Fists of Fire Newbie Primer

jackie chan banner

Written by: 

“I’m Jackie Chan. This is my game…”

And welcome to the Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire (AKA Fists of Fire for the purposes of this piece) mini-guide. This guide is a work in progress. If you play this and find any faults, corrections or can add to this, feel free to mention/suggest/ect.

Okay, first off, some history. Fists of Fire is actually a sequel/update to Jackie Chan: The Kung-Fu Master. In late 1994 when Golden Harvest was producing Thunderbolt, Kaneko sponsored the film and in return, they would make a deal to produce a video game and this is that video game. The game did not get much mileage overseas and while the ROM was dumped for emulation in 2000, very tough security measures rendered it unplayable until 2008.

Now, you’re probably wondering “Why are we seeing a piece on THIS? It’s a cheap 90s Mortal Kombat knockoff!” Yes, it’s a cheap 90s Mortal Kombat knockoff trying to capitalize on the trends of that day, but with the 90s star power of Jackie Chan, but that’s beside the point. Considering Kaneko’s fighting game track record with the likes of Fujiyama Buster/Shogun Warriors and Ooedo Fight/Blood Warrior, you’d think all the ingredients were there for a recipe for the worst possible kusoge fighter imaginable or something like Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game, right?

Well…..You’re kinda right.

Pretty sure not many people saw or played this much back then and it was a time when digital fighting was in the early stages. There is a surprising functional and very fun fighter hidden in the visage of inherent silliness of live-action 90s fighters that Fists of Fire oozes of. There’s footsies, combos, mixups, damage (LOTS OF IT! Remember, this is a 90s fighter) and all that. But here’s the real kicker…

Fists of Fire is easy.

Very easy

Easy as in “you can learn this in 5-10 min” easy.

Easy as in “you don’t have to drop whatever game you’re focusing on to play this” easy.

Easy as in “anyone can pick this up” easy.

Easy as in “this could be a good first fighting game to learn fighting games” easy.

Also, let’s get one thing straight, Jackie is absolute top tier in this game. It IS his game, after all. The proof is that no matter how many times you knock him out or win a match against him, he’ll pop back up and tell you compliment you with a “Good fight!” or “You’re getting better!” I call it good sportsmanship. You might say, “What a smug jerk!”. Either way, when you play Jackie, even if you lose, you win and if both players pick Jackie, everyone wins! So here’s a tip for starting out: Pick Jackie.

This sounds a bit too good to be true for a game like this coming from that era, but that’s the beauty of Fists of Fire. It is the product of simpler times well before today’s rush to “accessibility.” Don’t take my word for it. Of course, the only way to truly know is to try the game and decide for yourself.

Okay, now let’s actually talk mechanics…

Controls and other stuff:

4 buttons: Standard KOF format: LP, LK, HP, HK

Throwing is 1 button. Done with HP or HK. Some characters can juggle off throws.

All characters have command normal overheads and can be chained from low LK. Some characters can combo off their overhead

HP+HK: Taunt. Will reduce opponent’s super meter. (Note: You can throw out a taunt right after a KO)

Hold HP or HK: Charge super meter

All characters have LPx4 (or 5) string and a special unique string (both not too useful)

Everyone jumps like Dhalsim (Read: VERY floaty. Try not to jump often or ever)

On the other hand, dashing is fast and covers a lot of ground. Part of what gives the game its speed and charm.

Matches are 30 seconds. May seems short but with the fast damage and movement of this game, time outs are rare. Some may want to set matches to 3 out of 5 because of this

Dizzy: Like Time Outs. Rare, but they can happen, but some of the time, the opponent gets KOed before.

OTG: You can shake/mash to get up and either use a rising attack or roll left or right. Character standing can either use lows or a ground pounce to hit. Extra notes on the pounce, like SFII mash grabs you can mash for more damage and the grounded opponent mashes to escape. Also, the one grounded can “counter” the pounce with LP+LK or HP+HK upon contact.



First off, The Jackies…

kungfumaster-baguazhangProject A Jackie Chan (White costume)

Throw: f or b+HK when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: f+HK-HP-HK-HK-LK+HK

Overhead Kick: f+HK

Dragon Attack: hcf+P

Double Dutch: dp+K

Fire Shot: hcf+P in air

Super dash elbow/palm: hcf+LP+HP

Remember my tip of “Pick Jackie” a few moments ago? This is why. “White Jackie” is a great beginner character that can show the basics of the game as well as being a strong character overall. Good normals, an overhead that can start combos and a really good super that’s great for combos or for chipping (and safe too). This Jackie also has one of the best throws in the game in which, 1) can juggle the opponent for 50% or more and 2) push them toward the corner via the Double Dutch loop.

Like most characters, White Jackie can get his offense going with a low LK to combo into his dash elbow/palm (hcf+P) or the Double Dutch (dp+K). Since he also has his overhead and throw to start combos, your job with White Jackie is to mixup with these three options. White Jackie is also one of the few characters with a projectile only it’s not very good as you have to do it in the air. It cannot be tiger kneed to perform close to the ground and it’s slow, maybe it can throw someone off here and there, but it won’t see use often.

kungfumaster-fiveanimalfistFive Animal Fist Jackie Chan (Red costume)

Throw: f or b+HP when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LP-HP-HP-HK-HK-LK+HK

Hopkick: f+LK

Backward Hopkick: b+LK

One-Two Punch: f+HP

Overhead Kick: f+HK

5 Elements Ranbu: hcf+P

Crush Kick: qcf+K

Frantic Kick Grab: hcb+K when close

Super 5 Elements Ranbu: hcf+LP+HP

How to play Red Jackie (Short version): CRUSH KICK! CRUSH KICK! CRUSH KICK!

How to play Red Jackie (Actual sentences version): What happens when you have a character in a fighting game with somewhat underwhelming features but has that ONE thing that can cause headaches for nearly the entire cast? Yup. This is why Jackie Chan is awesome. Jackie can be a top tier (White Jackie) and be mid tier (but with that ONE thing) at the same time. Yes, Jackie Chan can do that. If your idea of fun and strategy in a fighting game is spam one move like crazy, this is the character for you. The Crush Kick is Red Jackie’s most powerful tool as it can hop over lows, effectively destroying most characters low+LK/throw mixup that nearly every character depends on. The LK version is also safe on block and leaves you in advantage on hit. Even throwing it out random sometimes isn’t a bad idea. His command grab does not have a miss animation (it will only activate up close) and can be option selected with his command b+LK, which is pretty safe. You can also use a dash special to juggle after the command grab to create a reset. Outside of that, just be ready use Crush Kick a lot.

kungfumaster-drunkenfistDrunk Jackie (Yellow costume)

Throw: f or b+HP when close

Combo String 1:  LP-LP-LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2:  LP-HK-HP-LK-LP-HP

Overhead Kick: f+HK

Jug Throw: qcf+P

Hands Tatsu: hcb+P

Drunken Rising Taco: d,u+P

Turning Chicken Kick: qcf+K

Super Spinning: hcb+LP+HP

Ah, a Jackie style that most Westerners are familiar with and like many inebriated characters in fighting games, Drunk Jackie has some quirks. First, he not only chugs alcohol, he throws it! Drunk Jackie is one of the few characters with a projectile, giving him true space control in a game with almost none and even the jugs themselves act funny as they only connect when they hit the ground (they can OTG) and can often hit late leading to trades in Jackie’s favor. Drunk Jackie also possesses a very strong command overhead. Faster than White Jackie’s and can link for combos. Turning Chicken Kick can be a good cross up for a knock down when you can sneak it it. Hands Tatsu is good for combos, but does not knock down.

And now….Everyone else who isn’t Jackie Chan….


Throw 1: f or b+HP when close

Throw 2: f or b+HK when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LP-LP-HP-HP-LP+HP

Overhead Kick: f+HK

Flame Orb (Read: Not a projectile): qcf+P

Flame…It’s a DP: dp+P

Flame Tats…Oh, you get the idea: qcf+K

Super Dragon Fire: qcf+LP+HP

1/3 of Fist of Fire’s “Blue Man Group.” As you may have guessed from his movelist, Lau is pretty straight forward, yet this is Fist of Fire so trying to play Lau as if he were a homeless guy who can throw fire from his hands won’t entirely apply. Lau has a lot going for him aside from the fact that he has blue skin for some reason and even his normals set the opponent ablaze, so you can say Lau litera…No. No. Don’t. Let’s move on. Anyway, Lau can do lots of good damage with HP Flame Orb or his super (with meter) and even if blocked, they can still do a lot of safe chip damage. He has the option of using qcf+K for combos if the opponent is standing if you want to switch it up from Flame Orb.


Throw 1: f or b+HP when close

Throw 2: f or b+HK when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LP-HP-HK-HK-u+LK+HK (last hit takes timing to combo)

Overhead Ax Kick: f+HK

Spiral Kick: qcf+K x 3

Thousand Spear: qcf+P

Not a real Divekick: qcb+K

Super Kicks: qcf+LK+HK

In a wacky game like this, you can imagine there’s bound to be some characters that end up not so good. Sam…Poor Sam. Why must your combos work best on standing opponents (except maybe ONE)? What this pretty much means is the old “dash in to low short combo/throw mixup” trick that most everyone uses is not very strong from Sam. You would think Kaneko had thought about this as they designed the rest of the cast, but, no. Not Sam. Of all of his specials (EVEN HIS SUPER), Thousand Spear is the only one that can hit crouching opponents fully it doesn’t really net a lot of damage compared to most. His kick rekkas may knock down, but the opponent can get up right after (maybe an unintended bug) and you can duck the first hit, so that’s not so great. Did they really think that just because Sam had a fake divekick (granted, it is kinda decent for the few projectile users: Drunk Jackie and Mysterious Lion), he’d be too powerful to need anything else? At least he can do the Yeung infinite…More on this in her section, which by the way, is next.


Throw: f or b+HP when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: d+HK-HK-HP-HP

Bo Thrust: f+HP

Senton Splash: f+HK

Crow Shot: qcf+P

Crane Wings: hcb+P

Swallow Kick: hcf+K

Super Bo Smackdown: hcb+LP+HP

“Blue Man Group….WITH A TWIST” Part 2 of 3: Well, here’s a change of pace. No, you cannot use the birds, but she can turn into a giant bird when she performs a ground pounce if that means anything. A rather stark contrast, Yeung is not exactly a very high damaging character, but she has a nice keepaway game. Yeung does suffer a bit from the game’s dash-heavy design, so it can be easy to bait her attacks, dash in and punish her. Crow Shot and Crane Wings are great to poke for hits and for chip damage. Her Super is strictly whiff punish material.

Oh, right. The Yeung infinite.

Yeung has a strange bug that allows the entire cast sans White Jackie to juggle her for longer than normal. Most knockdowns or a throw can start this and when Yeung lands on the ground (no afterbounce). Most will require you to dash up close. Corners may affect use.

Lau – cr.LK OTG, cr.HK-cr.HP xx fierce DP. Use LP orb on her instead of HP as it will give you more time to run up.

Yeung – cr.LK OTG, cr.LK xx hcf+K. Outside the corner, you have to dash up before the second LK. Make sure you’re in front of her body when OTGing…if you’re behind, she’ll fly farther away and it won’t work.

Sam – cr.LK OTG, cr.LK xx qcf+LP. Again, make sure you’re in front of her.

Kim-Maree – cr.LK OTG, cr.LK xx d,u+HP. May be easier in the corner. You have to hit the first cr.LK right on top of her body, then dash up right before the second one.

Thorsten – cr. HK, cr. LK xx Gatling Kick.

The setups below are not infinites but can still be useful. Drunk Jackie can rack up to 95% (!) and at least Mysterious Lion can sorta do more damage?

M.Lion – After a throw, you can dash up and do cr.HK slide, then cr.LK-cr.HP.

Red Jackie – After a throw or combo into 5 Elements Ranbu, you can dash up and OTG cr.HK, cr.LK xx qcf+LK Crush Kick.

Drunk Jackie – cr.LK-cr.HP xx d,u+HP (into corner), cr.LK xx super (into opposite corner), OTG qcf+LP, cr.LK-cr.HP.

kungfumaster-lionMysterious Lion

Throw: f or b+HP when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LK-LK-HK-HP-HP-LP+HP

Cape Whip: f+HP

Overhead Ax Kick: f+HK

Crazy Bomb: qcf+P

Lion Crusher: f,b,f+P

Midnight Escape: hcb + any button

Super Mini Lion: f,b,f+LP+HP

-Self Destruct: P

– Mini Lion Force: K

Ah, Mysterious Lion (M. Lion from here on). The attempt at the oddball character. It’s nice it was tried, but it doesn’t quite work and M. Lion ends up as Sam’s closest companion. M. Lion tries the zoning game with bomb projectiles that don’t seem to as well as Drunk Jackie’s jugs (M. Lion recovers too long), but they can force players to jump on occasion. Some long distance normals like Yeung, with f+HP being his best. cr HK is a slide that’s okay, I guess? LP Lion Crusher does not knock down and HP can only knock down at a certain distance. Outside of canned strings, bomb tricks with Lion Crusher if it manages to hit, M. Lion does not have much for combos or anything else, to be honest.M. Lion also happens to weigh more than the cast so some staple combos may not work as usual. Mini Lion mode is odd. Punch buttons will cause him to explode and hop back while kick buttons will drop three Mini Lions as different ranges. At least he’s harder to hit. Maybe someone can make M. Lion work better or have fun with one day. Oh, M. Lion is mocapped by Sam….Hmm…That could explain a lot.


Throw: f or b+HP when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LP-LP-HP-HP-HP-HK-HK-LK+HK

Overhead Fist: f+HP

Mid Kick: f+HK

Jackknife Storm: b,f+K

Slash Sword: d/b,f+P

Not Double Dutch: d,u+K

Teleport: d,u+P

Super Turrican Tribute: f,b,f+LK+HK

Not-quite-as-Blue Man Group Part 3 of 3 or Thorsten: The “other” White Jackie: Pretty similar to for the most part. Outside of his HP teleport, his specials are not very good outside of combos. Wheel Kick can stuff lows, but it’s no Red Jackie Crush Kick (It’s unsafe). The most it’s good for is for hit confirms if you’re too far to use Not Double Dutch for a combo and you don’t have super loaded. Slash Sword is not overhead and can be whiff punished. Not Double Dutch is much like White Jackie’s Double Dutch. You can even combo into it after a throw. His normals like cr.LK (super fast and starts combos) and both st. & cr. HK are great pokes. Thorsten’s real trump card is his super. While unsafe, it can still do some nice chip even on crouchers and lots of damage if it connects. Oh, he has a 100% redizzy combo with it too (off a cr LK!).

100% redizzy: (vs. everyone except Thorsten) cr.LKx3 xx super, cr.HP x d,u+HK (dizzy), j.HP-j.HK, d,u+HK, cr.HP xx d,u+HK, OTG with 2 sweeps)


Throw 1: f or b+HP when close

Throw 2: f or b+HK when close

Throw 3: d/f or d/b+HP when close

Combo String 1: LP-LP-LP-LP

Combo String 2: LP-LK-HP-HK-HK-LK+HK

Overhead Kick: f+HK

Double Frankensteiner: hcf+K when close

Air Double Frankensteiner: f+K when close to airborne opponent

Death Lariat Drop: qcf+P

“I WANT YOU!”: d,u+P

Super Throw: hcf+LK+HK when close

Okay. We have a grappler…Errr…Sorta. While she does not have much as far as combos, Kim can do some decent damage with her good zoning normals like st HK as well as with throws. In fact, her df+HP throw can do more damage than even her super if you can mash fast enough, granted the super (no miss animation and guaranteed damage) has benefits that make it worthwhile. Death Lariat Drop is unblockable, but you can crouch to avoid it. You can cancel it off a normal and maybe catch standing opponents off guard.


Match vids A FT5 between White Jackie and Lau. Fairly basic to see how the game rolls Casuals from a Team Spooky stream. Drunk Jacky vs. Lau.

From a-cho Part 1:

0:00 – 20:14 – A pretty good Red Jackie

55:32 – 1:04:21 – This Sam player has guts.

From a-cho Part 2:

21:12 – 44:05 – Some Kim play

50:22 – 53:42 – Yeung play



Feature on all Jackie Chan games Fist of Fire and it’s predecesor is covered:

Most system info, movelists, combos, ect, taken from here:

In closing, I hope this was useful and entertaining, given the nature of this game. I also believe we can learn a little something from this. That sometimes, the most wacky games can lead to something amazing and could be more well put together than we expect. Hopefully, this can also prompt more exploring for fun and curiosity’s sake (something that has been sadly dying in this age) or maybe inspire people to make a game to expand or improve on the ideas tried or make something even wackier. Again, this guide is not an end-all, be-all. If you try the game and find out anything is inaccurate, go ahead and offer corrections. Now if you say this game is awful, well, I can’t help you there. Thank you for reading and…