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CTTG #9: China Warrior

Of all the games I’ve played through on this TurboGrafx runChina Warrior is the game I am most satisfied in beating!

Being a huge fan of this title since I was a kid, I was genuinely shocked to learn in the past year that China Warrior is generally met with disdain. This is one case where I think y’all are all crazy! I love China WarriorMaybe people find it too hard? Maybe they expect it to be a lot like Kung Fu for NES and when it’s not they get confused? Who knows…but I love the game and it’s a Top 10 game on the system for me.

So what kind of game is it?

To me, China Warrior is part memorization and part twitch game. You have to have lightning-fast reflexes to excel in this game so it’s not for everybody. If that’s your style, though, then you’ll find a hefty challenge packaged up into a game that’s really not that long.

China Warrior features 4 stages that are divided into 3 levels each. Each level ends with a boss that’s also your checkpoint. If you die, you have to play the whole level again, but they’re not very long. You’ll get a tough challenge in a game you can beat in about 25 minutes if you know what you’re doing.

But it ain’t so easy.

Each level is full of rocks, dishes, arrows, knives and anything else laying around being thrown at you. Who’s throwing these things? I don’t know, but it’s a lot of stuff. There’s some human enemies, but all they do is walk towards you without attacking. Ultimately, this is the kind of game that’s easy to develop. With the exception of the bosses, the game consists mostly of inanimate objects.

And they’ll kick your ass.

I’ve been playing this game for almost 30 years since the days I owned it as a kid, to the days I played it on my TurboExpress as a young adult, to the days I played it as a collector. Never, in that time, did I beat the game. Hell, I’d never even made it to the fourth stage! So, it was exciting this week as I did some practice play-throughs to get up to the last stage on my first try. Hey, who said your reflexes go away as you get older?

In my official attempt to beat the game, I ran through it three times. In the first run-through, I saw the final boss of the game for the first time in my life. I’d honestly never seen what he looks like before. I had a few shots at him but died. Still, what progress! On the second run-through, I got to the boss again and literally had him down to one energy bar! That was a brutal way to lose, but progress was being made and experience was being had…and on the third play-through I freakin’ did it!

I beat the game on one man. No deaths. I was hoarding energy really well early in this game and I kept it all the way through to the final level when I had so much health it would’ve been an upset if I didn’t beat the game! But beat it I did!

I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about playing this I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finally beat China Warrior and I’d face failure once more. I’m as relieved as I am elated that I can finally put this one to rest! What’s even better is you get a special Act 2 to play when you’re done! It’s sort of a Master Quest in that it’s a remix of the game. It’s not terribly harder, but it whooped me in Stage 3. Mentally, I was exhausted. This is a game you have to be on high alert and after 2 hours of gameplay I wasn’t in a good enough state to do it.

And another one goes down!

I may need to take a little break for a few weeks as life has gotten busy lately, so for the next challenge we’ll do something easier. I’m thinking Alien Crush. Why is it easier? Well, you can’t beat  the game, per se. It’s an infinite pinball game. There’s only a few of these unbeatable games on the TurboGrafx-16, so this seems like a good month to sneak one in!

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About John Blanco

John Blanco is an avid game collector and loves to write about his hobby as much as he participates in it. He run the Denver Retro Gamers Facebook group in Denver, Colorado, and coordinates swap-style meetups with dozens of other collectors every couple of months.

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