THE YEAR-2056. SOMEONE, OR SOMETHING, HAS BROKEN INTO THE MAIN DEFENSE COMPUTER, AND IS BLOCKING ACCESS TO THE BACKUP SYSTEM. SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?

A Nintendo Entertainment System game that combines fighting, quantum mechanics, and 400-year-old ancient Japanese dance theater? Finally!

Before cyber punks strapped into The Matrix, there was Kabuki Quantum Fighter‘s Image Transfer System®™ to transport human minds into raw binary data. In Kabuki Quantum Fighter, you play as Colonel Scott O’Conner, an Irishman with a German forehead, who, according to the game, is “well trained in body and spirit and knowledgeable in computer hardware.”

There’s a virus in the main defense computer, the same main defense computer that controls the world’s nuclear weapons, and because there’s no Norton Anti-Virus in the future, Scott has to go all Fantastic Voyage and shrink down into the circuitry and stop the virus with his cybernetic mind. If that really were the only way to get rid of a computer virus, maybe what the Geek Squad charges might seem a little more reasonable.


So, we got the Quantum, we got the Fighter, but how does the Kabuki work its way into Kabuki Quantum Fighter? You see, Scott’s great-great-grandfather, Danjuro O’Conner? Well, he had a sake problem. And I think there’s something Freudian going on, too, with Scott. Some repressed desire for a drink or to dress as a woman. I really don’t want to get too bogged down with the metaphysical dimensions of Kabuki Quantum Fighter, but the story is unique to say the least.

Kabuki Quantum Fighter is a solid fast-paced action game, a mix of Ninja Gaiden with a tinge of Sunsoft’s Batman. Though it may be a little on the short side with only five levels, and a tad too difficult at some spots (damn timer!), the game is a sleeper hit thanks to its polished gameplay and its intriguing design elements.

I should note that on the sample’s front cartridge label, there’s a dash between Kabuki and Quantum in the name, so it reads, “Kabuki-Quantum Fighter.”

After dumping this sample, the data is the same as the released North American game. Since I purchased this from Netherlands prototype collector Niels Thomassen, I am assuming that the cartridge was once used for review purposes by the European press.