Kid Icarus

aka: 3D Classics: Kid Icarus, Kid Icarus: Angel Land Story, Paltena no Kagami
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Description official descriptions

Far away in peaceful Angel Land lived a young angel warrior named Pit, who has been given the task of defeating the monstrous Medusa, who wishes to destroy Angel Land and all of the people, and she has started by kidnapping Palutena, the Princess of Angel Land.

Young Pit must rescue the Princess and restore peace to Angel Land. He will travel from the deep caverns of the Underworld to Medusa's palace in the sky on his journey, and deadly monsters will attack him every step of the way. But he has the power of the Gods on his side! A powerful bow and arrows, Water of Life, and Angel Feathers will assist Pit on his quest to destroy Medusa and save the princess!

Kid Icarus is a platform game where the player goes through several vertically outlaid levels, shooting enemies with his bow on the way and collecting hearts they leave behind. Pit's bow can shoot both forward and upwards. As Pit continues upwards, more and more of the level ends up beyond the bottom of the screen and if Pit falls down out of the screen, he dies.

The levels contain doors which lead to chambers of various types - some chambers are filled with enemies, some are treasuries which allow Pit to obtain a power-up, some are stores where Pit can buy stuff, some will replenish his health, in some Pit will be able to take a test in hopes of getting a powerful weapon, and finally some chambers give Pit a chance of receiving a strength upgrade, therefore increasing the amount of damage his attacks deal.

Pit earns experience as he defeats enemies, and he gains levels from this experience. The more levels Pit has, the more maximum health he has.

Hearts taken from enemies are used in shops to buy various items and power-ups. Items include a protective shield which harms enemies, a more powerful bow, a mallet which allows you to smash the poor Palutena's warriors turned to stone who will later help you to fight a boss, a torch to see yourself in dark areas and others.


  • 光神話 パルテナの鏡 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (NES version)

16 People

Art Design
Title Design
Executive Producer (uncredited)
FDS Conversion (uncredited)
Password System (uncredited)



Average score: 73% (based on 33 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 93 ratings with 3 reviews)

The Kid Rocks!

The Good
First off is the characters. Everyone from Kid Icarus to Mister Eggplant. Second is the sheer mass of level exploration. The levels are incredibly huge and had secrets everywhere. Third I guess is the Nostalgic factor, I remember vividly watching my cousin and brother playing it all the time when I was a little kid and just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. Most importantly is that it's one of those unique games that reflects the time and console of which it was on and as more time passes becomes more than just a game - it becomes a priceless treasure.

The Bad
Although the characters looked nice, the overall graphics were not up to par even then. Most levels only had a single-colored background with everything else pasted on. Indoor areas in the game suffered as well. Another was some gameplay issues. Flying was erratic in stressful combat and arrow positioning while flying is very hit-or-miss, and that's not to say that when you're on the ground, you're basically a sitting duck.

The Bottom Line
It's a Action/RPG of sorts. You're Kid Icarus, the Son of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. A mysterious enemy has unleashed his minions all over Greece, including Mount Olympus. Your task is to track down and kill all of his minions and finally slay the mysterious leader from Mount Olympus before he harness the power of the gods themselves.

NES · by wade hampton (7) · 2005

I Flew Too Close To The Sun On Wings Of Pastrami

The Good
In 1987, Nintendo released what was to become one of it’s best and most forgotten game. Kid Icarus. From the same man whom created Metroid, Kid Icarus is the better game, but only has yet to spawn one sequel, which was on the Gameboy.

In Kid Icarus, the evil Medusa, has abducted the goddess Palthena, it is up to Pit, aka Kid Icarus, to save his land and goddess, from the clutches of Medusa. The game spans six stages, with the best saved for last, in which Pit takes to the skies!

Gameplay wise, this plays very similarly to Metroid. Only instead of moving right to left, normally you move down to up. With the exception of the final stage. Each stage consists of levels. In which Pit dispatches foes, with his bow and arrow. The final level in each stage is a fortress, not unlike Super Mario Bros. And a boss awaits you at the end of each.

Pit collects magical items at the completion of each stage. And during stages is rewarded with money for killing enemies. This cash can be used to buy items from various shops. You can also take on extra challenges from Zeus, which will earn you various gifts.

Graphically speaking, Kid Icarus, is one of the better looking NES games. But still suffers due to the weakness of the ancient hardware. At least you can tell what things are unlike some NES games.

The music is excellent. The tunes sound heroic and fit the game well. They stand as some of the best music ever produced for a NES game. The Sound Effects are not done as well but they get the job done.

Controls are responsive but limited, due to the Nintendo’s primitive controller.

The Bad
On the downside, this game is too easy. It is easier than Paris Hilton. And this game is virtually forgotten nowadays. Which is a shame, considering how fun and imaginative it is. The Nintendo control makes my hands bleed!

The Bottom Line
There is light at the end of the tunnel. As there is a rumor that Nintendo is making a new Kid Icarus for there new console. Play this game! I got a copy online for about five bucks. Or you can emulate it as it is one of the few games Nintendo does not have protected, I guess they don’t care about. Further proof is that the did not re-release this game on the GBA.

NES · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006

Nintendo's Forgotten Cult Stepchild.

The Good
Kid Icarus has stood as a classic game, the "other" adventure title outside of Metroid. The gameplay offered a lot of diversity with having horizontal and vertical stages and multi-room dungeons to explore. The music and graphics were typical "Nintendo" of the day: bright, cheerful, catchy and memorable.

The game also had some fantastic enemies. Who could even forget the annoying Grim Reaper or the Eggplant Wizard? Some of the strangest enemies ever created, but they definitely stuck out. The bosses were pretty impressive as well, based off Greek mythology, and Medusa was a cool looking final boss.

Like Metroid, the game offered multiple endings, based off how well you did, and how many points you earned. With the upgrades earned and purchased from the shops, Pit became virtually unstoppable.

The Bad
The Grim Reaper's theme music. Could they have chosen any more annoying music for that character when he spots you? You want to kill him just to make the music end.

The vertical stages get a bit annoying with their pits. Once you fall in, that's it. Start all over again. Even with the feather upgrade, there were times that Pit would get stuck under a platform and not be able to escape. And there's nothing worse than having your upgrades stolen by the thieves.

The Bottom Line
I don't know why Nintendo seemingly goes such great lengths to avoid association with this title. Every other franchise they've either upgraded or acknowledged... except for this one. They made a sequel for the original Game Boy, but Pit and his adventures have been largely forgotten. It's a shame, too. The game is a lot of fun, and is equally on par with the original Metroid.

If Nintendo ever decides to upgrade this game, I'd hope they would take the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker route for the graphical style. That would suit a game like this perfectly, as well as just look amazing.

While hoping for another installment may be largely futile, at least one can hope that Kid Icarus will get his due in the NES Classic Series for the Game Boy Advance. Otherwise, try to track down the cartridge or check it out via emulation.

A great platforming adventure. Recommended.

NES · by Guy Chapman (1746) · 2004


Subject By Date
So When Do We Get A Sequel? Guy Chapman (1746) Jun 4th, 2007


1001 Video Games

The NES version of Kid Icarus appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Pit appears as a playable character in the Wii game Super Smash Bros.: Brawl.

Famicom Disk System version

In Japan, the second Famicom controller had a built-in microphone. It wasn't used in many games, but in the Japanese Kid Icarus version, shopkeepers sometimes gave players discount when they talked into it.


On page 38 of the U.S. Kid Icarus instruction manual (page 45 of the Japanese manual), the Syren enemy has bare breasts. It is perhaps the first (and only) female Nintendo character to sport breasts with nipples.


The Nintendo DS game Electroplankton includes sound effects and the dungeon theme music from Kid Icarus.


The name "Icarus" comes from the myth about a boy who made wings out of feathers and wax and flew too close to the sun. "Medusa" was one of the three gorgon sisters whose looks could turn a man to stone. The boss "Pandora" is named after the woman in "Pandora's Box", who opened the box and unleashed all the evils upon mankind. The first boss is a two-headed dog that guards the Underworld Fortress, sort of like the Cerberus that guarded the entrance to Hades. The Syren is named after the sirens that would sing and lure sailors to their doom. The Uranos and Pluton enemies are named after Roman gods, Uranus and Pluto. Finally, Zeus is the main "god" of Greek myth.

Whoever translated the Japanese game and manual into English obviously didn't know anything about Greek mythology --- "Parthena" (Greek "Virgin") is written as "Palutena" (page 42), and the serpent "Hydra" is written as "Hewdraw" (page 35). We can be glad they didn't write "Medusa" as "Mehdewsah".

References to other games

It seems that Samus Aran wasn't the only one who had to face Metroids in her adventures. Called the "Komayto", a floating creature that looks and moves exactly like a Metroid, is described as "A mysterious floating creature. Nobody knows where it came from. One theory has it that it came from a planet other than the Earth. It's a nasty jellyfish monster."

Title translation

The original Japanese release of Kid Icarus for the Famicom Disk System was titled "Hikari Shinwa: Partena no Kagami", which roughly translates to "Light Mythology: Partena's Mirror".

TV Cartoon

Pit (or Kid Icarus) made his first and regular animated appearance in the Saturday morning TV cartoon "Captain N: The Game Master". The series also featured his enemy, the Eggplant Wizard.

Wii Virtual Console version

For the Wii Virtual Console version of "Kid Icarus", the passwords that worked on the original NES version have been removed and disabled.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #34 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (NES version)
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #83 in a Top 100 Games of All Time poll

Information also contributed by CrankyStorming,General Error,[Guy Chapman,[NewRisingSun](,47798/),[PCGamer77](,1717/), [Psionic](,74756/), and [Sciere](,30979/)](,22134/)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.

Arcade, Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo 3DS added by CrankyStorming. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Game Boy Advance added by Freeman. Wii added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: Guy Chapman, Alaka, Freeman, Tiago Jacques, monkeyislandgirl, Psionic, Vince H, FatherJack, Harmony♡.

Game added August 21st, 2003. Last modified September 1st, 2023.