The Kid Icarus universe (パルテナの鏡, Mirror of Palutena) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's Kid Icarus games, which were originally a pair of cult-classic action/platformer games for NES and Game Boy. A twenty-one-year hiatus for the series ensued, and it only ended once Masahiro Sakurai developed and released a third game for the 3DS after debuting a heavy stylistic redesign for the series and its star, the young angel knight Pit, in 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Kid Icarus was released in 1987 during the "golden age" of the NES and was met with positive reviews. Its gameplay was based on the engine used for the original Metroid, which was also released in North America and on the very same day in 1987; hence it is often considered a "sister series" to Metroid. In 1991, its sequel, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, was released for Game Boy in North America, and it used the engine to Metroid II: Return of Samus; interestingly, it was never released in Japan. It is suggested that during development of Melee, the developers had to decide between characters from three classic NES games to include as a fighter, and the choices were Pit, the Ice Climbers, and the Balloon Fighter. They decided upon the Ice Climbers.
Seemingly a defunct franchise of the past, global interest in Kid Icarus was renewed when the E3 2006 trailer for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl revealed a redesigned Pit as a playable character and the second Nintendo World trailer revealed a Kid Icarus-themed stage. Shortly after E3, famed Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that a new game in the Kid Icarus series could very possibly see release on the Wii. In addition, the NES game was released for Wii's Virtual Console in February 2007 for 500 Wii points. During E3 2010, Nintendo showed a preview of a new upcoming game, Kid Icarus: Uprising, the development of which is being headed by Masahiro Sakurai. Because of his involvement, much of the game's design has been based on the series' content as seen in Brawl, as if to retcon the designs as established in Brawl into the original series itself. Sakurai has noted that Pit's appearance in Brawl greatly influenced the decision to jump-start the revival of the Kid Icarus series.
The Kid Icarus games are set in a fantasy world based on Greek mythology and holding a strong visual theme of classical antiquity. The fantasy world is titled Angel Land, and it is divided vertically into three realms: the Underworld ruled by the Goddess of Darkness, Medusa; the Overworld of mortals; and the Skyworld of angels, ruled by the Goddess of Light, Palutena. In the first game, Medusa wages war against Palutena and enslaves her in the Underworld. It is up to the young angel Pit to wield the Sacred Bow of Palutena to combat Medusa's forces and defeat her, and throughout the game he collects a series of powerful equipment called the Three Sacred Treasures from boss monsters. He eventually destroys Medusa, saves Palutena, and restores peace to Angel Land.
In Super Smash Bros.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
There are a large number of trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee that depict classic Nintendo games from the past, and a trophy depicting a 3D rendition of the classic-style Pit is no exception. Other than that, however, there is no additional representation of the Kid Icarus franchise in the game.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Kid Icarus is introduced as a primary universe in the Super Smash Bros. series in the third installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Pit: A young angel knight who serves the goddess Palutena and saves the kingdom of Angel Land from the evil of the Underworld goddess Medusa. The name "Kid Icarus" is technically a misnomer, and refers not to Pit as an alternative name, but more as to what kind of entity Pit is. The Greek myth of Icarus is centered around a man possessing wings; since Pit has wings, he can be considered a "kid Icarus" of sorts. For his appearance in Brawl as a fighter, Pit has undergone a major character redesign. He uses the Sacred Bow of Palutena in combat, both to fire arrows, as it always has, and also to demonstrate its previously unseen ability to split in half and be used as a pair of swords for close-quarters combat. Like Kirby, Jigglypuff, Meta Knight, and Charizard, Pit can jump multiple times in the air. His Standard Special move is the Palutena Arrow, which Pit uses in a similar style as Link, Young Link, and Toon Link; however, Pit's arrows travel much faster, unaffected by gravity, and their trajectory can be controlled (i.e. it can be made to curve upwards or downwards) by pressing a direction right after releasing the arrow. His Up Special move, titled Wings of Icarus, is a unique move giving him the ability of temporary free flight around the stage. His Down Special move, Mirror Shield, reflects projectile attacks and protects Pit from damage on one side. His Side Special move is the Angel Ring, a reflector move in which Pit spins the Palutena's Bow at a blinding speed in a full 360 circle, which does damage to his opponents.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Pit shares the fourth column with fellow Famicom/NES-originated characters Ice Climbers, R.O.B., and Samus.
- Skyworld: This stage, set in the eponymous realm of the franchise's world, features several platforms that can actually be shattered by characters attacks, but they become replaced by clouds that substitute as platforms right after, although the clouds are pass-through.
- Underworld - A small medley consisting of a remixed version of the Underworld level theme and the Grim Reaper's theme. It is used on the Skyworld stage.
- Skyworld - A redone version of the Overworld level theme from the original Kid Icarus. It is actually misnamed in Brawl. It is used on the Skyworld stage.
- Title (Kid Icarus) - A remix of the original Kid Icarus's title screen theme. It is used on the Skyworld stage. This song is also played during Pit's Classic Mode credits.
- Kid Icarus Original Medley - A medley made up of numerous parts of several songs taken directly from the original Kid Icarus, including the title theme, the fortress theme, and the Skyworld level theme, among many others. It is used on the Skyworld stage.
- Pit's victory theme - Derived from the original Kid Icarus's title screen theme, this fanfare is not actually heard in this form in any Kid Icarus title.
The Kid Icarus series is once again represented in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, this time with two new playable characters, two new stages, a few assist trophies, and a multitude of items.
- Pit: Pit returns as a playable character, with a new design based on his appearance in Kid Icarus: Uprising. As of this new installment, Pit can no longer glide, but in addition, he gained his new moves, such as the Upperdash Arm and the Guardian Orbitars. His Final Smash, Palutena's Army, has been replaced by his new Final Smash known as the Three Sacred Treasures.
- Palutena: Palutena, the Goddess of Skyworld, has been confirmed as a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U during the E3 2014 Nintendo Digital Event.. Her moveset consists of powers granted to Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Along with the Mii Fighters, her custom special moves are completely unique rather than using the same animations, making her a more unpredictable fighter than most.
- Dark Pit: Dark Pit appears as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He is a clone of Pit, using similar animations and weapons but a different Final Smash.
- Magnus: Magnus is one of the new Assist Trophies appearing in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. When summoned, Magnus will chase after his ally's opponents and attack them with a downward swing of his sword, dealing high damage and knockback. Like most Assist Trophies, he can be defeated if by taking enough damage and will flinch when attacked.
- Phosphora: Phosphora appears as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Once summoned, she can soar around and unleash electric attacks on opponents. Fighters can attack Phosphora, but she will only flinch, and will not be defeated.
- Boom Stomper: A giant enemy in Smash Run that crushes the player.
- Bumpety Bomb: A enemy bomb in Smash Run with two wheels that chase players down and detonate themselves.
- Clubberskull: An enemy in Smash Run that hits players with the skulls on its hands.
- Daphne: A flower enemy in Smash Run that launches flower-like mines.
- Flage: A floating enemy in Smash Run that slashes players with the blades on its hands.
- Lethinium: An enemy in Smash Run that fires a large beam at players.
- Lurchthorn: An enemy in Smash Run that launches projectiles from its body segments.
- Mahva: An enemy in Smash Run that projects a shield around itself.
- Megonta: An enemy in Smash Run that curls into a ball and rolls into players.
- Mimicutie: An enemy in Smash Run that runs frantically and rapidly kicks players as an attack. Like in Uprising, it can pose as a treasure chest.
- Monoeye: A flying enemy type that appears in Smash Run, and attacks the fighters with beams.
- Nutski: A flying enemy in Smash Run flies around and fires seeds at players.
- Orne: A formidable enemy in Smash Run that causes a one-hit KO on contact.
- Reaper: An enemy in Smash Run that slashes the player with its scythe. It also summons Reapette to home in on the player.
- Skuttler: Another enemy in Smash Run that appears in three varieties. Normal Skuttlers swing their clubs, Skuttler Cannoneers fire long range shots, and Skuttler Mages cast magic from far away.
- Souflee: An enemy in Smash Run that flies around and attacks erratically.
- Zuree: An enemy in Smash Run that transforms from its misty form to slash with its claws.
- Back Shield: A new protective item that defends the user from attacks from behind.
- Daybreak: A new item that activates upon collecting three parts, similar to the Dragoon. When activated, it will be able to fire a beam at opponents. Its power is implied to be high.
- Killer Eye: A new throwing item that acts like a turret, firing energy shots in the direction it faces.
- Ore Club: A new battering item to the Super Smash Bros. series was introduced in the form of the Ore Club, which first appeared in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
- X Bomb: A new explosive item to the Super Smash Bros. series was introduced in the form of the X Bomb, which first appeared in Kid Icarus: Uprising, also drawing inspiration from Meteos.
Another new item, called the Drill, bears strong resemblances to the Drill Arm from Kid Icarus: Uprising. However, it is referred to as a Drill and is considered part of the Super Smash Bros. universe in-game.
- Reset Bomb Forest: A stage based on an area in Kid Icarus: Uprising appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. This stage takes place in front of a war between greed-driven humans and Viridi, the Goddess of Nature, where she drops a Reset Bomb on them, causing the area to explode, which grows into a Reset Bomb Forest.
Wii U Version
- Palutena's Temple: A stage based on an area in Kid Icarus: Uprising appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It is an extremely large stage featuring multiple areas, including a cave, a sky platform, a waterfall, and a building with a statue in Palutena's visage.
- Skyworld: A returning stage from Brawl.
- Boss Fight 1 (Kid Icarus: Uprising): This song played in the newcomer trailer for Palutena. It plays in Palutena's Temple in the Wii U version.
- In the Space-Pirate Ship: This song plays on the Palutena's Temple stage in the Wii U version. This song is the only unlockable Kid Icarus song in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
- Dark Pit's Theme: This song played in the Super Smash Bros. Direct during a montage of Nintendo 3DS Stages. This song plays in the Reset Bomb Forest on the 3DS version, and Palutena's Temple on the Wii U version.
- Destroyed Skyworld: This song played in the newcomer trailer for Palutena. It plays on the Palutena's Temple stage on the Wii U version.
- Wrath of the Reset Bomb: Theme of Chapter 12, which goes by the same name, in Kid Icarus: Uprising. This song plays in the 3DS stage Reset Bomb Forest, and on the Wii U stage Palutena's Temple.
- Lightning Chariot Base: This song is featured in the Wii U version of the game, playing on Palutena's Temple.
- Magnus's Theme: The theme of Magnus. This song plays on the Wii U stage Palutena's Temple.
- Hades's Infernal Theme: This song is available on the Wii U stage Palutena's Temple.
- Thunder Cloud Temple: This song plays on the Palutena's Temple in in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
- Underworld: Taken from Brawl, this song plays once more on the Skyworld stage.
- Title (Kid Icarus): Taken from Brawl, this song plays once more on the Skyworld stage.
- Overworld: Taken from Brawl, this song plays once more on the Skyworld stage.
- Kid Icarus Retro Medley: Taken from Brawl, this song plays once more on the Skyworld stage. This song used to be called Kid Icarus Original Medley, but its name has been changed to Kid Icarus Retro Medley.
- Victory! Kid Icarus Series: This flourish plays whenever Pit or Palutena win a match.
- Victory! Dark Pit: This victory theme plays whenever Dark Pit wins a match, which is a small excerpt of Dark Pit's theme from Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Wii U Version
- Kid Icarus (NES)
Similarities to Super Smash Bros. in Kid Icarus: Uprising
In a similar way to how many fundamental gameplay elements in the Smash Bros. series are inspired by the Kirby series, there are several elements in Kid Icarus: Uprising that are clearly inspired by those in the Smash Bros. series. This is often attributed to Masahiro Sakurai being the lead designer for both games. Some examples include:
- When battling on foot, Pit can execute different, often stronger versions of attacks by quickly tapping the Circle Pad in a direction relative to the direction he is facing. The tapping motion is also used to dash and dodge attacks.
- In one of Uprising's tutorial videos, Pit directly notes that the dashing technique is familiar. Palutena mistakenly claims that it's from "Super Bash Sisters", Pit corrects her, but she doesn't believe him.
- When knocked down, Pit can perform getup rolls or attacks, and can also press the attack button upon landing after being hit to execute a breakfall.
- Many of the enemies in Uprising appear to be influenced by Subspace Emissary enemies, in terms of design and function. For instance, the Stackjaw enemy operates similarly to the Gamyga. Additionally, several enemies from Uprising appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS's Smash Run mode, making up the majority of the enemies that appear at all.
- Various attacks have differing effects when they connect, including flame, electric, freezing, darkness, and light.
- The Powers system, which involves placing shaped objects on a grid to utilize extra abilities, is very similar to the Sticker system in Brawl, and nearly identical to the Powers system in Smash Run in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS's.
- The Daybreak item in Together mode operates similarly to the Dragoon, involving a collection of three parts that then fire a one-hit KO attack.
- The menus and idol system are very similar to the menus and Trophy system from Brawl.
- The difficulty setting screen shown before playing over a chapter again is very similar to the ones in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS's Classic Modes, with even the titles of the difficulty levels being the same (5.0, for example, is "Heatin' Up") and having near identical sound effects and visuals.