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Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise

Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is the new game based on the manga by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara, which was also the basis for various anime, notably including one of the first releases from Manga Video in the UK back in the early 90’s.

Players take on the role of Kenshiro, the successor to the deadly martial arts style of Hokuto Shinken, who is searching the post apocalyptic wasteland for his love Yuria who is missing. The bulk of the game takes place in the city of Eden after playing through an introductory prologue of sorts.

The real beauty of Fist of the North Star lies in how it is both sombre and inherently ridiculous at the same time, everything is so ridiculously over the top it just works. There’s a main story to play through as Kenshiro tries to find Yuria and meets various other characters along the way, but there’s also a vast amount of side quests, or ‘substories’ as they are called here.

Fans of the anime, or manga, will recognise various characters that feature, some use different martial arts to Kenshiro, whilst others are fellow disciples of Hokuto Shinken.

The combat system is built on standard attacks, charged attacks and secret techniques, which are spectacularly gory finishing moves. Whenever a secret technique is performed the name appears on screen, the best known of these being the iconic ‘Hokuto Hundred Fist Rush’ attacks more commonly known as ‘ATATATAT!’ after the sounds Kenshiro makes performing it.

As you fight the seven star gauge fills allowing Kenshiro to enter burst mode for a limited time allowing for different moves and ones that do more damage.

There are four skill trees allowing you to unlock new moves, get health upgrades, etc, as you play through the game. Another aspect is talismans, these give different buffs, invulerability for a short period, etc, and are used once before needing to be recharged.

Whilst the city of Eden is relatively small, it’s fairly packed with things to, with a variety of minigames to be found along with the myriad side quests. At a certain point you’ll head out into the wasteland in a dune buggy which opens up numerous other options, including other locations, fighting hordes of bad guys in the wasteland, taking part in races and even Fist of the North Star’s own take on baseball.

For those who can remember seeing the anime film and being blown away by how completely bonkers everything was this is a treat.

Eisenhorn coming to the small screen

So some rather surprising news appeared the other day, there are plans for a live action series based on Dan Abnett’s classic Eisenhorn trilogy.

Frank Spotnitz, the creator of Amazon’s adaptation of The Man in the High Castle (loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel) is set to be executive producer and sharing showrunner duties with Emily Feller for the upcoming series.

The idea of a live action series based on one of Games Workshop’s properties is the kind of thing that many a fan has probably had pretty high on their wish list. Fans have by this point become rather well accustomed to disappointment when it comes to adapting 40K to another medium.

Eisenhorn is a trilogy comprised of the books Xenos, Malleus, and Hereticus (although further related books were published later). The story
folows Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and his retinue as he becomes embroiled in a sprawling interplanetary detective story, a story which takes place over more than a century in the nightmarish far future of the 41st millennium.

The immediate thing that comes to mind is, this will have to have a seriously impressive budget to bring the world of 40K to life. Games Workshop has established the world of 40K over 30 odd years after it first appeared in the late 80’s.

Humanity in the 40K world is a vast but crumbling interplanetary empire, an empire which is constantly at war with several other races, their fellow man and the forces of Chaos. Worshipping the Emperor of mankind (who is now entombed in the Golden Throne of Terra after being mortally wounded 10,000 years ago, it’s a long story) the Imperium is both xenophobic and distinctly fascistic in its pursuit of anyone that doesn’t fall in line, dubbing them heretics.

Making the world of 40K accessible to people completely unfamiliar with it as a concept will take some doing but Eisenhorn is good choice for an attempt. The reason for this is because it doesn’t feature one of the most well known mainstays of the 40K world, space marines, the Imperium’s genetically engineered 8 foot tall shock troops.

The Inquisition, of which Gregor Eisenhorn is a member, are the secret police of the Imperium operating outside the chain of command. Split into three main factions the Ordo Xenos, the Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Hereticus, (with each generally focussing on one facet, aliens, daemons and heretics). Gregor Eisenhorn, who is also a Sanctioned Psyker with potent psychic powers, belongs to the Ordo Xenos.

Whilst the world of 40K has several races that would be classified as malevolent (the Necrons for example are an ancient race of robots determined to restablish their empire after laying dormant for 60 million years) the Imperium aren’t the “good guys” by any means in case that isn’t clear.

The idea of an Eisenhorn live action series is rife with potential, how it actually turns out is a different matter entirely.

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