Kung Fu Kid
Format- Master System
Genre- 2D scrapathon
Kung Fu Kid
This game reminds me of The Ninja on the Master System – in both a good and bad way.
Many Sega produced titles for the Master System were very odd indeed, and Kung Fu Kid is no exception. Their games for the system weren’t particularly polished and had several odd touches in them. They weren’t broken in any fundamental sense, but felt as if they were at times.
Take the first stage for instance. There are three ways it can go. The first time you play it, you’ll get your ass kicked. Angry men and leaping dolls (see, there’s the ‘odd’ touches I was talking about) storm across the screen at you from both directions.
You’re armed with a kick and a large jump, but you’ll most likely get your rump served up to you on a plate, confused at how to survive such an onslaught.
The second way is probably the way the developer envisioned you progressing. Inching your way to the right, you kick away foes (these ones only take one hit – small mercies), and try your hardest to avoid being hit. You have to build up a rhythm of move, kick, move kick to survive. Then, the boss.
The best way to beat the level though? Jumping. Leaping over the enemies is incredibly easy, and you’ll find yourself at the end of the stage in no time.
Best of all, the fast moving dudes can’t get to you if you use this method, as they get stuck behind the jumping dolls, leaving you to stroll away unchallenged. Slightly broken design at its finest.
The first boss battle, an old wise warrior (that’s what he looks like anyway), is not so easy though, and you have to have a bit of luck to beat him.
Levels get a bit harder, but in every one the same mantra of jump, jump, jump remains. Kung Fu Kid? More like Jumpy Boundy Boy.
Bosses however, generally get easier. Once you recognize their attack patterns you can open up a whole can of whupass on them.
One of the main reasons to stick with the game is to see what weird enemy the game will throw at you next. Tiny lobsters, zombies and what look like tin soldiers all stand in your way – i’m not sure why Sega though these enemies would fit into kung-fu game, but they’ve been shoehorned in nonetheless.
One enemy, that first appears in the third level though, is particularly worth seeing. Frogs. Tiny, cute green little frogs. Now don’t get me wrong, as I kid I didn’t put firecrackers into frogs and watch them go boom – like my Dad admitted he did – but the amphibian cruelty in this game had me in stitches.
About halfway through the third stage a small frog comes a-leaping at you. As with any enemy, you prepare to unleash a kick. But unlike the other enemies, which are knocked back a little and destroyed when hit, when you kick a frog they fly like a missile across the screen, taking out any other enemies that appear in their path. It is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen.
Even better for those with a vendetta against frogs, the end boss for that stage is a huge version of the small green amphibians. It’s a spectacularly easy boss fight in fact – just barrage him with consecutive kicks right to his huge froggy nads and he’ll fall down like a pack of cards. Simple.
It’s in the fifth stage of the game where things get much tougher. Your jumping tactics aren’t as effective here, and you’ll probably end up taking on the boss with a weakened health bar.
Still, the game is never really unfairly difficult, and you can usually work your way through all seven stages if you’re patient enough.
What else is there to say about Kung Fu Kid? It’s weird, very weird indeed, but that’s undoubtedly part of its charm. Pick this one up if you see it abandoned at a car boot – and endless frog flying hilarity will be yours to cherish forever.