After 25 years, Nintendo finally released a new Kid Icarus game. I was able to procure a copy of the 3D Classic of the original when I picked up my copy of the 3DS game this past Friday. I started to play the classic copy and had an epiphany: I hate flying enemies. They have a predictable pattern that you can watch for hours and memorize, and yet they still manage to connect. Kid Icarus isn’t the only game guilty of throwing these types of enemies at you. Let’s take a look at some of the more notorious flying foes.
From Kid Icarus, we have Monoeye. It’s a squid-like creature that travels in a line four deep. The pattern usually starts out with the line moving from side to side across the screen. After a pass or two, the line will swoop down to attack the player. To make things difficult, the line of monoeyes will stay just out of shooting range when the player goes to pursue them. These baddies have their attack pattern down to a science. They move fluidly and don’t break rank even if one or two or even three fall.
Next, we have the Rippers from the Metroid series. These hard-shelled aliens have a very simple flight pattern. They just move back and forth in a straight line. The problem with them is that they are so simplistic, they are often over-looked as a potential threat. Not to mention, the Ripper is indestructible. No weapon can kill them. Unlike most flying foes though, rippers can be frozen using the ice beam and make great staircases.
Another airborne foe worth mentioning is one of the first that gamers meet — at least the gamers of my generation — and that is the Koopa ParaTroopa from the Super Mario Bros. series. There are two types of the paratroopa: the green and the red. The green ones can’t really fly. They just kind of flutter and hop about. But the red paratoopers are a bit more organized. They have a set flight pattern: either up and down or side to side in a straight line. Their placement can be pretty strategic. Usually, they like to fly in front of you while you’re trying to time jumps from floating platform to floating platform. Also, the paratroopa, when jumped on, recedes into its shell and can still be dangerous; a real double-threat guy!
Each of these enemies can be a danger to the player. But, they all pale in comparison to the ultimate flying enemy: Medusa’s Head from the Castlevania series. From the first game to today, the flying medusa head has tormented gamers for two decades and shows no sign of stopping. When analyzed, the player notices the medusa head flies in a wave-like pattern. The pattern takes up a small portion of the screen and has tracking tendencies depending on where the player is when the head enters the screen.
For example, if the player is mid-jump, the head will float a little higher than if the player is on ground. Then there’s the medusa heads that are able to turn the player into stone on contact. This can be extremely dangerous if it happens when the player is in the air as they will fall to the ground and break into pieces. Medusa heads are the epitome of frustration. They are completely unrelenting and the cause of many broken controllers.
It takes a special kind of enemy to really get under the player’s skin. For me, the enemy usually has airborne tendencies. Those mentioned above are by no means the only ones. They are just some of my most memorable.
Just In Bailey –an homage to the secret code from Metriod, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her suit– is an editorial column at Vagary.TV brought to you by Joey Alesia. Each week Joey will challenge you to look at a different perspective of the characters, gameplay, and/or plot in your favorite games. Chat up your thoughts below, or send Joey an e-mail at Joey.Alesia@vagary.tv and remember to follow him on Twitter @wrkngclsswrtr.