Chatan Yarakuu Shanku: The Karate Tournament is a 2D fighting game developed and released by Mitchell for arcades on December 1992.
Unlike other fighting games at the time (after the release of Street Fighter II), The Karate Tournament aimed for a more realistic approach to karate fighting (similar to Data East's 1984 arcade game Karate Champ). It was designed by Kouichi Yotsui, best known then as the creator of the 1989 arcade game Strider.
Players control a generic karate practitioner as they combat an endless series of opponents to raise their belt ranks.
Players utilize an eight-directional joystick and two buttons (one for Attacking and one for Jumping). During the fight, players perform attacks and abilities based on the joystick direction and buttons pressed:
- If no buttons are pressed, players defend each of their three heights (High, Middle, and Low) based on the direction of their joystick (the upper quadrant for High, the lower quadrant for Low, and the middle quadrant, even if the joystick is neutral, for Middle). Players move their combatants left and right on the playfield by holding the joystick either neutral-left or neutral-right while the opponent is not attacking.
- If only the Attack button is pressed, players perform one of nine attacks based on what direction the joystick is held in. Based on the joystick's quadrant (upper for High Attacks, neutral for Middle Attacks, and lower for Low Attacks), attacks can only be blocked with the same height. If both Attack and Jump buttons are pressed, players perform one of nine special attacks (which function the same as normal attacks, only increasing risk for a chance to perform two consecutive strikes).
- If only the Jump button is pressed, players perform one of three evasive actions: jumping straight up, jumping in a certain direction (performed by holding the joystick either upper-left or upper-right), or making a quick dash in the playfield (perform by holding the joystick either neutral-left or neutral-right). While jumping, players ignore enemy Low Attacks (but put themselves at the risk of Middle and High Attacks) and can perform a special Jump Attack (which must be blocked High) by pressing the Attack button.
During single-player, players progress through 6 stages of their current belt color. There are 16 stages in total, with two of these stages being used for multiple belt colors (as the final stage in one color and the starting stage in another).
Each stage has two-to-three opponents, each with their own costume color and belt color.
- Grade 8 (seaside, White 1)
- Grade 7 (lakeside, White 2)
- Grade 6 (cliffside, White 3)
- Grade 5 (moonlight, White 4)
- Grade 4 (desert, White 5)
- Grade 3 (city, White 6, Brown 1)
- Grade 3 (desert, Brown 2)
- Grade 2 (cavern, Brown 3)
- Grade 1 (arctic, Brown 4)
- Shodan Ho (cherry blossom, Brown 5)
- Shodan (waterfall, Brown 6, Black 1)
- Nidan (cherry blossom, Black 2)
- Sandan (aquarium, Black 3)
- Yondan (lakeside, Black 4)
- Rokudan (moonlight, Black 5)
- Hachidan (seaside, Black 6)