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Babes in Play: She's Out from the Heavens and Into the Spotlight, Palutena

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Ever since the initial announcement, there's been a lot of excitement and hype for the brand new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS coming later this year. In one year, the roster has been filling up with familiar faces from Nintendo's past and newcomers including the likes of gaming icons Mega Man and Pac-Man. In what has been a pretty unprecedented move, Nintendo's newest additions to Smash include a lot more female characters than ever before in Smash history. Some of those include the Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina from Mario Galaxy, and most recently Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening. One of the new fighters is a rather unusual but welcome name from the annals of Nintendo history. She has been known to be regulated as a supporting character but now steps up to throw down with magical powers unlike anything ever seen before. But when you're a Goddess, anything's possible. So let's go back and see what makes her qualified to Smash with the best of them as we look to the light of Lady Palutena from Kid Icarus.

Going all the way back to early 1987, Palutena debuted in the original NES game Kid Icarus. But back then, Palutena was more or less relegated to the role of damsel in distress when Queen Medusa had overtaken the realm of Angel Land and imprisoned her in the Sky Temple. With what little power she had left, she delivered a bow and arrow to one of her servants Pit, freeing him from the Underworld and working his way back up to rescuing her. Depending on how successful he is upon freeing her, Palutena either gives Pit a new outfit or makes him a fully developed angel, giving him a kiss for his hard work.

Ever since then there had been no sign of Pit or Palutena in any of Nintendo's future systems, aside from a minor sequel on the Game Boy, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. They were missing, but not forgotten as evidenced by Pit's trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Eventually the heavenly pair made a comeback in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, debuting in the current designs they have today. Although Palutena once again took a backseat to Pit, who was the main fighter in Brawl while Palutena appeared as support during the Subspace Emissary mode, and appearing in the background whenever Pit activated his Final Smash.

The Goddess of Light got a better chance to shine when Kid Icarus: Uprising launched on the Nintendo 3DS, which just so happened to be directed by Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the Smash Bros. series. While Pit was the main star as always, Palutena was with Pit every step of the way, providing him with "The Power of Flight" so he could battle enemies in the air even if for only five minutes. Despite not physically getting involved at first, Palutena would communicate with Pit often lending encouragement to him when the two weren't busy exchanging witty banter, sometimes bordering on breaking the fourth wall. On this crusade, Palutena had Pit fighting against many foes including the Underworld Army of Hades, Nature Goddess Viridi's Forces of Nature, and even an alien race called "The Aurum."

Things take a turn for the crazy however, when a being called The Chaos Kin escapes from a prison Pit had destroyed and turned him into a ring, putting him to sleep for three years. In that time, the Chaos Kin possesses Palutena's body and corrupts her soul into having her armies attack the humans of the world. When Pit reawakens and regains control of his original body, he is forced into a partnership with Viridi to go up against the corrupted Palutena. After breaking into her temple, Pit is engaged into battle with Palutena, but defeating her would result in an old "I'm finished" game over screen. Instead, Pit attacks the Chaos Kin itself and forces it to retreat back to it's own dimension, but not before stealing Palutena's soul and turning her body to stone. Eventually with the help of Viridi and Dark Pit, (a rebellious clone of Pit) Palutena is restored to normal even after Pit nearly dies in the process. After some fierce battles and hardships in the Underworld, both Pit and Palutena reunite to take down Hades once and for all and restore balance to all the world.

Even as a Goddess, Palutena has shown sides of herself none would have imagined before both in Uprising and in a Nintendo Video-exclusive short called "Palutena's Revolting Diner." Now with her reveal as a character for the next Smash game, she comes forth into battle carrying many of the attacks and/or powers Pit had in Uprising. Whether she is effective as a fighter will be seen once the games are out and she is combat-tested. But it's safe to say that she is as welcome as any new fighters in the Smash Bros. roster. After this, it's hard to say if Palutena will be used outside of Smash games considering Sakurai stated he has no intentions of doing another Kid Icarus game despite the positive reception to Uprising. But for the time being, Palutena has been a beloved character and her part in Smash Bros. may very well carry her to a higher plane of praise. So it's best to enjoy what time we will have playing as her or against her in Smash. For Palutena's the video game babe whose light should never fade out.

This is Greg P., examining video game babes for you and me.

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