- 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 Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where one was seen in the opening cutscene for the game, 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. At the very least, 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".
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 and are usually seen fluttering around Dream Land, often landing on Kirby when he is unconscious, which is typically enough to wake him up.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
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.
Another one, be the same one from "A Visitor from Afar" or not, 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
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
Much like in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, a butterfly lands on Kirby's head in the final cutscene, "Restored to Life", which wakes 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 mains 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
One 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.
Another 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, the butterfly flutters down, now glowing ominously. It lands gently on Galacta Knight's lance and shortly after, causes this greatest warrior in the galaxy 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.
It is unknown if the butterflies that appear throughout the game are the same as each other or not.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
It is unknown if the butterfly being absorbed into the rift in "Kirby and the Mysterious Vortex" is Morpho Knight or not.
A butterfly in the ending cutscene from Kirby's Return to Dream Land
The same scene from Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
A butterfly in the intro for Kirby: Triple Deluxe, on Kirby's face
A butterfly (on left) in the story mode opening of Kirby Star Allies
A butterfly is depicted in the Celebration Picture "A Farewell to Kirby".
Morpho Knight in its butterfly form fluttering into Forgo Land in Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Morpho Knight in its butterfly form lands on Soul Forgo
A butterfly beside Meta Knight in the opening cutscene of Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
- "『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.)