Fist of the North Star, (Japanese title: Hokuto no Ken) is a franchise that began life as a manga in 1983, written by Buronson with art by Tetsuo Hara. It concluded in 1988 with a total of 245 chapters. Since its debut, the manga has been adapted into several animated productions, including television, OVAs, and feature films, and a western live action movie in addition to numerous video games. The franchise is known for hyperviolent martial arts action in which it's not unusual for characters to be torn or blown apart.
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world brought about by nuclear war in the year 199X, resulting in a devastated wasteland teetering on survival; food is scarce, the oceans have dried up, and fresh water is a precious resource. The governments of the old world have all collapsed, giving way to a world where the strong rule over the weak as people are left to fend for what scraps are left.
The protagonist of the story, Kenshiro, is the successor to the 1800 year old assassination fist known as Hokuto Shinken. He decides to use those fists for the greater good by protecting the innocent from evil. Throughout the series, he is confronted with many trials and tribulations, from rescuing his fiancee Yuria to confronting his those who studied the art with him as brothers.
Fist of the North Star has been adapted into a variety of video games over the years ranging from side-scrolling beat'em ups to fighting games and RPGs. While some of these titles have been released internationally and intact, others have been altered to remove the licensed elements resulting in games such as Black Belt, while yet others remain exclusive to Japan.
The first licensed game in the franchise was the PC-88 game Hokuto No Ken; an adventure released by Enix.