Fist of the North Star, known in Japan as "Hokuto no Ken Part 2: Seikimatsu Kyuseishu Densetsu", was the first title in the Fist of the North Star franchise to see a North American release. Like the previous game, it is a side scrolling beat-em-up where the player can move left, right and jump and can attack enemies to make them explode.
The story is based on the Gento story arc of Fist of the North Star. The game's box art is misleading to this effect, as the character Toki, who is shown prominently on the cover art with Kenshiro, does not appear in the Gento arc outside of flashbacks.
The mechanics are similar to its previous game where the player can move left, right, jump and attack enemies. The following buttons are used.
- A - Punching
- B- Kicking
- A+B - Can throw fireballs once powered up.
- If the A or B buttons are pressed quickly, Kenshiro can attack faster and upon upgrading him, the player can just hold the button.
- Some doors can be opened by pressing A+B+Right.
- Holding Up would do a super jump and pressing or tapping it would do a small jump.
- Holding Down would make Kenshiro couch which good to attacking players this way.
When the player attacks enemies, it did a similar thing whereby kicking enemies would send them flying and punching would make them shout: "Abashi" and explode. But this time, there is now a system where the player can collect the actual "abeshi" word that appears to add more stars which increases the speed of attacking.
Gaining 3-4 stars would increase the attacking speed and once all the stars are lit, Kenshiro will rip his shirt off and can start throwing fireballs at the enemies.
There are necklaces that are dotted around the stage and upon collecting them, Kenshiro will be temporarily invincible. In the Japanese version, this effect is accompanied by the phrase "Musou Tensei", the name of one of Kenshiro's most powerful techniques.
Kenshiro can also use Musou Tensei if sixty enemies have been killed.
Adding Extra Health
There are two ways where a player can regain lost health. One way is to beat a mid boss and the other is finding hidden flags in a room. These only appear in hidden room and only about 1-2 flags can be found on each level.
Differences between JP and NA versions
Changes were made apart from when this game was released in NA like:
- Upon completing a boss, other characters don't run to the stage.
- Two types of stars were added. A hollow star would fill the star gauge up to 4 whilst a fully colored star would add more star past the 4-star mark and increases the player's speed.
- Total number of stars to collect are different. For the American version it is 7 whilst the Japanese version needs 10 stars.