In the movie "Bloodsport", there's a sequence which is famous among video game players, where Frank Dux and Jackson "fight" through a Karate Champ arcade game machine.

enter image description here

Now I'm trying to identify which version of Karate Champ was played. I'm a bit confused because the graphics shown in the movie show a fight in a dojo, which is clearly the first version, which doesn't have 2 player capability.

If we examine the screenshot above, we can see that "2UP" doesn't appear. It looks like a 1-player only version. Also the red player moves match closely a computer A.I. playing. For instance if you sommersault towards the CPU, the cpu moves back in that version. And the attempted attacks also match.

Moerover, according to wikipedia about the 2 player version:

The sequel is very similar to the original in the sense that they use the same hardware, have the same sprites and title screen, and the play mechanics are essentially the same although the computer AI is greatly improved along with control and hit detection. Whereas the original game started with the first level taking place at a dojo and all the following levels taking place at a tournament stadium, Player vs Player has the characters fighting it out over girls at locations around the world.

A screenshot of the 2 player version where the "2UP" and the score can be seen:

enter image description here

So I thought at first that in Bloodsport they pretended to fight (there are a lot of disrepancies reported by specialists in most movies, specially with weapons or computers) but were showing footage of player vs computer. But in the movie you clearly see the 2 sets of 2 joysticks and the players who control them. But there's this missing "2UP" thing that adds to the confusion.

Also when a player wins, there's the cheering crowd, but that cheering crowd sound can only be heard in later stages of the 1P only game...

But on the other hand they couldn't have made the 4 joystick / 2 player mode up before DataEast releases the 2P game...

Various ROM sites only list 3 versions:

  • Karate Champ (dojo background, then stadium for all other fights)
  • Karate Champ VS set 1 (no dojo background, various pics from around the world)
  • Karate Champ VS set 2 (same)

There are also japanese or english versions. The shown version in the movie appears to be japanese, with other sound effects than the versions I know & played in the arcades back in the days.

So is there more information about a 2-player version of Karate Champ which has the original dojo background like the 1-player version?

  • 2
    What is shown on a computer screen in a movie is not always (even seldom) what was on the screen when the film was shot. It was (and still is) often added afterwards in post production, so in this case it might very well be that someone decided that version 1 looked better than version 2. What they really played might even have been a completely other game, or nothing at all.
    – UncleBod
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 9:27
  • makes little sense though. They had access to a 2P arcade machine (1987 was probably full of 2P arcade machines, 1P version was long gone), but they still showed footage & sound of 1P arcade machine... Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 9:37
  • 4
    Don't assume that the people who make movies have any interest in computers or computer games, or in portraying them accurately; doubly so if the movie in question was made before ca. 2000. The characters in the movie play a computer game to move the plot along; this is then filled with suitable footage that looks good, and suitably computer-ish or computer-game-ish to a general audience. Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 10:51
  • 1
    BTW, @Jean-FrançoisFabre, I think that your analysis is pretty spot-on, and that we are seeing footage of a one-player version 1 game that two actors pretend to play against one another. Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 11:58
  • Both Michaels are probably right. The audio & video is very nicely done for a B-movie like this. They just picked the wrong Karate Champ version in post production. Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 13:45


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