Video Game / Shaq Fu

Shaq-Fu is a Fighting Game released in 1994. It was developed by Delphine Software Internationalnote  and published by Electronic Arts. It was initially released for the SNES and Genesis, and was ported the next year to the Game Boy, Game Gear and Amiga.

The plot is as follows: Long ago, in a parallel dimension known as the Second World, ruled a powerful sorcerer known as Sett Ra. Planning to conquer Earth, he created a loyal servant from his own shadow, Beast, who murdered the Pharaoh, allowing Sett Ra to take his place. The Pharaoh's son, however, was not deceived, and sought the help of a powerful group of wizards, who managed to banish Sett Ra back to the Second World, weakened and imprisoned. A thousand years later, Beast finally managed to free his master from imprisonment; to put an end to his banishment, Sett Ra must now perform a ritual upon the Pharaoh's descendant, a child by the name of Nezu.

On Earth, Shaquille O'Neal is doing some sightseeing in Tokyo, as he is to compete in a basketball game for a charity event later that night, when he decides to stop by a kung-fu dojo. Inside, he meets an old martial artist named Leotsu, who informs him that he is the Chosen One destined to defeat Sett Ra. Shaq thus enters a portal to the Second World, in the goal of defeating Sett's battalion of warriors and rescuing Nezu.

Shaq-Fu is frequently seen in "Worst Games of All Time" lists, mainly because of a ridiculous plot and a severe case of Hitbox Dissonance. The Angry Video Game Nerd does a review on it in Part 2 of his "Yet Another Christmas Carol" episode, and there's even a website dedicated to finding all copies of the game and destroying them And another dedicated to finding all copies of the game and saving them.

An interview with Shaq himself at the 2014 CES show in Las Vegas has has him confirm that a sequel known as Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is in the works. Here's the link to the IndieGoGoPage, and the first trailer here. Harsher in Hindsight when EventStatus revealed there was something suspicious about it... At least until a for real trailer dropped in June 2017.

The original game contains examples of:

  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Kaori is forced to obey Sett Ra due to a mind-controlling enchanted ring.
    • Sett Ra also hypnotized Nezu in order to force him to fight Shaq.
  • Breath Weapon: One of Beast's special moves makes him spit fire.
  • Brick Joke: When you defeat Beast, he says he'll travel through time to stop you. In the ending, he shows up at the charity basketball game Shaq is supposed to play in.
  • Cat Girl: Kaori, who is the champion of an alien feline race.
  • The Chosen One: Shaq is stated by the game's backstory to be the Chosen One, the only person able to defeat Sett Ra.

The sequel presents examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: When the opening narration admits the story is "convoluted and full of holes", it's pretty clear it's not going to take itself seriously.
  • The Bus Came Back: Kaori is the first, and so far, only character from the original Shaq Fu confirmed to appear in the sequel.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: The description for easy mode tells the player to have some self-respect.
  • Genre Shift: The original game is a 2D fighting game. The sequel is going to be a 3D beat-em-up.
  • Ground Punch: The Shaq Wave has Shaq punch the ground to knock down enemies.
  • Medium Awareness: Ye-Ye clearly has some, promising to tell Shaq he'll explain where the falling bombs in level 1 come from when they reach level 5 and that he only avoids combat because the Indiegogo campaign didn't reach enough funding to him to get combat animations.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ye-Ye is shown in one trailer to bite the dust. For added points, it's in Shaq's arms in the rain as Shaq gives a Big "NO!".
  • My God, You Are Serious: The rumors that a sequel to the game was being made. Surprised everyone when it turned out, that yes, it was true.
  • Product Placement: IcyHot patches are a health pick-up. Could be a reference to Shaq being a spokesperson for them a long time ago.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Smash stuff for cash and power-ups!
  • Shout-Out: Ye-Ye references The Avengers (2012) and Ghostbusters when describing Yen-Lo-Wang.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Shaq was teased in his youth for his height.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Shaq believes waxing Ye-Ye's rickshaw was to help with his training. Ye-Ye's reaction is Sure, Let's Go with That.
    Shaq: So what was the mankini for?
    Ye-Ye: improves posture!
  • We Don't Suck Anymore: The second trailer pulls no punches with the original's infamous reputation, and promises that it will be better.

Alternative Title(s): Shaq Fu A Legend Reborn