Kid Icarus (1986) by Nintendo
System:NES
Game Type: Platformer
Players: 1

Review by PrimeOp

When Kid Icarus and Metroid hit the market side-by-side, they shared much more than brand-new Password feature that would make it's way into countless other games that would follow them. They both have brilliant gameplay, music and designs. You've probably played one of the Metroid games, but you may not have given Kid Icarus a chance. Don't let the cute graphics fool you... this game is no joke.

Kid Icarus is about Pit's journey to rescue the goddess Palutena from the clutches of the evil Medusa. Pit has to travel across 3 areas, each of which is divided into 3 regular levels and 1 labyrinth level capped off with a boss battle. Defeating the area's boss will net you one of the Three Sacred Treasures needed in the the final battle with Medusa herself. Although you must retrieve all 3 of those treasures to activate them, you may win one of three special power-ups in a test from the gods. You can also use the money (called hearts) to buy lots of items, including life-giving potions, map drawing items for the maze-levels and feathers that help you bounce back from a normally fatal fall. Your health is upgraded by how many points you score, giving you more incentive to shoot, not run. Even though many levels are giant bottomeless pits with platforms, recieving damage from anything never knocks you back. That seemingly small factor helps to keep the game from getting horribly frustrating. Between the varied level styles and weapons to collect, the gameplay never gets too stale. That's something that I can't say for very many games other than this one.
Getting health bar and arrow upgrades comes from your score, so don't just run through the game!
Medusa's army is a strange, varied hoarde from thieves who'll steal your god-granted weaponry to acidic slimes that ooze up from the very ground you walk on. There are Grim Reapers that are constantly on the lookout for Pit. Upon spotting him, they make a "gas face" and call out tiny, hard to hit, re-enforcements. That adds some stealth to the game, because you really don't want to have to tangle with them when you're first starnting. By far, the most memorable enemy in the game is officially the Eggplant Wizard! In the labyrinth levels, they fling thier cursed eggplants at you. On contact with the cursed projectiles, Pit is transformed into an eggplant with legs and cannot attack! You have to find a room with a nurse who will lift the curse. The Eggplant Wizard also appeared in the Captain N cartoon and was one of the few characters to translate properly to the series. There's also the very strange cameo appearance in the third level... I'll let you discover that one on your own. Also, I think this has some of the best music in a Nintendo game. It's beautifully written by Hip Tanaka and lovingly played by the NES sound chip.If you get a chance, listen to the main start screen music all the way through to see what I mean.
You think they're throwing vegetables at you because of your bad comedy routine? Ha! Those are CURSED eggplants, my friend. Get hit with one and you'll be turned into an armless eggplant that can't attack until the nurse changes you back!

This is simply one of those games that's a joy to play once in awhile.The game is full of charm from the opening theme music to best ending that you can get. No, there aren't any fancy special chips and the graphics don't really break any ground. But the game gets points on excellent design alone. With it's varied gameplay and whimsical character designs, Kid Icarus rightfully earned it's high status as it's fans wait for a true sequel. Gameplay 8
Graphics 6
Sound 8
Control 7
Overall 8

Kid Icarus, Pit, Metroid and all related characters © Nintendo

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