Kid Icarus
Release year - USA:1986
Company: Nintendo
System: NES
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1

Review by: PrimeOp

The Goddess Palutena has been captured by Medusa and conquered the realm known as Angel Land. It's up to a plucky lil' angel named Pit to drive Medusa's army out of the realm and save its resident goddess.

Pit must 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 wait until you have all 3 of those treasures to activate them, The gods still shine upon you by allowing you to win one of three special power-ups in a test of skill. 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, receiving 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!

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!
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 starting. 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.

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.

Return to top of the top of the page