A Beat'Em Up that is the spiritual predecessor to the first Prince of Persia game, Karateka is a game originally developed for the Apple II system by Jordan Mechner, and employed rotoscoping technology for surprisingly realistic movements. Karateka puts you in the role of a heroic karate expert who must infiltrate the fortress of Akuma, who has kidnapped the lovely Princess Mariko. To do this, he must initially climb a mountain and get through the bodyguards who hold the entrance. Once inside the fortress, he must fight still more bodyguards and Akuma's eagle and pass the infamous death gate, before fighting Akuma himself.
An instant hit for creator Jordan Mechner and producer Broderbund, it was ported to a variety of platforms and was a well known game in the '80s. Its influence is seen in Prince of Persia, whose sprites look very similar. YTMND users might be familiar with an in-site meme featuring the titular hero dancing to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This".
A remake lead by Mechner was released in 2013.
- Damsel in Distress
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Groin Attack: Mariko does this if you do not run straight at her.
- Kaizo Trap: If you approach Mariko in combat stance in the ending, she'll kick you into a Nonstandard Game Over.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: If you approach an opponent in a non-combat stance, they will patiently stand there and wait for you to challenge them; furthermore, if you bow to them, they will return the bow.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Akuma" means "devil" in Japanese.
- Mook Chivalry: The enemies all approach the hero one at a time.
- Opening Scroll
- Press Start to Game Over: The game starts near a cliff, and the protagonist cannot run backwards. But you can still use the combat stance to walk back and fall to your death. Alternately, if you haven't learned the controls yet, you may start running forward straight into the first Mook's foot, which is a One-Hit Kill while running.
- Rescue Romance: Complete with Standard Hero Reward and Foot Popping.
- Shoulders of Doom
- Silliness Switch: The original floppy disk game had 2 slightly different versions of the game on both sides of the disk. If you accidentally stuck the floppy disk in upside down, the game would still load and play... upside down.