Dark Matter is one of the primary antagonists of the Kirby series, making major appearances in two games to date, namely Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3. It also makes a minor appearance as the final boss of Kirby Quest, a Sub-Game of Kirby Mass Attack. This Dark Matter appears to be a single high-ranking member of a greater species, but it still defers to its master, Zero.
Dark Matter has two primary forms. Its most common form is that of a shadowy sphere encircled by small orange or purple balls, and sporting a single eye (referred to as Real Dark Matter). Its other form is a disguise known as Dark Matter Blade, which gives it a somewhat humanoid appearance with spiky hair, armor, and a cape, as well as a visor with a single eye.
Little is known about Dark Matter's motives, other than its desire to turn every planet into a dark world where it can thrive. It is capable of possessing other life forms and making them bend to its will, an ability that it frequently takes advantage of to possess Kirby's friends and rivals (notably King Dedede), often forcing them to fight him. While being possessed by Dark Matter, some creatures obtain enhanced and sometimes bizarre abilities. It can also control dark clouds that serve the same purpose on a larger scale, doing so in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
|Dark Matter's video game appearances|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||Main antagonist and final boss|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Secondary antagonist and final boss||Fought in phase 1 of the final fight.|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Reference||A painting of it appears in Adeleine's fight.|
|Kirby: Canvas Curse||Reference||Appears as a possible painting Paint Roller can draw in Paint Panic.|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad||Reference||Appears in a graphic depicting various final bosses.|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra||Reference||Appears on a card in the Sub-Game Kirby Card Swipe.|
|Kirby Mass Attack||Final boss||Final boss of the Sub-Game Kirby Quest.|
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||Reference||Two rare keychains of Dark Matter appear.|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||Reference||A clone of Dark Matter is fought as a boss. Also appears as two rare stickers.|
|Team Kirby Clash Deluxe||Reference||A piece of gear and a weapon based on Dark Matter can each be equipped.|
|Kirby Star Allies||Reference||Appears in the Celebration Picture "Bad Boss Brothers".|
|Super Kirby Clash||Reference||The same equip-able items from Team Kirby Clash Deluxe return, as well as a sticker.|
|Kirby's Dream Buffet||Reference||Appears on two Character Treats.|
|Super Smash Bros. series|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Spirit|
Kirby's Dream Land 2
- Main article: Dark Castle - Stage 8#Final Boss: Dark Matter
Dark Matter (referred to here as !? in the game's False Ending) debuted in Kirby's Dream Land 2. Here, it tried to take over Dream Land by breaking the rainbow bridges between the Rainbow Islands and possessing some of its citizens. It can only be fought in this game if Kirby has collected all Rainbow Drops. Otherwise, defeating King Dedede will end the game and lead to the False Ending.
In this game, it first appears in the Dark Matter Blade form. Once this form is defeated, it emerges as its true form, Real Dark Matter, and both combatants begin free-falling. Kirby must defeat Real Dark Matter before reaching the ground, or else he will lose a life. After Dark Matter is defeated, Dream Land goes back to normal.
According to a book published by Keibunsha in 1995 titled「最新星のカービィ大百科」 (The Latest Kirby of the Stars Encyclopedia), Dark Matter is lonely, and targeted Dream Land out of jealousy:
Why is Dream Land being targeted?
Dark Matter is a very lonely person. So when he saw Dream Land, a place where everyone is friends, he became jealous. He's unable to say "be my friend."
— The Latest Kirby of the Stars Encyclopedia (Japanese)
This book was not officially published by Nintendo, so it is not necessarily considered canon. However, the January 2019 issue of Nintendo DREAM affirms that, at least in-house, the HAL Laboratory developers considered this to be Dark Matter's backstory.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
- Main article: Hyper Zone
After being defeated in Kirby's Dream Land 2, Dark Matter once again tries to take over Dream Land alongside Zero, this time using a dark cloud. The official Japanese guide confirms that this Dark Matter is the same entity from the previous game. It can only be fought in this game if Kirby has collected all Heart Stars. After being defeated, the people possessed celebrate together. Otherwise, defeating King Dedede will end the game and lead to the False Ending.
Dark Matter is faced as the first opponent in Hyper Zone. It fights similarly to its second form in Kirby's Dream Land 2, using dark lasers and projectiles consisting of its orange orbs to attack. However, its attack patterns are less aggressive and there is no time limit. After being defeated, Zero appears immediately after as the true final boss of the game.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
While Dark Matter does not directly appear in this title, instead being replaced by the Dark Matter cloud, its "Real Dark Matter" form appears as a painting that Adeleine creates during her boss fight.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
Additionally, Dark Matter was originally set to appear as a ball character, along with other bosses from previous games, like Lololo & Lalala, Zero, and Nightmare's Power Orb. However, the idea was scrapped, and it doesn't appear in the final game.
Kirby: Squeak Squad
Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby Mass Attack
- Main article: Kirby Quest#Chapter 4
Dark Matter is the Final Boss of Kirby Quest, being fought in Chapter 4, Stage 40.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe / Super Kirby Clash
Dark Matter makes a cameo in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and in Super Kirby Clash, where a set of Dark Matter-themed weapon (Dark Matter Blade) and armor (Dark Matter Gear) for the Sword Hero role is sold in Magolor's Shoppe. The sword is covered with a purple aura, the armor resembles the appearance of the dark swordsman (complete with flowing "hair" and a living single eye), and the shield resembles its true form.
In Super Kirby Clash, Dark Matter Blade also appears as a sticker.
Kirby Star Allies
Dark Matter Blade appears in the Celebration Picture "Bad Boss Brothers" alongside many other final bosses. Additionally, Void Termina's Final Core, Void Soul and Void transform into a Dark Matter-like form for some attacks.
Kirby's Dream Buffet
In Kirby's Dream Buffet, Dark Matter is represented by two Character Treats: the first depicts artwork of Dark Matter Blade from Kirby's Dream Land 2, and the second depicts his true form sprite from Kirby's Dream Land 3.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Dark Matter appears as a ★★★★ primary spirit in its Blade form. Its type is attack, and it possesses 3 support slots. It has level 1 stats of 2,159 attack and 1,876 defense, along with 5,398 attack and 4,691 defense when leveled up to level 99. It can be obtained either by battling it in World of Light, battling it in the Spirit Board, or purchasing it from the Shop.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
While not appearing in the anime itself, Dark Matter makes a brief appearance in the Kirby of the Stars Pilot as one of the enemies which Kirby must battle, taking on its appearance from Kirby's Dream Land 3. It is quickly dispatched using the Ice ability.
Relatives of Dark Matter
There are many other creatures and objects which are either similar to or directly related to Dark Matter. They are as follows:
In Japanese, these entities belong to a group called the Dark Matter Clan (ダークマター族).
- Dark Matter (cloud) - A cloudy mass of Dark Matter beings that is controlled by Dark Matter, Zero, and 0².
- Gooey - A friend of Kirby's who is made of Dark Matter.
- Zero - A huge white sphere that appears after Dark Matter is defeated in Kirby's Dream Land 3, with the ability of summoning smaller Dark Matters.
These entities do not belong to the Dark Matter Clan, but are confirmed to be related to Dark Matter:
- N-Z - A common enemy first introduced in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Despite their innocuous appearance and behavior, there are implications that suggest that they are part of the Dark Matter family.
- Miracle Matter - A mysterious 20-sided foe which utilizes many Copy Ability elements in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. While suspected to be part of the Dark Matter family, there has been no official confirmation of this.
- 0² - Thought to be the successor to Zero, fought in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The Japanese-exclusive 20th Anniversary Kirby Pupupu Encyclopedia states that its relationship to Dark Matter and its true intentions are unknown.
- Dark Mind - A powerful foe who resided in the Dimension Mirror and was able to influence other characters. Much like Dark Matter, he has a humanoid "false" form and a true form with a cycloptic eye.
- Dark Nebula - A star-shaped being who was confined to a treasure chest, fought in Kirby: Squeak Squad. The Japanese-exclusive 20th Anniversary Kirby Pupupu Encyclopedia states that Dark Nebula (known in Japanese, Chinese and Korean as Dark Zero) may be related to Dark Matter, but their exact relationship is unknown. This relationship has never been stated in the games or any localized English source.
- Master Crown - An object of immense power which is stolen by Magolor in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. When worn by Magolor, it causes him to take an appearance very similar to Dark Matter's true form.
- Dark Crafter - The color-stealing main antagonist of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, with some similarities to the Dark Matter line.
- Void Termina - A giant monster with various aspects of the Dark Matter family, summoned by Hyness in Kirby Star Allies. The Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions state that Void is made up of dark matter, as well as heart, soul, and dream matter.
- Main article: Dark Matter Blade (theme)
- Main article: Real Dark Matter (theme)
- Main article: VS. Dark Matter
Dark Matter has various boss battle themes for its different forms.
- Its themes from Kirby's Dream Land 2 have been remixed in Kirby: Planet Robobot (for Dark Matter Clone) and Kirby Star Allies (for Rick & Kine & Coo vs Morpho Knight).
- Its theme from Kirby's Dream Land 3 has been remixed in Kirby Star Allies (for Gooey vs Morpho Knight).
- In Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, the final boss, Dark Matter, shares similar qualities with Dark Matter from the Kirby series, such as having the same name in English, French, Spanish and Japanese, being a main antagonist, and having the ability to control the minds of other characters.
- Dark Matter is depicted with varying consistency over the number of balls it has. The most common is ten, as seen in most artwork and sprites for Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3, along with artwork based on the sprites. Most of the time, not all of its balls can be seen at once, but Dark Matter is consistently shown to be horizontally symmetrical. Other numbers include:
- Twelve are seen in the Dark Matter seen in the Kirby of the Stars Pilot.
- Ten are also seen in the ball form sprite in Kirby Mass Attack's Kirby Quest mini-game, however this is noted separately because of the facts that they are less like balls than in most depictions, and that the orientation of Dark Matter's balls is slightly altered.
- Nine are portrayed in the credits sequence artwork of Kirby's Dream Land 3. (While not all are seen, spacing and perspective indicate that nine are present.)
- Eight are seen on the model shown as the Dark Matter Clone is defeated in Kirby: Planet Robobot. This same number is also shown for a brief moment as Dark Matter forms in the battle in Hyper Zone, as well as during attacks where it attempts to strike Kirby and/or Gooey with its balls.
- The Dark Matter Clone itself does not have any balls, but can summon multiple that float freely around it and are used to attack Kirby or Meta Knight.
- On a related note, Gooey's Mock Matter form has six or seven orange balls depending on the situation. Kirby's Dream Land 3 features seven balls, and Kirby Star Allies and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe feature six.
- While not a normal member of the Dark Matter species, Zero has no balls.
Artwork of Real Dark Matter in its typical ball form in Kirby's Dream Land 2
Artwork of Dark Matter from the credits sequence in Kirby's Dream Land 3
Artwork of Dark Matter from Kirby: Squeak Squad
Keychain of Dark Matter's blade form in Kirby Dream Land 2, from Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Artwork of the Dark Matter Gear from Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
Concept art for Dark Matter Blade and Gear from Super Kirby Clash
Miiverse illustration commemorating Kirby's 23rd birthday
Halloween 2017 illustration from the Kirby JP Twitter featuring a candy based on Dark Matter
Halloween 2019 illustration from the Kirby JP Twitter, featuring Assistant Waddle Dee in a Dark Matter costume
Names in other languages
àn wù zhì
àn wù zhì
|French||Matière Noire||Dark Matter|
|Portuguese||Matéria escura||Dark Matter|
|Spanish||Materia oscura||Dark Matter|
- The Latest Kirby of the Stars Encyclopedia (Japanese)
“ 最初に登場したダークマターには、友達が欲しくてちょっと寂しがりやなのでは…という設定も『星のカービィ2』開発当時の社内にあったようですので、今回のフレンズとハートの物語と親和性があるのではとも考えましたが、さすがにダークマターには今はまだ悪役を貫いてほしく (It seems that, when Dark Matter first appeared in Kirby's Dream Land 2, the developers had the idea that he was lonely and wanted to have friends. I thought that this could tie into this game's themes of "friends" and "hearts", but I'd of course prefer for Dark Matter to remain a villain for now.) ”
— Nintendo DREAM, January 2019
- "前作でカービィに倒されたゼロの手下。今度は親分といっしょにやってくる。 (Zero's servant, who was defeated by Kirby in the previous game. This time, he brought his master.)" –Kirby's Dream Land 3 Official Nintendo Guidebook (Nintendo), pg. 8
- 20th Anniversary Kirby Pupupu Encyclopedia, page 125