I enjoyed reading the reviews below. The game deserves the praise easily. I'm ashamed to say I never beat it, but I played it pretty often and considered it among my favorites. Opening up new areas to explore and getting the timing just right to do a kick or get past a hazard were two elements that always kept me interested. I recently played this again in emulation, and found its quirky gameplay still fun and inviting.
Atari A to Z (Pete Davison) - 04/07/2022
DataSoft's Bruce Lee is a well-regarded game for the Atari 8-bit that combines simple fighting mechanics with platforming and exploration. It's a tough old game, but still a ton of fun even today! Let's Play! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMVSBVuPV4g
AbbotKinneyDude - 27/04/2020
So was the ATARI cartridge prototype of BRUCE LEE unearthed by Best Electronics at the Atari Lombard (Illinois) warehouse real after all? It no longer shows as an ATARI Corp. title in the Atarimania database.
A little rough around the edges but that's part of its charm. A classic.
I woke up today with the urge to complete the Atari version of Bruce Lee. So I started playing it, and although I did get the "9 falls", I still failed. Atari version plays a little bit different from the C64 version, and especially that's true in two crucial parts; the 'blue laser room' and the last room (before the monster lord).
I lost almost all my falls in the blue room, and the rest in the last room.
For the record, I can complete the C64-version almost with my eyes closed, it's so easy that it's not any kind of challenge whatsoever. If I wasn't so clumsy and absent-minded, I could probably complete it without dying at all.
The way you have to jump in the blue room eludes me in the third platform. The first two are easy, but I always die on the third one. The same kind of death awaits me in the top portion of the last room, where a similar two-pin moving thing always kills me, because I can't figure out the jumping timing.
(I finally had to use an emulator, trainer version and savestates to complete it - never completed the Atari version before - but it was a hollow victory, because my real Atari denied my the satisfaction)
Now, I'd like to correct Eppy2000's mistakes. The sounds the Atari makes are in no way exaggerated, or 'martial arts'. They're just great, fun sounds that fit the situations perfectly. The C64-version has more 'wooshy' sounds, but even there, the sounds are just appropriate, not exaggerated. Maybe you are mixing your memories of old Hong Kong movies with this game. Those movies really did have exaggerated punching and 'wooshing' sounds.
Bruce Lee does not do DROPkicks in this game. It's a FLYING kick. There's a world of difference. First of all, 'dropkick' is a wrestling term, not martial arts term. Bruce Lee did practice 'no limitation as limitation', so he could just as well have performed wrestling moves, but the move we see in the game is NOT a wrestling move. In dropkick, you use the soles of both feet, whereas in a flying kick, you only kick with one foot, and the purpose and execution is completely different anyway.
As in any wrestling move, it's completely fake and mainly for show, whereas Bruce Lee was an actual martial artist and a fighter, and he wouldn't use 'showy fakery' or 'theater-kungfu'. I have to admit that the flying kick is a -bit- on the theatrical side, having been used in the TV show 'Flying Hornet' quite a lot, where Bruce would often kick someone into a pond, lake or similar place with it, and I think it was used in some movie in this fashion as well.
The practical reality of a flying kick comes from trained martial artists kicking warriors (and samurai) off their horses, so it does have a practical use, but in this kind of a game, I think a regular kick would've been more suitable (for a flying kick to have any point, it has to be really high - in this game, the kick flies really low). The only advantage for the kick being 'flying' here, is that the kick happens 'on the move', instead of having to stop to kick, like you have to do with the punch.
I hope the usage of silly wrestling terminology depicting 'showy' fake-moves, designed ONLY to look good to the audience (with no real practical usage) will stop from now on.
This is a great game with wonderful atmosphere. The only fault is that it isn't longer. If I could figure out the knack for those difficult parts, I'd play this a lot gladly. For it does have that magical atmosphere that makes you want to experience it again and again.
CHEAT MODE unlimited lives, Bruce Lee model XEGS cartridge. Edit 1 byte, changing the offset $0E1A from $C6 to $A5. Applies to one and two players.
The Green Yamo character can be removed from a one player game, by making him controlled by player two. Yeah, he comes back to computer-life if no one moves him for a minute, but, when you configure a second joystick to have continuous auto firing, he stays disabled.
If Bruce Lee the man caught you cheating, and he would have, first he would scold you for your unsportsmanlike conduct, then he would beat you silly. Winners don't use cheats.
when Bruce Lee the man died in 1973, it was widely rumored he wasn't really dead and was going to reappear ten years later. then he did, see here. and if the other program "Bruce Lee Returns" isn't a good game then maybe it's a statement of fact.
We would laugh all night playing this. I always played the Green Yamo, and we would have to drop the sticks, we were laughing so hard. Those were the days, when something so simple could be so entertaining for so long. Remember those days, Keith and Erik?
On Retro Gamer magazine (#145) there's an article dedicated to Bruce Lee with an interesting interview with Ron J Fortier, who developed the game using an Apple II and then converted it to Commodore 64. He also worked with the programmers of Apple, PC and PCjr versions.
Another classic from the '80s. Great action, graphics, sound effects (gotta love those exaggerated martial art "whoosh!" sounds whenever Bruce does his dropkicks or punches). Seems like there are two versions with different music for the opening screen. The one here seems to be the common one, but there's another floating out there that has more robust music (check Youtube to see what I'm referring to).
I was pretty good at the game back in the day, and would play it through maybe 3 times in a row. It was bit more difficult in successive rounds, but also was monotonous. There is one annoying bug in the game. In the third screen of the early above ground segment, it's possible for Bruce to get caught on the ladder. It's like the third or fourth rung from the bottom of the left side. You'll see him flap endlessly with no way to get off without having to restart the game. However, if you're in the two player mode, you can have the second player as the Green Yamo punch Bruce to death to continue. Or, if you play on an emulator, simply turn off the collision detection. :)
For those who try to be sneaky by choosing the two player mode (but playing solo) to avoid the Green Yamo, the game is designed to time out if that character is not played after some point. The computer then takes over and you'll be fighting him. Sneaky!
Another trick to get more points: when the ninja and Green Yamo are *together* and below you, run off the ledge and land on them. You get around 6000 points as opposed to the 50 or so for them individually.
The second best Bruce Lee-version.
I completed this Atari version a few hours ago (for the first time), and I must say it fares quite well against the Amstrad and Spectrum versions, both of which are quite lacking. The Amstrad version being the worst, playability-wise, although it has interesting graphics in some screens.
The Amstrad version doesn't allow you to turn around when crouched, or jump to a ladder when running, and it's not clear when you have actually climbed a ladder, because you can stand way before you are actually on top.
Spectrum-version has of course lacking graphics and sound, and both of them lack the impact or feel of the kick that the better versions have. After Spectrum and Amstrad, this Atari version feels like a more mature, polished, "grown-up" version of the game, with good graphics and sound (though a couple of effects could have been better, like the landmine-sound).
I just wish Atari had had more "uniquely Atari games" instead of so many of these "ports" (or games that exist also on other platforms).
This game and version is a great classic nevertheless.
Punkydudester - 21/12/2014
This game was a huge adventure for me. I played it so much trying to get further and further until I finally beat it months later. One of the few games with a decent and satisfying ending.
Goonies had that same cooperation style with all of the Goonies characters, just as Bruce Lee has with the Green Yamo in this one...
definitely one of my faves too. Zorro, as well as Goonies, use the same engine and are as enjoyable...
Did you try playing Zorro too ;-)
Andreas Koch - 12/06/2011
Well, this is one of my favourite A8 games of all time !
Its a bit sad that it has "only" 20 screens and there has never been an official second part or an addendum with more screens - especially since there are some places in the game which look like openings but which alas do never open. Maybe the game had originally been planned somewhat bigger (with more screens) but one removed them to make the game work with 32k RAM...?!?
Programmers out there - how about a sequel or new screens for this game ?!? And if you do so, also make a sequel for Fort Apocalypse or better some new levels for it...
Probably my favorite Atari 8bit game. I have beaten this game probably 50+ times ATLEAST. great sound, and i am a huge bruce lee fan anyways. Actually i just beat it 3 days ago on my arcade cabinet that i built.
Probably the best platform on the atari. Great graphics and sound. However where this game comes into it's own is in the playabilty department....it's so addictive! Add to this the two player feature...you have a classic atari game!
This is one of my 80's favourites which wasn't an arcade converstion. I first saw it at a friends place when he got a bootleg of it for the C64. I later bought this for my Atari 8bit system and still have that original copy too! This is a game I finished early on much easier due to one screen where bonus lives could be had. I remember on one screen on the bottom in one corner you could grab a blue/red ying-yang symbol for a bonus life, you could leave the room, re-enter and it would reappear and you could get several bonus lives this way.
Scott Wozniak - 15/09/2008
True story... When I was in the 7th grade, I took 2 of my classmates home during lunch break to show them this game. We never made it back to school that day and played the 2-player mode all afternoon. Man, that was great. 10/10.
One oft the best 8-Bit (Atari) Games ever, like most games from Datasoft.
No cheats needed to see the endscreen. The playability of this game was awesome (something you can't say about several games from this decade...)
The version for the Atari was as good as the one for the C64.
We called the green guy "Sumo". Also one of the first games with a "real" two player-mode.
The Endboss was a laugh..
Even after over 20 years I still play this game 2 or 3 times a year.
Still pretty addictive and a true classic!!!
I'm a C64 guy and this game is awesome on either system. Somehow I find the Atari version a little harder. I like the previous comment about playing with neighbors and siblings, so true. Behold the genius...
Ha ha ha im catching bare jokes on this site , anyway yeah this game was dope.
Wow, I remember playing this game as a kid, on my father's Atari 65k XE. This had to of been the best game ever made for any atari game I've ever played. Me and my sister grew up playing this game, we had the 5¼ floppy disk version of it. Me and my sister used to call the computer controlled warrior: "The Bidget." It's quite possibly the best Atari game ever made. If anyone knows of a ROM file of this, please email me immediately!
Matthew Wells - 08/09/2005
We had to load the game via tape deck which seems like it took an hour, although it was more likely 15-20 minutes. The Yamo-Bruce Lee fights were memorable, especially against neighbors and older brothers. You could set up the Yamo to sit underneath Bruce, who could fall repeatedly and then grab the chain rope and fall again, earning mega points and then free lives (re:Super Mario Brothers tortise shell trick), helpful for finishing the game. The problem was Bruce could not get out of the fall sequence, which would mean a tape re-boot!
Ah, Datasoft or current right holders I would hope could post a tidy profit redoing this kind of game with simplicity and today's modern gameplay.
So...what can I add...ABSOLUTELLY BRILLANT !!!
I would talking about this kind of games for hours...if You want to talk as well just give me a touch by Email...
The greatest Adventure/action Game of all! No game can beat this particular game not in a million years! this the most ultimate game i'd play every day and night without stopping to eat or drink no can put this unstoppable game down on the floor when theyv'e finished this , people will keep on playing this game forever un til they die! Number 1 for this game, the king of games this is!!!!!!For mee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow, my two favorites (When I'm forced to pick) are Bruce Lee and Star Raiders as well!
Yes, I completed this several times back in the day, and every once and a while my brother and I will get together and pull these games out.
I complete this game each time... it's like riding a bike I suppose.
It actually just repeats over and over once you complete it though.
Excellent game in my opinion... Back when games were about fun first.
The somewhat abstract level designs will always remain in my imagination.
Climbing and jumping through boards that made sense some how... though I couldn't tell you what the obstacles truly are... just some partially surreal video game world created to give Bruce Lee his ultimate challenge.
One of the best!
A great action/adventure combo that seems to go on forever. The last few levels are quite a challenge. Of course, the two-player option allowing Green Yamo to annoy the heck out of Bruce Lee was what made this one memorable for me.
this one is a big game like the disk version of Zorro. good but tight controls ensure this platformer is a worthy game
This is one of my two favorite games of all time, the other being Star Raiders. Has anyone ever completed it?