Monday, June 17, 2024

Sega Could Salvaged Alex Kidd Years Ago.

April 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Gaming, News

( In today’s gaming landscape, Sonic the Hedgehog still has value. Created in 1991, the blue blur would replace Sega’s original mascot Alex Kidd.

If you don’t remember the Alex Kidd series of games or vaguely remember then, you’re not alone. Also, I’d say that you didn’t miss much. That aside, we’re supposed to be getting a remake of the first game Alex Kidd in Miracle World in June.

What Exactly Was Alex Kidd?

You know what? This is an odd character to explain because it takes inspiration from Bruce Lee as far as the jumpsuit and method of attack. Plus, Kidd was trained in his planet’s technique which allows him to make his fists larger for attacks.

His other inspiration is another that will be familiar to gamers and geeks: Sun Wukong or the Monkey King. From the novel Journey to the West to Dragon Ball to Naruto, Sun Wukong has inspired a number of characters from a character’s personality, backstory, problem solving ability—even the appearance.

So, we have these two elements going into Alex Kidd’s design. He also had an interesting backstory. Born on Planet Aries, he grows up as an orphan on Mt. Eternal where he masters Shellcore, the ability to enlarge the user’s fists.

Shellcore is more of a family of techniques than just one. It’s a martial art on Aries and Alex Kidd is basically an alien martial artist—which is unsurprising considering Dragon Ball was running at this time.

Teenage martial artists continue to be hot in anime and manga for some reason Sega didn’t ride that wave and just improve the Alex games.

His story involves him finding out that he is actually the son of the missing king and brother of Prince Igle. A usurper takes the throne and has people turned to stone.

Since there were six games in the series—seven including the upcoming remake—it’s safe to tell you that Alex succeeds in his quest. Remember the number six, it’ll come back shortly.


How Were The Games?

To be honest, the Alex Kidd games were mostly decent action platformers. Mechanically, they were similar to the Super Mario Bros games but with more punching.

If it weren’t for contemporaries such as Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, Strider, and Shinobi you could say that Alex Kidd moved the platformer genre along significantly.

The first game in the series—in Miracle World—dropped in 1986 for the Sega Master System. While it’s the most lauded game in the series, playing this today will throw you clean into a period where stiff controls meant you had to learn timing and perfect jumps and attacks.

That isn’t to say that the game was difficult. It had a respectable amount of difficulty but with controls that were at least mid-Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo smooth—90s controls basically—we would probably see Alex Kidd thumping around more often.

Unfortunately, the series peaked in four years and the last game was 1990’s Alex Kidd in Shinobi World. It’s a shame because the story was actually interesting across games even if the placement could’ve been done better.

Like most early Sega games, this series was also a victim of real bad cover art. Seriously, google any game in the series and look at those hideous covers.

Even when the cover art became better in 1990, the OG’s covers did not do Alex Kidd justice.

Could the Series Have Been Saved?

Definitely! Remember when I mentioned the six—or seven—games in the series? Only two of them stuck to the core storyline.

That was the first game. Our hero finds out that he’s of royal blood and that his father isn’t dead. What does he do? He travels to two other worlds that have nothing to do with finding his father before that becomes the quest of 1989’s Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle.

The 1989 game should’ve been the second game with 1986’s The Lost Stars and 1987’s High-Tech World being further adventures.

Of course, this is looking at the series with 21st century eyes. Outside of beat ‘em ups and a thimbleful of platformers, games with company mascots just weren’t expected to follow character development or a concrete storyline.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, characters were thrown into all kinds of unnecessary side adventures and professions. Super Mario was a time-traveler who was also licensed to give out medication.

He could also play music, paint, and often enjoyed riding go karts with friends and foes alike. Those were all just a few different games Super Mario was thrown into.

Between Bowser’s constant attacks on the Mushroom Kingdom and the kidnappings of Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi still had time for pastimes. Alex Kidd was no different in that vein.

At the minimum, Alex Kidd could’ve been part of the Sonic franchise. Kidd can travel to different worlds so him appearing on Mobius wouldn’t be a stretch.

Actually, Sega should’ve just done this and mixed him in as a regular in Archie Comics by now, he’d at least be a regular side character in the franchise.

If that seems too messy, just go the Epic Mickey route with Alex Kidd in the role of Oswald and Sonic in Mickey’s shoes.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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