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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 occassional crossover appearences, 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:

  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World - Sega Master System (1986)
  • Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars - Arcade (1986) and Master System (1989)
  • Alex Kidd BMX Trial - Master System (1987, only in Japan)
  • Alex Kidd: High-Tech World - Master System (1989)
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle - Sega Genesis (1989)
  • Alex Kidd in Shinobi World - Master System (1990)


Tropes in the series include:

  • Abandoned Mascot: Alex himself replaced Fantasy Zone's Opa-Opa. Alex himself was later 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.
  • 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 plumbers success. Sonic the Hedgehog replaced Alex as this in light of the runaway success of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In Enchanted Castle, a bear serves as the boss of Hiho Forest.
  • "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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contemptible Cover: The NA release's box art for Enchanted Castle turns Alex from a cute kid with vaguely simian features into an incredibly gawky-looking dork. To a lesser extent this applies to the western covers for The Lost Stars and High-Tech World, in which Alex also looks a little on the dorky side, but at least broadly resembles his in-game sprites.
  • Cool Bike: The Sukopako Motorcycle, which can be purchased in Miracle World and Enchanted Castle, and is Alex's vehicle in All-Stars Racing.
  • 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.
  • Death Mountain: Rock Mountain 1 and 2, the respective eighth and ninth levels of Enchanted Castle.
  • 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: Stella, who serves as the second player in the arcade version of The Lost Stars.
  • 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: Actually downplayed somewhat 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. Played straight by the other games in the series, and turned Up to Eleven by 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."
  • Green Hill Zone: Prairie, the second level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Guide Dang It!: Alex Kidd: High-Tech World has a section to 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 108 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and Alex has to obtain the Golden Crown in order to fully restore Radaxian to how it once was.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: Alex Kidd's brother Igul is the hero of Pit Pot, a slightly earlier Sega game for Master System.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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".
  • 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.
  • Under the Sea: Splashy Sea, the third level in Enchanted Castle.
  • Wutai: The setting of High-Tech World.


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