A one-on-one fighting game featuring nine selectable characters and three end bosses, controlled with a single joystick and six buttons. In addition to the usual kicks and punches, each character also has a number of special moves, that can be utilized via complex joystick and button combinations. In the one player game, players can chose their first opponent, with subsequent opponents chosen randomly by the game.
Unusually for a game of this type, Kaiser Knuckle features blood; something that had hitherto only been associated with Midway's Mortal Kombat series. The blood option can be switched off in the game's dip settings.
Kaiser Knuckle was Taito's answer to the Capcom and SNK fighting games that were dominating the arcade scene in the early 90's, and while playable enough in its own right, and featuring, as it does, colourful graphics and highly animated backdrops, Taito's offering couldn't compete with the Street Fighters of the world, either on commercial or gameplay terms.
In the USA the game was distributed as Global Champion. The only difference is a "winners don't do drugs" screen. (arcade-history)
The Kaiser Knuckle is also a recurring piece of equipment in the Final Fantasy games. It is usually a claw weapon used by the Monk class. It has so far appeared in FFV (as an accessory), in FFVI (as a holy-elemental claw for Sabin), FFIX, FFX, and Tactics Advance.