You are now hearing this theme songKid Icarus isn’t bad, but there is definitely something “wrong” there. In replaying through the whole of the game for this review, I desperately tried to figure out the problem. Was it the deadly vertical scrolling? No, that’s a pain, but it didn’t offer any challenges that Mario or angel alike couldn’t overcome. Was it the labyrinthine, repetitive dungeons? No, they’re annoying, but a quick trip to the internet made those maps surmountable (I suppose graph paper could have sufficed in a pinch). And the final level is actually kind of a fun reward for completing the rest of the challenges, so that can’t be the trouble.

No, in playing Kid Icarus, I realized where the real problem lies: Every single time a new monster popped on the screen, I said, “Oh great, it’s this butthead.”

Watch out for buttheads

Like, look at these buttheads. Infinitely respawning buttheads? Yep, right here in the first level, and then every level after that.


And these buttheads just float wherever they want. Monoeyes? Oh, that’s a clever name… for a butthead.

Grandpa, that's just Maggie

Ah, the grim personification of death, or just another butthead that is going to kill Pit? I think you know the answer.

This butthead is likely to materialize right on top of Pit for the crime of standing still for longer than two seconds. This is why nobody ever invites living magma to parties.

They're on crack

Oh, I wonder what’s in this room. Aw, it’s just a room full of buttheads with tentacle-noses trying to swarm a poor, lost hero. What happened to the room with the pots? I liked that room!


Will ya?

Admittedly, this guy is more of a jackass than a butthead.


Butthead frogs and lava? Wow, the underworld is so breathtaking!

Stop hopping my hearts around

Have I mentioned yet how every damn monster infinitely respawns if you do your best to destroy them? And the scoring system that “rewards” going on the offensive is really dense? Just got reminded because of these buttheads.

I hate you

No! Next!

Skulls are scary

Room full of one-eyed skull buttheads. Awesome. Totally awesome.


These creatures supposed to be kobolds? You’re in the wrong country, buttheads!

Like an eggplant wizard

I’m not even going to acknowledge these buttheads.


The bosses in this game… aren’t really that bad. Though I feel I have to take a moment to note that the centurions, who I went to all the trouble to rescue, die instantly without serving any real purpose. Buttheads.

I hate this town

Now we’re out in the sunlight and exploring Butthead City, Population: Buttheads.

Don't you bite me

From the Medusa that brought you “flying eyeball” and “flying nose” we now have “flying mouth”. Unfortunately, some butthead forgot to create a flying earlobe.

I hate you, Pluto

Oh, great, this butthead steals your weapons. Considering you can only acquire those weapons through a literally deadly trial hosted by that one butthead from earlier, this is a major butthead move.

Stay frosty

What is this butthead doing!? I need that foothold, dammit!


What a horrible night to encounter a butthead.

Stay off me!

More rooms, more infinite buttheads.

And pit makes that damn sound

Is it even possible to make it through this room without taking a hit? What buttheads designed this place?

You'll be in my heart

This butthead is called… Collin? And the little buttheads are named Phil. Gee, I wonder where you could find the genesis of those monikers.

Gimme back my stuff!

Flying, thieving buttheads? Screeeeeew yoooooou.

The galaxy is not at peace

Hey, wasn’t some bounty hunter supposed to wipe these buttheads from the universe? Pit’s gotta clean up after everybody.


Quit gettin’ mad at angels, buttheads!

Too pointy

Argh! Room full of spikey buttheads!

She's secretly a sexy lady

Okay, this boss is a butthead. Stop disappearing and reappearing, Pandora! That has nothing to do with your myth!

So pleasant

Finally got flight powers, and there are flower buttheads. Joy.

Try to stay together, man

This butthead just has to get the final hit on poor pit, doesn’t he? Infuriating.

Who does your hair?

Here’s the butthead responsible for all the other buttheads. Don’t you try to hide behind another enormous eyeball!

And that’s all the buttheads we got. Can’t imagine why Kiddy Goggle Bob didn’t have more fun with this game.

FGC #250 Kid Icarus

  • System: Nintendo Entertainment System, but there’s also that 3D Classics version on the 3DS. And a myriad of other Virtual Console releases, too.
  • Number of players: Sorry, Pit, everybody else got turned into a rock. I’m sure you’ll tough it out.
  • Favorite Feature: This might be the first game I ever played with a New Game+ feature (or at least a New Game+ feature that actually benefited the player). Not that I ever actually finished Kid Icarus without a password, mind you.
  • Port-O-Call: 3D Classics Kid Icarus offers a number of quality of life improvements, and even lets Pit use his dinky little wings to slow his descent. Game is still filled with the same number of buttheads, though.
  • Did you know? Medusa only appears in her smaller, human form in the NES (not Famicom) version. Considering the human form seems to be standard by the time of Kid Icarus: Uprising, that makes the American version more canon. Neat.
  • Would I play again: Probably not. This game is undeniably a piece of Nintendo (and Metroid!) history… but… too many buttheads. I’m finished.

What’s next? Maybe Pit will make better friends on a smaller screen.

5 thoughts on “FGC #250 Kid Icarus”
  1. The NES version also is the one that made the final stage play more like a sidescrolling shooter. In the Famicom Disk System original you had to hold the jump button to fly, the bricks and pillars were solid, and the screen only scrolled with your movement.

    Also there’s ending differences, too. The NES (and 3DS) version lost the worst ending (Pit gets turned into one of those Groucho buttheads) but gained a new best ending, a background for the endings, and a credits scroll.

    Naturally, the 3D Classics remaster kept the final level and ending changes from the NES version.

  2. I don’t think butthead is a strong enough word for the Eggplant Wizard (and for the person who designed it). But I don’t know if Goggle Bob really wants that level of language in the comment section.

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