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In the first game, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Alex is established as the prince of a land called Radaxian. His job is to save the land from an Evil Overlord known as Janken the Great and rescue the royal family. This quest involves him traveling around in typical Platform Game fashion, but with the additions of finding coins to purchase items and playing Rock-Paper-Scissors with bosses in order to be allowed to move on.
Most of the other games deviate from this storyline and feature different gameplay styles. Alex quietly faded away after the release of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, but he has had appearances in a few other games, including Segagaga, Sega Superstars Tennis, and Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing.
The games that he starred in are as follows:
- Alex Kidd in Miracle World - Sega Master System (1986)
- Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars - Arcade (1986) and Sega Master System (1989)
- Alex Kidd BMX Trial - Sega Master System (1987, only in Japan)
- Alex Kidd: High-Tech World - Sega Master System (1989)
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle - Sega Genesis (1989)
- Alex Kidd in Shinobi World - Sega Master System (1990)
Tropes in the series include:
- Blind Idiot Translation: The translation in Miracle World isn't as bad as many other games from the same period, but it's still not very good. The dialogue is rather awkwardly translated, and certain words and phrases are put in "quotation marks" for no readily apparent reason.
- Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version of Enchanted Castle, the loser of a Rock-Paper-Scissors match would be stripped of their clothes (with appropriate censorship). For the international versions, this was changed to the loser getting crushed by a giant weight.
- Chest Monster: The Grim Reaper randomly appears out of ? blocks, or if you touch a skull block.
- Cool Bike: The Sukopako Motorcycle, which can be purchased in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, and is Alex's vehicle in All-Stars Racing.
- Crossover: Shinobi World.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In Miracle World, the leftmost button (Button 1) is for jumping and the rightmost button (Button 2) is for attacking, rather than the other way around like most other platformers. The game's creator, Ossale Kohta, admits in an interview that he wanted to distinguish his game from Super Mario Bros. by making the controls a bit different.
- Distaff Counterpart: Stella, who serves as the second player in the arcade version of The Lost Stars.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Two in particular.
- High-Tech World was originally released in Japan as a game based on the children manga Anmitsu Hime. All of the character designs were redrawn and the storyline was changed for the localization.
- Shinobi World was originally planned as an unrelated Shinobi spin-off titled Shinobi Kid, which was supposed to star a new protagonist. It also had at least one other difference (see Take That, below).
- Enforced Plug: At the end of Alex Kidd In High Tech World
HEY! THESE SEGA GAMES ARE GREAT!
- Franchise Killer: While Enchanted Castle was moderately successful in Japan, its terrible reception in the US and Europe helped kill off the series. In a bizarre twist of fate, most of the development team on Enchanted Castle would go on to create Alex Kidd's successor as Sega mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: "Darn it, I lose."
- Gameplay Roulette: Out of the games in the series, only Miracle World and Enchanted Castle are anything like each other.
- Guide Dang It: Alex Kidd In High Tech World has a section to where Alex needs to bypass a guard in village to continue his quest. All the apparent solutions turns out to be Red Herrings, the actual solution is to pray 108 times in front of a shrine. Doing anything else will result in either running out of in-game time or getting arrested. Given that the game was originally based on an anime, it's somewhat plausible that a Japanese player could figure it out, but it is extremely unlikely that a Western player could intuit this solution thanks to the change in setting that strips all context that could hint toward this.
- Luck-Based Mission: There are items in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle that allow you to see your opponent's moves in a Rock-Paper-Scissors match, which help because you're pretty much lost without them. (unless you know the patterns beforehand...)
- The Man Behind the Man: The manual for Enchanted Castle strongly implies that the game's villain, Ashra, was this to Janken the Great from the first game.
- No Export for You: BMX Trial was only released in Japan, and in an inversion, Shinobi World was not released in Japan.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: In every game except Shinobi World.
- No Ontological Inertia: Averted in Miracle World. Killing Janken the Great doesn't really do anything to stop his forces or reverse his evil magic spells in of itself, and Alex has to obtain the Golden Crown in order to fully restore Radaxian to how it once was.
- Power Fist: Alex's trademark Shellcore technique allows him to punch with an enlarged fist, which can be used to destroy blocks.
- Product Placement: High-Tech World is about Alex going to an arcade to play Sega's games, and the ending sees him sitting in an Out Run cabinet.
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: This is how some of the boss battles are fought in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, and in the latter game, it is required to win items as well.
- Take That: In early versions of Shinobi World, the first boss was named (and resembled) Mari-oh. He was later renamed Kabuto and his appearance changed, but he still shoots fireballs and shrinks when weakened.
- Funny Aneurysm Moment: Shinobi World ended up being Alex's last game.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Alex Kidd is always seen eating a riceball in the in-between segments in Miracle World. It was changed to a hamburger in the built-in versions in certain Master System consoles.