Shao-Lin's Road (known in American arcades as Kicker) is a kung-fu platformer developed and released by Konami
in April 1985. Similar in theme to another Konami arcade game released in the same year, Yie Ar Kung-Fu
, players manuever their kung-fu fighter around the screen, kicking their opponents. Unlike Yie Ar Kung-Fu, which uses pure fighting game mechanics, Shao-Lin's Road features a multi-tiered open arena with henchmen characters fighting alongside the boss characters.
Players control Lee, an apprentice of a secret form of kung-fu martial arts who was attacked by an enemy gang. They must venture through five stages to eliminate the group leaders, kicking everybody who stands in their way.
A year after the original release date, the game was ported to the Commodore 64
, Amstrad CPC
, and ZX Spectrum
. The game was later released on the Xbox 360
via Microsoft's Game Room
Shao-Lin's Road is split up into five unique stages, each with their own layout of three tiers.
Power-ups and Bonus Items
Along with normal henchmen (wearing purple pants), there are special henchmen (wearing green pants) that throw special power-ups (in an upwards arc) when you defeat them (as long as you do not currently possess a special ability). Depending on the color of the power-up, you temporarily gain a special ability:
- Purple Power-Up - Gives you the ability to kick a spiked ball, which cuts through opponents and can be maneuvered left and right using the joystick. (However, the player cannot kick while the ball is being manuevered.) The player can catch the spiked ball for another kick.
- Yellow Power-Up - Instead of kicking, the player fires two fireballs (one to the left and one to the right). While useful in ranged combat, the player cannot perform quick close-range attacks (and is an easier target for enemies above and below).
- Green Power-Up - A glowing ball surrounds the player, acting as a barrier. (The player is not completely invincible, and can still get hit by enemies if he/she is reckless)
At the start of the round, the first Power-Up dropped by the special henchmen is Purple. Then, the Power-Up dropped cycles between Yellow, Green, and Purple. Once the time of the ability expires (except when the player kicks a spiked ball off the screen), the player throws the same power-up away from him (in the opposite direction that he is facing). If he's lucky and manages to catch the Power-Up (as it's travelling in a farther arc), he regains the special ability.
Occasionally, bonus items fly across the screen. Attacking them gives bonus points.