Kirby

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This article or section is about the main character of the Kirby series. For information about the video game series, see Kirby (series). For the species, see Kirby (species).
Character InfoBox
Kirby Allies.png
Official art of Kirby from Kirby Star Allies
Details
Debut Game Kirby's Dream Land
Last Game Kirby Star Allies
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Other Game(s) All (Kirby series; Super Smash Bros. series)
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Kirby is the main character and namesake of his video game series. He is a small pink creature who resides on and protects 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.

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 and several manga 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 whom owning the rights to the Kirby series to this day.

Name origin

"It's an easy name to remember. I'm Popopo." - as the large pink title in translation from Japanese says, Kirby is in this magazine scan referred as Popopo.

During the early development of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby went by the name Popopo (known in Japan as ポポポ), but Nintendo eventually decided they wanted something that would more appeal to the Western audience.

In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2011 by Game Informer, Miyamoto confirmed rumors that the name Kirby was partially inspired by 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'. [1]

Characteristics

For a Nintendo character, Kirby is amongst the simplest in appearance. As nothing more than a short, pink, 8-inch tall,[2] 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. Kirby has little physical strength, however his ability to steal his foes' characteristics, known as Copy Abilities, through ingestion adds quite the amount of physical, chemical, and/or electric power to his arsenal. Utilizing these abilities, Kirby can inherit the embodied power of the enemy, and in some titles, can even meld multiple powers together, by swallowing additional foes in succession. In earlier games, Kirby did not undergo any physical changes upon receiving a copy ability; this all changed in Kirby Super Star: Kirby dons a unique hat for almost every Copy Ability he obtains. In most games after Kirby Super Star, the ingestion of a Copy Ability always yields a physical change, whether it be a simple hat, or a total body transformation.

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 - fittingly to 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 among Kirby himself, as Meta Knight, who is generally considered to be the same species, has a deep voice befitting a warrior of his stature.

Anatomy

A collage of various fighters from Super Smash Bros. (64) being zapped and 'x-rayed'. Kirby is the third from the left in the middle row.

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. however, 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!, seem to indicate that Kirby's stomach is a dimension unto itself. 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), and does not have teeth either (outside of the manga series). He does however, have a tongue, as evidenced by more recent games when he inhales. 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.

Kirby is an entity that needs regular sleep (note the bubble).

Kirby's eyes, arguably his most prominent facial feature (when he's not inhaling) 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 sheath, which can be seen when he is startled, much like another Nintendo character of small stature, Captain Olimar.

Kirby's skin is uniform in color, highly flexible, and completely hairless, but it does have a built-in perspiration system, as evidenced in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. His red feet (which may or may not be shoes) appear to be the only hard part of his body, which is why he often uses them when fighting. 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.

Personality

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 Link and Mario, 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. 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 isn't 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, flying about the countryside on a Warp Star, and singing, which he admittedly does so poorly that it can hurt enemies. He is also a big fan of music, and can be seen listening with a pair of headphones along with the player in the Sound Test.

Move-set

Kirby has had many adventures, which has given him the opportunity to learn and utilize many different moves. The following table list every move that Kirby has had in the main series, starting with the most common ones downward to the rarest:

(moves performed with Copy Abilities will not be listed here)

Kirby's move-set (main series)  
Skill Description Notes
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.
Duck 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 soft platforms 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 Penetrating Bullet which is even stronger, and passes through enemies.
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 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 decent speed, allowing him to pass over small gaps his size. Some Copy Abilities will change the way Kirby's dash functions.
Slide While ducking, 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 re-gain 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. 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 will prevent or reduce damage from most attacks. 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 (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.
Suppin 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 (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 come 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.

Game Appearances

Spoilers! Notice: Stop right there, stubby little pink thing!
Spoilers abound! If you do not wish to read them, skip ahead to the next heading or find a different article.

Kirby is the hero and main playable character in every game in his series, with the exception of Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe. 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 Dream Land

Kirby in 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.[3] 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 box art of Kirby's Dream Land depicts Kirby with white skin, as opposed to his trademark pink color. This is most likely due to the fact that Kirby's color scheme had not been finally decided by the time the art was commissioned. 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.[4]

Kirby's Adventure/Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Kirby Kirby'sAdventure.png
Kirby from Kirby's Adventure

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 took the Star Rod, the source of power of Dream Land's good night sleep, and split it into 7 pieces, giving a part to each of King Dedede's 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. As Kirby heads to the fountain with the rod in hand, King Dedede - 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 a horrible 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 it using the Star Rod. Kirby defeats the nightmare and returns the Star Rod 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.

Kirby's Pinball Land

Kirby PinballLand.png
Kirby holding another Kirby with a Parasol

In Kirby's Pinball Land Kirby plays as the ricocheting ball in the traditional game of pinball. However, Kirby plays in three pinball settings, beating Whispy Woods, Kracko, and Poppy Bros. Sr. along the way, which eventually leads him to King Dedede.

Kirby's Dream Course

Kirby in a screenshot of 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 3D game he appeared in. He can use Copy Abilities to aid in defeating enemies so he can get inside the hole. If a second player competes, that player controls a yellow Kirby named Keeby.

Kirby's Avalanche

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 Kirby enemies, including the penultimate Meta Knight, Kirby fights King Dedede at the end.

Kirby's Dream Land 2

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Kirby riding on Rick


In this title, 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 Animal Friends, who are Rick the hamster, Coo the owl, and Kine the sunfish; that 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.

Kirby Super Star/Kirby Super Star Ultra

Kirby with the newly introduced costumes; this one is the Beam ability.

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 had stolen 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 which 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 agrees to help find a different 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 land 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 the Galactic Nova before it can grant Marx's wish, and then defeats Marx, causing both him and the nova to be destroyed. 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.

Kirby's Star Stacker/Kirby's Super Star Stacker

Mr. Star and Kirby

These two puzzle games feature Kirby and his Animal Friends 'battling' King Dedede or other opponents. The Japan-exclusive Super Star Stacker 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

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 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 Matter core - 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. Once Zero is destroyed, the rest of the Dark Matter dissipates, and Popstar is once again freed from its influence.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Kirby and his group with a Crystal Shard.

This final installment of the Dark Matter Trilogy has Kirby venturing across several worlds in order to help a fairy girl named Ribbon collect shards of a broken crystal from her homeworld of Ripple Star, which was invaded by 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 Fairy 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 in order to finally disperse the Dark Matter and save Ripple Star from its influence.

This game featured 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 piece.

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

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Kirby against three other colored Kirbys

This spin-off title has Kirby racing across several colorful courses on various celestial vehicles. There is no story to speak of.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

Dark Meta Knight splitting Kirby into four

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 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 the 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 analogue 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

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Kirby from Kirby: Canvas Curse

This spin-off title features an evil sorceress known as Drawcia, who uses her magic to transform Popstar into a canvas, and turns Kirby into a ball with no limbs. Using the Power Paintbrush, the player has to draw rainbow lines to guide Kirby through the different stages and defeat Drawcia at the end.

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Kirby is about to eat cake before the Squeaks steal it.

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 and opens it. Inside is a great evil force which possesses Daroach. Kirby then has to chase Dark Daroach down across the galaxy, and then use Daraoch's Triple Star cane to dispatch the evil Dark Nebula that had escaped. To thank Kirby, Daroach and his band of Squeaks promise not to cause any more trouble, and return his cake slice 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 which could be used, mixed, or discarded at any time.

Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

Kirby carrying his companion, Prince Fluff, in a level

This spin-off title has Kirby transformed into a yarn outline of himself by the evil sorcerer 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

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 10 smaller copies who cannot inhale, then destroying these one-by-one. However, one of the Kirbys escapes and - guided by his Hero's Heart - sets out to restore the other 9 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 an 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

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Kirby and his companions from 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, crash land into Popstar, thereby losing five of its parts, and all 120 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 to Halcandra, Magolor's homeworld. Upon arriving, however, they are immediately attacked by Landia, a fiery four-headed dragon who wears a mysterious crown. 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 sets up an amusement park for Kirby and races against him in several of its sections.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

Kirby sleeps in his house as the Dreamstalk begins to grow around it.

In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby is abducted along with his home by a large magical plant called the Dreamstalk, along with Castle Dedede. He has to venture through the airborne kingdom of 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 the efforts of King Dedede and Taranza (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

This spin-off title has Kirby do battle with copies of himself and with other characters in a manner similar to the Super Smash Bros. games. There is no story to speak of.

Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe

This is the only Kirby series game which does not star the eponymous pink puffball. However, Kirby can still be seen in the background, cheering Dedede on.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

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 friendly paintbrush-like being called Elline comes in from Claycia's world of Seventopia to revive Kirby and Bandana Waddle Dee and set off into Seventopia to defeat Claycia and restore Popstar to normal. Much like in Canvas Curse, Kirby rolls about like a ball, and rides along a rainbow paint stroke, while one or more Bandana Waddle Dees carry him on occasion.

Kirby: Planet Robobot

Kirby wakes up to find his valley mechanized.

A robotic organization known as the Haltmann Works Company has targeted Popstar for its industrialization purposes. Kirby wakes up from under an oak tree not long after the takeover begins to find his grove all-but mechanized. He runs off to stop the mechanization of his homeworld.

Along the way, Kirby encounters a suit of robotic armor, which he commandeers and uses to smash up the soldiers that Haltmann Works throws at him, as well as damaging 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, as well as sending a mind-controlled Meta Knight 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 President Haltmann himself. 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, 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 than 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 Robobot 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, and is not seen again.

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

Team Kirby does battle with a Kibble Blade.

Kirby teams up with three other Kirbys in this spin-off title 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 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 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 Blowout Blast, 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. 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

Kirby gains the power of friendship!

In Kirby Star Allies, a mysterious magical foe begins raining energy all over Popstar, in an attempt to bring as many creatures as possible under its dominion. 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 friends invade this fortress only to find it operated by three generals of magic. They explain that they are looking to collect the lost dark hearts which had scattered across the galaxy, and - not pleased to see Kirby and co. attempting to chase the hearts off - attack Kirby. Upon defeat, they attempt to bury Kirby and co. under the rubble of the fortress after setting its self-destruct sequence, but Kirby and friends 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, Kirby meets the leader of the Mage generals overlooking an incomplete crystal heart. The eldest mage-sister Zan Partizanne attempts to guard her leader, but is promptly defeated by Kirby and co. At this, the leader in question - Lord Hyness the Officiant of Doom - 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 three mage sisters to the heart in order to complete it and revive the dark god.

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 its innards, and force out its soul. From there, Kirby and friends muster all of their power in order to destroy Void Termina's soul and save the galaxy.

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.

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 which defeats all of them at once, turning them into inanimate trophies. However, the Dedede badge that Kirby had eaten earlier activates some time 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 which 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.

Melee trophy information

Kirby's Trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee  
Name Image First Game / Move Description
Kirby KirbyTrophyMelee.png Kirby's Dream Land (8/92) A denizen of the far-off, peaceful planet Pop Star, Kirby became a citizen of Dream Land after defeating King Dedede. Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician. He has the ability to absorb the powers of his enemies, and his elastic body makes him a versatile adventurer.
Kirby (Smash) KirbyAlternateMeleeTrophy.png B: Swallow
Smash B: Hammer
Kirby's small size lets him dodge many attacks, but his light weight makes him fly far when struck. Using his ability to inflate, he can jump five times. His Swallow attack creates wild combos; not only can he copy foes' moves, but he'll also put on special hats and mimic their voices. His Hammer is unwieldy but powerful.
Kirby (Smash) KirbyAlternateTrophyMelee.png Up & B: Final Cutter
Down & B: Stone
Because of his light weight, Kirby is always in danger of being sent flying, but his ability to puff up and fly allows him to come back from amazing distances. His Final Cutter strikes on the way up and on the way down, and it sends out a beam of force upon landing. Kirby transforms into various objects and crashes down when he uses his Stone technique.

Brawl trophy information

Kirby's Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl  
Name Image Appears In Description
Kirby KirbyTrophyBrawl.png GB Kirby's Dream Land
SNES Kirby Super Star (NTSC), Kirby's Fun Pak (PAL)
A round, pink ball of cuteness from a distant, peaceful star. He can swallow anything with his gigantic mouth, then spit it out as ammo. He has the handy ability to copy powers and use them as his own. His hovering ability lets him fly through the air with ease. He's so round, he's sometimes treated like a ball.

3DS / Wii U trophy information

Kirby's Trophies in Super Smash Bros. 4  
Name 3DS Image Wii U Image Appears In NTSC-U Description PAL Description
Kirby
KirbyTrophy3DS.png
KirbyTrophyWiiU.png 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.)
KirbyAltTrophy3DS.png
framless 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.

Kirby: Right Back At Ya!

Main article: Kirby (anime)
Kirby from the anime.

Kirby is the main character and primary focus of the anime Kirby: Right Back At Ya, known as Hoshi no Kabi (Kirby of the Stars) in Japan. 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 Demon Beasts called upon by King Dedede using Nightmare 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 Nightmare himself in the final episode using the Star Rod.

Cameo appearances

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BYE-BYE BOXBOY! - If Kirby's amiibo figurine is used, Qbby will take on an appearance that resembles the pink puffball.

Trivia

  • During early development of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby went by the name of 'Popopo'. This name was later discarded in in favor of the more familiar one before the game's release. Much later, the Popopo Islands in Kirby Mass Attack were named after this original name as an homage.
    • Additionally, 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.
  • Although Kirby is only eight inches tall, he is beefed up to nearly three feet tall in the Super Smash Bros. games. This is done for more practical reasons, both to help Kirby reach his opponents, and for his opponents to be able to hit him a little easier. As such, his companions Meta Knight and King Dedede are similarly beefed up.
  • Prior to the first Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64, Kirby did not have a voice. In the earlier games, Kirby would only rarely vocalize, usually resulting in a chirping sound whenever he got hit or used the Mike ability.
  • Kirby is well known for his voracious appetite, which is the primary factor in his rivalry with King Dedede. In many incarnations, he grows weak rather quickly if not regularly fed, which suggests he has a very high metabolism. His favorite food is the Maxim Tomato, which completely restores his Stamina in every Kirby game it is featured in.
    • Kirby's favorite dessert, by extension, is Strawberry Shortcake. This is evidenced in two games. In the first, Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby's entire motive throughout the game is to recover his shortcake slice from the Squeaks, who had stolen it. In the second, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the opening cinematic features Kirby running from King Dedede and Bandana Waddle Dee while carrying a shortcake slice.
  • Kirby is famous for his persistent cheerfulness. The only time he's been seen crying is when he misses an item at the picnic in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
    • However, Kirby can be seen either angry or grumpy, as seen in most American Kirby box arts, such as in The Amazing Mirror, Squeak Squad, Air Ride, and Return to Dream Land, among other games, which show Kirby angry when compared to their Japan counterparts, which either show Kirby curious or happy.
      • The first game to ditch this tradition, though, was Triple Deluxe, in which both versions of the box art show the same dour Kirby.
  • 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 Kirbies tall.
    • In addition, Kirby's jump height is also measured this way. Kirby Super Star had Kirby's jump fixed at 3.2 Kirbies high, but newer titles like Kirby: Triple Deluxe allow him to go as high as 4.3 Kirbies with a single bound.
  • Numerous sources, including the 'Kirby 25th Anniversary' site, point out that Kirby has 'good motor skills'. What exactly this means is unclear.

Gallery

Names in other languages

Kirby

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カービィ
Kābī
Kirby
Chinese 卡比
kǎ bǐ
Kirby
Dutch Kirby -
French Kirby -
German Kirby -
Italian Kirby -
Korean 커비
Keobi
Kirby
Portuguese Kirby -
Russian Кирби
Kirbi
Kirby
Spanish Kirby -


Kirby of the Stars

This is the signature title of Kirby in his universe, which only appears in the Japanese and Chinese versions, but is omitted in other localizations. It is also the prefix that indicates a main series title in the Japanese and Chinese versions.

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 星のカービィ
Hoshi no Kābī
Kirby of the Stars
Chinese 星之卡比
xīng zhī kǎ bǐ
Kirby of the Stars


References

  1. Miyamoto Talks Wii, Zelda And Nintendo's Past - GameInformer
  2. "Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician" -Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy
  3. "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, pg. 4)
  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)