Kid Icarus: Uprising

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Kid Icarus: Uprising



Project Sora
Sora Ltd.




Nintendo 3DS

Release Dates

Japan: March 22, 2012
North America: March 23, 2012
Europe: March 23, 2012
Australia: March 29, 2012


Third-person shooter
Rail shooter


E 10+


Single Player


Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters

Kid Icarus: Uprising (新・光神話 パルテナの鏡 Shin Hikari Shinwa Parutena no Kagami, lit. "New Light Myth: Palutena's Mirror") is the third installment of the Kid Icarus series, released on the Nintendo 3DS in March 2012. Released 21 years after Of Myths and Monsters, it is considered to be the revival of the long-dormant series.

Project Sora is the developer, with Masahiro Sakurai as the lead designer and writer. The game was released on March 22nd in Japan, March 23rd in the US and Europe, and March 29th in Australia.



The English logo of Uprising.

Uprising is a direct sequel to the classic NES game, and takes place 25 years (24 in the Japanese version) after the original Kid Icarus. Medusa has been resurrected, and once again attempts to eradicate the humans while trying to take revenge on Pit and Palutena. Upon learning of this, Palutena has recalled her most loyal servant, Pit, to stop Medusa and her Underworld Army, and restore peace to Skyworld once more.

Along the way, Pit must take down Twinbellows, Dark Lord Gaol, Hewdraw, the Great Reaper, Pandora, Thanatos, and a faction known as the Space Pirates in order to reclaim the Three Sacred Treasures and make his way to Medusa. However, it is only after her defeat that they realize their enemy was not actually Medusa, but rather Hades, the true ruler of the Underworld.



The story mode is divided into separate chapters that each represent a stage. Each stage is usually comprised of an Air Battle, a Land Battle and a Boss Battle.

Solo Mode


The Fiend's Cauldron spilling.

Solo Mode is where the main game and its story takes place. Before starting a chapter, the player is able to put hearts into the Fiend's Cauldron to increase the intensity level. The more hearts put into the cauldron, the better the rewards within the chapters. However, the difficulty level will also rise proportionally to the amount of hearts put into the cauldron.

Air Battle

In this game, Pit is granted the Power of Flight from Palutena, giving him the ability to fly for a limited amount of time. The areas where this ability is used resemble a free-aiming flight mode, where Pit can fly in one direction and aim in another, reminiscent of the Palace in the Sky in the original Kid Icarus. While flying, Palutena will control Pit's flight path, but most of the dodging and attacking is left to Pit to handle.

Land Battle

On land, Pit must progress to his destination by overcoming hordes of enemies. These ground sections make up most of the game. In this segment, Pit's movement is entirely left up to the player.

Boss Battles

Battle Results

The Battle Results screen after beating a chapter.

At the end of every chapter, Pit faces off with a boss character. These range from fighting massive monsters such as Twinbellows, to battling more humanoid characters like Dark Lord Gaol. In some cases, such as with Hewdraw or Dark Pit, a portion of the boss fight may begin in the air, then continue on land.

Together Mode

Together Mode is split up into two play styles: Light vs. Dark and Free-for-All.

In Light vs. Dark, players are split into teams of three and tasked to defeat opponent players. There is a team life gauge, which decreases with each death of a teammate. The amount of points it drops by is determined by the weapon value, thus, the higher the value, the more points will be lost. When the gauge has been fully depleted, the player whose death fully depleted the gauge becomes that team's Angel, which is Pit for the Light team and Dark Pit for the Dark team. From here on, the goal is to kill the Angel, which is more difficult than it appears as Angels have increased health, attack power, and defense.

In Free-for-All, up to six players are pit against each other and must rely on themselves to gain the highest amount of kills.


Pit starts with a basic First Blade, but as he progresses, he can gain a very large arsenal of powerful weapons that can be chosen from before each stage. Each weapon is able to perform melee, ranged, dash and charged attacks.

Twelve different weapons are available for each category, and with 9 categories, Kid Icarus: Uprising boasts a total of 108 different weapons. The weapon categories are: Blades, Staffs, Claws, Bows, Palms, Clubs, Cannons, Orbitars, and Arms.


Powers are new items that give different abilities to Pit for use in battle. They each have different effects when used, ranging from unleashing powerful attacks to recovering Pit's health.


In addition to these weapons and abilities, Pit is able to utilize armed vehicles in battle and for transportation, which include a mech-like armor known as the Cherubot, a sphere-shaped vehicle known as the Aether Ring, and a beetle-like vehicle known as the Exo Tank.

AR Cards

The game also features Kid Icarus AR Cards, which allow players to see 3D models of all characters, enemies, items, locations, and weapons using the Nintendo 3DS's dual cameras. By scanning two cards at once, battles can be waged between the different models, each of which have their own stats and health bars.

Voice Cast

Characters English Voice Japanese Voice


Dark Pit

Antony Del Rio Minami Takayama
Palutena Ali Hillis Aya Hisakawa
Medusa Cree Summer Naomi Shindō
Magnus Fred Tatasciore Kenji Nomura
Dark Lord Gaol Kari Wahlgren Junko Minagawa
Thanatos Danny Mann Eiji Itou
Pandora Nika Futterman Mariko Suzuki
Poseidon Fred Tatasciore Ryūzaburō Ōtomo
Hewdraw Danny Mann Masaya Takatsuka
Hades S. Scott Bullock Hōchū Ōtsuka
Viridi Hynden Walch Makiko Ohmoto
Phosphora Kari Wahlgren Yuka Komatsu
Arlon Troy Baker Yasuhiko Tokuyama
Pyrrhon Troy Baker Tetsu Inada
Chariot Master Alan Oppenheimer Hōchū Ōtsuka
Dyntos Alan Oppenheimer Kōji Yada

Underworld Enemies

Returning Enemies

New Enemies



Uprising's beta logo.

In July 2008, Satoru Iwata approached Masahiro Sakurai and asked that he make a game for the then upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld system.[1] After the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Iwata felt that it wouldn't be right to release another game in the same series so soon, so he specifically requested that Sakurai create something original. With this in mind, Sakurai came up with the idea of a shooting game that had both Air Battles and Land Battles. Despite the initial request, however, Sakurai wondered if he could use the idea to revive an older Nintendo series.[2] He briefly considered turning the project into a Star Fox game, but, in the end, decided that Pit's character and the setting of Kid Icarus made a better fit for what he had in mind.[3]

According to Sakurai, he wrote a project proposal and the script before the creation of Project Sora. When they started production on Uprising, the 3DS development kit was not available yet, so they had to use a PC and a Wii to develop the game before eventually moving production to the 3DS.[4] During development, three extra chapters had been planned for Uprising's story, but they had to be scrapped early on due to unknown reasons.[5] Additionally, Sakurai had also considered placing a mascot-like character by Pit's side to act as his support, but ultimately abandoned the idea when he felt the dynamic between Pit and Palutena would work better.[6]

When it came to Uprising's overall atmosphere, Sakurai wished to keep it in line with the humorous tone of the first Kid Icarus game, which was different compared to the darker nature of other games released at that time. With this in mind, the development team was careful not to let Uprising's graphics and story steer too closely to more serious titles such as God of War, another game with heavy Greek mythological influences.[2][5] In regards to the story, Sakurai expressed that he didn't want to stick strictly to a formula of good versus evil. Instead, he wrote a script involving different factions clashing over their opposing ideals and different ways of thinking, with each one joining the fray adding another layer of chaos to the game's plot.[6]



The Japanese cover of the game.

One of the changes made between releases was to the game's cover: while the Japanese boxart features Pit smiling and flying against a blue and pink sky background, the English boxart changed his expression to look more determined and the pink hues were removed. Additionally, the Monoeyes and Syrens shown in the background were moved to appear closer to Pit.

Because many of the jokes in the original script for Uprising relied heavily on the subtle nuances of Japanese language and culture, Sakurai gave the Nintendo Treehouse development team a lot of leeway in the localization of the script so that it would feel more natural for English speakers.[7] As a result, many conversations and jokes were rewritten for English audiences, though many of the lines making references to other games were taken directly from the Japanese script.[8]

During the voice-acting process, most of the voice actors recorded their lines separately from each other, basing their performances on previously recorded lines or lines read to them from a script. Antony Del Rio and Ali Hillis, the voice actors of Pit and Palutena, respectively, recorded their lines alongside one another for roughly half of the game. However, due to conflicts in their schedules, the two were forced to record the rest of their lines separately.[9]



The cover of the 3 Disk soundtrack.

The music for Kid Icarus: Uprising was composed by Motoi Sakuraba, Yuzo Koshiro, Masafumi Takada, Noriyuki Iwadare, Takahiro Nishi, and Yasunori Mitsuda, which were many of the same artists who worked on Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Takahiro Nishi acted as the music director, and the orchestral arrangements were handled by Natsumi Kameoka and Yasunori Mistuda.[10]

Takahiro Nishi and Masahiro Sakurai held private meetings, where they would discuss which composers would be right for which parts of the game. According to Sakurai, since the beginning their ultimate goal for the soundtrack was to "match the whirlwind of changing events in the air battles." Managing the timing perfectly was extremely difficult to everyone involved, and it was the first time Sakurai had experienced such a tedious project in regards to sound.[10]

Motoi Sakuraba said that he created the main theme, which gave him the most trouble due to his unfamiliarity with the game's overview. Yuzo Koshiro stated that throughout development, he kept in mind to match the scene while being sure not to interfere with the dialogue. Masafumi Takada recalled that he was confused by his work on Kid Icarus: Uprising due to his first impression of the game being Chapter 5. He also stated that during one of his days off, he was suddenly struck with inspiration for a melody which was later used in the "Lightning Chariot Base" track.[10]

Natsumi Kameoka was responsible for taking individual pieces of music and arranging them into a complete track, then adjusting the speed to fit into the game. Yasunori Mitsuda mentioned that the team conducted most of the soundtrack through live recordings which took seven recording sessions to complete, leading him to believe that this project was likely the largest-scale production of any video game score at the time.[10]

A promotional selection of music from the video game's soundtrack was given out to Club Nintendo members of Japan on March 22nd, 2012, while a 3 Disk version of the soundtrack was released in Japan on August 21st in the same year.

Promotional Material

Kid Icarus Float


From August 4th to August 8th in 2011, a Kid Icarus float was featured at a summer festival in the Aomori Prefecture in Japan.[11] It stood at a height of almost 40 feet and depicted Pit striking a pose with Palutena standing in the background. An exclusive AR Card was released for the event, granting the player the "Kid Icarus Float" Idol.

Kid Icarus Choco Snacks

On March 12th, 2012, Nintendo teamed up with Takara Tomy to release Kid Icarus: Uprising Choco Snacks.[12] Costing ¥100 per bag, each pack came with a small handful of chocolate snacks, as well as 1 out of 20 possible AR Cards.

Kid Icarus 3D Anime

Before the release of the game, Nintendo created three animated shorts for the 3DS's Nintendo Video service with the help of three well known Japanese animation studios: Production I.G, Studio 4°C and Shaft, Inc.

  • Production I.G named its Kid Icarus animation Thanatos Rising. It features Pit's battle against one of the commanders of the Underworld Army, Thanatos. This video was separated into three parts.
  • Studio 4°C named its video Medusa's Revenge. It shows the rise of Medusa prior to the events of the original Kid Icarus game, up to the beginning of Uprising. This video was a single-episode short.
  • Shaft. Inc produced Palutena's Revolting Dinner. In this video, Palutena attempts to cook dinner for herself and Pit, but finds that it is much more difficult than originally anticipated. This video was separated into two parts.

Kid Icarus Manga

CoroCoro and V Jump magazines both released short manga in April 2012, the former featuring Twinbellows and the latter featuring Hewdraw.

Kid Icarus Figma

In April 2013, Figma figures of Pit and Dark Pit were released by Good Smile and Max Factory. They individually costed ¥3,619, and each came with two AR Cards: Monoeye and Pit (Injured), and Dark Pit (Flying) and Magnus and Gaol, respectively.


While receiving generally positive reviews for its story, characters, graphics, and writing, Kid Icarus: Uprising is commonly criticized for its overall control scheme, especially in regards to left-handed players.

Regardless, Uprising got a perfect 40/40 score on Famitsu,[13] and sold 132,526 units in its first week. This boosted sales of the Nintendo 3DS dramatically, increasing it from 64,017 to 94,011.[14]

Additionally, Nintendo Power released a list of its top 285 Nintendo games of all time for its final issue. While the original Kid Icarus ranked 140th, Uprising ranked 64th.[15]

As of April, 2013, it sold 1.18 million units, making it one of Nintendo's best selling 3DS games at that time.[16]

External Links


Games in the Kid Icarus series.
Main Series Kid Icarus (3D Classics) • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and MonstersKid Icarus: Uprising
Related Games Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii USuper Kid Icarus

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