist's Invasion Squad (拳王侵攻隊, Ken'ō Shinkōtai) (300 points each) - Mohawk-sporting enemy grunts that appear throughout Stages 1 and 2. They can punch, kick, and jump. Their weapons includes knives, axes, arrows, and boomerangs (each worth 100 points when intercepted). Killing the red ones with a punch will yield an abeshi power-up.
  • The The King of Fist's Elite Guard (拳王親衛隊, Ken'ō Shin'eitai) (300 points each) - Bald enemy grunts who appear throughout Stages 3 to 5. Stronger than the Invasion Squad with greater jumping ability. Like their Invasion Squad counterparts, killing the red grunts with a punch will yield an abeshi power-up.
  • Heart (2000 points) - The first boss. Shin's lackey.
  • Shin (2000 points) - The second boss. A master of Nanto Sei Ken, his special attack consists of shooting so-called "Vacuum Waves" (真空波, Shinkūha).
  • Jagi (3000 points) - The third boss. One of Kenshiro's honorary brothers, he practices both, Hokuto Shin Ken and Nanto Sei Ken. His attacks consists of punches, kicks, and throwing knives.
  • Souther (5000 points) - The fourth boss. The strongest warrior of Nanto Sei Ken. He attacks by launching several vacuum waves at Kenshiro.
  • Raoh (9000 points) - The final boss. The eldest of Kenshiro's honorary brother, during the final battle, he will surround himself with an aura barrier. He must be defeated in order to free Yuria.



Everytime you kill a red-colored thug and pick up an abeshi power-up, Kenshiro's strength will increase by one-star. There are a total of seven strength levels in the game.

  • 1 star - The jumping height is increased, allowing the player to perform jump kicks.
  • 2 stars - The player gains the ability to deflect certain enemy projectiles.
  • 3 stars - Kicking speed is increased.
  • 4 stars - Punching speed is increased.
  • 5 stars - Kenshiro's walking speed is increased.
  • 6 stars - The player can now perform punches in the air.
  • 7 stars - Kenshiro's shirt is torn out. He also gains the ability to determine the correct doors by following Lin's trail (whereas Bat's appearances serves to warn the player of a wrong path).

Finishing movesEdit

The player can perform various finishing moves against the bosses that allows them to finish the battle in an instant

Hokuto Jūha Zan (北斗柔破斬, The North Star Softness Ripping Slash)
Perform ten kicks on Heart and then finish him off with a punch when his stomach is exposed.
Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken (北斗百裂拳, The North Star Hundred Crack Fist)
Defeat Shin with ten punches.
Hokuto Senjukai Ken (北斗千手壊拳, The North Star Thousand Hands of Destruction)
Move Kenshiro to the edge of the screen and then attack Shin with punches while remaining in place.
Seieikō (醒鋭孔, Nerve Awakening Hole)
Attack Jagi with four kicks in the air and then finish him off with one punch after landing.
Ujō Mōshō Ha (北斗有情猛翔破, The North Star Sentient Fierce Flying Smash)
Attack Souther with three fists while he's in the air and after he lands finish him with one punch.

Reverse controlsEdit

At the title screen, choose 2-player mode on the main menu and then hold down-left, A and B on the second controller at the same time. While holding down those buttons, yell loudly on the microphone on the second controller for awhile and then start the game. When Player 2 gets his turn, he will be able to control Kenshiro backwards.

Note: This code only works with an original model Famicom, which has a microphone built on the second controller, which is wired to the control deck.


In 2-player mode, during the second player's turn, the game can be slow down by holding the Start button on Controller I.

Locations of the Big DipperEdit

The Big Dipper will appear on the background of certain locations if the 1000th digit of the player's score is an even number. Excluding on the final stage (which appears during the final battle and cannot be retrieved), there are four Big Dippers in the game, one for each stage. They must be picked up sequentially for each one to appear and if the one from the first stage isn't picked first, then the rest won't appear. To pick up the Big Dipper, the player must punch or kick it while jumping next to it, meaning that a power level of more than one star is required to pick them.

Here are the locations of four Big Dippers in order of appearance.

  • Stage 1 - At the very first area to the right of the building before the eighth entrance.
  • Stage 2 - On the second level, before the fourth entrance.
  • Stage 3- On the final level before the battle with Jagi, after passing by the third entrance.
  • Stage 4 - Above the third pyramid.


Ripped from the game's internal code.

  • Pic. by K.Suzuki, M.Higa
  • Prg. by M.Yoshihara, Y.Kishimoto, Y.Sakakura
  • BGM by M.Hara
  • Trading by H.Tokuyama
  • OCHAKUMI by K.Yoshino, N.Satoh, M.Takano
  • Voice data special thanks to NINTENDO

Anecdotes from the developersEdit

FC Hokuto no Ken kanji

Kanji fonts for the special moves in the game. Some of them were meant for boss characters and were left unused in the actual game.

The information in this section is taken from the official strategy guide.[1]

  • Kenshiro's voice when he stries a vital point was performed by a producer from Toei Animation, whose voice was digitized and inserted into the game.
  • The game was originally supposed to award the player with additional bonus points for defeating a boss with a finishing move. This feature was implemented in the sequel.
  • Stage 5 is the only stage in the game without a Big Dipper power-up. The one that was supposed to be added was removed due to a critical bug, and the Big Dipper that appears during the final battle against Raoh is purely decorative.
  • The instruction manual claims that the player can intercept Shin's and Souther's wave attacks with their attacks, but this is actually impossible.
  • The screen was supposed to display the name of an enemy's special technique in kanji whenever the player loses a boss battle. The kanji for these attacks are still stored inside the ROM's graphic data.
  • The developers considered Uighur as a possible first boss instead of Mr. Heart, but decided against this.
  • A title theme was composed, but was not implemented in the released game due to insufficient ROM space.

Strategy guideEdit

  • High-Tech Hokuto no Ken Hiōgi no Sho (ハイテク 北斗の拳 秘奥義の書), Shueisha, August 1986, ISBN 4-8342-1052-9

Game Genie CodesEdit

Infinite Lives[2]
Infinite Energy

External LinksEdit

  1. Strategy guide info (waybacked) from the now defunct "Hokuto no Ken Gekiuchi Club" fansite