Alex Kidd (アレックス・キッド Arekkusu Kiddo) is a video game character whose popularity peaked during the late 1980s and who was the protagonist of both a series of video games released by Sega and their fictional universe, as well as in numerous spin-off merchandise such as novelizations and comics. For a time he was an unofficial mascot of the Sega Corporation before Sonic the Hedgehog.
Alex Kidd was the protagonist of several video games over the years, spanning various platforms, and appeared in the arcade and on the Sega Master System and the Mega Drive/Genesis home consoles. Alex Kidd's popularity was at a peak with the release of the first game in the series, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, in 1986, which was later built into the Master System console without need of a cartridge and was playable from purchase of the console.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Alex Kidd overtook the character of "Opa-Opa" from the game Fantasy Zone as the official mascot for Sega. However, Sega wished to have a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario, a task which Alex Kidd was not considered up to. In 1991, Sega introduced Sonic the Hedgehog, who became more popular and recognizable than Alex Kidd, and Sonic subsequently replaced Alex Kidd as Sega's mascot. After this, the popularity of the character waned somewhat, although the character has made numerous cameo appearances in later video games, most recently in Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
A young martial artist named Alex Kidd one day learns of a villain named Janken the Great who has defeated King Thunder of the city of Radaxian and who has kidnapped his son, Prince Egle (or 'Igul'), and Egle's fiancée Princess Lora. Discovering that he is the lost son of King Thunder, Alex sets out to rescue the kingdom. On his quest, he defeats Janken's henchmen and retrieves various items which lead him toward Janken whom he defeats and sees turned to stone. Alex retrieves the crown, and the people of Radaxian are restored under the newly crowned King Egle.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a 2D platform game. The player must finish levels and overcome obstacles and puzzles in both scrolling and single-screen environments. Throughout the 17 stages, Alex faces many monsters and the three henchmen of Janken the Great, before facing Janken himself.
Alex's punching ability is used to destroy enemies and to break rocks in order to access new paths and to collect items such as money which can then be used to purchase other items including vehicles such as motorbikes and helicopters. At the end of many stages, Alex plays jan-ken-pon (rock, paper, scissors) with one of Janken's henchmen. Alex dies with one hit, or by losing a game of rock, paper, scissors.
The game has no save system, but by holding the directional pad up and pressing the 2 button eight times at the Game Over screen, the player will restart the level with three new lives, at a cost of 400 Baums (the in-game currency).
Some re-releases of the series were released on the Wii's Virtual Console.