- This article is about the protagonist of the Kirby franchise. For other uses of Kirby, see Kirby (disambiguation).
Kirby is the main character and namesake of the Kirby series. He is a small pink creature who resides on and protects all of Planet Popstar, though his true origin is unknown. Despite his simplistic appearance, Kirby is easily recognizable by his ball-like stature, his large glossy eyes, and his cheerful demeanor. He is often seen riding a Warp Star, but can otherwise fly by taking in air and puffing up like a balloon. While Kirby has many ways to combat his foes, the most well-known by far is his ability to open his mouth wide to suck up his opponents and then swallow them whole. Doing this allows Kirby to copy the attributes of whatever he just ate, expanding his powers in ways that are difficult to predict. Using these abilities is often crucial for Kirby to overcome the greater challenges he faces on his adventures. Kirby is classified as a "silent protagonist"; that is, he does not speak audibly or in text to the player in most instances. In some supplementary material, he has shown the ability to speak, but this is uncommon and not generally considered canon. Despite this, he is very vocal, using lots of grunts, shouts, and monosyllables; his signature one being his cheery elongated "Hi!".
Since 1992, Kirby has starred in over 30 video games (twelve of which can be considered part of the core series, not counting remakes), has appeared to some capacity in several other Nintendo games and products, has had an anime series, several manga series, a novel series, and has a great deal of merchandise in the form of figurines, plush dolls, clothing, and the like. Kirby and his series were created by Masahiro Sakurai under HAL Laboratory, with the latter of which retaining the rights to the Kirby series and characters despite Sakurai's departure from the HAL team in the mid-2000s. To this day, Kirby remains one of Nintendo's most famous and familiar mascots, with his games garnering millions of sales worldwide, and thanks in part to his perfect attendance as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.
During the early development of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby went by the name Popopo (known in Japanese as ポポポ). Nintendo eventually decided to change the name, and polled Nintendo of America for suggestions, because they wanted the name to appeal to kids outside of Japan.
In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2011 by Game Informer, Miyamoto confirmed rumors that the name Kirby was partially inspired by an attorney John Kirby, who defended Nintendo in the case Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd., in which Universal alleged that Donkey Kong was a trademark infringement of King Kong. Miyamoto, however, explains that the name Kirby existed on a draft list of potential names for the character and that the name was partially chosen because of the trend that in Japan cute characters often use "very soft names with soft sounds in them". Miyamoto thought that the name Kirby had "harsh sounds" to it, and that "the juxtaposition of this cute character with this harsh-sounding name was very funny".
|I wish I had your combo of power and cuteness!|
— Waddle Dee in Kirby Battle Royale
For a Nintendo character, Kirby is one of the simplest in appearance. As nothing more than a pink, 8-inch (20 cm) tall, charismatic ball with red feet, Kirby uses the malleability and flexibility of his tuft-shaped body to establish his individuality, and traverse the colorful, interactive landscapes around him. On his own, Kirby has little physical strength. However, his ability to mimic his foes' characteristics, known as Copy Abilities, through ingestion adds quite the amount of physical, chemical, energetic, and/or magical power to his arsenal. Utilizing these abilities, Kirby can greatly increase his versatility, able to overcome all manner of environmental barriers, and defeat enemies in innumerable different ways. When Kirby gains an ability, he famously also obtains a special hat or another sort of costume to signify its presence, though this distinction was not present in the series until Kirby Super Star introduced it. Notably, however, Kirby cannot typically use his inhale again unless he discards the ability he has first, resetting him to his normal form.
Kirby is known for his exceptional hardiness, particularly when compared to other video game characters in the platforming genre. His stamina is such that he can take several hits before being knocked out and is easily replenished by consuming food and other such items. In most games, Kirby is able to hover in the air indefinitely, which allows him to cross otherwise impassable barriers such as tall walls or bottomless pits with ease. He is also able to breathe underwater and in deep space and can withstand extremes in temperature to a degree.
Kirby's voice - befitting his look - is high-pitched, with inflections similar to a toddler first learning how to speak. It should be noted that this is a more unique quality to Kirby himself, as Meta Knight, who is generally considered to be the same species, has a deep voice befitting a warrior of his stature.
Unlike his anime counterpart, Kirby has occasionally been shown to speak full sentences, going as far back as the manual for Kirby's Dream Land. In this instance, he says "Don't worry, I'll get your food and your Sparkling Stars back!" to the citizens of Dream Land, and then explains the game's controls to the reader. His first in-game dialogue was in Kirby's Dream Course, where during the game's intro cutscene (only present in the game's Japanese release) Kirby talks about how the sky is missing its stars and later has a brief chat with King Dedede. Since then, Kirby has spoken full lines of dialogue few other times; for example, in the SNES version of Kirby's Star Stacker, where he gives a description for each game mode and narrates the tutorial, or in Kirby's Epic Yarn and its remake, where he speaks during the game's cutscenes (though his dialogue is conveyed by a narrator). Various non-canon materials, particularly narrative ones such as comics and manga also show Kirby speaking in full sentences, including the novel series. It is worth noting that most instances of Kirby speaking predate the anime; games released afterward typically adopt his anime counterpart's childlike babble, including Kirby's Epic Yarn itself.
Kirby is definitely not human, unlike many other Nintendo characters who, despite often having cartoonish proportions, can be considered to be so. Little is known about Kirby's anatomy apart from what can be plainly seen.
Kirby appears to require regular nourishment, and typically finds it in the form of various food items scattered across the land. When not in a hurry, Kirby will eat in a normal manner, but can inhale the food as well. It is unknown what happens to creatures that Kirby inhales and swallows. Should Kirby inhale an enemy and spit it back out, however, it transforms into a star that shatters on impact. Kirby appears to have control over whether or not something is transformed in this way, as he can inhale his friends and spit them back out without transforming them. In Super Smash Bros., swallowed fighters do transform into stars when spat out, but then immediately revert to normal afterward.
In some games, such as Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby can store things he's swallowed and use them at a later time. This, along with certain episodes of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, seems to indicate that Kirby's stomach leads to another dimension. Other sources within the series, such as Kirby: Triple Deluxe, portray Kirby's stomach as a black hole, especially when the Hypernova ability is used.
Kirby does not appear to have a skeleton (see image to the right) or teeth (outside of the manga series, and certain sprites in 2D games). He does, however, have a tongue, as evidenced by more recent games when he inhales. Additionally, despite his apparent lack of a skeleton, Kirby's movements roughly resemble that of a human, suggesting a basic form of muscle structure. His ability to inhale appears to stem from his stomach, rather than lung capacity. Whether or not Kirby actually has lungs is something that has not been confirmed. Kirby does not appear to have a nose, but the fact that he blows a bubble (that evidently does not come from his mouth) while Sleeping would suggest that he does have nostrils, even if they are too small to be seen clearly.
When not inhaling, Kirby's most prominent facial features are his eyes, which are bean-shaped with massive glossy pupils and blue irises that only cover the lower portion of the eyes. Despite first glance, however, Kirby's eyes do have a more humanoid white sclera, which can be seen when he is startled, much like another Nintendo character of small stature, Captain Olimar.
Kirby's skin is largely uniform in color (aside from two blush marks roughly where his cheeks would be), highly flexible, and completely hairless (though according to Kirby's design in the canceled Kid Kirby game, Kirby was planned to have one strand of curly hair on his head, at least at his age in the game). As seen in several games, he is also able to sweat, suggesting a perspiration system.
His red feet are often mistaken for shoes, but according to an obscure interview with Masahiro Sakurai, they are his actual feet. While still evidently squishy, they are his primary utensils for fighting when using martial-arts-based abilities. His arms, while normally short and stubby, are capable of stretching whenever he needs to grab or punch something. His arms also appear to be able to shift position greatly across his sides, even partially overlapping his face on occasion. Although Kirby does not have fingers, he is perfectly capable of holding onto things he's grabbed. This is presumably done by folding the tips of his arms around the object in question, creating a pseudo-grip. In addition, it is likely that Kirby's hands have a suction property to them, as it often looks like he's merely touching items that he is holding.
Kirby matches his appearance given his child-like mannerism and persistent cheerfulness. Kirby does not speak in full sentences in any of the main-series games, adding to his infantile nature, and typically the only word he can muster is his signature elongated 'Hi!'. However, it has been established that he is fully capable of comprehending language, and can write in full sentences, often with flowery words that are not used in typical dialogue. Examples of this can be seen in early instruction manuals where Kirby directly addresses the player. It may also be the case that Kirby is capable of speaking fluently, but just like how Link and Mario are often portrayed, the player does not hear his side of any given conversation.
Kirby has been shown to be gluttonous, which makes his rivalry with King Dedede more understandable, but as long as he is well-fed, he is an altruistic hero who jumps at the chance to help those in need. Kirby is courageous, tackling problems head-on with an unbreakable determination. He is heroic to a fault, however, as certain villains will take advantage of this to get what they want. Unless called to adventure, Kirby spends most of his time sleeping and otherwise just relaxing in his homeland, Dream Land. Despite being the hero, Kirby can become extraordinarily stubborn and single-minded if he feels he's been wronged. This is evidenced in Kirby: Squeak Squad when, after having his cake stolen, he immediately assumes that King Dedede is responsible, and it is not until after fighting and beating him that Kirby realizes it wasn't Dedede after all. From there, Kirby chases after the real thieves, the Squeaks across several lands and worlds, fighting everything and everyone who gets in the way just to get his cake back.
Kirby's hobbies include fishing (which usually ends up with the hook in his mouth), sleeping, eating, flying about the countryside on a Warp Star, and singing, which he admittedly does so poorly that it can hurt enemies, especially when using the Mike ability. He is also a big fan of music, and can often be seen listening with a pair of headphones along with the player in the Jukebox.
When encountering new situations, Kirby shows himself to be a quick and astute learner. For example, upon copying a new ability, he instantly masters any skill the ability entails, whether that be martial arts or psychic powers. He also demonstrates this when piloting the Robobot Armor, adapting to its controls immediately after jumping into it for the first time.
One notable progression that can be observed through the Kirby series is that Kirby himself gradually becomes more and more expressive and vocal over time. 8-bit titles such as Kirby's Dream Land would rarely have Kirby change his facial expression at all, and he had very few vocalizations until Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby Super Star Ultra would be the last game in the series to feature a mostly silent Kirby. This change can mainly be attributed to the gradual lifting of technical limitations on the games as the series progresses, along with gradual refinements to Kirby's design. Kirby has also gotten "cuter" as the series progresses, featuring larger eyes and shorter limbs; the Dream Button in Kirby Star Allies highlights this by allowing Kirby to switch between his current design and his original Kirby's Dream Land-era design.
Notably, one of Masahiro Sakurai's original goals with Kirby was his "commitment as a game character". To this end (particularly in the earlier games), when Kirby is being controlled by the player, he shows relatively little emotion, which is meant to allow the player to demonstrate their own feelings in the game through their own movements and actions as Kirby. His role as a silent protagonist also fits this characterization, though it could be inferred that this particular vision of Kirby has started to deteriorate in favor of a more expressive and lively character in Kirby games that postdate Sakurai's departure from HAL Laboratory.
In Japanese, Kirby is written as a gender-neutral character, while international localizations usually refer to him as male. This is because it is simpler in Japanese to use neutral terms compared to other languages; for example, in the manual for Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby is referred to as a "spry little boy" in English, but a more general "young person" (若者, wakamono) in Japanese. There are times where he is referred to with kare (かれ), which is a masculine pronoun. Additionally, Kirby's Japanese speaking style in instances where he is given full dialogue tends to use masculine conventions. This does not necessarily contradict him being a gender-neutral character.
The Japan-exclusive official artbook "20th Anniversary - Hoshi no Kirby: Pupupu Taizen" lists Kirby's gender as "unknown". An official profile written by Masahiro Sakurai lists Kirby's gender as "unknown", as well. Kirby's voice actress, Makiko Ohmoto, has also stated that Kirby's gender is unknown. Reflecting this, commemorative artwork on the Kirby JP Twitter regularly shows Kirby taking gender roles of both men and women, such as appearing as the Empress on Hinamatsuri, and baking sweets with both female characters on Valentine's Day and male characters on White Day.
Japanese spin-off material does not always adhere to this. Some manga write Kirby as male outright; this may be due to his implied attraction to female characters, such as ChuChu and Ribbon, in the games. The novels by Mie Takase also write Kirby with masculine speech patterns, and he shows aversion to cross-dressing as a woman in "Kirby and the Dangerous Gourmet Mansion?!", though he at one point with makeup on sees himself as "cute". Neither of these correlate to Japanese canon, however.
Kirby's creators rarely address the nature of Kirby's gender, and when doing so, they do not provide a definitive answer. When a fan on the official Japanese Super Smash Bros. website expressed surprise upon learning that Samus from Metroid is a woman, Masahiro Sakurai responded by addressing the mystery of Kirby's gender and joking that he may also be female.
- Main article: Kirby (species)
Like Yoshi from the Mario franchise, Kirby can be seen as the main representative of a species that is named after him. Unlike traditional species, however, it is unclear how Kirby's could be classified, as apart from its eponymous member and the various clones of him that have appeared throughout the series running, there are no confirmed cases of other entities which are the same species as Kirby, though many are suspected.
Kirby has had many adventures, which has given him the opportunity to learn and utilize many different moves. The following table lists every move that Kirby has had in the main series, starting with the most common ones down to the rarest:
(moves performed with Copy Abilities will not be listed here)
|Kirby's moveset (main series)|
|Walk||Kirby moves at a modest pace in a given direction, left or right.|
|Jump||Kirby jumps from the ground, which can vary in height depending on how long the player holds the button down. Kirby can also maneuver left or right while jumping.|
|Hover||While in the air, Kirby takes in air, and holds his breath, allowing him to fly by flapping his arms. This method of flight is slow and leaves Kirby vulnerable, but it gets the job done.||In some instances, Kirby cannot do this indefinitely and will have to come back down after a while. Some Copy Abilities will also replace Kirby's method of flight.|
|Air Bullet||While hovering, Kirby can release his taken-in air to come back down, which will fly forward a short distance and damage enemies.|
|Crouch||Kirby crouches, taking up less space on the ground, allowing him to dodge some attacks from enemies. Doing this is also necessary to drop through Thin Floors and press some Switches.|
|Inhale||Kirby opens his mouth wide and starts sucking in air at a continuous rate. Nearby enemies and objects will fly into his mouth.||In almost all cases, Kirby cannot inhale when he has a Copy Ability.|
|Star Bullet||After inhaling something, Kirby can spit it back out as a Star Bullet, which will fly forward at very high speed and damage any enemy it hits. Multiple objects inhaled will be spat out as a Blaster Bullet, which is even stronger, and passes through enemies, allowing it to damage multiple before it shatters after hitting a wall of some sort.|
|Swallow||After inhaling something, Kirby can swallow the object, removing it from the game. Depending on the object, Kirby may gain a Copy Ability.||In Kirby: Squeak Squad, swallowing a bubbled object will store it in the Copy Palette.|
|Swim||While underwater, Kirby can swim in any direction, and will not need to come up for air.||In Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby cannot properly swim and merely "jumps" through water; Kirby's Adventure introduced proper swimming in four directions, and Kirby Star Allies introduced omnidirectional swimming. In newer titles, pressing the jump button while Kirby is swimming will cause him to do a stroke and swim faster.|
|Dive Attack||After falling for long enough, Kirby dives headlong and can damage enemies he falls onto.||This move's effectiveness varies between titles.|
|Dash||Kirby runs along the ground at a decent speed, allowing him to pass over small gaps his size.||Some Copy Abilities will change the way Kirby's dash functions.|
|Slide||While crouching, Kirby can slide forward along the ground with his feet out front, doing damage to foes in his path.||Whether Kirby passes under foes or bounces off them depends on the game.|
|Drop Ability||If Kirby has a Copy Ability, he can discard it, causing a large bouncing star to pop out of him. This star can be inhaled to regain the ability or spat as a Star Bullet.||This cannot be done in all cases - usually involving certain boss fights.|
|Water Gun||While underwater, Kirby can shoot out either a short-range spray or a bubble of water from his mouth, which will damage enemies. In most games, the water gun only works in four directions, but in Kirby Star Allies, it works in eight.||This move has many different iterations throughout the series. Some Copy Abilities also prevent or enhance its use.|
|Guard||Kirby raises his defense. He cannot move while in this pose, but damage will be reduced or completely prevented from most attacks while in it.||Some Copy Abilities can enhance Kirby's guard.|
|Headbutt||In some titles, Kirby can damage enemies by jumping up into them. This move is risky and will hurt Kirby if he makes contact too late.|
|Dodge||In newer titles, while guarding, Kirby can perform a dodging maneuver to the left, right, or in place, completely avoiding a hit if timed correctly, but is briefly vulnerable at the end of the maneuver. This can also be done in the air.||Some Copy Abilities may restrict Kirby's dodge.|
|Face-to-Face||After eating some food, Kirby can approach an ally to share the food with them, healing the ally. Allies can also do this for Kirby.|
|Super Inhale||In some titles, if Kirby inhales long enough, or given a special input from the player, Kirby will perform a super inhale, which is more powerful, reaches further, and can inhale or budge objects the normal one cannot. This inhale is also better for swallowing multiple things at once.|
|Call Helper||If Kirby has a Copy Ability, he can expend it to create a friend who has the same moves, which can then be controlled by another player or the CPU. This move exists only in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra.||If Kirby already has a Helper when he does this, he will discard his ability, and drop it as an item on the ground, which can be inhaled. If the Helper touches the item, it will transform into whatever helper that item corresponds to.|
|Normal Beam||If Kirby has a helper at his side, he can use this move to revert the helper to an item form, which can then be inhaled for the ability or spat out as a Star Bullet. This move exists only in Kirby Super Star, Kirby Super Star Ultra, and Kirby Star Allies.|
|Mount/Dismount Animal Friend||In Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby can mount one of his animal companions to utilize their special abilities. Kirby can dismount them in the same way to continue by himself.|
|Piggyback||In Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby Star Allies, Kirby can hop onto the back of one of his friends and ride them around. When hopping onto a CPU friend, Kirby can control them directly.|
|Call Gooey||In Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby can call Gooey out from inside him to help. Like the Helpers, Gooey can be controlled by another player or the CPU. To remove Gooey from the field, Kirby can inhale and swallow him.||While Gooey is out, Kirby has less stamina.|
|Hold||In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby can hold things he's inhaled above his head, which can have varying effects depending on the thing he had inhaled. Certain enemies when held like this will convey some sort of advantage.|
|Toss||In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, a held item can be tossed either forward, or straight up, to act as projectiles. Enemies bearing Copy Abilities can be combined into Power Combo stars by doing this.|
|Cell Phone||In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby can pull out his phone and use it to do one of two things. He can either call his clones to join him or call a Warp Star to take him back to the Rainbow Route - Central Circle.||Calling the clones requires phone battery power.|
|Make Friend||In Kirby Star Allies, Kirby can toss Friend Hearts at enemies on the field which yield Copy Abilities to make them his allies. Kirby can keep up to three allies at any one time.|
Due to Kirby's ubiquity as a character, there are several other entities that resemble him, as well as alternate versions of Kirby himself. The following lists all of the different versions of Kirby along with other characters or entities that resemble him throughout the Kirby video game series:
- Ball Kirby: In many games, Kirby takes on an even more spherical shape than usual, ditching his limbs in the process. This is distinct from the Ball Copy Ability.
- Batamon: In Kirby's Dream Land 3, there are pink creatures that look superficially similar to Kirby, but are ambivalent enemies similar to Waddle Dee.
- Clones of Kirby: Throughout the series, and particularly in multiplayer titles, clones of Kirby appear which share his look and abilities, though they are often a different color. Kirby clones make their most prominent appearances in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and Kirby Battle Royale.
- Keeby: A yellow lookalike of Kirby who appears in Kirby's Dream Course as the second player in the 2P Game. Keeby has all of the same abilities as Kirby, and the two do not seem to like each-other much.
- Meta Knight: When this mysterious swordsman is without his mask, he greatly resembles Kirby. To this day, it is not clear if he and Kirby are the same sort of creature or not.
- Prince Fluff: This blue yarn boy from Patch Land has a similar physique to Kirby, and has the same abilities in Kirby's Epic Yarn, though taking a backseat during Metamortex transformations.
- Remocoroid: In Kirby: Planet Robobot, a round pink robot resembling Kirby can be controlled with a remote which resembles a Game Boy. It shares Kirby's ability to run, jump, and use the Slide attack.
- Shadow Kirby: A dark and naughty version of Kirby who hails from the Mirror World. He is a bit cowardly and his methods questionable, but is not evil at heart.
- Void Termina: The final form of this essence of chaos from Kirby Star Allies greatly resemble Kirby at times, bearing a similar round shape and face. The pause captions for its various forms suggest a similarity between the two.
- Waddle Dee: Kirby and the Waddle Dees share the same basic body structure, though their similarities largely end there.
Kirby is the hero and main playable character in every game in his series, with the exception of Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, where King Dedede steps into the spotlight. Kirby has also appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game as a fighter, and never needs to be unlocked. The following lists Kirby's role in each game in his series, as well as those of Super Smash Bros. games where applicable. For more information about the plot of each individual game as a whole, see the respective articles for each game.
|Kirby's video game appearances|
|Kirby's Dream Land||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby's Adventure||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby's Pinball Land||Protagonist (serves as the ball)||The player controls the flippers.|
|Kirby's Dream Course||Protagonist and main playable character||This was the first game where Kirby was not the only playable character.|
|Kirby's Avalanche||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cut-scenes)||This is the only game in the series where Kirby has a full speaking role (though only in text boxes).|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Block Ball||Protagonist (serves as the ball)||The player controls the paddles.|
|Kirby's Toy Box||Protagonist (roles vary by game)|
|Kirby Super Star||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy)||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cut-scenes)|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (SNES)||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cut-scenes)|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Air Ride||Main playable character|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Canvas Curse||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Epic Yarn||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Mass Attack||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Dream Collection||Protagonist and main (or sole) playable character in each game featured|
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Fighters Deluxe||Main playable character|
|Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe||Cameo||This is the only game in the Kirby series where Kirby is not the main character. Also, it is the only game in the series to not have the word Kirby in the title.|
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Team Kirby Clash Deluxe||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Blowout Blast||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby Battle Royale||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Star Allies||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Super Kirby Clash||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Fighters 2||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. series|
|Super Smash Bros.||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Melee||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Playable character||Kirby also has a role in the story mode.|
|Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Playable character||Kirby also has a role in the story mode.|
|Arcana||Cameo||Kirby appears in the intro cutscene as an easter egg and is not part of the game proper.|
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening||Reference||Enemies referred to as 'Anti-Kirby' appear in this game, and look and act very similarly to the pink puffball.|
|Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga||Reference||A poster appears in this game which bears Kirby's likeness.|
|Super Mario Maker||Reference||Mario can use a special item to take on Kirby's 8-bit appearance in courses.|
|Mario Kart 8 (Deluxe)||Reference||A Kirby-themed costume can be worn by a Mii driver when Kirby's amiibo is scanned.|
|Yoshi's Woolly World||Reference||Yoshi can take on Kirby's appearance by tapping his amiibo.|
|BYE-BYE BOXBOY!||Reference||Qbby can take on Kirby's appearance if the player uses Kirby's amiibo.|
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Nintendo Switch||Reference||Anti-Kirby reprises his role in this remake.|
|Tetris 99||Reference||A special Super Kirby Clash theme is usable in this game, which depicts Team Kirby. There is also a special Kirby Fighters 2 theme.|
|Part-Time UFO||Reference||One of the levels features a Kirby plush doll.|
Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby makes his debut appearance in Kirby's Dream Land, where he clashes with his rival King Dedede for the first time in the series. The game depicts him as a young and agile boy who eagerly helps out his fellow Dream Landers in their crisis with King Dedede. The mischievous King has not only stolen all the food in Dream Land, but also abducted the land's Sparkling Stars. Without further hesitation, Kirby sets out to travel through the four areas of King Dedede's realm, reclaim the Sparkling Stars from the King's castle, defeat King Dedede, and give Dream Land its food and its Sparkling Stars back.
The international box art of Kirby's Dream Land depicts Kirby with white skin, like he appears in-game, as opposed to his trademark pink color. As can be seen by early Twinkle Popo concept art, Kirby was always intended to be pink in hue, so this error likely comes from a miscommunication with the localization team or the artist. The game is also the first to mention Kirby's lack of singing talent, though it is not as exaggerated as in later titles. In this game, the enemies explode from laughter at Kirby's singing off-key, as opposed to actually getting physically harmed from his songs.
Kirby's Adventure / Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
In Kirby's Adventure and its remake, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Dream Land's denizens are robbed of peaceful sleep, and Kirby once again attempts to come to the rescue. He finds out that King Dedede has stolen the Star Rod, which powers the citizens of Dream Land's good night's sleep. He splits it into seven pieces, giving a part to each of his friends who act as bosses and keeping one for himself. Kirby fights and defeats each of them, in turn, to reassemble the Star Rod and restore it to its rightful place atop the Fountain of Dreams. Kirby heads to the fountain with the rod in his hands, but King Dedede - after being defeated - drags at Kirby's heels, begging him not to restore the Star Rod. Kirby knocks him away and tosses the rod onto the fountain, which causes Nightmare to emerge from it. At this, Dedede swallows Kirby up and spits him out like a cannon to chase after the fleeing Nightmare and defeat him. Kirby defeats Nightmare using the Star Rod and returns it to its rightful place atop the fountain, restoring the good dreams it delivers to Dream Land.
Kirby's Adventure is notable for being the first game to feature Copy Abilities, a crucial aspect of Kirby's character that would be retained for the remainder of the series. This game also introduced Kirby's ability to Slide, use the Water Gun, and Dash.
Kirby's Pinball Land
In Kirby's Pinball Land, Kirby plays as the ricocheting ball in the traditional game of pinball. He plays in three pinball settings, beating Whispy Woods, Kracko, and Poppy Bros. Sr. along the way, which eventually leads him to King Dedede.
Artwork from Kirby's Pinball Land showing a stage prop Kirby holding the ball Kirby with a Parasol
Kirby's Dream Course
Kirby appears as a ball again in the fusion of golf and billiards called Kirby's Dream Course, which is the first and so far only isometric game he has appeared in. In this game, Kirby sets out across eight courses in order to punish King Dedede for once again stealing Dream Land's stars. He can use Copy Abilities to aid in defeating enemies so he can get inside the cup at the end of each hole. This game was also the first to introduce different-color Kirbys, with a Yellow Kirby (named Keeby) controllable by a second player in the Multiplayer courses.
|Kirby, our hero from Dream Land, is represented by the player.|
— Kirby's Avalanche manual
In Kirby's Avalanche, a puzzle game based on a popular Japanese puzzle game, Puyo Puyo, Kirby is shown to talk in full sentences. However, Kirby's personality is different from his usual games, since he is depicted as arrogant. After defeating various enemies, including the penultimate Meta Knight, Kirby fights King Dedede at the end.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
In Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby sets out with his three Animal Friends to help the Rainbow Islands, which have had their rainbow bridges disrupted by an unknown force. On each island, Kirby encounters a different foe who under normal circumstances would not be hostile to the pink hero, but all of whom have been influenced by some dark force. On the last island, Kirby battles King Dedede, who appears to be fighting in his sleep.
Along the way, a Rainbow Drop can be found on each island. Unless Kirby collected all seven of them, he will be forced to return home in the False Ending, having not accomplished his mission. However, collecting every drop before the battle with Dedede reveals that an evil force was lurking inside the sleeping king. This force flees into the sky upon Dedede's defeat, and the Rainbow Drops combine into the Rainbow Sword, which Kirby can use to make chase. High in the sky, Kirby does battle with the true villain known as Dark Matter, and defeats both of its forms. This done, Kirby uses the sword to soar along the sky and repair the rainbow bridges.
In this game, Kirby is introduced to the Animal Friends, who are Rick the hamster, Coo the owl, and Kine the sunfish. They can use Kirby's Copy Abilities in a new and helpful way. Kirby can use them if he frees them from a bag.
Kirby's Block Ball
Kirby yet again serves as the ball in the Breakout-based game, Kirby's Block Ball. However, the player can set Kirby to be in ball form or normal form. As in many spin-off games with a Kirby twist, Kirby can use Copy Abilities to help him break blocks and defeat enemies. In this game, Kirby once again has to punish King Dedede for stealing Dream Land's Sparkling Stars, though King Dedede is only accessible in Stage 11 if the prior ten stages are cleared with a high enough score.
Kirby's Toy Box
Kirby stars in a number of mini-games in the Satellaview-exclusive Kirby's Toy Box, which saw release only in Japan. These games amount to little more than Sub-Games from other more substantial titles.
Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby Super Star features six distinct games, each acting as a small story involving Kirby and his cohorts.
- In Spring Breeze, Kirby sets out to defeat King Dedede who has stolen all of Dream Land's food and Sparkling Stars in an abridged re-telling of the original Kirby's Dream Land.
- In Dyna Blade, Kirby sets out to deal with a gigantic metal bird who is disrupting Dream Land's crops. After defeating this bird, Kirby finds out that she was only trying to provide for her chicks, and Kirby helps find a different less intrusive source of food for them, along with teaching them how to fly.
- In Gourmet Race, Kirby and King Dedede have a footrace across three courses, gobbling up as much food as they can along the way.
- In The Great Cave Offensive, Kirby stumbles into a massive underground area and has to find his way back out, collecting a myriad of treasures along the way.
- In Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight and his crew set out to take over Dream Land using their flying fortress, the Halberd. Kirby flies in to stop them and ends up destroying the Halberd in the process.
- In Milky Way Wishes, Planet Popstar's day/night cycle is disrupted when the sun and moon start fighting each-other. A small jester named Marx tells Kirby that he has to go and collect stars from seven planets and summon the great Galactic Nova in order to wish the sun and moon to stop fighting. Kirby traverses the galaxy and does this, but upon summoning the great clockwork nova, Marx intervenes and steals Kirby's wish, wishing instead for power for himself so he can take over Popstar. Using the power of the stars he collected, Kirby forms the Starship and uses it to disable Galactic Nova before it can grant Marx's wish, and then defeats Marx, destroying the Galactic Nova in the process. This done, Kirby returns to Popstar triumphantly, and the sun and moon cease fighting.
Kirby Super Star Ultra features an additional story, called Revenge of the King. This Extra Game has Kirby fight tougher versions of all of the enemies and bosses from Spring Breeze before storming Mt. Dedede and battling Masked Dedede in an electrified cage match.
Kirby Super Star made many significant changes to the series formula. Notably, it was the first game to feature hats representing each Copy Ability, further adding to their distinctiveness, though these hats would not appear again in earnest until Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. Copy Abilities themselves also boasted increased utility, gaining fighting-game-style moves and combos, greatly expanding Kirby's arsenal. This was also the first game where Kirby could use the Guard technique.
Kirby's Star Stacker
In both Kirby's Star Stacker for the Game Boy and Kirby's Star Stacker for the SNES, Kirby and his Animal Friends are featured 'battling' King Dedede or other opponents. The Japan-exclusive SNES version features a minor story, where Kirby helps a wayward Mr. Star get his pieces back after he was shattered by King Dedede. To get these pieces, Kirby and his Animal Friends have to trounce each baddie who had collected a piece in turn before finally defeating Dedede himself. If Kirby manages to do this without the player losing a game, Gryll appears after the credits for a bonus battle.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
|Hi, I'm Kirby! PopStar[sic] is in BIG trouble. Gooey and I are going to get to the bottom of this. Wish us luck!|
— Kirby in Kirby's Dream Land 3 Instruction booklet
Kirby's Dream Land 3 follows from the plot and style of Kirby's Dream Land 2, once again involving Kirby utilizing his Animal Friends along with a benign piece of Dark Matter called Gooey. In this title, Dark Matter implants itself on Popstar using a dark cloud and starts corrupting the minds of impressionable creatures, turning them into foes for Kirby to defeat and liberate. Along the way, Kirby can do good deeds in each area to receive a Heart Star from various denizens of Popstar. If he collected all of them, he can once again liberate the bulk of Dark Matter from King Dedede, this time forging the Love-Love Stick before giving chase. At the heart of the dark cloud - a place called Hyper Zone - Kirby and Gooey do battle with Dark Matter, and then with Zero - its pure white spherical core - who attacks Kirby and Gooey using volleys of its own blood. Upon Zero's defeat, the rest of Dark Matter's forces dissipate, and Popstar is once again freed from its influence.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards sees Kirby venturing across several worlds in order to help a fairy girl named Ribbon collect the shards of a broken crystal from her homeworld of Ripple Star, which was invaded by a cloud of Dark Matter. On Ripple Star proper, Kirby and his entourage must do battle with an incarnation of Dark Matter known as Miracle Matter, which appears to be the heart of the invading substance. Defeating it drives this Dark Matter away from Ripple Star, but it is revealed if all of the Crystal Shards were collected that the bulk of the Dark Matter had implanted itself inside Ripple Star's Queen. The fully reformed crystal zaps the queen, causing the Dark Matter within to be forced out, where it then flies off into space and becomes a planet called Dark Star. Kirby and friends go there and defeat 0² in order to finally disperse the Dark Matter and save Ripple Star from its influence.
This game features Power Combos, which are fusions of two different Copy Abilities to make an entirely new attack. These moves are often very powerful and needed to break away certain obstacles barring Kirby from a Crystal Shard.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
Kirby appears in Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, a game where tilt sensors are used to move him around. In the story, Kirby discovers that King Dedede is once again behind robbing Dream Land of its stars and has to go get them back. He is sent rolling across eight different worlds before encountering Dedede at the end. Upon defeat, Dedede starts sobbing, so Kirby goes to comfort him.
Kirby Air Ride
This spin-off title has Kirby racing across several colorful courses on various celestial vehicles against other Kirbys, King Dedede, and Meta Knight. This is the first game in the series that allows for full three-dimensional movement, though when off his machine, Kirby is only afforded six midair jumps, like in the Super Smash Bros. games.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
In this title, Kirby is ambushed by Meta Knight, who slashes him with his sword, causing Kirby to split into four identical copies of himself, distinguishable only by differing body colors. The masked swordsman then flees into a mirror and the Kirbys give chase, leading them to a place known as the Mirror World. Here, they set off, looking for pieces of a shattered golden mirror in the center of the world. Along the way, they repeatedly run into a shadowy version of Kirby who appears to be spying on them. Upon completion of the mirror, the Kirbys jump into it to find a dark eerie copy of the area they were just in. Here, they find out that the Meta Knight who attacked them earlier was a doppelganger known as Dark Meta Knight, who had previously imprisoned the real Meta Knight in this realm. After defeating the faker, Meta Knight entrusts Kirby with his sword, which Kirby then uses to fight Dark Mind, who was responsible for creating Dark Meta Knight and for disturbing the Mirror World itself. If Kirby loses the sword during this fight, the shadowy Kirby from earlier will appear to toss it back to him. Once Dark Mind is defeated, this Kirby reveals himself to be Mirror-world Kirby, the Mirror World analog to Kirby himself who is tasked with keeping the peace in his world. They all say their farewells while riding their Warp Stars back to their respective realms.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
In Kirby: Canvas Curse, an evil sorceress known as Drawcia uses her magic to transform Popstar into a canvas, and turns Kirby into a ball with no limbs. Using the Magical Paintbrush, the player has to draw Rainbow Lines to guide Kirby through the different stages and defeat Drawcia at the end. After Drawcia is destroyed, Kirby reverts back to his normal form.
Kirby: Squeak Squad
|This little pink puffball with the gigantic appetite is once again the star of the show. This time around, Kirby's taking his copy abilities on the road in search of his stolen strawberry shortcake.|
— Kirby: Squeak Squad manual
Kirby is sitting in a field with a plate of Strawberry Shortcake ready to eat it when suddenly something steals the cake slice from him. Kirby immediately assumes that King Dedede did this and sets off to his castle to get his cake back. After defeating Dedede however, Kirby finds the real thieves, the Squeaks, who are causing trouble by stealing all manner of things. Kirby sets off after them, eventually making his way to the reconstructed Halberd where he duels Meta Knight, who is guarding a special treasure box. After Meta Knight is defeated, Kirby approaches the box, thinking it might have his cake inside, when the leader of the Squeaks, Daroach, swipes the chest from Kirby and opens it. Inside is a great evil force that possesses Daroach. Kirby then has to chase Dark Daroach down across the galaxy. After using Daroach's Triple Star cane to dispatch the evil Dark Nebula that had escaped and release Daroach from its possession, to thank Kirby, Daroach and his band of Squeaks promise not to cause any more trouble, and return Kirby's cake to him.
In this title, Kirby is able to store items and Copy Abilities in his Copy Palette by swallowing them. This essentially gave Kirby a five-slot inventory of bubbled items that could be used, mixed, or discarded at any time.
Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
In both Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, Kirby is transformed into a yarn outline of himself by an evil sorcerer called Yin-Yarn who proceeds to transform all of Dream Land into a yarn parody of itself. Kirby is banished to Patch Land, where he teams up with a local yarn boy named Prince Fluff to stop Yin-Yarn and save both Patch Land and Dream Land by finding the Magic Yarn. After Yin-Yarn is defeated, Kirby and his realm are returned to normal, and he gains a Magic Sock as a memento of his adventure, as well as a way to return to Patch Land whenever he wants to.
Kirby Mass Attack
|Our hungry hero, after being split into ten by the Skull Gang boss, Necrodeus, sets out on an adventure to make things right.|
— Kirby Mass Attack Instruction booklet
In Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby visits the Popopo Islands on the far side of Popstar. While taking a nap, Necrodeus appears and attempts to destroy Kirby by splitting him into ten smaller copies of himself who cannot inhale, then destroying these one-by-one. However, one of the Kirbys escapes and - guided by his heroic heart - sets out to restore the other nine mini-Kirbys, then defeat the Skull Gang.
Along the way, the Kirbys are aided by Daroach and the Squeaks, who give them valuable information in exchange for treasure. Once the Skull Gang is driven from the Popopo Islands, Kirby heads to their home base - Necro Nebula - to defeat Necrodeus, claim the staff he used to split Kirby apart, and use it to restore himself to normal. After defeating the Skull Gang, Kirby gains appreciation for the dark corners of the universe, as he reckons they only make the stars shine brighter by comparison.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby, as well as his friends Bandana Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, and King Dedede, find a mysterious starship, the Lor Starcutter, after it crash-lands into Dream Land. It in the process loses five primary parts and all one hundred and twenty Energy Spheres. Kirby and his friends offer to help the owner of the starship, Magolor, retrieve the missing parts and the Energy Spheres. Once the Lor Starcutter is repaired, Magolor takes Kirby and friends to Halcandra, Magolor's homeworld. Upon arriving, however, they are immediately attacked by Landia, a fiery four-headed dragon who wears a crown on the primary head. Magolor then asks Kirby and his friends to battle this dragon, which they promptly do. Upon Landia's defeat, Magolor steals its crown, revealing his true motive as a power-hungry despot looking to conquer the universe. To stop the traitorous Magolor, Kirby and friends team up with the defeated Landia and fight Magolor in Another Dimension, destroying the crown in the process before returning home to peace and tranquility.
Kirby's Dream Collection
Kirby's Dream Collection is largely just a compilation of earlier Kirby games. However, it also features a Sub-Game called New Challenge Stages, wherein Magolor from Kirby's Return to Dream Land returns and sets up an amusement park for Kirby and races against him in several of its sections. Magolor explains at the start of this game that he has cleared things up with Kirby after the previous game's events.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby is abducted along with his house by a large magical plant called the Dreamstalk, along with Castle Dedede. He has to venture through the airborne kingdom of islands known as Floralia to chase down an insectoid villain known as Taranza who has abducted King Dedede in an attempt to bring the King under his control. Kirby catches up with Taranza at the end of the last island, who reveals that he had intended to capture and nullify the 'Hero of Dream Land', having mistaken Dedede to be the hero. Kirby defeats the possessed Masked Dedede, which reveals Kirby as the true hero. Realizing this, Taranza attempts to call his master, Queen Sectonia to deal with him, but Sectonia swats Taranza away for his incompetence.
Kirby must then do battle with Queen Sectonia, who merges with the Dreamstalk in an attempt to rule over Dream Land and turn all its denizens into her sustenance. With the help of a group of floral fairies known as the People of the Sky, as well as King Dedede and Taranza, the latter after a change of heart, Kirby destroys Sectonia, restoring the Dreamstalk to a benign condition and rendering it a permanent fixture of Dream Land.
Kirby Fighters Deluxe
In Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Kirby does battle with copies of himself and with other characters in a manner similar to the Super Smash Bros. games. While there is no definite story, Kirby does battle an army of Dededes at the Fountain of Dreams before facing off against the real deal wielding a custom hammer based on the Star Rod.
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe is the only Kirby series game that does not star the eponymous pink puffball. However, Kirby can still be seen in the background, cheering King Dedede on. His face also appears as part of the goal pad at the end of each stage.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
|Our heroic hero is on a roll! He's on a mission to restore the color that's been stolen from dear old Dream Land. His preferred method of travel is rainbow rope, and he can transform into three amazing Kirbys!|
— Kirby figurine description
In the claymation adventure known as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Popstar and all its denizens have their color and life stolen away by a sorceress known as Claycia. A small, friendly paintbrush-like girl called Elline comes in from Claycia's world of Seventopia and re-colors Kirby and Waddle Dee, who save her from Grab Hands. After this, the trio sets off into Seventopia to defeat Claycia and restore Popstar's colors. Much like in Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby rolls about like a ball, and rides along a rainbow paint stroke, while one or more Waddle Dees carry him on occasion. Why Kirby rolls around like this is unclear, since he still has his limbs. The opening cut-scene suggests he just finds it more fun.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, a robotic organization known as the Haltmann Works Company targets Popstar for its industrialization purposes. Kirby wakes up from under an oak tree not long after the takeover begins to find the grove he is in all-but mechanized. He runs off to stop the mechanization of his homeworld.
Along the way, Kirby encounters a suit of robotic armor--the Robobot Armor, which he commandeers and uses to smash up the soldiers that the Haltmann Works throws at him, as well as to damage the legs of the company's mothership - the Access Ark. Kirby also encounters the company's executive assistant - Susie - on several occasions, who battles Kirby herself. She later sends a mechanized Meta Knight, mind-controlled, and a cloned King Dedede to fight him.
Once Kirby boards the ark itself, he fights his way up to the executive office, where he finally frees Meta Knight, then scuffles with the president of the company himself - President Haltmann. Beaten back, Haltmann is forced to use the keystone of the company and the source of its power - the ancient computer Star Dream, but in the process, it is sabotaged by Susie. Unfortunately, this sabotage causes the computer to go haywire, and merge Haltmann's mind with its OS in the process. The computer then takes its own initiative and decides to destroy the entire universe, locking in with the planet-sized Access Ark to enact its plan.
Susie helps Kirby defeat it by giving him one last suit of robotic armor, which Kirby uses to merge with the Halberd that Meta Knight had just brought in after being released. Together, they tackle Star Dream out in space and finally defeat it, restoring Popstar to its former glory. This done, Susie takes off from the planet in her own personal mech.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
Kirby teams up with three other Kirbys in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe to form a band of medieval-styled adventurers and save the Dream Kingdom from a horde of monsters. Along the way, they earn - and subsequently spend - an enormous quantity of Gem Apples at Magolor's Shoppe to purchase better equipment and support items, in order to defeat the puppeteer mage, Taranza, behind the rampaging beasts. After defeating Taranza, however, a new set of much more powerful foes emerge from a Black Mirror which Taranza had been entranced by. Team Kirby must defeat these parallel invaders and then shatter the mirror to restore the peace.
Kirby's Blowout Blast
In this stand-alone expansion of Kirby 3D Rumble--Kirby's Blowout Blast, Kirby runs about in full 3-D spaces, using nothing but his trusty inhale and spitting out massive Blaster Bullets to take out scores of enemies. At the end of the road, Kirby faces off against King Dedede, who - as a last-ditch effort to beat his old rival - uses one of the Sparkling Stars to grow giant.
Kirby Battle Royale
Continuing the 3-D formula from Kirby's Blowout Blast, Kirby Battle Royale pits Kirby against clones of himself in several battle mini-games using various Copy Abilities to win a massive cake in a tournament held by King Dedede titled "The Cake Royale". With Dedede's attempts to humiliate Kirby by seeing him defeated in the games failing, he takes his Kirby Printer and merges it into a giant robot in an attempt to crush his pink rival directly. Kirby's unstoppable urge for cake overcomes this as well, destroying the printer and taking all the Kirby clones with it.
Kirby Star Allies
In Kirby Star Allies, a mysterious magical foe begins raining energy all over Popstar. While this all happens, Kirby is sleeping out in a field as per usual, when a heart-shaped bolt of energy strikes his head. This causes him to wake up and discover that he has gained a special heart throwing power, which allows him to charm enemies, turning them to his side. With this power, Kirby battles the invading force, who has possessed all of his friends.
After freeing King Dedede and Meta Knight from the dark influence, a large ominous structure embeds itself into Popstar. Kirby and co. invade this fortress only to find it operated by three mage generals. They explain that they are looking to collect the lost Dark Hearts which had scattered across the galaxy. Not pleased to see Kirby and co. attempting to chase the hearts off, the mage generals attack Kirby. Upon defeat, the head of the mage generals, Zan Partizanne, attempts to bury Kirby and co. under the rubble of the fortress after setting its self-destruct sequence, but Kirby and co. escape on a Friend Star.
Determined to end this disturbance of the peace, Kirby and co. set off into space in search of the source of these Dark Hearts. They stop by several planets along the way to free them from the hearts' influence before finally reaching the massive space station known as Jambandra. There, they meet the leader of the mage generals--Hyness, who is overlooking an incomplete crystal heart. Zan Partizanne attempts to guard her leader, but is promptly defeated by Kirby and co.. At this, Hyness swats his would-be bodyguard away and proceeds to rant incoherently about how he was treated by an ancient race who had banished him to this location, seemingly inditing Kirby as one of them. He also reveals the heart behind him to be a dark god known as Void Termina, who had been fragmented and scattered across the universe after a failed releasing ritual. Hyness attempts to defeat Kirby and co., but is defeated swiftly. As a last resort, he sacrifices himself and the mage generals to the heart in order to complete it and revive the dark god. Upon his revival, Void Termina escapes into space and assembles his body.
Kirby and co. are bestowed with a legendary weapon known as the Star Allies Sparkler in order to do battle with the revived Void Termina. After a very long and grueling fight, Kirby and his allies climb inside the giant beast, free the captive Hyness and his generals from the god's innards, and force out his soul. From there, Kirby and co. muster all of their power in order to destroy Void Termina's soul and save the galaxy.
Super Kirby Clash
Like in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, Kirby teams up with three other Kirbys to battle bosses and save the Dream Kingdom in Super Kirby Clash. This time, the Kingdom is being terrorized by a Parallel version of Nightmare, and Team Kirby moves throughout the land to chase him down and take out all of the monsters and great ancient foes he summons along the way.
Kirby Fighters 2
Kirby returns as the main focus of Kirby Fighters 2, an expanded version of Kirby Fighters Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. He and a buddy of the player's choosing accept a challenge from King Dedede & Meta Knight to face off in combat at the top of the lofty Buddy Fighters Tower in the Story Mode: The Destined Rivals. After several victorious battles against these two, King Dedede & Meta Knight attempt to use a pair of cursed masks known as the "Mask of Dark Bonds" to increase their strength, but Kirby and his buddy regardless defeat them one final time and use a Buddy Star Blaster to destroy the mask.
Super Smash Bros. series
Kirby has been featured as a base-roster fighter in every single Super Smash Bros. game. He is depicted as an easy-to-use fighter with lots of mid-air jumps and versatile attacks. His small stature makes him difficult to hit but also means he will be KO'd earlier than other fighters if he is hit due to his light weight and floatiness. He boasts a long-range recovery, but his movement speed is slow, especially in the air. His main call to fame is his ability to copy moves from all of the other fighters using his inhale, giving him by far the most potential moves of any individual fighter.
Standard Special Attack
- Main article: Copy Ability#Super Smash Bros. series
Kirby can inhale his opponent and copy their standard special attack, allowing him to use that attack as his own.
Up Special Attack
- Main article: Final Cutter
Kirby's Up Special is based on the Cutter ability. Kirby slashes upward with his cutter and slams down, creating a shockwave that can damage fighters, but can also be reflected or absorbed.
Side Special Attack
- Main article: Hammer Flip
Kirby takes his Side Special from the Hammer ability. This involves the hammer flip, allowing Kirby to charge up his hammer. Overcharging the move will result in gradual recoil damage.
Down Special Attack
- Main article: Stone
Kirby's Down Special move comes from the Stone ability. Kirby transforms into a heavy object. His transformed form is immune to damage but can be broken with a strong enough attack.
Kirby's Final Smash is Cook in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where Kirby throws his opponents into a pot and cooks them alive before it blasts them out, damaging them. It is changed to Ultra Sword starting from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Kirby plays a major role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. After having a friendly bout with Mario, he has to rescue either Princess Peach or Zelda from Petey Piranha after he and an army of enemies known as Primids invade the arena. After the battle is over, Kirby then has to escape with the princess he saved from a bomb that had been planted in the arena during the fight, which sucks the whole area into a different dimension known as Subspace. From there, after a series of team break-ups and reunions, Kirby ends up as part of a team including Mario, Link, Yoshi, and Pit as they try to stop more subspace bombs from going off. Along the way, Kirby finds a badge on the ground bearing the image of King Dedede, and it is implied that Kirby swallows it. Near the end, nearly all of the fighters end up in one team once the Halberd is liberated from enemy control. The team uses it to engage in an assault on a giant Subspace cannon which emerges from a particularly large subspace bubble. Though the Halberd is destroyed, it and the fleet of smaller ships that emerge from it create a diversion which allows Kirby to fly into the giant cannon using the Dragoon, crippling it. The team enters the subspace bubble to defeat whatever may be behind it, but the ultimate villain - known as Tabuu - sends out a giant pulse of energy that defeats all of them at once, turning them into inanimate trophies. However, the Dedede badge that Kirby had eaten earlier activates sometime later, reviving him along with a handful of other fighters. They revive the rest of the team and then defeat Tabuu, restoring the world.
Role in World of Light
In the adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby appears along with a host of other fighters in the opening cut-scene as they prepare to fight a horde of Master Hands led by a giant gleaming ball of light with wings known only as Galeem. On Galeem's command, the hands disintegrate, turning into pulses of light that shoot out at the fighters, capturing each of them in a flash. All of the fighters are caught in this way, except for Kirby, who manages to get away on his Warp Star as the universe is engulfed. Kirby later crashes into the world that Galeem created, and sets off to rescue his friends.
In the end, Galeem and his army are destroyed thanks to the fighters, Kirby included.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
- Main article: Kirby (anime character)
Kirby is the main character and primary focus of the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Here, he is depicted as an infant Star Warrior who was called upon before his appointed time to protect Dream Land (specifically Cappy Town) from the Monsters called upon by King Dedede using Night Mare Enterprises' monster delivery system. In the anime, Kirby is but a toddler, capable of only shouting the word 'poyo' repeatedly, and has to be looked after by two anime-exclusive child characters called Tiff and Tuff, who are the main speaking characters of the show. Despite his demeanor, Kirby is capable of obtaining Copy Abilities, which he uses with immense power in order to save the day time and time again. As the story progresses, Kirby gradually becomes more adept at using his powers and is eventually able to take on eNeMeE himself in the final episode using the Star Rod.
Kirby has appeared in some form or another outside of his series. The following lists his appearances in games that are not Kirby or Super Smash Bros. games:
- Arcana - Kirby makes a cameo appearance in the introductory cut-scene of the game, appearing twice in the horde of monsters led by Galneon (image on right). Arcana was also developed by HAL Laboratory and released precisely one month before Kirby's Dream Land in Japan, meaning that this was technically Kirby's very first appearance in a video game.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - An enemy referred to as Anti-Kirby appears in this game. It looks almost exactly like Kirby and will attempt to inhale Link.
- Anti-Kirby also appears in the remake on the Nintendo Switch.
- Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga - A poster appears in the Yoshi Theater depicting Kirby for a faux movie called 'Kirby Story'.
- Super Mario Maker - Scanning Kirby's amiibo figurine allows Mario to take on Kirby's original sprite likeness when using an item in the Super Mario Bros. look. Mario can also change his shape into this Kirby sprite with a Mystery Mushroom.
- Mario Kart 8 - Scanning Kirby's amiibo figurine unlocks a Mii costume that resembles Kirby.
- The same can also be done in the port of the game on the Nintendo Switch.
- BYE-BYE BOXBOY! - If Kirby's amiibo figurine is used, Qbby will take on an appearance that resembles the pink puffball.
Kirby has appeared in a multitude of sprite-based two-dimensional games. The following table lists in chronological order his primary sprite appearances, along with any pertinent notes:
|Kirby's 2-D sprite history|
|Kirby's Dream Land||Kirby's first sprite appearance notably lacked his cheek-blush. This is present on larger in-game depictions, however.|
|Kirby's Adventure||Very similar to his initial Game Boy incarnation, though brightly-colored and possessing cheek-blush, as well as a plethora of new animations.|
|Kirby's Pinball Land||Largely the same as the Dream Land sprite, though possessing the cheek-blush from Adventure.|
|Kirby's Dream Course||Kirby's first 16-bit appearance, and his first sprite to slant his eyes when at certain orientations to suggest perspective.|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Star Stacker||Similar to previous appearances, but a little more pear-shaped. Rather than reusing existing animations, most of them were redrawn.|
|Kirby's Avalanche||Mostly the same as his 8-bit incarnations, though with added detail, such as reflective skin and faint lights on his eyes.|
|Kirby Super Star||Larger than previous sprites, with more detail as a result.|
A discrepancy appears on this sprite where the light on the right-facing eye is pink rather than white, though this may be to suggest light and shadow.
|Kirby's Toy Box||The smallest of his sprite-based appearances; his exact appearance varies depending on the game. This sprite is taken from the "Baseball" game.|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Kirby is a notably lighter shade of pink in this game, and more closely resembles the Kirby's Dream Land 2 sprite than the Kirby Super Star sprite.|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (SNES)||Combines aspects of his Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dream Land 3 sprites.|
|Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble||The largest of his 8-bit sprites, and notably redder and plumper than the others. Last appearance in 8-bit.|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby: Squeak Squad||A combination of his look from Kirby Super Star and his movement from Kirby's Adventure, albeit much more fluid in his animation.|
This sprite was used unaltered through three consecutive handheld games, though more animations were given to him in each subsequent installment.
|Kirby: Canvas Curse||A pre-rendered 3D model, Kirby is in ball form for most of the game, but his limbs will appear when he is defeated.|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra||Can be considered a scaled-up version of the Nightmare in Dream Land sprite, bearing a closer resemblance to the original Kirby Super Star sprite.|
|Kirby Mass Attack||One mini-Kirby from Kirby Mass Attack, made to look generally smaller with shorter limbs and the face taking up more of the body.|
This would be the last time Kirby would be portrayed primarily in sprite form.
Hit the Down Arrow when Kirby has an enemy in his mouth to copy the enemy's special ability!
|Kirby Super Star||Inhale an enemy by pushing Y and swallow it by pushing A. If that enemy has an ability, you can use it! Press A again to create a helper!|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land||Swallow your enemies and duck to copy their moves! Experiment by swallowing different kinds of enemies!|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Swallow enemies and squat to copy their abilities! If you try hard, you can swallow large enemies, too!|
|Kirby: Canvas Curse||Touch-Dash! Ride rainbows!|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad||Swallow enemies and squat to copy their abilities! You can hold up to 5 bubbles and chests total.|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra||Inhale foes and spit to KO them! Or swallow to copy their abilities and adventure with a Helper!|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||Story Mode and Extra Mode:|
Inhale foes and press ↓ to gain Copy Abilities! Shake the Wii Remote while inhaling to do a Super Inhale!
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||Story Mode:|
Inhale enemies to acquire their abilities, and then perform a variety of moves! Now go climb the Dreamstalk and rescue King Dedede!
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse||Our pink adventurer blew into Dream Land one day on a spring breeze. Since then, he's spent countless hours saving the day with his amazing abilities. He can swallow anything and spit it out. He can also use his copy ability.|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||Story Mode:|
Kirby is the round, pink life-form from Planet Popstar who possesses infinite power and can inhale enemies to copy their abilities.
|Kirby Star Allies||Press X to throw Hearts and make all kinds of friends! Change up your team for variety, and press ↑ to call upon the power of friendship and gain Friend Abilities whenever you need to!|
Super Smash Bros. Melee trophies
Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophies
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U trophies
|Kirby's trophies in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U|
|Name||3DS image||Wii U image||Appears in||NTSC-U description||PAL description|
|Kirby||GB Kirby's Dream Land (8/1992)
SNES Kirby's Super Star (NTSC) Kirby's Fun Pak (PAL) (8/1996)
|Round little Kirby lives on the peaceful Planet Popstar, in Dream Land. He can inhale things with his big mouth, either copying their abilities or spitting them out again. In Smash Bros., Kirby can inhale opponents and copy their standard specials. He gets launched easily but recovers well.||A roly-poly little fella from Dream Land on Planet Popstar. He can inhale pretty much anyone or anything with that big gob of his, then spit them out or copy their abilities. He can copy opponents' standard specials in this game, too! His light weight means he gets launched easily, but with a series of mid-air jumps, recovering's not too tricky.|
|Pudgy, little Kirby lives in the peaceful hills of Dream Land on the Planet Popstar. He can inhale things with his big mouth, either copying their abilities or spitting them out again. In Smash Bros., Kirby can inhale opponents and copy their standard specials. He gets launched easily but recovers well.|
|Kirby (Alt.)||GB Kirby's Dream Land (8/1992)
SNES Kirby's Super Star (NTSC) Kirby's Fun Pack (PAL) (8/1996)
|Holding the special button and left or right will charge up Kirby's Hammer Flip attack. Charging too long hurts Kirby! The hammer strikes twice in the air, but landing the single blow on the ground is more powerful. Kirby's up special Final Cutter slices up and down, firing a shock wave upon landing.||Charge up Kirby's Hammer side special to unleash Hammer Flip, a move with serious launch power. Charge it too much, though, and you'll get hurt! The move hits twice in mid-air but does more damage on the ground. Final Cutter slices up and down before sending out an energy wave. Move Kirby mid-jump to change where he lands.|
Red indicates exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS version. Blue indicates exclusive to the Wii U version.
This pink puff is pretty adorable—and strong, too!
Kirby is always hungry, and he can inhale various enemies that stand in his way. When he does, he can take on their abilities. And when he’s not battling baddies, you’ll find Kirby enjoying a nice nap or a hearty meal.
- He may only be eight inches tall, but you should never underestimate this little pink hero. On the planet Pop Star, Kirby used his elastic body and his uncanny ability to absorb enemies to save Dream Land from the mischievous King Dedede. Since then, he’s gone on countless other adventures and even become a force to be reckoned with in the Super Smash Bros.™ fighting game series.
- Kirby's simplistic appearance was originally a placeholder for a more detailed character, but Masahiro Sakurai and the developers came to prefer the simple design and stuck with it.
- It is commonly thought that Shigeru Miyamoto wanted Kirby to be yellow, and Masahiro Sakurai decided to make him pink late in Kirby's Dream Land's development, hence why he appears as white on the game's North American box art. This is incorrect, as it can be clearly seen that Kirby was pink in concept art for the game, even before his name was finalized. Miyamoto later explained that he thought Kirby would have been yellow based on the monochrome sprite, and was instead pleasantly surprised to see him as pink in the color art.
- In early titles, Kirby has not always been depicted as entirely round, often being made slightly pear-shaped. This is particularly noticeable in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and in games on the Super Nintendo. Later on, Kirby's body would be cemented as perfectly round, starting with his 3-D appearances in Super Smash Bros. and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Nintendo 64.
- Kirby's height is often used by the developers to measure other characters. For example, it was stated in a Miiverse post that the Boss Flowery Woods is roughly 9 Kirbys tall.
- Numerous sources, including the "Kirby 25th Anniversary" site, point out that Kirby has "good motor skills". Relatedly, his Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy describes him as "an extremely skilled technician". What exactly this means is unclear.
- Main article: Kirby/gallery
|Quotes from Kirby in the Kirby series|
Names in other languages
Kirby of the Stars
This is the signature title of Kirby in his universe, which only appears in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions, but is omitted in other localizations. It is also the prefix that indicates a main series title in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions.
Hoshi no Kābī
|Kirby of the Stars|
xīng zhī kǎ bǐ
|Kirby of the Stars|
|Kirby of the Stars|
- Kirby's Adventure developer interview
- Miyamoto Talks Wii, Zelda And Nintendo's Past - Game Informer
- "The 8-inch high Kirby hails from a distant, peaceful star." —Kirby's in-game description in Super Smash Bros.
- Nintendo Japan (Nintendo Online Magazine - Kirby's profile - March 2000 issue covering Kirby 64: the Crystal Shards release)
- "Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician." —Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy
- "高さ:20cmくらい 好きな物:トマト 苦手な物:毛虫 性別:不明 出身:不明 (Height: About 20 cm tall, Likes: Tomatoes, Dislikes: Caterpillars, Gender: Unknown, Birthplace: Unknown)" –20th Anniversary - Hoshi no Kirby: Pupupu Taizen (Shogakukan), pg. 15
- "He may only be eight inches tall, but you should never underestimate this little pink hero." —Kirby Portal profile
- In Chop Champs, the Kirbys are roughly the size of the logs, which are 25 cm tall.
- The sketch of the "Farewell to Kirby" Celebration Picture has a note that says "20cmなので" ("Because (Kirby) is 20cm tall").
- Nintendo JP page discussing Sakurai's vision of Kirby when compared to his anime equivalent
- Kaialone on Tumblr
- Super Smash Bros. official website (translated from Japanese):
"…I wanted to ask a question about Kirby's profile. 'Name: Kirby. Gender: Unknown. Favorite phrase: Tomorrow's wind blows tomorrow. Things I want to do but can't: Push-ups, Cossack dancing, rock-paper-scissors.' Was this Mr. Sakurai's idea?"
Sakurai: "Oh, I came up with that profile in the past. I just had to do it…"
- "Kirby's gender is unknown." —Twitter (translated from Japanese)) (
- Super Smash Bros. official website (translated from Japanese):
"…I was surprised to learn that Samus is a woman."
Sakurai: "Maybe Pikachu is also female? Maybe Kirby is also female? The truth is shrouded in darkness."
- "Suddenly a spry little boy named Kirby happened along and said, "Don't worry, I'll get your food and your Sparkling Stars back!"." –Kirby's Dream Land manual (page 4)
- "I'm not a very good singer and I sometimes sing off key, but King Dedede's bullies can't stand to hear me sing and will just explode with laughter when I puff out the microphone." —Kirby (Kirby's Dream Land)
- "The maximum Kirby can jump is 4.3 times his own height. The development team often used the "Kirby" as a unit of measurement for the height of characters in the game (one Kirby, two Kirbys etc). For example, Flowery Woods is roughly nine Kirbys tall." --Satoshi Ishida, Kirby: Triple Deluxe Miiverse post from September 17th, 2014
- Nintendo Polska - Nintendo Selects: Kirby: Triple Deluxe