A Game Over occurs when Kirby or any other playable character loses all of their lives during a game. This results in the game ending, often leading to a Continue screen where the player can choose to continue from the beginning of the level or stage (with point penalties if applicable), or quit to the main menu or title screen. Generally speaking, a Game Over is not a huge impediment to progress in the Kirby series, especially in more recent titles, and in many cases can be seen as unnecessary. Despite this, most games in the series utilize Game Overs as a natural consequence of using 1-Ups.
Kirby's Dream Land
The first entry in the series established how the Game Over screen generally operates in the series overall. If Kirby loses all of his lives, the game shows Game Over on a white screen before showing Kirby sleeping on the Continue screen. Continuing will cause the pointer hand to move down and prod Kirby to wake him up and direct him back to the game. Kirby will then continue from the beginning of whichever level he was in, with five lives and a 20,000 point deduction. Ending the game has the hand charge up and simply knock Kirby away before returning to the title screen.
Kirby's Adventure / Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
This screen functions similarly to the previous game, but features a different look and theme. Continuing will return Kirby to the level he was in, with the stages he's so far unlocked still open. The point penalty for continuing is now 50,000. Ending the game causes Kirby to wake up, eat the hand and fall back to sleep, which causes the game to return to the title screen.
In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, continuing only results in being given three lives, as opposed to five from a fresh start. Additionally, the point deduction is now half of the current score instead of 50,000. In the multiplayer mode, the Game Over screen shows all Kirbys laying on the ground, knocked out. The number of them present depends on the number of players (from 2 to 4). There is no option to continue or quit, and after pressing A, all players go back to the title screen.
Multiplayer Pause screen for a Game Over.
Kirby's Pinball Land
Falling out of the pinball table puts Kirby in a room similar to a Goal Game, where he can jump back up to the table to continue playing. If he does not return to the table, he loses a life. If this happens with no lives remaining, the game ends and the score for the current game is shown.
Kirby's Dream Course
When Kirby loses all his lives, Game Over will be shown with a sparkling background, followed by the scorecard for the current game and the Continue screen. Continuing causes a Warp Star to burst through the ground where Kirby is sleeping, returning Kirby to the stage he last played. Ending the game causes the pointer hand to poke Kirby repeatedly, but he does not wake up. Then, the hand pulls a rope from the ceiling that causes a giant star to crush Kirby, but he still snoozes peacefully. The hand then gives up, shrugs, and moves to the bottom off-screen, before returning to the title screen.
The game ends when too many blobs reach the top of the screen, causing Kirby's screen to collapse and Game Over to be displayed. The Continue screen shows a distressed Kirby surrounded by blobs, with a rapid countdown to continue the game before it returns to the title screen. This Game Over screen is directly based off that of Super Puyo Puyo, the game that Kirby's Avalanche is a modification of.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
This screen features Kirby, Rick, Kine, and Coo sleeping. Continuing causes a Warp Star to appear, letting Kirby and the Animal Friends wake up and use it to return to the game. Ending the game causes the background to change to nighttime before returning to the title screen.
Kirby's Block Ball
This Game Over screen shows Kirby with a cross-shaped patch angrily pointing to a sign displaying 'Continue' or 'End', with the score for the current game shown at the top.
Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra
Running out of lives takes the game to the Continue screen, where the choice can be made either to "Continue" or "Game End". Continuing causes the pointer hand to fly down to the sleeping Kirby, remove his hat, and change it into a boom cone to wake him up. Startled, he flees to the right, as the hand waves his hat like a tissue to cheer him on.
Ending the game, however, causes the pointer hand to lift Kirby up from above the selection screen to the Moon. The hand gently places Kirby on the Moon before wrapping a blanket over him and tucking him to sleep, thus returning to the title screen.
Based on the game being played, selecting 'Continue' will do the following:
- Spring Breeze / Dyna Blade / Revenge of Meta Knight / Revenge of the King - Place Kirby back at the beginning of whatever stage he was felled in, with score and lives reset.
- The Great Cave Offensive - Place Kirby back at the point where he last saved his progress, with score and lives reset.
- Milky Way Wishes - Return to the Milky Way selection area, with score and lives reset.
- Vs. Marx - Place Kirby back to the beginning of the fight with Marx.
Selecting "End" will return the game to the corkboard menu. The continue option is not available in The Arena, Helper to Hero, Meta Knightmare Ultra, and The True Arena. Getting KO'd in any of the boss endurance modes shows the defeated player, along with text displaying the number of enemies defeated, with Kirby Super Star Ultra showing additional text based on how far the player advanced.
The Kirby Super Star Ultra Game Over replaces the Moon with Popstar, but otherwise remains the same.
Kirby's Star Stacker
The game ends if too many panels stack up, causing them to hit the ceiling. Continuing restarts the game and score, while quitting causes the pointer hand to crush Kirby, who then proceeds to fall asleep, before returning to the title screen.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
If Kirby loses to any of the bosses on Boss Butch, the Game Over screen displays an illustration of Kirby being defeated by the boss he lost to. The player can quit back to the Boss Butch starting screen by pressing any button.
In the Jumping sub-game, the player's total scores will be displayed on the Game Over screen.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
In Boss Battles, the Game Over screen displays text that says "It's hopeless...", and features a dejected Kirby in the center with King Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine disappointedly staring at him. This screen also uses the same music as the regular Game Over screen.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
The Game Over screen uses a rearrangement of the music from Kirby's Dream Land. Continuing has Kirby wake up, and the game continues, putting Kirby at the beginning of the stage he got a Game Over on. Quitting the game returns to the title screen instead.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
In the main game, there is no proper Game Over screen. Instead, if Kirby runs out of lives, he is instantly brought back to the Central Circle with two lives. In multiplayer, one player is prompted whether to borrow a life from another to continue playing from the same room.
Getting a true Game Over in this game is only possible in the Boss Endurance. This Game Over screen shows Kirby face-down in a purple circle with a bandage on his head, with the phrases "Game Over" and "Try Again!" surrounding the circle. In multiplayer, if one or more players lose all their health during Boss Endurance, they are met with a "Game Over" caption but can continue watching the progress of remaining players.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
This Game Over screen shows an ominous black and white background, with "Continue" and "Quit" displayed on the touch screen. Continuing has Kirby fall and bounce to the left, and quitting has him bounce to the right.
Kirby: Squeak Squad
In this screen, Kirby is sleeping with his Sleep hat. Continuing causes Kirby to wake up and run off. Quitting causes Kirby to briefly wake up before falling back to sleep, followed by returning to the title screen.
Kirby Mass Attack
This game does not use a 1-Up system. Instead, the game is over if no Mini-Kirbys remain on the stage. Here, the last Kirby will turn into an angel, similar to the Cupid ability from Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, and will float off the screen. The game will then return to the world map, with however many Kirbys were together before starting the stage, and the stage left incomplete (unless it was completed beforehand). A Game Over can also happen if any of the Wee Birdees are dropped in Sandy Canyon - Stage 11.
Often, if a Game Over occurs, Daroach will approach the Kirbys with his airship and give them some advice. Additionally, getting a Game Over three times in a row in the same stage will cause an Invincible Candy to appear at the beginning of said stage, making this the only way to obtain Invincible Candy in the game (as opposed to Jumbo Candy).
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
This game over screen is similar to the one in Kirby's Adventure and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, though it bears slightly alternate aesthetics. Continuing has the pointer hand prompt Kirby to get back up, and quitting has Kirby eat the hand and return to sleep, sending the player back to the title screen.
Continuing returns Kirby to the level hub, at the door of the stage he got the game over in, with eight lives and no stars. No other penalty is incurred besides having to restart the stage (if it was not already complete). The only exception to this is the Magolor boss fight in Another Dimension, where continuing returns Kirby to the preparation room, and the fight picks up from the phase Kirby got a Game Over in.
If player 1 loses on The Arena or The True Arena, the Game Over shows the characters used fainted and falling to the bottom of the craggy area seen in the corresponding mid-boss room. On the top of the screen is text that says "K.O'd in Round #". If the character is wearing a Dress-Up Mask at that time, it will also fall off from the character's face and land on the floor.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
This screen is similar in design to that of the previous game. Continuing has the pointer hand wake Kirby up and direct him to run towards the screen to return to the game whereas quitting has Kirby wake up, eat the hand and fall back asleep before the game returns to the title screen.
In the Kirby Fighters sub-game, if Kirby is defeated in Single-Player Mode, he gets a Game Over. The player is given a choice to either quit or try the round again. Selecting the option to continue will, however, not reset the timer for the current round and will continue running without any penalties. In Dedede's Drum Dash, if King Dedede either falls off the stage or runs out of health himself, it will be an instant Game Over and the stage must be restarted from the very beginning.
If Kirby loses on The Arena or The True Arena, the Game Over shows a fainted Kirby with a shaft of light shining on him, amidst a dark background. On the top of the screen is text that says "K.O'd in Round #", and a royal banner on the bottom that encourages the player to try harder.
The game over screen in Dedede's Drum Dash.
The game over screen in Kirby Fighters.
The game over screen in The Arena.
The game over screen in The True Arena.
The Game Over screen in Dededetour!
Kirby Fighters Deluxe
If Kirby gets a Game Over in Single-Player Mode, he has the option to either restart the round he failed on or quit to the main menu. Selecting the option to continue will, however, not reset the timer for the current round and will continue running without any penalties.
On the boss battle against Team DDD, if the player gets a Game Over, Team DDD will reduce their numbers to a lower level of difficulty, no less than Team DDD24.
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
If King Dedede runs out of stamina in a stage, it will result in a Game Over, forcing the player to restart the stage from the very beginning.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
This screen features Kirby and Elline sleeping. Continuing will return Kirby to the mission, but will reset the score. Quitting will return the game to the title screen.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Much like previous installments, the Game Over screen shows Kirby sleeping, with a pulse meter in the background and options to Continue or Quit. Continuing causes the pointer hand to fly down and wake Kirby up, pointing him back to the adventure. Quitting has Kirby wake up and eat the hand before falling back asleep, before the game returns to the title screen.
If Kirby loses in The Arena and in The True Arena, the background is situated in a virtual system-like background with a shaft of light. Kirby falls down and a text saying "K.O'd in Round #", with a message displayed at the bottom of the top screen encouraging the player to try harder. The player can choose to restart the run or quit to the (True) Arena's main menu.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash
These games do not feature 1-Ups at all; instead, during Quests Kirby and his teammates can revive each other provided at least one member is still standing. However, if the time limit expires (or all teammates are down), then the Quest ends in failure and Kirby is returned to the village hub, unless if the player uses Gem Apples to revive the Kirbys or extend the time limit.
Kirby's Blowout Blast
Once Kirby runs out of health, or the time limit expires, Kirby gets sent flying off-screen and the game ends. 'Game Over' is displayed in purple on the top screen, with options to retry the level or return to the plaza displayed on the touch screen.
Kirby Battle Royale
Similar to Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, this game does not possess a traditional Game Over screen, as Kirby automatically revives in most battles and can revive himself during Battle Arena at any time. However, each revival in the latter becomes progressively more difficult, and underperforming in Story Mode League Battles may require Kirby to retry the battle later on.
Kirby Star Allies
This Game Over shows Kirby sleeping in the center of the screen, with the options to Continue or Quit below him. Continuing causes the pointer hand to fly down from above and wake Kirby up, returning him to the game while quitting sends the player back to the title screen. In Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go!, the screen shows the friend in their low health idle animation, once again with the options to continue or quit. Continuing has the Friend run to the right while quitting returns the player to the Guest Star title screen.
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
Game Overs are possible to obtain in Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn if Kirby loses all his Life Pieces in Devilish Mode. Kirby will become a messy pile of yarn, then a Devil will come to take him away. The player can choose to try the stage again from the beginning or quit to the stage select screen.
Kirby Fighters 2
Game Overs can be earned in both Single-Handed Mode and in Story Mode: The Destined Rivals. They can be earned by simply losing to the opponents or, in the case of Story Mode, exhausting the time limit.
In Story Mode: The Destined Rivals, getting a Game Over will cause the player to receive a score penalty that subtracts their total score by a couple hundred points. The player can choose to quit or try the round again. In the case of Story Mode's final chapter, the game limits the amount of continues the player can use to three, in addition to automatically restarting the current floor and saving the now-reduced lives counter once the player loses (with no option to quit). If the player gets a Game Over and they run out of continues as a result, they will be forced to restart the chapter from the very beginning. In addition, the final score will also be halved as a penalty and given out as Fighters Points.
Single-Handed Mode has no penalty for getting a Game Over, although it does break the player's winning streak bonus. The player can choose to either quit (which sends them back to the beginning), or try again (the timer will continue to run for the round they failed on).
Time's Up screen from Story Mode: The Destined Rivals.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
- 3DS Virtual Console manual bio: "When your remaining-lives total reaches zero and your life meter is fully depleted, it's game over. Select Continue to restart from the island and stage you were playing when the game ended. Select Game End to return to the title screen."
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
- Instruction manual bio (page 10): "When Kirby runs out of health, you will lose one life. If you run out of health with no remaining lives, your game will end and the screen to the right will appear. "
Kirby Star Allies
- In-game tip: "If Kirby is defeated and has no more Kirbys remaining, it's game over!"
- In the Japanese version of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the Game Over screen for Boss Battles reads カイショウナシ ("You're hopeless...") rather than "It's hopeless..." Kirby Super Star Ultra, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby: Planet Robobot, and Kirby Star Allies also all read カイショウナシ when KO'd with few wins (usually zero to three) in their boss endurance modes. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, the corresponding phrase in English is "No easy wins!", while in all the others, it's "You'll get 'em next time..."
- In most Kirby games, a Game Over happens when being defeated while having zero extra lives. However, the minimum number of lives reads as one in the Final Chapter of Story Mode: The Destined Rivals in Kirby Fighters 2.
- In Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby can't get a game over, since the game has no health system and falling into a bottomless pit or getting crushed means Kirby is put back at the last safe place that he was standing on.
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land lacks a life system, and thus also lacks Game Overs. When losing all health, Kirby simply loses 100 Star Coins and gets brought back to the last checkpoint.
- Main article: Game Over/gallery