In the February 1991 issue of Nintendo Power (w/ Startropics on the cover), Kabuki Quantum Fighter was introduced to American audiences. The premise was a little wacky, but KQF was solid nonetheless. You whip your hair back and forth to destroy computer viruses and firewalls in an attempt to SAVE THE PLANET from NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION!
Every level you gain a new projectile weapon, but ammo is limited, and that forces the player to make some tough decisions at times. This game is hard as coffin nails, but progresses nicely as you practice and get better.
However, something feels strangely familiar about this game... like it was a really well-done hack of another classic NES game, Batman. Consider the evidence and judge for yourself (and keep in mind this is only my experience with the first 2 stages!)
1. Backgrounds have a similar feel
2. Both games have moving gears which hurt the player
3. Both games let the player cycle through weapons via "select"
4. Both games have "waterfall conveyor belts"
5. Enemies in both games have a small chance to drop powerups
6. Batman and Kabuki are about the same size
7. Jumping physics in both games feels similar
8. Both games feature jumping gimmicks (wall jump and swing jump)
9. Music has a similar tone, although the Batman music is much better
Overall it's rather uncanny... I'd suggest playing both back-to-back, and posting your thoughts below in the comments.
I've been playing this game all morning, and I finally got to level 2-2 only to discover my emulator wouldn't display the vertical levels correctly. Bummer. Enjoy these scans while I whip and climb my way back to level 2-2!
Was this one of your favorite NES games? If you've never played it, hit the roms sites and start immediately.