The Karate Kid (1987, NES) by LJN
Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)
After the debacle that was Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Trial #3 went much smoother, in no small part thanks to the immense help that was given by 2 of the top runners, Nefarious_Nosferatu and JamEviler. They both graciously took time out of their days to help me understand the game’s mechanics, how the enemy AI works, and how to beat the final boss.
Compared to game #2, this title plays like a dream, outside of the horrid up-is-jump mechanic. Well, lest we forget the annoying lack of i-frames in this game, and how the enemies can surround the player and bounce them back and forth until they die.
Luckily, the route allows a runner to manipulate the enemy spawns. If successful, then 2 enemies (and only 2) spawn behind Daniel, and will follow the player until they are either killed, or fall to their own self-induced demise.
This is honestly a decent speedrun. Short, to-the-point, technical (if not annoying) and fun. The first instance where I think emulator players might have a significant advantage due to flexible keymappings, but otherwise enjoyable. Not to mention, this game is a very easy one to learn if one knows the game, or takes the time to learn the enemy spawns.
LJN isn’t at their worst here either; this game has decent music and graphics. If not for the controls and mechanics holding this game back, I do believe this title would have a much better reputation than it (rightfully) has today.
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