Karate Champ

A 34-year-old Arcade Video Game PCB by Data East USA, Inc.

Karate Champ screenshot

Emulated in MAME !

Information for the following ROM(s): kchamp


Karate Champ © 1984 Data East USA.

A seminal 1-on-1 fighting game set over the course of a karate tournament, Karate Champ was the first game of its type and would influence every game of the fighting genre that followed. Karate Champ's control system utilized a somewhat awkward dual joystick control system, with simultaneous joystick manipulation required to execute even the simplest of kicks.


Karate Champ the Arcade Video Game PCB
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.5 Mhz), DAC

Players : 2
Control : Double 4-way joysticks


Karate Champ was released in September 1984 in the USA.

This game is known in Japan as "Karate Dou".

This is where an entire genre began; the 1-on-1 fighting game. The list of titles Karate Champ would go on to inspire is near-endless - needless to say, without this game, "Street Fighter", and countless others like it, might never have happened. The only description that can truly do this game justice is seminal.

Alexander Stojanovic holds the official record for this game with 250,600 points on January 7, 2011.

Michael Jackson used to own this game. It was sold at the official Michael Jackson Auction on April 24, 2009.


[US] Nintendo NES (nov.1986) "Karate Champ [Model NES-KC-USA]"
[EU] [AU] Sony PlayStation 4 [PSN] (jul.28, 2015) "Arcade Archives - Karate Champ [Model CUSA-02970]"
[US] Sony PlayStation 4 [PSN] (sept.29, 2015) "Arcade Archives - Karate Champ [Model CUSA-02942]"

[US] Tandy Color Computer (1985) "Karate"
[US] Apple II (1985)
[US] Commodore C64 [EU] (1985)

Others :
[US] Apple iPhone/iPad (may.20, 2010) "Karate Champ [Model 335387077]"
[US] Apple iPhone/iPad (aug.24, 2010) "Karate Champ XL [Model 385462349]"

Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.