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Video Game / The Legend of Silkroad

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The Legend of Silkroad is a 1999 2D Beat 'em Up arcade action game released by Korea's Unico studios.

A wuxia-themed actioner set in (take a wild guess?) The Silk Road during Ming Dynasty China, the players assume the roles of three warriors - Mun-moo the Korean swordsman, So-Chun the Chinese assassin, and Jamuka the Mongolian barbarian - as they're sent on a quest to rescue a kidnapped Princess abducted on the road and sent over it's borders. A lengthy adventure awaits the heroes on the Princess' trail, as the Silk Road leads them from China to the Middle East and to Rome, with enemies including marauders, beast men, and the undead along the way.

Unico released a standalone sequel, The Legend of Silkroad 2: Age of Heroes a year later, with a new cast of characters.

In the sequel, clans of different tribes lives in peace on the Silk Road, until a ruthless, overly-ambitious overlord named Ba Wang, made a pact with demonic forces to dominate all territories on the road for himself. After initiating a massacre of all the tribes, a band of heroes and survivors, consisting of Kai the swordsman, Shenmue the soldier, Shun the assassin, and Chamuku the wizard, sets out on a quest to overthrow Ba Wang.

The Legend of Silkroad (both games) contain examples of:

  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Both games have rogue Buddhist monks as recurring enemies in various areas, all of them capable of fighting your characters. The second game have them armed with a staff that does as much damage as bladed weapons.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Your enemies are either human bandits or beastmen and undead, all of them willing to slice you up on sight.
  • Amazon Brigade: Amazonian warriors - legions of all-female mooks, often clad in Chainmail Bikini - shows up as enemies in both games, and they're among the tougher mooks to beat.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: You get to visit the ancient Middle East for a few stages in both games. The first game doesn't specify the precise location (onscreen enemies are listed as "Arabian soldiers") but the second game does (it's Medieval Syria).
  • Bad with the Bone: Barbarian enemies in the first game use bone clubs as their weapons.
  • Balance, Speed, Strength Trio: Mun-moo, So-Chun and Jamuka from the firdt game, in that order.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Both games have enemies who prefers fighting you with their fists, despite other mooks using swords, spears, and the like. And their punches can deal as much damage as edged weapons. The first game notably have these enemies named onscreen as "muscular man".
  • Barefoot Captives: The Princess in the first game, who lose her shoes after her abduction and is barefoot in the background of every single scene featuring her.
  • The Beastmaster: An unnamed barbarian boss from the second game (wearing a tiger's head hood) have the ability to summon wolves as his flunkies, howling every now and then to bring additional wolves into the cavern you fight him in as his backup.
  • Big Bad: None in the first game, but the second game have Ba Wang (霸王 lit. Overlord), a villainous warlord who seeks to rule over the Silk Road and all the clans on it.
  • Big Red Devil: Ba Wang, the Final Boss of the second game, is revealed to be a fearsome-looking, red-skinned horned devil with wings and talons. But then that's only his first form... (see next entry)
  • Bishōnen Line: The game's Final Boss, Ba Wang, is a Sequential Boss that needs to be fought thrice, the first two times in the form of a red, scaly horned demon. But when you defeat him, he sheds his initial appearance into a far more human-looking form (albeit one with blue skin), with TWICE the health bar. He have the ability to Teleport Spam and Flash Step rapidly throughout the battle in his final form as well, as difficult as a final boss is expected to be.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The second game have enemies with wicked-looking curved blades grafted permanently to their arms.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Jamuka the Mongolian brute from the first game wields a spiked mace.
  • Chest Monster: In the second game, depicted as treasure chests with teeth and on two legs who comes at you in a chomping manner.
  • Chinese Vampire: Jiangshi are a recurring enemy variety in the second game. They're usually summoned by bosses as backup, with Ba Wang having scores and scores of them at all times.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Wu Ji, a boss from both games wield a Chinese feathered fan as his preferred weapon, and besides using it to slap you from up close he can also summon lightning bolts from it.
  • Damsel in Distress: The first game's plot revolves around a trio of warriors on the trail of a kidnapped princess.
  • Dance Battler: The "dancing girl" enemies in the first game, who Dual Wield short knives and leaps around slashing at you across the area.
  • Dem Bones: The first game have winged skeleton mooks that drops from the sky to attack. Their wings are skeletal, too, which begs the question how they managed to fly...
  • Demon of Human Origin: Ba Wang used to be a human overlord, but his ambitions caused him to sell his soul to the forces of darkness.
  • Evil Wizard: The first game's Arabian level ends with a boss battle against a Middle-Eastern wizard wearing a cape, turban, and a Serpent Staff which he uses for launching ranged projectile attacks.
  • Flying Carpet: The first game's Arabian level have areas where mooks drop on you from above via carpets. The second game on the other hand have an aerial level where you're on a flying tigerskin rug.
  • Flying Seafood Special: The raft level in the second game, where you're in the middle of a wooden raft floating in the seas and have to contend with flying fishes periodically popping out the water's surface to attack you.
  • The Grim Reaper: Is a boss in the first game. Oddly enough, this version of the reaper appears to be a woman, but she still wields the Sinister Scythe associated with the reaper's common depictions.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Yep - you can pick up coins and gems from wolves, meatballs (three on a stick!) from flying fishes, and assorted items from zombies which are naked and visibly rotting away.
  • Killer Gorilla: A boss in the first game, which have you inexplicably battling a fierce grey-furred gorilla in a cavern. Said gorilla will repeatedly leap and summersault all over the place while trying to pound you with his fists.
  • Living Statue: Both games have statues of warriors, that randomly comes to life when you're near to attack. The second game notably have terracotta statue mooks as enemies in the mausoleum level.
  • Magic Knight: Chamuku the wizard from the second game is as capable a fighter as his comrades. Ba Wang, the main villain, is no slouch in both combat and magic either.
  • Master Swordsman: The sword-wielding playable heroes. Mun-moo from the first game, Kai from the second, and they can take down entire armies of mooks with their trusty swords.
  • Oddly Shaped Sword: The first game have curved swords you can pick up in place of your default weapon, dealing better damage and capable of knocking down mooks easier. You go back to your previous weapon at the end of the stage though.
  • Our Genies Are Different: The Arabian level in the first game has a hostile genie as it's mid-boss. Said genie have Fog Feet and moves by floating all over the place, and is somehow vulnerable to your weapons.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies are recurring enemies in both games, with the ability to ambush you in open areas by clawing their way out of the ground and slashing at you with their talons. The red zombies notably can throw what appears to be chunks of his flesh at you.
  • Power Floats: Quite a few of the bosses in both games, thanks to their magic nature: the genie and the Arabian wizard, Wu Xian the sorcerer, Ba Wang in his Bishōnen Line form...
  • Spin Attack: The dancer enemies can spin in circles while holding their knives out to slice you up. The muscular men does the same with outstretched fists.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • The fire spell in both games that comes in multiple varieties, allowing you to blast a fireball forward to incinerate foes, release smaller homing fireballs or summon a cluster of fiery explosions on the spot incinerating onscreen mooks.
    • Quite a few bosses have fire attacks too, including Ba Wang in both his forms.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ba Wang's final form looks humanoid enough, but his glowing red eyes is an indocator of his demonic nature.
  • Rope Bridge: The third stage of the first game doesn't have any enemies, but it does have a rope bridge you need to cross... which starts collapsing the moment you stepped on it. The entire level have you running ahead while avoiding pitfalls, falling objects, breaking obstacles, and making your way to the other side at the end of the level or lose a life.
  • Savage Wolves: Wolfhounds are another enemy variety in both games, showing up in packs to chew your health away.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • The Lightning spell power-up you obtain in both games can electrocute your enemies from up close, or sic thunderbolts on mooks into the area.
    • Chinese Vampire enemies somehow have ability to shock you with a single touch from their outstretched hands.
    • Wu Ji can repeatedly sic thunderbolts from his fan, besides summoning a lightning barrier around himself with the same weapon.
  • Weaponized Headgear: The leader of the corrupt monks who serves as a boss wears an Oriental-style eye-obscuring hat which he'll remove and throw at you as a ranged attack.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The first game does this all. the. damn. time. The Princess you're tasked to rescue is always in the background of the arena you fight the boss at the end of each stage, either tied to a pole, hanging in the air, trapped in a magic bubble... and as soon as you defeat the boss, the Princess gets yanked out of the area. Cue next stage!

Alternative Title(s): The Age Of Heroes