Datasoft's Bruce Lee for Commodore 64 is one of those games I played when I was a kid that completely captivated me and sucked me in. I fell in love the moment I loaded it on my breadbin & 1541 the very first time. From the initial loading screen and music, fantastic "chunky" sound effects and the graphics - it stood out as being world class to me, from end to end (even if Bruce did stutter a bit when he ran).
And I didn't stop playing it until I beat it. And I did beat it back then.
It's honestly one of the only games I ever beat as a kid, and the day that happened - hands sweaty and slightly shaky on the final screens - was a massive triumph. One I celebrated with myself, if I remember correctly, because my mom and brother couldn't give a flip.
But I was very proud of myself. And I had a friend at school I couldn't wait to tell the next day who I then inspired to follow in my footsteps.
There is no doubt Bruce Lee, the game, captivated a ton of people's imaginations very strongly.
It's been remade over the years and expanded upon, ported to the Amiga in very snazzy new clothes in 2018, and even a Bruce Lee II was made for C64 in 2013/14.
I love all of those games. But the original is the crown jewel because that's where it all started.
I've been looking to find a boxed copy for years, but whenever it shows up on Ebay it is always set as an auction. And, predictably, the boxed disk version will go well over $300! That's pretty nuts when you consider you're mainly really just trying to get the box. The disk isn't that hard to obtain (I have 3 separate original disks). And the manuals show up from time to time, too, which is really just a folded sheet of paper. Nothing special.
This is why the box is usually a crushed and tattered piece of crap - it was 95% air!
Last week out of the blue good ol' Bruce showed up on Ebay, as a Buy It Now. And I got it for less than $100. Laugh if you want, but I hit that button so hard I nearly created a worm hole in our space time continuum.
It's not 100% mint, but it's damned "very good" at a minimum. And it's probably the best I'm ever going to find, especially sub-$100.
As I said before, over the years I've collected several of the original Datasoft gold-sticker floppy disks. They'll show up on Ebay and usually cost around $30 as loose disks. I actually got all of mine for free in various pickups. So, I never have played a cracked version in the last several years - no need as long as I have a disk drive hooked up. I did play a crack back in the day, though (just being honest). I'd be willing to bet 99% of you reading this did, too.
What's also interesting is the pitiful little "manual" - or instruction sheet, really. I have two. The one in the box I received today - to my eyes - looks like a high quality laser printer copy on a normal if aged 8.5x11" piece of printer paper. I have another instruction sheet I'd gotten for free from a garage-haul that was really wrinkled and warped but not yellowed. But that piece of paper is slightly smaller, and glossy.
I know for a fact the glossy one is real and original. This other one, though, made me wonder if it was a dupe.
If it is a copy - guys, it was made a really long time ago. It has visible yellowing from age on the back of it. And someone would have had to have gone to a professional printer - with an original version - to make a copy of this quality. And yet, when compared to my original, there are differences in the text formatting, too (note the bold vs. italics) so there were at least two versions floating around.
So, who knows? I'll be putting both in the box regardless. There's really only one other Datasoft title I'm actively seeking at this point (the box, of course, as I have the disk): Goonies. And who knows? In another 5 years I might just snag it like I did good ol' Bruce.
Bruce is buried in my city, Seattle, WA. My family visited his grave last year.
His son, Brandon, is buried next to him.
Bruce met his wife at the University of Washington.
Bruce Lee opened his first martial arts school, named the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu (literally Bruce Lee’s Kung Fu) Institute, in Seattle.
And now, for a moment of heavenly glory, by Seattle's very own Melody Sheep.