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Konami Blog – The Deadly Influence Of Systema


Many people ask me where we get our inspiration for the brutal fight animations, combos, take downs and finishing moves in Rush ‘N Attack Ex-Patriot. The short and not so sweet answer is – Systema.



Now for the long answer: the “birthplace” of the Systema fighting style is with Russia and Ukraine’s Cossacks. In the days of the 13th through 16th centuries, these Slavic people were very much a warrior cultural; much like the Spartans who raised their male children to fight and were rigidly trained to become soldiers from a very early age. They were an extremely fierce people and amazingly proficient horsemen and sabre fighters.


Due to the close proximity of the Cossacks to China and Mongolia you will also no doubt see many influences of Asian martial arts in many of Systema’s moves.


Now jump forward a couple of hundred years and you’ll find that the Russian Spetsnaz (Special Forces) formally adopted and helped usher Systema into the modern era. Today, the public can learn the techniques behind this very effective fighting style with many of its civilian trainees being professional or aspiring bodyguards. This is because of the tight and quick motions used in Systema to take out threats very quickly without any fanfare. Using System does not draw as much attention to the “troubling situation” which is important when escorting VIPs who are constantly in the camera or publics’ eye.


Systema’s main focus is on close hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting so what better style to incorporate into Rush ‘N Attack where the knife has always played such a starring role.


In Ex-Patriot, you will discover just how many ways you can take out an enemy with a knife. The main character, Morrow will use many Systema moves to quickly eliminate threats…shoulder thrusts, rapid strikes to pressure sensitive areas and a big throw when needed. As you progress through the game you will open up more and more combos, allowing even more variety in attacks and vicious take downs.




All the finishing moves in Rush ‘N Attack Ex-Patriot are taken directly from Systema. Again, Systema is all about ending it NOW – no mercy, shutting it down with no chance of getting back up to fight another second.


What also contributed greatly to the combat realism in this game is the fact that Alex Sila, our Senior Producer and Marek Berka, one of the designers that help me out are both extremely proficient practitioners in various styles of martial arts. Alex has been studying Shaolin Kung Fu for over 14 years and if he wasn’t so busy making games he could reach the Master level with one more year of rigorous training. Marek has spent 11 years training in Karate and 4 years in the Italian school of medieval weapon handling. He is also half Russian and in his younger years worked as a bodyguard to Russian casino operations and had many opportunities here where his training came in “handy”. Both Marek and Alex spent time learning Systema and we hired their same Systema instructors and masters, Jan Sedláček and David Sýkora as consultants and as motion capture performers for this project. So what you see and more importantly are playing in Rush ‘N Attack Ex-Patriot is an actual Systema master kicking butt and taking names. Enjoy the carnage.


Viliam Korbel

Lead Designer – Vatra

Viliam Korbel - Lead Designer