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A series of platformer/shooter games made by Nintendo, known by the title Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami in Japan (where it's also not a series). They take place in Angel Land, though largely influenced by Greek mythology, in which a Goddess named Palutena (either a mistranslation of "Parthena", or a mistranslation/portmanteau of Pallas-Athena) rules the heavenly Sky World and Medusa rules The Underworld. Medusa invades Sky World and kidnaps Palutena which leaves her Kid Hero bodyguard, the erstwhile angel Pit (artistically based on the putti Cupid), to escape from the Underworld, gather up the three sacred relics, and defeat Medusa and her legions of demons, a few of which were inspired by Greek/Roman mythology, and... Metroids (the game was designed by Metroid creator Gunpei Yokoi and used the same engine).

It was followed by a sequel for the Game Boy (Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters) in which Pit had to train himself to use the sacred relics once more to defeat an invading army of demons lead by Orcos. The character also starred as a member of the Five-Man Band of Captain N: The Game Master. After that, the series dropped completely off the radar for over ten years, despite a small but regular desire for a sequel pretty much since the days of the SNES. Then Pit was included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, complete with a radical makeover, and the crowd went wild.

A new title, called Kid Icarus Uprising, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in March 2012. Put all tropes about that game on its own page.

Tropes used in Kid Icarus include:
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Underworld monsters. Only one's been introduced, but presumably those who dwell in the Evil land too.
  • And I Must Scream: Collin, an enemy in the game, is a soldier of Palutena that had his body taken over by Medusa, and monsters pop out of his body!
  • And Then Pit Was A Monster: In the bad ending of the first game. Oddly, it's Palutena that does it to him. Maybe this is really supposed to be the joke ending?
  • The Archer: Pit, along with the Centurions.
  • Bag of Spilling
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Not an animal, but Pit can be turned into a eggplant in the first game. In the bad ending he is turned into a monster.
    • In the first game, Medusa was turned into a hideous monster by Palutena as punishment for her evil deeds.
    • There is also the harp item which turns enemies into hammers. They will change back if you don't grab them quickly enough.
  • Bandit Mook: The invincible Pluton would steal one of Pit's special weapons and could not be destroyed. Even worse; there was a flying variation.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Mostly played straight.
  • Big Good: Palutena.
  • Body Horror: Getting turned into an ambulatory eggplant? Oh, that's creepy. Particularly if you can't get to the hospital.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: The Angel Feather. If you fall down with at least one in your inventory, Pit will slowly fly back up. You have to land him on a platform after the Feather's effect wears off, or else he'll actually die.
  • Broken Angel: In the ending of Of Myths and Monsters, Pit's wings fall/rip off in front of a overly happy-looking sun, presumably leaving Pit to plummet to his death. No wonder it's called Kid Icarus.
  • The Cameo: As a nod to its sister game, one of the enemies that shows up in the first game is the Komayto, short for "Little Metroid."[1])
  • Cain and Abel: Palutena and Medusa have this type of relationship. It's not hard to guess which one is the evil one. It's subverted in that Palutena did not kill her herself, she only turned her into a monster and banished her. The angel Pit finished the job.
  • Covers Always Lie: Despite the manual artwork of Medusa as an overweight woman, she is actually a Cute Monster Girl version of Medusa cursed into a hideous cyclops head.
  • Damsel in Distress: Palutena in the original game. Apparently, being a goddess does not make one immune to this trope.
  • Dark Is Evil: The residents of the Underworld are Always Chaotic Evil, and Medusa is the Goddess of Darkness.
  • Death Throws: In both Kid Icarus and Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. The latter's one can be considered as a particular case of Uncanny Valley, if only because how Off-Model Pit looks while he's facing the player when killed, not to mention his soul separates from his body, which proceeds to fall down the screen while his soul ascends to the heavens.
  • Dem Bones: The Overworld fortress guardian in Of Myth And Monsters.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms
  • Drop the Hammer: Pit can collect hammers to use in the fortress. Hammers deal a good deal of damage to enemies but the main usage is using them to free stone Centurions. Who are mostly useless. Hammers were much more useful in the sequel.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Grim Reaper enemies are very hated for it.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Palutena.
  • Fallen Angel: The original idea for the sequel was that Pit had been cursed for thousands of years for a crime and becomes a fallen angel. This idea appears to have been scrapped.
  • Fan Service Pack: Palutena and Medusa.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Has a mix between this and Greek/Roman gods.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: While it's probably not actually supposed to be heaven, Skyworld certainly looks the part.
  • Four Is Death: Most enemies appear in groups of four, most notably the Reapettes. The centurions come in waves of three and they fight alongside Pit, making four.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The NES manual has a depiction of a fully nude (nipples and everything) Syren.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: The Big Toes that fall from the sky in the Game Boy game are a little smaller than most examples.
  • God of Evil: Medusa.
  • God of Good: Palutena.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Palutena seems to like to turn people into monsters as punishment. She also gives the sacred treasures to monsters in the Game Boy game, because she knows they will fight Pit when he tries to reclaim them.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Medusa was originally as beautiful as Palutena, but Palutena turned her into a hideous Gorgon. However, it looks like her spell is wearing off somewhat. It's implied the form seen at the end of the original Kid Icarus was actually her goddess form, as it resembles Palulena.
  • Great Escape: The first world is technically Pit escaping from his imprisonment in the Underworld to go kick Medusa's ass. No wonder it was hard.
  • Happy Ending: The good ending of the first game shows Pit growing in size and getting kissed by Palutena.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Pit wears a helmet in the last level of the first game, even though it wasn't one of the mentioned treasures he collected. The Silver Armor comes with a helmet in Of Myth And Monsters.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: The games are themed after Greek mythology, but the Underworld, Overworld, and Skyworld that make up the setting are collectively referred to as "Angel Land", and Pit is an angel.
  • I Got Bigger: The good ending of the first game.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Plutons.
  • Kill All Humans: Medusa's goal.
  • Kill the God: Pit killed Medusa in the first game.
  • Large and In Charge: Medusa is larger then any other enemy in the game. Orcos from the Game Boy sequel seems to be a subversion, but eventually goes to "truly titanic" size!
  • Level 1 Music Represents: The Underworld theme is the most iconic music of the series. Though given the time you'll spend there it's not too suprising.
  • Light Is Good: Palutena, in direct contrast to Medusa, is the Goddess of Light.
  • Like a Badass Out of Hell: Pit. (Actually it's the Underworld, but trope still applies.)
  • Make My Monster Grow: Orcos impressively goes up to Godzilla size. See for yourself!
  • Marathon Level: The final stage in the original game.
    • In truth, the final level runs as long as it takes for you to accumulate enough points in the level to continue on to the battle with Medusa. If you don't have enough points, the stage will loop back from the start. It shouldn't take more than two trips through the level, though, unless you're not killing anything.
  • Market-Based Title: Known by the much less misleading title Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami (Light Myth: Palutena's Mirror) in Japan.
  • Medusa: The Big Bad of the first game.
  • Minotaur: The underworld fortress guardian in of Myth And Monsters. Few players got by him.
  • Multiple Endings: The ending you get in the first Kid Icarus is affected by the number of hearts you've collected.
    • The first Kid Icarus is a rare example that PUNISHES speedrunning: You get the bad ending if you beat the game with too few hearts.
  • Nintendo Hard: Like difficulty curves? Then you'll love the new "difficulty cliff"! It starts out extremely difficult, but out of nowhere it becomes easy. World 1 is the hardest in the game. It is Hell, after all.
    • For some, the last dungeon (3-4) might be a brain-wreckingly difficult.
    • Its difficulty is alleviated in the 3D Classics-port, which seems to be mainly based on the Japanese version, and thus has a save-feature (comparable to The Legend of Zelda), meaning you can just reload your savestate on the latest level reached. Additionally, you can choose between two control modes, "CUSTOM" and "ORIGINAL". ORIGINAL has Pit maneuver like in his NES-title; CUSTOM, on the other hand, gives him much smoother run- and jump-physics, a faster shooting-frequency, being able to jump while aiming up, and being able to slow his descent like in Of Myths and Monsters. Believe it or not, this makes the game much more accessible and manageable.
  • No Arc in Archery: Though it's justified, since Pit's arrows are made of light. (At least as part of the Three Sacred Treasures, and in the newer games he shows up in.)
  • Non-Indicative Name: The title. There's no one named Icarus, despite what they say on Captain N. The second game names Palutena's guard the "Icarus Army" of which Pit is a member, making it a little less jarring.
    • Lampshaded many years later in Uprising, where in one of the tutorial videos, Pit wonders just who this "Icarus" guy is, and when he'll get to meet him. Palutena tells him not to worry about it.
    • Surprisingly it has a relation to the Icarus from Mythology, Icarus is a human who attempted to fly with a wing made of Wax, and died because of flying near the sun which melted the Wax. Pit cant fly. Thats... the only relation you can get.
  • Off-Model: While Pit's sprites in Of Myths and Monsters generally look better than in his NES-debut, his crouching, aiming up, and Death Throws-sprites look pretty weird, the latter being quite the bit of Uncanny Valley.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Pit resembles Cupid and the putti of the Renaissance art.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Hewdraw is little more than a sea serpent. In Uprising he becomes a flying hydra.
  • Pit, Did You Just Punch Out Medusa?
  • Praetorian Guard: Rare example of this trope not belonging to the Big Bad. Palutena has one in the form of the Icarus Army. Pit, the goddess' most loyal servant, is their leader.
  • Progressively Prettier: In the manual and Japanese advert, and even in the final battle, Medusa is depicted as a giant, overweight cyclops monster, even so big that she takes up a whole wall in the final stage. Once defeated, however, she returns to being the same size as Palutena, and kinda cute.
  • Rapid Aging: Pit grew rapidly from child to adult in the good ending of the first game. Few people ever got to the ending, much less saw the good one, so they just assume his older appearance was part of Brawl's redesign. In reality, if the good ending is Canon, they made him younger.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Palutena.
  • Redshirt Army: The Centurions. Turned into stone by Medusa, you spend half your time in the dungeons saving them with Hammers(?!) only to have them drop like flies when they attempt to fight the bosses, who aren't that tough anyway.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Medusa, the God of Evil Big Bad, has snakes growing in her hair.
  • Segmented Serpent: The Fire Serpent in Of Myth And Monsters, the head is different from the other parts and is the only part that can be damaged.
  • Shout-Out: Several enemies are named after deities and beasts from Greek mythology, though many of these names have been slightly altered (or, more likely, bungled in the translation). Also look out for creatures resembling Goombas (Shulm) and Metroid (Komayto = Ko-meto = baby Metroid). Finally, one monster is called Mick and takes the form of an oversized mouth with its tongue sticking out, and the worm-like Eeleye which emerges from the Collin soldiers/suits of armour is called Phil in Japan. Thus, Phil Collins.
    • The items Pit needs to collect on his quest are called the Three Sacred Treasures (there's four of them; the Light Arrows and Wings of Pegasus are in both games, but the Mirror Shield was replaced by the Silver Armor in Of Myths and Monsters, though it seems some kind of armor was part of the original set anyway) While they're not the Three Sacred Treasures, the naming convention for the set of items was probably intentional.
  • Smooch of Victory: The American version took out the bad ending where Pit is turned into a specknose and replaced it with a perfect ending where Palutena kisses Pit in addition to turning him into an adult.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Fortress-theme from Of Myths and Monsters does not sound very Fortress-like.
  • Sticky Fingers: Sticky Talons in the Game Boy game.
  • Taken for Granite: The Centurions in the first game by Medusa. Palutena in the Game Boy game by Orcos.
  • This Was Her True Form: Upon the defeat of monster Medusa, Medusa's humanoid form (but still green-skinned) comes out of monster Medusa's eyeball and dies.
    • Then inverted in Uprising, as her one-eyed, cyclops-faced form is revealed to be her true form in the game according to her idol. She has to use magic to cover up her cursed form.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: In the original NES game, the final level is a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter.
  • Widget Series: Probably the strangest rendition of Greek Mythology ever conceived.
  • Winged Humanoid: Pit obviously. Also the Syren.
  • Wings Do Nothing: In the first game, this trope is in effect until you get a powerup. In the Game Boy game, they can slow his descent and Pit is again able to obtain a powerup that allows Flight.
    • The Kobils and Shemums.
  • Woman in White: Palutena, further cementing her status as the Goddess of Light.
  • Wrap Around: In the NES game, not in Of Myths and Monsters because the Game Boy's resolution, the screen scrolls horizontally.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Palutena (green; also a case of Curtains Match the Window), and Pit goes through different hair colors at different power levels.

Notes

  1. In Japanese, it's spelled as "Kometo": short for "ko metoroido."
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