Mein Kampf or My Struggle to Beat Kid Icarus

Posted by HotSauceMagik (264 posts) -
*Note:  I've always been told that I am a good writer (highschool/college professors etc), and have recently decided to start practicing a little bit.  Any constructive criticism on style etc is welcomed


Let us step back for a moment, to a time long ago.  A time when games were maddeningly difficult on purpose.  A time when you put "cheap" AI in your game and thought you were doing a good thing.  A time when you literally had to play through the entire game in one sitting, just to see the end and were rewarded with fabulous endings like "Thank you for playing! you are the best!  Now buy ______!  

I believe i had a similar experience to many of my peers when it came to growing up with a Nintendo.  I only purchased games a few times a year (more likely got them for X-mas), and pretty much relied on my Friday night trip to the video store ( 2 games for $2, return on Sunday FTW)  to satiate my apatite for new content.  My local rental store had somewhere around 40ish games.  They didn't get new games all that often, but there was such a huge library of Nintendo games, it didn't matter if the games they bought were new or not, since I most likely hadn't played them.   Well being that there are 52 weeks in a year, and most of the time I was getting 2 games at once, it didn't take long for me to get through the lot of them.  I played a lot of weird stuff, rented a lot of "duds" (fucking Rambo on the NES made me seethe with anger) but one game I fell in love with very quickly, was Kid Icarus.  The only problem was, I couldn't even beat the first level.  Fast-forward 20 years, and here I am, trying to complete a game that I couldn't even touch when I was 7 or so.  

Now on the surface, Kid Icarus doesn't look like all that difficult of a game.  Go up, shoot some enemies, collect hearts (which were actually currency) rinse repeat.  Well let me explain some of the game mechanics of Kid Icarus and the issues I have with them.  You see, Kid Icarus, although fairly novel in many ways, subscribes to the idea that harder = better.  The genius in here, is that you have the tools to win within the game, you just really need to master them to succeed.  Take your bow for instance.  I hope Pit (the main character,  no his name isn't "Kid Icarus" although thats what he was called in Captain N, The Game Master) got it on the clearance rack at Cabelas, because it sucks...  Bad.  It shoots arrows at the real world equivalent of about 4 feet.  Yeah.  Awesome.  If you reach the top of the 3rd level (currently as far as I've gotten) you can get a new arrow that will shoot twice as far...which is great, except now almost all of the hearts the enemies drop with be out of reach, so have fun buying other upgrades.

To be fair, Pit has a pretty decent jump.  Even after he leaves the ground, you can control his direction in the air, and the hit detection when it comes to platforms you can stand on is pretty good.  Well it would be good if you didn't slide about 5 pixels in the direction of the jump every time you land.  This can be a mega pain when you hit the parts where the platforms are only as wide as your body.  It can however be remedied by hitting "up" on the d-pad upon landing, which stops you dead in your tracks.  Oh, and the pixel sliding thing comes into play when you stop running in a direction as well.  So we've got that going for us.

The game is structured into 3 levels, each with 4 stages (3 normal levels plus a dungeon), then the Castle in the Sky as the final stage.  It wasn't until I downloaded the game on Virtual Console that I found out that the whole game didn't consist of trying to go up.  Its basically broken up into Underworld (go up) Overworld (side scroller) Skyworld (up again) and finally the castle, which plays like a mix of Zelda II and Megaman.  So far, I have no opinion of the levels past 1-3, which I've read is one of the hardest levels in the game.  (Tested by the fact that I spent about 3 hours just playing it over and over and over again last night.)  I can tell you the first 2 levels, while not impossible were both very difficult.  As is the case with nearly all NES games, the is no hand holding what-so-ever.  

At this point,  I'm stuck on 1-3.  The first 2 levels, I got through with a few deaths here and there but nothing controller-throwing worthy.  Once key item to get is the next level of arrows near the end of the second level (not the distance increase I talked about earlier).  This makes dealing with some enemies and situations in the third stage much easier as they only take one hit instead of two.  So here I am, probably about 30-40 tries into the third level.  I've made it to the point where Zeus gives you a present if you can stay alive in his training room.  I did on my first try, and got the power crystal, then promptly died about 5 seconds outside the door.  So if you'll excuse me, I have a long dark tunnel that is trying to complete a very early Nintendo game to enter.  Until we meet again, I bid you fucking adieu.  




#1 Posted by HotSauceMagik (264 posts) -
*Note:  I've always been told that I am a good writer (highschool/college professors etc), and have recently decided to start practicing a little bit.  Any constructive criticism on style etc is welcomed


Let us step back for a moment, to a time long ago.  A time when games were maddeningly difficult on purpose.  A time when you put "cheap" AI in your game and thought you were doing a good thing.  A time when you literally had to play through the entire game in one sitting, just to see the end and were rewarded with fabulous endings like "Thank you for playing! you are the best!  Now buy ______!  

I believe i had a similar experience to many of my peers when it came to growing up with a Nintendo.  I only purchased games a few times a year (more likely got them for X-mas), and pretty much relied on my Friday night trip to the video store ( 2 games for $2, return on Sunday FTW)  to satiate my apatite for new content.  My local rental store had somewhere around 40ish games.  They didn't get new games all that often, but there was such a huge library of Nintendo games, it didn't matter if the games they bought were new or not, since I most likely hadn't played them.   Well being that there are 52 weeks in a year, and most of the time I was getting 2 games at once, it didn't take long for me to get through the lot of them.  I played a lot of weird stuff, rented a lot of "duds" (fucking Rambo on the NES made me seethe with anger) but one game I fell in love with very quickly, was Kid Icarus.  The only problem was, I couldn't even beat the first level.  Fast-forward 20 years, and here I am, trying to complete a game that I couldn't even touch when I was 7 or so.  

Now on the surface, Kid Icarus doesn't look like all that difficult of a game.  Go up, shoot some enemies, collect hearts (which were actually currency) rinse repeat.  Well let me explain some of the game mechanics of Kid Icarus and the issues I have with them.  You see, Kid Icarus, although fairly novel in many ways, subscribes to the idea that harder = better.  The genius in here, is that you have the tools to win within the game, you just really need to master them to succeed.  Take your bow for instance.  I hope Pit (the main character,  no his name isn't "Kid Icarus" although thats what he was called in Captain N, The Game Master) got it on the clearance rack at Cabelas, because it sucks...  Bad.  It shoots arrows at the real world equivalent of about 4 feet.  Yeah.  Awesome.  If you reach the top of the 3rd level (currently as far as I've gotten) you can get a new arrow that will shoot twice as far...which is great, except now almost all of the hearts the enemies drop with be out of reach, so have fun buying other upgrades.

To be fair, Pit has a pretty decent jump.  Even after he leaves the ground, you can control his direction in the air, and the hit detection when it comes to platforms you can stand on is pretty good.  Well it would be good if you didn't slide about 5 pixels in the direction of the jump every time you land.  This can be a mega pain when you hit the parts where the platforms are only as wide as your body.  It can however be remedied by hitting "up" on the d-pad upon landing, which stops you dead in your tracks.  Oh, and the pixel sliding thing comes into play when you stop running in a direction as well.  So we've got that going for us.

The game is structured into 3 levels, each with 4 stages (3 normal levels plus a dungeon), then the Castle in the Sky as the final stage.  It wasn't until I downloaded the game on Virtual Console that I found out that the whole game didn't consist of trying to go up.  Its basically broken up into Underworld (go up) Overworld (side scroller) Skyworld (up again) and finally the castle, which plays like a mix of Zelda II and Megaman.  So far, I have no opinion of the levels past 1-3, which I've read is one of the hardest levels in the game.  (Tested by the fact that I spent about 3 hours just playing it over and over and over again last night.)  I can tell you the first 2 levels, while not impossible were both very difficult.  As is the case with nearly all NES games, the is no hand holding what-so-ever.  

At this point,  I'm stuck on 1-3.  The first 2 levels, I got through with a few deaths here and there but nothing controller-throwing worthy.  Once key item to get is the next level of arrows near the end of the second level (not the distance increase I talked about earlier).  This makes dealing with some enemies and situations in the third stage much easier as they only take one hit instead of two.  So here I am, probably about 30-40 tries into the third level.  I've made it to the point where Zeus gives you a present if you can stay alive in his training room.  I did on my first try, and got the power crystal, then promptly died about 5 seconds outside the door.  So if you'll excuse me, I have a long dark tunnel that is trying to complete a very early Nintendo game to enter.  Until we meet again, I bid you fucking adieu.  




#2 Posted by EuanDewar (4513 posts) -

Hitler designed the first plans for the NES.

#3 Posted by Marcsman (2876 posts) -

This is going to end badly......................
#4 Edited by mnzy (2909 posts) -
@EuanDewar said:

Hitler designed the first plans for the NES.

Nazi Entertainment System?
#5 Posted by TooWalrus (12978 posts) -

I fuckin' miss Mel Gibson. I wish he'd make a comeback of some sort.

#6 Posted by WoodenPlatypus (1365 posts) -
@mnzy said:
@EuanDewar said:

Hitler designed the first plans for the NES.

Nazi Entertainment System?

Win. Pure Win.
#7 Posted by EuanDewar (4513 posts) -
@mnzy said:
@EuanDewar said:

Hitler designed the first plans for the NES.

Nazi Entertainment System?
FOLLOWED
#8 Posted by thehexeditor (1404 posts) -

I think you should go with the second title.

#9 Posted by JackSukeru (5817 posts) -

Did you ever finish it?

My biggest pet peeve with the game was actually a part where you jump on a bunch of ice platforms in a row, at the end I fell off several times because you build up a ridiculous amount of momentum, which isn't really apparent since your speed doesn't increase after a point, that makes slowing down in time pretty much impossible.

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