Learn About Factor 5’s Lost Kid Icarus Reboot

Back in 2008, an uprising of rumors pointed to a Kid Icarus comeback developed by Factor 5. This weekend, Unseen 64‘s Tamaki published a video telling the story behind the ill-fated project.

In the beginning, Nintendo was hoping to revitalize Kid Icarus following a resurgence of interest in the series thanks to Pit’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In 2007, developer Factor 5 was contracted by Nintendo for such a revival. The game was planned around 3D flight and combat mechanics, not to mention a darker and more mature direction for the franchise.

The story saw an older Pit disgraced from Angel Land, and so his appearance belied a fallen angel, including tattered wings, chains, and battle armor. Pit would have to rise to battle again when an evil power threatened the Earth, and win redemption from his accused crimes. It was a dramatic departure from the cartoony art style of the NES original.

Work began on the prototype in August that year, simply entitled ‘Icarus’. Nintendo wanted Factor 5 to use their own computer model of Pit (almost identical to his Smash Bros. model), but Factor 5 went ahead and used their own, more mature version. It was developed over several months by multiple Factor 5 team members and ran on Factor 5’s abandoned graphics engine for Wii, itself based on the tech from the PS3-exclusive Lair.

Ultimately, the pitch was rejected by NCL as being too much of a departure from the series’ style and gameplay. Certain scrapped materials from the project, including test animations and concept art, have leaked since the project fell apart. This video helps to contextualize the rough evolution of the project’s messy development. It would not be until 2012’s Kid Icarus: Uprising, directed by Masahiro Sakurai, for the angelic Pit to return.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.