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Karate Champ Karate Champ - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Karate Champ - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


The first of many karate fighters. A single player competes against a computer opponent using two joysticks to perform a variety of moves. The best two matches, out of three, wins.

Karate Champ was produced by Nihon Bussan/AV Japan in 1984.

Nihon Bussan/AV Japan released 60 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1978. Nihon Bussan/AV Japan was based in United States.

Other machines made by Nihon Bussan/AV Japan during the time period Karate Champ was produced include: Pro Tennis, Pro Sports, Pro Bowling, Pro Soccer, Burnin' Rubber, Karate Master, Karate Champ - Player Vs Player, Karate Dou, Cobra Command, and Kung-Fu Master


Name Karate Champ
Developer Nihon Bussan/AV Japan (United States)
Year 1984
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 8279
Class Wide Release
Genre Fighting
Conversion Class Data East Classic
Game Specific Karate Champ Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Karate Champ Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Joystick: 4-way (up, down, left, right)
  • Joystick: 4-way (up, down, left, right)
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
Control Panel Karate Champ Control Panel Image

Game Play

At the beginning of the game, you will practice your karate techniques. During the practice stage, you score points by doing each of the moves correctly.

There are twelve different tournaments with twelve different scenaries that you have to win in order to become the champion. During each tournament, you must demolish your opponent with a single blow while dodging or blocking your opponent's attacks. You must win two rounds in the tournament in order to proceed to the next.

You need to score from 600 points to 1000 points when you strike your opponent in order to gain a full point in the round. If you only score 100 points to 500 points when you strike your opponent, you will only get a half point in the round. You need at least two full points in each round, in order to win the tournament. If time runs out during the round, your score will have be higher than your opponent's or you will have to be the one who scored before time runs out, in order to win the round.

Between each tournament, there is a bonus stage that will require you to either evade flying objects and then destroy them with your hands or feet, a "Demo" where you will attempt to split all the wooden boards with one kick or try to knock out up to three separate charging bulls with a single punch or kick.

Karate Champ KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.12 (5 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.06

Overall Like 3.40
Fun (Social) 1.20
Fun (Solo) 2.80
Collector Desire 3.20

Technical Rating: 3.17

Gameplay 3.20
Graphics 3.00
Originality 3.80
Sound/Music 2.00

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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More pictures


The screen shots shown on this page are from the one-player version of this game. The observations mentioned in the "Gameplay" section are all about the two-player version which is similar but a little different from the one-player version which is shown in the screen shots on this page.

The 2-player version is seen in the movie Bloodsport. Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) challenges and defeats Ray Jackson (Donald Gibb) in the hotel lobby when checking in.


The Japanese version used Japanese voices and had a different storyline: you would fight your way through tournaments at various levels and finally end up at the nationals. The bonus stages were also different: kicking a vase, kicking apples out of another man's hands and off his head and jumping up and kicking a tall post. Screen shots of this version are available at

A little known fact about Karate Champ is that while the game was published by Data East, the game was actually created by Technos Japan Corp. Gee, not only did they created the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre, they also created the one-on-one fighting genre as well.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Karate Champ Census

There are 14,842 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,508 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,933 machines (6,921 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 146 known instances of this machine owned by Karate Champ collectors who are active members. Of these, 62 of them are original dedicated machines. 7 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 77 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 6 active VAPS members with a Karate Champ machines for sale. There are 5 active VAPS members with a Karate Champ circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - There are 6 active VAPS members currently looking for Karate Champ.

This game ranks a 46 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 12 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



CPU: Z80
SOUND: 2xAY-8910 and 1xDAC


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 140; Color photo

eBay Listings

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Ebay Compatible Application

KARATE CHAMP 1984 Arcade JOYSTICKS Original Coin Control Pair HARD TO FIND!!

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Karate Champ Arcade Marquee 26"x8"

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Karate Champ My Arcade Micro Player Retro Arcade 2017 - New

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Original Plexiglass Karate Champ Arcade Game Marquee Top Art

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Karate Champ to JAMMA Adapter

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Karate Champ Arcade Coin Door accessory Keychain

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