- This article has content based on the author’s opinions that shouldn’t be taken as fact.
- Some of the screenshots and gifs weren’t recorded by the author and are solely meant for illustrative purposes. Credit goes to the respective owners.
- This article contains plot spoilers for Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Hi. I’m back with another Smash Stage Analysis, in which the stages of Super Smash Bros. are broken down and analyzed in regards to both origin and design, and how those tie together. This is the third article in the series and it will focus on the Kid Icarus series stage found in the 3DS installment of Super Smash Bros. series.
The stage’s origin
The Reset Bomb Forest is the main setting for the 11th chapter of Kid Icarus: Uprising. After nominal villain Medusa is defeated by Pit in the 9th chapter, Hades is revealed as the mastermind behind her resurrection and the true ruler of the Underworld.
In the 10th chapter, Palutena tells Pit that Hades is looking for an artifact known as the Wish Seed, which grants the ability to grant a wish to anyone who gets it. This is guarded by the mythical Phoenix, who becomes enraged by the Underworld Army’s presence. After Pit defeats the Phoenix, Hades reveals that the Wish Seed was a ruse and he has manipulated humanity into getting it.
The 11th chapter shows that a war between multiple human factions had broke out and Hades was using the amount of casualties as means to power up his army through the souls of the dead. With no way to stop the warring humans, Pit and Palutena resolve to focus on Hades’s underlings. During this, a massive bomb drops into the battlefield, causing a massive twisted forest to grow, killing several humans in the process.
Shortly after, the goddess of nature, Viridi is introduced and shown as the one behind the Reset Bomb, a weapon created by her to devastate humans and their constructions to restore the destroyed habitats back to their original form. The battlefield thus becomes the aptly named Reset Bomb Forest.
Pit ventures through the forest to defeat Viridi’s minion Cragalanche and rescue any of the surviving humans. Venturing through the overgrown forest, one can spot remnants of human buildings.
Chapters in Kid Icarus: Uprising are the equivalent to a stage and, save for a few exceptions, they’re structured in a linear progression of aerial combat, ground combat and boss battle. The Reset Bomb Forest stage in Super Smash Bros. is based on the aerial combat scene of Chapter 11.
In Super Smash Bros.
True to the original game, the stage is set amidst the war between humans as described in the previous section. Originally, Pit flew throughout the area, focusing on the Underworld monsters flying about. As Smash Bros. is more focused on grounded combat, the characters fight on a castle, with the battlefield seen in the background.
Eventually, the Reset Bomb drops, and the stage depicts its namesake forest, with the ruins of the castle serving as the basis for the new layout, hanging by assorted tree branches.
The stage has two phases: before and after the Reset Bomb drops, which makes it similar to Brawl’s Castle Siege stage that switches between three parts.
The first part is set on a castle and features a simple layout of platforms. On the background, the war between humans rages on. By carefully looking at the sky in the background, it’s possible to see the Underworld Army flying about.
A minute through the match, a projection of Viridi is seen in the background. Her voice is also heard as she yells “Good riddance, human scum! The world is better off without you!”, just like in the original game. Though the line is the same, it is not recycled from the original game, but actually a new recording.
Afterwards, the Reset Bomb strikes the background and the stage transitions to the inside of the newly formed forest. It should be noted that, in the original game, Viridi only shows up after the Reset Bomb explodes.
This change likely comes from a game design perspective: whereas in Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Reset Bomb is meant as an element of surprise and to introduce Viridi and her hatred for humanity, in Super Smash Bros., Viridi’s appearance serves to warn players that the stage is about to change. Otherwise, the progression is similar.
In its second part, the stage’s layout changes and features a few breakable platforms. This is a logical stage element, as the layout is formed by the ruins of the castle seen in the first part, even though it doesn’t necessarily tie into any element from the original game.
Sometimes, a Lurchtorn can be seen on the lower area of the stage. This is an enemy from Kid Icarus: Uprising and one of the many types of creatures from Viridi’s army, the Forces of Nature. Players who touch it will take damage and, unlike its appearance in both the original game and Smash Run, they don’t shoot at anyone.
Afterwards, the stage reverts to normal. This doesn’t have any ties to the original game, as the 11th chapters finishes with Pit defeating Cragalanche, leaving the fate of the forest unknown. However, it makes sense from a gameplay perspective as it allows the stage to revert the cycle back to the beginning.
The Omega form takes place on the first part and removes the platforms attached to the structure as well as the bottomless pit in the middle. In addition, there is no Reset Bomb dropping from the sky, the stage never transitioning to the second part.
As with all stages in the 3DS version, there are two music tracks for this stage. The first is a new arrangement of “Wrath of the Reset Bomb” from Kid Icarus: Uprising, done by Yuzo Koshiro, who also composed the original version. This song played on the aerial section of the 12th chapter of Kid Icarus: Uprising and its original version is also available on the 3DS version of Smash Bros. as an extra song for Smash Run.
Kid Icarus: Uprising director, Masahiro Sakurai, has commented that the first part of the song (preserved in this remix) eventually became Viridi’s theme song, with several versions of the same composition appearing multiple times in the game. In fact, in chapter 11’s aerial section (in which this stage is based on), there’s no music playing until the Reset Bomb detonates and Viridi appears. The song that plays in both aerial and ground sections of the chapter is a variation of “Wrath of the Reset Bomb”.
The new arrangement is much shorter and, after the first part, heavily changed into a different variation of the theme, sounding more similar to the version found in the 11th chapter’s aerial section, though not quite the same. The arrangement is especially altered to match the stage’s changes, similar to how all musical compositions for aerial sections in Kid Icarus: Uprising were done to match the events unfolding. Pausing the game will also pause the music to avoid de-syncing.
As this song relates heavily to Viridi, it’s only natural (yes, this is a pun) that it was chosen as this stage’s primary theme.
The alternate song is “Dark Pit’s Theme”, taken directly from the original game. This song is one of the most popular tunes in Kid Icarus: Uprising and, as the Wii U version reveals in a Palutena’s Guidance that Dark Pit works for Viridi’s Forces of Nature for this Smash Bros. game, it makes this song’s choice a good fit for the stage in retrospect.
A Kid Icarus: Uprising stage was an obvious pick for this iteration of Smash Bros., especially as the 3DS version primarily focuses on handheld games for its stage selection. The game marked a revival of a series dormant for over 20 years and received overall positive reception among fans and critics. Reset Bomb Forest faithfully captures the spirit of the original game’s dynamic aerial battles, with changing scenery and music to match the mood, recreating the events of the game’s 11th chapter.
While I feel that there were better and more memorable places to choose from the original game for Smash, Reset Bomb Forest is far from being unmemorable, serving as the introduction to one of the major characters in the stories following Medusa’s defeat and the reveal of the true villain Hades.
What are your thoughts on this stage? What other of Kid Icarus: Uprising’s many areas would you have liked to see in Smash? Comment and let me know!