Kirby (Nintendo GameCube)

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Kirby (Nintendo GameCube)
Kirby GCN bridge.jpg
Kirby and three Knuckle Joes fighting a Scarfy on a bridge.
Details
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Date(s) announced/showcased November 25, 2004[1]
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
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Kirby was the tentative title for an unreleased mainline Kirby game developed for the Nintendo GameCube. Announced in 2004, it featured a revamped Helper system based on that of Kirby Super Star, alongside the camera perspective used in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It began development in 2000, shortly after development for Kirby 64 concluded,[2] and was planned for release shortly after Kirby Air Ride in 2003.[2] However, due to issues designing levels to be playable in both singleplayer and multiplayer, it was canceled shortly after its announcement.[2] Had it been released as intended, it would have been the eighth game in the main series.

Three more builds of the game followed: one for the Nintendo GameCube and two for the Wii. Only the last of these was released, under the title Kirby's Return to Dream Land.[2] The concept for this game would later be revisited in Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch.

Overview[edit]

The game was shown as a more traditional 2D adventure, but still containing 3D assets. It 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 could be stunned by the attacks of Kirby and his helpers. The story would have seen Kirby on a quest to retrieve the Warp Star, which had been stolen by King Dedede.[3]

The game started development in 2000, shortly after the release of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and was intended to release shortly after Kirby Air Ride in 2003. It was announced in November 2004,[1] and a trailer was shown during E3 2005,[4] though it was canceled shortly after.

Enemies/Helpers[edit]

Enemies who appeared in this version included the following:

Enemy Copy Ability Notes
Babut Xmark.png
Blade Knight Sword Spin Slash was first introduced in this version.
Blipper Xmark.png
Bonkers Hammer
Bronto Burt Xmark.png
Broom Hatter Cleaning The Cleaning ability didn't return until Kirby Star Allies.
Chilly Ice
Dale Xmark.png 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.
Knuckle Joe Fighter
Parasol Waddle Dee Parasol
Plasma Wisp Plasma
Scarfy Xmark.png
Sir Kibble Cutter
Waddle Dee Xmark.png
Waddle Doo Beam
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.
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.

Abilities[edit]

Several different copy abilities were demonstrated in this title, though some were only shown through their Helper. In total, at least 16 abilities were confirmed or implied to appear.

Name Obtained from Notes
Beam Waddle Doo Never directly seen, but reasonably assumed due to Waddle Doo's appearance. Appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Bomb Unidentified enemy The ability's hat was redesigned to an orange party hat with yellow patterns, being the basis for its current design debuting in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Cleaning Broom Hatter The ability's hat directly matches that of the anime, having a yellow kerchief with green stars.
Cutter Sir Kibble
Fighter Knuckle Joe Appears as a trophy in Brawl.
Fire Heat Phanphan The ability's hat was redesigned with a hexagonal gem matching that of the anime, which never reappeared outside of Brawl.
Ice Chilly Never directly seen, but reasonably assumed due to Chilly's appearance. Appears as a trophy in Brawl.
Hammer Bonkers The ability's hat was redesigned to resemble a construction helmet, which never reappeared in any future title.
Parasol Parasol Waddle Dee
Plasma Plasma Wisp Appears as a trophy in Brawl.
Stone Golem The ability's hat was redesigned to a crown of boulders, being the basis for its current design debuting in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Sword Blade Knight Appears as a trophy in Brawl.
Tornado Unidentified enemy Never directly seen, but reasonably assumed due to the helper that uses Tornado's moveset. Appears as a trophy in Brawl.
Water Unidentified enemy The only new ability to be showcased. The ability's design resembles that of the anime, with Kirby taking a translucent blue appearance.
Wheel Wheelie Never directly seen, but reasonably assumed due to Wheelie's appearance. Wheelie Rider also appears.
Wing Flappy Never directly seen, but reasonably assumed due to Flappy's appearance. Appears as a trophy in Brawl.

Bosses[edit]

Bosses who appeared in this version included the following:

The Three Lost Kirby Games[edit]

In an Iwata Asks interview for Kirby's Return to Dream Land, it was revealed that two more builds and concepts for the game existed before the final version; these two concepts alongside the one shown at E3 are collectively referred to as the "three lost Kirby games".[2] These two concepts are explained below.

Full 3D Platformer[edit]

Development screenshot of the full 3D platformer

The second game was a full 3D adventure allowing Kirby to freely move around, and looked very similar to Kirby Air Ride in graphical style. It was stated to have extremely challenging gameplay, and was canceled because it did not achieve HAL's quality standards.[2]

Due to the fullscreen proportions of the screenshot, it can be reasonably assumed that the game was developed for the Nintendo GameCube. If this is the case, then it likely had the shortest development span of the three concepts, due to being developed near the end of the GameCube's lifespan.

Full 2D Platformer[edit]

Development screenshot of the full 2D platformer

The third and final version was a 2D platformer done with clean 2D graphics, similar in art style to 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. One noticeable aspect shown in this build is a counter for Treasures on the heads-up display, suggesting similar gameplay mechanics to Kirby: Squeak Squad.

The game was developed for the Wii, judging by the widescreen proportions of the screenshot, starting development immediately after the cancellation of the previous build. It was canceled in early 2010 for unknown reasons.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Several aspects of the three canceled projects 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 the sub-game Kirby 3D Rumble, and later in 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" from Kirby's Return to Dream Land. The melody was probably intended to serve as a leitmotif of Kirby GCN, though it's also widely used in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Additionally, several models and sounds in Kirby's Return to Dream Land's files use the header "GCK", presumably for "GameCube Kirby", indicating that they were originally planned for use in this title.
  • The Kirby series trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl appear to use assets from this title, with models such as Golem and the Fire hat, which has a hexagonal jewel rather than the circular one in Kirby Air Ride, being direct matches.
  • The Water ability was originally planned to debut in this game, with a different design more closely matching its appearance in the anime; it ended up debuting in Kirby's Return to Dream Land instead.
  • HR-D3, which had initially appeared as a boss for this title, would later appear in Kirby Mass Attack, still in King Dedede themed paint job, 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.

Gallery[edit]

Video[edit]


Kirby GCN - E3 2005 trailer

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 星のカービィ
Hoshi no Kābī
Kirby of the Stars


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.ign.com/articles/2004/11/25/new-cube-titles-announced
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Iwata Asks: Kirby's Return to Dream Land
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20120306183526/http://cube.ign.com/objects/716/716496.html
  4. https://youtube.com/watch?v=yy2l5BSBSL0
  5. "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)