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Kirby's Dream Land 3
Kirby's Dream Land 3 (星のカービィ3 (Hoshi no Kābī 3), Kirby of the Stars 3) is a video game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the year 1997. It was developed by HAL Laboratory, Inc. and published by Nintendo. Adapting many mechanics of the previous title of the Dream Land series and continuing the story of Dark Matter, this game is the successor of Kirby's Dream Land 2 and can be regarded as a prequel to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. In 2009, the game was re-released for Nintendo's Virtual Console. It was later re-released in 2012 with other Kirby games in Kirby's Dream Collection.
However, while they enjoy the seemingly peaceful day, a black cloud appears in the sky, which turns out to be Dark Matter. The black mass enters Pop Star's atmosphere, thereby shattering its rings, and quickly spreads over the whole planet. Those who come in contact with Dark Matter get possessed by it, a fate that befalls many of Pop Star's denizens, even including King Dedede.
As Dark Matter's activity commences, Coo the owl arrives and hastily notifies Kirby and Gooey of what is going on.  The two can only watch from a nearby hill as Dark Matter conquers Pop Star. Together with his friends from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and three new friends, Kirby sets out on a journey to free their home from the clutches of the intruder.
Kirby and his friends travel through the five main areas of Pop Star, helping many citizens along the way, and fighting to free those under Dark Matter's possession, gaining a Heart Star through every deed. When they liberate the last area of Pop Star, the planet is saved, but the origin of the intruder's power still remains and hangs in the sky, gazing down upon the heroes.
When Kirby has collected all 30 Heart Stars, he enters the Hyper Zone and fights Dark Matter itself. The Heart Stars all combine together to create the Love-Love Stick, which Kirby wields during the combat. The two of them engage in a battle as Dark Matter takes on the form of Zero. Kirby manages to defeat Zero and expel Dark Matter from his home.
Kirby's Dream Land 3 is a two-dimensional platformer game, which can be played by two players simultaneously. The game begins on the map screen showing Pop Star taken over by Dark Matter. From the map screen, the player can choose one of the five levels to enter. At the beginning, only level one is available, and every following level is unlocked after the boss of the level is defeated. The levels themselves are displayed on their own map screens, and are divided into six stages and a boss stage.
To complete a level, the player needs to play through all the stages and defeat the boss at the end, causing the next level to be available. Additionally, each stage Kirby visits contains a Dream Lander waiting at the end and a specific errand that needs to be completed. If Kirby manages to complete whatever errand has to be done in the level, the character at the end will reward him with a Heart Star. Heart Stars are not needed to complete the game, but if Kirby manages to collect all of the Heart Stars of every level, the final boss and the true ending to the story will be unlocked.
While playing a stage, Kirby can be controlled and moved around via the Directional Pad. The B Button causes him to jump, while consecutively pressing the button in the air makes him float. The Y Button can be used to inhale enemies, and to spit them out again. An inhaled enemy can be gulped down by pressing down on the Directional Pad after inhaling. If the enemy possesses an ability, then Kirby will obtain this Copy Ability after gulping the enemy down. The Copy Ability can then can be used with the Y Button, or ditched with the Select Button. Eight such Copy Abilities are available for Kirby to use.
A press of the A Button lets Kirby summon his friend Gooey to assist him during stages. Gooey possesses skills very similar to those of Kirby, and he too can copy abilities. If any button on a second controller is pressed, a second player will gain control of Gooey. The second player can use the X Button to return to where Kirby is standing. Summoning Gooey costs Kirby one life point and reduces the maximum amount of life points from five to four. Kirby can regain the lost life point by inhaling Gooey and gulping him down again.
Kirby's life energy consists of five life points. When Gooey is summoned, the maximum capacity of the health meter shrinks down to four to make room for Gooey's health meter, which also consists of four life points. Whenever a character gets hit by an enemy or an environmental hazard, his health goes down by half a point. Kirby and Gooey can replenish lost health by eating food or Maxim Tomatoes. Kirby may also swallow Gooey to regain one life point. When Kirby falls into a bottomless pit, or when his life meter drops to zero, he loses a life and his current Copy Ability. If he runs out of extra lives, the game ends.
Kirby and Gooey can only copy eight different abilities, a relatively small number when compared other games of the Kirby series. This is augmented by Kirby's various animal helpers. Like in the previous game, there are several animal helpers to be found during levels. Each of these six friends can accompany Kirby and/or Gooey and help him with their specific skills. The animal helpers also modify the protagonists' Copy Abilities, thus creating a new ability. When including these augmented abilities, there are 56 different abilities in the game, not counting the special ability Kirby and Gooey obtain during the final fight.
The main protagonist and titular character of Kirby's Dream Land 3, famous for his appetite. He already saved his homeland in the past, and has to protect it again from the clutches of Dark Matter. To do so, he can jump, float by inflating himself, inhale enemies, and copy their abilities. In this game, Kirby tags along with six of his friends to help him battling the forces that took control of Pop Star.
Kirby's friend, Gooey is a blob-like creature made from Dark Matter. Despite his origin, he seems to get along with Kirby and his friends quite well, and doesn't appear to inherit any of his creator's malevolent tendencies. Gooey can be summoned by Kirby to accompany him. He possesses abilities similar to those of Kirby, and can even float in the air like him. Though he does not possess a powerful suction attack like Kirby, he can cast out his long tongue to grab enemies and swallow them to steal their abilities.
Chuchu the Octopus
Chuchu is also one of Kirby's three new friends. When Kirby travels with her, Chuchu stays atop of Kirby's head. While being accompanied by Chuchu, Kirby cannot use his inhale attack. Instead, Chuchu will extend one of her tentacles and pull an enemy it reaches into Kirby's mouth, much how like Gooey can. Chuchu takes control when Kirby flies, but his gain of height will decrease with every button press, until he cannot gain any height and eventually touching the ground. Another trait of Chuchu is her ability to stick to ceilings and travel along of them. When another animal friend is chosen over her, she adopts a saddened expression.
Coo the Owl
Coo is an owl and also one of Kirby's friends from the previous game. When Kirby takes him along, Coo sits on top of his head. Coo is specialized in aerial travel and can fly the fastest of all of Kirby's friends, being able to fly fast enough to travel through strong winds. Whenever another animal friend is chosen over him, he lowers his head and looks disappointed. Coo also is the one to inform Kirby and Gooey about Dark Matter's attack.
Kine the Fish
Kine is a blue fish with yellow fins and a big mouth. He is one of Kirby's friends from the previous game. Kirby travels in his mouth when he tags Kine along. While he performs acceptable on land, Kine's true advantages come into play when he has to travel underwater. Kine is a supreme swimmer and can even battle his way through currents. Unique is the fact that Kirby can inhale underwater when traveling with Kine. On land he can also defeat enemies by jumping on them. Whenever Kirby prefers another animal friend over him, he gets watery eyes and looks genuinely saddened.
Nago the Cat
Nago is a tall, vaguely anthropomorphic cat sporting a fur pattern of white, orange, and brown spots. Official artwork and his in-game sprites often depict him grinning. When Kirby chooses him as his animal helper, Nago tags Kirby along by forming him into a ball and rolling him around. With Nago, Kirby loses the ability to fly, but Nago is capable to jump in mid-air up to two times, giving him a triple jump. When another animal helper is chosen over Nago, he stretches out his front paws and adopts an envious expression.
Pitch the Bird
Pitch is a small green bird. His lack of size and his almost spherical shape is often reflected by the variations he makes out of Kirby's abilities. When traveling together, Kirby carries Pitch in front of him. Pitch can fly like Coo, although he is not as fast and cannot fly through strong winds; his flight abilities are more similar to those of Kirby. When another animal helper is preferred over Pitch, he adopts a furious expression and can be seen bickering angrily.
Rick the Hamster
Rick is a round, plump hamster having white fur with large orange spots. He is one of Kirby's friends that appeared in the prequel to Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby's Dream Land 2. Kirby rides on Rick's back when they travel together. With Rick, Kirby cannot inhale enemies, but Rick can swallow them by catching them with his mouth, even while walking around. In addition, Kirby cannot fly when traveling with Rick, but instead can climb walls. Other traits of Rick include his ability to stomp on enemies and to walk on slippery surfaces without problems.
References to Other Games
References in Later Games