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Lies games have fed you: Pit (from Kid Icarus) is not based on Icarus, but on Eros.

Despite what game name says, Pit —the main character from the Kid Icarus franchise— is not based on Icarus from Greek mythology (at least not originally), but on Eros (Greek)/Cupid (Roman).

The original Japanese name for the game is A Mythology of Light: The Mirror of Palutena, and there is no reference to Icarus anywhere. And even though they don't mention Eros/Cupid either, the inspiration is clear: a character with wings carrying a bow and arrow. Even some artwork shows Pit wielding heart-shaped arrowheads.

So where did this Icarus connection come from? Well obviously from the western name Kid Icarus. My guess is Nintendo of America didn't want the character to be associated with Eros —a mischievous demigod that causes people to fall in love and have sex. So the only other famous Greek mythology character with (temporary) wings was Icarus, and that's why I think they chose that name.

Interestingly, the great Game Boy sequel that no one played, was never released in Japan. In that game's ending, they literally show Pit flying close to the sun and losing his wings (which is what Icarus is famous for). I guess Nintendo of America really wanted to distance Pit from Eros/Cupid as much as they could.

I haven't played the 3DS game, so I don't know if they make any references to Eros/Cupid/Icarus too.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Oh hey, I saw this thread to in...that other forum.

Well I guess it makes sense Pit is based on cupid, though Uprising does invoke the Icarus trope on the whole deal with his flight powers being limited.
 
Yeah, on that other thread someone said the Icarus connection on the 3DS game was added by Nintendo of America. In the Japanese version Icarus is not mentioned.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Yeah, on that other thread someone said the Icarus connection on the 3DS game was added by Nintendo of America. In the Japanese version Icarus is not mentioned.
Pit mentions Palutena's Mirror instead, which I guess in this game also gets unutilized.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
Even the name "Pit" is derived from "Cupid."

Depictions of Cupid are pretty common, so I doubt Nintendo had a problem with that so much as they didn't think it was sufficiently cool marketing material. Note that for the original game they only changed the brand and left the rest alone.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
It's supposed to be "Parthena," yeah. Brawl and Kid Icarus Uprising chose to preserve that '80s-era flub and others for all time.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Well, there IS that alternate universe where Nintendo sold Kid Eros and was immediately shut down, leading to a world where console video games never left Japan.

I always thought Palutena came from Pallas Athena.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Hewdraw should have been "Hydra". I'm glad they stuck with the mistranslations, they're more distinctive. Like Varia instead of Barrier.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Big fan of Hewdraw, but I’m glad they added the H to Thanatos; name had a weird feeling otherwise.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
I saw that one on wikipedia, but I don't think that is true. Cupid in Japanese is Kyūpiddo, not Kyūpitto.

Mythological names like these tend to have several possible spellings in Japanese. Kyūpitto is actually one for Cupid. You'll find many results for Cupid if you search for キューピット.
 

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)
I don't remember...but did they actually call him "Pit" in Captain N: The Game Master? Kid Icarus was a huge blind spot for me because I never EVER came across that game in person in my entire life. (Shit, I didn't even know his name was "Pit" until he was announced for Smash Bros.)
 
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