Creatures of Kid Icarus II

A video game monster review by Jonathan Wojcik

The Second Stage, the "Overworld," brings us out of Hades and into...well, somewhere else subterranean and crawling with demons.

   As a kid, I presumed that since they only specify Keron being given wings, its natural form must have already been a bipedal cyclops with no forelimbs. In retrospect, I should have realized that the wings themselves were probably derived from front legs, but I maintain that it had one giant eyeball even before Medusa's corruption because it's just so damn adorable.

   A nod to the Goombas of the Mario series, I suppose, but a little spookier, with just a shadowy depression where a Goomba has a mouth. I like how the line "robs its enemies of lives" only makes sense in the context of a video game. I don't think the Shulm were ever actually shown emitting spores, however.

   Nothing about Pluton impresses me all that much, but sometimes I guess you just need to throw an ugly old bastard with a bag in there.

   Mythology nerds may have noticed by now the purely arbitrary naming system. What does a saurian balloon-head (oh, I mean "porcupine" somehow) have to do with a guy whose wife got knocked up by a cow? I guess I see a bit of bull in this disembodied weirdo.

   This is another inanimate object with a piece of Medusa's spirit, but a disappointingly lazy design even for a game where most of the enemies are already just round, flying balls. Still, there's something I like about Tamambo's facial expression.

   Named after Mick Jagger, I do believe, these complete the game's "flying facial feature" family. I'm not sure what it is I love so much about a creature this simplistic. It may be how expressive that mouth is while comprising almost its entire anatomy. Maybe this is the form taken by the souls of gluttons...but then what are the Monoeye and Specknose?

   Geodude! What are you doing all the way back in 1986, with legs and such a transparent alias?! I can think of little else to say about this Stoneguy or Boulderfellow, except that rocks with grumpy faces are always really funny for some reason.

   Giant ant? Don't they mean Antlion? They do seem to be rather interchangeable in some Japanese video games, or maybe it's a common translation error. Anyway, I really like how much Girin's "face" can throw you off. That yellow panel looks like it could be a cute, toad-like mouth while the "mandibles" come across as horns, but then you see the nasty little teeth in between them.

   With its body of Igloo-like blocks, the Snowman seems more like some kind of constructed ice golem. It also looks like it should be off terrorizing Whoville.

   Not much I can say about this sea serpent boss, it's fairly by-the-numbers. "Its body is like a smooth snake" seems like an unnecessary sentence. I think we can see that.

Stage One

Stage Two

Stage Three

Stage Four