Kid Icarus is an actionplatformer with role-playing elements. The player controls the protagonist Pit through two-dimensional levels, which contain monsters, obstacles and items.Pit’s primary weapon is a bow with an unlimited supply of arrows that can be upgraded with three collectable power items: the guard crystal shields Pit from enemies, the flaming arrows hit multiple targets, and the holy bow increases the range of the arrows. These upgrades will work only if Pit’s health is high enough. The game keeps track of the player’s score, and increases Pit’s health bar at the end of a level if enough points were collected.
Throughout the stages, the player may enter doors to access seven different types of chambers. Stores and black markets offer items in exchange for hearts, which are left behind by defeated monsters. Treasure chambers contain items, enemy nests give the player an opportunity to earn extra hearts, and hot springs restore Pit’s health. In the god’s chamber, the strength of Pit’s bow and arrow may be increased depending on several factors, such as the number of enemies defeated and the amount of damage taken in battle. In the training chamber, Pit will be awarded with one of the three power items if he passes a test of endurance.
The game world is divided into three stages – the underworld, the over world (Earth) and the sky world. Each stage encompasses three unidirectional area levels and a fortress. The areas of the underworld and sky world stages have Pit climb to the top, while those of the surface world are side-scrolling levels. The fortresses at the end of the stages are labyrinths with non-scrolling rooms, in which the player must find and defeat a gatekeeper boss. Within a fortress, Pit may buy a check sheet, pencil and torch to guide him through the labyrinth. A single-use item, the hammer, can destroy stone statues, which frees a flying soldier called a Centurion that will aid the player in boss battles. For each of the bosses destroyed, Pit receives one of three sacred treasures that are needed to access the fourth and final stage, the sky temple. This last portion abandons the platforming elements of the previous levels, and resembles a scrolling shooter.
About the 3D Remake:
A 3D Classics remake of Kid Icarus was published for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. The remake features stereoscopic 3D along with updated graphics including backgrounds, which the original lacked. It also uses the same save system as the Family Computer Disk System version does, as opposed to the Password system from the NES version. The 3D Classics version also utilizes the Family Computer Disk System’s music and sound effects (utilizing the extra sound channel not available in the NES version).