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The Kirby series is a series consisting of 21 games, with two more on the way, released by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. It features Kirby, a small pink creature that can swallow and copy the abilities of others. The series' first game was Kirby's Dream Land, which was released in Japan of February 17, 1992 and in the US on April 19, 1992.
Most games in the main Kirby series are side-view platformers that involve Kirby having to get from the start of a room to a door or another object. In order to do this, Kirby must overcome or avoid many enemies, many of which will give Kirby a Copy Ability when he inahles and swallows them. Kirby has a limited number of lives and a limited amount of health; once his health drops to zero, a life is lost and Kirby has to restart at the beginning of the current section, losing his Copy Ability. If Kirby loses some of his health, he can drink an Energy Drink or consume a food item to restore some of it, or eat a Maxim Tomato to get all of it back. In some games, after Kirby finishes a level, he plays a mini-game which can earn him extra lives.
The following Kirby games have been released or confirmed to be in production so far. Note that this list does not include games that were announced but cancelled before an official release could happen.
Kirby is the hero of the franchise and the primary playable character in each game. His powers, which are vital to the gameplay of most installments, include inhaling objects and creatures in order to either spit them out again or steal their ability, as well as inflating himself, enabling him to fly. In most games, he must use his unique powers to save his homeland Dream Land, the planet Pop Star on which it is located or even the entire galaxy from the respective game's main antagonist.
King Dedede is the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land and Kirby's archrival, though rarely the main antagonist. Although portrayed as greedy and selfish primarily in Kirby's Dream Land, where he steals all of Dream Land's food for himself, he often means well throughout the series, but ends up antagonizing Kirby due to a misunderstanding or being mind-controlled by the true villain. Once the misunderstanding has been resolved or the mind-control has been broken, however, he often ends up helping the him, most notably in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, where he is one of the game's main heroes.
An enigmatic character of ambiguous allegiance, Meta Knight repeatedly confronts Kirby during the latter's journeys, often challenging him to a duel. Although mainly antagonistic towards Kirby, he does not normally assist the respective game's main villain either, seemingly following his own, often secret motives. He does come to the aid of the pink hero on occasion, however, and is portrayed as an honorable duelist, usually providing Kirby with a sword whenever he challenges him in order to force a fair fight. He is the leader of a group of warriors known as the Meta-Knights, who Kirby has to battle at some point in most games he appears in.