A Gate is an object that appears in several Kirby titles. It consists of a thin wall, floor or ceiling that blocks off a passage, which can be opened and/or closed by meeting some specified condition. There are two primary types of gates; Shutter Gates, which are activated by pressing a Switch or other activation trigger, and key gates, that are opened using Keys. The former debuted in Kirby Super Star and the latter did not appear until Kirby's Return to Dream Land. A third type - Color Shutter - only appears in Kirby: Canvas Curse.
A Shutter Gate consists of a thin barrier or platform which ranges from 2 to 3 Kirbys tall, though all gates in a particular game tend to match each-other in terms of dimensions. They often block passage forward or lock away a bonus item or area. To open them, Kirby usually has to find and press a corresponding Switch or Pull Switch located elsewhere in the area. Some gates will remain open indefinitely after being triggered (until Kirby leaves and re-enters the area they reside in), while others will only remain open for a set interval before shutting again.
Switches are not the only way to trigger these gates. Other actions or mechanisms can do this as well, including the following:
- Hitting a Bomb Block
- Defeating a specific enemy or Mid-Boss
- Approaching the gate
- Waiting a short while in an area
These gates are also often positioned in ways that they do not act as barriers, but instead as platforms. As such, it may actually be a mistake to trigger these to open, as they may drop important items or objects into a bottomless pit or otherwise inaccessible area. These gates can also be inverted, in the sense that they start open, and shut when triggered instead of the other way around. A single trigger can be responsible for activating multiple gates in various states, which is the case when a single switch opens one gate, but closes another.
Kirby walking past a gate in Kirby: Squeak Squad
Three Shutter Gates from Kirby: Planet Robobot, one of which is retracted into the ceiling
A key gate tends to match the switch gates in terms of dimensions, but is visually distinguished by a lock on its screen-facing side. These gates can only be opened by contact with a Key and once opened, will not shut again. In most cases, any key will do, but some gates will only accept a key that matches its lock color.
For the most part, these gates are not as versatile as their switch-based counterparts, though there may be instances where multiple key gates are present and a comparatively smaller amount of keys can be used. In this case, it is important to choose which gates to unlock carefully, as unlocking a gate removes the key as well.
A Key Gate from Kirby: Triple Deluxe
|“||These walls will rise when the panel colors have all been matched.||”|
— Kirby: Canvas Curse instruction booklet (NA print), page 18
In Kirby: Canvas Curse, there are special types of gates called Color Shutters which block Kirby's path until a nearby panel has all of its switches showing matching colors. The switches change color when they are tapped with the Nintendo DS stylus, thus forcing the player to focus on them while also keeping Kirby safe from enemies and hazards as he waits or approaches.
A Color Shutter in Silver Submarine
- "Activating [switches] can have various effects, such as opening Shutter Gates." –Kirby: Planet Robobot instruction manual