Sonic killed Alex Kidd

Sonic killed Alex Kidd

Written by Benke on the 9th of May 2012 at 10:06

There was a time before Sonic. A time when Alex Kidd was the face of Sega (possibly with a little help from Wonderboy). Sega pre-Sonic was even more eclectic than the Sega we knew during the Saturn and Dreamcast eras. The Alex Kidd games are devoid of anything resembling commonality, and the hero looks very different in the various games he appeared in during his shortlived reign as Sega mascot.

He first appeared in the platformer Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986), and then starred in Alex Kidd Lost Stars, Alex Kidd BMX Trial (Japan only, Paddle Controller), Alex Kidd High-Tech World (only released in Western market as this was a completely different title in Japan). After these appearances on Master System, he made his lone appearance on Mega Drive with Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (1989). His final game was on the Master System, Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (1990).

After that Sonic pretty much retired him, until he was seen this generation in Sega's All-Star tennis and racing titles.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle was one of the first game I owned on my Mega Drive. It's a strange platformer with very short levels and lots of paper, rock, scissors duels. Afterall, it's played out on Planet Paperock.

I recently picked up Sega Mega Drive Collection (PSP) for my PS Vita, and started playing it again. The higher tempo of the music and action (NTSC version) put me off a bit at first, and I would hardly put this in the classics category, but it's still a fun little game with lots of secrets to find and a healthy dose of quirky encounters. It's fairly unforgiving as most platformers at the time, and some of the vehicles are hard to control. Especially the classic pedicopter that requires you to tap a button to keep it in the air, but you can't keep it in the air for long anyway, the bike is far more useful in most levels.

Since Alex Kidd dies from touching any enemy (when not kicking or punching) them, there is a nice risk/reward system in place for trying to reach bonus items or things off the beaten path. When you're in the zone playing this game it's really enjoyable, but when you're not you're going to swear a lot. To the tune of "Jan Ken Poo".

Anyway, I'd love for Sega to resurrect Alex Kidd with a PSN/XBLA title. I think it's long overdue and there are lots of concepts found in his games that could be expanded upon if the right developer got their hands on it.