Kirby's Dream Course

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Kirby's Dream Course

KDC Cover.jpg

Kirby Dream Course Japan box art.jpg

Box art of Kirby's Dream Course in various regions.
Details
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System:
Japan September 21, 1994
NA February 1995
Europe August 24, 1995
Australia August 24, 1995

Virtual Console (Wii):
Japan April 24, 2007
Europe June 29, 2007
Australia June 29, 2007
NA July 23, 2007
South Korea February 23, 2009

Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan May 8, 2013
NA May 23, 2013
Europe May 23, 2013

Virtual Console (New 3DS):
Japan June 7, 2016
Europe June 9, 2016
Australia June 9, 2016
NA July 28, 2016

SNES: Nintendo Switch Online:
Japan September 5, 2019
NA September 5, 2019
Europe September 5, 2019
Australia September 5, 2019
Platform(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System,
Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U, New 3DS),
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, Nintendo Switch (SNES: Nintendo Switch Online)
Rating(s) ESRB: ESRB E.png - Everyone

PEGI: PEGI 3+.png - 3+

Game chronology
Kirby's Pinball Land Kirby's Avalanche
On partnered sites
Switcher.gg Find Kirby's Dream Course friends online
StrategyWikilogo.png Walkthrough
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"KDC" redirects here. For information about the Wii game celebrating Kirby's 20th anniversary, see Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition.

Kirby's Dream Course is a spinoff game released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was first released in Japan in 1994 and saw an overseas release a year later, in 1995. It is the fourth game released in the Kirby series and is the first to be released on a 16-bit console.

The game does not feature traditional Kirby gameplay but instead casts the pink hero as the ball in a golf or miniature golf simulation with numerous Kirby elements and themes. This makes it the second game to focus on utilizing Kirby as a ball, the first being its immediate predecessor, Kirby's Pinball Land.

In 2007, Kirby's Dream Course was ported to the Wii's Virtual Console at a price of 800 Wii Points. In 2013, the game was ported on the Wii U's Virtual Console, and in 2016, the game was ported as a Virtual Console title for New Nintendo 3DS units. Kirby's Dream Course is priced at $7.99 (USD) on both the Wii U and New 3DS eShops. It is also included as one of the games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition and can be accessed through the Nintendo Switch Online Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator.

Story[edit]

KDCArtStory.png
King Dedede stealing the stars, as depicted in the instruction booklet.
Quote1.png One night, the inhabitants (of Dream Land) said to one another, "Let's gaze at the star-lit sky and have wonderful dreams tonight." However, when they gazed up into the sky they noticed something was different. The sky was black. There wasn't a single star in sight! Quote2.png
— Kirby's Dream Course Instruction Booklet (North American print), page 3

The story of Kirby's Dream Course is contained entirely within the instruction booklet, where the premise is set for Kirby to go on his latest journey. This is not the case in the Japanese version, where the plot is described in-game.
Some time after the events of Kirby's Adventure (referred to as the "Dream Spring incident" in the booklet), the inhabitants of Dream Land decide to gaze up into the night sky to admire the stars that decorate it. However, they soon realize that all of the stars have gone missing. Night after night, they look again in hopes the stars will return, but they do not, causing the Dream Landers to sink into a deep depression. Soon, suspicions are raised that King Dedede is once again responsible for stealing all of Dream Land's stars and hoarding them in his floating castle. Kirby, once more arriving with the spring breeze, comes in to save Dream Land by retrieving its stolen stars from King Dedede.

Gameplay[edit]

Kirby's Dream Course revolves around guiding Kirby through hazardous golf-like stages to defeat enemies, using Copy Abilities to help traverse the terrain.

Kirby's Dream Course is a miniature golf-like game set in an isometric 2.5-dimensional environment. Kirby serves as the ball, and the goal of the game is to get him into the cup at the end of each hole in as few strokes as possible. Unlike in traditional golf, the cup is not initially on the field, as it only appears in place of the last enemy remaining once all the others have been defeated, adding an extra level of strategy to each hole. As such, Kirby must defeat all but one standard enemy on the hole before he can finish, which is done by bumping into them during shots. To complicate this task, most of the courses are littered with various hazards and other obstacles which can be overcome with deft use of Kirby's controls and/or the ten Copy Abilities which can be obtained from certain enemies.

Instead of there being a specific par for each course, Kirby operates on an energy meter which depletes every time he makes a shot and replenishes whenever he defeats an enemy or makes it into a cup. His meter is represented by up to four "Energy Tomatoes"[1], and if he runs out during a course, he will lose a life. Running out of lives results in a Game Over, and the course will have to be replayed from the first hole. The only way to gain more lives is to score a hole-in-one on a course or reach a new course with less than two extra lives (at which the lives will be reset to two).

Basic controls[edit]

As the ball, Kirby has many different options for movement along the holes that a normal golf ball would not have access to. As might be expected, he does not "cheat" by walking around the course, but he does have other ways of altering his trajectory while being shot. The following table goes over each of his basic movement options and how they are executed (details on Copy Abilities can be found in the "Copy Abilities" section):

Movement Button execution Description Notes
Direction
← / →
Kirby can adjust the direction that he will move in when he is shot. Pressing L or R will adjust the direction by 45 degree increments.
Change Guide
↓ / ↑
Allows the player to select between the standard Grounder shot or a Fly shot.
Also used to change between the short and long guide for the grounder shots.
Choosing the short or long guide will not affect the launch power.
For fly and curved shots, Kirby will only follow the guide if he is hit at max power.
Shot Panel
A
The Shot Panel opens.
This can be closed by pressing B.
Another meter representing Kirby's spin direction will move and can be set if preparing a fly shot.
Power Meter
A during Shot Panel
The power meter begins to move.
The shot can no longer be canceled once this begins.
Unlike other meters, this one will not loop once it has moved up and down once, instead forcing Kirby to shoot at low power if no choice is made.
Shot
A during Power Meter
After lining up the desired shot strength, Kirby is launched on his chosen trajectory.
This action costs one tomato.
Spin Panel
Hold B
Opens up a different panel where the player can set which direction Kirby should curve during grounder shots using the Control Pad. This panel can also be used to set a guide bar for Kirby's spin bounce direction during Fly shots.
Spin
A during Shot Panel (fly shots)
While preparing a fly shot, the player can set Kirby's spin direction using the vertical meter before moving on to the Power Meter.
Setting it high will cause Kirby to bounce forward when he lands after his first bounce, and setting it low causes him to bounce backward.
Bounce
A during a Shot
While in motion, Kirby can bounce himself to gain a little extra height or distance if A is pressed upon hitting the ground or a pond during fly shots.
This can also be used when hitting a bumper to bounce a little harder.
Holding the A button while rolling will cause Kirby to move a little further than usual.
Ability
B during a Shot
While in motion, Kirby can use a Copy Ability if he has one to activate its power.
Each ability can only be used once per shot, but collecting a new ability during a shot will allow Kirby to use it, even if he's already used another one that turn.
Scroll
Hold Y + a direction
Allows the player to scroll the camera away from Kirby to see the rest of the map.
Handy for planning moves.

2P Game[edit]

Players roll dice to determine the starting order then select handicaps before starting the 2P Game.

Kirby's Dream Course also features an extensive two-player competitive game (the first game in the Kirby series to feature Multiplayer), where the goal is to earn more points than the other player by claiming as many of the Point Stars on the board as possible. Player 1 controls Kirby, while player 2 controls a yellow Kirby (officially named Keeby), and the two play in turns on one of the four courses built specifically for the 2P Game. Before starting the course, players can set handicaps for their characters, including how far shots will travel, how long the guide line is while preparing shots, and how quickly the meters scroll. The order in which the players go depends on a dice roll prior to game start for the first hole, and thereafter is determined by whoever gets into the cup on the preceding board.

While on a board, Kirby and Keeby enter sequentially to take their turns, starting each course with 6 HP. This HP is not replenished between holes, however. HP can be lost or regained in the following ways:

  • Loss
    • Taking a shot costs 1 HP
    • Colliding with Gordo, Kracko's lightning, or a Danger Zone costs 1 HP
    • Being hit by the opponent costs 1 HP (and also forces a swap of Copy Abilities if applicable)
      • Being hit by an opponent using a Copy Ability attack costs 2 HP, and results in no ability swap
    • Falling OB costs 2 HP
    • Running into the opponent while he has Needle activated costs 4 HP
  • Gain
    • Defeating an enemy restores 1 HP
    • After taking a turn to nap at 0 HP, 4 HP is restored for the next round
    • Entering the cup restores 2 HP

Once HP drops to 0, the contestant in question is forced to take a nap and skip the next turn. Taking further damage during this nap will not stop HP from recovering the next round, even if the napping contestant is knocked OB or frozen.

In order to win the 2P Game, one player has to score more points than the other. Unlike in the 1P Game, score is not related at all to how many shots were needed to finish the course. Instead, points are gained by claiming Point Stars that emerge from defeated enemies. Each enemy releases one star upon defeat, and when the cup emerges, two more stars appear in orbit above it. To claim the stars, a contestant simply has to roll over them, and the stars will adopt the color of that contestant. Stars can then be taken by the other contestant when they touch it, and when one of the two enters the cup, all stars are then counted and added to the total. As such, the typical strategy to win is to enter the cup (or force the opponent to) with the majority share of the stars. Once all eight holes of a course are complete, all the points are added up, with the winner being the one who collected the most. It is also possible to draw at the end.

A few more gameplay notes can be made regarding the 2P Game, as follows:

  • When running out of HP, contestants do not lose their Copy Abilities if they had them. Instead, they can only lose the ability if it is taken by the opponent, or the contestant goes OB.
  • When going OB, contestants will be placed back where they were before making the shot that sent them out on the following turn.
  • While napping at 0 HP, contestants will dream of a piece of candy, a slice of shortcake, or an ice cream cone.
  • While one contestant is moving, the other will turn to keep eyes on him.
  • The Stone and Needle abilities, if activated, will be held during the opponent's turn.
  • Using Freeze on the opponent turns him into a solid block of ice, forcing him to lose a turn in order to defrost (this turn skip does not work on a napping opponent, despite still being frozen).

Levels and stages[edit]

Single-player[edit]

The single-player mode consists of eight courses, each with eight holes, for a total of sixty-four holes in addition to the stage for the final boss, Robo Dedede. If all the courses are cleared with a silver medal or better, the Extra Game is unlocked, which has separate score tracking and places enemies and other objects in different locations. If courses are all cleared with gold medals in a given mode (Main or Extra game), the player will unlock the option to freely select any hole in any course for that mode:

Course Medal thresholds Extra Game Medal thresholds
Gold = 14 or lower
Silver = 15-19
Bronze = 20-26
Gold = 13 or lower
Silver = 14-18
Bronze = 19-25
Gold = 14 or lower
Silver = 15-19
Bronze = 20-26
Gold = 15 or lower
Silver = 16-20
Bronze = 21-27
Gold = 17 or lower
Silver = 18-22
Bronze = 23-29
Gold = 17 or lower
Silver = 18-22
Bronze = 23-29
Gold = 17 or lower
Silver = 18-22
Bronze = 23-29
Gold = 17 or lower
Silver = 18-22
Bronze = 23-29
Gold = 18 or lower
Silver = 19-23
Bronze = 24-30
Gold = 15 or lower
Silver = 16-20
Bronze = 21-27
Gold = 16 or lower
Silver = 17-21
Bronze = 22-28
Gold = 16 or lower
Silver = 17-21
Bronze = 22-28
Gold = 14 or lower
Silver = 15-19
Bronze = 20-26
Gold = 16 or lower
Silver = 17-21
Bronze = 22-28
Gold = 18 or lower
Silver = 19-23
Bronze = 24-30
Gold = 15 or lower
Silver = 16-20
Bronze = 21-27
N/A N/A

Two-player[edit]

The course menu for 2P Game.

The two-player mode has four themed courses with eight holes each, for a total of thirty-two holes. These courses are named after their main enemy, which prevails throughout much of the level. As with the single-player mode, Extra Game versions of each of these courses are also available, unlocked when a bronze medal or better is attained on all single-player courses in the main game:

Course Name Image Enemy Image
Whispy Woods Course
KDC Whispy Woods Course intro.png
KDC Whispy Woods Course icon.png
Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright Course
KDC Shine and Bright Course intro.png
KDC Shine and Bright Course icon.png
Kracko Course
KDC Kracko Course intro.png
KDC Kracko Course icon.png
Gordo Course
KDC Gordo Course intro.png
KDC Gordo Course icon.png

Copy Abilities[edit]

Kirby can obtain various Copy Abilities (known as Special Powers in this game) by colliding with (and thus defeating) certain enemies. These powers can be used once per shot — starting with the same shot during which they are acquired — by activating them with the B button. If Kirby has already used an ability and collides with an enemy that provides the ability he has, he can use his ability again. In 2-player mode, Kirby and Keeby will swap abilities if they collide with each other.

Kirby keeps his ability until he loses a life, falls off the course (in 2-player mode), completes the course, or replaces it with a different ability; this means that abilities can (and sometimes need to) be carried from one hole to the next.

Name Appearance Icon Acquired from Description
Fireball KDCFireballKirby.png KDCFireballIcon.png Flamer Transforms Kirby into a living fireball, making him rocket forward at a high speed for a short time and ignore gravity. He may keep his increased speed for a limited time even after the transformation ends.
Freeze KDCFreezeKirby.png KDCFreezeIcon.png Chilly Surrounds Kirby with a freezing aura when activated, enabling him to turn water into ice and slide across it instead of falling in. This ability also causes him to not bounce off of the ground.
Hi-Jump KDCHiJumpKirby.png KDCHiJumpIcon.png Starman Kirby makes a spontaneous jump in a tall arc. This can also be done in mid-air.
Needle KDCNeedleKirby.png KDCNeedleIcon.png Togezo Causes Kirby to stop moving if he is touching the ground, even while on a slope, as spikes grow from his body.
Parasol KDCParasolKirby.png KDCParasolIcon.png Waddle Doo Slows down Kirby's fall and makes him decelerate faster when activated, as well as letting the player directly influence his movements with the D-pad while he is falling.
Spark KDCSparkKirby.png KDCSparkIcon.png Sparky Surrounds Kirby with electricity until he stops moving, which lets him destroy Whispy Woods and Krackos in his path and makes him immune to Kracko's lightning.
Stone KDCStoneKirby.png KDCStoneIcon.png Rocky Kirby assumes the shape of a rock and spontaneously grinds to a halt, even in the air, but may still roll down slopes.
Tornado KDCTornadoKirby.png KDCTornadoIcon.png Twister For a limited time, Kirby becomes a fast whirlwind that moves in a normally straight line. Holding right or left on the D-pad causes his path to curve clockwise or counter-clockwise, respectively. Moving down slopes slightly refreshes the duration.
UFO KDCUFOKirby.png KDCUFOIcon.png UFO Kirby turns into a U.F.O. for ten seconds or until he collides with a bumper. In this form, Kirby can move freely in any horizontal direction for up to 10 seconds; pushing right or left on the D-pad turns him clockwise or counter-clockwise by 90 degrees, respectively. Pressing the B button again promptly cancels the transformation.
Wheel KDCWheelKirby.png KDCWheelIcon.png Wheelie Transforms Kirby into a wheel, causing him to dash into the direction he currently traveling in at a high speed, traveling over water and stopping only when he collides with an obstacle.

Enemies[edit]

Unlike in other Kirby games, most enemies in Kirby's Dream Course cannot harm Kirby, instead, they act as stationary targets that must be eliminated simply by making the pink hero touch them. Some enemies may grant Kirby a Copy Ability when he defeats them; this happens automatically and overrides his current ability. Once all but one of the enemies that must be destroyed are gone, the sole remaining one is replaced by a hole in the ground that Kirby has to fall into in order to finish the Hole.

Name Appearance Must be destroyed? Notes
Broomhatter[2] KDCBroomhatter.png 1Yes -
Chilly KDCChilly.png 1Yes Yields Freeze.
Flamer KDC Flamer sprite.png 1Yes Yields Fireball.
Gaspar KDCGaspar.png 1Yes Floats high above the ground.
Gordo KDCGordo.png 3No Moves on a set path, sometimes floating, and harms Kirby on touch, making him lose a tomato. Indestructible.
Kabu KDCKabu.png 1Yes -
Kracko KDCKracko.png 1No Floats at medium height and is harmful to touch. Periodically sends lightning downwards, which can likewise hurt Kirby. Can be destroyed with the Spark ability.
Mr. P. Umpkin KDCMrPUmpkin.png 1Yes Floats at medium height.
Rocky KDCRocky.png 1Yes Yields Stone.
Sparky KDCSparky.png 1Yes Yields Spark.
Squishy KDCSquishy.png 1Yes -
Starman KDCStarman.png 1Yes Yields Hi-Jump.
Togezo KDCTogezo.png 1Yes Yields Needle.
Transformer KDCTransformer.png 1Yes Triggers an ability roulette, which grants Kirby the ability it is stopped on. Can only be found in 2-player mode.
Twister KDCTwister.png 1Yes Yields Tornado.
UFO KDC UFO sprite.png 1Yes Floats above the ground and yields U.F.O.
Waddle Dee KDCWaddleDee.png 1Yes -
Parasol Waddle Doo KDCWaddleDoo.png 1Yes Yields Parasol.
Wheelie KDCWheelie.png 1Yes Yields Wheel.
Whispy Woods KDCWhispyWoods.png 3No Stationary obstacle. Can be destroyed with the Spark ability.

Obstacles[edit]

In addition to enemies, there are other course obstacles, objects, and hazards that must be contended with. They are as follows (all names are taken from the Kirby's Dream Course instruction booklet (North American print) unless otherwise noted):

Obstacle Effect Notes
A field of air currents that causes Kirby to rise into the air when he passes over it.
A wall consisting of a thin green line.
Kirby will bounce off of this if he hits it, potentially increasing his momentum if timing a bounce correctly.
A sand bunker that will severely reduce Kirby's momentum if he falls into it.
A panel that moves Kirby along in a given direction if he enters it, which can carry him up hills.
KDC Cup sprite.png
Cup
The goal of each hole.
The last standard enemy on a given hole will transform into this, and Kirby must then fall into it to complete the hole.
This name is taken from in-game.
A bed of spikes that will cause Kirby to lose a tomato and be kicked out if he falls into it.
A panel that causes Kirby to quickly gain velocity in the direction the panel points.
Pressing this switch changes the time of day on the course, and causes P1 and P2 to swap stars for that hole.
This can only be used 3 times per hole.
Only appears in the 2P Game.
This panel causes Kirby to roll in the direction shown, regardless of where he enters it from.
A field of grass with arrows on it which cause Kirby to turn in that direction if he enters it, but does not affect his momentum.
Anywhere off a board is considered "OB" (out of bounds).
If Kirby falls in, he will immediately lose a life and reappear wherever he was last shot from.
In the 2P Game, entering OB costs 2 HP and forces a loss of Copy Abilities.
This name is taken from in-game.
Pools of water on the course that are difficult to shoot out of if Kirby sinks in.
Kirby can skip across the surface of these with the right kinds of shots.
These can be frozen solid using the Freeze ability or ridden over using Wheel.
There are two different types of switches that cause the water to vanish and appear respectively.
A panel that allows Kirby to bounce higher if he lands on it during a fly shot.
A rotating piece of floor that will alter Kirby's trajectory if he rolls over it.
Two different switches are available that affect these: one makes the turntables activate, and the other makes them stop.
This panel will cause Kirby to be teleported to a different Warp Panel on the hole, maintaining his momentum when entering.
There are two types: one is marked with an arrow on one side and will cause Kirby to move in that direction when he exits, and the other has no arrow, causing Kirby to maintain whatever direction he had before.

Staff[edit]

The following is a list of staff who have worked on Kirby's Dream Course:

Staff of Kirby's Dream Course
Position Developer(s)
Director Takashi Saito
Programmer Tetsuya Abe
Teruyuki Gunji
Seiji Otoguro
Yoshimi Takahashi
Makoto Kanai
Satoshi Mitsuhara
Kei Nakajima
Map Cad Programmer Hiroaki Suga
Takumi Kawagoe
C. G. Designers Shigeru Hashiguchi
Tadashi Hashikura
Kazuya Miura
Map Designer Shinichi Shimomura
Kensuke Tanabe
Hideki Fujii
Music Composer Hirokazu Ando
Originally Designed By Tatsuya Hishida
Shinya Takahashi
Special Thanks Satoshi Ishida
Chieko Obikane
Hironobu Kakui
Shigeki Yamashiro
Takaaki Kazuno
Senji Hirose
Masaya Akiyama
Shane C Allala
Jim Wornell
Dan Owsen
Producer Shigeru Miyamoto
Satoru Iwata
Co-Producer Yasuhiro Sakai
Takao Shimizu
Executive Producer Hiroshi Yamauchi

Trivia[edit]

  • A working title for the game was Kirby's Tee Shot.[3] Furthermore, the game started as an unrelated title, Special Tee Shot, which was under development in 1992.[4]
  • This game marked the first external appearance of Kirby's dome-shaped house (in the manual and the Japanese-exclusive intro cutscene), which would reappear in several subsequent games in the series more-or-less unchanged (as well as the anime).
    • Kirby's house has been seen previously in the manual of Kirby's Adventure, but only from the inside.
  • The manual mentions that Kirby "comes in with the spring breeze and saves Dream Land in times of crisis"[5] in reference to the Japanese manual of Kirby's Dream Land, which is also where the name of the Spring Breeze section of Kirby Super Star originates.
  • The instruction booklet reuses a large amount of artwork from Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Adventure, sometimes with slight alterations or used in conjunction with other artwork to illustrate specific situations.
  • The Kirby's 20th Anniversary Celebration Book claims that it is possible to get a hole-in-one on every hole in Kirby's Dream Course, instructing the reader to "play very strategically".[6]. So far, this has not been documented to be achievable in practice, with a theoretically-perfect tool-assisted speedrun requiring more than one shot on some holes in Course 3 and Course 5 (in the main game).

Gallery[edit]

Logos[edit]

Artwork[edit]

Screenshots[edit]

Backgrounds[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カービィボウル
Kābī Bouru
Kirby Ball
Written as such in the official Japanese guidebook. Can alternatively be translated as "Kirby Bowl".


External links[edit]

References

  1. Name taken from Kirby's Dream Course instruction booklet (North American print), page 45
  2. Kirby's Dream Course manual (page 47)
  3. Nintendo Products Source Book (1994) (image)
  4. "Special Tee Shot". SNES Central. Published June 13, 2019.
  5. Kirby's Dream Course manual (page 5)
  6. "Did you know that it's actually possible to get a hole in one on every hole? You've just got to play very strategically!" –Kirby's 20th Anniversary Celebration Book (North American print, Nintendo), pg. 24