Kickin' It with Chuck Norris Superkicks
By Scott Stilphen
About 20 years ago I wrote a strategy article on the VCS game Chuck Norris Superkicks. I was fairly good at the game at the time, and even worked out some usable patterns to use, but even with that, I never broke 200k. I wasn't aware of Todd Roger's record on the game until several years later, and when I saw what it was (253,400), I immediately thought, "No way. That's impossible!" After watching top players like Todd and Dwayne Richards play in person, you see how differently they approach a game. Much like a perfect game of Pac-Man, they analyze it to the point of, "What do I need to do to get the most points in the fastest time possible?" Some of it is point-pressing, and some of it is maximizing everything in the game or a level has to offer before advancing.
20 years later, I started playing the game again, only this time I approached the game differently, the way someone like Todd would, and figured out how he was able to get that score. But even knowing how, it still took me a month of steady playing to reach his score, until... AT LAST! I finally took down Todd Rogers' world record score, with a mere 600 points more, to an even 254,000! There's definitely room for improvement, though. I've gotten over 267k using an emulator and save states, which was close to a perfect game (270k might be possible, but I doubt it's possible to get 280k or higher, so there is an absolute limit somewhere around 270k). All I can say is, it took several hundred attempts to yield maybe a dozen or so complete games where I had a straight, clear path up to the monastery, and out of those, only 1 got me a score over 250k (in this case, the new WR). It's a combination of that clear path, and having as many quick fights as you can, and as few hits against you as possible, not to mention a WHOLE LOT of luck, since this game will use all kinds of cheap tactics against you, and often at the worst time. Check out the Easter egg entry for all the various glitches I've noted, as well as a video of my record game. This record game was also the only time I broke 190k before reaching the monastery, so I'm going to say any game with a score below that probably won't achieve a higher score:
The last belt before the monastery (black belt) is where you really want to pile on the points. When you kick an enemy, you want to get over to the side of the screen where he flew off because that's where he'll reappear. If you time your somersault superkicks so that you're kicking right where he'll reappear, you can quickly knock off enough guys to clear the screen. When you get back to the maze, just move down a bit and right back up, to quickly re-enter the room. The game tends to 'cheat' sometimes and an enemy will throw a star just as he appears, or sometimes a split second after you hit him (he might not even be on the screen, and suddenly a star will fly out from the edge and kill you). I try to time it so that I enter the monastery just as the clock is about to run out, because once the enemies start disappearing, it becomes impossible to use the same strategy (or any strategy) and your scoring rate drops dramatically.
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