Kid Icarus: Angel Land Story
Kid Icarus: Angel Land Story is a platform action game developed and published by Nintendo originally for the Famicom Disk System on 1986-12-19, and ported to the NES in July, 1987. In the game, you play the angel Pit who has been banished to the Underworld by Medusa who has also kidnapped Palutena, the Princess of Angel Land. You must guide Pit from the underworld, the overworld, skyworld, and finally back into the Palace In the Sky, Angel Land.
Kid Icarus is the "sister game" of Metroid. They were both developed by Nintendo R&D1 and shared several staff members, they use a similar game engines, and the were both released in gray "Password Pak" boxes in the USA. However, where Metroid became a fairly popular series with over a dozen games, Kid Icarus remained obscure with only three games. Although I don't care much for the game, I would have loved to see a Game Boy Advance remake in the same vein as Metroid: Zero Mission.
I first saw Kid Icarus in The Official Nintendo Player's Guide, and thought the game looked amazing. I remember my sister telling me that one of the families she babysat for had the game and I offered to help her babysit for them (but she saw through my clever ruse and refused). Years later, I found out the my local flea market included a trade in system where I could get rid of unwanted games for new games, and I swapped two games (I don't remember which) for Kid Icarus. At first I was very excited to finally play this game, but, after getting a game over repeatedly on the first level, I quickly became disenfranchised. Luckily, a friend of mine found the ICARUS FIGHTS MEDUSA ANGELS password, which starts you halfway through the game with invincibility. This allowed us to get a bit more life out of the game.
I own this game on the NES, but have never beaten it.
- I really like Pit's character design.
- The labyrinthine fortresses are a nice change of pace from the scrolling stages. And it's a relief to not have to worry about falling death for awhile.
- Although they're really annoying, I kind of like the Eggplant Wizard. It's a very original design and the obnoxious eggplant curse immediately increases the tension for any room they're in. I just wish they gave you more time to react before throwing their eggplants after you enter.
- I like that you can get a credit card to buy items on credit, and the anachronistic method fits the quirkiness of the game.
- I like how you can rescue centurions which will help you during the boss fight.
- Wrapping the character around the screen in vertically-scrolling levels is a good design and adds a lot of variation to the map.
- The Reaper, with his Reapettes, is a creative enemy.
- The manual is really complete and fully illustrated.
- Having multiple endings based on how well you performed is a nice addition, although, I don't like that you basically have to play the game twice in order to see the best ending.
- Although there are a few decent tiles, most of the backgrounds are poorly drawn.
- Monster rooms seem to exist solely to let you grind out hearts faster, which is boring. This wouldn't be necessary if shops were just cheaper, and then the rooms could be used for something interesting.
- Stores only let you purchase one item, even if you can afford multiple items. Not exactly a smart business model!
- Not being able to use the three treasures until world 4 is stupid, and so is the removal of your power-ups for the fortresses.
- It's not always clear which platforms will allow you to jump through them and which ones won't. Also, ducking causes you to drop through certain platforms. While this is standard fare for platformers, it doesn't work when reaching the bottom of the screen ends the game.
- The empty rooms are a waste of time. And, for some reason, the designers made the first room you enter an empty room. This is a lost teaching moment.
- The checkbook, torch, pencil system of mapping seems like a good idea at first, but it's too expensive, and, by the time you have all three items, you've already traversed most of the map. And, since the in-game mapping system doesn't show you doors, one-way
- The controls are terrible. Pit is slow to respond to the gamepad, and collision with enemies stops your momentum. In a game where a single mistake can give you a game over, this is unacceptable.
- Most of the enemies are poorly designed, both in their look and movement. For example, the Specknose is a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, WTF? Also, far too many of the enemies movement patterns are reused with sprite or palette swaps. A few are expected for a game of this era, and even somewhat enjoyable, but, when you tally up all the palette and sprite swaps, the Specknose movement is used seven times! Several of the enemies aren't even animated (Rokman, Minos, Totem
- The invincible item-stealing Pluton enemies are extremely annoying, although I do like the idea of placing your stolen items on the black market.
- Although I like the idea of world 4 changing mechanics into a scrolling shooter, it was poorly executed. Unless you've got a lot of arrows, the enemies will be too powerful to kill before they leave the screen, so it takes a awhile to reach the end.
- The end boss Medusa has, not one, but two locations where you can safely shoot and never take a hit.
The Official Nintendo Player's Guide, part 1.
- youtube.com/watch?v=dz8L-_MpzSM - Longplay.
|English||Kid Icarus: Angel Land Story|
|Japanese||光神話 パルテナの鏡||Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami||Light Mythology: Palutena's Mirror|