China Warrior (TG16)

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China Warrior
China Warrior - TG16 - USA.jpg
Platform: TurboGrafx-16
Year: 1987
Developer: Hudson Soft

China Warrior is an action game developed and published by Hudson Soft in 1987, and released in North America by NEC in 1989. It was originally released in Japan under the name The Kung Fu. However, due to the completely different pronunciation in Japanese, some Japanese players have made fun of the title as The Isao (Isao is also a male given name in Japan.)

An evil character known as Boss Kara has taken over the Kungfu Province, and it is up to the protagonist to stop him. In the original Japanese version, the manual explains the Dark Lord, Xing Yanwu (星 厳呉), has taken over the Luo Yang Gak castle, the largest Kung Fu Castle in China. The protagonist Wang heads to the castle to fight off the evil.

The game is broken up into four stages, each with their own sub-stages. The game plays similar to Altered Beast (ARC); the game scrolls forward and you must must attack enemies and avoid their attacks. Also, like Altered Beast, the character sprites are pretty big. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to avoid enemy projectiles and attacks, which led to heavy criticism of the game.

After each stage is a bonus stage where you can test your strength. A meter rapidly moves up and down (strongest to weakest respectively). The stronger you hit the target, the more points you will earn. The game also has three Acts, which act as loops of the entire game. However, there is no extra reward besides the flavor text provided at the end of the game.

While the game was praised for having impressive graphics, most people critiqued the game for its poor controls, and having a character that takes up most of the screen makes it too easy to get hit. Some have said the game probably would have been better as a tech demo for the TurboGrafx-16, rather than as a released title.

The game was later re-released on the Wii and Wii U.


China Warrior - TG16 - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

China Warrior - TG16 - Nakamichi.png

The first stage.

China Warrior - TG16 - Taisen.png

Fighting the first boss.

China Warrior - TG16 - Shouri.png

Sweet victory!

China Warrior - TG16 - Munen.png


China Warrior - TG16 - Bonus Stage.png

The bonus stage.


For one of the first games on the system, China Warrior has nice music. The music combines elements of oriental themes with rock. There is only one stage theme, so playing the game for an extended period of time can get irritating. There are also only a handful of songs, which can be expected for such an early title. The good news is the main stage theme is pretty lengthy, and the ending theme is a two-minute theme. The title theme is almost a minute long, which is probably longer than you'll stay on the title screen. The sound driver plays the music approximately a ¼ step sharp.

The game's soundtrack was written by Daisuke Inoue, who composed his music on Performer for the Macintosh. He wrote the songs in the SMF format, and sent it to the developers who implemented his compositions in the game. According to, it was Toshiyuki Sasagawa, saying the following:

According to Toshiyuki Sasagawa, who created the sound driver, this is the only game that used a sound driver with a 1/300-second timer call in its early PC Engine development (1/60 second since then), which gives the wave memory sound source a unique texture not found in other games.

Though the site says he created the sound driver, we have received verification from Hudson Staff that the driver was in fact created by Takayuki Iwabuchi, though it's possible Sasagawa, with his programming experience, made modifications to the driver.

The song titles are taken from the Japanese soundtrack CD LEGEND OF GAME MUSIC CONSUMER BOX.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Title Daisuke InoueUnknown 0:35
02 Nakamichi Daisuke InoueUnknown 2:56
03 Munen Daisuke InoueUnknown 0:04
04 Taisen Daisuke InoueUnknown 1:26
05 Shouri Daisuke InoueUnknown 0:02
06 Bonus Stage Daisuke InoueUnknown 0:25
07 Ending Daisuke InoueUnknown 2:01


(Source: Verification from composer; Game lacks credits.)

The game's ending shows a cast of characters, but no staff credits. After beating the third loop of the game (Act 3), a screen appears with the text GIVE UP !. Pressing the Run button on this screen will simply cause it to reappear. However, for such an early title, having no staff is understandable. Many Japanese sources list Daisuke Inoue as the composer. For verification, we have reached out to Inoue who confirmed composing the game's music. The website lists Sasagawa as an arranger, with a quote from him for proof, but incorrectly lists him for the sound driver.

We have received verification from Keita Hoshi that the game J.J. & Jeff uses a sound driver by Takayuki Iwabuchi. The same sound driver is used in this game.


Game Rip



HES.png VGM.png

Ripping TurboGrafx-16 music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The music was recorded using in_vgm for Winamp.

Audio Devices

The game uses the TurboGrafx-16's HuC6280. It uses Takayuki Iwabuchi's sound driver.


  Japan.svg   Japan
The Kung Fu - PCE - Japan.jpg
Title: THE 功夫 (The Kung Fu)
Platform: PC Engine
Released: 1987-11-21
Publisher: Hudson Soft
  USA.svg   USA
China Warrior - TG16 - USA.jpg
Title: China Warrior
Platform: TurboGrafx-16
Released: 1989-??-??
Publisher: NEC