Kirby(JP) is a video game character created by Masahiro Sakurai. He was introduced in the Game Boy video game Kirby's Dream Land, a game developed by the video game studio HAL Laboratory. Today he is one of Nintendo's most advantageous franchises. His prosperous first appearance in video games led to the creation of a variety of sequels and spin-offs. Kirby first appeared on scene in 1992 with Dream Land and quickly garnered attention for its unique, and perhaps more-so its accessible, gameplay. Most iterations in the series are completely 2D.
Kirby is a round, eight inch pink creature that resembles a ball with stubby arms and large red feet. He comes from the location known as Dream Land, and possesses the unique ability to replicate the abilities of enemies that he inhales. Kirby is capable of sucking in basic enemies with his mouth. Quite a few enemies bear unique skills such as being able to breath fire or turn into stone. After sucking an enemy in, Kirby will be able to copy these creature's powers and use them for as long as he wants until he is hit a considerable amount of time. Some enemies don't possess powers, however, and some, such as bosses, need to be defeated before you can steal their powers. Kirby was given this ability in the Nintendo Entertainment System video game Kirby's Adventure.
History and Story
HAL Laboratory was developing the first Kirby game with the intention of making it a game for beginners or children. Created for the Game Boy, Kirby's Dream Land was originally known as Twinkle Popopo, and Kirby was known as Popopo. Character creator Masahiro Sakurai wanted to make Kirby pink, while Mario and Zelda series creator Shigeru Miyamoto had visualized him as yellow. Since the Game Boy couldn't render pink or yellow, Kirby's color would be visible only on promotional material and on the boxart. When Nintendo of Japan sent the video game over to America, there was no clear indication as to what color Kirby should be, so they made him white. In Japan, however, he was pink as Sakurai had wanted.
The name Popopo would eventually change to Kirby, though the exact reason for this isn't clear. There are many speculations as to this choice. Perhaps the most common one is that they named him after the company Kirby Corporation. The Kirby Corporation is best known as a manufacturer of vacuums, which, like Kirby, suck things up. Some also say that he was named after John Kirby who represented Nintendo in a heated lawsuit against Universal Studios regarding Donkey Kong. It has been said that after the original game was released, someone sent John Kirby a copy of it which gave him a good laugh. Unfortunately, no one within the team that created Kirby seems to recall how exactly he got his name.
In the original game, Kirby's nemesis King Dedede, who made himself the king of Dream Land, pillaged his kingdom's resident's food. The power which was used to create more food was likewise stolen by him. Subsequently after this, monsters started to inhabit the kingdom, and Kirby knew he had to put a stop to this mess, and travelled his home taking down a constant stream of enemies until he finally defeated King Dedede. In this game, Kirby wasn't yet granted with the ability to copy his enemies' powers. He could, however, float for an infinite amount of time and could also inhale enemies. It wouldn't be until this game's successor, Kirby's Adventure on the NES, would he gain this power.
After the game became a success, it was time to make more titles for the NES and the Game Boy. Directly after the events above, Kirby sleeps at night and wakes up without having any dreams. He goes to the Fountain of Dreams to find that the Star Rod has been removed and broken into seven pieces by King Dedede. The pieces were then scattered across Dream Land. Kirby brought all the pieces together and after doing so it unleashed a creature named Nightmare that had possessed the rod. King Dedede broke it in order to stop the beast, contrary to what Kirby had originally thought. Kirby defeats Nightmare and the game ends.
Kirby had gone on many adventures, fighting foes and saving Dream Land. Story has never been the emphasis of the video games, but instead the developers have focused on trying to make the game as enjoyable as possible. Each game's story is similar to the previous one, and there's never any continuation. Over the games, Kirby has battled many foes ranging from the previously mentioned King Dedede and Knightmare to others such as Meta Knight, Dyna Blade, Marx, and more. In Kirby Super Star for the SNES, the players could participate in a wide range of different stories. There has been multiple games in which Kirby was required to take down a foe named Dark Matter, who will occasionally take over King Dedede.
Meta Knight, while sometimes an enemy, will every once and awhile attempt to save Dream Land. He once tried to save Mirror Land, though Dark Meta Knight fought and beat him before he could do so. Dark Meta Knight then attacked Kirby, which caused him to split into four different Kirbys, each with a different color. Kirby, with the help of his three counterparts, eventually saved the day when a being named Dark Mind was revealed to be controlling everything.
In Kirby Canvas Curse, Kirby is transformed into a limbless ball by a witch of paint named Drawcia and turned the world of Dreamland into a world made entirely of paint. With the help of a magical paintbrush, Kirby manages to take down the foe using rainbow colored paths that the player creates. Despite not being able to inhale enemies, Kirby can ram into them which will cause him to replicate their powers.
In Kirby Squeak Squad for the Nintendo DS, Kirby goes after a gang named the Squeak Squad but the gang's leader, Daroach, will accidentally release Dark Nebula, an ancient evil which is part of Dark Matter.
In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby try to save King Dedede which was kidnapped by a spider-like wizard named Taranza. The Wizard works for the "Ruler of Floralia", Queen Sectonia a being that once was a benevolent ruler but was corrupted by the influence of the Amazing Mirror. Kirby save Dedede and with his and Taranza's (who realized that his queen and old friend lost her mind) help defeat the mad queen after her fusion with the Dreamstalk, the whole planet is saved once again by the pink hero and his friends.
Kirby has appeared in more than just platformers, though the titles are generally considered spin-offs instead of entries in the main series. Like Mario, Kirby has participated in a variety of sports. In Kirby's Dream Course, for example, he plays the role of a golf ball, while in Kirby's Air Ride he races against a multitude of other characters. There were also a series of Satellaview video games in which Kirby would take the roll of a ball in different ball-based sports such as baseball, though not much is known about these titles due to their limited availability. There have been many other games that star Kirby that have been released over the years that are part of genres such as puzzles and adventures. There have also been several remakes of Kirby games too.
Super Smash Bros. series
Kirby has appeared in every Super Smash Bros. video game to date as a playable character. While in the Kirby series he is eight inches tall, the developers increased his size (size alteration is common for the series) so that he can manage to fight the other characters in the game. He first appeared in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Super Smash Bros. was directed by Masahiro Sakurai, the same person who created Kirby. There are many similarities between the Super Smash Bros. and Kirby series, including the overall feel of the game. Kirby is a light weight fighter in all of the games. Whereas in the Kirby series the character can float in the air for as long as he wants, he has a finite amount of jumps this time around as not to overpower him. In the games Kirby can perform a wide range of attacks that he can execute in the series, such as Stone, which causes him to turn into a stone and crash back down to the stage, Final Cutter, his recovery move, and Inhale, which will cause him to suck in one of the other characters and steal their powers. Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced the Hammer move, which simply makes him swing a hammer around. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, his Final Smash was Cook, which made him bring a whole bunch of characters into a boiling pot, thus heavily damaging them and launching a bunch of recovery items around. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, his Final Smash becomes Ultra Sword and his Hammer move can now be charged.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
- "A denizen of the far-off, peaceful planet Pop Star, Kirby became a citizen of Dream Land after defeating King Dedede. Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician. He has the ability to absorb the powers of his enemies, and his elastic body makes him a versatile adventurer."
- "Hammer Kirby's small size lets him dodge many attacks, but his light weight makes him fly far when struck. Using his ability to inflate, he can jump five times. His Swallow attack creates wild combos; not only can he copy foes' moves, but he'll also put on special hats and mimic their voices. His Hammer is unwieldy but powerful."
- "Because of his light weight, Kirby is always in danger of being sent flying, but his ability to puff up and fly allows him to come back from amazing distances. His Final Cutter strikes on the way up and on the way down, and it sends out a beam of force upon landing. Kirby transforms into various objects and crashes down when he uses his Stone technique."
Kirby Hat 1
- "Here's Kirby sporting several results of his Copy ability. In Link's hat he can shoot arrows, while Mario's cap gives him access to Fireballs. The Donkey Kong suit offers up a Giant Punch, while Samus's helmet allows Kirby to fire off charged-up energy shots. Finally, while wearing the Yoshi hat, Kirby can swallow enemies and turn them into eggs."
Kirby Hat 2
- "Kirby's got several of his finest hats on here. In Ness's baseball cap, he can use the power of PSI to unleash PK Flash, while Captain Falcon's visor gives him the ability to unleash a huge punch. His adorable Pikachu cap comes complete with stored-up electric charges, allowing him to shock his foes, and the Fox ears come with a matching blaster."
Kirby Hat 3
- "With all of these hats, Kirby could open his own haberdashery! Peach's crown lets him use Toad, while the Ice Climber parka allows him to shoot ice blocks. Kirby has Fire Breath in the Bowser horns, and he can copy Zelda in both her forms. In Zelda's headdress he can use Nayru's Love, while Sheik's wrap gives him a needle arsenal."
Kirby Hat 4
- "Looks like Kirby's copied a bunch of hidden characters! In Luigi's hat, he can shoot green Fireballs, while copying Mewtwo gives him the power to throw Shadow Balls. Copying Mr. Game & Watch lets Kirby hurl sausages, and doing the same to Jigglypuff earns him a Rollout move. Marth's hair comes complete with a powerful Shield Breaker move."
Kirby Hat 5
- "Secret hats galore! In Pichu's hat Kirby can shoot out electricity, while Dr. Mario's headgear gives him Megavitamins. When Kirby wears Falco's beak, he gets to use Falco's powerful Blaster; by the same token, he can fire arrows when in Young Link's cap. When Kirby copies Ganondorf he gets the Warlock Punch, and copying Roy produces a Flare Blade."
- "When Kirby swallows a fire-wielding enemy, he transforms into Fire Kirby. Not only does he breathe fire in this form, but he can also sprout flames on his entire body and damage enemies by crashing into them. Fire Kirby wears the bright red headdress of his enemy Burning Leo. The hat turns into a helpful weapon when thrown."
- "Kirby dons a warrior's headband and becomes a fierce fighter when he swallows an enemy skilled at physical attacks. Fighter Kirby uses many colorful punching and kicking moves as he overpowers his enemies with his sparring skills. The Vulcan Jab is just one of the many techniques Kirby can use thanks to his copying power."
- "When Kirby swallows a ball enemy, he turns into a ball and can bounce off of floors and walls. It's tough to control, but well worth it for the strong attack power it gives Kirby. After his debut in Kirby's Adventure, Ball Kirby has popped up in several more Kirby games, such as Kirby's Pinball Land and Kirby's Block Ball."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- "A round, pink ball of cuteness from a distant, peaceful star. He can swallow anything with his gigantic mouth, then spit it out as ammo. He has the handy ability to copy powers and use them as his own. His hovering ability lets him fly through the air with ease. He's so round, he's sometimes treated like a ball."
- "Kirby in chef's garb. When Kirby throws on his chef's hat, a giant pot appears in the center of the screen. All characters, items, and even long-distance weapons are sucked into the pot. Once they've simmered a bit, food items equal to the number of things in the pot appear. Characters in the mix get blasted straight up out of the pot."
- "Kirby in a jester cap...and a supercute Kirby at that. Beam Kirby features a Beam ability, acquired by inhaling Waddle Doo, that allows him to shoot a whiplike beam at his enemies. With a wide attack range, this ability is extremely easy to use, especially for taking out enemies in bunches. In Kirby Super Star, this beam can also be charged and fired."
- "A Kirby ability made when Kirby inhales a spiked enemy. When attacking, the needles on Needle Kirby's body extend, giving him a porcupine-like look. This ability provides both offensive and defensive measures against nearby enemies. Plus, needles which extend on Kirby's underside when jumping eliminate any threats on landing."
- "A Kirby ability made when Kirby inhales a sword-wielding foe or a sword itself. Doing so provides Kirby with a rapid sword slash, a jumping sword spin, or even the energy-beam blast of the Final Sword. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this is the #1 Copy Ability in terms of accessibility."
- "Kirby after he copies the ability to sleep peacefully. Kirby takes on this form when he inhales Noddy or other such enemies. Kirby cannot move at all while sleeping, so extra care should be taken not to use this ability when enemies are near. Kirby, in his slumber, tends to drool, and in his panicked awakening, isn't it cute how he forgets to wipe off the drool?"
- "Kirby when he inhales a winged enemy and copies its flying ability. This ability can be used to proceed through strong winds that would otherwise be too tough to overcome. Wing Kirby can also perform a plethora of attack moves, such as the Bomber Head, where Kirby dive-bombs onto enemy heads."
- "Kirby when he is skilled in martial arts, especially close-quarters combat. Inhaling brawny challengers like Knuckle Joe will transform Kirby, allowing him to use a bunch of fight moves like Rising Break, the heroic uppercut. His Mega Power Shot in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, which used charged energy to take out faraway enemies, is another Fighter Kirby highlight."
- "Kirby when he inhales an enemy who uses fire. Shooting fire from his mouth, Fire Kirby can cook enemies from afar. This ability also allows Kirby to light explosive blocks, fuses, and so on. In Kirby Super Star and Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Fire Kirby can roll his burning body into enemies as an attack move."
- "Kirby when he copies an enemy with chilly abilities. Ice Kirby can blow an icy wind from his mouth and freeze enemies solid. These frozen enemies can then be knocked into other enemies as an additional means of attack. These blocks are not only effective against enemies but can also be used on terrain such as magma or water."
- "Kirby when he inhales Plasma Wisps, which glow with a neon green flame. Plasma Kirby can charge the plasma strength up to a maximum level of 5. In Kirby Super Star, your attack--be it a Plasma Laser or a Plasma Wave Cannon--varies with the length of time you charge it."
- "Kirby when he inhales enemies that fly around like twisters through the sky. When in tornado form, Kirby can spin freely through the air for short amounts of time, clearing out groups of enemies. Tornado Kirby will continue spinning and bouncing violently off of obstacles until he comes to a stop. One drawback of Tornado Kirby is the control difficulty."
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
- "Pudgy, little Kirby lives in the peaceful hills of Dream Land on the Planet Popstar. He can inhale things with his big mouth, either copying their abilities or spitting them out again. In Smash Bros., Kirby can inhale opponents and copy their standard specials. He gets launched easily but recovers well."
- "A roly-poly little fella from Dream Land on Planet Popstar. He can inhale pretty much anyone or anything with that big gob of his, then spit them out or copy their abilities. He can copy opponents' standard specials in this game, too! His light weight means he gets launched easily, but with a series of mid-air jumps, recovering's not too tricky."
Kirby Alt (NTSC)
- "Holding the special button and left or right will charge up Kirby's Hammer Flip attack. Charging too long hurts Kirby! The hammer strikes twice in the air, but landing the single blow on the ground is more powerful. Kirby's up special Final Cutter slices up and down, firing a shock wave upon landing."
Kirby Alt (NTSC)
- "Charge up Kirby's Hammer side special to unleash Hammer Flip, a move with serious launch power. Charge it too much, though, and you'll get hurt! The move hits twice in mid-air, but does more damage on the ground. Final Cutter slices up and down before sending out an energy wave. Move Kirby mid-jump to change where he lands."
Ultra Sword (NTSC)
- "For Kirby's Final Smash, he swings a sword that's waaay bigger than he is. If the first swing hits, he'll keep going with a combo of lightning-fast slices, dealing tons of damage. For the last swing, the sword grows even larger and launches any victims. Make sure that first swing hits, though, or nothing else will happen!"
Ultra Sword (PAL)
- "For Kirby's Final Smash, he swings around a sword that's waaay bigger than he is. If the first swing hits, he'll keep going with a combo of lightning-fast slices, dealing tons of damage. For the last swing, the sword grows even larger and launches its target. It's great, so make sure that first swing hits, or none of the rest will happen!"
Sword Kirby (NTSC)
- "That green cap sure does make Kirby look heroic, doesn't it? Maybe wearing it just inspires Kirby, but while he's wearing it, he gets all kinds of neat moves, like Spin Slash, Multisword Attack, and Sword Dive. He's even able to pull off these moves in the air, on the ground, or underwater!"
Sword Kirby (PAL)
- "Kirby looks like a pretty courageous hero in that green cap, doesn't he? Indeed, this Kirby is a master of sword-swishing, fending off enemies with the powerful Spin Slash, the rapid Multisword Attack and the stylish Sword Dive. If that wasn't impressive enough, he can also use these moves on land, in mid-air AND underwater. Beautiful!"
Beam Kirby (NTSC)
- "Waddle Doo can fire beams from his eye. Does that make you green with envy? Then inhale him and copy that ability! You'll then be able to shoot beams from a wand, and the attack can even be charged up for greater effectiveness. You can also use a beam to push switches or to grab and toss your foes."
Beam Kirby (PAL)
- "Ever felt jealous of a Waddle Doo's ability to fire beams from its eye? Well, if you're Kirby, there's really no need - swallow one and you, too, can swing energy beams to your heart's content! Charge them up to plough through multiple enemies at once, use them to grab and throw enemies, and even press switches through walls! Yeah!"
Fire Kirby (NTSC)
- "When Kirby first copied the Fire ability he was only able to breathe fire. Nowadays, he can do all sorts of neat things! For example, he can engulf himself in flames and roll forward, burning grass, lighting fuses, melting ice, and so on. What we'd really like him to do, though, is help us make the perfect s'more. Mmmmm."
Fire Kirby (PAL)
- "Once upon a time, all Fire Kirby could do was shoot flames from his mouth, but he's come a long way since then. Now he can roll along the ground as a blazing fireball, burn up grass, light fuses, melt ice and so on. That's great and all, but what we really want to know is...can he help us get a barbecue going?"
Ice Kirby (NTSC)
- "The perfect ability to copy in the summer--Kirby gains freezing breath when he copies the Ice ability. Enemies frozen by his arctic blasts can be launched at other foes too. Perfect for a tough fight or when you need some ice for your iced coffee. Kirby isn't busy saving Dream Land or anything..."
Ice Kirby (PAL)
- "When Kirby has the Ice ability, he can blast enemies with glacial gales to freeze them. He can then kick them into other enemies to take them all out at once! It's the perfect ability for a tough fight...or for when you need some ice to keep a glass of fruit juice nicely chilled. Not everything has to be about saving Dream Land, you know!"
Needle Kirby (NTSC)
- "Kirby normally looks as tasty as a big ol' marshmallow, but he's significantly less appetizing when he's copied the Needle ability. Those pokey spikes won't add any flavor at all. With this ability, Kirby can bash into enemies or launch the spikes at them. A great, easy-to-use ability!"
Needle Kirby (Pal)
- "Kirby's soft, fluffy and just...so huggable! Except when he's got the Needle ability, that is - then it's like there's a hug-free zone all around him. Being covered in spikes comes in handy, though, for rolling into enemies, and even shooting at them! However, whether that really makes up for his loss of huggableness is hard to say..."
- "Who needs hats when you can have an actual tornado coming out of your head? That's our Kirby - always the trendsetter. And with the Tornado ability, he can go one step further, turning his whole body into a cyclone to go on a wild rampage. His rapid spinning isn't exactly easy to control, but that's all part of the fun!"
Mike Kirby (NTSC)
- "Curious what Kirby's singing voice sounds like? Then track down and inhale Mr. Tick-Tock or a Walky! Kirby can copy the Mike ability and then use a mike or megaphone to really let 'er rip. Sometimes he sounds as cute as he looks, but he can also hit those low notes when he wants to rock."
Mike Kirby (PAL)
- "Kirby isn't much of a talker, but if you ever do want to hear his voice, here's a simple solution: swallow a Walky or Mr. Tick-Tock, and you'll be rewarded with an ability called Mike! Watch in awe as Kirby pulls out a microphone (or a megaphone) and shakes your soul with his dulcet tones. For some reason, his enemies can't stand the sound!"
- "You don't get to see sleeping heroes very often. They're so busy rescuing princesses or saving the world, they just don't have time for a little nap. Not so with Kirby! The moment he inhales the snooze-prone enemy Noddy, he pops on his sleeping cap and dozes right off. Ah, Kirby, what dreams might you be having today?"
- "When he copies the Bomb ability, Kirby gets to don a stylish hat just like Poppy Bros. Jr. The hat's appearance varies a little from game to game, but the ability itself is always pretty much the same: pull out a bomb, throw it, BOOM! Careful, though--if you hang on to the bomb for too long, you'll go BOOM yourself!"
Fighter Kirby (NTSC)
- ""Show me your moves!" Wait-that's not Kirby's line! Regardless, he's really fired up and ready to become a fighting machine with that red headband. He knows the basics, like kicking and tossing, but he can also muster his fighting spirit to blast distant foes."
Fighter Kirby (PAL)
- "With his red headband and fierce attitude, Fighter Kirby is ready to take on anything. Like a real martial artist, he can kick and throw his foes into submission. And like a...not-so-real martial artist, he can fire his fighting spirit as an energy blast to hit faraway enemies. The only weapon this Kirby needs is his burning heart!"
Wing Kirby (NTSC)
- "Kirby doesn't need to copy abilities to bop through the air, but actually having wings gives his aerial skills a definite boost. They even let him use some extra attacks, like the acrobatic Shuttle Loop and the mighty Condor Head. He can also fire at foes with his Feather Gun! Thought Kirby was just a squishy puffball? Surprise!"
Wing Kirby (PAL)
- "Kirby doesn't need to copy abilities to bop through the air, but actually having wings gives his aerial skills a definite boost. They even let him use some extra attacks, like the acrobatic Shuttle Loop and the mighty Condor Head. He can also fire at foes with his Feather Gun! Thought Kirby was just a squishy puffball? Think again!"
Ninja Kirby (NTSC)
- "Making his debut in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the Moonja enemy looks about as ninja as you can get. If you copy its ability, Kirby can become a master of the ninja arts! With a variety of useful skills like Knife Throw and Blossom Storm, you might want to remain a ninja forever!"
Ninja Kirby (PAL)
- "Making its debut in Kirby's Adventure Wii, the Moonja enemy looks about as ninja as you can get. Swallow one, and Kirby will become a master of the ninja arts too! Knife Throw, Wall Cling, Smoke Screen and Blossom Storm - with such a variety of useful skills, you might never want to let this Copy Ability go!"
In the HAL America developed game Arcana, Kirby can be seen on the battlefield in one of the cutscenes. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Game Boy, there is an enemy called Anti-Kirby. This enemy greatly resembles Kirby, however instead of being friendly it'll attack the player. Interestingly in the debug menu for EarthBound which was intended to be used solely be the developers, the menu icon is Kirby. In Stunt Race FX, Kirby can be seen on a couple of posters in the game. In Picross volume 3 one of the images the player can make is Kirby. In Pokémon Stadium 2 for the Nintendo 64, Kirby from different games can be seen in the player's room on the television under certain occasions. The theme song of the anime is present in Donkey Konga as a song the player can play. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, there is a poster at the Yoshi Theater that shows Kirby riding a Warpstar. The movie is labeled as Kirby Story.
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: Kirby is the star of the anime known as Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Nintendo and HAL Laboratory produced the anime. Like in the video games, Kirby rarely speaks, though does has a limited vocabulary, uttering simple words. His appearance is nearly identicle to that of the video games, and because it is so simple it wouldnot be hard to replicate for the anime nearly perfectly. In the show, Kirby is destined to save the world, and is known as a Star Warrior. Kirby was put to sleep and would be awaken 200 years older when it was mature (similar to Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), though was woken up too early. Because of this, Kirby is still a child and thus acts like one. Nevertheless, despite being a child he must follow through with his destiny. The Warpstar from the video games (which played a minimal role) appears quite a lot in the television show, and is the source of Kirby's power. During the course of the show Kirby meets a girl named Tiff, and later her brother Tuff. Tiff can order Kirby to inhale objects, which King Dedede has learned of, and will occasionally try to sound like Tiff so that Kirby will do his bidding. In the anime Kirby is voiced by Makiko Ohmoto. Because Kirby rarely speaks, they did not change the voice actor for the English localization.
- Manga: Kirby has appeared in various manga, none of which have been translated from their original language (Japanese). Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede Who Lives in Pupupu had 25 books, though other Kirby mangas are usually one book which are basically comedies. Germany's Club Nintendo in the nineties published a variety of manga-styled comics featuring video game characters. Kirby was one of the main characters in the manga, as was Nintendo's other famous property Super Mario.
- Publications: Kirby has appeared on the cover of Nintendo Power various times for his games Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards as well as the Super Smash Bros. series. Guide books have been made for Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and, in Japan, Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the Super Famicom.
Kirby is an eight inch tall round creature. While he is pink, Kirby can also be seen in an array of different colours, like in Super Smash Bros or Kirby & The Amazing Mirror. This is a lot like Yoshi, who also has different colours of his species. In the games he has two small fingerless hands (depicted and illustrated as just stubs,) and large red feet/shoes. He has round blue eyes with black pupils and a mouth that, while at first may seem small, and grow to epic proportions. In all of the games he sports two red blushes on his cheeks. He is extremely light and flexible; in the games he can become flat as a pancake, but as hard as a rock. In the original games Kirby's facial features were small, though in more recent titles they've grown. It should be noted that the Japanese and American boxart of the Kirby games have slight alterations. While in Japan Kirby always seems to be peppy on the boxart, Nintendo of America changes the box art slightly so that Kirby has less passive, more aggressive eyes and occasionally has a frown. In the games it is mentioned that Kirby i0s a male.
Kirby is usually considered to be young. This is concluded due to his child like attitude, his pitched voice, and various indications in the manual and the anime. Since he has an endless belly he spends a lot of time eating. He likes all types of food, and no matter how much he eats he never increases in size, even when devouring meal after meal in events such as Gourmet Race in Kirby Super Star. He especially likes to eat Maxim Tomatoes, which are so healthy that they replenish his health.
Kirby is generally considered a silent protagonist. He rarely ever speaks, the player will only on rare occasions hear Kirby speak, and its usually done when he's explaining the function of a copy ability. He does speak in Kirby's Avalanche, though HAL Laboratory had little to do with the game and it was never actually released in Japan. In the game he was rude, very unlike the Kirby in the main series. In games like the Super Smash Bros. series Kirby will utter simple phrases (as do most characters in the game) such as "hi!" during his taunt, which can be listened to in the options menu. Kirby will also say the name of the attacks of some copied abilities only when the character also uttered something when delivering it (such as "Falcon Punch"). Kirby also rarely speaks in the anime, and only does so when speaking the names of certain attacks.
Interesting to note is the fact that on multiple occasions Nintendo of America has altered the Japanese boxart of Kirby games to make the character look more menacing or angry. This is done simply by adjusting Kirby's eyes by adding "angry eyebrows". Making the typically happy-go-lucky character seem angry in America hasn't been done just on the boxart of his games, but also in the commercials of Kirby games too.
In the original Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby had the ability to float in the air forever. If attacked by an enemy, he would come crashing back down to the ground. In this game, he could also devour enemies by sucking them in. His bottomless tummy and endless appetite proved to be a hit with gamers. In the game, Kirby could also find special items and shoot projectiles. For example, in an early boss stage Kirby is required to suck in apples and shoot them back out at the boss that produced them. It wasn't until Kirby's Adventure until things really got interesting. In this game, Kirby, when he inhaled and swallowed an enemy, would be able to copy their
powers. If an enemy had a sword, then when swallowed Kirby would become a master swordsman. If the enemy froze things just by blowing, Kirby would gain that power too. It proved to be a fantastic gameplay mechanic and ever since it would stick with the series. His appearance would also change too when a new ability was given to him, more so as the series progressed. In Kirby Squeak Squad, Kirby could combine powers that he kept safe in his stomach to create new functionalities. This created a lot of speculation because his stomach area looked like space, so people thought that's were everything he eats goes.
In Kirby Super Star, Kirby would be able to enlist the help of a former foe by performing a certain action. The new ally would accompany Kirby, attacking his enemies and following him around until he was ultimately killed by an enemy or dispatched by Kirby. In order to get an ally, Kirby would have to get rid of his copy ability which would transform into the enemy that he swallowed. In the game, this 'Helper', as they were titled in the game, could be controlled by a computer or by a second player, which added a unique cooperative aspect to the series. Unfortunately, despite proving popular with gamers, the helper system would not return in every game following it.
Over the years Kirby has been able to transform into a variety of enemies of his. All he has to do is inhale them, swallow them and suddenly Kirby will gain a similar appearance to his foe and learn how to execute their most potent powers. Kirby brought this popular power over to the Super Smash Bros. series and can do it to every character in the game excluding another Kirby. The following is a list of copy abilities that Kirby can transform into in the series (excluding those found in the Super Smash Bros. series):
- Kirby receives a makeover. He gains brown fur with white feet, two toes on each foot, three claws on each hand, and a stuffed cap. Animal Kirby has a variety of animal-related abilities, such as digging and slashing enemies with his claws.
- Kirby gets a blue headband (red for Backdrop). He can perform different wrestling moves on his opponents.
- Kirby turns into a ball. He can bounce higher when holding down A.
- Kirby can turn into a balloon. Touch him to make him inflate. While in balloon form, Kirby can float freely in the air until he hits an enemy or after you touch Kirby the third time. This ability only appears in Kirby: Canvas Curse.
- Kirby puts on something that looks like a jester's hat, and fires a beam in front of him from up to down.
- Kirby puts a blue cap on. He is able to throw an infinite number of bombs.
Kirby charges forward covered in flames that can burn medal blocks. It eventually became a part of Fire's moveset.
- Lets Kirby attack enemies by sweeping dust at them with a broom he acquired. It has a short range and hasn't appeared in many games (even though Broom Hatter has).
- Kirby wears a chef hat and will cook all enemies on screen in a giant pot turning them into recovery items. Can only be used once. This was Kirby's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- A strange move that causes Kirby to explode. Following this, many smaller Kirby's will zoom around the stage and kill everything in their path. When not fighting a boss, the move will kill every enemy on the screen. When fighting a boss, it will damage the boss (but not necessarily defeat it).
- Kirby has a halo and sprouts wings. He is able to fly in place and shoot arrows.
- Kirby puts a gladiator hat and throws blade like boomerangs. Kirby can also cut with the hat's blade. Kirby an execute this move in the Super Smash Bros. series where it acts both as an attack and as a recovery maneuver.
- Kirby puts on a red fighter's headband. He is able to perform all sorts of fighting moves.
- Kirby wears a fiery crown. He is able to breathe fire and envelop himself in it.
Kirby wears an Ice Climbers parka and can create an icy aura to freeze his enemys. Eventualy mixed with Ice.
- Kirby wears a sheet around him, giving him the appearance of a ghost. He is able to possess enemies and use their various abilities to attack his enemies.
- Kirby will wield Bonkers' powerful hammer and be able to swing it around. From Super Smash Bros. Melee onwards this was also a move that Kirby could perform.
- Kirby wears a cape and a viking helmet. Will cause Kirby to leap in the air and attack an enemy in his way. A very powerful move.
- Kirby wears a crown of ice and in some games turns blue and purple. Kirby can freeze enemies into blocks of ice with frost breath and then kick the frozen enemies into other enemies.
Kirby wears a visor, and can charge forward with jet propelled attacks.
- Lets Kirby shoot lasers from his eyes.
Leaf (unknown grassy enemy)
Kirby performs various attacks involving leaves, including leaf tornado.
- Kirby puts on a magician's hat. He is able to perform all kinds of magic.
Kirby turns completely metal, being invincable, but slow.
- Kirby puts on a pair of red earphones. His main, and only method of attack is singing very badly in his microphone, destroying every normal enemy in sight.
- After becoming very small, Kirby will be able to fit into tight spaces to retrieve treasure chests.
- After creating a mirror of himself, it confuses enemies and automatically afterwords both Kirby's will attack.
- Kirby will turn into a missile and be able to crash into objects.
Kirby gains a hat with spikes that can extend to damage enemies.
- Kirby wears purple cloth skullcap with a medal piece that has a star on it. He is able to use various ninja techniques, like throwing kunais or swinging a knife.
- Appearing only in Kirby Super Star and in Kirby Super Star Ultra, using it's move can kill all enemies on screen at once when Kirby sprays paint everywhere. It's move can only be used once before losing the ability.
- Kirby wields a parasol, and he uses it to fight his foes. The Parasol would later appear as an trophy in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- A move that is incredibly similar to the Spark move, with minor differences.
- Kirby wears a sleeper's cap, and the only thing he does is sleep, making him defenseless against enemies. This is considered a trick copy ability, but in Kirby Squeak Squad, the ability causes Kirby to recover health when sleeping.
- Kirby appears as he normally does but is able to perform his side, up and down special attacks from the Super Smash Bros. games (Hammer, Final Cutter and Stone).
- Will cause sparks to surround Kirby and attack all enemies in range. Very similar to Plasma because of the sprites look like plasma.
Kirby wears a bandana with a gold crest. He weilds a spear that can cut ropes.
- Kirby will turn into a stone and come crashing to the ground, destroying all enemies in his path. This move can be used in all of the Super Smash Bros. video games.
- Kirby puts on a cap similar to Link's. He is able to use a variety of sword techniques.
- Kirby will grab an enemy and then throw them.
- Kirby dons a crown with a small twister on it. He is able to spin around to make a small cyclone.
- Kirby gets inside a personal U.F.O., and is able to perform a few attacks based on lasers of varying strength.
Debuted in the anime and later appeared in Kirby's Return to Dreamland where he spits water that can burn out fire blocks.
- Kirby wears a red baseball cap backwards. He is able to turn into a self-propelled wheel that's invincible while moving quickly.
- Kirby gains a Native American headdress, a pair of wings, and long feathery streamers. He is able to fly in the air more efficiently in this form. Also he can cut rope and grass by flaping his feathers as well as shooting them out.
Kirby dons an Indiana Jones esque hat and uses a whip that can grab distant items.
Kirby wears a backwards purple baseball cap, and attacks with a yo-yo.
Over the games Kirby has met many friends that have assisted him on his adventures, particularly in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the Game Boy. The following are some of the most notable allies of Kirby.
Kirby first gained allies in the video game Kirby's Dream Land 2 for the Game Boy. This game introduced Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, Kine the Fish, Gooey, and Blob the Goo. Rick is a hamster that's larger than Kirby. Kirby rides on Rick's shoulders in a few video games. He's quick and a big help in the titles he appears in. A trophy of him appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube. Whereas Rick is the master of ground based traveling, Coo the Owl will send Kirby through the air in the games he appears in. He's an intelligent owl. Kine is to the water as Rick is to the ground (and Coo is to the sky). Being a fish, he's a master swimmer and makes swimming in water based stages a breeze. Gooey, though a piece of Dark Matter, is still a friendly creature to Kirby. Gooey first appeared in Kirby's Dream Land 2 though became more of an ally in Kirby's Dream Land 3. A trophy of him appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube. You can't ride Blob the Goo in the game, though she'll give Kirby and extra life.
Kirby's Dream Land 3 brought back many of the allies from the previous game including Rick, Coo, Kine, and Gooey. New characters included Chuchu the Blob, Nago the Cat, and Pitch the Bird. It should be noted that while Kirby couldn't ride Gooey in Kirby's Dream Land 2, he can in this game. Chuchu can stick to walls and can help Kirby fly a little while. She rides on top of Kirby's head in the game. In the game, Nago will roll Kirby around as if he were a ball, and can triple jump. Pitch is extremely small, though can still help Kirby fly around stages (apparently he admires Coo the owl and hopes to replicate his abilities someday when he grows older).
Kirby's species have never been officially titled, which has caused much speculation as to what they are actually called. There have been multiple occasions when more than one creature of Kirby's species appears on screen. In one instance before the game begins, nearly a hundred race across the screen. Whenever Kirby completes a level, kirby will split into three beings and dance. Meta Knight is generally thought to be part of Kirby's species. While not evident with his mask on, there has been moments when his mask fell off, revealing himself to be nearly a pallet swap of Kirby (whereas Kirby is pink, Meta Knight is blue). Since there is proof that not all members of Kirby's species are pink, it is highly possible that Meta Knight is indeed part of his species. Since Kirby's species has no official name, they are just usually called Kirbys (similar to Yoshi, though his species is confirmed to be named Yoshi just as his name is Yoshi). Kirby's species can come in many colors like red, green, yellow, blue, etc.
Shadow Kirby is an alternate version of Kirby that appeared in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror in the "mirror world". In this equivalent, he's a gray (dark gray) colored doppelganger that greatly resembles Kirby. During the beginning of the game, Shadow Kirby often times attacked Kirby, though in the end the two realized that they were after the same goal of saving their own worlds, and teamed up to take down Dark Mind.
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