Kirby's Dream Land (JP) is the first title in the Kirby series and the debut of the pink protagonist Kirby. The game was released in 1992 for the Game Boy and was created by series mastermind Masahiro Sakurai, who went on to develop most of the games in the series and other titles such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
Kirby possesses the ability to suck in enemies and shoot them out as stars, however, he lacks his Copy Ability from the later titles. The game was intended for people new to gaming, and thus playing its four levels is rather simple.
This game in its entirety, with the exception of Castle Lololo, is included in Kirby Super Star (Kirby's Fun Pak in PAL countries) as Spring Breeze. Kirby's Dream Land was released on the 3DS's Virtual Console in 2011.
The game, like all the others in the series, takes place in Dream Land, a small country on the planet Pop Star. One night, the selfish King Dedede and his minions ran down from the distant Mt. Dedede and stole all of the Dream Landers' food and their precious Sparkling Stars.
After this occurred, the people became very hungry and dreaded King Dedede for doing such a thing. As they were debating what should be done, a brave little boy named Kirby stepped forward and said, "Don't worry, I'll get your food and your Sparkling Stars back!". And with this, he headed off toward Mt. Dedede.
Kirby's Dream Land is a side-scrolling action-platformer. Kirby has the ability to inhale enemies into his mouth and then spit them out to attack other enemies. Certain power-ups temporarily give Kirby new abilities, such as Superspicy Curry which gives Kirby fire breath. By pressing up on the control pad when Kirby doesn't have an enemy in his mouth he can inhale a gulp of air and fly. This can be done indefinitely, however, Kirby cannot inhale enemies while flying. At the end of each level is a boss that must be defeated by inhaling the objects they create and spitting them back at them.
- Green Greens - A simple and verdant grassland stage, with easy to tackle enemies and challenges. Midway through the stage, Kirby enters a forest where the first boss, Whispy Woods awaits.
- Castle Lololo - A haunted castle owned by the twins Lololo & Lalala. Kirby must stay on his toes to avoid ghostly foes and navigate the branching pathways within.
- Float Islands - A series of tropical islands floating in the vast ocean. Enemies will attack Kirby from above and below the waves, while he explores flooded caves and dangerous pirate ships. The end of the level will send Kirby above the clouds to battle the robotic zeppelin Kabula.
- Bubbly Clouds - A floating palace built among the clouds. As Kirby climbs higher and higher the daytime sky eventually gives way to the stars of space. The final Sparkling Star is guarded by the cycloptic thundercloud monster, Kracko.
- Mt.Dedede - The final level in the game. Kirby is almost ready for his showdown with King Dedede, but first he will have to fight all of the game's previous bosses again in succession.
- Bronto Burt
- Broom Hatter
- Mr. P. Umpkin
- Poppy Bros. Jr.
- Sir Kibble
- Two Face
- Waddle Dee
- Waddle Doo
Kirby's Dream Land was developed by Masahiro Sakurai of HAL Laboratory. Much of the programming was done on a Twin Famicom, a Nintendo-licensed console produced by Sharp Corporation that combined a Famicom and a Famicom Disk System in one unit. As the Twin Famicom did not have keyboard support, a trackball was used in tandem with an on-screen keyboard to input values; Sakurai described the process, which he assumed was "the way [game programming] was done" at the time, as similar to "using a lunchbox to make lunch."
Kirby initially was a dummy character that the developers used until they could define a more sophisticated image. However the designers grew to like Kirby so much that they decided to keep him instead of using a more advanced character. At the time he was to be named Popopo (ポポポ), and Kirby's Dream Land was titled Twinkle Popo (ティンクル・ポポ, Tinkuru Popo). Eventually, he was renamed Kirby and the game was renamed Hoshi no Kirby; Kirby of the Stars, also the name of the Japanese version of the Kirby anime.
During the development of what was referred to as Twinkle Popo, there was some initial confusion over the color scheme of Popopo/Kirby. Sakurai had always intended him to be pink, and the concept art reflects this, but Kirby was not pink in the game itself, as the Game Boy system had a monochrome display. Other members of the development team were unaware of Kirby's coloration; in particular, Shigeru Miyamoto initially thought that he was yellow. Although pink is still Kirby's main color, later games have used a yellow Kirby to represent the second player in multiplayer. When Kirby of the Stars was released in Japan, it featured a pink Kirby. However, Nintendo of America designed the North American box art and advertisements with a white Kirby based on the game's grey-scale visuals.
The music was composed by Jun Ishikawa. He has been a regular composer in the Kirby series. His most recent work was on Kirby: Star Allies in 2018. Certain songs were also reused in the Super Smash Bros. series as the background music of the Dream Land stage in Super Smash Bros. and the Green Greens stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
In Japan, Hoshi no Kirby topped the Famitsu sales charts from May 1992 to June 1992. In the United States, Kirby's Dream Land topped Babbage's Game Boy sales chart in October 1992. The game sold more than 1 million units worldwide by March 1993.
By May 28, 1994, Kirby's Dream Land had sold 1.3 million copies. By 1997, 4.6 million units had been sold. As of 2010, it has sold in excess of 5 million copies worldwide; Gamasutra cited its new style of gameplay for its success. At the time, it was HAL Laboratory's most successful game. Gamasutra's Osamu Inoue attributed the game's success to Satoru Iwata, formerly an employee of HAL Laboratory, who Inoue comments has a "simple-minded passion for creating games".
Kirby's Dream Land has received a generally positive reception. Upon release, Nintendo Power editors George and Bob shared generally positive opinions of the game; George stated that it is a really fun game, owing its quality to its excellent play control and well thought out concept, while Bob stated that it is deceptively simple looking, when it in fact features a decent challenge for more experienced gamers.
|Main article: Kirby's Dream Land/gallery|
|Main series||Kirby's Dream Land • Kirby's Adventure (Nightmare in Dream Land) • Kirby's Dream Land 2 • Kirby Super Star (Ultra) • Kirby's Dream Land 3 • The Crystal Shards • The Amazing Mirror • Canvas Curse • Squeak Squad • Epic Yarn • Mass Attack • Return to Dream Land • Triple Deluxe • Rainbow Curse • Planet Robobot • Star Allies • Forgotten Land|
|Spin-offs||Pinball Land • Dream Course • Kirby's Avalanche • Block Ball • Star Stacker • Air Ride • Kirby Fighters • Dedede Drum Dash • Team Kirby Clash Deluxe • Kirby's Blowout Blast • Battle Royale • Super Kirby Clash • Kirby Fighters 2 • Kirby's Dream Buffet|
|Super Smash Bros. series||Super Smash Bros. • Melee • Brawl • 3DS/Wii U • Ultimate|
|Related||HAL Laboratory • Kirby • Adventures of Lolo • The Legendary Starfy • Makiko Ohmoto • Masahiro Sakurai • Satoru Iwata • Shigeru Miyamoto • Shinya Kumazaki|