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Japanese arcade flyer
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
|Mode(s)||1 or 2 players alternating turns|
Shao-lin's Road (少林寺への道?), released in certain markets as Kicker, is a 1985 beat 'em up video game released by Konami. It was ported to several early home computers and has also been featured in classics compilations Konami Arcade Classics in 1998 and Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits in 2007, and was released in Microsoft's Game Room in 2010.
Players take control of Wanpyou (ワンピョウ?) (renamed Kicker in Kicker, renamed Lee in other ports), who has just mastered the secret of Chin-style Shaolin martial arts. He then encounters the triad Yamucha Gang (ヤムチャ団?), also responsible for the assassination of his master Raochuu (ラオチュー?), and is trapped within their Jaken Temple (邪拳寺?). He attempts to escape and enact revenge with his new-found skills.
The goal of each "step" is to knock out every enemy with your various kicks, without being knocked out yourself. If an enemy touches you (physical touch, kick or flying tackle, or projectile/other weapon) four times, you lose a life (you start with three and can earn more through score); to warn you, the player character will flash and the music will speed up if you have one hit left. A step is actually divided into two parts; clearing each part rewards you with a bonus based on the number of hits you've taken (no hits = 3000, one hit left = 0).
You can move left or right, or jump between levels of the current step by pressing up or down. Button 1 performs kicks, while button 2 performs a shorter kind of jump (for more direct attacks and for clearing certain gaps) Further, pressing the kick button during either kind of jump will deliver a flying kick, which awards more points for an enemy defeated by it. You can also gain more points by knocking out multiple enemies with a single kick.
Defeating a "green" enemy with a flying kick will cause it to throw out one of three colored spheres, and collecting these grants you a temporary powerup: purple, which summons an iron ball that can be kicked around at enemies (and returned by pressing the correct direction to "reel it in"); yellow, which replaces your standard kicks with a pair of fireballs that shoot left and right; and green, which summons a small object that orbits around you and hurts anything it touches, serving as a barrier. Aside from these, a food item may scroll in at certain times; attacking it awards a bonus.
The second part of a step features the step boss, who all take five hits (each hit worth 1000 points) to beat, and may have some other special ability (ex. the boss of the third step can breathe a jet of fire to do quick damage). The game has a total of five unique steps, after which they repeat with enemies continuing to get more aggressive, and the added element of a bird that drops rocks over your current location. However, it is believed that the game ceases to get more difficult starting from step 11.