Kirby's Star Stacker (SNES)
Kirby's Star Stacker (also referred to as Kirby's Super Star Stacker and Kirby no KIRAKIRA KIDS) is a puzzle game of the Kirby series that was released on the Super Famicom in Japan. It was first released in 1998 through the Nintendo Power flash service, but eventually saw a physical release a year later, in 1999. It is an enhanced remake of Kirby's Star Stacker for the Game Boy, and it was eventually ported to Virtual Console for Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. All versions of the game are currently Japan-exclusive.
One starry night, an alien creature named Mr. Star was zooming past Dream Land. King Dedede spots him in the air and blasts him with a cannon, causing Mr. Star to split into several pieces and fall to the ground. The principal piece of Mr. Star falls on Kirby's head, as he was out stargazing from a teepee. After learning of his predicament, Kirby and his Animal Friends help Mr. Star find his pieces again, each of which is kept by a different denizen of Dream Land.
One-by-one, Kirby and his friends trounce the baddies who were holding Mr. Star's pieces, culminating with King Dedede himself. Once Mr. Star is whole again, he returns back out into space. Shortly after, a witch named Gryll appears from where Mr. Star left to present the final challenge to Kirby.
Due to being an enhanced port of the Game Boy original, Kirby's Star Stacker plays largely the same way. The player is given a game board which fills up with various types of blocks that fall from above in a similar manner to Tetris. The main objective is to clear these blocks by lining them up in the correct ways. The main method of doing this is by placing two of the same type of "Friend Block" (resembling Kirby's Animal Friends Rick, Kine, and Coo) in-between one or more Star Blocks. The number of Star Blocks removed then determines how many "stars" Kirby has "stacked", which is the main scoring mechanic in the game. Blocks fall in pairs with random types inset, which can be steered using the Control Pad until they land on the blocks below, whereupon they break apart if one side is still hanging over an empty space. In addition to the above blocks, there are also two other types: Hard Blocks and Bomb Blocks. Hard Blocks can be turned into Star Blocks when sandwiched between two matching Friend Blocks, and placing a Bomb Block between two Friend Blocks will remove all blocks on the same row.
In order to achieve greater numbers of star points, Chains have to be utilized; if destroying a group of blocks leads to a chain reaction of other groups being destroyed, this counts as a Chain. Every Chain that is achieved causes a group of stars to fall into gaps between blocks and be added to the star point counter, their number starting at two but increasing with each Chain, up to a maximum of twelve. If these stars end up sandwiched between Friend Blocks when they land, they turn into Star Blocks, causing another group of blocks to be destroyed and the combo to continue; stars that land in positions where it would not be beneficial for them to transform into blocks simply disappear.
Depending on the game mode being played, there may be additional rules and conditions, but generally speaking, the player can continue to place down blocks so long as the two middlemost columns are still open at the top, and new roes of blocks will continually appear from below, pushing the others up. If either of the two middlemost columns reaches all the way to the top of the screen, the game is over.
In the game there are 5 modes, as follows:
- Challenge - An endless mode in which the objective is to gain as many stars as possible before the middle stack of blocks touches the top of the screen. The player can choose between four difficulties: Normal, Hard, Super Hard, and Insane. No matter which difficulty is selected, as the player progresses, blocks start to appear faster and the music changes.
- Round Clear - This mode involves completing multiple rounds, by collecting a set number of Stars. Much like Challenge Mode, there are four difficulties to be selected: Normal, Hard, Super Hard and Insane. In this mode, King Dedede sits on the right side of the screen and is responsible for making the new block rows appear. The objective is to reduce his "HP" to zero in each round by stacking stars.
- Story - The main mode of the game, pitting Kirby against a preset number of opponents with specific difficulty levels. The objective is to force the opponent's board to fill up before the player's does. When either the player or the opponent scores chains, the corresponding character will attack the opponent's character, which has the effect of making more block rows appear on the opponent's board.
- VS - A multiplayer mode for two players. Similar in gameplay to Story Mode, but with two human players competing.
- Time Attack - As many Stars as possible must be collected within a 3-minute time limit. In this mode, Tick-Tock Jr. sits on the right side of the screen and is responsible for making the new block rows appear.
Story Mode details
Story Mode is the main new feature here when compared to the Game Boy original. In this Mode, Kirby faces off against an opponent, and they each get their own separate board to drop blocks in. The goal here is to prevent Kirby's board from filling up, while also causing the opponent's board to fill. To that end, the player will need to systematically remove blocks from the board as they fall down by lining them up correctly. This can be done by having an unbroken line of Star Blocks in-between two Animal Friend blocks of the same type, or by simply lining up two of the same type of Animal Friend together. If a large number of blocks are removed at once and/or a chain of block removals is caused, Kirby will be able to cause his opponent's board to start filling with blocks from the bottom-up, and vice/versa.
There are two difficulty modes for Story Mode, those being "Amateur" and "Professional". The difficulty chosen determines the speed and skill level of the CPU opponents. There are a total of eight opponents to face in the Story Mode, which are fought in sequence. The last of these - Gryll - can only be faced if all prior opponents were defeated without losing a single time. The official web guide for the game makes it a point to mention that if the player prematurely stops a given round in order to restart, that will not count as a loss.
The following are details on each opponent in the Story Mode:
|Opponents in Kirby's Star Stacker|
|Normal (both difficulties)||Waddle Dee attacks Kirby using a parasol when getting chains.|
|Normal (both difficulties)||Poppy Bros. Jr. throws bombs at Kirby when getting chains.|
|Lovely attacks Kirby by hitting him with her head when getting chains.|
|Hard (both difficulties)||Knuckle Joe attacks Kirby by kicking him when getting chains.|
Super Hard (Professional)
|Chef Kawasaki attacks Kirby using his frying pan when getting chains.|
|Super Hard (both difficulties)||Meta Knight attacks Kirby using his sword when getting chains. This round features more Hard Blocks than previous rounds.|
|Super Hard (Amateur)
|King Dedede attacks Kirby using his hammer when getting chains. This round features a great deal of Hard Blocks. Completing this round triggers the end credits.|
|Super Hard (Amateur)
|Gryll attacks Kirby using a broomstick when getting chains. This round features a great deal of Hard Blocks. It can only be played after the credits if all previous rounds were cleared without a loss.|
The following is a list of staff who have worked on Kirby's Star Stacker:
|Staff of Kirby's Star Stacker|
|Chief Programmer||Katsuhiro Sakoda|
|Chief Designer||Kazu Ozawa|
|Sound Composer||Jun Ishikawa|
|Special Thanks||Satoshi Ishida|
Super Mario Club
HAL Debug Team
|Chief Producer||Satoru Iwata|
|General Manager||Takehiro Izushi|
|Executive Producer||Hiroshi Yamauchi|
- When Kirby thwacks his opponents, he does so with the Love-Love Stick.
- Masked Dedede's theme from Kirby Super Star Ultra is a remix of King Dedede's battle theme from this game.
- Though the game was not released outside of Japan, it has been referenced several times in games that have been released internationally.
- Gryll appears as a sticker in Kirby: Planet Robobot and a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as a Stone transformation and a Celebration Picture cameo in Kirby Star Allies.
- A good deal of the music in this game was re-used in the extra stages of Kirby: Planet Robobot, while Gryll's theme reappears in Kirby Star Allies.
- In 1998, a game titled Kirby's Super Star Stacker was listed on a page of upcoming SNES releases on Nintendo's American website, suggesting that an international release may have been planned.
- Most current English sources, such as Kirby: Planet Robobot and Kirby Art & Style Collection, refer to the game simply as Kirby's Star Stacker, the same as the Game Boy game. This is because both versions of the game have the same name in Japanese. The official English HAL Laboratory website refers to it as Kirby no KIRAKIRA KIDS, a literal translation of its Japanese name.
- Main article: Kirby's Star Stacker (SNES)/gallery
Names in other languages
Kābī no Kirakira Kizzu
|Kirby's Sparkling Kids|