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; one such form is that of Dark Matter Blade, which gives him a somewhat humanoid appearance with spiky hair, armor, and a cape, as well as a visor with a single eye. 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 in Japanese).
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 also shows up in Chapter 4 of Kirby Quest from Kirby Mass Attack. It's the final enemy encountered in this Sub-Game. Its appearance is similar to that of its Kirby's Dream Land 2 incarnation, but is bigger and has orange balls as opposed to purple.
|Dark Matter's video game appearances|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||Main antagonist and final boss|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||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 an unofficial Japanese player's guide published by Keibunsha, 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 he gets jealous when he sees a country where everyone is friends, like in Dream Land. He cannot say, "let’s become friends."
— Kirby's Dream Land 2 Japanese player's guide
This guide is 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. 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
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Dark Matter Blade appears in a Graphic featuring various final bosses. Notably, the artwork used in it is brand new.
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 Swordsman Dark Matter-themed weapon (Dark Matter Blade) and armor (Dark Matter Gear) for Sword Hero is sold in Magolor's Shoppe. The sword is covered with 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 also appears as a sticker, represented in his swordsman form.
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 his swordsman form artwork from Kirby's Dream Land 2, and the second depicts his true form sprite from Kirby's Dream Land 3.
Super Smash Bros. series
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:
- 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 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.
Artwork of Dark Matter from Kirby: Squeak Squad
Dark Matter cameos in the "Bad Boss Brothers" Celebration Picture under its blade form
Halloween 2017 illustration from the Kirby JP Twitter featuring a candy based on Dark Matter
Pixel Dark Matter Character Treat from Kirby's Dream Buffet, using its sprite from Kirby's Dream Land 2
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|
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 Player's Guide (Japan)
“ 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 there might be a link between this and the idea of "friends" and "hearts", but I'd like 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