Dracula Waddle[conjectural title] is the given name of a hypothetical enemy who is speculated to have first appeared in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. This enemy is said to be a vampiric Waddle Dee who is indistinguishable from normal Waddle Dees until it attacks its victim. While unconfirmed to actually exist in-game - having not been discovered in the internal game files of any game in the series - numerous anecdotal reports from players seem to indicate its existence. First described on the Japanese Kirby Wikia, Dracula Waddle is often suspected to be a Rope Waddle Dee, which leads most to believe that Dracula Waddle prefers to swing from ropes as part of its disguise. This elusive enemy has been speculated on since at least November of 2017, and to this date, no conclusive proof - in-game or otherwise - has been presented to prove Dracula Waddle's existence.
The name 'Dracula Waddle' was first used on this Japanese Kirby Wikia page. Despite the fact that the English name is likely the result of a crude auto-translation, it was the one eventually used by English fans of the Kirby series to describe the enemy in question. As the Japanese name of Dracula Waddle on the article is not an official one, and HAL Laboratory has not made a statement regarding the existence of this enemy, it lacks an official name.
The pronoun of 'Dracula' itself is derived from the fictional character of Dracula, from Bram Stoker's famous novel of the same name. The name Dracula has since been commonly used to refer to vampires in general.
Dracula Waddle is said to be indistinguishable from normal Waddle Dees while it is hiding. It acts much like other Waddle Dees under normal circumstances as well, and if swiftly defeated by Kirby, its true identity is not revealed, instead simply popping out of existence like any other standard enemy. A common belief among proponents of Dracula Waddle's existence is that unlike standard Waddle Dees, Dracula Waddle will not re-spawn if Kirby leaves the immediate vicinity and comes back. This has led some to meticulously check every Waddle Dee in the various stages of Kirby's Return to Dream Land and later main-series games, though this has yielded no conclusive results, and the idea itself has been criticized as a prank intended to deliberately waste the time of gullible players.
Given the association with vampires, other theories suggest that Dracula Waddle does not cast a reflection, though the relative lack of reflective surfaces in Kirby games makes this theory difficult to test. Additionally, despite the usual traits of vampires themselves, it is commonly accepted that Dracula Waddle is not affected by sunlight, though reports have been made of players physically moving the game and television set outdoors in order to attempt to expose Dracula Waddle in this fashion.
Numerous accounts exist of how Dracula Waddle behaves under a large number of different circumstances and what its effects are on its victims. The following will go over the most notable and widely-believed accounts, in order of prominence.
Direct vampire account
Perhaps unsurprising given its name, most accounts assert that Dracula Waddle behaves in a predatory vampiric fashion. It waits for Kirby or another character to stop moving for a while, and then (assuming the victim is in range and not looking directly at it) Dracula Waddle will dismount from its rope and either change color, gain red eyes, or grow fangs and bat wings (or some combination) and then quickly pounce the victim. It is then said that the victim needs to quickly shake Dracula Waddle off by having the player shake the Wii Remote or mash the Control Pad, or the victim will be KO'd regardless of how much stamina they had prior to the attack.
Other accounts expand on this idea by stating that any secondary character KO'd in this way cannot be revived until the stage is completed or reset, Dracula Waddle is defeated, or simply cannot be revived at all, removing that character from the selection. Additionally, reports say that if Kirby is KO'd in this way, it will result in an immediate Game Over regardless of the number of 1-Ups remaining, or may even cause the game to become corrupted, requiring manual deletion of the save data from the console to fix. These accounts are largely dismissed as urban legends, however.
Indirect vampire account
While less supported than the main vampire account, proponents of the indirect account insist that Dracula Waddle does not attack Kirby or other playable characters, but instead targets other Waddle Dees. Waddle Dees attacked in this way are said to either be defeated, made immobile, or converted into Dracula Waddles themselves, with the original attacker vanishing after the deed is done. If true, Dracula Waddle would be the first example of an enemy in the Kirby series who deliberately attacks other enemies.
Some accounts will attest that Dracula Waddle does not actively attack playable characters or other entities, but instead exhibits unusual movement patterns and characteristics which can be interpreted as unsettling or threatening. One popular example states that if Dracula Waddle is on-screen for 86 seconds or so, it will slowly stop swinging, and instead stare intently at either Kirby or directly toward the screen, breaking the Fourth Wall in the latter case. Another example states that this slow-down and stare does not happen unless Dracula Waddle is first cut from its rope, then allowed to walk back and forth for the 86 seconds while remaining on-screen.
A few players have reported that Dracula Waddle does not actually behave any different to normal Waddle Dees, instead merely being known for its distinct physical characteristics. Proponents of this idea often express their dislike for the name Dracula Waddle, as they say it does not accurately portray the enemy's nature, instead preferring to see this type of Waddle Dee as a glitch.
While not confirmed to be in any game in the series, most accounts insist that Dracula Waddle can be found in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Other games that have been mentioned include Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot, as those games also feature Rope Waddle Dees, but some will claim that Dracula Waddle occurs in games as far back as Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (though not as a Rope Waddle Dee in those cases).
Given the image on the original Japanese Kirby Wikia page, most suspect that Dracula Waddle can be found somewhere in the level White Wafers. The only stage in the level where Rope Waddle Dees are known to appear is Stage 1, and each such enemy has been thoroughly examined, though no repeatable results have been demonstrated. A common explanation for this is that Dracula Waddle only has a small chance to appear in place of a regular Rope Waddle Dee whenever the stage is visited.
- As of the initial date of this article's creation, running an auto-translate on the original Dracula Waddle page now yields the bizarre name of 'Brabra Wadoldi'.
- Additionally, to this day, the Japanese Kirby Wikia insists that the correct translation of the page is 'Swinging Waddle Dee', and that the page was always about Rope Waddle Dees, and that the whole idea of Dracula Waddle was a silly misconception based on a joke spread at the expense of Google Translate's imperfect algorithm, but proponents of Dracula Waddle see this as an insult to their dedication.
- While neither Nintendo nor HAL have made a statement regarding the existence of Dracula Waddle, mentions of the name of Dracula Waddle by fans in comments on their official Twitter pages or YouTube videos tend to result in quiet deletions of said comments. The name and similar derivatives has also curiously been banned from use for profiles or nicknames in various Nintendo Switch games, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and, oddly enough, Splatoon 2.
- If the direct vampire account is correct, Dracula Waddle would be the first example of a common enemy who is immediately lethal, similar to bottomless pits and crushing hazards.
- One popular rumor insists that Dracula Waddle is also somehow responsible for the Upwarp anomaly in Tick Tock Clock from Super Mario 64. This is largely considered to be a joke, however.
- This trivia section is already too long.
Names in other languages
|Dracula Waddle|
|English||Dracula Waddle||April Fools!|
dé gǔ lā wǎ dòu
dé gǔ lā wǎ dòu
|Dutch||Dracula waggel||Dracula wagon|
|French||Dracula se dandine||Dracula waddles|
|German||Dracula watscheln||Dracula waddling|
|Italian||Dracula ondeggia||Dracula sways|
|Portuguese||Drãco rotade||Rotating dragon|
|Spanish||Waddle Dracúlo||Waddle drags|
|Danish||Drakulig vaddler||Drakulik vadtler|
|Czech||Drakulý vaddlik||Drakulik vadtler|
|Finnish||Drakkulavaddeläkkel||Dracula mage waddle|
|Norwegian||Drakulik vadtler||Dracula waddler|
|Polish||Drakul waddlów||Waddle of the draculas|
|Swedish||Drakulisk vagglare||Dracula waddler|