Kid Chameleon

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Kid Chameleon
Publisher: Sega & Sega of America
System(s): Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Genre: 2D Platform


Kid Chameleon, known as Chameleon Kid in Japan, is a platform game released for the Mega Drive/Genesis. The premise of the game is that the main character, "Kid Chameleon", can use masks to change into different characters to use different abilities. The game is also a part of the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. It was released for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console in Japan on 22 May 2007, North America on 28 May 2007 and Europe on 1 June 2007. It was also released in addition to a series of other Sega games, including Shining Force and Comix Zone, in Sega Smash Pack 2.


A new virtual reality arcade game arrived in town and every kid played it. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until kids began to disappear. The game's boss, Heady Metal, had freed himself from his scripted AI and was using his new freedom to kidnap every kid who could not beat the game, which was all of them—until now! Kid Chameleon enters the game and must defeat every level, every boss and Heady Metal himself if he wants to save the others.


The player, as Kid Chameleon, progresses through a series of levels. Most levels contain a flag, which is the primary goal of each level, from which the player progresses to the next level. However, a number of teleporters throughout the game can warp the player not only to different places in the same level, but also to different levels, and sometimes to an entirely different path through the game. At the end of the game, Kid fights and defeats the final boss, Heady Metal. Kid Chameleon contains nearly a hundred levels, of which only about half are on the "main path" (traversing levels only by flags), and also counts the two-dozen smaller unnamed levels, simply called "Elsewhere". Despite the game's considerable length, there was no password system or other method of saving the game. However, both Sega Genesis Collection and the Virtual Console service allow players to save their progress mid-game.

As Kid Chameleon moves through the game's levels, he gains access to masks that transform him into different characters. Each character has different special abilities and varying amounts of hit points. The sheer amount of variety in gameplay due to the various characters is part of what gave Kid Chameleon such an addictive style; few levels repeated the same structure and they usually had specific strategies and characters to be beaten. In addition to the offensive abilities of each form, the Kid could also defeat enemies by jumping on them, although he may take damage from some enemies by doing so.


Sprite Description
File:Kc kid.png Kid Chameleon - If Kid runs out of hit points while wearing any other mask, he reverts to this form. If Kid runs out of hit points in this form, he dies. (He will die in any form if he is crushed, falls off screen or if time runs out.) In this form he can grab onto ledges to pull himself up.
File:Kc ironknight.png Iron Knight - The Iron Knight is the most durable character, able to take more hits than any other character. He also has the ability to scale vertical walls. He is heavy enough to break through some floors.
File:Kc redstealth.png Red Stealth - A Samurai who can defeat enemies and break through some floors with his sword. He is able to jump higher than any of the other characters.
Berzerker - This character can charge through walls or foes.
File:Kc maniaxe.png Maniaxe - Modeled after Jason Voorhees, Maniaxe throws axes.
Juggernaut - A wide tank that shoots skulls.
MicroMax - A fly able to stick to walls and is half the size of the other characters, able to fit in small places.
EyeClops - Can temporarily reveal hidden blocks and fire a harmful beam for a low diamond cost.
SkyCutter - A hoverboarder able to ride on the ceiling at a consistent pace.
Cyclone - A superhero who can fly by spinning like a tornado.

Other attributes of the game

Diamond powers

The collectable (a known platform game staple) in Kid Chameleon is the diamond. These differ in colour depending on the stage in which they're found, but function the same as currency. Kid can use powers at a cost of 20 or 50 diamonds (with the exception of Juggernaut and Eyeclops, having attacks costing 5 and 2 diamonds respectively), and they are activated by holding the run button (by default A) and pressing Start.

Various blocks

Kid Chameleon features 11 types of 'block' which adorn the levels. They are as follows:

  • Prize Blocks offer rewards when hit, and leave Rock Blocks in their place.
  • Rock Blocks are the most commonly-found block, and are destructable.
  • Iron Blocks are indectructable, but Berzerker can push them.
  • Rubber Blocks are indestructable and immovable. They function as 'bouncers' in this game, the height of the ascent depending on the height from which Kid landed on them. They also repel movement from other directions.
  • Ice Blocks make maneuverability hard and when broken, shoot ice in the opposite direction from which they were broken (For example, Ice Blocks broken from beneath shoot icicles upward).
  • Vanishing Blocks disappear the moment they were touched.
  • Cannon Blocks are Vanishing Blocks which shoot one or more spikes in the directions marked on them. These spikes can destroy any destructable block, and are often used in conjunction with other Cannon Blocks to form a chain reaction, often clearing paths for the player.
  • Shifting Blocks move upward when hit.
  • Drill Blocks are Iron Blocks, with additional harmful drills which come out of one or more sides when Kid is in close proximity.
  • Mushroom Blocks disappear when hit from beneath, and spawn as many as three additional mushroom blocks above them.
  • Ghost Blocks phase in and out of existence.

All blocks, with the exception of the drills from the Drill Blocks, act as platforms, and can be stood upon.

Drill wall

There are three levels throughout the game (starting with Hills of the Warrior 1) that feature a giant, metal wall covered in drills and augers that sweeps across the screen at a steady pace. These levels require the player to navigate and exit the map as quickly as possible, as coming in contact with the wall instantly kills Kid. These levels have a unique music theme, which becomes useful in identifying the danger early on.

It is possible to avoid two of these levels entirely, depending on the 'route' taken through the level progression; the first one being unavoidable.

Comic adaptation

In early 1993, Kid Chameleon gained his own comic strip in the new Fleetway publication Sonic the Comic. The first strip ran from issues 7-12 and featured Casey entering the Wildside to rescue his friend Suzy, with a disembodied presence known as The Voice giving him advice and encouragement. Through each issue he changed into one of the different personas- Red Stealth, Eyeclops, Micromax, Berzerker and finally Iron Knight, before his Chameleon powers ran out and he had to take down a powerful enemy as his normal self. While he & Suzy escaped Wildside, the story ended with Casey discovering local school bully Brad was also trapped in Wildside. In issues 54-59 he returned again to rescue Brad, this time turning into Skycutter, Berzerker, Maniaxe and Cyclone. Here he discovered that The Voice had a more sinister agenda and was keeping children from all over the world prisoner in the Islecatraz gulag, using Brad as warden. Casey, as Cyclone, destroyed Islecatraz and freed everyone from Wildside, but when it became clear only one more person could escape, Brad sacrificed himself as penance for his sins so Casey could escape. The ending was ambiguous, with a showdown being threatened between Casey and The Voice, and fueled speculation that a third strip was imminent. Fleetway did not produce any more, however, and the story, like almost every non-Sonic strip, remains unresolved.

Production Credits

Game Design: Hoyt Ng, Broderick Macaraeg, William G. Dunn, Graeme Bayless
Programming & Software: B. C. Tchiu Le, Bill Willis, Steve Woita, Mark Cerny
Art: Craig Stitt, Alan Ackerman, Judy Totoya, Brenda Ross, Paul Mica
Sound: Nu Romantic Production
Special Thanks: Scott Chandler, Hugh Bowen, Haven Dubrul, Test Group
Created by: Sega Technical Institute
Presented By: Sega & Sega of America

Physical Scans