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A Whale of a Tale

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A Whale of a Tale
E71 Scene 19.png
King Dedede and Escargoon attempt to turn a whale into a submarine.
First aired Japan February 22, 2003
NA April 24, 2004
Episode # 71
Episode # (US) 71
Copy Ability (Abilities) featured No
Monster(s) featured No
Character(s) featured Kirby, Tiff, King Dedede, Escargoon, Kine, Whales
Episode order
Buccaneer Birdy Waddle While You Work
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A Whale of a Tale is the 71st episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series. In this episode, a whale is spotted in Dream Land's harbor, and a large crowd gathers aboard King Dedede's cruise ship to watch it. However, King Dedede soon reveals his ship to be a whaling ship intent on capturing the creature and tries to harass it, but the whale retaliates by swallowing the ship whole with everybody inside. Tiff and Kine cut a deal with the whale to let them go in exchange for clearing out a heap of trash inside the whale's stomach while they and Kirby search for the whale's missing calf, but King Dedede subverts this plan and uses the recycled junk to build a submarine deck that attaches to the whale and steers it by hurting it. After crashing the whale, King Dedede tries to test out the submarine's torpedoes on Kine and Kirby, but they end up hitting an island off at sea instead. This island then reveals itself as an even bigger whale which turns out to be the original whale's mother, and King Dedede and Escargoon are harassed and punished by both whales for disturbing them. They then reunite and leave Dream Land as the others watch.


The following characters appear in this episode:

Cast of "A Whale of a Tale"  
Character Selected quote
Primary characters
"Sushi poyo!"
"That's a whale! This book says whales are the largest living mammals! They breathe through a blowhole in the top of their heads!"
"Now, listen up here, Cappies! We[sic] about to set sail on a whale watchin' cruise! It's free and you get to see real whales!"
"Well, he's finally pickin' on someone his own size."
"Hey there, folks! I just heard some bad news from one of my pals down here. Says there's a baby whale that's been reported missing from its mama!"
*whale calls*
Secondary characters
"Oh yes! I'd love to see it up close!"
"Alright, be on your guard! The King'll give the signal very soon!"
"A fish that big could be a blue plate special for a whole year!"
"Holy cow! Look at the size of that thing!"
(no dialogue)
"Man, he's gonna sink us!"
"How lovely!"
"Wow! That whale sure is big!"
(no dialogue)
"Alright! He's gonna get us out!"
(no dialogue)
(no dialogue)
"Folks, if you wanna go on an exciting whale watch, just say I!"
(no dialogue)
"In the interest of science, you can count me in!"
(no dialogue)
"Wonder how come he swam all the way here?"
(no dialogue)
"Even you couldn't eat that, Kirby!"
"Hey! What's going on?"
(no dialogue)


Plot synopsis[edit]

King Dedede's cruise ship flanks the whale in the harbor.

The episode begins on a harbor in Dream Land, where Tiff, Tuff, and Kirby are fishing. Kine swims up to them and comments on how he does not want to end up on one of their hooks, but the whole group is interrupted when a nearby whale breaks the surface of the water to breathe, sending a large wave of water at them. Later on, a very large group of Cappies gather at the spot to see the whale for themselves. After they comment on it, Kine informs the group that the whale showed up to look for her missing calf. As the whale looks, a large cruise ship enters the harbor bearing the royal insignia. King Dedede and Escargoon then emerge from the ship and announce their intention to host a free whale watching tour, and Tiff objects saying they will scare the whale away, but the rest of the Cappies are on board with the idea. They then beg Tiff to come with them, and she reluctantly agrees to do so.

The cruise ship sets off and follows the whale down the harbor, and King Dedede shouts at the whale to demand she do tricks for him. As the whale notices them, Tuff calls for Kirby to come check out the interior of the ship with him, while Tiff asks Kine to keep looking for the baby whale. Tuff and Kirby get below deck and notice some suspicious activity. They soon determine that King Dedede intends to capture the whale using harpoons, and likely killing her. As they try to escape, Kirby gets distracted by a decoration on the wall, and soon both of them are captured by the Waddle Dees. Meanwhile, Tiff starts to get upset at King Dedede for steering the ship so close to the whale, but he predictably brushes her off. King Dedede then has the boat ram right into the side of the whale, and proceeds to pursue her down the harbor as she tries to get away. The whale retaliates by turning around and slamming into the boat, giving Tuff and Kirby a chance to get away.

The occupants of the cruise ship find themselves inside the whale's belly.

As King Dedede and Escargoon drum up excuses to capture the whale, Tuff and Kirby return to the deck and warn everybody about Dedede's intentions. Knowing the jig is up, King Dedede and Escargoon flip a switch that transforms the cruise ship into a whaling ship and gets it ready to fire the harpoons. However, finding deeper water, the whale swims underneath the ship and appears behind it to swallow the ship whole. As the group regain their bearings, they realize what has happened and proceed to make several puns about their predicament. They then proceed to look around the whale's stomach looking for a way out, and spot a huge mound of garbage in there with them. Kine then appears - having followed them in after seeing what happened - and offers to talk to the whale about letting them all out. To sweeten the deal, Tiff promises that if the whale lets them out, they will clear out the garbage inside her stomach. The whale agrees to this, and lets everybody out at a different coastline near the Booma-Dooma Volcano. Everybody tries to run away, but Tiff reminds them of their duty, and they proceed to begrudgingly clean out the trash.

King Dedede and Escargoon's plans are foiled as they get tossed into the water.

As they perform this task, Tiff asks Kine and Kirby to go looking for the baby whale. Meanwhile, the Cappies start to complain about being forced to take responsibility for this, and King Dedede plays on this by telling them he will do it for them, dismissing the lot of them. Meanwhile, out at sea, Kine asks Kirby to look around, and Kirby uses his hover to spot a distant island. Back at the coast, Tiff and the kids finish cleaning out the whale's stomach only to find everyone else missing. They look around and spot King Dedede now sitting at the top of a submarine deck strapped to the whale that he and Escargoon somehow managed to build within moments using the recycled junk. King Dedede and Escargoon then gloat about the fact that they turned the whale into a weapon, and proceed to pilot her away by pulling on her mouth. Tiff and the kids manage to get onto the whale just as she departs, and climb into the deck on top. After forcing the whale to dive, King Dedede and Escargoon proceed to torture the whale by forcing her to turn using sharp spurs attached to the straps. They soon become too careless and crash the whale into some rocks, throwing them about the deck and damaging the apparatus.

After the whale surfaces, Kirby and Kine emerge and greet them. King Dedede orders Captain Waddle Doo to aim and fire their torpedoes at them, but the torpedoes miss and hit the island behind them. This causes the island to reveal itself as another whale, and it reacts by diving down, throwing a giant wave at those atop the submarine deck. The wave causes the submarine deck to detach from the original whale. King Dedede and Escargoon get thrown into the water, where they are then beset by the now-freed whale. King Dedede and Escargoon hop onto the whale island, which turns out to be the original whale's mother, and they end up getting blown away by her blowhole. The two whales then reunite and swim off into the sunset. The episode ends as those still watching from the detached submarine deck comment on the situation.

Differences between versions[edit]

  • In the Japanese version, during the scenes inside the whale, the sound of the whale's breathing and heartbeat can be heard in the background.

Dialogue differences[edit]

  • In the Japanese version, the sounds the whales make are different, and appear to be voice-acted rather than based on whale recordings.
  • In the Japanese version, the whale-submarine hybrid is called 「原始力潜水艦ノーチラカス号」 ("the neolithic submarine HMS Nau-litter") by King Dedede and Escargoon. This pairing goes nameless in the English version.
    • The Japanese designation is a play on the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus, as 原始 ("primitive") and 原子 ("nuclear") are pronounced the same way in Japanese (げんし or genshi). The name ノーチラカス (nōchirakasu) incorporates 散らかす, meaning "to scatter or make a mess".


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 密着!ホエール・ウォッチング
Micchaku! Hoēru Wocchingu
Right Up Close! Whale Watching
Brazilian Portuguese Baleia da Pesada Hardcore Whale
"Pesada" literally means "heavy".