--------------------------------
Phantom Fighter FAQ
by The Deacon
e-mail:mmacinni@cs.oberlin.edu
-----------------------------------

Before we start, even though they are probably out of business, the
game "Phantom Fighter" for the NES is trademark copyright etc. FCI and
whoever else made it.  Feel free to toss this FAQ to the winds, just 
don't be a lamer and put your name on it; if you have anything to add,
e-mail me and I'll insert your info (as well as credit you with the 
addendum).

Contents
------------
I.Why is this in FAQ format?


I. Why is this in FAQ format?

	I know the term "FAQ" gets bandied about a lot, but since I'm
   something of a wordsmith I feel that we should nail down exactly 
   what a "FAQ" is.  You are reading a "FAQ", a compilation of  
   "Frequently Asked Questions".  Christ, if you have net access you 
   should know by now what a FAQ is.  Anyhow, it's also a FAQ because
   walkthroughs are really lame.  The way I see it, any kind of aid on
   a game signals one's inability to rise to the challenge, however
   in the greater scope things I figure we can call getting level 
   passwords the "little white cheat", reading a FAQ a medium or 
   venial cheat, and working the keyboard/mouse with one hand while 
   holding the walkthrough in the other and looking at the screen only
   to perform the walkthrough's dictated actions is a "mortal" cheat.
   And besides, walkthroughs are really only the kind of thing I could
   see a reasonable person using in a game with some kind of plot to it.
   I know a fellow who isn't very good at video games at all, and with 
   as little patience as he has, when he gets a game he gets the walkthrough
   and goes through the game just to see the plot.  However, Phantom Fighter
   (how's bout we shorten that to "PF") has _no_ plot.  Really.  You'll see.

II. What's the plot?

        I just told you.  There isn't one. (see above).  However, if you 
want a basic rundown of the pseudo-plot, well then here you are:

        You are Kenchi, martial artist and aspiring Phantom Fighter.  With 
your trusty sidekick you travel from town to town seeking fortune and fame 
as a wandering hero, driving out evil hopping vampires and rescuing innocent 
townspeople using only your wits, a few sacred items, and your superior 
kung-fu.

	That's about the size of it.

III. What's the point of the game?

        Well, as with all games, it's to have fun...:).  Besides that, there 
doesn't really seem to be much of a point...if you were to say that the 
"point" of the game is to be defined as what is required to beat a game, 
then I suppose there is a point.  That definition makes the point of this 
game thus:

        You go from town to town (there are 8 in all), driving out vampires 
with your fists (and feet) of fury.  Along the way, you pick up sacred items 
and ancient scrolls (more on them later) and improve your kung-fu until the 
final confrontation with the evil witch Obe. ("obay")

IV.  Anything I should know before I start the game?

        Since I didn't have the manual I'll take the time to explain the 
basic game mechanics for you.

	A: Kick. (or, if you prefer, "Boot to the Head")
	B: Punch.
	Start: Pause the game.
	Select: Does nothing as far as I know.

	
V.  What's the basic pattern of the game?

        Basically, you'll come to a town with your sidekick in tow.  The 
mayor (I suppose) comes out and kowtows to you, weeping with gladness; for 
they called the thunder and now they got it.  
        When you enter town, you'll be in a far-off side-scroll view with 
Kenchi and his sidekick walking around near buildings.  When in front of a 
door, push A or B to see a brief message telling you what's going on 
inside. (I'll explain them later.) To enter a house, stop in front of the 
door and press Up.
        When you enter the house, your energy will be displayed on the left 
side of the screen, and any enemies in the room will have theirs displayed 
on the right.  As you will soon see, a purple bar means you have full 
health, and as you take hits the little boxes turn pink until you get wiped 
out (and your sidekick speaks ill of the dead). In this screen, pressing up 
makes you jump, down makes you crouch.  You cannot attack while crouching. 
(A BIG PISSER IMHO) Obviously, when you see a vampire come hopping up at 
you, kick and punch it until it falls over and bursts into flame, then 
continue to the right.
        Events vary, but after getting to the end of the house you will be 
presented with either scrolls or a sacred item, sometimes information (other 
times just blather).
        Some houses contain lots of enemies, make your way to the end, 
defeat a moderately tough enemy, and collect a jewel that instantly refills 
your health.  You'll see it sit one of the empty stands in the upper right 
corner of the screen.  Collect three of these things and you will have the 
magical power necessary to break a sealed portal.
        When you have three gems, you can enter the building that is always 
all the way at the far right end of town.  Inside is a town boss, the source 
of the vampire scourge (for this area, anyhow).  Teach him a lesson ("Don't 
think. Feeeeeeelll!") and you'll enjoy being toadied to by your sidekick.  
Then the happy mayor will give you a password and you're on your way to the 
next town.

VI. What the hell ARE these things I'm fighting?

        Those, gamer, are hopping vampires -- China's version of the 
ubiquitous super- natural parasitic entity that has frightened many a 
superstitious person for hundreds of years.  I believe the game's term for 
them -- "Kyonshi" -- is Mandarin Chinese for "hopping vampire".  However, it 
could be a bastardized Chinese put into a game for mainly Japanese players.  
I think in Cantonese the term is "Jiangshi".  I'll refer to them throughout 
this document as "Kyonshi", simply because that's what the game calls them.

        What makes these guys different from their Romanian "cousins"?  
Well, their origins are slightly different.  Kyonshi are "undead", as in 
those who have died, but somehow have had their souls trapped in their body 
instead of escaping to the Nine Heavens (or Hells) after death.  This could 
be for any number of reasons; bad chi flow through the house, suicide, lots 
of angst, etc.  Anyhow, because they have died, their bodies aren't alive, 
they're just "undead".  This means that they're not as limber as they once 
were, hence the hopping; it's the only way they can get around.

        What motivates them?  Not much.  Unlike the Western vampire, a 
Kyonshi has little or no conscious thought.  Its only thought is to attack 
living things and eat their bodies.  Since they don't consume their victims 
whole their victims become vampires as well.  Kyonshi don't speak, don't 
respond intelligently to problems.  This is a noticable advantage that the 
phantom fighter has over his unnatural opponents.  A nimble phantom fighter 
should dance about to keep his assailant's long fingernails (so sharp 
they're almost claws) at bay.

        For those interested in Kyonshi I'll provide a bibliography at the 
end of this FAQ -- they're pretty cool.  It also helps to know something 
about them for later (see below).

VII. Do the towns follow a basic pattern?

        Yes.  For the most part they are a bunch of houses, a temple, a 
"boss shack", and a martial arts studio.

        You can always recognize the temple and the studio, they're the same 
in every town.  The temple is a large building with pillars in the front and 
lots of pillars and Buddha statues inside.  The studio is a long, one-level 
wooden building.

        There will be three places where you can get gems as well, and the 
rest of the little shacks round out the town with places to kill Kyonshi and 
get ancient scrolls.

        This seems as good a time as any to explain what the little messages 
you get when you press A or B in front of a house mean.

	"Kyonshies are here": Ahem.
	"Kyonshies are not here":Ahem. Ahem.
	
        Okay, besides the obvious, these mean there is just a basic bunch of 
Kyonshies in the house (or the house is empty).  Fight through all of these 
and you'll get some ancient scrolls.  Empty houses seem to have no point; 
you walk all the way to the end and some cowering peasant thanks you or says 
something worthy of the term "non sequitir."

	"This is a temple.": What the Christ. It's a temple.

        "There's danger in the air": This means that inside is either a 
sacred item or one of the three gems you need to bust them ghosts.
        "What, nothing's happening?":or something like that.  Basically one 
of those houses with goodies or gems in them that you've cleared out already.
        "Open the sealenter": Obviously an error in the programming, this 
should read something like "Open the seal to enter".  This is the "boss 
shack" that you need the gems to get inside. 
        "Enter with courage":When you have the gems, you can open the seal 
to the "boss shack" and instruct the Kyonshi on the finer points of kung 
fu. ("I hope you were paying attention.")

VIII. From the looks of things, I'm not a very good phantom fighter.  I just 
got my butt kicked.  Any way to improve on this sad situation?

        Fortunately, yes. At the beginning it may seem like you'll have a 
lame kick and punch for the entire game, but fear not.  You can improve to 
such powerful kung-fu that you'll easily steamroll enemies.

        So, how do you go about improving your skills?  Easy.  First, you 
have to do a little struggling; you need to earn ancient scrolls.  Just pick 
a small house and go in. When you get some scrolls go to the studio.

        When you enter, a fat guard accosts you, and asks you if you 
understand that you won't get kung-fu lessons for free  (This is basically 
to spare you from the annoying un-skippable dialog that follows if you don't 
want to enter after all).  When you say that you understand, he asks you a 
question, to test your knowledge.

	A. What the hell is this? Copy protection?

                I have no idea why this in the game.  I can only guess that 
at the time this was made, it made sense, or really was to protect from 
people pirating the game. I don't have the manual, so I don't know.

        Don't sweat it too much, the questions are pretty easy, often it's 
obvious what the correct answer is, and if you fail you can always try again.

	B. Fuck that.  Just give me the questions and answers.

                Ok, I guess quiz games aren't your thing.  Here are some of 
the questions that the fat guy asks, and their answers: (These are from 
memory, more to come)

"Name an FCI video game."               I think all of these are FCI games, 
                                        pick "WCW" just to be sure.

"Why do Kyonshies only come 
        out at night?"                  They hate the sun, obviously.

"How do you capture a Kyonshie?"        Although you never see it in the game, 
                                        you use an Urn.

"What is a Kyonshies least 
favorite food?"                         I don't know where this hell this came
                                        from, by process of elimination it's
                                        ice cream.

        When you answer correctly the fat guy lets you pass and you can 
enter the Master's chambers, where they gather for the feast.  And though 
they stab it with their steely knives, they just can't kill the beast. 
Sorry.  If you got that reference you'll know the special sort of anguish I 
feel now at selling my copy of that album.

        Anyhow, the master will train you in kung fu in exchange for ancient 
scrolls. Why, I don't know, but my motto is do what works.  So, cough up 
scrolls and train in the martial arts.  The different moves you can select 
are listed with their scroll cost to the left of them.

X. What are the different kung-fu moves, how much do they cost, and what do they do?

	Good question, grasshopper.  There are three basic move categories: 

		"moves" ("mv"):your movement
		"thrust"      :punching moves
		"kick" 	  :ahem, kicking moves.

	Here's a breakdown by category:

		MOVES:
			Wolf Move ("wolf mv.")
			Cost: 2 scrolls
			What it does: Makes you move faster. Useful.

			Tiger Move ("tiger mv.")
			Cost: 6 scrolls
			What it does: see above.

			Mirage Move ("mirage mv.")
			Cost: 6 scrolls
			What it does: see above.

			Dragon Move ("dragon mv.")
			Cost: 18 scrolls
			What it does: see above.
		
			Mirage Walk ("mirage wk.")
			Cost: x scrolls
			What it does: Allows you to walk while crouching.

			Mirage Thrust ("mirage th.")
			Cost: 50 scrolls
                        What it does: Allows you to punch while crouching. 
                                      A terrific move.

			High Jump
			Cost: x scrolls
                        What it does: you jump higher.  Absolutely necessary 
                                      for airborne vampires.


			Windmill Jump ("wind jump")
			Cost: x scrolls
                        What it does: you jump still higher, and you flip in 
                                      the air as you do.  Allows you full 
                                      range with airborne enemies and looks 
                                      really cool.


		THRUSTS:
		
			2 Thrust
			Cost: 2 scrolls
                        What it does: Gives you two lightning-fast
                                      punches instead of one.
	
			3 Thrust
			Cost: x scrolls
                        What it does: Basically same as above, except 
                                      now it's a 1-2-3 punch.

			4 Thrust
			Cost: 90 scrolls
                        What it does: Now, you punch both high and low, twice.  
                                      The most powerful move in the game, 
                                      believe it or not.


		KICKS:

			2 Kick
			Cost: 6 scrolls
			What it does: the 1-2 kick. One for both ears. :)
	
			Side kick
			Cost: 18 scrolls
                        What it does: you lean to the side and use your hips 
                                      to put a little torque action into your 
                                      kick.  Good damage, another move you'll 
                                      use right up to the end.

			Windmill Kick ("wind kick")
			Cost: 50 scrolls
                        What it does: When you jump straight up in the air and 
                                      kick, you'll spin around in a flurry of 
                                      feet.  Really only useful for airborne 
                                      enemies, and doesn't always come off 
                                      clean.

			Jump Kick
			Cost: 80 scrolls
                        What it does: Run at your enemy and kick and you'll 
                                      leap at them with both feet forward. 
                                      ("Mind your Manners!!!")  Great as
                                      an opening move, as well as for enemies 
                                      who like to jump a lot.



XI. What are some good fighting tactics?

                Stick and move.  If you stand in one spot you'll get 
creamed, as more often than not enemies will soak one or two kicks and swipe 
you with them claws. This is most important at the beginning of the game, 
when you can't do anything but punch and kick, and move around a little bit.  

                The main method of attack Kyonshies use is to take little 
hops at you, then when they get close enough to a big Kyonshie leap into 
your face.  What you want to try to do is to place yourself at a point where 
the Kyonshie will be in midleap when it comes into kick range.  Then, when 
it leaps, kick it, and it'll fall over.  It won't die, but knocking it down 
gives you breathing room.

                You'll take a lot of hits from Kyonshies just steadily 
leaping towards you. That's their other fighting tactic...they just keep 
coming, soaking up the kicks and punches until they can cut you.  If you can 
kick them enough times, however, they'll fall over.  Different kyonshies 
take more or less kicks/punches in a row to be knocked down, size is one 
factor.

                Later, when you learn more kung fu, it will be easier to 
defeat enemies, although the enemies will get progressively harder as you go 
from town to town.  One good move that will help you out a lot is the "Wind 
Jump".  This allows you to leap high into the air (doing a cool kung-fu 
flip) above the reach of the dreaded hoppping demons. When enemies come at 
you, kick them once or twice, and if they don't fall down hop over them just 
before they get to you.  A little practice helps, but soon you will be able 
to drop down right on the other side of them and kick them in the back of 
the head while they are turning around.

                Kyonshies are very stupid.  It helps a lot to remember this, 
as the next trick shows.  See, Kyonshies (as you will know if you read the 
above section on them) are in the throes of rigor mortis, their bodies in an 
arrested state of decay.  So they can only see straight forward, right?  So 
if you crouch down, they will turn back and forth, their tiny minds trying 
to figure out how you pulled your disappearing act.  This will not be very 
useful in the beginning, as you can't walk while crouching.  DON'T try this 
just before a Kyonshie gets to you -- their turning back and forth motion 
will still be able to hit you, as you are not completely under their arm 
level (unless you are fighting a really tall kyonshie, see below).  This 
move becomes more useful when you learn the Mirage Walk, as you'll be able 
to shuffle about under their vision, just don't attempt to get too close to 
them as they can often still hit you.  Later, when you learn Mirage Thrust, 
this becomes a winning tactic, allowing you to stand under tall enemies and 
bosses and punch them in their unfeeling vampire gonads mercilessly. 
(WARNING: This is kind of a cheapo move, as you really can kill tall kyonshi 
bosses with this tactic.  It certainly doesn't _look_ very exciting.)

	
XII. Alright.  I'm in town.  What do I do first?

        Wander through town until you find the temple, then try to fight 
your way through it, shouldn't be to difficult.  In the first town, it's one 
of the first buildings, later on it will be farther into town, or sometimes 
nonexistent.  Anyhow, it's important to start here, so that you can fill up 
your health, you'll need to often and there's only one other way to do it in 
the game, and that involves more fighting.  

        Once you've done that, go to the kung-fu studio and see how many 
scrolls you'll need to learn the various kung-fu moves.  The dialog trees 
can be annoying, but get used to them because they are all through the 
game. :P  Anyhow, leave the studio with the moves you want to learn in mind, 
and find a house with Kyonshies in it. Then enter and work your way to get 
the scrolls.  Surprisingly (or perhaps not, depending on how well versed you 
are in "game logic"), you can enter the same house again and again, 
continuously obtaining scrolls.  You can get up to 99, but don't bother 
trying that here unless you are sick in bed with chicken pox or something -- 
you'll have better oppportunities later on when you recieve lots more 
scrolls for rescuing townspeople. Learn all the moves you can, when the 
master tells you you've tapped him out, you can move on.

	A. Just to make it easier on myself, what moves should I learn first?

Since your kung-fu is puny, learn attack moves first.  Specifically, get 2 
Kick and 2 Thrust.  Throughout the game, when you have an opportunity to 
learn an attack move, learn it, and learn the other moves later.  While the 
"Move" moves may seem pointless, they are actually very useful, since being 
able to move quickly will allow you to dance in an out of a kyonshie's range 
without getting creamed every time you try to hit them.  It's also highly 
important to learn the jump moves, since they allow you to attack airborne 
enemies, of which there are 3 in the game, all of them important. While I 
suppose you could beat the game without all of the moves, I wouldn't 
recommend it, simply because it wouldn't be as fun, as learning new moves is 
one of the high points of the game.

        After you've learned all the moves you care to, head for the houses 
with the gems in them, collect the gems, and head for the boss shack.  Don't 
forget to write down your password!

XIII. Hey, these Kyonshies aren't all alike!

        Quite right.  There are several different types of Kyonshies.  
Basically, there are four basic types of Kyonshi, differentiated by body 
type: the little one, the medium one, the tall one, and the big fat one.  
Within these different morphical categories there's lots of room for 
variation in the different colors they wear. You'll no doubt become quite 
familiar with the types as you play the game, and certain ones will become 
infamous. ("ARgh! Not more green ones!")

XIV. Okay, so there's different types.  What are they like?

	Without further ado:

little: This little bastard is fast and hard to hit.  He'll be a toughie 
when you're duking it out in the first town and don't have awesome kung-fu. 
His basic weakness is that he can't jump that far, and he's really short, 
making him easy to hop over.  Fortunately he's still just tall enough to 
kick in the face.

medium: Your basic vanilla Kyonshi.  Some types jump a lot, some are fast, 
etc.

tall:  The tall guy moves ponderously slow, and thanks to his height is hard 
to jump over.  He also jumps very high while attacking as well.  Naturally 
enough this is a big mistake on his part; he jumps so high that you can 
crouch and let him go over you, then "boot to the head" while he's turning 
around.  Later on when you learn the Mirage Thrust the tall guy will be at 
your mercy as your firsts pound mercilessly into his undead loins, and his 
turning back and forth schtick won't be able to nail you.

fat:   This guy is tougher than he looks.  He's very strong, such that even 
though he moves slowly, he packs a real wallop.  Also, he doesn't jump that 
high, but is still tall enough that jumping over him is a bit of a sticky 
wicket. Your big advantage over him is speed.  While he can soak up hits and 
really wummox you when he gets a hit in, if you play it right you can kick 
once or twice then get the hell out of the way when the Kyonshi express 
comes through.


XV. I won some kind of item, what does it do?

        Aha, one of the coveted mystical items that you can use in the 
game.  Don't confuse these with scrolls -- ancient scrolls sound cool but 
don't do jack except buy you kung-fu.  However, the items are quite nice.

        First, here's how to use an item once you've got it.  Whenever you 
obtain an item, you will see it appear at the top of the screen, in a long 
box to the left of the stands that hold the three gems you'll need to get 
out of town.  However, make no mistake, you are NOT carrying that item.  
Your faithful sidekick (who has no name that I could tell) is carrying 
them.  Thus, whenever you enter a building, and you want to use an item, 
turn back as if to leave.  Your boy will pop his head in and ask if you want 
to split, use an item, or ignore him and get back to butt-kicking.  Well, 
ask for an item, and he'll give you a list: strangely enough, he lists all 
the items you can get, even if you don't have them yet. Pick one, and it 
will be outlined by a red square at the top of the screen.  This means you 
are now carrying the item, and will use it instead of punching when you push 
A.

	Now, here's all the items, and what they do.

	Talisman: Freezes enemies in their tracks sometimes.
	Tonten: Knocks baddies onto their cans with a flash of light.
	Sword:  Knocks guys down, you can also slice 'em with it.
	Bell:   Controls the demon-boy.

        A note of warning: your items will also take hits for you if you get 
hit. However, this will also break the item, making it useless.  Hey, it's 
an antique.  Keep this in mind when fighting with an item.  It's a good idea 
to grab them, they're nice for keeping enemies at bay, and the Tonten is 
pretty damn invaluable for beating the game.


XVI. I bought one of those Game Genies.  Any codes for this game?

CODE    KEY IN . . .    EFFECT . . .
1       VTVKEGSA + KAVKOGNA     Start with Sword
2       VTVKEGSA + SAVKOGNA     Start with Bell
3       VTVKEGSA + UAVKOGNA     Start with Tonten
4       VTVKEGSA + XAVKOGNA     Start with Talisman
5       LASKNGAA + VAVKOGNA     Start with 3 Scrolls
6       TASKNGAA + VAVKOGNA     Start with 6 Scrolls
7       SXSZLUSE        Infinite energy
8       OVSZPLSV + PESZZLAA     Take less damage when attacked

(author's note: This is taken verbatim from Galoob's master list of all Game 
Genie codes for NES games that they ever published.  There may, of course, 
be some home- grown codes floating about.  So all due credit goes to Galoob 
for the above blurb.)

XVII. This isn't the most complete FAQ I've ever read, you know...

        Sorry.  This is mostly from memory.  If I get e-mails requesting 
updates I'll saunter back into the game with my rightfully earned cheat 
codes and research it fully for those who desire it.  And besides, if you 
think this FAQ is incomplete, check out some of the other (admittedly) 
sparse fare at TSR's NES FAQ page.

For right now I'll call an end to this FAQ, just because I figure this is 
enough to be written about any NES game that wasn't made by Square. :)  I'll 
send my regards first and foremost to TSR, who's NES page is truly one of 
the best place for NES info on the 'net, not to mention skilled use of 
graphics and delightful content like the NES oddity page.  Also, here's to 
the place that posted the ROM I used for this FAQ, Big Daddy's International 
House of ROMs, THE place to get ROMs on the 'net.  In my experience, if he 
doesn't have it here, it doesn't exist yet (at least for NES, anyhow).  I'll 
also send out greets to John Turk, who's NES Underground Library is probably 
the most ambitious of all the NES pages I've seen.  And finally I'll send 
shots out to all the other NES pages, all those who've stayed cool despite 
NESticle's appearance, and to all the fellows on IRC channels like 
#emuroms, #emulator, and #emu who are out there circulating coolness in less 
than 200k. :) Also a shot out to my friends on #1980Warez, who have nothing 
to do with NES ROMs, but are cool anyway.

Jibes go to all those who feel the need to charge excessive amounts of money 
for their emulators.  Say what you will about effort and reward, guys, but 
in the end you're creating something used to do something that's, shall we 
say, a trifle off-color in the eyes of the law.  Jibes also go to those who 
run IRC channels so huge that no chatting goes on in them, and channels that 
have nothing but DCC bots in them.  Thanks for helping turn IRC into a 
wasteland, guys. 

So much have I written for gamers, now give me a drink!

The Deacon