|“||I don't understand why I'm being treated so shabbily after all my years of shameless grovelin'! Why, I even pretended you earned my respect and admiration!||”|
Escargoon is one of the primary characters and supporting villains of the anime series Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. He is an anthropomorphic snail-like creature who serves as King Dedede's primary assistant and is almost always at his side, despite Escargoon's misgivings toward him. Escargoon has a generally rotten personality, though he is more often sympathetic than Dedede is primarily due to the regular abuse he receives from the king. He often likes to bully his fellow Castle Dedede residents, though he just as often pleads to them for help when he has a serious problem.
In the 4Kids English dub, Escargoon is voiced by Ted Lewis, who also voices King Dedede. In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Naoki Tatsuta, and often ends his sentences with "de gesu", a corruption of the polite copula "desu".
Escargoon has many faults. He can be generally described as a sadist, and particularly relishes in the suffering of Kirby and his friends. He is also intensely selfish, dishonest, and paranoid, to the point where he hides stashes of jewels in the castle from Dedede's even more selfish eyes. He is also openly egotistical and disrespectful to others, and often speaks sarcastically to them, not even sparing insults for King Dedede. As outlined, a lot of Escargoon's negative personality traits stem directly from his treatment by Dedede, who regularly abuses him both physically and emotionally.
However, Escargoon does have some positive attributes as well. Though not quite the genius he describes himself as, he is still intelligent, as he is able to invent and operate complex machinery, formulate effective plans, and make advanced mathematical calculations. Every now and then, he also drops the formality and treats Kirby and his friends with decency, though usually only when it serves his interests. Most notably, Escargoon cares deeply for his mother, and would do anything to please her, even if it incurs the wrath of King Dedede.
Due partly to his status as one of King Dedede's leading court members and partly to his snobbery, Escargoon does not engage much with people outside of Castle Dedede. Often, Escargoon attempts to use his knowledge of other members of the cast to get what he wants, though this usually ends up backfiring. Escargoon's most notable relationships are as follows:
- King Dedede - Escargoon spends most of his time near King Dedede, serving as his primary assistant and the primary target of the king's abusive nature. Whenever Dedede is outraged for any reason, if Escargoon is within range, he is almost certain to be either yelled at, smacked in the head with Dedede's fist, or clobbered by Dedede's hammer. Escargoon is also often the primary subject of King Dedede's pranks, which tend more often than not to cross the line into genuine hurtfulness. Despite this, Escargoon and Dedede also tend to share each others' successes and joy, and are often seen gloating together when something goes their way. Usually, Escargoon is willing to put up with Dedede's outbursts, but sometimes the king pushes things too far, prompting Escargoon to hatch a revenge plan against him.
- Kirby - Escargoon is typically antagonistic against the pink Star Warrior, usually following in King Dedede's lead. Much like Dedede, this animosity towards Kirby is likely due to jealousy, as unlike Escargoon, Kirby is consistently liked by those around him. Unlike Dedede, however, Escargoon is more willing to put this animosity aside and cooperate with Kirby when he sees reason to. In Escar-Gone, he is particularly touched when Kirby is the only person who treats him like anything other than a stranger.
- Tiff - Escargoon holds particular contempt for Tiff, and sees her as a rival intellect to his. He takes every opportunity he can to belittle and bully her, and uses King Dedede as cover to prevent her from retaliating. He takes particular relish whenever he believes he has outsmarted her. Tiff in turn is forced to tolerate him, but she is not afraid to call him out the same way she does King Dedede. Despite this usual animosity, Tiff and Escargoon will sometimes cooperate with each other to solve a mutual problem, and relate to each other in their roles as guardians, since Escargoon often has to dote on King Dedede as much as Tiff does on Kirby.
- Tuff - Escargoon usually does not pay Tuff much mind. When he does, however, it is usually in the interest of playing to Tuff's selfishness in order to get him to do something for Escargoon, as was the case in the episode Escargoon Squad.
- Meta Knight - Escargoon appears to be aware of Meta Knight's disloyalty to King Dedede. However, since he is generally unable to get King Dedede to understand this, nothing typically comes of it.
- N.M.E. Sales Guy - Escargoon understands full well that King Dedede is being ripped off by Night Mare Enterprises and repeatedly tries to get King Dedede to stop resorting to them for monsters, and instead rely on his inventions and methods. However, since Escargoon is just as unsuccessful, he cannot get this message through.
- Waddle Dees - Escargoon often takes out his frustration by bullying the Waddle Dees of the castle. Despite this, the Waddle Dees continue to serve him faithfully.
- Escargoon's mother - Escargoon's mother is the only person that Escargoon truly cares for. He will do anything to please her, which includes lying to her about being the king of Dream Land. When she comes to visit, he is forced to play out this lie and convinces the rest of Cappy Town to play along. Escargoon's mother appears to understand her son's faults, but still cares for him in return.
Role in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Escargoon is best described as King Dedede's "lead lackey", and is almost always seen by the King's side, sharing in his successes and failures alike. Due to Dedede's general buffoonery, Escargoon is usually the one responsible for directing and managing the logistics of the castle, including most notably keeping track of the budget and spending (a task that comes with a lot of stress due to Dedede's poor financial habits). He also has to tend personally to the King's whims, doing whatever he can't order an underling to do in the moment, and as a result, is usually the first one to receive the brunt of any dissatisfaction from Dedede. Escargoon puts up with this mistreatment in part due to the position in the court it affords him, as well as the slim hope that he may be able to assume the role of King some day. At times, Escargoon can be seen more as a pseudo-parental figure to Dedede, particularly when the King is acting childish.
In most episodes, Escargoon only plays a secondary role, assisting Dedede in his schemes and supplying comic relief. A few episodes however feature him much more prominently, giving him a predicament that he needs to solve. In these instances, Escargoon often puts his differences with Kirby and his friends aside and either begs them for help or helps them in some manner, despite the usual antagonistic nature of their relationship. The most notable examples of this include the episode Escargoon Rules, where Escargoon gets everyone in town to pretend he is king to please his mother, the episode Escar-Gone, where the monster Erasem makes everyone forget who Escargoon is, and it's only through the help of Tiff and Meta Knight that the monster is dealt with, and the episode Right Hand Robot, where Tiff helps Escargoon build a robot double of himself to ease the burden of his duties to King Dedede, only for things to go horribly awry.
- Main article: Escargoon/filmography
- Escargoon appears in one of King Dedede's attacks in the Kirby Quest mode in Kirby Mass Attack.
- Despite being anatomically similar to a snail, Escargoon often seems to have an internal skeleton, as suggested in episodes like Abusement Park where he can be heard cracking his knuckles. This notion is contradicted in Shell-Shocked, where it is implied that Escargoon is an invertebrate like other mollusks. He also has a nose - albeit not visible on his face - which can be seen when it runs in Something to Sneeze At.
- Escargoon is one of the five recurring characters who appears in every episode of the main anime series. The other four are Kirby, Tiff, Tuff, and King Dedede.
Escargoon emerging from the Great Sea Slug Monster costume
Artwork celebrating the 40th anniversary of HAL Laboratory (Escargoon can be seen in the upper right peering behind HAL's headquarters)
Animator sheet showing the Armored Vehicle (front, side, and angled views)
Height comparison of principal characters (Kirby alongside the court of Castle Dedede)
Escargoon dressed up like Princess Rona
A photo of Escargoon and Professor Curio appraising a fossil
Escargoon and King Dedede embracing as the world ends in Prediction Predicament - Part II
Escargoon with a possessed appearance, from Scare Tactics - Part II
Escargoon is hammered by King Dedede while taking a shower, referencing the famous shower murder scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho
Oddly-detailed drawing of Escargoon from the cartoon in Cartoon Buffoon
Escargoon embracing his robotic duplicate after several sleepless nights
Names in other languages