Bruce Lee is known as one of the most influential martial artists who ever lived. He was a Hong Kong film actor and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. He was a legendary actor and martial artist who unfortunately passed away too soon.
His legacy lives on in several video game characters that resemble, act like, or fight like Bruce Lee. I decided to count down these characters inspired by Lee. Keep in mind that these are retro game characters inspired by Bruce Lee and not just video game versions of Bruce Lee.
We’re starting off this list with the only non-human entry on the list. Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee are first generation Pokemon based on the legendary fighters Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
He may not look like Bruce Lee, but this Pokemon is known as the “Kicking Fiend”. He is known for his ferocious kicks with jump kicks, and strong kicks… just like the legendary Bruce Lee.
It may be the weirdest entry on this list, but Hitmonlee looks like a complete badass.
9.) Jacky Bryant
Here is another character who doesn’t really resemble Bruce Lee. Jacky has bright blonde hair, a fondness for red, lightning, and leather jackets.
The only thing they have in common is their fighting styles. Jacky is a user of Bruce Lee’s signature Jeet Kune Do. In the Virtua Fighter series, Jacky Bryant can actually utilize some of the signature moves that Bruce Lee mastered in his life.
Jacky is really strong because of his speed and his ability to combo!
8.) Hon Fu
Hon Fu from the Fatal Fury series is a composite character inspired by both Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee combined.
Hon Fu is a clumsy Hong Kong police officer who is friendly to everyone. He’s a very proficient fighter known for his acrobatics.
Hon Fu is reminiscent of Bruce Lee for one major reason, and that is his nunchucks… or is is nunchacku? Bruce Lee is commonly known for his impressive nuchaku skills and Hon Fu is no exception. Hon Fu is so skilled he can wield two at a time and light them on fire without harming himself.
Speaking of nuchucks/nunchaku we have an obscure reference from the father of fighting games… Yie Ar Kung Fu.
Yie Ar Kung Fu is a fighting game created in 1985 and is supposed to have inspired all fighting games that came after it. In this game technically two characters are inspired by Bruce Lee.
First off the main character Oolong has a fighting style similar to Lee. However, the character that makes this list is Nuncha. Nuncha is another character that fights with nunchucks, but he also pays homage to Lee by wearing the yellow track suit Lee made famous in the film, Game of Death.
6.) Dragon Chan
Since Bruce Lee is known for his kicks, you wouldn’t expect to find an homage to Bruce Lee in a Punch-Out!! game, but here is Dragon Chan in the SNES and Arcade versions of Super Punch-Out!!
Like many characters in this list, Dragon Chan is based off of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan combined. His name is an obvious reference to both characters. His appearance though is actually modeled off Lee as he is a Chinese boxer from Hong Kong.
Dragon Chan is a formidable foe. His swinging kick attack must be ducked, or it can knock you out in just one hit.
5.) Jann Lee
Besides the obvious homage to Bruce Lee in this Dead or Alive character’s name, there are several other things that connect Jann Lee to Bruce Lee.
Jann Lee learned Jeet Kune Do by watching Bruce Lee films. He studied these films over and over until he was able to master the style. He also based many of his outsits on Bruce Lee, like the yellow track suit we saw before or martial arts uniforms with a dragon emblem… the dragon was commonly connected to Bruce Lee. He even has the same birthday as Bruce Lee.
However many connections there are, there are also many differences. Jann Lee is a cocky fighter who often claims victory even before the fight even begins. He’s aggressive and always looking for a fight, unlike the real Bruce Lee’s humble/laid back attitude.
4.) Kim Dragon
Kim Dragon was the inspiration for this list. His name is an obvious reference to Bruce Lee, but there is so much more you need to know about this fighter from the World Heroes series of fighting games.
He has the fighting style of Bruce Lee with the high-pitched screams, the flying kicks, and the really intense speed. He has the occupation of Bruce Lee with being a martial arts movie star, and martial artist. He also is a kung-fu master.
One of the big differences is that Kim Dragon is Korean while Bruce Lee is not.
3.) Liu Kang
Liu Kang’s resemblance to Bruce Lee was almost entirely coincidental. He was originally supposed to represent a bald monk character… or should I say kharacter… since this is Mortal Kombat after all! However, the actor for the digitized graphics refused to shave his head, so they changed his design to resemble Bruce Lee.
One thing that Bruce Lee did a lot of, was high-pitched screaming as he performed his attacks. You’ll hear that from a lot of these characters on this list, but especially the final four. Liu Kang as he’s flying through the air will scream like there’s no tomorrow.
In addition to appearance and screams, Liu Kang’s fighting style is an homage to Lee. Liu Kang flies through the air with devastating kicks, and he can shoot fireballs.
Remember when I said Bruce Lee was associated with the dragon… well Liu Kang can actually turn into a dragon.
2.) Fei Long
When I started this list, I saw a similar list where a lot of the comments were saying “Fei Long is nothing like Bruce Lee”… frankly those people are idiots. Fei Long which literally means “Flying Dragon” is a character introduced in one of the fifty iterations of Street Fighter II. Let’s just look at the similarities between the two.
We’ve already covered the name, but there are plenty more similarities. Fei Long is a martial artist who was also a Hong Kong movie star, just like Bruce Lee. Fei Long quit films and came up with his own style of martial arts, just like Bruce Lee. Fei Long focuses on quick strikes and flying kicks, just like Bruce Lee. Fei Long’s costume is similar to one just like Bruce Lee wore. Fei Long makes high-pitched screams when he attacks, just like Bruce Lee. Fei Long’s victory quote is “There can never be another legend like the great one and his son” which is a reference to Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon.
So people who think Fei Long is not an homage to Bruce Lee… shut up.
1.) Marshall Law
Marshall Law from the Tekken series is Bruce Lee. Like all the other characters on this list he has many similarities with the martial arts legend. He practices Jeet Kune Do, has flying kicks, fast punches, loud screams, he wears the yellow jumpsuit, he is mistaken for Fei Long (who we already proved is a Bruce Lee inspired character), he has several different outfits and throws that are inspired by Bruce Lee movies.
He has all of this, but there is one thing that sets Marshall Law above the rest, and that’s his son Forest Law. Forest Law is an obvious homage to Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon. The two fight together and are inspired by the father/son duo of Bruce and Brandon Lee.
Originally posted on 1 More Castle
Nothing has been edited from the original blog.
One game per franchise
Retro games (PS2 era and prior) only.