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Kirby: Canvas Curse

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Kirby: Canvas Curse

Kirby Canvas Curse box art.png

Kirby Power Paintbrush box art.jpg

KCC Touch Kirby box art.png

Box art for Kirby: Canvas Curse from various regions.
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) Nintendo DS
Japan March 24, 2005
NA June 13, 2005
Europe November 25, 2005
Australia April 6, 2006

Virtual Console (Wii U)
Europe December 3, 2015
Japan February 3, 2016
NA October 13, 2016
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Wii U (Virtual Console)
Supported languages Japanese, American English, British English, European French, Italian, German, European Spanish
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone
PEGI: 3+
CERO: All Ages
Game chronology
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Kirby: Squeak Squad
On affiliated sites
StrategyWiki Walkthrough
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Kirby: Canvas Curse (known as Kirby: Power Paintbrush in British English) is a spin-off game in the Kirby series for the Nintendo DS created by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo in 2005. In it, Kirby is turned into a ball by a sorceress named Drawcia, and he must travel through eight abstractly-painted worlds with the help of the Magical Paintbrush, controlled by the player's Nintendo DS stylus, in order to defeat her and return both Dream Land and himself to normal.

Unlike main-series installments, Kirby: Canvas Curse takes its own distinct approach to the platformer genre. The player has limited control over Kirby directly, and Kirby himself cannot move much on his own due to lacking any limbs. Instead, Kirby can roll forward with the help of magical Rainbow Lines drawn by the player, and can tackle enemies using the Touch Dash and his Copy Ability. Aside from this unorthodox play style, and other interactions that involve tapping the screen with the stylus, the goal is still to reach the end of the stage, much like other Kirby games.

A spiritual successor titled Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was released in 2015 for the Wii U.


A mysterious witch transforms Kirby into a ball

Kirby is having a nice stroll in Dream Land, when suddenly the world's colors warp as a mysterious witch draws across the land, turning the entire world into a painting. Kirby chases the witch into a world of wild color and abstract art, and attempts to challenge her. However, the witch uses her magic to transform Kirby into a ball. Kirby finds himself helpless as the evil sorceress escapes, but he sees the witch's Magical Paintbrush and touches it, which "transports" to the player's hands (as the Nintendo DS stylus) via a ray of light.

Kirby then traverses seven different levels to reach The World of Drawcia, a strange world of grotesque paintings, and eventually confront the evil sorceress once more, who reveals herself as Drawcia. Despite being in ball form, Kirby is able to defeat Drawcia, and eventually her soul form, with the help of the Magical Paintbrush. Afterwards, Drawcia is forced back into a painting, which shatters into pieces. After Kirby's victory against this foe, he sadly parts ways with the paintbrush, which paints a portal for Kirby to return to his homeworld.

As he wakes up once again in Dream Land, Kirby finds himself and everything else back to normal, having broken free from Drawcia's curse. Then, a grand rainbow appears in the sky, presumably a gift from the magical paintbrush for Kirby's role in restoring the peace.


In order to get around the wide open stages, Kirby requires the help of a Rainbow Line, drawn by the player using the Magical Paintbrush, a stand-in for the Nintendo DS stylus.

Kirby: Canvas Curse is described as a "touch platformer", and has several key differences in its gameplay from traditional Kirby games. Due to having his limbs taken from him, Kirby is unable to move on his own in most cases. To help him out, the player uses the Magical Paintbrush to draw Rainbow Lines and tap Kirby along them. These lines can be drawn anywhere on the screen, excepting specific no-draw zones marked by magic barriers, but the paintbrush only has so much ink available before it runs out. To replenish ink in a reasonable time span, Kirby needs to touch the ground or another solid object. When Kirby is tapped, he will perform a Touch Dash which is his primary means of fighting enemies. The player can also help out more directly by tapping enemies with the stylus to stun them briefly. When Kirby crashes into a suitable enemy, he will gain a Copy Ability, which he can use to attack enemies, solve puzzles, or travel in a different manner.

The main game of Kirby: Canvas Curse consists of seven main levels with three stages that can be played in any order. Unlike in the main series games, the stages in Kirby: Canvas Curse make heavy use of unique devices and hazards, most of which can be interacted with using the stylus. Stages also generally feature much larger but fewer rooms which can stretch out in many more directions than is typically seen in other Kirby games. The stages also consist largely of abstract and/or surrealist art, with very few resembling real-world locations. In each stage, there are several Medals that can be collected to unlock bonus features in the Medal Swap menu. After all three stages of a level are completed, Kirby plays a Boss Game of the player's choosing in order to advance to the next level (excepting Level 7: Wonder Lilane, which immediately leads into The World of Drawcia instead). Due to the Sub-Game-like nature of the Boss Games, Drawcia Sorceress and Drawcia Soul offer the only "true" boss fights in the game.

In addition to Kirby, the player also has access to a number of other characters which can be unlocked in the Medal Swap; these extra characters are King Dedede, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee, and Waddle Doo, each in ball form. Each of these extra characters has their own stats and attack strategies, though none can copy abilities. When playing as a different character, each one has to make their own progress through the main stages, with each one receiving a separate win screen at the end of the game.


The following characters can be played in Story Mode stages. Beating each stage with each character is necessary for 100% completion:

  • Kirby Kirby KCC sprite.png - Starts with 4 hit points. Has decent speed and can copy abilities. Can augment health using Medal Swap, up to 7.
  • Waddle Dee KCC Waddle Dee Ball sprite.png - Unlocked once the game is completed as Kirby. Has 4 HP and otherwise is the same as Kirby, although somewhat more bouncy and cannot copy abilities.
  • King Dedede Eddy Dedede Ball Curse.png - Unlockable at Medal Swap after game is completed as Kirby. He has 7 HP, and can attack by swinging a hammer in place or in midair before dashing, but is larger (and thus less nimble) than other characters.
  • Meta Knight KCC Meta Knight Ball sprite.png - Unlockable at Medal Swap after game is completed as Kirby and unlocking Dedede. Fastest character, but only 3 HP. While dashing, enemies will be struck with a sword slash.
  • Waddle Doo KCC Waddle Doo Ball sprite.png - Unlocked once all other characters have finished each stage, or by starting the game with Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land or Kirby & The Amazing Mirror in the console's GBA slot. Has a slow dash, but 5 HP and permanent Beam ability.

Copy Abilities[edit]

Copy Abilities in Kirby: Canvas Curse  
Name Appearance Icon Function
Balloon KCC BalloonKirby.png KirbyCC balloon icons.png Touching Kirby makes him inflate into a balloon. He can inflate three times, each time into a slightly larger balloon. While inflated, Kirby will bounce off of rainbow lines rather than following them, with more force for each stage. Touching Kirby at the third stage causes him to pop, returning to normal and stunning all enemies on the screen.
Beam KCC Beam Sprite.png KirbyCC beam icons.png When tapped, Kirby releases a beam, which goes around him, attacking any enemies within its circle of reach. When held, the beam will continue to move while Kirby hovers in place.
Burning KCC Burning Sprite.png KirbyCC fire icons.png Allows Kirby to move as a meteor for a short distance across the screen, destroying any enemies unfortunate enough to be in his path. He can also travel long distances and bounce up walls.
Crash KCC Crash Sprite.png KirbyCC crash icons.png Tapping Kirby triggers a huge explosion, defeating any normal enemies on the screen.
Freeze KCC Freeze Sprite.png KirbyCC freeze icons.png Sets a barrier around Kirby, which freezes any enemies that come in contact with it.
Missile KCC Missile Sprite.png KirbyCC missile icons.png Turns Kirby into a missile, allowing him to be directed by the lines of the Magical Paintbrush. Will explode if it hits a wall, destroying any normal enemies nearby.
Needle KCC Needle Sprite.png KirbyCC needle icons.png Turns Kirby into a spike ball, which sticks him to the floor or a wall if he is near one, and allows him to roll extra fast up Rainbow Lines.
Spark KCC Spark Sprite.png KirbyCC spark icons.png Allows Kirby to release electrical energy from within his body and attack enemies with it, shooting a lightning bolt straight upward that can pass through walls. Touching and holding Kirby makes him stop in midair.
Stone KCC Stone Sprite.png KirbyCC stone icons.png Transforms into a heavy stone to crush enemies and blocks or pound stakes. Also allows Kirby to sink in water without the Rainbow Line.
Tornado KCC Tornado Sprite.png KirbyCC tornado icons.png Kirby spins, being encased inside of a tornado. If tapped, he will go higher.
Wheel KCC Wheel Sprite.png KirbyCC wheel icons.png Transforms Kirby into a wheel for fast transport, plowing through any enemies in his way.


There are eight levels in the Main Game of Kirby: Canvas Curse, with the first seven of these featuring three stages each. Unlike most other games in the Kirby series, the stages within each level may be played and completed out of order. Much like the levels in Kirby's Adventure, each level aside from the final one is based on a different color of the rainbow, though in this case, they are arranged in "ROYGBIV" order instead of reverse order. Once all three stages in a level are complete, Kirby may challenge a boss to move on to the next, with the exception of level 7:

Levels in Kirby: Canvas Curse  
Level Nr. Image Name Stages Notes
Level 1 KCC Reddy Land.png Reddy Land Plant Plain
Tiny Town
Ravine Road
Level 2 KCC Arange Gorge.png Arange Gorge Ghost Grounds
Growth Grasses
Mag Mount
Level 3 KCC Iello Adventure.png Iello Adventure Rift Ruin
Contrast Cave
Silver Submarine
Level 4 KCC Neo Greo.png Neo Greo Machine Mansion
Dreamy Darkness
Paletto Polis
Level 5 KCC Bloo Hills.png Bloo Hills Cold Course
Dungeon Dome
Canvas Canyon
Level 6 KCC Omarine Zone.png Omarine Zone Collapse Castle
Volatile Volcano
Silent Seabed
Level 7 KCC Wonder Lilane.png Wonder Lilane Frozen Fantasy
Mad Mechanism
Spectacle Space
This is the only level which does not feature a Boss Game at the end.
Level 8 KCC The World of Drawcia.png The World of Drawcia The World of Drawcia This level consists of only one stage, and has a set boss: Drawcia Sorceress and Drawcia Soul.
  • In the Japanese, English, French and German versions, the first letters of level 1-7 spell out the word RAINBOW.
  • In the Italian version, the first letters of level 1-7 spell out the word DISEGNO (which translates to "drawing" in Italian), from on the Italian title of Kirby: Canvas Curse.


Kirby: Canvas Curse has a large cast of regular enemies. Unlike other Kirby games, there are no Mid-Bosses.

Enemies in Kirby: Canvas Curse  
Sprite Name Copy Ability Description
KCC Bang-Bang sprite.png Bang-Bang Missile A flying missile enemy that tries to launch at Kirby.
KCC Blado sprite.png Blado None A bladed cousin of Gordo that spins around stages attached to chains and is invulnerable to attack.
KCC Blipper sprite.png Blipper None A round goggles-wearing fish that swims in a set pattern or pursues Kirby.
KCC Bloon sprite.png Bloon Balloon A hovering inflatable enemy that either holds still or drifts slowly.
KCC Bobo sprite.png Bobo Burning A walking ember that runs back and forth.
KCC Bomber sprite.png Bomber Crash A walking bomb that will detonate if it falls off a ledge.
KCC Bouncy sprite.png Bouncy None A spring-bound creature that hops in place.
KCC Bronto Burt sprite.png Bronto Burt None A flying nuisance who follows fixed paths or chases after Kirby.
KCC Painting sprite.png Cackling Painting None A harmless but creepy living painting that laughs at Kirby as he passes by.
KCC Cappy sprite.pngKCC Cappy 2 sprite.png Cappy None A mushroom cap-wearing creature that dances in place.
KCC Chilly sprite.png Chilly Freeze A living snowman with a blue fez who sits in place and conjures a freezing aura around himself.
KCC Como sprite.png Como None A spider-like creature that drops on a string from the ceiling.
KCC Flame Shotzo sprite.pngKCC Flame Shotzo 2 sprite.png Flame Shotzo None A variant of Shotzo that spews gouts of flame.
KCC Flamer sprite.png Flamer Burning A spicy eyeball creature that rolls along walls and may detach to shoot forward like a fireball.
KCC Fluff Waddle Dee sprite.png Fluff Waddle Dee None A Waddle Dee that floats gently down using a dandelion stem. Comparable to Parasol Waddle Dee in other games.
KCC Caveela sprite.png Gaveela N/A A large green cave-lurking reptile that lunges out from nooks to try and eat Kirby. It is invulnerable to attack.
KCC Glunk sprite.png Glunk None A sea anemone with googly eyes that sticks to surfaces and shoots projectiles out of its top.
KCC Gordo sprite.png Gordo N/A An indestructible spike ball who moves along in straight lines and bounces off of obstacles.
KCC Kabu sprite.png Kabu None A brown stone idol that spins around on the ground and can vanish and reappear elsewhere.
KCC Needlous sprite.png Needlous Needle A striped spiky bug that rolls up into a ball and rushes forward when threatened.
KCC Pacto sprite.png Pacto N/A A large floating yellow creature that tries to lunge at and eat Kirby. It cannot be defeated using regular attacks or stunned, but it can be powered through using a Touch Dash.
Keychain ParaMatter.png Para Matter None Eyeballs with petals that get flung out by Drawcia Soul. There are three different varieties, and hitting them when their eye is exposed launches them back at Drawcia Soul to deal her damage.
KCC Para Sorceress sprite.png Para Sorceress None A miniature version of Drawcia that the larger adversary shoots out on occasion. They can freeze Kirby on contact.
KCC Rocky sprite.png Rocky Stone A rock with legs that will try to hop over and crush Kirby with its girth.
KCC Shotzo sprite.png Shotzo N/A A stationary indestructible cannon that tries to aim and shoot volleys at Kirby.
KCC Snoppy sprite.png Snoppy Freeze A small yeti-like creature that can roll into a ball to attack.
KCC Soarar sprite.png Soarar None A flying yellow arrow-shaped creature that soars quickly through the air, traveling much faster laterally than vertically.
KCC Sparky sprite.png Sparky Spark Sits in place, emanating sparks from its body at regular intervals.
KCC Spear Waddle Dee sprite.png Spear Waddle Dee None A Waddle Dee who attempts to toss its spear at Kirby in an arc.
KCC Squishy sprite.png Squishy None A white squid-like creature that jets through water in short bursts.
KCC Small Thudd sprite.pngKCC Thudd sprite.pngKCC Big Thudd sprite.png Thudd N/A A heavy indestructible block creature that tries to fall on Kirby when he approaches. It cannot be blocked using a Rainbow Line and comes in three sizes.
KCC Tick sprite.png Tick Needle A white blob that holds in place and tries to jab Kirby with its head spike if he passes over it.
KCC Topper sprite.png Topper None A rounded orange spider-like creature that hangs in place using electric currents. It can be defeated by slamming into its body or tapping it multiple times with the Nintendo DS stylus.
KCC Twister sprite.png Twister Tornado A spinning top enemy who spins in place, and may turn into a tornado.
KCC Waddle Dee sprite.png Waddle Dee None A mostly harmless creature that walks back and forth slowly.
KCC Waddle Doo sprite.png Waddle Doo Beam A waddling cycloptic creature that attempts to shoot nearby threats with his beam eye.
KCC Wheelie sprite.png Wheelie Wheel A cycloptic wheel that rolls back and forth along the ground quickly.

Bosses and Boss Games[edit]

In Cart Run - one of the Boss Games - Kirby must race to defeat King Dedede in a mine cart.

At the end of each level (except Wonder Lilane), Kirby faces off against a boss of his choosing. There are three initial bosses, and Kirby will have to face each one twice in a Boss Game (with the second time being tougher). From there, Wonder Lilane technically has no boss, but Drawcia is revealed (along with her level) after completing it. Her battle is the only one that can be considered a proper boss fight. The bosses faced are as follows:

Bosses and Boss Games in Kirby: Canvas Curse  
Boss/Game Description
In this game, Kirby has to chase down King Dedede in a mine cart through a long horizontal race-track broken down into many screens, in a similar vein to Gourmet Race. Kirby can speed up by eating fruit along the trackway, but needs to avoid obstacles and power-down items.
In this game, Kirby bounces up a series of chambers filled with blocks that he can break by hitting into them, similar to Kirby's Block Ball but more frenetic and with the ability to "draw" paddles anywhere on the screen. Up at the top chamber, Kirby faces down either Kracko Jr. or Kracko, and must crash repeatedly into his eye to win.
In this game, the player needs to draw a series of paintings in the lower screen in order to speed Kirby along before a line of Bombers catch up to him. After clearing several screens, an explosion occurs which will defeat Paint Roller.
Drawcia Sorceress is faced down at the end of The World of Drawcia in a warped painting realm. She has a number of attacks to throw at Kirby, including summoning enemies, throwing out magic spheres, and diving across the screen. She can only be hit once she is stunned by deflecting her magic spheres back at her.
A spherical ectoplasmic form of Drawcia who is fought immediately after Drawcia Sorceress is defeated. She has access to a large number of powerful attacks which can shatter the Rainbow Line, and can only be hurt by being tapped, rammed into, or having her Para Matters knocked back into her. Defeating Drawcia Soul completes the game.


Kirby trying out the Wheel Course in Rainbow Run.

Rainbow Run[edit]

Main article: Rainbow Run

Rainbow Run is a mode in which Kirby tries to set a record for the time in going through a course or for the amount of line he uses to complete it. It uses levels 1 through seven and replaces level 8 with other courses where Kirby can only use a selected ability.

Boss Games[edit]

After completing the Boss Games in the Story Mode, they become available to play from the main menu as Sub-Games. These games are similar to how they are in the story mode, but with a few minor differences. Game Overs will occur if Kirby either runs out of time or health. In each game, there are three levels, with level 1 being the easiest and level 3 being the hardest. New Medals are only unlocked after achieving an A rank in Level 3.

  • In Cart Run, Kirby races King Dedede in a mine cart in order to be the first to reach the finish line. Higher difficulty levels increase the length of the course and also have Dedede throwing hammers to try to slow Kirby down.
  • In Paint Panic, Kirby tries to avoid a couple of Bombers while connecting the dots drawn by Paint Roller in the same order he drew them in. The number of patterns that Paint Roller draws increases for each difficulty level.
  • In Block Attack, Kirby tries to destroy blocks and defeat all the enemies in a certain section to progress. In levels 1 and 2, defeating Kracko Jr. or Kracko ends the sub-game, whereas level 3 goes on forever until Kirby gets a Game Over.

Medal Swap[edit]

Main article: Medal Swap

This game also has a medal swap section, where Kirby can exchange the medals he earned in the game for lines, new levels in Rainbow Run, new songs, and even new playable characters.

Dash! Jump![edit]

Main article: Dash! Jump!

At the end of each regular stage, a special Goal Game takes place where the character being controlled is rocketed off a launch ramp to try and gain as much distance as possible using a single Rainbow Line for assistance. Point Stars are earned based on distance traveled. This game becomes available for play from the main menu after completing the main game with every character.


The following is a list of staff who have worked on Kirby: Canvas Curse:

Staff of Kirby: Canvas Curse  
Position Developer(s)
Director Motomi Katayama
Assistant Director Yusuke Kataoka
Kouji Akaike
Program Director Teruyuki Gunji
Programming Yoshimi Takahashi
Seiji Otoguro
Katsuhiro Sakoda
Yasuyuki Nagashima
Kouji Mori
Katsuyoshi Sumitomo
Akio Hanyu
Masaaki Fukunaga
Takaaki Kawahara
Design Director Tomomi Minami
Design Kazuyuki Nakamura
Hitoshi Kikkawa
Shinya Kumazaki
Tsuyoshi Wakayama
Tetsuya Mochiduki
Tomoko Nagaya
Tomoko Kitada
Emi Masai
Ai Kawasumi
Shigeru Hashiguchi
Tatsuhiro Tanoue
Kazuya Konishi
Tadashi Hashikura
Sanae Kubota
Kenichirou Kita
Sound Jun Ishikawa
Tadashi Ikegami
Public Relations Satoshi Ishida
Chieko Obikane
Tomohiro Minemura
Artwork Tetsuya Notoya
Kaori Hishimura
Mariko Kimizuka
Testing Ryuki Kuraoka
Masaru Kobayashi
Senji Hirose
Matthew Mawer
HAL Debug Team
Super Mario Club
NOA Product Testing
North American Localization/English Localization Nate Bihldorff
Bill Trinen
European Localization Jan Peitzmeier
Thomas Miriel
Jesús Ángel Rodríguez
Roby Bonomo
Localization Management Jeff Miller
Leslie Swan
Andreas Fey
Special Thanks Hidetoshi Seki
Takayuki Sugano
Hirokazu Ando
Takahashi Saito
Yoichi Yamamoto
Masanobu Yamamoto
Hiroshi Fujie
Misako Mohri
Mitsuya Naito
Ashura Benimaru
Masahiro Takeguchi
SPD Technical Support
Hitomi Naitoh
NOE Validation & Testing Team
Coordination Shin Hasegawa
Mari Shirakawa
Project Management Tetsuya Abe
Producer Hiroaki Suga
Masayoshi Tanimura
Kensuke Tanabe
Executive Producer Satoru Iwata
All rights,
including the copyrights
of Game, Scenario, Music
and Program, reserved
HAL Laboratory, Inc.
and Nintendo.

HAL Laboratory, Inc.

Nintendo eShop description[edit]

When Kirby gets turned into a ball by an evil witch, your hand-drawn rainbow paths become the only way he can find power-ups and reach the gates in each world. Stun enemies, destroy barriers, and detonate bombs—and do much more—by using the stylus. Unlock special features by collecting medals in each stage and completing in-game tasks!


  • Several bosses from previous Kirby games were intended to be playable characters in early development of Kirby: Canvas Curse, including Lololo & Lalala, Nightmare, Dark Matter and Zero. Concept art of these bosses as balls can be found in the 20th Anniversary Kirby Pupupu Encyclopedia (page 125), but they are not present in the final game.
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse is the first video game in the Kirby series that introduced the Soul Boss - Drawcia Soul. The main series would later introduce even more Soul Bosses.
  • In Kirby Battle Royale, one of Whip Kirby's Headgears is the Gymnastics Leotard. This could be a reference to the Japanese commercial for Kirby: Canvas Curse, which features a female gymnastics athlete guiding the Kirby ball's movement with her ribbon.
  • Most of the themes in this game are remixes of themes from earlier games in the series.


Main article: Kirby: Canvas Curse/gallery

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese タッチ!カービィ
Tacchi! Kābyi
Touch! Kirby
Traditional Chinese Kirby: Canvas Curse
Touch Kirby
Simplified Chinese Kirby: Canvas Curse
Mōmō Kǎbǐ
Dutch Kirby: Power Paintbrush -
Canadian French Kirby: Canvas Curse -
European French Kirby: Le Pinceau du Pouvoir Kirby: The Paintbrush of Power
German Kirby: Power-Malpinsel Kirby: Power Paintbrush
Italian Kirby: L'oscuro disegno Kirby: The dark drawing
Korean Kirby: Canvas Curse
터치! 카비[2][3]
teochi! kabi
Touch! Kirby
Because Nintendo had no direct operations in South Korea until 2006, Daewon C.I. imported the game and used a direct transliteration of the Japanese title. The transliteration of Kirby's name is particularly unusual; starting with Kirby: Squeak Squad, Nintendo of Korea would translate the games and consistently use the transliteration 커비 (keobi). In later contexts like game titles accompanying a Keychain, Sticker or Character Treat, Nintendo of Korea's localization defaults to using the North American English game title.[4]
Polish Kirby: Power Paintbrush[5] -
Brazilian Portuguese Kirby: Canvas Curse -
Latin American Spanish Kirby: Canvas Curse -
European Spanish Kirby: El Pincel del poder Kirby: The Paintbrush of Power

External links[edit]