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

Kid Icarus, known in Japanese as Mirror of Palutena, 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. Kid Icarus is often considered to be a sibling series to the Metroid franchise and Pit has frequently appeared alongside Samus Aran from Metroid. Its gameplay primarily consists of platforming and shooting. The first two games, Kid Icarus (1986) and Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1991), both 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.

Connections with Metroid[]

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.

An enemy called the Komayto is present in the game, which look unmistakably like Metroid larvae. 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, come from Kometo, short for Kometoroido, meaning Metroid Child in Japanese.

The ending of the game also utilizes a similar style to the Metroid endings where Pit changes upon rescuing Paleutina from Medusa, with the specific form depending on whether or not the player maxxed out all of their stats. In particular:

  • If the player maxxed out none of their stats, Pit will wear a fedora and be holding a sickle.
  • If the player maxxed out one of their four stats, Pit will wear a helmet and wield a long pole.
  • If the player maxxed out two of their four stats, Pit will wear a Roman Gladiator helmet and wield a spear.
  • If the player maxxed out three of their four stats, Pit will become significantly taller and more muscular, reaching Paleutina's height.
  • If the player maxxed out all four stats, the above ending will be extended to have Paleutina approach Pit and embrace him in a lover's embrace as well as kiss him while the angels do a fly by and drop hearts.
"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."

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.

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

Super Smash Bros. series[]

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

Samus firing a Missile at Pit.

An unsubstantiated, long circulating rumor claims that Pit was intended to appear in the original Super Smash Bros. game as a playable character.

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).

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 Mirror of Palutena). See Palutena's Guidance for a transcription of conversations about Metroid fighters.

Kid Icarus: Uprising[]

After the release of Brawl, interest in Kid Icarus was renewed and it was heavily speculated that a Wii revival of the franchise was in development by Factor-5. This game was ultimately cancelled. 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!

Also, Viridi's humming in this scene is a reference all on its own, being the first 4 notes of the Item Acquisition Fanfare.

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. 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. This is likely a reference to the use of the Sacred Treasures being the collective second-to-last upgrade of Metroid: Zero Mission, referencing the game's sister series. The Plasma Beam, Space Jump, and Gravity Suit, all activated at once (when obtained, they are "Unknown Items"), stand in for the Arrow of Light, Wings of Pegasus, and Mirror Shield, each in a single Sacred Casket in Uprising. 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 character named "Dark Lord Gaol" is revealed in Uprising to be a blonde woman after defeated early in the game, somewhat similar to Samus Aran. All of the above characters have physical AR Cards that are made available in limited quantities and distributed in different ways.

Other connections[]

The Shape of Happiness

  • 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.
  • Like Metroid, the original Kid Icarus had multiple endings, which are unlocked through fulfilling certain item requirements. Whereas the Metroid endings determine whether or not Samus reveals her true identity, the Kid Icarus endings see Palutena thanking Pit and either making him a lowly farmer, knighting him or giving him a kiss as he grows into a mature angel.
  • 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 and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the Famicom Disk System, but this offer does not interest her.
  • 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.
  • Pit appears in both the Captain N comics and TV series, as part of the N-Team with Samus (who only appears in the comics), while the main villain Mother Brain employs the Kid Icarus enemy Eggplant Wizard as one of her henchmen. Here, Pit is referred to as "Kid Icarus", and is depicted as a loyal, sometimes timid and childish angel who often ends words in his speech with "-icus" (i.e. "Charge-icus!" and "Smash-icus!"). The original character Princess Lana is also very likely based upon Palutena's design. The comics and TV series both feature numerous other enemies from both Kid Icarus and Metroid.
  • Samus and Pit appear together in the WarioWare: Smooth Moves microgame Opening Night, specifically in its third level, in which the player must conduct an orchestra consisting of Nintendo characters, both playing upright cellos. They also appear together in Tetris, F-1 Race, Kirby Super Star (and Ultra) and WarioWare: Twisted!.
    • In the NES version of Tetris, during the Game B mode, Pit and Samus as well as Bowser, Donkey Kong, Princess Toadstool, and the Mario Bros. of the Mario franchise 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, Samus appears on height 2's completion onward where she plays a cello, Donkey Kong appears on height 3's completion onward, banging his fists on a marching bass drum, Bowser appears on height 4's completion onward, playing an accordion, and Princess Toadstool and the Mario Bros. only appear on height 5's completion, where the former proceeds to applaud atop the highest turret and the latter two dance the Cossack.
    • In F-1 Race, Pit and Samus, as well as Bowser, Donkey Kong, Princess Toadstool, the Mario Bros., and Toad of the Mario franchise appear during course transitions. Pit and Samus specifically appeared in Courses 7 and 8, respectively, while the various Mario characters, in order, had Toad appearing in Course 2, Luigi in Course 3, Princess Toadstool in Course 4, Mario in Course 6, Donkey Kong in Course 9, and Bowser during the game's ending.
  • The Gadora enemy in Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission is strikingly similar to the final boss from Kid Icarus, Medusa, who was also a giant eye that fired energy waves and also leaping serpents. Pit could only harm Medusa by firing the Sacred Arrows into her eye.
  • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, two cruiser ships, Icarus and Baldur, are mentioned over the G.F.S. Olympus intercom by Aurora Unit 242. The Icarus cruiser's name is a possible name to Kid Icarus.
  • 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.
  • 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) appeared 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 were on the right, front, and left sides, respectively.

See also[]