Sunday, September 28, 2008

Isn't It Gorgonic?

You doesn’t have to try too hard to prove that what early video games put in their instruction manuals didn’t always match up to what appeared on screen. Nonetheless, I was surprised at how very off-model Nintendo’s take on Medusa was when her appearance in Kid Icarus’s instruction manual is compared against what she looked like in the game.

As the concept art puts it:

And her two in-game sprites, neither of them approximate what the instruction manual promised:

The glaring, wall-sized face of death is how she first meeting the player. The swooning, toga-clad woman appears when Missus Big Face crumbles away. Maybe the instruction manual blended the two into one? Wall face or not, this two- or three- or ugly-faced woman is the first-ever female big bad in a Nintendo game, unless I’m mistaken.

There’s no big conclusion here — just a little thought that I had the time to post.


  1. I think at this point she has full power and has assumed a larger more terrifying form. At the start she is stripped of her position and banished so it can be assumed she has a lot less power then when she's ruling Angel Land.

  2. I'd think that honor would go to Mother Brain. Metroid was released in August 1986 in Japan; Kid Icarus didn't come out there until December 1986.

  3. Dinosaur: Valid point.

    Mirabai Knight: Also a valid point. You're right. I should correct this, and there may even be another post in this, considering the spiritual, technological connection shared by Metroid and Kid Icarus.