This month marks the five-year anniversary of GamesRadar, and to celebrate, we’re bringing back some of our favorite features from the past. The following originally posted in 2008. As a longtime fan of Bruce Lee and fighting games, this feature was great fun to write.
While working on it, I also came across a great factoid about Drunken Master II (one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies). Did you know that Ho-Sung Pak, the actor who played Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat, was originally cast to play the main fighting villain in Drunken Master II? After an unfortunate injury, Pak was replaced by Ken Lo. Since learning this, I often catch myself wondering what that final fight scene would have been like had Ho-Sung Pak played the high-kicking bad guy in the factory.
Fact: Bruce Lee is better than Chuck Norris. Lee never hawked Bowflexes in his quest for the perfect mixed martial arts form. Lee kicked Norris’ ass in Way of the Dragon. And it was Lee who brought his proprietary blend of Kung Fu kickass-ery to the mainstream with his wild whoops, and a roundhouse kick that packed more power than the millions of stale internet jokes about his co-star.
So why all the Lee love on a videogame site? When you think about it, almost every major fighting franchise features a Bruce Lee clone. And why not? Lee’s likeness and fast fists fit great in just about any game where two people try to beat the crap out of each other. That’s why we’re paying tribute to our favorite Lee clones of all of all time, the ones who captured the best qualities of the late and great martial arts master.
First appeared in: Mortal Kombat
Famous quote: Liu Kang clearly says “Wululululululu!” when performing his Flying Bicycle Kick in Mortal Kombat II.
Signature moves: Flying Kick, Dragon Fire, Flying Bicycle Kick.
Most Lee-like moment: We’re going to have to go with Liu Kang’s winning pose in the Test Your Might minigame from the first Mortal Kombat. He’s a dead ringer for Bruce Lee from Way of the Dragon.
Above: Liu Kang tests his might against Bruce Lee from Way of the Dragon
Know your Lee: Ho-Sung Pak, the actor who played Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat, also starred as Superstar, the cocky Kung Fu fighter in WMAC Masters. The show first aired in 1995 and featured choreographed martial arts battles with lots of staged behind-the-scenes drama. The second (and last) season of WMAC Masters was hosted by Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee.
Above: Get a taste of Ho-Sung Pak in this clip from WMAC Masters
Above: A dated promotion for the original Mortal Kombat by Game Masters. Remember, the energy bar at the top of the screen is what counts!
First appeared in: Dead or Alive
Famous quotes: “Hachoo,” “Woocha,” “WooOOooh,” and many other fake words that are hard to spell.
Signature moves: Dragon Kick, Dragon Fist, Dragon Gunner, One Inch Punch
Most Lee-like moment: During a cut scene in the single player mode, Jann Lee rescues Hitomi from a T-Rex by delivering a flying kick to the dinosaur’s face. Now that’s how a real martial arts master would handle a random encounter with a dinosaur.
Above: This is how Bruce Lee would solve a dinosaur problem
Know your Lee: Jann Lee has a move that’s very similar to the one inch punch, a powerful blow performed extremely close to the target, and is a reference to one of Bruce Lee’s most famous physical feats. Although Bruce Lee didn’t invent the punch, he introduced it to the mainstream after demonstrating the technique at the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships.
Above: Bruce Lee unleashes his famous one inch punch
Above: If you beat the game with both of Jann Lee’s costumes, you’ll unlock the iconic yellow tracksuit from Bruce Lee’s Game of Death
First appeared in: Super Street Fighter II
Famous quote: “There could never be another legend like the great one and his son! I will honor their memory by training harder for their real fight.” – Fei-Long, Super Street Fighter II ending.
Signature moves: Rekka Ken, Fire Kick, Hair Throw
Most Lee-like moment: Fei-Long’s Rekka Ken was performed with a forward-quarter-circle-punch, and could be repeated three times to form a mini-combo. Each strike was accompanied by a very Lee-like “whoop,” and was followed by a slight pause, which captured the essence of Lee’s iconic fighting style in his films.
Above: Fei-Long’s character portrait also has Bruce Lee written all over it
Know your Lee: In the Japanese version of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Fei-Long was voiced by UWF fighter and professional wrestler Masakatsu Funaki. In Japan, Funaki is famous for taking and delivering big beat downs in the ring.
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