(The Wings of Ares in Japan
) is a fantasy-themed shoot 'em up
game from Capcom
, released into arcades
in 1986 and published in a home version for the Nintendo Entertainment System
in 1988. The game is a fairly straight overhead-view SHMUP
, with the added twist of special side-scrolling platform sections
: this sections are accessed in several instances (they are the last section before any boss, but there are two optional ones: the "Minus Stage" accessed by entering the mouth of giant stone faces and the "Bonus Stage" accessed by destroying a certain statue on the ground) and has the player character walking (or flying) forward while shooting down enemies and collecting treasure chests for points.
Inspired by the legend of Icarus and Daedalus
, the story is set in a distant future, where humanity has been evolving into an advanced civilization thanks to the help of an alien supercomputer known as "DARK". DARK, however, suddenly starts to malfunction and does the exact opposite: Kill All Humans
. With humanity at the brink of extinction, the God of War (no, not that one
) Ares then decides to interfere and grant two humans magical wings: Michelle Heart is given the Wings of Love, while Kevin Walker the Wings of Courage. Together they take to the skies to fight off DARK and his minions.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- All There in the Manual
- Ancient Egypt: The bonus stages in the NES game are given an Egyptian-themed redesign. Specially notable with the collectibles, changed into Egyptian symbols and head masks.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Quite a few of the monsters in game, most notably the Super Suzy and the ship you have to fight immediately after encountering the Super Suzy for the first time (the ship that uses eyeballs as projectile weapons).
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Especially the NES version, with lines such as "You have saved human race from its extinction".
- Bonus Stage
- The Cameo: Michelle Heart appears as one of the many "guests" in Ken's Street Fighter Alpha 2 stage.
- Chest Monster: Some walls in the arcade game's bonus areas release enemies when shot.
- Color-Coded Multiplayer: Particularly in the American version, where Michelle and Kevin were replaced by two palette-swapped angels with differently colored briefs (red for Player 1 and blue for Player 2).
- Cut-and-Paste Environments: The sidescrolling areas in the arcade game are pretty much the same, just with slightly different enemy placement.
- Everything Trying to Kill You
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Giant Head, which is, you guessed it, a giant head.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Twin Laser powerup.
- Gender Flip: Michelle Heart (as well as Kevin Walker) were replaced by two palette-swapped generic male heroes for the American version (the World version still featured Michelle and Kevin).
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: In the Bonus Stages (arcade version).
- Kill All Humans: What DARK shoots for.
- Market-Based Title
- Master Computer: DARK, pretty much.
- No Export for You: The Famicom counterpart of the NES version went unreleased.
- No Name Given: The two main characters in the American version of the arcade game, as well as in the NES version.
- Phoenix: In the NES version, you turn into a firebird when powered-up all the way, allowing you to take a few extra shots before dying (you're a One-Hit-Point Wonder otherwise).
- Playing with Fire: The Flame Shots powerup.
- Precursors: Not seen per-se, but DARK is said to have been left by aliens.
- Recurring Boss: The end-of-level bosses are simply just variations on one another, with later ones having more cannons. Except for the NES's True Final Boss, which is a cybernetic Giant Eye Of Doom.
- Sand Worm: Earwig from the NES game, though it doesn't move through sand.
- Schizo Tech: There's a notable mixture of technology with ancient greek (or egyptian) ruins, specially in the arcade game. Some pillars are even broken, revealing they are technological inside.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: When in single-player.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The Japanese version of the arcade game spells Michelle's name as "Michel Heart" during the Attract Mode .
- Shout-Out: Sylphie cosplays as Michelle in her Namco × Capcom Hyper Combo.
- Stripperific: Michelle is fighting in what seems to be a bikini.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The sidescrolling sections.
- Waddling Head: The "tentacle-helmet" enemies in the sidescrolling sections.
- Winged Humanoids
- Womb Level: The Minus Stage in the NES game are completely redesigned into this, including meat-like walls with mouths and hearts, and ribs serving as the ceiling and floor.