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Character Chronicle: Dark Pit

Just as we last observed one morally gray antihero, we’re looking to the heavens for another this month. And since we all have the Super Smash Bros. series on the brain at the moment, let’s put the spotlight on another one of its veterans.

However, let’s first put the spotlight on everyone I toured ancient Greece with:

  • Oakland or Kao, a friend who kindly scoured through the 279th issue of Nintendo Power for me.
  • Wolfman, another good friend who offered edits and suggestions.
Dark Pit Art

Dark Pit in 2012’s Kid Icarus: Uprising (Image: Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as per a series tradition, gave all of its fighter multiple palette swaps to choose from. One of Pit’s decked him out in “fallen angel colors,” predating the black-winged angel’s formal debut by four years. And, indeed, that dark-hued coloration would evolve into one of the most prolific Kid Icarus characters once the series emerged from dormancy.  

Dark Pit’s History

Kid Icarus: Uprising, the first Nintendo 3DS game publicly unveiled, became Dark Pit’s proper introduction, with an early trailer affirming Pit would square off against his own dark doppelgänger. Masahiro Sakurai stressed in an interview with Nintendo Power, however, that Dark Pit “isn’t really a different individual from Pit,” he’s simply Pit’s reflection, another part of him. The goddess Pandora was the architect behind Dark Pit’s creation, creating him by baiting Pit into breaking the Mirror of Truth, which can create copies of whatever it sees. His imperfect duplicate quickly revolts against the deity, joining Pit’s efforts in taking her down. After divekicking Pit and absorbing Pandora’s lingering powers, Dark Pit flies off. The pair of angels butt heads throughout Uprising, with Pit’s opposite operating as the marquee foe in the very next chapter. Palutena also dubs him Pittoo, a nickname Dark Pit’s blatantly displeased with.

Pit vs Dark Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising

Dark Pit serves as a boss, miniboss, playable character, and a partner throughout Uprising. He’s the only individual who functions in all four major capacities. (Image: Nintendo)

Nevertheless, Dark Pit’s innate connection to Pit linked his well-being to his namesake’s. It’s also why, in Sakurai’s words, “Pit has the instinct to save Dark Pit, even at the risk of his own life.” Ultimately, the copy grew into a reliable, if aloof, ally in Pit’s battles. Dark Pit himself became playable in lieu of Pit in Chapter 22, reciprocating Pit’s earlier act of selflessness. Additionally, Dark Pit represented the latter team in the “Light vs. Dark” multiplayer mode, again serving as the foil to his rival.

Shortly after Sakurai wrapped up Uprising, he was thrust back into Smash, helming its fourth and fifth installments. Palutena joined the festivities, with Dark Pit curiously cameoing in her trailer and poster. Although there was debate and speculation amongst the community over what role he’d have, the infamous ESRB leak confirmed he was a newcomer, bringing Pittoo’s career full circle.

Pit, Dark Pit, and Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Although often depicted with his eponymous Dark Pit Staff, the clone’s true signature weapon is the Silver Bow, an incomplete incarnation of the Palutena’s Bow. (Image: Nintendo)

Sitting alongside fellow clones Dr. Mario and Lucina, all three were initially planned as alternate costumes, getting promoted later during development. Consequently, Dark Pit’s moveset is nearly identical to his base’s; their most pronounced difference is Pittoo’s utilization of the Dark Pit Staff since Sakurai and his team felt it would be “very strange” for him to harness Pit’s Three Sacred Treasures. One of the designers also modeled the Electroshock Arm by happenstance, further inspiring Sakurai to separate the Pits. Interestingly, Dark Pit’s Palutena’s Guidance continues Kid Icarus’s story after the events of Uprising, expositing that the antihero had aligned himself with Viridi.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U also coincided with the launch of Nintendo’s amiibo toy line. Said figurines offer bonuses in select games, with Dark Pit’s bequeathing cosmetics stylized after him in Yoshi’s Woolly World and Super Mario Maker.

So, what’re my thoughts on Pittoo?

Kid Icarus: Uprising was blessed with a rich cast, but if you asked me who my favorite was, Dark Pit would not be my answer. He’s not a bad choice, however! I do like the guy, and I felt his presence benefited the game.

Pit and Dark Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising

Given Sakurai’s statements and the premise behind the Mirror of Truth, Dark Pit’s personality does begat some curiosity regarding Pit’s innermost nature. On some subconscious level, does Pit dislike taking orders? (Image: Nintendo)

Shadowy counterparts are a tired concept, one Nintendo’s employed numerous times dating back to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link in 1987. However, unlike his spiritual forbears, Dark Pit had much more of an actual personality; he was well-aware of and deeply insecure about how his entire being was owed to Pit. From quickly pledging his independence to claiming it’s Pit who’s somehow emulating him, Pittoo loathed his identity and tried his hardest to distance himself from it, even if he seldom indulged himself in jovial antics alongside his compeer.

Nevertheless, Dark Pit’s third-party perspective did periodically provide a counterpoint to Pit’s more trusting, wholesome demeanor; Dark Pit questioning Pit over his devotion to Palutena likely challenged the white-winged angel in a manner he never had been before, and Dark Pit confronting the gods for their selfishness was similarly an observation only he could make. Dark Pit certainly wasn’t an “insignificant nothing” as Viridi put it, but a character with agency and an actual, unique perspective.

Pittoo and Palutena in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

The Pits share their voice actor, Antony Del Rio. He does a fantastic job as both, portraying a contrast between Pit’s more cheerful nature and Pittoo’s gruff, aggressive attitude. (Image: Nintendo)

As for Smash Bros., I welcome clones as the bonuses they are and I therefore respect Pittoo’s inclusion as a fighter. I know a fair amount of people who were disappointed – and, in a few cases, outright offended – by it, however. Clone fighters have endured as a divisive fixture within the Smash fandom, with Dark Pit bearing some of the most acidic venom in the series’ history. Even if he’s nigh indistinguishable from his twin, I still appreciate how Dark Pit exhibited a few of his personal touches, elements he would not have had Sakurai opted to relegate him as a mere costume swap. However, I would eagerly welcome any further differentiations between the two angels in the upcoming Switch entry, assuming Pittoo makes it back. Uprising’s still-untapped material, such as the Lightning Chariot or massive array of diverse weapons, could easily facilitate that.

He’s one of the more controversial fighters to be admitted into Smash, yet I’m rooting for Pittoo’s return. As I once mentioned, every fighter in Smash has a fanbase, so I’d never champion the removal or demotion of any veteran. And when we finally get a new Kid Icarus game, I’d likewise happily greet Dark Pit in it.

Congratulations, Dark Pit! You’re the better half!

Pit and Dark Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising ending

Trivia: Dark Pit uttered my favorite line in all of Uprising, giving him yet another feather in his cap. (Image: Nintendo)

So, the Kid Icarus crew had a happy ending at the end of Uprising, but our next subject wasn’t so lucky. I hope you’re brave-hearted…

Chris Walker in Outlast

You better get used to this silhouette, you’re going to see it a lot during your stay at Murkoff’s asylum…

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Cart Boy

Cart Boy wants to be the very best. Like no one ever was. He also occasionally contributes an article here when the stars align properly, and he helps out with editing and Source Gaming’s Facebook page.
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6 comments
  1. I hope he really returns. He was a really cool character in both Uprising and Smash and I’d even be okay if we don’t get any significant changes with him if development team couldn’t find time for it.

    DeeperThanRed on May 14 |
    • Completely agreed! If Sakurai and his team can allot the resources to diverge Dark Pit from Pit a bit more, it’d certainly be welcomed, but I’d also happily take Dark Pit as-is. I clocked in more time playing as him than Pit, honestly.

      Cart Boy on May 15 |
  2. I haven’t played this game. However upon reading, it gives me more interest to try this one.

    ogreatgames on May 15 |
    • You haven’t played Kid Icarus: Uprising? It’s personally my favorite 3DS game, though its unorthodox control scheme does make it hard for me to recommend. I myself never had any issues with it, and I think the touch screen controls allow for a great deal of precision over Pit’s movements and aiming once you get the hang of them, but I can understand why some people don’t care for the control setup.

      Anyway, if you give Uprising a whirl, I hope you enjoy it! It’s packed with content, and its campaign is fantastic. (Also, I apologize in advance, since this article does spoil a few details regarding Uprising‘s story.)

      Cart Boy on May 15 |
  3. Wassup Cart Boy! Here to comment on your character choice!

    I haven’t played the game before, but pretty much known him through several community sites, like pixiv. But instead, my friend in Japan have played the game before, so he explained what the story is most likely. While I don’t have any plannings to play the game, I could sense there will be a sequel to this game, according to Palutena’s Guidance being a hint.

    I really don’t have much to say something about Dark Pit or Pittoo…or Blapi (which is a shorten version of Black Pit in Japan, not Brad Pitt :P). His personality is much closer to Sonic’s Shadow, Mega Man’s Bass, or even Dragon Ball’s Vegeta, who’s prideful to himself and disobedient to others. But on the other half, he can be respectful to others if needed, like how he think Pit is important to him even he dislikes him badly, which both can agree each other when they have a same goal. Its odd how he joined Viridi’s army according to Palutena’s Guidance when he’s normally a loner. If that guidance really hints a sequel, then maybe we’ll see him again as Viridi’s member. But by the name of Goddess Palutena…why is the heaven always being hated by everybody?

    However, as Dark Pit wasn’t part of my speculation list for Smash 3DS/Wii U, I pretty sensed he’d be in Smash, while I denied most people seeing him in Palutena’s entry trailer was meaningless, which I was wrong in the end. Surprisingly, he’s really popular by female fans in Japan. Not just for him being cool, but for…ummmm…”BL” reasons. Please, don’t ask me what that means…it’s best for pure people like you. But even then, I really disliked how he was made in Smash, which being Pit’s clone. Well, I mean, he IS Pit’s clone…but without any differences between each other, except for using a different forward special and Final Smash, and being powerful thus slower than Pit. Even his Final Smash…which using his staff may make sense, it’s nothing but a Zelda/Shiek’s ripoff, which is another disappointment. He could’ve made more differently if possible. Even my friend in Japan complained that he should’ve used different weapon rather than being close to his original, as there were tons of weapons to choose from. While removing a fighter from Smash is something that Sakurai hates to do, I do sense Dark Pit may get removed due to his unpopularity. But if he gets to stay, I suggest his movesets to be fixed, using different weapons to differentiate Pit.

    Sorry to be negative with this character, it’s just there’s nothing positive I could think of for him. I think I could blame on Smash because of how he was made there, not being different from his original. I could still forgive Lucina because, hell, she’s Marth’s descendant, so it makes sense she’s using a similar move as his ancestor. Toon Link is still okay because he’s still Link but from an alternate timeline/universe. But not Dr. Mario because he’s simply Mario in a doctor cosplay. Roy and Falco at least made differently, so Dark Pit should’ve been differently too. So if he do return in the next new Smash, although he’s not my favorite, I do hope he’s remade into a fully different character.

    And for the next character………who’s that? I mean, that screenshot looks familiar…but anyways, looking forward for it!

    zoniken on May 15 |
    • Yo! How’s your new home treating you? Is the job hunt going well, friend?

      Sorry to hear you’re not of fan of Pittoo. I do feel playing through Uprising might help endear you to him, he’s fun there and he grows as the game progresses. As for working for Viridi, they just so happen to have “overlapping interests,” whatever that means. Hopefully we learn more about that someday!

      As for Smash, I can understand why people would be underwhelmed with him there. Personally, I generally think the more the merrier, and Dark Pit’s inclusion was so comparatively easy that I welcome him. Though if Dark Pit does make it back, some adjustments to differentiate the Pits would be grand if the team’s resources allow for it. Personally, I’d like to see the Lightning Chariot as a new Final Smash, with the Dark Pit Staff and the Pandora Claws or Viridi Claws worked somewhere into his moveset too. And to be fair to him, he literally is Pit’s clone, so them sharing the same stats – running speed, jump height, etc. – does make sense from that perspective. Also, I like Dr. Mario. 🙁

      As for next time, well, I don’t want to outright give his identity away, but I’ll say he’s one of the more prolific faces in Outlast. He also likes pigs.

      Cart Boy on May 22 |