RetroReview: Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1991)

The Nintendo Entertainment System captured magic in the 80s and that continued into the 90s with the original Gameboy. The original first two outings of Kid Icarus are still my favorites and are very enjoyable to this day. But does Pit’s portable adventure stand up to his debut on the 8-bit Nintendo? Lets find out.

The official title is Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters and tells the story of Pit who is off on mission of training. To keep the Three Sacred Treasues safe in case Angel Land was attacked while Pit was away, Palutena sealed them and sent one to each of the Fortress Guardians. She knew that once anyone got their hands on the Three Sacred Treasues, they would not give them up without a fight. After Pit’s mission of training was complete, and he had gained the ability to use the Three Sacred Treasures, the job to defend Angel Land from the Orcos would be his.

Even though this came at on the original black and white Gameboy the graphics are great, near N.E.S. quality. Except for the plain backgrounds the game is well drawn. Pit is crisp and clear as are the enemies and the platforms he must use as he makes his way to the top of each level.

The controls mimic his original adventure perfectly; you move around with the control pad, press the A button to jump, the B button to shoot enemies and rapidly pressing the A button allows Pit to hover. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The music, again, mimics the originals very well despite being on the Gameboy. The tunes are quite catchy and really bring the game to completion. The sound effects on the other hand are not handled as well thanks to the Gameboy’s hardware. After several hours of play you will start to cringe everytime Pit dies.

I’m sorry, but I really just loved the music in this game. Despite the poor quality from the Gameboy, the music is very catchy and fits the game perfectly. It sounds similar to the music from the original Kid Icarus (which also had excellent music incidentally), so if you liked that music, you’ll like the music in this game.

Ok lets cover some of the improvements. If you read my review for the original you might remember one of my main issues with it, the dying if you miss a platform and fall below the screen. Thankfully the sequel takes it’s que from Metroid and now allows the game to scroll down when you fall below the screen. Yes! Also the passwords have been eradicated in favor of a battery save! These are two very welcome changes!

My biggest complaint with this game is that there really isn’t any replay value. Unlike the original, which allowed you to play the game through again with new powers once it was completed, this game offers little after completion. After completing it you have very little incentive to play it through again.

My minor gripes aside this is a really great game for the Gameboy. Although we got a modern sequel on the 3DS back in 2012 I still think the Nintendo Entertainment System and Gameboy versions are the best in the series. Hopefully they will be able to bring Pit into a new adventure as fun as the classics someday.

- The Big Geek

Release Date: November 5th, 1991

Publisher: Nintendo

Developers: Nintendo

Original System: Nintendo Entertainment System