In general video game parlance, an Easter egg refers to a small hidden detail or secret left in a game by the developers which is not meant to draw attention to itself, nor in most instances does it greatly impact the larger game. For the sake of simplicity, an Easter egg will be defined here to be any detail within a game that meets the following characteristics:
- It is possible for the player to miss (or fail to notice) during regular gameplay, but has more meaning than just being a hidden room, item, or object.
- It is not required to seek out for any sort of completion metric in the game.
- It has relatively little impact on the game itself.
- It is not a reference to something outside the Kirby series or something that merely ties into something else in the series (such as Star Dream being similar to Galactic Nova or the many cameo appearances of Rick, Kine, and Coo).
The Kirby series is well known for having small Easter eggs inserted into the games. To avoid unnecessary repetition, Easter eggs are subdivided into a "recurring" category, for those Easter eggs that appear regularly throughout the series, and a category for Easter eggs that only appear in specific games.
Recurring Easter eggs
Entering the moon
Starting with Kirby's Dream Land, and moving onward through many other games in the series up until Kirby Star Allies, there is typically one or more secret rooms whose doors are invisible, placed in front of background objects such as a moon in the sky. This trope first appeared in the stage Bubbly Clouds. It should be noted, however, that in some of these games, accessing these hidden rooms is required for 100% completion, so not all of them can be counted strictly as Easter eggs.
- Main article: HAL Room
Starting in Kirby's Adventure and continuing on to Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, most main-series titles have hidden rooms where blocks or other elements are arranged to spell out the letters "H A L", in direct reference to the developer of the Kirby series: HAL Laboratory. Each HAL Room has different criteria for how to access it, which is documented on the main HAL Room page. HAL Rooms initially had no use aside from being a hidden Easter egg, but later games would hide items and Copy Essences in them, along with special music.
Goal Game 30-Up bonus
- Main article: Goal Game
In many Kirby games, starting with Kirby's Adventure, there is a special hidden reward within the Goal Game. When playing seven times in a row, if Kirby lands on each successive platform from 7 all the way to 1, he will be rewarded with 30 1-Ups.
The term goroawase refers to a form of Japanese wordplay where numbers are read phonetically to spell certain phrases. An example of goroawase in the Kirby games is the recurrence of the number 86 — typically in scoring mechanisms — as "eight" (ha) and "six" (ru) together sound similar to "HAL". For example, many HAL Rooms are reached by waiting for 86 seconds in a certain room, and the codename of Specimen ID-F86 also refers to HAL.
Sometimes the numbers may be combined as part of a greater phrase: for example, 86555 ("HAL go go go"), which is the developers' intended high score for C-R-O-W-N-E-D (Reprise) in Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe and the score earned for defeating Void in Kirby Star Allies' The Ultimate Choice, or 39860 ("thank you HAL"), which is the experience earned upon reaching level 10 in Team Kirby Clash. In Magolor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler, the Magic Points needed to upgrade Magolor's Trickery to level 9 from level 8 is 5586, rather than a more round number. This translates to "go go HAL".
HAL in names of entities
In addition to the above examples, HAL also references itself in the names of several in-game objects, places, characters, or other entities. Examples include the Halberd, Halcandra, the Haltmann Works Company, and the three companies in Kirby and the Forgotten Land: "Holine", "Alivel", and "Lightron", whose first letters combine to form "HAL". Another example is the "Haltmann Works Company" attack used by Star Dream and Star Dream Soul OS in Kirby: Planet Robobot, which shoots out "H" "A" and "L" as projectiles.
Level names spelling words or other patterns
Starting with Kirby's Adventure, level or stage names can often be made to spell words or reveal other patterns when the first letters of each name are taken and then added together. The following are a few examples:
- Kirby's Adventure - V, I, B, G, Y, O, R: ROYGBIV backwards.
- Kirby: Canvas Curse - R, A, I, N, B, O, W: "RAINBOW".
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land - C, R, O, W, N, E, D: "CROWNED".
- Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition (New Challenge Stages) - H, A, L: "HAL".
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe - F, L, O, W, E, R (ED): "FLOWER(ED)".
- Kirby: Planet Robobot - P, R, O, G, R, A, M: "PROGRAM".
- Kirby Star Allies - F, R, I, E, N, D, S: "FRIENDS".
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land - N, E, W, W, O, R, LD: "NEWWORLD".
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (Magolor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler) - A, P, P, L, E: "APPLE".
In a handful of Kirby games, starting with Kirby's Dream Land 2, there are special screens awarded to the player if Kirby manages to complete a Boss Endurance without taking a hit (or if the player inputs a special combination of buttons). One of the more notable ones is in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, where a screen is shown depicting Kirby wearing an outfit made from pieces of the various bosses in the game.
Hidden "whistled" themes in otherwise quiet rooms
In several Kirby games, there are areas which do not have overt theme music, often meant to build suspense. Many of these areas, however, have hidden musical themes which can be heard as a faint and slow "whistle" sound, as if coming from the wind itself. Examples of this include the entrance to Nutty Noon - Stage 5, the boss room in Sacred Square prior to battling Meta Knight, and the opening woods in Point of Arrival.
Colored music notes
Some games which feature a Jukebox use a system of colored music notes to indicate which composer created each specific track. So far, this system has appeared in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby: Planet Robobot, Kirby Star Allies, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby's Dream Buffet, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe. Examples of composers and their associated note colors include:
- Blue notes: Hirokazu Ando.
- Red or magenta notes: Jun Ishikawa.
- Yellow notes: Yuuta Ogasawara (first appearing in Kirby Star Allies).
- Green notes: Yuki Shimooka (first appearing in Kirby and the Forgotten Land).
- Orange notes: Megumi Ohara (first appearing in Kirby's Dream Buffet).
- Purple notes: Shogo Sakai (first appearing in Kirby's Dream Buffet).
- Indigo notes: Tadashi Ikegami (first appearing in Kirby's Dream Buffet).
- White notes: non-HAL Laboratory composers, such as Kiyoshi Hazemoto (first appearing in Kirby's Dream Buffet).
Rainbow notes are used in Kirby's Dream Buffet to represent the HAL Laboratory Dream Band.
Game-specific Easter eggs
The following are Easter eggs that only appear in specific games:
Kirby's Dream Land
- When pausing the game, after a while, Kirby will start to dance in place. This has no effect on gameplay.
Kirby's Pinball Land
- In Kracko Land, if Kirby breaks all of the stars that appear alongside Mr. Shine, Meta Knight will appear, accompanied by the Mike scream sound effect and 77700 points. This only happens when revisiting the board after defeating King Dedede, and Meta Knight himself cannot be interacted with after appearing.
- In Wispy-Woods Land, the Twisters at the top make jingling bell-like sounds when passed through. If Kirby keeps continually spinning through them, the jingling bells reveal the melody of the Drawing Song from Kirby's Adventure. At the end of the song, Kirby finishes off with the Mike scream sound effect. If this is done after defeating King Dedede, Blade Knight will appear with the Mike scream, giving Kirby 77700 points. Blade Knight himself cannot be interacted with after appearing.
- In Poppy Brothers' Land, if Kirby frees all the Chicks without letting any Junior Poppy Brothers touch them, Axe Knight will appear, accompanied by the Mike scream sound effect and 77700 points. This only happens when revisiting the board after defeating King Dedede, and Axe Knight himself cannot be interacted with after appearing.
- If different combinations of buttons are held as the title screen transitions to the high score table, the game will be affected in certain ways, each one associated with a cat appearing on-screen.
- Holding Left, Select, and A or B shows a white cat on the screen and starts each stage in the bonus round.
- Holding Right, Select, and A or B shows a black cat and starts each stage at the boss round. The same code works in Kirby Brawlball, complete with the same black cat reappearing.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
- In Red Canyon - Stage 5, there are two distinct Easter eggs. The first can be found in a dark room, where using Spark-Kine will reveal a poster depicting a killer whale and the word "Orca". This may be a reference to the boss Acro, who would later appear in Kirby's Dream Land 3, though this is not certain.
- The second Easter egg is hidden in plain sight in the final room of this stage. The Star Blocks in this long vertical room form the shape of a crudely-drawn naked woman. This is not readily apparent unless viewed all at once.
Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra
- During the battle with Chameleo Arm, Kirby can swallow its paint blobs and use the Paint Copy Ability to change the boss's color.
- During the battle with Heavy Lobster, Kirby can obtain the Paint ability from one of the boss's attacks, and then use it to blind Heavy Lobster. This has minor effects on the boss's behavior, and in Revenge of Meta Knight, it causes some extra dialogue to appear from the Halberd's crew.
- Before the fight with Meta Knight, if Kirby waits for 30 seconds without picking up the sword on offer, Meta Knight will start the battle regardless.
- In Kirby Super Star Ultra, there is an alternate version of the "Grand Opening" cutscene that rarely plays instead of the usual version, which has various cosmetic differences. After clearing Meta Knightmare Ultra, a version of the cutscene with Meta Knight (titled "Fly! Meta Knight" in the Theater) may play instead.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
- If Kirby comes back to a boss stage after defeating the boss and collecting all of the Heart Stars in the level, the boss will be friendly, since Kirby purged the area of Dark Matter's presence. Kirby can exit the stage immediately, or stick around to watch the boss's new behavior. In particular, Ado draws various paintings on her canvas: a strawberry shortcake, a diamond ring, and a pink Game Boy.
- There are several areas in stages where elusive Kirby-lookalikes named Batamon can be found, typically out of reach. One hidden room, in Cloudy Park - Stage 3, allows Kirby to directly access one.
- When viewing the staff credits after completing Boss Butch, the ending illustrations will be different from those in the main game.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
- In the bad ending credits, an illustration can be seen near the end showing a figure with a smiling face that is not seen in the game up to that point. It is later revealed in the true ending that this figure was 0², who briefly shows that same smiling face when first encountered in Dark Star before changing to its real face.
- This same face would later be referenced by Void Termina's various final forms in Kirby Star Allies.
Kirby Air Ride
- In City Trial, there are two spots around the city that are hard-to-access, but have small flowers placed on them. These flowers are not seen anywhere else, and are purely decorational. One can be found atop the cliffs near the volcano, and the other can be found atop Castle Hall.
- Also in City Trial, there is a semi-hidden underground area under the forest where miniature models of various buildings in the city can be found, which are also decorational.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
- In the background of the rooms leading up to the fight with King Golem in Moonlight Mansion, there are stained glass windows that depict other bosses in the game which may not have been encountered by Kirby yet, including Mega Titan, Wiz, Gobbler, and Kracko.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
- On the title screen of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby will occasionally appear in a different color if the player returns to the title screen, either from the file select or via Game Over.
- In the remake, this event is more common, as Kirby can now appear with a different color upon booting up the game.
- In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, if Kirby talks to Magolor eight or more times in a row, Magolor will get annoyed and ask Kirby to stop wasting time. He reprises this behavior in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash.
- In the demo version of Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, he instead comments that Kirby might be expecting him to say something "clever and/or insightful," but that he's "fresh out of words."
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
- Each stage in Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe contains a hidden keychain in the background. In the regular stages, all of the keychains are a sprite of Kirby from Kirby's Adventure, while the secret stages have different characters in each stage.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
- Within the various pre-rendered cutscenes, as well as the "Nendoroid More: Robobot Armor & Kirby" figurine, it can be seen that the user-interface for the Robobot Armor matches the lower UI shown to the player in-game.
- There are several hidden rooms in various stages which hold a Copy Essence for the Smash Bros. ability.
- In Kirby 3D Rumble, the player can tilt the camera with the C-Stick of the New Nintendo 3DS. Doing so will reveal hidden stickers stuck onto the stages. Additionally, Galactic Nova and Castle Dedede can be seen by moving the camera into the correct positions.
- There is a small chance that the hologram of Kirby with headphones present in the Jukebox may be replaced by an 8-bit Kirby sprite from Kirby's Adventure.
- The train car in the beginning of Stage 3 of Patched Plains and the screen of the chamber where Security Force is fought in Stage 4 of Access Ark depict a set of numbers: 400-0111. This corresponds to the postal code for Ryuoshinmachi, Kai, Yamanashi, where the Yamanashi headquarters of HAL Laboratory are located.
Kirby Star Allies
- Whispy Woods, King Dedede, and Meta Knight can be befriended after being defeated in Story Mode. The window for doing so is brief, as it must be done before the Kirby Dance cutscene begins. The latter two will join Kirby's party as if they were summoned through the Dream Palace. Whispy Woods, meanwhile, will drop various kinds of fruit and other prizes; if he was defeated using Sizzle attacks, he will drop cooked foods instead of fruit.
- If Kirby waits long enough to grab the sword Meta Knight offers at the beginning of his fight (or simply flies up to the platform he's standing on), Meta Knight will angrily kick it away, with an alternate splash screen than his usual one.
- After completing the main game, various extra characters and objects can be found on the Level hubs in the Story Mode.
- There are several runes and symbols on Void Termina's body that resemble other objects in the Kirby series.
- Scattered throughout the stages in Story Mode are placards that resembles the various Dream Friends added to the game. These placards also appear more overtly in Heroes in Another Dimension.
- At the end of Extra Planet δ, when the "WE ♥ KIRBY" statue is rising, if the player is using a controller with Rumble capabilities, the controller rumble will play the first verse of the Green Greens theme.
- After Heroes in Another Dimension is cleared with the true ending, there is a small chance that the Friends featured in the Theater and the Jukebox may be replaced with The Three Mage-Sisters, using modified versions of their weapons as instruments in the latter.
Kirby Fighters 2
- An Easter egg exists in the options menu, where if the player waits 86 seconds, an arrangement of the Start Stage and Forest/Nature Area themes from Kirby & The Amazing Mirror will start playing.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- The alien text used for signs and other objects in the game is a cipher for English, and contains a number of hidden details. A few of these are Easter eggs that specifically reference HAL Laboratory and its founding year.
- Similar to Kirby Star Allies, if Kirby rejects the sword that Meta Knight (or Phantom Meta Knight) offers, an alternate cutscene will play where Kirby dodges the knight's opening attack instead of blocking it with his sword. If Kirby successfully parries the Upper Calibur attack, Meta Knight will drop Galaxia and be forced to replace it with a different sword (specifically, his original one from Kirby's Adventure), which will remain for the rest of the fight.
- In Northeast Frost Street, the time on the clock tower is 4:27, a reference to the release date of Kirby's Dream Land in Japan (April 27th, 1992). Additionally, if Kirby activates a glowing spot on the clock, a total of 92 Star Coins appear.
- The mall's clock in Alivel Mall (Staff Side) is also stopped at 4:27.
- In the opening cutscene for Lab Discovera, Morse code can be heard. If decoded, it spells "EFILLIN", which is Elfilin's Japanese name.
Kirby's Dream Buffet
- Like with Kirby Fighters 2, there is an Easter egg in the song "Kirby's Ultra-Gourmet Memories". After 86 seconds, the song transitions into a chiptune medley of "Kirby's Dream Buffet" and "Gourmet Race".