Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Kid Icarus

Go To
Do do do do dooo doooo doooooo...

The Kid Icarus series is another reminder that just because a series looks cute doesn't mean it doesn't have scary moments.

ALL spoilers below are UNMARKED per wiki policy. Read at your own risk! You Have Been Warned.

Kid Icarus

  • The fortresses in the game are dark, gloomy and expansive labyrinths that impart a feeling of hopelessness and despair, thanks in no small part to the creepy, ambient music provided by composer Hip Tanaka. Driving home the effect are the centurions, turned to stone by Medusa's magic, which litter the fortresses. Oftentimes, stone centurions will be placed in unusual locations such as inside walls, as though the villains of the game took it upon themselves to use these formerly-living creatures as a macabre decoration. Sometimes, Pit has to use the petrified bodies of centurions (fellow members of Palutena's Army and, likely, his former friends) as a platform to reach new areas.
  • Advertisement:
  • Collin, an enemy featured in Skyworld, is a centurion under the control of Medusa who is surrounded and protected by the Phils / EelEyes, poisonous worms that emerge from his body. As the manual puts it, the EelEye "lives in Collin's body" - leaving readers with the impression that Collin is a living corpse being eaten away by worms.
  • Another enemy, Erinus, is a cloaked monster that makes its home in the final stage, where it paces around and gesticulates its hands, occassionally firing a projectile at Pit. If shot, Erinus splits into three pieces, which then float across the screen a la paper, threatening to ram into Pit - all while the monster's two-frame gesticulating animation continues to play. Although the effect was probably intended to be humorous (and is, depending on your perspective), the idea of getting split into three pieces while still living and moving is none too pleasant.
  • Advertisement:
  • The sudden creepy noise that plays, along with a Reaper changing its expression every time one spots Pit. The distorted sound won't go away until Pit gets rid of the Reapettes that a Reaper summoned. What makes this even worse is that the noise would play over the current stage music.
  • The chiefest of the many examples of Body Horror in Kid Icarus is none other than Medusa herself, who was transformed from a relatively normal-looking (even somewhat beautiful) goddess into the massive, cycloptic monster seen in the game. Despite her villainy, Medusa's situation can be interpreted as somewhat tragic, especially after you get to see her original body after defeating her in the final battle. Never mind the implications that Palutena was the one responsible for Medusa's transformation.

Kid Icarus: Uprising


Medusa Arc

  • Chapter 1, Twinbellows's design in this game is quite frightening compared to his 8-bit version.
  • Chapter 2.
    • Dark Lord Gaol looks quite intimidating due to his Non-Standard Character Design, looking like a Final Boss out of a RPG game. His demonic voice does not help. The scariness goes away at the end when Gaol is revealed to be a human woman and a close friend of Magnus who was brainwashed by the Underworld. She later appears in Ch 24 to help test Pit for the Great Sacred Treasure.
    • Magnus's backstory has a bit of Adult Fear in it. It's implied he became a mercenary because he lost a child to the Underworld Forces.
  • Chapter 4
    • The chapter is part Stealth-Based Mission, with several hallways where you try to sneak past Reapers patrolling the area, under threat of a Reaper ass-kicking if you get caught. Most of the scare comes from the suspense.
    • The chapter also introduces us to the Great Reaper. When first encountered, it looks like a regular reaper, but the moment it spots Pit, it quickly reveals its true form, which is massive and much more intimidating. Also, according to its idol description, it gained its strength by eating souls.
  • Chapter 5
    • Pandora's Labyrinth of Deceit, a maze with an unsettling Art Shift full of textureless polygons that would not be out of place in a Super NES game using the Super FX chip. The Labyrinth also messes with Pit's and Palutena's senses, showing a cheerful landscape before suddenly blacking it out and revealing that they're still trapped inside. The threat of running out of the Power of Flight is encountered for the first time here, thanks to Pit and Palutena coming across several dead ends trying to find a landing point, although fortunately no such scenario happens.
    • During the invisible path section, there's an easy-to-reach chest. Feel free to open it...if you can outrun the Orne that pops up out of nowhere when you approach it.
  • The Air Battle of Chapter 7 has Pit flying through a parted ocean by Lord Poseidon to get to the Seafloor Palace where Thanatos resides. There, Pit comes across the remains of a human city. When Palutena asks what happened, Poseidon calmly says that he sunk it long ago when the humans got too unruly. It's a cruel reminder that the gods in this game are capable of turning on humanity at any time. At the least, he's more calm about it than Viridi. (See below)
  • Chapter 8 has the Space Kraken, a monstrous squid that inhabits the Galactic Sea that eats practically anything. The monster makes its entrance by eating the Space Pirate Captain before turning its sights on Pit.
  • Chapter 9
    • The Underworld Castle, Medusa's base of operations, is a hellish, gothic nightmare factory filled with Clubberskulls, Ornes, Tempura Wizards, Alien Geometries, and all other sorts of nasty surprises.
    • The final battle with Medusa. After taking extensive damage, Medusa is forced to use her full strength and reveals her true hideous appearance before ripping her head off her body and sending it flying after Pit! The final leg of the fight is Pit being chased by her living, decapitated head as it fires lasers from its eye and dark energy blasts.
    • Hades revealing himself by literally ripping the credits away. It's Played for Laughs mostly, but given the No Fourth Wall nature of the game, it's more like The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.
      Hades: (during the fake credits) "Now wait just a second!"
  • Chapter 10:

Forces of Nature Arc

  • In Chapter 11:
    • Seeing human armies savagely destroy each other over the fake Wish Seed is simultaneously terrifying and depressing, and reminds the player that Humans Are Bastards. In a way, it's basically World War III!
      Pit: It's like they've lost their humanity and all that's left is...brutality!
    • The result of the Reset Bomb: The blast radius is turned into a purple, sickly-looking spherical forest full of monsters, with some humans still alive and bound up.
    • The Reset Bomb in general. It is, for all intents and purposes, the Kid Icarus equivalent of the Atomic Bomb! And the one controlling it is a genocidal nature goddess who views humanity in the worst possible light and will not hesitate to use it when she feels it necessary. Who knows how many people were killed by the blast.
    • Viridi's Establishing Character Moment. After dropping her Reset Bomb and killing nearly the entire human army, Viridi's Astral Projection appears, gleefully laughing at the destruction she caused. Makes it hard to believe that this is the same character that would end up pulling a Heel–Face Turn later in the game.

Invasion Arc

Chaos Arc

  • Chapter 18, the Wham Episode:
    • There is something seriously creepy about a little girl having her body hijacked by Pit. The music doesn't help.
    • The Reveal that Pit's body has been mindlessly rampaging and slaughtering the human race for three years while his soul has been trapped in the ring. It begs the question, how many people were killed in those three years?
      Magnus: "Yesterday? Try three years, buddy!"
      Magnus: "How's this for starters? You've become the enemy of mankind!"
    • The Air Battle section. Viridi escorts Pit to Skyworld, where Pit discovers, much to his horror, that Skyworld has been turned into Scenery Gorn, featuring dry, lifeless masses of land with cracked structures and a perpetually cloudy sky. At the very end of it, Pit sees Palutena, only to discover that she's apparently performed a Face–Heel Turn and tells Pit that she's tired of dealing with humans and especially with Pit. It's both terrifying and heartrending to see Pit's goddess behave like a mother snapping at her child, and for no apparent reason. The only solace is that it turns out that Palutena is Brainwashed and Crazy, which is another kind of NF together; see the Chaos Kin entry above.
  • Chapter 20. The thought of fighting Palutena's troops is terrifying, as they're Unwitting Pawns in the Chaos Kin's plan and probably have no idea what they're doing. There's also the matter of accidentally killing Palutena, which you can do if you want a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Chapter 21:
    • Welcome to the Chaos Vortex! It's one massive Eldritch Location that is essentially the Labyrinth of Deceit on steroids, with Living Shadows, clones of the Chaos Kin, and recreated enemies of all factions you've encountered so far.
    • Eyes! Eyes everywhere! Watching you.
    • At one point, a few Underworld troops will block the camera. Given the game's No Fourth Wall nature and the Chaos Vortex's anomalous properties, it feels as if The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.
    • At the end of the Air Battle section, Pit has to finish off the Chaos Kin right as his flight time runs out, and if he fails, Viridi informs Pit that she can't pull him out, leaving him trapped in the Chaos Vortex.
    • There's two freaking Ornes in the Land Battle section!
    • Did you think the chapter was over? Suddenly, the Chaos Kin, with its remaining strength, drags Dark Pit off the platform, forcing Pit to risk his wings and fly down to save Dark Pit. Fail to catch Dark Pit, and they're finished. Succeed, and Pit catches him...only to nearly die from toasting his wings.
      • And after the ordeal is over, we get a lovely view of Pit's burned wings, complete with blood and bones showing.
    • Palutena's soul was held captive by the Chaos Kin for three years, fighting with all of her strength to remain intact. The Chaos Kin is one of the biggest threats in the series if it can keep one of the big three gods on the verge of being completely destroyed for so long!

Grand Finale Arc


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: