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Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage

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Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage
Fist of the North Star US Cover
Developer(s): Koei
Publisher(s): Koei (Japan)
Tecmo-Koei (Europe)
Release Date: Flag of Japan: March 25, 2010
December 2, 2010 (International)

Flag of the United States.svg: November 2, 2010
European flag: November 5, 2010

Genre: Action Adventure, Beat 'em up
Game Modes: Single Player, Multiplayer
Ratings: CERO: CERO D Rating
ESRB: ESRB Mature Rating
PEGI: PEGI 18 Rating
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage (北斗無双, Hokuto Musou) is the second dual franchise title from Koei, the first being Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. The game's story and characters are based on the famous Japanese comic and anime Fist of the North Star. It was originally announced as a "mystery title" during the 2009 Tokyo Game Show and was publicly unveiled during a staged media event on October 14, 2009 (broadcast live to the Japanese movie site, Niconico Douga). Tetsuo Hara and Yoshiyuki Okamura, the illustrator and writer of the original comic, have expressed their support and enthusiasm for the title.

The producer says that the staff aims to create a "new realistic feel" for the Fist of the North Star series while still being faithful to the original's roots. During this process, he remarked his concerns for the characters' body structure, muscles, and other minute details (such as perfecting the model for Raoh's wrinkled forehead). Regarding the tweaks to the attack speed, he adds that it was done in an effort to tune towards Hara's request for realistic movements. In retrospect, he also stated that the request became more of a challenge when modeling the movements for the Hokuto and Nanto fighters.

Koinuma also said that the entirely new cast of Japanese voice actors was Hara and Okamura's concept since the development staff was struggling with the issue. According to him, Hara is especially pleased with Kenshiro's new voice. He notes that the official mode for this title carries more action adventure tones than other Warriors titles thus far yet gave his assurance that Warriors fans can easily feel at home in the game's original story mode.

The Treasure Box set will include an illustrated story book, a clock that is voiced by Rin, Kenshiro, and Raoh's voice actors, and a copy of the original soundtrack. People who reserve the game early can also get a specially made metal card protector with their purchase. Limited buyers can also obtain a "comic faithful" version of Kenshiro's outfit.

The game's narrator for the Japanese dub is Norio Wakamoto and Douglas Rye in English.

GameplayEdit

The basic controls and mission system are the same as most Warriors titles. Players can also evade like the characters in the Samurai Warriors series. While a K.O count is still present, enemies don't necessarily swarm the players and appear in certain sections within an area. Enemies are killed in a similar manner as the original comic, including the series' unique death cries, blood, and exploding bodies.

  • Players can play under three different styles found among characters: the Hokuto, Nanto, or Special Type.
    • Hokuto style users can pinpoint their opponent's secret pressure points at various times, allowing their character to deal critical damage. This can be done by simultaneously tapping the Tri (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360) with their attacks, although this feature is only available when an icon is present on a foe.
    • Nanto fighters can use a unique technique called Timely Strike, which allows the characters to see openings in their opponent's attacks. When the player and their opponent simultaneously perform a strong attack, a select button may appear on the screen within that instant. If players successfully press the correct button within the moment it appears, the Nanto fighter will instantly evade the attack and perform a counter. This makes the Nanto user's attacks temporarily stronger, the screen turning a slight shade of blue during the move's effects. They also have versatile aerial attacks compared to the other types.
    • Special types, like Mamiya and Jagi, rely on a technical perspective and can use weapons for special attacks against their foes. They are made for veteran players who want to use trickier characters.
  • A skill point system similar to recent Warriors titles also appears in the game. The main difference with Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is that players need to equip particular skills in order to expand their character's learning curve. As more battles are cleared, players can choose to learn whatever techniques, legendary techniques, and secondary abilities they desire for each character based on their own choices. Skill points are earned by collecting glowing balls, or "karma", found after defeating opponents in the field. They can also be earned by correctly performing a Finisher, trashing objects for scrolls, completing missions, or by finishing a stage with a sound performance.
  • As players meet certain conditions throughout the course of a stage, the big dipper diagram at the bottom of the screen will fill up. Doing so provides assorted bonuses which become better the higher up the diagram a player fills. It's also possible to activate the "Star of Death" phase against the final boss for a mission. As a reference to the original series, it is a bright star located just south of the constellation. The "Star of Death" is activated by using the Signature Move that coincides with the storyline of the manga. If players defeat the boss with the "Star of Death" lit, they will receive a special notice and will be able to see the boss's weak points during a repeat performance.
  • Players can perform an instant guard, or "Just Guard", against an opponent's blows to open opportunities for more combos. It requires precise timing with the L1 trigger (PS3) to pull off the technique. This helps reduce the chances of character being stunned from blocking normally. While holding the same button, players can also perform a dashing evade. To do so, they need to determine a direction and tap Tri (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360).
  • Characters can also grab opponents, climb walls, or pick and throw items with the R2 trigger (PS3). They may also need to destroy objects to clear alternative paths through an area. Pressing R2 and Tri (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360) re-adjusts the camera in a target position for players.
  • Each character can unleash, Spirit Aura, which momentarily increases the powers of their characters by sacrificing the "Spirit Reserve" gauge. It can be activated by tapping the L2 trigger (PS3) or the Left bumper (Xbox 360).
  • Tapping Circle (PS3) or B button (Xbox 360) lets players use their character's various techniques from the comic. These Signature Moves act as the character's type of "musou" in this game, allowing limited invincibility and massively damaging a target. When a technique is used, the game will momentarily freeze the action on the field until the move is completed. The nature of implementing a technique varies with each character.
  • Characters are allowed to have multiple techniques at once and they can be rotated by tapping the directional pad in one of the four directions (PS3). There are several new techniques for characters that were made solely for this game.
  • Each character has their unique legendary technique, or Hyper Signature Move, which can instantly kill crowds of weak opponents if performed correctly. To trigger this effect, characters must be in a Spirit Aura state and must have at least a few gauges of the Spirit Reserve bars filled.
  • Another skill available to each character is the Finisher, which is a special finishing blow that can only be used against nearly defeated bosses during Legend Mode. During the sequence, players will need to input buttons that flash on the screen to pummel their foe with Fist of The North Star flare. The feature is executed in a similar manner as Duels in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, except that players need to input a longer series of button combinations for a successful finish. Causing a mistake restores a portion of the boss's health and lowers the player's life as punishment.
  • Players can also taunt in the game with their characters to lure foes closer to them. Taunting a foe too many times can make them enraged and tougher to defeat.
  • When a character is damaged, their model may change to reflect the changes in their life gauge. These changes to an outfit cannot be "fixed" for the remainder of the mission. However, keeping a character's health above a certain portion of their life gauge will result in no further changes: i.e., keeping health above 2/3 will keep a character at full clothing and so on.
  • The screen now splits vertically for two players.

ModesEdit

Legend ModeEdit

Similar to the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam titles, this is the story segment which faithfully follows the original source material. The official mode follows the first arc of the series, starting with Kenshiro's beginnings until he faces Raoh for the right of successor. Kenshiro, Rei, Mamiya, Toki, and Raoh can be played in this mode. Kenshiro is initially available; the others require special conditions to unlock them.

Rei
Clear the second stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download his comic faithful outfit.
Mamiya
Clear the second stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download her comic faithful outfit.
Toki
Clear the sixth stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download his comic faithful outfit.
Raoh
Complete all other characters' Legend Modes or download his comic faithful outfit.

Finishing this mode with Rei also unlocks an alternate "white haired" Rei model for players.

Comic faithful outfits are only available as downloadable content.

Dream ModeEdit

An original story for the game which lets other characters become playable. Characters both have voiced narrations and voiceless character interactions in between stages to help tell the story. The basic outline of the mode has the four Hokuto brothers interacting with the "Nanto army". Each character offers a different perspective or story arc within the mode.

In order to access this mode, players have to at least finish the first stage of Kenshiro's Legend mode. Completing character scenarios in this section is needed to unlock more characters for this mode. The following lists the specific character requirements for each character being unlocked.

Kenshiro
Completely clear Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
Shin
Clear first stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
Mamiya
Clear first stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
Jagi
Clear fourth stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
Rei
Clear Shin's Dream Mode.
Toki
Clear Kenshiro's Dream Mode.
Thouzer
Clear Rei's Dream Mode.
Raoh
Clear every other characters' Dream Mode.

Clearing this mode with Kenshiro, Toki, and Raoh unlocks alternate versions for them at the character select screen. Toki's alternate resembles his younger look before the 199X bombing while Kenshiro and Raoh having shirtless models in accordance with their final battle.

Challenge ModeEdit

Unlocked once Kenshiro's official mode is cleared, it pits the players against a continuous string of opponents. Players can simultaneously face the four Hokuto candidates, the six Nanto Seiken, and other challenges as the players continue playing. It acts as the game's survival mode.

Additional scenario and characters are available as downloadable content.

Introduction ModeEdit

The game's tutorial mode for anyone unfamiliar with the game's system, starting with Kenshiro (Hokuto Type). Includes Rei (Nanto Type) and Mamiya (Special Type) once the second chapter of Kenshiro's official mode is cleared.

GalleryEdit

Features renders, music, and movies within the game. Players can also look up terminology of the series within the brief database section. A player's completion percentage as well as kill counts can be viewed here. The completion percentage does not include the progress on character upgrade charts.

To unlock all of the music in the game, simply complete any character's Dream and Legend Mode.

SettingsEdit

Players can arrange the buttons, adjust the sound, or turn off the gauges on the screen. Subtitles may be toggled on or off for the cutscenes but not for in-game speech during battle. There are three difficulties: easy, normal, or hard. An option to adjust the game's violence level can also be done: "Hard" keeps the blood and gore while "Mild" turns it off to a degree.

CharactersEdit

PlayableEdit

PresentEdit

  • Giant Hag (Babaa) - bonus character during Jagi's story. A muscular man who poses as an elderly woman to try to catch his guests off guard. Tries to poison Mamiya, Toki, and Kenshiro by courteously giving them water after escaping Cassandra. Kenshiro sees through the trick and rudely tells the "granny" to drink the water first. Can't keep up the jig and is easily beaten by Kenshiro afterwards. Not officially named but known as Babaa ("Granny") or Dekai Babaa ("Huge Granny") by fans due to "her" height and Kenshiro's comment.

StagesEdit

  • Hokuto School
  • Southern Cross
  • Cassandra
  • Holy Emperor Cross Mausoleum

TrophiesEdit

Trophy Name Unlock Method Trophy Type Xbox Points
Fist of the North Star Trophy Ultimage Rage Master Obtain all other trophies. Platinum None
Fist of the North Star Trophy 3 Whomp Raoh During Kenshiro's Legend Mode (final chapter), defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Gold 100
Fist of the North Star Trophy 2 Destroy Kenshiro During Raoh's Legend Mode (final chapter), defeat Kenshiro with a Finisher. Gold 100
Fist of the North Star Trophy 10 Signature Move Master Defeat 1,000 with either Signature Move or Hyper Signature Move. Silver 35
Fist of the North Star Trophy 4 Complete Legend Mode - Kenshiro Self-explanatory. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 6 Fists of Tenacity Play a total of 30 hours (mode or character doesn't matter). Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 11 True Warrior of the Apocalypse Defeat a total of 10,000 enemies. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 7 Hokuto Shinken Master Use Hokuto Shinken character types to defeat 5,000 people. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 9 Nanto Seiken Master Use Nanto Seiken character types to defeat 5,000 people. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 8 Hokuto Ujoken Master Have 5,000 people peacefully pass away with the Hokuto Shinken's merciful techniques. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 5 Eliminate Thouzer During Kenshiro's Legend Mode (Chapter 11), defeat Thouzer with a Finisher. Silver 30
Fist of the North Star Trophy 44 The Struggle Begins Clear one chapter with any character. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 27 Complete Legend Mode - Toki Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 25 Complete Legend Mode - Raoh Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 26 Complete Legend Mode - Rei Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 24 Complete Legend Mode - Mamiya Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 17 Complete Dream Mode - Kenshiro Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 23 Complete Dream Mode - Toki Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 19 Complete Dream Mode - Raoh Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 20 Complete Dream Mode - Rei Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 21 Complete Dream Mode - Shin Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 22 Complete Dream Mode - Thouzer Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 16 Complete Dream Mode - Jagi Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 18 Complete Dream Mode - Mamiya Self-explanatory. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 39 Punish Zeed During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Zeed with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 48 Wallop Shin During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Shin with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 14 Break Boss Fang During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Boss Fang with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 40 Smash Jagi During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Jagi with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 29 Crush Amiba During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Amiba with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 46 Trounce Uighur During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Uighur with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 35 Overcome Raoh During Kenshiro's Legend Mode (Chapter 7), defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 34 Humiliate Juda During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Juda with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 28 Conquer Shew During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Shew with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 45 Trash Thouzer During Kenshiro's Legend Mode (Chapter 10), defeat Thouzer with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 15 Clobber Ryuga During Kenshiro's Legend Mode, defeat Ryuga with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 13 Beat Raoh During Kenshiro's Legend Mode (Chapter 13), defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 43 Subdue Raoh During Toki's Legend Mode (Chapter 1), defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 47 Vanquish Raoh During Toki's Legend Mode (final chapter), defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 12 Annihilate Rei During Raoh's Legend Mode, defeat Rei with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 36 Overpower Kenshiro During Raoh's Legend Mode (Chapter 2), defeat Kenshiro with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 32 Dominate Toki During Raoh's Legend Mode, defeat Toki with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 30 Defeat Kenshiro During Raoh's Legend Mode (Chapter 5), defeat Kenshiro with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 37 Pulverize Mamiya During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Mamiya with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 41 Squash Boss Fang During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Fang King with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 38 Pummel Amiba During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Amiba with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 42 Stomp Uighur During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Uighur with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 33 Fustigate Raoh During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Raoh with a Finisher. Bronze 15
Fist of the North Star Trophy 31 Disgrace Juda During Rei's Legend Mode, defeat Juda with a Finisher. Bronze 15

Spin-offsEdit

  • Hyakuman-nin no Hokuto Musou
  • Hokuto Musou International - a PS3 only port of the overseas adaption of the game for Japan that is being sold for a discount price. It includes the increased violence made specifically for Western audience, new changes to the enemy layout in the scenarios, and the English voice track. Players can also experience a longer version of Legend Mode for the playable cast and Kenshiro will now become gradually stronger as he progresses through this mode. Every character has been strengthened greatly compared to the first release, and the actions have been sped up as well. Consumers who have save data from the original release can continue to use it in this game. Players will also have to repay for downloadable content but a pack to include every downloadable item has been compiled for this version with a 1,500 yen price tag.

Related MediaEdit

A collaboration present campaign with Comic Bunch and Weekly Famitsu was announced shortly after the game's release in Japan. Two winners have the chance to win a PlayStation 3 or a Xbox 360 personally signed by Tetsuo Hara (Kenshiro prize). 33 contestants can win a picture signed by Hara (Raoh prize) while 65 entries can win a specially designed phone card (Yuria prize). In order to apply, users would need to place stickers found within copies of Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and mail it on a postcard to either Comic Bunch or Weekly Famitsu addresses, along with proof of purchase of specially marked magazine publications. Entries have to match the requirements of the prize they hope to obtain in order to be eligible and will be accepted until April 30, 2010 (by postmark on entry).

Character renders, voice samples, and other sound effects from this game were also added as contents in Musou Mobile, a cellphone service in Japan featuring other Warriors titles.

Image SongsEdit

Performed by Nana Tanimura

*both songs were performed during the October 14, 2009 press event. Used during promotional videos. Both songs play during the game's credits and change depending on the character scenario. Both songs have been removed in the US and International releases.

The first opening song of the Fist of the North Star anime, Ai wo Torimodose!!, can also be heard in the game as background music. It has a special vocal-less, rock arrangement for the game and plays during important events.

AllusionsEdit

  • Pokka Coffee was performing a collaboration event with Fist of the North Star in which they had specially printed cans on their products. These same drinks were present during the March 3rd Premium play test for Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage.
  • Kokuougou, or at least a horse sharing his name, previously appeared as a special horse in the G1 Jockey series.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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