Here’s a weird NES game from 1990 the AVGN flagged up for us. The 2D platformer from 1989 is now famous for its daft title. Indeed.
The History of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu
This is the work of Taiwanese developer Thin Chen Enterprise (also known as Sachen or Joy Van—yes, it’s confusing).
Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu (盜帥楚留香. In pinyin: Dào Shuài Chu Liúxiāng—Chu Liuxiang: Bandit Chief) is kind of like most NES platformers.
You star as Master Chu. He lives in a village, but the Hindu God Shiva puts on curse on his local area.
Chu’s mate Master Hu, who failed to stop Shiva’s curse, has taken to heavy drinking to blot out his dismal failure.
Chu, realising his destiny, sets off to take on Shiva and lift the curse.
Yes, that’s the plot. There are 10 levels and you often have to collect symbols of harmony. These are scattered across each stage.
Despite Hu being a drunk, there’s a two-player option where two of you can control Chu and Hu in co-operative mode. Nice!
Other than its weird title, the game is also notorious for being ridden with bugs.
These, apparently, render the game almost unplayable. Which is why it’s thought of as one of the worst games on the NES.
And, yes, game-ending bugs were pretty common in the past. The legendary Action 52 (1991), for example, is utterly plagued by them.
The title is another ridiculous incidence of where you have to press up to jump. This may seem common sense to non-gamers, but it’s a pretty terrible decision from a game design standpoint. Just use A or B.
Anyway, you get to the final boss and then murder Shiva.
That leads to a typically disappointing NES end-of-game screen. “The End” as Chu mysteriously floats by. Lovely.
The Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu was doomed to obscurity, until the AVGN (who reviews awful old games on YouTube) covered it on his channel back in 2013.
That’s provided the game with a bizarre new lease of life. And it’s since grown something of a cult status.
It’s certainly not a title we’re ever going to play. We just want the stupid title on our blog!
If you want to see the game in action, we suggest you check out James Rolfe’s video. Full credit to him here.