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Martial Masters (Chinese: 形意拳; Japanese name: シンイーケン, Shin Ī Ken, after the Mandarin pronunciation) is an arcade fighting game developed by IGS and released in 1999. The game is highly reminiscent of Capcom's fighting games of the mid to late 1990s for its impressive 2D visual and fluid animation with mechanics very similar to those of Street Fighter III. Martial Masters is IGS's third arcade 2D fighting game, with Alien Challenge being their first, Killing Blade their second, and Spectral vs. Generation being their fourth (in collaboration with Idea Factory).
The game features 12 fighters, each with their own special moves and fighting styles. Moves include throws, air attacks, ground attacks, taunts, teleport, recovery, martial arts moves, special moves, and super special moves.
Like most of the newer fighting games that have been created, Martial Masters has a combo counter, has Pressure Moves which are performed by pressing the control stick in a certain direction with a button, Roll Recovery that will let you recovery from an attack that knocks your character down before you hit the ground, Flash Attack that will knock your opponent away from when they're attacking you, Shadow Attacks which there are 2 variations of, 1st being a juggle type attack that will knock your opponent up into the air, 2nd is a ground attack that can usually do anywhere between 4 and 13 hits.
At the end of the Qin's Dynasty, the government weakened by corruption was attacked by foreign influences. The people were flung into misery and became quite unsatisfied with the situation. They didn't believe in the government anymore and turned their faith back to religion.
The White Lotus sect saw this as an opportunity and took over. They claimed to help the government to defeat foreigners and bring peace to the world. Their Ideology was quickly adopted. Everything related with the Western world was killed or destroyed. Anyone against this principal was considered an enemy and accused of being bound with the devil. Dragon of Martial Master and Master Huang of Po Chi Lam could not accept these outrageous actions so they band together in order to prevent much bloodshed.
One day the leader of White Lotus Sect sent an invitation to Dragon and Master Huang but Dragon's disciples saw this as a trap and recommended that they wait for Master Huang, who was out of town collecting medicine. The Master did not want to miss this opportunity to make peace and went alone. Unfortunately, he was captured and put in prison. Both parties started confrontations and have struggled since then.
Now dangers are hidden all over the place. Who is capable of resolving the situation? Let's find out!
- Master Huang - He is not the same Huang Fei Hung from Alien Challenge. however, they are both based on the real life folk hero Wong Fei Hung (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wong_Fei_Hung).
- Crane - A female kung fu practicer whose style is the Crane kung fu style. Crane might not her real name.
- Monk - A very muscled shao-lin monk who practices martial arts.
- Drunk Master - Based in the character Druken Master of a movie with the same name featuring Jackie Chan as the young Wong Fei Hung.
- Red Snake - A female kung fu artist who practice the snake kung fu style, she is engaged with Scorpion, pretty much for his dismay.
- Ghost Kick - Based on the character Club Foot from Once Upon a Time in China 3 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_China_III) He is a ricksaw puller who fight only with his legs.
- Scorpion - Based on the villain Sunny from Operation Scorpion, his style is the scorpion kung fu style. He is a very cold man who is engaged with Red Snake, pretty much for his dismay.
- Monkey Boy A 21 years old man who practice the monkey kung fu style, he also have some monkeys as his "disciples".
- Reika - A girl whose town was destroyed by the White Lotus Cult in a failed attempt to kidnapp her. She fights to find out the reason of her kidnapping.
- Tiger - A character which might be based in Tiger from Once Upon a Time in China 1 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_China) Unlike the Tiger from the movie, he is a kind hearted man who protect missionaries against the xenophobic White Lotus Cult. He practice the tiger kung fu style.
- Saojin - Huang Fei Hung father´s sworn sister and his sworn aunt, she is based in "13th aunt from Once Upon a Time in China´s series (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_China_(film_series) ). She is a secret playable character and sub-boss for Red Snake. Her style is unknown, she is the only character who have helpers who are Leung Foon, Lam Sai Wing and Bucket So (all Master Huang´s disciples who also appear in his stage, however they´re no longer there if Saojin is present).
- Lotus Master - A mysterious man who pose as the leader of White Lotus Cult who wishes to take over the sect, he is based on Priest Kung from Once Upon a Time in China 2 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_China_II). His style is unknown, however is labeled as "secret skills of White Lotus Cult".
- True Lotus Master - The true leader of White Lotus Cult, he can be considered as a over powered version of Lotus Master. Also a secret playable character, however he have no endings of his own.