Alex Kidd Ossale (アレックス・キッド・オサール Arekkusu Kiddo Osāru), Alex (アレク Areku, "Alec" in Japan) for short, is a video game character whose popularity peaked during the late 1980s and who was the protagonist of both a series of video games released by Sega and their fictional universe, as well as in numerous spin-off merchandise such as novelizations and comics. For a time he was an unofficial mascot of the Sega Corporation.
Alex Kidd was the protagonist of several video games over the years, spanning various platforms, and appeared in the arcade and on the Sega Master System and the Mega Drive/Genesis home consoles. Alex Kidd's popularity was at a peak with the release of the first game in the series, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, in 1986, which was later built into the Master System console without need of a cartridge and was playable from purchase of the console.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Alex Kidd overtook the character of "Opa-Opa" from the game Fantasy Zone as the official mascot for the Sega Corporation. However, in order to provide Sega with a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario (a task which Alex Kidd was not considered up to), in 1991 Sega introduced Sonic the Hedgehog, who did indeed become more popular and recognizable than Alex Kidd, and Sonic subsequently replaced Alex Kidd as Sega's mascot. After this, the popularity of the character waned somewhat, although the character has made numerous cameo appearances in later video games, such as Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.
Alex Kidd appears as a short boy with large ears and slightly monkey-like features, a red and yellow jumpsuit, and oversized hands. His age is unknown, but it is believed he has around 7-14 years old.
Disregarding the various costumes he would adorn in the later Alex Kidd titles, the initial appearance of the character would swing between garb loosely resembling a traditional Mandarin tunic, or red striped jumpsuit (Sometimes overalls closer to the appearance of Mario depending on the localisation). At a glance its easy to see that the character of Alex Kidd was inspired chiefly by Bruce Lee (evident in the jump suit) and Sun Wukong the Monkey King.
Initially, in the original game, he is an orphan who spent seven years alone on Mt. Eternal, on the planet Aries (also known as "Miracle World"), where he has trained in the Shellcore technique. This technique enables an Arian to shatter rocks with one's bare fists.
After the disappearance of King Thunder, the planet Aries is thrown into disarray. A usurper, Janken the Great, kidnaps the next in line to the throne, Prince Egle, and his fiancée Princess Lora. Many of the citizens are turned to stone through Janken's magic. After completing his training, Alex Kidd leaves to visit his master, Saint Nurari. While going down the mountain, he finds a dying man, who informs him that Radaxian is now a dangerous place and gives him a map and the Sun Stone Medallion. When Alex visits Saint Nurari, the hermit reveals that he is in fact a lost member of the Radaxian Royal Family, son of King Thunder and brother of Prince Egle. Alex Kidd sets out to discover the whereabouts of his father, rescue his brother, restore the kingdom, and destroy the monstrous minions of Janken. Numerous magical artifacts and medallions are needed to be discovered to progress in the story.
During the game, Alex can collect "Baums" (the currency of Planet Aries) which can then be used to purchase extra lives, items, power-ups and vehicles for Alex Kidd from shops at the start of several stages, such as the Sukopako Motorcycle and Peticopter (a small pedal-powered helicopter).
After Alex defeats Janken the Great, the game explains how Alex restores peace to Radaxian, Egle is crowned King of Radaxian, and that the people who were turned to stone by Janken have returned to normal thanks to the Gold Crown. Although peace is restored, Alex Kidd can't help but wonder where his father is.
Some time later, in Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Alex hears a rumor that his long lost father (referred to in this game as King Thor) is alive and well on the Planet Paperock. The Planet earned this name as it is inhabited by experts at the game "Rock, Paper, Scissors". Despite discouragement from his family, Alex travels to the Planet Paperock in hopes of finding his father.
The game for which he is best known, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, was released in 1986. It was rereleased in 1990 and was built into later versions of the Master System and the Master System II model, replacing the Snail Maze/Safari Hunt/Hang-On games of the first model. This integrated SMSII version reversed the attack and jump buttons from the earlier cartridge version to conform to that of other popular action games of the day.
Most games in the Alex Kidd series differ dramatically from one another, the sole exception being Miracle World and its direct sequel, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle. While most games in the series were still platform-based, the only elements that tied the series together was the name and the title character. One game in the series, Alex Kidd: High-Tech World, was not an Alex Kidd game in Japan and was based instead on a 1980s Japanese animated series airing at the time.
After the release of Alex Kidd in Shinobi World in 1990, Sega decided to remove the Alex Kidd series in favor of Sonic the Hedgehog as their new mascot. Alex Kidd has made some minor cameos since then.
Alex Kidd gamesEdit
The Alex Kidd franchise contain six games:
- Alex Kidd in Miracle World - 1986 (Master System) and 2008 (Wii Virtual Console, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)
- Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars - 1986 (Arcade) 1988 (Master System) and 2009 (Wii Virtual Console)
- Alex Kidd BMX Trial - 1987 (Master System, only released in Japan)
- Alex Kidd: High-Tech World - 1987 (Master System)
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle - 1989 (Sega Mega Drive/Genesis) and 2007 (Wii Virtual Console)
- Alex Kidd in Shinobi World - 1990 (Master System) and 2010 (Wii Virtual Console)
- Alex's and Stella's name appear on tombstones in the first stage of Altered Beast.
- Alex head can be seen in the rock walls from the third stage of the Master System game Kenseiden.
- Alex Kidd appears as collectable toys in Shenmue and the sequel Shenmue II.
- In the Japan only Dreamcast game Segagaga, Alex Kidd works in a retail store. He also narrates about his competition against a certain rival company's mascot and his fall from grace due to Sonic the Hedgehog's popularity, before finally being forgotten.In the game Alex says he is 38 years old, but that's from a real world perspective, the game taking place in the year 2025 and the character's creation being in 1986, not Alex's actual age in his games.
- Alex Kidd appears as an unlockable playable character in Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (unlocked on Christmas Day). His appearance in the games is based on his appearance in Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle. In the racing games he drives the Sukopako Motorcycle, and he uses the Peticopter in his specials.
- Alex Kidd appears alongside Opa-Opa and the Werewolf in Project ✕ Zone 2 as part of Ulala's attacks. Alex appears with the Sukopako Motorcycle and runs over the opponent, jumps out from it, kicks the target while falling, and in the ground hits the enemy with his hand with rock, scissors, and paper. After attacking he walks away while happily eating a rice ball.
- ↑ Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle Virtual Console page. Ossale is also the pseudonym of Kotaro Hayashida.
- ↑ Translation of Alex Kidd's story in Segagaga