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8 Bit Hell - Kid Icarus

On 08/14/2019 at 01:30 PM by Matt Snee

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The sadomasochistic terrors of Dark Souls aren't a new thing in video games - they can be traced back to Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Oh, if I only had a nickel for every bottomless pit I fell into in THIS game! I would be the richest man on Earth. 

I've often expressed on this blog how much I enjoy two dimensional, scrolling action RPG's... but Kid Icarus is truly a frustrating game. It's also suitably huge and unforgiving. 

But nevertheless, I played it endlessly when I was a kid. I just didn't learn. Perhaps something about it was enjoyable...but it certainly wasn't putting in the epic save passwords!! 

Actually, toward the end of the NES's life, I got my hands on a password for the endgame for Kid Icarus. After putting it in, I was on the last level, and Pit, the hero, was flying across the screen on magic wings. I thought, "What the fuck is this???"



Super Step Contributing Writer

08/14/2019 at 07:03 PM

I do not understand how this game became a classic. Point blank. I have no clue how to navigate it. Metroid was rough, but able to be navigated. Kid Icarus? I guess going up makes sense?

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/14/2019 at 08:10 PM

Ha ha. Yeah, in this game you move up by going sidewards. Surprised

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/15/2019 at 08:40 AM

I guess the screen changes made me think exploration was the point, like in Metroid. Guess that's why I had such a time with it. 

Cary Woodham

08/14/2019 at 09:24 PM

I think Pit is going up so he can escape the Underworld.  That's how I understood it anyway.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/15/2019 at 08:41 AM

I'm sure it is. Never thought much about the plot.


08/15/2019 at 12:02 AM

Kid Icarus is pretty navigable. You go up or right, and the vertical stages wrap like the tunnels in Pac-Man. You just gotta avoid the bottom of the screen at all costs, even if the platform you were standing on scrolls off the screen. Hooray, cheap falling deaths. They even sell an item in-game that lets you escape one cheap falling death. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/15/2019 at 08:41 AM

I guess the screen changes made me think exploration was the point, like in Metroid. Guess that's why I had such a time with it. 

Cary Woodham

08/14/2019 at 09:31 PM

When I was a kid, I thought Greek Mythology was interesting.  It was fun to learn in school and Clash of the Titans was one of my favorite movies.  I even took a Greek Mythology course in college.  But that's when I started hating it!  You see, that stuff you learned in elementary school was HEAVILY editied.  Turns out those Greeks were a bunch of perverts and their myths were nothing but bloated soap operas.

But I digress.  Back as a kid I thought Greek Mythology was cool so Kid Icarus seemed interesting to me.  So I rented it one time because of that and Nintendo Power said it was cool (so you know it had to be true).  Oh man, I HATED that game.  It was way too hard, goals were arbitrary, and the controls sucked.  I don't understand why people praise this game so much.

Years later I decided to give Kid Icarus: Uprising a chance on the 3DS.  I didn't like that game either, even though a lot of others did.  I thought the controls sucked on it, too.  So yeah, Kid Icarus is one of the few Nintendo licenses I flat out don't like.


08/14/2019 at 11:18 PM

I actually read unabridged versions of Greek mythology when I was a kid and got to read about all the lurid stuff. I think it actually got me even more interested. The Aesir and the jotunns from Norse mythology were even more bloodthirsty and bizarre than the Greek gods, believe it or not.  That's just how ancient religions rolled.


08/14/2019 at 10:17 PM

I know I've tried it at one time or another. I'm sure I didn't get far in it. They made these games hard to extend play time? 


08/14/2019 at 11:16 PM

I enjoyed this game, but it was kind of rushed out. I think they couldn't figure out what to do with it. Still, I played it to the end. I got pretty good at platform jumping in this game.

The Game Boy sequel, Of Myths and Monsters, is one of my favorite Game Boy games of all time, and it's my favorite out of the series.  There were no more cheap falling deaths, you could travel freely through every level until you decided to leave. The last stage, instead of being an automatically-scrolling horizontal shooter, was a full stage where you could fly around and explore with the Pegasus wings.It was one of the first games to buck the trend of using the Game Boy for "lite" versions of NES games by being both bigger and better than the original game. It made me wish they'd done Kid Icarus on SNES the way they did Super Metroid.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/15/2019 at 06:19 PM

I LOOOOOVE Greek mythology, been obsessed since I was a kid, and the lurid bits I discovered later sealed the deal, ha ha. 

That Gameboy game sounds really awesome, actually. 


08/16/2019 at 02:46 PM

Kid Icarus helped me get into the real thing, and I enjoyed it, even with all the lurid parts. I read The Iliad and the Odyssey, and unlike most people, I got into the Iliad more. It also indirectly steered me towards Norse mythology, although we got a fanciful video game take on that later on with Valkyrie Profile. 


08/15/2019 at 06:41 PM

I got to the overworld one time in my life. After that, I was never able to do it again. Those maze dungeons and the Eggplant Wizard always got me. I wish I had fond memories of this game, because it was pretty good. 

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