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Kid Icarus protagonist Pit, as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Kid Icarus, known in Japanese as Light Myth: Palutena's Mirror (光神話 パルテナの鏡 Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami?), is a series of fantasy video games developed and published by Nintendo. The games are set in a Grecian-inspired fantasy world called Angel Land, and the chronicles of Pit, a young angel who fights for the goddess Palutena. Its gameplay primarily consists of platforming and shooting.

Kid Icarus is often considered to be a sibling series to the Metroid franchise and Pit has frequently appeared alongside Samus Aran from Metroid. The first two games, Kid Icarus (1986) and Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1991), ran on the Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus engines, respectively. In addition, they were created by mostly the same teams following the previous Metroid game's development. However, while Metroid would go on to have multiple installments over the next 22 years, Kid Icarus became dormant until Pit's inclusion as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which ultimately led to the release of Kid Icarus: Uprising in 2012.

References to Metroid in Kid Icarus[]

Kid Icarus[]

Artwork of the Komayto in the game's manual.

The original game was conceived as a mix of Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, retaining these games' platforming, item collecting, and shooting gameplay, respectively. Both the original Metroid and Kid Icarus were marketed on their original boxart as part of the "Adventure Series" of NES games; this was one of several "series" or genre categories placed on the bottom left corner of Nintendo game boxart, although this practice did not continue for long since most of these games grew into their own franchises.

Hirokazu Tanaka composed the soundtracks for both Metroid and Kid Icarus. In the NES version of Metroid, the Escape theme was extended with a new section that is stylistically similar to the Kid Icarus Underworld theme. He also arranged tracks from both games on the Kid Icarus / Metroid Original Soundtrack Orchestra Version two-sided single. Additionally, the Specknose enemy is modeled after Tanaka.[1]

In the humorous anthology comic The Shape of Happiness, a Galactic Federation official hiring Samus to go to Zebes offers her a suitable bounty and cartridges of Kid Icarus (with its tentative title Angel Land (エンジェランド?) prior to its release) and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the Famicom Disk System, but she does not respond to this offer.

An enemy called the Komayto is present in the game, which look unmistakably like Metroid larvae. They use the same attack patterns as Monoeyes and Micks from earlier levels. They float in groups of four in Skyworld and attack Pit by ramming into him, rather than latching onto the head and siphoning his energy as most Metroids do. Their name, Komayto (コメト?), is derived from Kometoroido (コメトロイド Child Metroid?).

Manual
"A mysterious floating creature. Nobody knows where it came from. One theory has it that is came from a planet other than Earth. It's a nasty jellyfish monster."

The ending of the game also utilizes a similar style to the Metroid endings where Pit changes upon rescuing Palutena from Medusa, with the specific form depending on whether or not the player maxxed out all of their stats (Hearts, Endurance, Strength, and Weapons) in the NES version or how many points the player earned (determined by weighing Endurance and Strength against continues) in the FDS version. In particular:

  • If the player earns fewer than 60 points (FDS only), Pit will be transformed into a Specknose.
  • If the player maxxed out none of their stats (60-79 points in the FDS version), Pit will wear a fedora and be holding a sickle, becoming a mere farmer.
  • If the player maxxed out one of their four stats (80-84 points in the FDS version), Pit will wear a helmet and wield a long pole, becoming a standard footsoldier.
  • If the player maxxed out two of their four stats (85-99 points in the FDS version), Pit will wear a plumed helmet and wield a spear, becoming captain of the guard.
  • If the player maxxed out three of their four stats (100 points in the FDS version), Pit will become significantly taller and more muscular, reaching Palutena's height.
  • If the player maxxed out all four stats (NES only), the above ending will be extended to have Palutena approach Pit, embrace him, and kiss him while the angels do a fly-by and drop hearts.

In the GBA line Famicom Mini, aside from both Metroid and Kid Icarus sharing games in the third volume (dedicated to Famicom Disk System games), both Samus and Pit (and related elements) appear on the Volume 3 box artwork, with Samus's running, forward facing, and upward aim pose being utilized on the back, right, and left sleeves, respectively, while Pit crouching, Pit flying to the right, and an Eggplant Wizard are on the right, front, and left sides, respectively.

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters[]

Komayto in Of Myths and Monsters.

Komaytos return in this game with a drastically altered appearance, having only a single "tooth" and appearing in the Sky World Tower. This was the last Kid Icarus game for 22 years, despite rumored attempts at installments on the SNES and Nintendo 64.

Manual
"A mysterious floating creature. Nobody knows where it came from. It looks like a jellyfish, but floats in the sky."


Kid Icarus: Uprising[]

Komayto in Kid Icarus: Uprising.

After the release of Brawl, interest in Kid Icarus was renewed. In 2012, Kid Icarus: Uprising was announced. It is the first Kid Icarus game to not run on a Metroid game's engine, although it should be noted that there was no Metroid game available on Nintendo 3DS at the time. Pit returns as the protagonist, with his design from Brawl. This game contains the most references to the Metroid series by far. Komaytos return in this game with their Metroid-like appearance again, and now behave like regular Metroids as well in that they latch onto Pit and drain his energy.

The in-game idol description of Komaytos in the game references the famous opening quote of Super Metroid, stating "While this creature resembles a certain alien life-form, the last Komaytos are not in captivity and Skyworld is not at peace." A re-skinned version of the creature that lives in Hades is called the "Cellular Komayto." Both are only susceptible to melee attacks in this game, referencing the Metroid's impermeability to most weapons in early games. This similarity was highlighted in a trailer, a loading menu, and an in-game conversation:

Viridi: And here comes the eighth wave.
Pit: It's just a few Underworld Komaytos. ...And another ORNE! Oh, no!
Viridi: This could spell trouble. Stay away from the Orne and keep taking out the Komaytos.
Pit: You know, Komaytos look an awful lot like little Metroids.
Viridi: No! Shhhh! Stop right there!
Pit: What's the matter? All I said was that Komaytos look like little Metr—
Viridi: Hmm hmm HMMMM hmm! I can't HEAR you!
Pit: Hey, what's your problem?
Viridi: This game universe and that game universe have NOTHING to do with each other! So don't go around spreading rumors!

Viridi's humming in this scene may also be a reference to the first 4 notes of the Item Acquisition Fanfare, although this might just be a coincidental similarity in their melodies.

Uprising also features Space Pirates, using a design resembling a stylized version of their appearance in Metroid Prime. They also come in Sniper and Commando variants with a grenade launcher and arm cannon, and are under the leadership of a Space Pirate Captain. In chapter 8, "Star Ship of the Heavens" a Galactic Fiend Kraken is attracted to the three-way war between the Space Pirates, Underworld Army, and Pit. The Space Pirates are introduced as being responsible for stealing the Three Sacred Treasures. The Kid Icarus Space Pirates also travel around the "Galactic Sea" robbing constellations, similar in nature to the marauding Space Pirates in the Metroid games.

A heavily-armored character named Dark Lord Gaol is revealed to be a blonde human woman when her helmet is removed after being defeated, much to Pit's surprise. This twist is somewhat similar to Samus Aran's identity reveal at the end of Metroid.

Crossovers with Metroid[]

Captain N: The Game Master[]

The first page of Welcome to Videoland

Pit (under the name "Kid Icarus") appears in both the Captain N TV series and comics as part of the N-Team, starring alongside Samus in the comics. Here, Kid Icarus is depicted as a loyal, sometimes timid and childish angel who often ends words in his speech with "-a-cus" (e.g. "Gosh-a-cus, Princess Lana! Samus is super-duper-a-cus!"), and his strong sense of loyalty occasionally leads him to argue with the more unscrupulous Bounty Hunter Samus.

The main villain Mother Brain employs the Kid Icarus enemy Eggplant Wizard as one of her bumbling henchmen; in the comics, Uranos also appears as a much more competent henchman. The series features numerous other enemies from both Kid Icarus and Metroid as minions for the Forces of Chaos. This is especially true in the comics, where the enemies of both games comprise the majority of the League of Darkness's massive army, or are prisoners in designated cell blocks of RX 338.

Additionally, the original character Princess Lana is also very likely based upon Palutena's design, as acknowledged by lead character designer Marcello Vignalli.[2] In both media, Mother Brain is the arch enemy of Princess Lana, planning to usurp her as ruler of Videoland. In the comics, Samus frequently acts both as Lana's bodyguard and romantic rival.

In Kevin in Videoland, the N-Team enters Metroid to save Princess Lana, and Kid Icarus shoots Mother Brain's control panel with an arrow while the team escapes through a Warp Zone. In Videolympics, Mother Brain acquires the three Sacred Treasures; in the next episode Mega Trouble for Megaland, she has conquered Mount Icarus and renamed it "Mount Mother Brain", leaving Kraid and another member of his species to enslave its inhabitants. In Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain, Kid Icarus and Mega Man aquire arrows from Mount Icarus to stop Mother Brain from marrying Simon Belmont. In Gameboy, the N-Team returns to Metroid to rescue Gameboy while battling the Metroid enemies he generates.

Welcome to Videoland introduces Kid Icarus and Samus in their respctive worlds battling Eggplant Wizard and Ridley, while Mother Brain unites the League of Darkness. In Money Changes Everything, the N-Team meets Samus while exploring Brinstar and Norfair, and Samus later pretends to betray Kid Icarus and Princess Lana to Mother Brain in exchange for a bounty. In A King of Shreds and Patches, Kid Icarus chastises Samus for her selfishness when she tries to rule Garbageworld with Kevin. When Friends Fall Out begins with Samus retrieving the Medusa Ray from the Locker to unpetrify Kid Icarus.

F-1 Race[]

In F-1 Race, Pit and Samus appear during course transitions. Pit and Samus specifically appeared in Courses 7 and 8, respectively.

Tetris[]

Pit and Samus performing in Tetris

In the NES version of Tetris, during the Game B mode, Pit and Samus appear on the victory screen upon completing difficulty 9 at various heights, Specifically, Pit appears on height 0's completion onward where he plays the harp, and Samus appears on height 2's completion onward where she plays a cello.

Their Tetris cameo seems to be the basis of the WarioWare: Smooth Moves microgame Opening Night, specifically in its third level. Samus once again plays the cello, and Pit's harp is exchanged for another cello.

Super Smash Bros. series[]

Zero Suit Samus using her Plasma Whip on Pit in a promotional screenshot.

Samus firing a Missile at Pit.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Pit appears as a trophy based on his design from the original game. The final line of its description, "Will Pit ever fight again?" is considered to be foreshadowing of his return to video games in the sequel to Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Pit was first revealed in the E3 2006 Brawl trailer, sporting a new redesign created by Masahiro Sakurai. While engaging with Meta Knight on the Halberd, Samus fires her Zero Laser at them, which they dodge. The force of the blast causes her Varia Suit to crumble, and she jumps away, landing in a barren desert field. Now known as Zero Suit Samus (herself a newcomer to Brawl), she activates her Plasma Whip and prepares to face Pit when they are narrowly run over by Wario. Both Zero Suit Samus and Pit, along with other fighters appearing in the trailer, look on in horror as Wario unleashes a mushroom cloud of flatulence.

Pit returns in the sequels to Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, which introduces Palutena and Dark Pit, Pit's doppelganger from Uprising as playable characters. All three return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with Samus and Zero Suit Samus, and newcomer Metroid fighters Ridley and Dark Samus. In addition, Pit alongside Samus have appeared in their NES sprites for the reveal artwork for Duck Hunt as well as the trailer announcing the duo (the latter also featuring their modern designs).

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Smash Run features a wide variety of enemies from Kid Icarus Uprising and Metroid: Other M, with some of these classic enemies (such as Monoeye and Reo) appearing alongside one another for the first time since Captain N: The Game Master.

When fighting on Palutena's Temple in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Ultimate, Pit can perform a Smash Taunt to trigger Palutena's Guidance, a conversation where Palutena gives Pit advice about the opponent he is facing, including Samus and Zero Suit Samus. These conversations resemble the Codec Conversations had by Solid Snake in Brawl and are a reference to Pit and Palutena's conversations in Uprising. Viridi, a character from Uprising, takes part in Samus's conversation. The conversation on Samus also alludes to a common misconception regarding the name of the protagonist and the franchise title in both franchises (reinforced in the Japanese version, where Kid Icarus is called Palutena's Mirror). See Palutena's Guidance for a transcription of conversations about Metroid fighters.

The Kid Icarus enemies Hewdraw and Mimicutie appear as spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, using Ridley and Zero Suit Samus as their respective puppet fighters.

Other possible connections[]

  • The Gadora enemy introduced in Super Metroid is similar to the final boss from Kid Icarus, Medusa. Both Medusa and Gadora are giant one-eyed monsters embedded in a wall, attacking by firing energy waves from their eye, which is also their only weakpoint.
  • In Metroid: Zero Mission, the three Unknown Items are thought to be a reference to the Sacred Treasures from Kid Icarus. The Plasma Beam stands in for the Arrow of Light (a powerful weapon that can pierce multiple enemies); the Space Jump stands in for the Wings of Pegasus (allowing its user to essentially fly); and the Gravity Suit stands in for the Mirror Shield (granting its user increased defenses). Like the Sacred Treasures, the Unknown Items are collected throughout Samus's adventure but cannot be used until the final area of the game.
  • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, two cruiser ships, Icarus and Baldur, are mentioned over the G.F.S. Olympus intercom by Aurora Unit 242. While Galactic Federation ships are often named after mythology (including Greek mythology), the Icarus cruiser's name is a possible allusion to Kid Icarus.

Trivia[]

  • In May 2007, Retro Studios pitched a Kid Icarus revival to Nintendo. The concept was headed by Jason Behr, who considers Kid Icarus his favorite NES game and a source of inspiration. Nintendo rejected the pitch due to lacking a core gameplay concept.[3]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Famicom Disk System: The More You Play It, the More You'll Want to Play! (translation by Metroid Database)
  2. ^ Back of the Cereal Box: Athena by Way of Kelly Kapowski
  3. ^ DidYouKnowGaming?. "Failed Nintendo Pitches (Super Mario, Star Fox + More) - Unseen64" YouTube. October 22, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2021.


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