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Video Game / Alex Kidd

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Alex Kidd was Sega's former mascot, before Sonic the Hedgehog was created. He starred in six games, all of them created between 1986 and 1990, and has had several cameo appearances since then.

In the first game, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Alex is established as the prince of a land called Radaxian. His job is to save the land from an Evil Overlord known as Janken the Great and rescue the royal family. This quest involves him traveling around in typical Platform Game fashion, but with the additions of finding coins to purchase items and playing Rock–Paper–Scissors with bosses in order to be allowed to move on.

Most of the other games deviate from this storyline and feature different gameplay styles. Alex quietly faded away after the release of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, but he has had appearances in a few other games, including Segagaga, Sega Superstars Tennis, and Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing.

After 30 years of nothing but cameos and occasional crossover appearances, it was revealed in 2020 that Alex Kidd would be getting a new game during IGN's Summer of Gaming event, in the form of a remake of the first game known as Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, by the same studio that brought us Streets of Rage 4.

The games that he starred in are as follows:

Tropes in the series include:

  • Abandoned Mascot: Alex used to replace Fantasy Zone's Opa-Opa as a mascot. Later, Alex himself was replaced with Sonic come Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Achievement Mockery: The PS3 port of Miracle World has a trophy for losing rock-paper-scissors even while using a Telepathy Ball, and a trophy for running out of lives in Janken's dungeon with less than $400. Both trophies are named "Shameful" and "Tears of Regret" respectively.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Miracle World DX adds NPCs, slightly rewrites the story, gives Janken's henchmen distinct personalities (as well as puts their names from the manual on screen for the first time), changes all boss battles, and even includes several new levels.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Alex Kidd was Sega's attempt at going toe to toe with Nintendo's Mario and acting as their mascot, but it never saw a speck of the plumber's success. Sonic the Hedgehog replaced Alex as this in light of the runaway success of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The Artifact: Two in Miracle World DX:
    • Despite the renaming of the character Saint Nurari to Master Nurari, the island where he lives is still called Island of Saint Nurari.
    • Despite Mt. Kave no longer being the seventh level due to the addition of the Scorching Pathway, it still starts with a group of breakable blocks forming the digit "7".
  • Bears Are Bad News: In Enchanted Castle, a bear serves as the boss of Hiho Forest.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While the ending for Alex Kidd in Miracle World (as well as DX) is mostly a happy one, Alex knows he didn't completely eradicate the enemy forces, and on top of that, his missing father is still unaccounted for. DX turns it into a Sequel Hook by having Alex leave Radaxian to look for his father.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • The translation in Miracle World isn't as bad as many other games from the same period, but it's still not very good. The dialogue is rather awkwardly translated, and certain words and phrases are put in "quotation marks" for no readily apparent reason.
    • High-Tech World is far more guilty in this department. Notably, at one point Alex happens across a fast food stand which sells "humbugers."
    • In the Brazilian Portuguese menu for the Miracle World remake, "Resume game" was mistranslated as "Currículo do jogo", meaning "Game's Resumé".
  • Boss Rush:
    • In the penultimate level of Shinobi World you have to re-fight two of the three bosses you faced in the previous levels.
    • Miracle World DX has an unlockable Boss Rush mode for finishing the game. You fight Stone Head, Scissors Head, Paper Head, and finally Janken, in that order.
  • Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version of Enchanted Castle, the loser of a Rock–Paper–Scissors match would be stripped of their clothes (with appropriate Scenery Censor). For the international versions, this was changed to the loser getting crushed by a giant weight.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Pyramid, the fifth level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Character Overlap: Alex Kidd's brother Igul is the hero of Pit Pot, a slightly earlier Sega game for Master System.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: Alex has trained in the "Shellcore" technique enabling him to alter the size and toughness of his fists through sheer willpower and enables him to shatter rocks with his bare fists. In Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, getting a Magic Ring upgrades it by allowing Alex to shoot a laser blast out, which will plow through several blocks at once.
  • Chest Monster: The Grim Reaper randomly appears out of ? blocks, or if you touch a skull block.
  • Classic Cheat Code: In Miracle World, there's a Continue code in the game, but it's rather cryptic; If you lose all your lives and have over $800, hold Up on the D-Pad, and press Button 2 8 times, and the game will allow you to continue where you left off.
  • Continuing is Painful: Continuing the game after running out of lives in Miracle World DX makes Alex lose all consumable items, all money and, worst of all, the Telepathy Ball if he has it.
  • Cool Bike: The Sukopako Motorcycle, which can be purchased in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, and is Alex's vehicle in All-Stars Racing.
  • Costume Evolution: In the original Miracle World, Alex had a red and blue jumpsuit with white features. The Lost Stars added white stripes to the arms of the outfit. Enchanted Castle redesigned Alex with a yellow jumpsuit and a red vest, keeping the blue gem that the original outfit had. While Alex's early design was initially used in other media, the Sega Superstars series would make his second design standard (albeit making the vest more apparent). The Miracle World DX remake redesigns the original outfit to include a yellow stripe down the middle and a yellow cape and turns the blue boots into blue and white sneakers.
  • Crossover: Shinobi World.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In Miracle World, the leftmost button (Button 1) is for jumping and the rightmost button (Button 2) is for attacking, rather than the other way around like most other platformers. The game's creator, Kotaro Hayashida admits in an interview that he wanted to distinguish his game from Super Mario Bros. by making the controls a bit different. The latter releases of the game (including the one built into the Master System II) swapped the controls around to a more familiar setup.
  • Deadly Droplets: The Lost Stars has blue droplets falling from the pipes that hurt Alex. Shinobi World has the same happening with lava from the ceiling.
  • Death Mountain: Rock Mountain 1 and 2, the respective eighth and ninth levels of Enchanted Castle.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Alex's ears have been inconsistently depicted as either regular-shaped and big, or pointy.
    • Alex's hair spike: It was small but noticeable in Miracle World and Lost Stars, removed in Enchanted Castle and brought back and made much more prominent in Miracle World DX.
  • Derivative Differentiation: While Alex Kidd was obviously patterned after Super Mario Bros., the designers took careful steps to ensure it was not a complete ripoff. Alex punches enemies instead of jumping on them, you use the 1 button to jump instead of 2 (the opposite of Mario's "B to Run, A to Jump" control scheme) and you can shop for items like Motorcycles and a mini-helicopter, and equip items on the pause screen. There aren't even standard bosses, you "fight" the bosses in a Rock, Paper, Scissors match at the end of certain levels.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The arcade version of The Lost Stars features Alex's sister Stella, who acts as the second player character.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Two in particular:
    • High-Tech World was originally released in Japan as a game based on the children's manga Anmitsu Hime. All of the character designs were redrawn and the storyline was changed for the localization.
    • Shinobi World was originally planned as an unrelated Shinobi spin-off titled Shinobi Kid, which was supposed to star a new protagonist. It also had at least one other difference (see Take That!, below).
  • Early Game Hell: The first level of Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a vertical oriented one where you go down instead of left to right, and it is much harder than the rest of the game, especially if you're trying to get all the money bags.
  • Enforced Plug: At the end of Alex Kidd: High-Tech World, Alex sits down at a Deluxe Type cabinet of OutRun.
  • Excuse Plot: Downplayed by Miracle World, which does have a fairly generic plot of having to stop a bad guy and save the world, but also has characters dispensing various bits of backstory and world-building at points, giving it much more of a plot than most platformers of this era. Miracle World DX builds up on this. Played straight by the other games in the series, especially in High-Tech World, where the goal of the game is literally to just go to an arcade and play games.
  • First Town: Rookietown, the first level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Out of the games in the series, only Miracle World and Enchanted Castle are anything like each other. High Tech World switches from rudimentary adventure/puzzle to platforming/action gameplay partway through.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Darn it, I lose." Said by any of the bosses when they lose a Janken match in the original version of Miracle World.
  • Green Hill Zone: Prairie, the second level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Guide Dang It!: Alex Kidd: High-Tech World is filled with puzzles with obscure or counterintuitive solutions, but the most infamous offender is a section where Alex needs to bypass a guard in village to continue his quest. All the apparent solutions turn out to be Red Herrings, the actual solutions involve talking to the right people at the right in-game time, or praying 100 times in front of a shrine. Doing anything else will result in either running out of in-game time or getting arrested. Given that the game was originally based on an anime, it's somewhat plausible that a Japanese player could figure it out, but it is extremely unlikely that a Western player could intuit either solution thanks to the change in setting that strips all context that could hint toward this.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Alex has '80s Hair sideburns and is a spirited Kid Hero.
  • Human Aliens: Alex looks like a human with unusally large ears.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: The story of Miracle World starts with Alex making his way back to his homeland after years of martial arts training, when he encounters a dying man, who informs him that his country is being invaded by Janken the Great and his minions, then hands him a map and a sunstone medallion before his last breath. The sunstone is eventually revealed to be one of two keys (the other being the moonstone that's in possession of Janken himself) needed to obtain the magical Golden Crown with the power to save the land.
  • Inconsistent Dub: In addition to the issues with Alex's brother (Igul/Egle) and father (King Thunder/Sander/Thor), the name of the planet that Janken The Great comes from according to the manual is given as "Janbarik", which becomes the setting for Alex Kidd and the Enchanted Castle. However, the english version of Enchanted Castle gives the planet's name as Paperock, obscuring the reference.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests are everywhere in Shinobi World, waiting for Alex to open them.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Scorching Pathway, the seventh level in Miracle World DX.
  • Levels Take Flight: To the Sky..., the tenth level in Enchanted Castle involves Alex riding a helicopter through the sky and avoiding airborne enemies.
  • The Lost Woods: Hiho Forest, the sixth level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Luck-Based Mission: There are items in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle that allow you to see your opponent's moves in a Rock–Paper–Scissors match, which help because you're pretty much lost without them. (unless you know the patterns beforehand...)
  • The Man Behind the Man: The manual for Enchanted Castle strongly implies that the game's villain, Ashra, was this to Janken the Great from the first game. Which is evidently a case of Lying Creator, as the ending to the game reveals that he's actually just King Thor's servant and a Big Bad Wannabe with delusions of grandeur.
  • Mood Whiplash: The new backgrounds in Miracle World DX can starkly contrast in tone with the simple ones from the original version and the player can swap between them with the tap of a button.
  • Mythology Gag: The collectibles in the Miracle World DX remake range from callbacks/callforwards to other Alex Kidd games to shout-outs to other Sega properties.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted in Miracle World. Killing Janken the Great doesn't really do anything to stop his forces or reverse his evil magic spells in of itself. Alex has to obtain the Golden Crown in order to fully restore Radaxian to how it once was and the end crawl in the original and the cutscene in the remake mention the enemy forces not being completely defeated.
  • Odd Organ Up Top: Stone-Head, Paper-Head, and Scissors-Head have hands making their respective Rock–Paper–Scissors gestures for heads.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Sky Castle, the eleventh and final level in Enchanted Castle, where Ashra serves as the Final Boss.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In every game except Lost Stars and Shinobi World.
  • Playable Epilogue: Miracle World has one with Cragg Lake, where Alex must retrieve the Radaxian Crown after having defeated Janken. It is still possible to lose in this level if the sequence from the stone tablet isn't followed correctly. And then DX adds another new level after this.
  • Point of No Continues: Don't rely too much on the continuous play feature in the arcade version of The Lost Stars… because on some machines, it can cease to be available by the time you reach Round 5!
  • Power Fist: Alex's trademark Shellcore technique allows him to punch with an enlarged fist, which can be used to destroy blocks. You can find or buy a Magic Ring for it that allows you to shoot laser blasts from your fists in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle.
  • Product Placement: High-Tech World is about Alex going to an arcade to play Sega's games, and the ending sees him sitting in an OutRun cabinet.
  • Put on a Bus: After Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle flopped with critics and retail and Sonic the Hedgehog made Sega realize the technicolor insectivore was their real answer to Mario, Alex Kidd was dropped as their mascot in favor of Sonic and permanently retired from the companies game line-up. Kidd has made the occasional cameo since then, but he is largely forgotten today.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Janken's three main henchmen: Gooseka, Chokkinna and Parplin. They're quirkier in the remake.
  • Railroading: In the original Miracle World it is possible to finish Radaxian Castle without freeing Egle or picking up the letter to the King of Nibana, in which case upon meeting him, the king won't give Alex the stone tablet which might as well be required to finish the game. In DX, Alex will refuse to advance past a certain point if Egle is not saved or he doesn't have the letter, musing he still has things to do before leaving.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: This is how some of the boss battles are fought in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, and in the latter game, it is required to win items as well.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Alex's girlfriend in Shinobi World doesn't even have a name.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Spoilers for Enchanted Castle: King Thor wasn't in danger at all, he was just visiting Paperock. Ashra wasn't keeping him imprisoned, he was King Thor's servant. Alex had risked his life to resolve a situation that would have cleared up on its own.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Scorpion Desert, the fourth level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Sir Cameos-a-Lot: Alex hasn't had a new title for himself since the Mega Drive days. This doesn't stop him from appearing in several titles such as Segagaga, Sega Superstars Tennis, and Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing.
  • Skippable Boss: In the original version of Miracle World, Janken can be skipped if you have the magic staff. Usually, you must defeat Janken before the ladder to the final room will drop down. Activating the magic staff allows you to float in the air for a short amount of time. If you activate it just before reaching Janken, you can float up to the ladder without ever having to face him. See it in action here.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    • In Miracle World, Alex's brother is named "Egle" in the manual, and "Igul" in the ending to the game itself. Pit Pot used "Igul" as well.
    • Alex's dad gets it even worse off; In the manual his name is "King Thunder", the endgame scrolltext messes this up into "King Sander", and Enchanted Castle just gives up and names him "King Thor".
  • Taken for Granite:
    • In the original version of Miracle World, losing a best of three game of Rock–Paper–Scissors results in Alex being turned to stone and losing a life. Defeating Janken at the end of the game petrifies him.
    • In the DX remake, Alex encounters several petrified NPCs that are somehow still able to speak. On the other hand, everyone who can turn to stone in the original never does so in the remake.
  • Take That!: In prototype versions of Shinobi World, the first boss was named Mari-oh and resembled you-know-who combined with Ken-oh (the first boss of Shinobi). He was later renamed Kabuto and his appearance changed, but he still shoots fireballs and shrinks when weakened.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Alex Kidd is always seen eating a riceball in the in-between segments in Miracle World. It was changed to a hamburger in the built-in versions in certain Master System consoles. The DX remake lets the player choose Alex's food of choice in the Options menu and adds Spanish omlettes and fish & chips to the list as well.
  • Under the Sea: Splashy Sea, the third level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: In Miracle World DX, the Playable Epilogue is extended even more with a shmup level called "Homecoming", where Alex flies home in a small plane and shoots everything that moves. Thankfully, if the player has some experience with shmups, the level is easy to the point of being a glorified cutscene.
  • Visual Pun: In Miracle World DX, Parplin mentions he is Janken's right hand. This is exactly what his head is shaped like.
  • Wutai: The setting of High-Tech World.


Alternative Title(s): Alex Kidd In Miracle World


Alex Kidd: High-Tech World

You put on that heavy armor, great--now how are you gonna get it back off you?!

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