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Kaiser Knuckle (カイザーナックル), sometimes known outside of Japan as Global Champion, is a 1994 fighting game released for the arcades by Taito. Kaiser Knuckle was released during the fighting game trend of the 1990s that began with Capcom's Street Fighter II. Despite the arcade game showing highly-detailed graphics and animations, it didn't catch much attention and was never ported to any home console.
Kaiser Knuckle follows the same fighting game conventions established by Street Fighter II. The player's character fights against his or her opponent in best two-out-of-three matches in a single player tournament mode with the computer or against another human player. The player has a character roster of nine fighters to choose from, and three bosses, each with their own unique fighting style and special techniques. The control layout is set to the six-button standard (a la most Capcom fighting games), but it can be switched to a five-button layout via dip settings. One unique feature is that Kaiser Knuckle was the first and only fighting game that has five strengths of basic attacks.
Another unique feature is that it introduced the power zones, which can be utilized via a successful hit of a special move when a player's "Crush Meter" is full. The power zones (either fire or electric) can affect the certain special move a character has. Backgrounds can be destructible when players get hit to charge up, and when those meters are full, the next special move that a player connects with his/her opponent will destroy the background's properties at will (other parts of stages, such as floors and walls are also destructible). Unusually for a game of this type, Kaiser Knuckle features blood; something that was often associated with Midway's Mortal Kombat series, as well as those influenced by it (this feature can be switched off in the game's dip settings).
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There are nine playable characters, and three unplayable bosses.
- Template:Country data JapanKazuya (和也（かずや）) - The protagonist of the game, who is a karateka from Japan. (voice actor: Kazuki Yao)
- Template:Country data TaiwanLihua (梨花（リーファ）) - A swordswoman from Taiwan. (voice actor: Saeko Shimazu)
- Template:Country data USABarts (バーツ) - A mixed martial artist from USA. (voice actor: Ryōtarō Okiayu)
- Template:Country data ChinaWulong (武龍（ウーロン）) - A kung fu detective from China. (voice actor: Yasushi Horibata)
- Template:Country data BrazilLiza (ライザ) - An Amazon from Brazil. (voice actor: Aya Hisakawa)
- Template:Country data USABoggy (ボギー) - A b-boying master from USA. (voice actor: Andrew Holms)
- Template:Country data JapanGekkou (月光（げっこう）) - A ninja from Japan. (voice actor: Hideo Ishikawa)
- Template:Country data USAJ.McCoy (J・マッコイ) - A boxer from USA. (voice actor: Kazunari Tanaka)
- Template:Country data GermanyMarco (マルコ) - A mutated human from Germany. (voice actor: Hisayoshi Ogura)
- Template:Country data RussiaGonzales (ゴンザレス) - A judoka from Russia. (voice actor: Hisao Egawa)
- Template:Country data MexicoAzteca (アステカ) - A Aztec warrior from Mexico. (voice actor: Ryu Kuzu)
- Template:NoflagGeneral (ジェネラル) - The final boss of the game, who is the commander of a space station in orbit. (voice actor: Steve Yamashita)
- Announcer (voice actor: Randy Sexton)
Global Champion is a modified international version of Kaiser Knuckle, the Japanese version. Global Champion has the "Winners Don't Use Drugs" screen, the "super moves" were cut, and the portraits of Kazuya, Liza and Lihua were re-drawn. After players choose their characters and their first opponents, first to begin their first fight, players and viewers can see a little sequence that shows the prologue of their chosen character's story. The title screen is also different, but strangely, the letter "K" from both words in the Kaiser Knuckle logo can still be seen in some of Global Champion's backgrounds.
An updated version of Kaiser Knuckle was planned to be released in December 1994 as Dan-Ku-Ga (断仇牙), but it discontinued; however, the prototype was dumped onto the Internet as a ROM. This version allows the first two bosses, Gonzales and Azteca to become playable characters. You can no longer choose your first opponent in a one-player game, except on the Training difficulty level.
Other differences are the CPU AI being altered. Players choose the difficulty levels Normal, Professional, or Training before their game. Players also can backdash with all characters. Gonzales becomes the 5th opponent, Azteca becomes the 9th opponent and the doppelgänger of the player's chosen character becomes the 10th opponent. Kazuya, Lihua and Liza has been redesigned on the character select screen, and all characters each have a third costume color. Also, some of the basic attacks that are executed with two punch or kick buttons are taken out, but the rest are still present and now executed with a single button plus a joystick direction. The third boss, General, can now be fought against without meeting certain conditions.
Apart from this, Kaiser Knuckle 2 (カイザーナックル2) was also planned as a sequel to the arcade board used in making the transition to 3D, but the planning board canceled. Later, it was retitled as Psychic Force, which replaced old models with new ones.
- Kaiser Knuckle
- Kaiser Knuckle at The Large Cult Fighting Game March (Japanese)
- Kaiser Knuckle at GameFAQs
- Kaiser Knuckle at Museum of the Game
- Kaiser Knuckle at arcade-history
- (Japanese) Kaiser Knuckle
- Global Champion / Dan-Ku-Ga