Eggplant Wizard

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Eggplant Wizard
Kid Icarus series character
Eggplant Wizard, uprising.png
Eggplant Wizard, as depicted in Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012).
First game Kid Icarus (1986)
Created by Toru Osawa
Voiced by Michael Donovan (Captain N: The Game Master, 1989-1991)

Eggplant Wizard is an antagonist in the Kid Icarus series of video games, and one of the franchise's breakout characters. Although his appearance has evolved throughout the years, he is consistently depicted as a large, on-eyed, anthropomorphic eggplant. He carries a staff which he uses to shoot eggplants at Pit, the player controlled character. If the projectiles come in contact with Pit, they will transform him into an eggplant until a nurse rids him of the ailment. The Eggplant Wizard has gained notoriety within the video gaming community as one of the most challenging and hated enemies in video games, and he has developed a significant enough following that he has been mentioned by mainstream media outlets such as ABC News. The character appeared in the 1986 release Kid Icarus, and has since featured prominently in both of the game's sequels.

Concept and appearances[edit]

He first appeared in the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game Kid Icarus. Eggplant Wizard was inspired by Toru Osawa's love for eggplants. Osawa also claims that he drew the Eggplant Wizard to celebrate his summer bonus.[1]

In other media[edit]

The Eggplant Wizard appears in the TV series Captain N: The Game Master voiced by Michael Donovan. He appears as a major antagonist alongside Metroid and Punch-Out!! antagonists Mother Brain and King Hippo respectively. He is often paired up with King Hippo where they provide the comedy relief in Mother Brain's group. He was also a centerpiece of the Nintendo's E3 presentation for Kid Icarus: Uprising, where his reveal at the end of the game's original trailer was met with enthusiasm by the audience.

Reception[edit]

Since his debut in Kid Icarus, the Eggplant Wizard has gained notoriety among video game enemies. Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Kid Icarus: Uprising director Masahiro Sakurai have both cited the character as a key factor in the enduring popularity of the 'Kid Icarus series.[2][3] IGN called the Eggplant Wizard the "most popular, most cunning enemy character to come out of the Kid Icarus series."[4] Shack News' Ozzie Mejia called Eggplant Wizard "the single most aggravating bad guy in all of video games."[5] Destructoid's Chad Concelmo named him "the biggest asshole video game wizard", stating that "there is no other character hated more than the dreaded, horrible, massive asshole Eggplant Wizard" due to his high defense and his ability to transform Pit into an eggplant.[6] GameSpot included the Eggplant Wizard in their list of "game stuff" that they "love to hate."[7] 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish called him a weird idea for an enemy, but also Pit's most challenging. He compared the enemy to the Hammer Bros. from the Mario series of video games, because they often come in pairs and throw projectiles at the player character. However, he noted that the Eggplant Wizards were worse because the Eggplant Wizards would target Pit.[8]

Both MTV Multiplayer Blog's Jason Cipriano and IGN's Lucas M. Thomas cited the Eggplant Wizard as emblematic of series' wacky design.[9][10] and stated that fans would be excited to see him appear in Kid Icarus: Uprising.[9] Hardcore Gaming 101's Kurt Kalata called the Eggplant Wizard the most challenging part of the NES game.[11] UGO Networks's Chris Plante included "being turned into an eggplant" in his list of the 20 most memorable NES moments.[12] GamesRadar included the Eggplant Wizard in their list of the "top seven edible enemies in gaming." They stated that he was "one of the strangest, most talked-about weirdos in all of gaming" and questioned why he is in a game about Greek mythology.[13] GamesRadar also claimed that the character was "clearly-designed-by-a-madman old bastard of the NES baddo fraternity" and that his "oddness belied a far more insidious property."[14] Eggplant Wizard has been suggested to appear as a playable character or item in multiple entries of the Super Smash Bros. series by Game Informer, Nintendo World Report, and IGN.[4][15][16]

The Eggplant Wizard's popularity is such that he has been viewed as synonymous with the Kid Icarus brand even by those outside of the gaming community. For example, to celebrate of the release for Kid Icarus: Uprising, ABC News' Lauren Torrisi featured a number of different eggplant-based recipes.[17] A GameStop promotion for Kid Icarus: Uprising gave away a selection of Augmented reality 3DS cards, one of which featured Eggplant Wizard.[18] A Wii tribute album made by the band Uncle Monsterface features a song titled "Bring Back the Eggplant Wizard (song for Gunpei Yokoi)".[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monnens, Devin (2012-03-19). "Making of a Myth: The Grueling Development of the Original Kid Icarus". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  2. ^ Kshofsy (2010-07-07). "Kid Icarus Director Says Nintendo 3DS Will Change Gameplay". Wired. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  3. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2005-05-19). "E3 2005: Shigeru Miyamoto Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  4. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas M. (2007-06-29). "Smash It Up! - Volume 2". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  5. ^ Mejia, Ozzie (2011-12-26). "Most Anticipated of 2012: Ozzie's Picks". Shack News. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  6. ^ Concelmo, Chad (2011-10-05). "The ten biggest asshole videogame wizards EVER!". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  7. ^ "Un-Valentine's Day: Game Stuff We Love to Hate". GameSpot. 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  8. ^ Parish, Jeremy (2011-09-07). "Kid Icarus: A Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  9. ^ a b Cipriano, Jason (2012-03-27). "'Kid Icarus: Uprising' Review - A Gift From The Heavens". MTV Multiplayer Blog. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Lucas M. (2012-02-29). "The Unsung Innovations of Kid Icarus". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  11. ^ Kalata, Kurt. "Angel Land Story". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  12. ^ Plante, Chris (2010-02-27). "Top 20 NES Moments". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  13. ^ "The Top 7 Edible Enemies in Video Games". GamesRadar. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  14. ^ "The Top 7... Games where you play as food". GamesRadar. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  15. ^ Reeves, Ben (2012-01-06). "Dream Team: What We Want In A New Smash Bros.". Game Informer. p. 3. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  16. ^ "Blah Blah Blah - GC Launch Mayhem! Launch and Beyond". Nintendo World Report. 2001-11-18. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  17. ^ Torrisi, Lauren (2012-03-23). "Kid Icarus: Celebrate the Return of the Eggplant Wizard With These Recipes". ABC News. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  18. ^ Ishaan (2012-03-14). "The Different Ways You Can Procure More Kid Icarus: Uprising AR Cards". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  19. ^ Carless, Simon (2006-10-25). "Uncle Monsterface Blasts Wii Tribute Album". Game Set Watch. Retrieved 2014-04-30.