top of page

Kid Icarus

Composed by Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka

Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka was one of Nintendo's first sound designers, joining the company before Koji Kondo. Tanaka had grown up with music all his life. He performed in various bands throughout his school years, including bands that did cover music of the Beatles and Elton John. Tanaka was also heavily invested in the reggae genre, joining a reggae band that even got to open for the group Sly and Robbie.

In 1980, Tanaka joined Nintendo as a sound designer for what he thought would be an easy job, making sound effects for "toys." He wound up making a sound chip for Nintendo, and designing sound effects for some of Nintendo's earliest titles, most notably being the sound effects designer for the original Donkey Kong. He didn't actually get to compose music for Nintendo until Donkey Kong 3 in 1983. His style of music mirrored that of his passion for reggae music, often incorporating only percussion and bass into his music. 1986 would prove to be Tanaka's most sigificant year with Nintendo at that point. Two of their most notable entries to their first party line-up were both composed by Tanaka himself. Metroid, and this game, Kid Icarus. 

Released in Japan as Light Mythology: Palutena's Mirror, Game director Satoru Okada had always been fascinated with Greek mythology. Originally meant to have a more serious tone, the game did take inspiration from Greek mythology while simulataniously incorporating strange and humorus additions. Including a few suggested by Tanaka himself, like the Specknose enemy which was allegidly modeled after Tanaka himself.

Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka helped Nintendo develop some of it's more unique music and sounds. And while Kid Icarus wasn't a runaway smash, it did eventually get a revival of sorts thanks to its representation in the Smash series, and the sequel developed by Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai. 

bottom of page