Kirby's Avalanche, known as Kirby's Ghost Trap in British English, is a puzzle game developed by Compile, in collaboration with HAL Laboratory, that was released in 1995. It is a spinoff title and a direct modification of the Japanese puzzle game Super Puyo Puyo, except featuring Kirby characters. The game, which can be played with one or two players, revolves around stacking multi-colored blobs (otherwise known as Puyos) and matching chains of the same color. Due to its similarities to Super Puyo Puyo, this game was never released in Japan, making it the only Kirby game with this distinction.
|“||Welcome to Dream Land, a small and peaceful country situated on a far away little star. In Dream Land the local pastime is a puzzle game called "Avalanche." Kirby decided that since every Dream Lander plays the game, it would be a great idea to have a country-wide competition to determine who is the best player of all.
After months of organizing, the First Annual Dream Land's Avalanche Competition was finally announced. To be held at the Dream Fountain, this would be the biggest event in the history of Dream Land!
All the Dream Landers have been practicing, and all plan to attend and compete. Like Kirby, they have been dreaming sweet dreams of becoming the Avalanche Champion and claiming the highly sought after "Dream Fountain Cup."
The rules for the competition are quite simple: Everyone will travel by foot to the Dream Fountain. If, while on their journey, two Dream Landers happen to meet, they must challenge each other to an Avalanche match. Only the winner of the match may continue onward towards the Dream Fountain. In this way, the number of competitors will be whittled down to a manageable size before the final action at the Dream Fountain.
Can you help guide Kirby through the competition so he arrives successfully at the Dream Fountain? Can he rise above the grizzled veterans and achieve his dream of becoming the reigning champion? His fate is in your hands!
— Kirby's Avalanche manual
This game plays identically to Super Puyo Puyo, and as such, the rules in Kirby's Avalanche are the same. Two players each have their own playing field, a grid of 72 spaces (6 across and 12 high). Pairs of differently-colored Puyos (referred to in this game as blobs) fall from the top of the playing field and eventually touch the bottom. The goal is to drop and rotate the Puyos in such a way that four or more of the same color connect and touch each other from above, below or to the side, in any combination. This done, they will disappear from the playing field. Any Puyos above them will fall down and fill in the spots where the matched Puyos once were. If a player runs out of room in the playing field to place Puyos, that player will lose the game.
Clearing Puyos will send Garbage Puyos (referred to in this game as boulders) to the opponent's playing field. Garbage Puyos cannot be cleared when four or more of them touch, and can only disappear if a match of four colored Puyos is accomplished right next to them. Because of this, they are essentially meant to waste space and make matching Puyos more difficult.
It is possible to set up a chain reaction by matching four Puyos, and then letting other Puyos fall into spots where they will connect with more Puyos, clearing more of them one after another in succession. The more Puyos that disappear from the result of a chain reaction, the more Garbage Puyos will be sent to the opponent's playing field. Setting up a large enough chain will create the eponymous "avalanche"; so many Garbage Puyos will be dropped that the opponent has no chance to recover.
Just before the Garbage Puyos rain down on a player's playing field, they will be shown icons that indicate how many Garbage Puyos will drop. A small icon indicates one Garbage Puyo, a bigger icon indicates 6 Garbage Puyos, and a brown icon indicates 36 Garbage Puyos. The winner is the one who outlasts their opponent by burying their playing field with Garbage Puyos to the point that no further Puyos can be dropped.
Some techniques found in later games of the Puyo Puyo series are not possible to perform in this game, such as "offsetting" (neutralizing Garbage Puyos by matching Puyos before they fall) or "double-rotation" (rotating Puyos vertically when trapped in-between columns of other Puyos).
There are four options on the main menu for Kirby's Avalanche: "Competition", "1P vs. 2P", "Practice", and "Options".
During the Competition mode of the game, Kirby faces a total of 16 bosses in the order presented. These bosses do not possess any special skills (other than minor aesthetic differences), but their playing styles vary slightly, generally becoming faster and more aggressive as Kirby advances through the game. Each opponent is equivalent to another opponent from Puyo Puyo, including their specific playstyle quirks.
Notably, in the cut-scenes between each round, Kirby is shown trash-talking his opponents and speaking in full sentences. This is a very unique and strange occurrence; in most of the rest of the Kirby series, Kirby is not rude, and has rarely spoken outside of simple phrases, such as "hi". Instead, his behavior is more in line with the personality of Puyo Puyo's protagonist, Arle Nadja, who is replaced by Kirby in this game. As such, the game's storyline does not fall into the canon, and certainly does not reflect Kirby as a character in the main series.
There are three difficulty levels to Competition mode: Easy (otherwise referred to as the Learning Stage), Normal, and Hard. Waddle Dee, Bronto Burt and Waddle Doo are exclusive to the Learning Stage (and are the only opponents fought in that mode), while Poppy Bros. Sr., Whispy Woods and Kabu are exclusive to the Normal setting. Individual battles are referred to as Stages, or "Lessons" in the case of the first three opponents.
|Lesson 1||Waddle Dee||WADE||Kirby: Hi, Waddle Dee! Are you ready?!?||Waddle Dee never speeds up or turns any of his Puyos while they are falling and appears to place them at random. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Skeleton T.|
|Enemy: Umm, can we just walk together? The forest scares me...|
|Kirby: Sorry, rules are rules!|
|Lesson 2||Bronto Burt||BRON||Enemy: Ah HA!! I have found my next victim!!||Bronto Burt's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Nasu Grave.|
|Kirby: Bronto Burt you bully, the pleasure will be all mine.|
|Enemy: Shut up and play!|
|Lesson 3||Waddle Doo||WADO||Enemy: You did not treat Waddle Dee with respect... Now I, Waddle Doo will repay you in kind!||Waddle Doo's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Mummy.|
|Kirby: I don't think so!!|
|Stage 1||Poppy Bros. Sr.||PBSR||Enemy: Hi, Kirby! Want a bomb sandwich?||Like Waddle Dee, Poppy Bros. Sr. does not turn his Puyos. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Draco Centauros.|
|Kirby: I'll breathe in your pathetic bombs and send them right back at you!|
|Enemy: Stalemate... Okay, let's compete in a quick game of Avalanche!|
|Stage 2||Whispy Woods||WHIS||Enemy: Please don't tread on my roots, it would not be a wise decision.||Whispy always opens the battle by attempting to build four rows of Puyos at the bottom. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Suketoudara.|
|Kirby: I feel like some apple pie!|
|Stage 3||Kabu||KABU||Kirby: Who blocked the path with this boulder?||Kabu is the only enemy whose abbreviation is the same as his name. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Sukiya Podes.|
|Enemy: Your road to glory ends here[sic]|
|Kirby: OH!! Hi Kabu, are you ready for a game of Avalanche?|
|Stage 4||Broom Hatter||BRMH||Enemy: Oh what a mess! Must I clean up this entire forest?||Broom Hatter is the first opponent in the Hard setting and fills the leftmost and rightmost column to the top at the beginning of the fight. Her Puyo Puyo equivalent is Harpy.|
|Kirby: I'd worry more about cleaning up your Avalanche skills first.|
|Enemy: Dust, dust, sweep... Huh?!??|
|Stage 5||Squishy||SQUI||Enemy: I know what your dream is! But King Dedede was saying-||Squishy's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Sasori Man. In the European version, the replacement of "Avalanche" to "Ghost Trap" causes his dialogue to overflow from his text box.|
|Kirby: Go meddle in someone else's affairs, Squishy, I've got to get to the Dream Fountain.|
|Enemy: An eight-armed Avalanche for you then, Kirby!|
|Stage 6||Lololo & Lalala||LOLA||Kirby: To get this far you must have a-MAZE-ing skill Tee hee hee!![sic]||Lololo & Lalala's Puyos clear into musical notes. This aspect is shared with their Puyo Puyo equivalent, Panotty. Their dialogue references HAL Laboratory's Eggerland series of maze games, which they originally debuted in as Lolo and Lala.|
|Enemy: Oh yeah? Try and figure your way out of this!|
|Stage 7||Bugzzy||BUGZ||Enemy: ROOAAAAAAARRR!!!!!||Bugzzy's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Zombie.|
|Kirby: Oh, I'm soooo scared[sic]|
|Stage 8||Paint Roller||PAIN||Enemy: Let me paint you a lovely portrait...||Paint Roller's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Witch.|
|Kirby: Oh, how sweet of yo-|
|Enemy: ...of you losing to me, HA HA HA!|
|Kirby: Paint Roller, you are the meanest art student I've ever met.|
|Enemy: Student? HA! I am the MASTER!!|
|Stage 9||Heavy Mole||HVYM||Enemy: I am Heavy Mole, watch while I undermine your precious dream!![sic]||Heavy Mole is the first opponent fought at the Dream Fountain, and focuses primarily on rapidly destroying Puyos rather than forming big chain reactions. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Zoh Daimaoh, though without his screen-shaking effect.|
|Kirby: You are sneaky, but I will not be distracted by your under-handed tactics.|
|Stage 10||Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright||MS&B||Enemy: We rule both the night and the day!||Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright's Puyo Puyo equivalent is Schezo Wegey.|
|Enemy: This leaves no time for you Kirby! Be gone!!|
|Kirby: I thrive at dusk and at dawn! I'll have you two fighting before the day is done.|
|Stage 11||Kracko||KRAC||Enemy: KRRR-RACKK!!!! Dance to my deadly music, or fry like a moth! HA HA!!||Kracko's Puyo Puyo equvialent is Minotauros.|
|Kirby: You couldn't hit a barn sized lightning rod, Kracko!|
|Stage 12||Meta Knight||META||Enemy: None shall pass! En garde, Kirby!||Meta Knight is more skilled than other opponents at making a comeback when most of his playing field has been covered in Garbage Puyos. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Rulue.|
|Kirby: But I have no sword!?!|
|Enemy: Oh, you're so right... Then Avalanche it is, ha ha ha ha!!!|
|Final Stage||King Dedede||DEDE||Enemy: Kirby!! Your dream has carried you far but here it ends.||When Dedede's Puyos land, his half of the screen shakes slightly. This has no effect on gameplay, however. His Puyo Puyo equivalent is Dark Prince, though his screen-shaking effect comes from Zoh Daimaoh.|
|Enemy: The Dream Fountain Cup will be mine!!|
|Kirby: Welcome King Dedede. And good luck to you too.|
When Waddle Doo is defeated, King Dedede congratulates the player on their skill in the Learning Stage, then challenges them to try a higher difficulty. The high score table will be shown, and if the player got a high score, they will be prompted to input their initials. The game then returns to the title screen.
When King Dedede is defeated, the game displays a short ending cutscene, then the names of each of the characters (much like Kirby's Dream Land's Extra Game), followed by the staff credits. If cleared with the COM Level set to Easy, Normal or Hard, the final message encourages the player to try the next COM Level, while if cleared on Hardest, the final message is a simple thanks for playing. Regardless of difficulty, at the end of the credits, a special code is revealed; holding A, B, X, and Y on the second controller during gameplay, then resetting the console with these buttons held, will unlock a special "custom" menu in the options. The best scores will then be shown; if the player got a high score, they will be prompted to input their initials. That done, the game returns to the title screen.
1P vs. 2P
1P vs. 2P is the game's multiplayer mode, and requires two controllers to operate. Two players compete in a match of Avalanche. Player 1 will always be Kirby, while player 2 can be any of the opponents from Competition mode, selected at random. At the start of a match, each player can individually select their difficulty level on a scale from 1 to 5, which is represented by chili peppers: Mild, Medium, Spicy, Hot, and Cajun. This is another holdover from Puyo Puyo, in which protagonist Arle's favorite food is curry. The difficulty level affects how fast the player's Puyos fall, thus affecting reaction time. The number of rounds in each match can be adjusted through the Options menu. When a match is done, the game returns to the difficulty select.
Practice mode allows the player to play a single round of Avalanche without having to compete against an opponent. The goal is instead to last as long as possible and rack up a high score. Like 1P vs. 2P, the player can select their starting difficulty speed, with a choice between Mild, Spicy (which adds 40,000 points to the score), and Cajun (which adds 90,000 points to the score). Player 2 can join as well, though there is no incentive to compete other than for score, as Garbage Puyos do not appear. When both players receive a game over, the best scores are shown; if either got a high score, they will be prompted to input their initials. The game then returns to the title screen.
Options mode allows the player to adjust the game settings in the various modes, as outlined below. This also includes the sound test option to listen to the game's music and sound effects, and the input test option to ensure that the controllers' buttons are functioning properly. As mentioned above, some options are only available after entering a special code.
|EXIT||Saves any changes made to the options and returns to the main menu.|
|VS. COM LEVEL||Adjusts the overall skill of the AI in Competition mode. The options are "EASY", "NORMAL" (default), "HARD", and "HARDEST".|
|1P VS. 2P MODE||Adjusts the length of each match in 1P Vs. 2P mode. The options are "1 GAME MATCH" (default), "3 GAME MATCH", "5 GAME MATCH", "7 GAME MATCH", "9 GAME MATCH", "11 GAME MATCH", "13 GAME MATCH", and "15 GAME MATCH".|
|SAMPLING||Turns voice samples on or off. The default is "ON".|
|FACE||Adjusts where the opponent's face is seen in each round of Competition mode. The options are "FRONT" (in front of the playing field), "BACK" (behind the playing field; default), and "OFF".|
|BUTTON ASSIGNMENT||Allows for reassigning the button layout for rotation inputs, minus the + Control Pad, for both player 1 and player 2. By default, the B button turns left, the A and Y buttons both turn right, and the rest of the buttons have no function. The + Control Pad's functions cannot be reassigned.|
|INPUT TEST||Shows a screen allowing the player to test the input of all buttons, including the + Control Pad. This is represented by a list of all buttons displayed on-screen. When pressed or held, the button's on-screen label will say "ON"; otherwise, it will say "OFF". The R and L buttons must be pressed simultaneously to exit this screen.|
|CUSTOM||Enters the custom options menu.|
|EXIT CUSTOM||Returns to the standard options.|
|SOUND||Allows for playing back all sound effects. Ranges from 00 to 3F, listed in hexadecimal.|
|MUSIC||Allows for playing back all music. Ranges from 00 to 10, listed in hexadecimal.|
|VOICE||Allows for playing back all voice samples. Ranges from 00 to 25, listed in hexadecimal.|
|SOUND MODE||Allows for adjusting the game's sound mode between stereo (default) and mono.|
|FACE POSITION||Adjusts where the opponent's face is located on the screen in Competition mode. The options are "LOW", "MID" (default), and "HIGH".|
|SWEAT||Turns on or off the opponent's sweat drops that appear when they are close to losing in Competition mode. The default is "ON".|
|BATTLE COLOR||Allows for reducing the number of Puyo colors. The options are "4 AND 5" (default) and "3 AND 4". Only available after the A+B+X+Y input.|
|EARTHQUAKE||Turns on or off King Dedede's "earthquake" effect in 1P vs. 2P and Practice mode. The default is "OFF". Only available after the A+B+X+Y input.|
|SPECIAL CUSTOM||Enters the special custom options menu. Only available after the A+B+X+Y input.|
|Special custom options|
|EXIT SPECIAL CUSTOM||Returns to the custom options menu.|
|FALL BLOB||Adjusts how many Garbage Puyos are sent during chain reactions. The options are "MINUS", "NORMAL" (default), "PLUS", "PANIC", and "HURRY".|
|MODE||When exiting the options menu and holding the L button, this will bring the player directly to the selected mode. The options are "0 VS. COM" (Competition), "1 BATTLE" (1P vs. 2P, default), and "2 ENDLESS" (Practice).|
|STAGE||This will start Competition mode from any stage, with the option of all 16 stages from "LESSON 01" (Waddle Dee) to "NORMAL 13" (King Dedede). The game must be started on Easy mode for this to work.|
|CPU PLAYER||This will change player 1's CPU to one of the CPU opponent playstyles, with the option of each of the game's 16 opponents. It can only be seen in the title screen demo.|
There are also further, unused special options that can only be accessed through a game-altering device, such as a GameShark. One of these options is an early form of the "offsetting" rule.
The following is a list of staff who have worked on Kirby's Avalanche:
|Staff of Kirby's Avalanche|
|Compile||Producer||Masamitsu Niitani||Moo Niitani|
|Programmer||Takayuki Hirono||Jemini Hirono|
|Sub Programmer||Shouji Takeuchi
|JG4MSG Takeuchi <^^;>|
|Graphic Designer||Koji Teramoto
|SFX Converter||Einosuke Nagao
|COMPILE / BANPRESTO|
HAL LABORATORY / NINTENDO
- Kirby's Avalanche is one of several international rebrandings of the Puyo Puyo series for western audiences, with other examples including Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and the "Bug Drop" minigame in Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games.
- Although most traces of Super Puyo Puyo were removed from Kirby's Avalanche, the columns in the title screen still have inscriptions that read "PUYOPYO".
- Most of the game's soundtrack consists of remixed music from Kirby's Adventure and Kirby's Dream Course.
- Interestingly, the modern designs for several characters (such as Kracko and Meta Knight) first debuted in this game, ahead of their appearance in Kirby Super Star. It is likely that this game's development overlapped with Kirby Super Star, so the newer designs were used while the later game was still being developed.
- The staff credits can be viewed immediately if the game is started or rebooted while player 1 holds L + right and player 2 holds R + left.
- Kirby's Avalanche was one of several titles compatible with XBAND, an online service for the SNES that functioned through an expansion cartridge connected to a modem. This technically makes it the first Kirby game with online multiplayer, though the first one with native online compatibility was Kirby Battle Royale, released 22 years later.
- Puyo Puyo, the series from which this game is derived, at Hard Drop Tetris Wiki
- Kirby's Avalanche on Kirby Informer
- Kirby's Avalanche at Puyo Nexus, a Puyo Puyo wiki
- English manual (external archive) (second archive)