- 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, but characters in-game are implied to understand him. However, certain supplementary material, especially earlier in the series' history, has shown Kirby with the ability to speak normally, often in separate canons from the games. Despite this, he is very vocal, using lots of grunts, shouts, and monosyllables — most famously, his cheery elongated "Hi!"
Since 1992, Kirby has starred in over 30 video games (thirteen 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 Laboratory team in the mid-2000s. To this day, Kirby remains one of Nintendo's most famous and recognizable mascots, with Kirby games garnering millions of sales worldwide, thanks in part to his reoccurring role as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Kirby has been consistently voiced by Makiko Ohmoto since 1999, when he appeared in the first Super Smash Bros. game on the Nintendo 64. Ohmoto also voiced his anime counterpart in all versions of the series, with the exception of some lines that were dubbed over by Amy Birnbaum for the English version. Prior to Ohmoto's debut, the role was passed between various actors and actresses for one-off appearances.
Creation and name origin
Masahiro Sakurai conceptualized his first game project to be simple so that beginner players could easily clear it, and as a result included the ability to use enemies as weapons, as well as avoid obstacles by flying over them. Originally, the player character would grab enemies with a long tongue, but this was changed to be inhaling and then swallowing or spitting them out instead. During the early development of what became Kirby's Dream Land, the developers at HAL Laboratory created a placeholder sprite intended to convey these ideas for a presentation. This placeholder sprite, a round little blob with a smiling face, became popular among the staff and, with a few tweaks, eventually became the final design. Notably, Sakurai's drawings of the character did not have blush marks, with these being added later by a different artist.
The character originally went by the name Popopo (ポポポ). HAL Laboratory eventually changed the name because they wanted it to appeal to kids outside of Japan, and polled Nintendo of America for suggestions. Among the candidates were "Gasper" and "Kirby". In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2011 by Game Informer, Miyamoto confirmed rumors that the name Kirby was chosen partially to honor John Kirby, the attorney who defended Nintendo in the case Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. Miyamoto, however, explained that the name was also chosen because of the Japanese trend to give cute characters "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".
It is commonly thought that Miyamoto wanted Kirby to be yellow, and Sakurai decided to make him pink late in Kirby's Dream Land's development, hence why he appears as white on the game's international 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 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. Presumably in reference to this misinterpretation, later games often use a yellow Kirby as the second player, starting with Keeby in Kirby's Dream Course. Meanwhile, it is unclear why Kirby was initially depicted as white on the international box art; Satoru Iwata believed it was a deliberate change to make him more marketable, while Masahiro Sakurai believes it came from a simple mistake due to the colorless sprites of the Game Boy.
- Main article: Kirby's characteristics
Despite being among the simplest-looking of Nintendo's cast of video game mascots, Kirby has a surprisingly large amount of detail to his character, concerning both the particulars of his anatomy as well as his personality and backstory (so much so that a separate page exists to document them more completely). Despite this, Kirby is typically presented - both in appearance and personality - as simple, fun, and straightforward, though with a few surprises here and there. His round pink body stands at no more than eight inches (20 cm) in height, and in his normal state, his movement speed is only modest, particularly when he takes in air to hover above the ground or tries to swim in water. Where Kirby stands out is in his signature inhale ability, which he has made use of ever since his debut in Kirby's Dream Land, allowing him to swallow lesser enemies whole and return the projectiles of tougher foes back at them.
Kirby's inhale would be further expanded upon in Kirby's Adventure and subsequent titles, when the Copy Ability mechanic was introduced; allowing Kirby to gain special powers by swallowing the appropriate things, such as gaining Fire powers by swallowing a fiery foe like Hot Head. Using these abilities, Kirby is able to greatly expand his combat and/or movement capabilities, whether that be fending off strong opponents using the Sword ability, racing rapidly along the ground using Wheel, or taking to the skies using Wing or Jet. Many subsequent games allow further mixing of Kirby's abilities, whether that be directly via Power Combos or when partnered with friends or other objects. Some games even allow Kirby to evolve his abilities over time to make them stronger. In addition, Kirby is in possession of other more mysterious powers which even he is not fully aware of, and which often come into play when he battles the most dangerous threats to his world.
In terms of his character, Kirby can be described as a naïve, cheery, and childlike alien creature who made his home in Dream Land after arriving from outer space, with his true origin being unknown. Kirby generally has a carefree attitude and enjoys simple pleasures such as eating, playing with his friends, and sleeping. More particular hobbies of his include fishing, singing (despite how bad he is at it), and riding his Warp Star. Kirby is typically called to adventure when some calamity befalls his home-world of Popstar, or if someone else calls for his aid. Often times, these adventures take him to far-flung locations on his home-world, to distant alien planets, or even to alternate dimensions. Despite whatever challenges or setbacks Kirby may face while adventuring, he never fails to maintain an overall positive attitude, and this attitude often is instrumental in turning former foes into friends.
In the main video game series, Kirby is typically portrayed as the only one of his kind. However, there are many instances, particularly in spin-off titles, where Kirby is joined by clones of himself, which often come in their own body colors. Additionally, spin-off games tend to use Kirby's shape more literally, placing him in situations where he acts like a ball such as pinball, miniature golf, breakout, or more generalized racing/platforming situations. Additionally, extra material such as the anime, novel series, or manga series often have their own takes on Kirby, his character, and his abilities, and are generally not considered to be canon with the main video game series.
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, though he cannot inhale in most games. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby can only swim on the surface of water, but can use his inhale while swimming.||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. Starting in Kirby: Triple Deluxe up until Kirby Star Allies, 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.|
|Emote||In every game since Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby can perform certain vocalizations and/or actions when the player inputs a direction on either the Control Pad or right control stick, similar to how taunting works in the Super Smash Bros. games. Which emotes can be performed depends on the game.|
|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 health.|
|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.|
|Mouthful Mode||In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby can inhale certain objects that are much larger than him, taking on their shape and function. This ability functions separately from Copy Abilities.|
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:
- 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. Their name derives from バッタもん (battamon), a Japanese term for grey market or knock-off products.
- 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.
- Kirby Ball: 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.
- 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 cutscenes)||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 cutscenes)|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (Super Famicom)||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cutscenes)|
|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|
|Kirby and the Forgotten Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Dream Buffet||Sole playable character|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe||Protagonist and main playable character||Reprises his role from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.|
|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 makes a cameo appearance in the intro cutscene, where two of him can be seen amidst a crowd.|
|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 Kirby.|
|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, which also adds sound effects from Kirby's Adventure.|
|Mario Kart 8 / 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 / Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World||Reference||Yoshi can take on an appearance based on that of Kirby if the latter's amiibo is used.|
|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||Themes based on Super Kirby Clash, Kirby Fighters 2, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby's Dream Buffet, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe were released in limited-time events, changing the game's visuals and music to be themed around the game in question.|
|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 five areas of Dream Land, reclaim the Sparkling Stars from each of King Dedede's goons, 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 (see above). 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 places the rod atop 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 takes the role of the ball in a pinball game with a Kirby spin. With the help of the player's paddles, he travels through three Pinball Lands, beating Wispy-Woods, Kracko, and the Poppy Brothers 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 golf-like world of 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 and traversing the course hazards 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 2P Game courses.
|“||Kirby, our hero from Dream Land, is represented by the player.||”|
— Kirby's Avalanche manual
In Kirby's Avalanche, 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 cocky, much like Arle from the main Puyo Puyo series. After defeating various enemies, including the penultimate Meta Knight, Kirby fights King Dedede at the end to become the Avalanche champion.
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 evil presence. 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 entity known as Dark Matter 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 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 new and unique ways. 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 his full-sized normal form, the latter of which being referred to as a Power Bounce. As in many spin-off games with a Kirby twist, Kirby can use Copy Abilities to help him break blocks and defeat enemies, though he only has access to four here; the lowest number in any game that features copy abilities. In the story of the game, Kirby once again has to punish King Dedede for stealing Dream Land's Sparkling Stars and doing away with its magical fountain, 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 Mode 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 Super Famicom 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 face down against the true villain, 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 home-world 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. To date, this is the only Kirby game that allows for combining Copy Abilities in this way.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
In Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby makes his way through top-down stages and is controlled by the player physically tilting and/or flicking the Game Boy Color system. 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
Kirby Air Ride 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 five midair jumps, like in the Super Smash Bros. games.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby is ambushed by someone resembling 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 shady 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
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, 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 bumps into the Squeaks, who are causing trouble by stealing all manner of things. Believing that they have stolen his cake and stashed it into a Treasure Chest, Kirby sets off after them, scuffling for treasure all the while. He eventually makes his way to the reconstructed Halberd, where he duels Meta Knight, who is guarding a special treasure box.
Once 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 and dispel the evil influencing him. After freeing Daroach from his possession, he corners the evil force and reveals its true identity: Dark Nebula, the ruler of the underworld, whom Kirby swiftly defeats with Daroach's Triple Star cane. Having defeated the ultimate evil but failed to recover his cake, he returns home empty-handed. Later, Daroach and his band of Squeaks apologize for causing Kirby so much trouble by sending him a second cake, and he is finally satisfied.
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.
In this game, Kirby has a very different set of abilities due to having been transformed into a yarn outline. The metamato he ate in the opening cutscene gives him the power to transform into all manner of things, including a car, a pendulum, a parachute, and a weight. His main means of attack is with a Yarn Whip that he throws out at enemies to unravel them or turn them into yarn balls. He can also use Metamortexes to transform into more potent but more situational forms.
Kirby Mass Attack
|“||Our hungry hero, after being split into 10 by the Skull Gang boss, Necrodeus, sets out on an adventure to make things right.||”|
— Kirby Mass Attack Instruction Booklet (US print), page 5
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 / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
|“||This powerful pink puff lives on Planet Popstar and is one of Dream Land’s greatest heroes. Watch out, enemies!||”|
— Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe character description from the website
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land and its enhanced remake, 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 home-world. 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.
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, there are now six Dress-Up Masks dedicated to Kirby, with four of them based on the four colors as seen in the game, as well as Cone-Mouth Kirby and a Gold Kirby mask. Kirby's mask can be unlocked by completing card #30 in the Stamp Rally, while the masks for the other Kirby colors are unlocked by completing Stamp Rally cards #26 (Yellow Kirby), #34 (Blue Kirby), and #39 (Green Kirby) respectively. Cone-Mouth Kirby is unlocked by completing card #28, and Gold Kirby is unlocked by clearing the Main Mode 100%. The regular Kirby masks replace the wearer's voice with that of Kirby's voice, while wearing the Gold Kirby mask uses classic sound effects from Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby Super Star.
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition 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 cutscene 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 home-world.
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 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. Kirby is left stranded out in space unconscious in the aftermath, but just before phasing out of existence, his Robobot Armor guides him back home, where Kirby wakes to see everything as it should be.
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 robot and the printer, 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 indicting 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 the creature's soul. From there, Kirby and co. muster all of their power in order to destroy Void Termina's soul and save the galaxy.
In Heroes in Another Dimension, Kirby and friends venture into Another Dimension and collect numerous Friend Hearts scattered throughout. Eventually, they come across Hyness, who had been sealed inside a Jamba Heart and became twisted by its power. Kirby and friends are able to defeat Hyness, but The Three Mage-Sisters arrive to the scene and lament their situation for a bit before vowing to get revenge on Kirby. From there, an intense battle ensues, but Kirby and friends once again come out on top. With the Friend Hearts they've collected gathering their power to form one giant Friend Heart, Kirby tosses it at the mages, bringing them back to their senses. After a moment to wordlessly realize just what has happened, the mages use their power to calm the arena, and then bring a Warp Star down to carry Kirby and his team away. They wave him off, and as Kirby flies, he leaves one last little heart which floats down to Hyness and restores him to normal.
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.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
|“||A pink and powerful puffball, Kirby can inhale certain enemies and copy their abilities to unleash on others.||”|
— Kirby and the Forgotten Land character description from the website
Kirby embarks on his first adventure in full 3-D in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. In this game, he is sucked through a dimensional rift from his homeworld of Popstar and ends up in a new world along with several other Dream Land residents. As Kirby explores this new land, he discovers he now has the ability to wrap himself around large objects in order to take on their properties. Using this power in conjunction with his normal abilities, he tracks down and frees a flying blue rodent-like creature named Elfilin from being caged by a coordinated animal force, and when Kirby hears from Elfilin about the Waddle Dees who were also kidnapped, he agrees to help get them back.
From then on, Kirby and Elfilin travel the world and save all the Waddle Dees they can find, while repeatedly running into the Beast Pack who are trying to capture them. When they find themselves in a cold land, Kirby stumbles onto and battles King Dedede, who had been inducted into the beast forces. Though Kirby defeats him in combat, King Dedede is able to sneak up afterward and kidnap Elfilin, taking him away and prompting Kirby to give chase to the "Forbidden Island". Kirby tracks Dedede down at the foot of a volcano, saving as many Waddle Dees as he can along the way. Once he gets there, Kirby and Dedede have another fight, and when Kirby breaks his mask, the King finally comes around and rejoins Kirby's side.
Kirby then makes his way up to the top of the mountain, entering a laboratory where he finds the leader of the Beast Pack with Elfilin and a much larger related creature trapped in tubes. Kirby is subject to a lecture from the beast king about his intentions to merge Elfilin with this being, and the two battle. Kirby tries his best to rescue Elfilin, even seemingly defeating both Leongar and later the amalgamate Fecto Forgo in a fight, but Elfilin is nonetheless merged into the creature to form the final boss of the game: Fecto Elfilis. Kirby must battle this ultimate life-form atop the laboratory and weaken them to the point where Elfilin can be recovered from their body using a Mouthful Mode. From here, Kirby and Elfilin team up and use a Big-Rig truck to stop the disintegrating Fecto from using their remaining power to force Popstar and the new world to crash into each-other, thus saving both worlds from destruction.
In the Extra Mode, Kirby and Elfilin help recover the lost soul of Leon, the beast king, from the dream realm left behind after Fecto's physical destruction. After collecting all the pieces and freeing Leon from Fecto's influence, Kirby seemingly has to battle the creature's soul directly, but is instead forced to fight Morpho Knight when it flutters in and absorbs Soul Fecto's energy. With this done, Kirby and his friends are able to revive Leon and bring him back to his proper self.
Kirby's Dream Buffet
In Kirby's Dream Buffet, Kirby gets shrunk by the Dream Fork as he is about to eat a cake before the gourmet fest starts, and falls on the cake. He is joined afterwards by other colored Kirbys and they compete to see who can get the most strawberries as they race and battle along various giant food-based stages set up by the "Dream Restaurant".
Kirby is the sole playable character in this game, though the player can choose between 40 different Colors and 25 different Costumes for him to wear, several of which make him resemble other characters. Kirby is also featured on numerous Character Treats.
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 gravity. 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.
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
|“||Only Kirby is left standing after Galeem's attack.||”|
— Announcer in the overview trailer of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In the adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby appears along with a host of other fighters in the opening cutscene 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.
In 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.
In the Kirby novel series
- Main article: Kirby (novel character)
Kirby is one of the main protagonists of the Kirby novel series, having a leading role in nearly every volume. Similar to his video game counterpart, he lives in Dream Land and can inhale and use Copy Abilities, and he is portrayed as a young, naïve puffball who is very food motivated. However, a major difference in his portrayal in the novels is that he is able to speak in full sentences and can be understood by other characters.
- Main article: List of references to the Kirby series
Kirby has appeared in some form or another outside of his series. The following lists his notable appearances in games that are not Kirby or Super Smash Bros. games:
- Arcana - Kirby makes a cameo appearance in the introductory cutscene 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 and the Nintendo Switch remake. 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 - Mario can take on Kirby's 8-bit appearance from Kirby's Adventure by using a Mystery Mushroom in the Super Mario Bros. theme. This costume can be unlocked by clearing 100 Mario Challenge, or by scanning Kirby's amiibo figurine.
- Mario Kart 8 and Deluxe - Scanning Kirby's amiibo figurine unlocks a Mii costume that resembles Kirby.
- BYE-BYE BOXBOY! - If Kirby's amiibo figurine is used, Qbby will take on an appearance that resembles the pink puffball.
- Part Time UFO - In the Nintendo Switch version, the main four characters of the series and many Waddle Dees cameo as plush toys in the two-star version of the Toy Shop stage.
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. The sprite possesses the same amount of pixels as in Kirby's Dream Land, though due to the NES's larger display and different aspect ratio, it appears smaller and wider.|
|Kirby's Pinball Land||Largely the same as the Kirby's Dream Land sprite, though possessing the cheek-blush from Kirby's 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 (Game Boy)
|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'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 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 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 (Super Famicom)||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 Kirby: 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 is 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!|
|Kirby and the Forgotten Land||Kirby (figure)|
Kirby was pulled into a mysterious vortex that appeared in the sky over his home on Planet Popstar. When he woke up, he was in a new world! Traveling through that vortex also gave Kirby a new and mysterious power... Let's see what it can do! Onward to adventure!
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe||Story Mode:|
Inhale foes to gain Copy Abilities! Or hold B/Y to do a Super Inhale. And by sharing Joy-Con, you can play as a team of 4!
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||American English description||British English description|
|Kirby||GB Kirby's Dream Land (08/1992)
SNES Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
|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 (08/1992)
SNES Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
|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.
- 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 Entertainment System. Later on, Kirby's body would be cemented as perfectly round, starting with his 3D 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; the statement is likely a mistranslation of the aforementioned "good motor skills".
- 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, being omitted in other localizations. It is also the prefix that indicates a main series title in those versions.
Hoshi no Kābyi
|Kirby of the Stars|
Xīng zhī Kǎbǐ
|Kirby of the Stars|
|Kirby of the Stars|
- Shinya Kumazaki interview from the Kirby 25th Anniversary Orquestra Concert pamphlet: "I have ordered the melody of “Green Greens” to be included at the right timing, because I want to establish it as the Kirby song to be associated with him."
- Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games - Kirby's Dream Land
- Nintendo Online Magazine - Interview with Masahiro Sakurai ca. 2000
- Kirby's Adventure developer interview
- Miyamoto Talks Wii, Zelda And Nintendo's Past - Game Informer
- "In addition, some people in the Western market said a pink soft character floating in air would never be accepted. So in the West, they changed Kirby's colour on the box from pink to white." –Satoru Iwata (GDC 2011 keynote)
- "海外のカービィが白だったのは、ゲームボーイのROMが白黒だけだったため、海外の人が勘違いしたから。" –Masahiro Sakurai (Twitter).
- "The 8-inch high Kirby hails from a distant, peaceful star." –Kirby's in-game description in Super Smash Bros.
- "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 instruction 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)
- Kirby's Block Ball Instruction Booklet (NA print), page 5
- North American Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe website
- North American Kirby and the Forgotten Land website
- "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
- Southeast Asian version of the Kirby and the Forgotten Land Overview Trailer w/ Thai subtitles