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Guard

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Guard KSSU artwork.png
Artwork Kirby in Guard from Kirby Super Star Ultra

Guard is Kirby's primary defensive action in games such as Kirby Super Star (Ultra), Kirby's Return to Dream Land, New Challenge Stages (Kirby's Dream Collection), Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Kirby: Planet Robobot and Kirby Star Allies. By holding down the appropriate button, Kirby assumes a defensive posture until the button is released. While guarding, Kirby takes no damage from weak attacks and minimal damage from most stronger attacks, in addition to retaining his ability and not getting knocked off the ground. Enemies that contact a guarding Kirby also take minimal damage.

Generally, guarding is ineffective against attacks which involve grabbing. Guarding also has no effect on environmental elements such as wind or lava, and will typically not defend against the strongest boss attacks. Kirby can only guard while standing still. However, in Triple Deluxe and beyond, if Kirby guards in midair or moves to the side while guarding, he will Dodge.

In Kirby Super Star (Ultra), guard does 1 damage to enemies including bosses. From Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the default guard does 4 damage to enemies excluding bosses.

Special Guard techniques

Copy Abilities

These Copy Abilities (and/or their respective Helpers) have their special version of guard with additional features. As a result of these particular guarding techniques, the user may be unable to dodge on the ground (or at all) when employing some of them.

  • Bell - While guarding with Bell, Kirby hides inside of his bell cap, and cannot be harmed. Releasing the Guard or being hit will cause the bell to reverberate, and damage nearby foes.
  • ESP - If an enemy hits Kirby shortly after the guard is activated, Kirby will vanish, then reappear and counter with a shock wave that deals substantial damage (PK Evade). When timed perfectly, the counterattack is even more powerful, and Kirby will shout as he performs it (PK Insight).
  • Ice - From Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward, guarding with Ice produces a spherical ice formation around Kirby which blocks more damage than a regular guard.
  • Leaf - While guarding with Leaf, Kirby is intangible instead of invincible; attacks will simply pass through him regardless of their power. This guard also makes Kirby immune to grabs. Releasing the guard causes minor damage to nearby enemies.
  • Mirror - Guarding with Mirror provides a shining bubble of energy around Kirby's body. This bubble negates damage from even strong attacks and can reflect projectiles. In Kirby: Planet Robobot, the shield will eventually vanish if held too long.
  • Ninja - Starting with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, guarding with Ninja right before being hit by an attack will cause Kirby to use Clone Technique, which transforms him into a log that damages the attacking enemy. However, it can only be used for a brief moment.
  • Smash Bros. - In Kirby: Planet Robobot, guarding with this ability produces a bubble shield resembling the one from the Super Smash Bros. series. (See Guard#In the Super Smash Bros. series section of this article.)
  • Spider - Guarding with this ability encases Kirby in a string pod, preventing more damage than a standard guard. The pod also shoots out small spikes when hit, dealing more damage than normal collision.
  • Staff - Kirby can perform a counter attack called Staff Counter by using Guard before getting hit.
  • Sword Hero - In Team Kirby Clash and its expanded spin-off, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, guarding in this role will create a large bubble shield which other Kirbys can take cover under to protect them from harm as well.
  • Tac - The helper of Copy becomes intangible while guarding.

Dream Friends

Some Dream Friends in Kirby Star Allies also have their special version of guarding.

  • Rick & Kine & Coo and Gooey take cover in a burlap sack called Protective Bag when guarding. This is a reference to Kirby's Dream Land 2, where they are found in sacks after defeating a Mid-Boss.
  • Adeleine & Ribbon hides behind a canvas and becomes invangible like TAC and the Leaf ability do.
  • Dark Meta Knight hides into a mirror when guarding, which functions the same as the Mirror ability.
  • Magolor uses his 5-piece star-shaped super shield when guarding, which absorbs all damage, but can break. Every time a piece breaks, it does damage to nearby enemies.
  • Taranza has Magic Guard which absorbs all damage and shoots out spikes like the Spider ability does.

Special Guard Properties

The following summarizes properties of the abovementioned special guards.

User Guard Description Immune to damage? Ground dodge? Air dodge? Counterattack?
Adeleine & Ribbon Canvas Cover Hides behind a canvas and becomes intangible. Releasing the guard causes paint to spray out. Yescheck.png
(Also immune to grab attacks)
Xmark.png Yescheck.png When released
Bell Bell Block Hides into the bell hat, which can reverberate to damage enemies in contact. Yescheck.png Xmark.png Xmark.png Contact
(No effect to bosses or mid-bosses)
Dark Meta Knight Reflector Shield Guards with an reflective shield that deflects projectiles. Yescheck.png Xmark.png Yescheck.png Reflects projectile
ESP PK Evade
PK Insight
Performs a special counter attack before/when getting hit. Only during PK Evade/Insight Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Yescheck.png
Ice Ice Block Guards with an ice shield. Releasing the guard (known as the move Ice Scatter) scatters the ice shield which deals minor damage and freezes nearby enemies. Yescheck.png
(Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward)
Xmark.png Yescheck.png When released
Leaf Leaf Hide Hides into a pile of leaves and becomes intangible. Releasing the guard causes a burst of leaves that deal minor damage to nearby enemies. Yescheck.png
(Also immune to grab attacks)
Xmark.png Yescheck.png When released
Magolor Star Guard Guards with a five-piece star shield, which does damage when a piece breaks. Yescheck.png
(With durability)
Yescheck.png Yescheck.png When a piece breaks
Mirror Reflect Guard Guards with an reflective shield that deflects projectiles. Yescheck.png
(Kirby: Planet Robobot only & with durability)
Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Reflects projectile
Ninja Clone Technique Performs a special counter attack before getting hit. (Kirby: Triple Deluxe onward) Only during Clone Technique Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Yescheck.png
Rick & Kine & Coo
Gooey
Protective Bag Hides into a bag that resembles the one they are trapped inside from Kirby's Dream Land 2. Yescheck.png Xmark.png Yescheck.png Xmark.png
Smash Bros. Shield Guards with the shield from the Super Smash Bros. series. (Kirby: Planet Robobot only) Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Xmark.png
Spider Pod Guard Hides into a string pod, which can spike out to damage enemies in contact. Yescheck.png Xmark.png Xmark.png Contact
(No effect to bosses or mid-bosses)
Staff Staff Counter Performs a special counter attack before getting hit. Only during Staff Counter Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Yescheck.png
Sword Hero Hero Shield Guards with the shield equipment to create a barrier that also protects teammates inside. Its durability decreases in time. Yescheck.png
(With durability)
Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Xmark.png
Tac Tac Hide Becomes intangible. Yescheck.png Xmark.png Xmark.png Xmark.png
Taranza Magic Guard Guards with a magic shield, which can spike out to damage enemies in contact. Yescheck.png
(Also immune to grab attacks)
Yescheck.png Yescheck.png Contact
(No effect to bosses or mid-bosses)

Super Smash Bros. series

Smashwiki logo v2.png SmashWiki has more information about this subject here.

The shield mechanic in the Super Smash Bros. series is heavily based on the guard mechanic from the Kirby series, with the energy bubble very reminiscent of the Mirror ability's Reflect Guard. The primary difference is that shields shrink as they are held or take damage and will eventually break if not deactivated, stunning the user.

Eventually, this concept went full circle in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, when the ability to dodge after guarding, developed in Smash Bros., made its way into this game.