|Original title||ア レ ッ ク ス キ ッ ド|
|First title||Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)|
|Last title||Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (1990)|
|Platform (s)||Master System , Mega Drive , PlayStation 3 , Windows , Wii|
|Genre (s)||Jump 'n' run|
Alex Kidd is the eponymous video game character of a computer game series by the game manufacturer Sega and the company's former mascot. It is an invention of Kotaro Hayashida (also known as Ossale Kohta ), who has been developing games for Sega since 1983.
In the early 1980s, the video game world was hit by a global crash. Many companies in the industry had to file for bankruptcy between 1983 and 1984. Others, like Atari , were on the verge of ruin. The American conglomerate Gulf + Western, which had owned Sega since 1969, sold the US subsidiary to Bally Manufacturing Corporation , a pinball and gaming machine company . The Japanese office was sold to multiple investors for $ 38 million , including David Rosen , chairman of the US office, and Japanese entrepreneur Hayao Nakayama , who also became chief executive officer in Japan. A year later, both locations were bought by CSK and the new Sega Enterprises Ltd was created. During this time, the number of video games released worldwide stagnated. The manufacturers who had survived the time with a black eye were working on new products and Sega also had many plans after the restructuring. This also included a new mascot for the company, Alex Kidd. He made his first appearance in Alex Kidd in Miracle World , released on November 1, 1986 in Japan for the Sega Master System .
Just a few months earlier, Super Mario Bros. appeared on Nintendo's competitor console, the Nintendo Entertainment System . There were clear parallels between the two games: both characters were the mascots of their respective companies and both played in jump-'n'-run games .
Despite consistently positive reviews, none of the six published games (see below) in the Alex Kidd series could keep up with the successes of Super Mario. This is usually less associated with the character itself, but rather with the significantly better sales of Nintendo consoles. At the same time, it is often criticized that the individual games differ significantly from one another in terms of gameplay . While Super Mario is still rescuing Princess Toadstool with his brother Luigi , the opponents and game environments have always changed in the Alex Kidd games.
After 1990, Alex Kidd was replaced as the mascot of Sonic the Hedgehog . He has since made several minor appearances in video games. In Segagaga , published in 2001 in Japan for Dreamcast , he appears as a video game seller and philosophizes about how he first had to assert himself against Nintendo and Super Mario and then was replaced and forgotten by Sonic.
Alex Kidd lives on the planet Aries. His big ears, his red jumpsuit and his long sideburns are particularly striking . For seven years he studied on Mt. Eternal Shellcore , an art that enables a person to shatter rocks.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Japanese ア レ ッ ク ス キ ッ ド の ミ ラ ク ル ワ ー ー ル ド ) was released in 1986 in Japan. Alex learns from a dying man that the city "Radaxian" is in danger and receives a card and a medallion from him. He finds out that he must first defeat “Janken the Great”, who rules the planet “Janbarik”. The name is derived from "Janken" (Japanese じ ゃ ん け ん), known in German-speaking countries as scissors, stone, paper . In this game he also has to assert himself when he meets a servant of "Janken". Alex Kidd moves in this game on foot, swims or with various means of transport such as his motorcycle “Sukopako motorcycle” and the helicopter “Peticopter”. In a total of eleven levels he has to assert himself against birds, bats and many other animals and find a sack of money with which he can buy additional equipment. There are two different versions of the game, but they only differ in the scene that can be seen after successfully completing a level. In Europe and America, Alex Kidd eats a hamburger, in Asia a rice ball. The game received a significant boost in popularity in 1990, as it was already integrated into the Sega Master System 2 . Not least because of this fact, Alex Kidd is the best-selling game for the console in Miracle World.
A new edition of the game was announced in 2002 as part of the Sega Ages series for the PlayStation 2 . Unlike many other Sega classics, it never appeared.
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (Japanese ア レ ッ ク ス キ ッ ド ザ ・ ロ ス ト ス タ ー ズ ) was published in 1986 as the only title in the series as an arcade game . It was the character's actual debut, but received little attention until "Alex Kidd in Miracle World" appeared a little later. It wasn't until two years later, in 1988, that "Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars" was also available for the Master System. In this part, Alex, as Crown Prince of Aries, goes on a search for 12 zodiac signs that have disappeared from the sky. To do this, he goes to Mount Eternal, where he learns that the stars were stolen by "Ziggurat" (in some versions also "Jiggurat") many years ago. On the way to this he travels through 14 levels, which in principle only consist of seven different ones. After the seventh level they repeat themselves in a more difficult variant. A level takes place in the body of a person or the player is attacked by dogs whose barking in the form of letters can fly towards Alex Kidd and cause him damage. In the cutscenes, the main character of the Fantasy Zone series, Grandpa-Grandpa, has a brief appearance and it is one of the few Master System games with voice output.
Especially due to the colorful level design and very simple opponents, it had the reputation of being child's play. In addition, the vague control was criticized.
Alex Kidd BMX Trial
Alex Kidd BMX Trial (Japanese ア レ ッ ク ス キ ッ ド BMX ト ラ イ ア ル ) was released on November 15, 1987 in Japan. Alex Kidd has to be controlled here on a BMX bike with a special controller that was produced and sold especially for this game. In contrast to the other games, it is a pure sports game.
Alex Kidd in High-Tech World
Alex Kidd in High-Tech World , also known as Alex Kidd III , was released for the Master System on January 23, 1989. Alex goes here to find the eight parts of a map. He fights against ninjas and other creatures in the forest, travels through a city and has to fight for a passport. Many events are time-based, which means that e.g. B. some opponents only appear at a certain time. To win, he must have reached his goal by 5 p.m.
Alex Kidd has a special feature for a platform game in High-Tech World: the player can return to his original score with a password .
The game is based on an older game called "Anmitsu Hime", which was created for the Anmitsu Hime animes and mangas known in Japan . The main character, who was a Japanese princess in the original game, has been replaced by Alex Kidd. In addition, the screen text and the story were adjusted accordingly. As a result, some contradictions arise in the course of the game. This includes, for example, that Alex's father can be seen in the opening credits, but that Alex Kidd and the Enchanted Castle, which appeared a short time later, is considered missing. Although Alex Kidd in High-Tech World is the direct successor of Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars, the gameplay was changed so much that many fans of the first two parts were disappointed. The focus is now on riddles and puzzles. The entire game consists of only four levels .
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle was released for the Sega Mega Drive in 1989 . In this game, Alex learns that his missing father is still alive and goes in search of him.
The game is very similar to the first part of the Alex Kidd series. Alex has to assert himself against similar opponents, masters the fighting techniques from "Alex Kidd in Miracle World" and also plays "Scissors, Rock, Paper" again. In the original Japanese version, defeated opponents lose their clothes. In the American version, this was replaced by a weight falling on the enemy. "Alex Kidd and the Enchanted Castle" was released on February 2, 2007 in the Sega Mega Drive Collection (also Sega Genesis Collection in the USA) - a game collection with old games for the Sega Mega Drive, for the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable has been published. Nintendo has also announced a release on the Virtual Console .
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World was 1990's last official appearance as the title hero on the Master System. The developers took the criticism of Alex Kidd in High-Tech World to heart and significantly reduced the number of riddles and puzzles to be mastered.
It is a parody of the Sega game Shinobi and contains numerous remixes of the Shinobi soundtrack as game music. Rumors say that Alex Kidd would appear in many more parodies, but development was discontinued due to the success of the new Sega mascot Sonic. It was also often suspected that Alex Kidd, similar to "Alex Kidd in High-Tech World", was not the original main character for whom the game was developed. This is confirmed by an announcement made in an American Sega magazine in 1990. There the complete game content is described under the name "Shinobi Kid". The mentioned boss of the first level, "Mari-Oh", is particularly interesting , which is described as a swipe at Nintendo's superhero . In the version that was finally released, this boss is called "Kabuto", but is very similar to Super Mario.
The Frenchman Darmon Xavier released a remake of the classic Alex Kidd in 2007 in Miracle World . It can be downloaded for free from his homepage and offers the player the opportunity to design levels himself.
Sega superstars tennis
In the current Sega game Sega Superstars Tennis , Alex Kidd appears as one of the unlockable characters.