-> "You dare enter the lost roads?! We will destroy you!"

''Highway Hunter'' is a DOS-based VerticalScrollingShooter created by Russian developer Creator/OmegaIntegralSystems (as Highway Fighter, in that country) and published in 1994 by Safari Software, a division of Creator/EpicGames (Then Epic Megagames).

TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, a hostile alien race has [[VichyEarth invaded and occupied Earth]], forcing humans to toil away in their workshops and mines. You play the role of an [[NoNameGiven unnamed human mechanic]], working in an auto-repair shop on a [[SuperPrototype prototype]] [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum alien supercar]], the [[CoolCar MASTER.]] [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy When the aliens aren't looking,]] you steal the MASTER and make a desperate bid for freedom. Apparently, LaResistance is out there somewhere, and your goal is to reach the unoccupied zones where they dwell.

The MASTER is a powerful vehicle indeed, able to take several hits before [[EveryCarIsAPinto blowing up]], [[OneHitPointWonder unlike many scrolling shooter vehicles.]] Dropped [[PowerUp powerups]] you can acquire include [[HealThySelf health boosts,]] weapon upgrades (which stack on top of one another- if a weapon runs out of ammo, it reverts to the next level down, rather then bumping you back to your basic laser), shield upgrades that let you ram enemy vehicles and absorb projectiles, and the occasional SmartBomb. Each level has you progress along a raised highway, fighting off enemy cars and aircraft, eventually reaching a BossBattle. The game is divided into three episodes: [[MookMobile Evil Drivers,]] [[EldritchLocation The Lost Roads,]] and [[VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Anarchy.]] Each consists five levels, beginning with Earthlike environments and progressing towards steadily more alien ones, likely the result of {{Terraforming}}.
!!Highway Hunter provides examples of:

* ActionSurvivor: The player character is a mere car mechanic. By the end of the game, it's likely he TookALevelInBadass.
%%* BadAssDriver: See above.
* BottomlessMagazines: [[AvertedTrope mostly averted,]] your weapons have limited ammuntion, but if you somehow manage to be back on your [[EmergencyWeapon basic V-Laser]], it never runs out of juice.
* BossBattle: This game has a nice variety of bosses, from giant tanks and giant triple-rotor gunships to giant fire-breathing dragon heads. Actually, pretty much every boss in this game is LargeAndInCharge.
* CarFu: Possible, but likely not worth the damage you inflict to your own car in the process. However, if you have one of the barrier powerups, [[RammingAlwaysWorks this becomes an efficient tactic.]]
%%* CoolCar: The MASTER certainly qualifies.
* EliteMooks: Curiously [[AvertedTrope absent]], enemies are either standard-issue {{Mook Mobile}}s or bosses. The larger enemies tend to be {{Fake Ultimate Mook}}s.
* GetBackHereBoss: PlayedWith in episode 2, level 3, where the boss ship is flying in front of you, shooting occasional bullets at you. However, it's [[ComputerIsACheatingBastard invulnerable]] until the end of the level, when it fights properly.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: You cannot maneuver your car beyond the boundaries of the highway, somewhat limiting your movement and making it difficult to shoot airborne enemies if they do not fly straight at you.
* KingMook: The boss of episode two's fourth level is an upscaled version of the already [[GiantMook quite large]] armed F1 racers you fight in that level. Like all the ground bosses, he's big enough that he hogs the entire highway, so it's not like [[TakeAThirdOption you could just go around him.]]
* MacrossMissileMassacre: You dish out your fair share of missiles, but enemies in this game ''love'' shooting missiles at you, in addition to the obligatory nondescript glowing energy balls. Thankfully, both can be shot down as your car is not PointDefenseless.
* MediumBlending: In some levels, the background looks painted, and in others, it is like pixel-art.
%%* MercyInvincibility
%%* MilitaryMashupMachine: A few bosses.
* NintendoHard: This game can be a pain, like any good shmup. However, the difficulty in this game was actually ''toned down'' [[DifficultyByRegion from the original Russian game]], HighwayFighter.
* {{Shareware}}: The first episode of the game was freely distributable, a la VideoGame/{{Doom}} and such titles from the twilight years of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfVideoGames.
* OneHitPointWonder: The car is this in Hard difficulty. The lifebar is replaced with a [[VideoGameLives lives meter]], life powerups are extra lives instead and your weapon reverts to the V-Laser each time you're hit.
* PowerUp: Weapon upgrades, {{Smart Bomb}}s and temporary DeflectorShields.
%%* SmartBomb
* SpreadShot: Despite what the name might suggest, the W-Laser is not this. It's simply the V-Laser doubled. Later weapon power-ups give you this, however.
* TankGoodness: The first boss is a giant, highway-hogging tank with FrickinLaserBeams. Even after you destroy its turret, the body of the tank [[SequentialBoss continues to fight with its own weapons.]]
* TooAwesomeToUse: Collect enough weapon powerups and you get access to a [[WaveMotionGun devastating laser]] that extends the length of the screen and hits anything that stays in the beam continuously. However, it has extremely limited ammunition.
* TopDownView: Everything except cutscenes and some menus.
* WeaponizedCar: Just about every ground vehicle in the game.