The Money Pit

Kid Icarus fetches nearly five figure-acus.

Everyone check your attic – a sealed copy of Nintendo’s original Kid Icarus was been discovered in some dude’s upstairs loft and has sold for over $9000! That was not a Dragon Ball Z reference! That phrase existed long before Vegeta!

What a perfect game to find in a dusty attic, though. Kid Icarus, one of Nintendo’s most mysterious games. I’ve grown to be exceptionally fond of Pit’s multi-genre adventure, while never quite understanding all of its mechanics. Apparently you can haggle down prices in the shops – who knew? Well, anyone who read the manual I suppose. 

Icarus is a visually arresting, brilliantly unusual game. There are elements of it that remind me of the original Metroid – the somewhat sparse graphics, for one thing, as well as the maze-like later stages and the ability to “farm” enemies. Punishing the knots of snakes that descend after you in the early vertical levels is a great way to grind drachmas. And you’ll need them to power up, to keep climbing. At first I thought the whole game would be an ascension, but then you reach the aforementioned maze stages and it goes all Castlevania.

You’d think that’d be it, but no. After completing this segment of the game you move on to areas patterned after horizontal shmups, with a fully tooled-up Pit smiting the evil Medusa before transforming into a grown man and macking the goddess Palutena. It’s a crazy, mixed-up slice of Weird Nintendo and I love it. The level of challenge isn’t too high, the levels all look suitably distinct, and the music is superb. If you know it, you’re probably humming it now.

Not quite worth $9000, but you can play it with Nintendo Switch Online right now-acus.