Kirby (Nintendo GameCube)
Kirby is an unreleased game that was originally developed for the Nintendo GameCube, then on the Wii. For reasons unknown, it went through several revisions and art styles before it finally became Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Several drafts and concepts were shown while the game was in development.
Kirby (E3 2005)
The first concept was a more traditional 2D adventure, but still with 3D assets. This one featured a Helper system similar to the one in Kirby Super Star, but allowed up to 3 Helpers at a time instead of just one. Enemies and Mid-Bosses can be stunned by Kirby & co.'s attacks.
A trailer was shown during E3 2005.
Enemies who appeared in this version included the following:
|Blade Knight||Sword||Spin Slash was first introduced in this version.|
|Bonkers||Hammer||Hammer Kirby wore a yellow safety helmet.|
|Broom Hatter||Cleaning||The Cleaning ability didn't return until Kirby Star Allies.|
|Dale||Dale only appeared in Kirby Air Ride so far.|
|Flappy||Wing||Flappy only appeared in Kirby Air Ride so far. When only Kirby rode piggyback on Flappy, he wore a helmet similar to that of Wheelie Rider.|
|Golem||Stone||Golem only appeared in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror so far.|
|Heat Phanphan||Fire||Heat Phanphan only appeared in Kirby Air Ride so far.|
|Parasol Waddle Dee||Parasol|
|Wheelie||Wheel||When only Kirby rode piggyback on Wheelie, he wore a helmet similar to that of Wheelie Rider.|
|Unidentified enemy||Bomb||The enemy was a mini clown riding a relatively big jester ball. Bomb Kirby wore an orange party hat with yellow patterns.|
|Unidentified enemy||Tornado||The enemy resembled a fairy.|
|Unidentified enemy||Water||The enemy resembled three water drops. The Water ability would eventually debut in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.|
Bosses who appeared in this version included the following:
- Whispy Woods
- HR-D3 (King Dedede themed paintjob)
- Morpho Knight (designed, but not put into the game eventually)
Full 3D Platformer
The second was a full 3D adventure allowing Kirby to travel into the foreground and background, and looked very similar to Kirby Air Ride in graphical style.
Full 2D Platformer
The third and final version was a 2D platformer done with clean 2D graphics, similar in art style to the Wii game Wario Land: Shake It!. Only a few screenshots of this game were ever released, but the backdrop and layout looked very similar to Cookie Country from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Several aspects of this canceled project would eventually work their way into completed Kirby titles. Among them included the following points:
- The concept of a full 3D Kirby game was likely the inspiration for the 3D environments in Kirby 3D Rumble (and later Kirby's Blowout Blast and Kirby Battle Royale).
- Much of the music and other assets developed for Kirby GCN would be used in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, namely Return to Dream Land's theme of The Arena. This track was first heard in the Kirby GCN trailer during E3 2005, and shares the melody of the theme "Sky Tower" (used in Nutty Noon - Stage 2 and Stage 4) from Return to Dream Land. The melody was probably intended to serve as a leitmotif of Kirby GCN, though it's also widely used in Return to Dream Land.
- HR-D3, which had initially appeared as a boss for this title, would later appear in Kirby Mass Attack (still in King Dedede themed paintjob) and Kirby's Return to Dream Land (piloted by Metal General EX).
- Morpho Knight, who had initially been designed as a boss for this title, would later debut in Kirby Star Allies.
- The concept of having three Helpers (along with the return of the Cleaning ability) would eventually manifest in Kirby Star Allies, though taking a slightly different approach.
Heat Phanphan, Golem, and Kirby ride on Bonkers.
Kirby riding on Flappy.
Parasol Waddle Dee, Waddle Doo, Kirby using Piggyback on Heat Phanphan
Kirby swimming from two Blippers.
Kirby and three Knuckle Joes fighting a Scarfy on a bridge.
Kirby with his Plasma Copy Ability.
Kirby attacking a Golem with a Parasol.
Kirby with his Fire Copy Ability.
Kirby GCN - E3 2005 trailer
- Iwata Asks: Kirby's Return to Dream Land - The Three Lost Kirby Games (interview with Satoru Iwata on Nintendo.com)
- "バルフレイナイトのデザインについては、実はゲームキューブ版の王道『カービィ』を考えていた時に敵の新型ナイトボスとして作られていたデザインなのですよ。" (July 2018 Issue (Nintendo DREAM), pg. 35)