Hikari Shinwa: Palutena no Kagami
Known as Kid Icarus in America, Hikari Shinwa: Palutena no Kagami ("Myth of Light: The Mirror of Palutena") is often referred to as the Greek brother of Metroid. Released around the same time and using similar packaging, it's not quite the same as Nintendo's more famous sci-fi series, but it does play with action-platformer conventions in interesting ways. You control the angelic youngster Pit as he tries to rescue the goddess Palutena from the evil Medusa. There are three types of stages in Kid Icarus: linear action stages, where you either move rightwards or straight up; dungeons, which require exploration and appear at the end of each set of levels; and a shoot-em-up, which encompasses the entire final level. The FDS version has a handful of differences from the NES cartridge release. As usual, the sound is a little different – it's noticeable in the sound effects and title screen theme, although the "game over" tune sounds extra pathetic with the added instruments. In the FDS version, you can bargain at the shops by yelling into the microphone. In the NES port, this is accomplished by pressing certain combinations onto the second controller. The FDS version also has a save system instead of utilizing passwords. Like the NES Metroid, when you beat the game, you can carry over your progress to a new game. In the last level of the FDS version, you need to hold the jump button to fly and move right to scroll the screen manually; both of these are automatic in the NES version. You can also fly through the columns in the NES game, plus the enemy patterns are different. In all versions, there are several endings depending upon which stats you maxed out and other factors, where Palutena rewards Pit by changing him into different forms. The FDS version has a unique worst ending where you're turned into an enemy; meanwhile the NES version has a unique best ending where Palutena rewards him with a kiss, accompanied by a group of angels (pictured left). The ending screen is also more elaborate in the NES version, where it's just a black screen in the FDS version. There's also an extra animation of Medusa collapsing when defeated. Kid Icarus was much more popular overseas than it was in its native Japan, leading to a NA/EU exclusive Game Boy sequel. There was also a port of the original game to the 3DS. This includes brand new backgrounds (the original is mostly black), along with some control tweaks. This is a combination of the two versions – it uses the music and save system of the FDS game, but includes the improvements (better final stage, different endings) of the NES release.