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KPR Restored to Life Butterfly.png
One red and orange butterfly standing on Kirby's head in the final cutscene of Kirby: Planet Robobot.
First appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)
Latest appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Other appearance(s) Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Related Morpho Knight
Similar Papi
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This article is about the recurring red and orange butterflies seen typically in cutscenes. For the white butterfly seen in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, see Flutter.

Butterflies are a common sight in the Kirby series, first seen in the intro of Green Greens in Kirby's Dream Land. In particular, butterflies with a distinct red and orange coloration are recurring atmospheric background characters that are typically seen in cutscenes, especially those at the start and end of a game. These butterflies were first seen in the opening and ending cutscenes of Kirby's Return to Dream Land and have appeared in all mainline Kirby games since. In both of Morpho Knight's appearances, it initially appears to be such a butterfly, but then takes the form of a knight after absorbing a powerful being.

It is unclear if the butterflies that appear in cutscenes are the same entity as each other and/or Morpho Knight. In the ending of Kirby: Planet Robobot, two red and orange butterflies appear on-screen at the same time, showing that there are multiple of them. Notably, the description of the Morpho Knight figure in the Japanese version of Kirby and the Forgotten Land uses the term "一頭の夢見鳥", which can be translated as "a butterfly" or "one of the butterflies", but it could also mean "the lone butterfly" or "the one butterfly". When asked if the butterflies were all the same, Shinya Kumazaki said he didn't want to confirm or deny it, and commented on how often certain aspects of the world of Kirby are left up to interpretation, so that each player can experience the games in their own ways.[1]


The butterflies are rather small, with a total length comparable to one of Kirby's eyes, though specifically Morpho Knight has been shown to be much larger when it goes after Galacta Knight in Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go!. Their wings are consistently depicted as yellow-orange on their insides and red on their edges, though whether the wings smoothly fade from red to orange or have a hard separation between them varies. The butterflies' body is mainly orange.

These butterflies are used as a symbol of peace in the series[2] and are usually seen fluttering around Dream Land, often landing on Kirby when he is unconscious, which is typically enough to wake him up.

In many cultures, butterflies are often associated with death, souls, and the afterlife. This extends as far back as ancient Egypt, where some species of butterflies were thought to be the reincarnated souls of dead warriors. Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul, was associated with butterflies and often appeared as a woman with butterfly wings. In ancient Japanese folklore, butterflies are thought to represent the souls of the living, the dying, and the dead. While they are treated with great reverence, a butterfly may signal an omen of death, or appear to guide a dying soul to Yomi, the land of the dead.[3]

Thus, while butterflies are often used as symbols of peace in the Kirby series, this association with souls and death led to Morpho Knight, an ominous character associated with Yomi who feasts upon souls, being represented as a butterfly.[4]

Game appearances[edit]

Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

The first red and orange butterfly seen, standing on a flower as Meta Knight reads a book on a knoll in the opening cutscene for Kirby's Return to Dream Land.

One red and orange butterfly first appears in this game's intro cutscene, "A Visitor from Afar", resting on a flower next to Meta Knight while he is reading near the knoll.

A red and orange butterfly later appears in the final cutscene, "Each to His Own World", once Kirby and his friends are returned home unconscious by Landia. It initially lands on Kirby's face and wakes him up, which makes the butterfly fly away. Later, when King Dedede pulls his head out of the ground, the butterfly comes back and lands on a flower placed on King Dedede's head. The butterfly hops off his head after he looks up to see Landia and the Lor Starcutter, and is then seen flying away as the cutscene ends.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe[edit]

One butterfly can be seen briefly at the very start of "Waking to a flowery coup!", the opening cutscene for this game. It lands on Kirby's head as he leaves his house in the morning to go frolicking.

Kirby: Planet Robobot[edit]

Much like in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, a butterfly lands on Kirby's head in the final cutscene of this game, "Restored to Life", waking him up after Meta Knight deposits him unconscious near a tree. The butterfly flies away, and presumably the same butterfly is then seen flying on top of the remains of Castle Dedede. While King Dedede and a Waddle Dee emerge from the castle's remains, two more butterflies appear and flutter around them for a bit before flying away.

Kirby Star Allies[edit]

Morpho Knight in its butterfly form appears and approaches Galacta Knight, intent on absorbing him.

In this game, a butterfly appears in the Story Mode intro cutscene, "Starfall: A Rude Awakening", flying around Whispy Woods while the Jamba Heart pieces are raining down on Popstar. One may also appear over the bottom-right waters on the world map of Dream Land on occasion.

A butterfly later appears at the end of Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go!. Here, after Hyness is defeated at The Divine Terminus, Galacta Knight emerges from a portal and prepares to face down the allies. Just after his title card is shown, the butterfly flutters down, glowing ominously. It lands gently on Galacta Knight's lance and proceeds to cause him to be vaporized. It then absorbs this power and morphs while revealing itself as the knight of the underworld, Morpho Knight, before attacking the allies.

A butterfly also appears in the Celebration Picture "A Farewell to Kirby", depicted in monochrome like the rest of the picture.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land[edit]

A butterfly in the opening scene for Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

A butterfly makes a brief appearance in the opening cutscene of this game, "Kirby and the Mysterious Vortex". Here, it can be seen being sucked into the dimensional rift along with Kirby and the Waddle Dees.

Another butterfly, unknown if the same as the one in the opening cutscene, later appears in Forgo Land at the end of Isolated Isles: Forgo Dreams, where it flies in and lands on Soul Forgo, transforming and revealing itself as Morpho Knight.


See also[edit]


  1. Nintendo DREAM June 2023 interview (translation)
  2. "『カービィ』シリーズにおいて平和の象徴としてチョウチョを出しているのですが、ハッピーエンドのようにチョウチョが出てきたにも係わらず、危機が再来するイメージってハッとするなぁと思ったのです。" –July 2018 Issue (Nintendo DREAM)

    (Translation: Butterflies are used as a symbol of peace in the Kirby series, and I thought it would be interesting to see the image of a crisis reappearing even though the butterflies appeared as if there was a happy ending.)
  3. Japanese Folktales: The Butterfly Soul, told by F. Hadland Davis, reproduced by zteve t evans
  4. チョウチョって、日本でも古くは黄泉の国を感じさせる不吉なイメージがありましたよね? なので、平和の象徴と思っていたチョウチョが介入して来たら、じつはものすごい敵だったと。" –July 2018 Issue (Nintendo DREAM)

    (Translation: Butterflies used to have an ominous image in ancient times in Japan, reminding us of the land of Yomi, didn't they? So, the butterfly, which we thought was a symbol of peace, intervened, and turned out to be a tremendous opponent.)