Alex Kidd in Miracle World
|Alex Kidd in Miracle World|
Western Master System box art
Alex Kidd in Miracle World (アレックスキッドのミラクルワールド Arekkusu Kiddo no Mirakuru Wārudo) is a platform game for the Master System. Intended as Sega's answer to Super Mario Bros., it was first released in Japan on November 1, 1986, and then internationally in 1987. It was arguably the most widely known game in the Alex Kidd series, due to it being built into many Master System and Master System II consoles. As a result of being built-in, the cartridge-based version of the game is now one of the rarest Master System titles.
A young martial artist named Alex Kidd one day learns of a villain named Janken the Great who has defeated King Thunder of the city of Radaxian and who has kidnapped his son, Prince Egle (or 'Igul'), and Egle's fiancée Princess Lora. Discovering that he is the lost son of King Thunder, Alex sets out to rescue the kingdom. On his quest, he defeats Janken's henchmen and retrieves various items which lead him toward Janken whom he defeats and sees turned to stone. Alex retrieves the crown, and the people of Radaxian are restored under the newly crowned King Egle.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a 2D platform game. The player must finish levels and overcome obstacles and puzzles in both scrolling and single-screen environments. Throughout the 17 stages, Alex faces many monsters and the three henchmen of Janken the Great, before facing Janken himself.
Alex's punching ability is used to destroy enemies and to break rocks in order to access new paths and to collect items such as money which can then be used to purchase other items including vehicles such as motorbikes and helicopters. At the end of many stages, Alex plays jan-ken-pon (rock, paper, scissors) with one of Janken's henchmen. Alex dies with one hit, or by losing a game of rock, paper, scissors.
The game has no save system, but by holding the directional pad up and pressing the 2 button eight times at the Game Over screen, the player will restart the level with three new lives, at a cost of 400 Baums (the in-game currency).
The game has been critically acclaimed since its release. In 1987, the French magazine Génération 4 gave the game a 99% score. In 1991, Sega Pro magazine gave the game a 95% score, stating that, with "so much to do and so many different ways of doing it, this is one of those games you will keep coming back to even when you have finished it completely." Computer and Video Games magazine in 1991 gave it an 86% score, describing the game as "Sega's answer to Mario" and concluding that the "absorbing gameplay will have you glued to your screen for hours on end."
In a 2008 retro review, IGN gave Alex Kidd a score of 9 out of 10 and an "Editor's Choice" award, calling it "an exceptional platformer with loads of action and some great puzzle-solving challenges" that "still holds up remarkably well." IGN also gave the Wii Virtual Console release a score of 9 out of 10.
The game was originally only available in cartridges, but was later built into many editions of both the Master System and the Master System II power base, enabling play without the use of a game cartridge. From 1990 onwards a slightly different version was integrated into the US, Australian and European versions of the Master System II and also some Australian and European versions of the original Master System. There were two differences: firstly when changing targets in the game map, Alex is shown eating onigiri in the original version (and the 2008 Wii Virtual Console port), and a hamburger in the integrated version. Secondly, the original version used button 2 to hit and button 1 to jump; these controls were inverted in the integrated version.
The game was released alongside Super Hang-On and The Revenge of Shinobi as part of Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd and Co., which was released for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in May 2012. This version allows play of any region version of the game (the European version retaining a 50 Hz framerate) and the Master System II variation. The original version is included on the AtGames Sega Genesis HD.
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- Angel, Shadow (username) (2004-10-26). "Alex Kidd in Miracle World Review". Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
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- Thomas, Lucas M. (23 June 2008). "Alex Kidd in Miracle World Review: The Master System's best platformer finally makes the jump to Wii". IGN. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
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- Kazin Mage (4 April 2006). "Alex Kidd in Miracle World". GameHall. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Alex Kidd in Miracle World". Génération 4 (1): 21. 1987. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
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- "Sega Software Showdown". Sega Pro (1): 19. November 1991.
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- Official website (in Japanese)