Kirby (series)

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Kirby Series Logo.png
The logo for the Kirby series, used since Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land.

Kirby is a series of action-platforming video games starring the titular Kirby, a pink puffball-like creature with inhaling and Copy Abilities for trademark attributes. The Kirby series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, and most games are developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo, making Kirby a second-party series of Nintendo. Kirby's Dream Land is the first game in the series, released in 1992. Despite the cutesy nature of the series characters and settings, the Kirby series was designed to be enjoyed by all ages, with the difficulty of the main game modes often being very easy, while optional game modes are typically much more difficult.

Gameplay[edit]

The main series titles are side-scrolling platformers that involve Kirby having to get from the start of a room to a door or another object. In order to do this, Kirby must overcome or avoid many enemies, many of which will give Kirby a Copy Ability when he inhales and then swallows them. Kirby has a limited number of lives and a limited amount of stamina; if his health drops to zero, a life is lost and Kirby has to restart at the beginning of the current section, losing his Copy Ability. If Kirby loses some of his health, he can drink an Energy Drink or consume a food item to restore some of it, or eat a Maxim Tomato to get all of it back. In some games, after Kirby finishes a level, he plays a Goal Game which can earn him extra lives.

Most main-series titles feature at least one Sub-Game, which can be played within the main game, or outside it in a menu. Unlike the main game, these can vary wildly in play-style, from quick-time games to racing games. Many of these are competitive, and can be played with more than one player. These also tend to vary wildly in size, with some being minor diversions, and others being practically full-fledged games on their own.

Spin-off titles divert from the main series in a similar manner to Sub-Games, but are much larger in scope and entirely separate titles. These titles often experiment with other genres, and are generally not considered to be canon with the main series. The most prominent spin-off titles include Kirby Air Ride - a full-fledged racing game, Kirby: Canvas Curse - a 'touch platformer' where Kirby has to be guided using the Nintendo DS stylus, and Kirby's Epic Yarn - a more traditional platformer, but with fundamentally different mechanics to that of the main series.

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

These are the twelve main platformers in the Kirby series, with each game's Japanese title beginning with 星のカービィ (Hoshi no Kābī, "Kirby of the Stars"). The games feature Kirby's signature inhale, as well as his Copy Ability (with one exception). These games are also considered to be confirmed canon:

Boxart Title Console Original release date Notes
KDL Box.jpg Kirby's Dream Land Game Boy Japan April 27, 1992
NA August 1, 1992
KA Box.jpg Kirby's Adventure Nintendo Entertainment System Japan March 23, 1993
NA May 1993
KDL2 Box.jpg Kirby's Dream Land 2 Game Boy Japan March 21, 1995
NA May 1995
KSS Box NA.jpg Kirby Super Star Super Nintendo Entertainment System Japan March 21, 1996
NA September 23, 1996
Known as Kirby's Fun Pak in British English.
KDL3 Box.jpg Kirby's Dream Land 3 Super Nintendo Entertainment System NA November 27, 1997
Japan March 27, 1998
Never saw an original release on the SNES in Europe and Australia.
K64 The Crystal Shards box art.png Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Nintendo 64 Japan March 24, 2000
NA June 26, 2000
KatAM cover art.jpg Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Game Boy Advance Japan April 15, 2004
NA October 18, 2004
USCover KSS.jpg Kirby: Squeak Squad Nintendo DS Japan November 2, 2006
NA December 6, 2006
Known as Kirby Mouse Attack in British English.
KRtDL Boxart L.jpg Kirby's Return to Dream Land Wii NA October 24, 2011
Japan October 27, 2011
Known as Kirby's Adventure Wii in British English.
TD Boxart NA.jpg Kirby: Triple Deluxe Nintendo 3DS Japan January 11, 2014
NA May 2, 2014
KPR Box.png Kirby: Planet Robobot Nintendo 3DS Japan April 28, 2016
NA June 10, 2016
Star Allies Cover.jpg Kirby Star Allies Nintendo Switch Japan March 16, 2018
NA March 16, 2018
This is the first main series title to be released on the same day in almost all regions.

Spin-off games[edit]

These are games that do not follow the traditional formula of the main series, and take on a wide variety of genres. They are considered part of the core series, but many of these have unconfirmed status in canon:

Boxart Title Console Genre Original release date Notes
KPL Box.png Kirby's Pinball Land Game Boy Pinball Japan November 27, 1993
NA November 30, 1993
-
KDC Cover.jpg Kirby's Dream Course Super Nintendo Entertainment System Sports Japan September 21, 1994
NA February 1995
KAv Box.png Kirby's Avalanche Super Nintendo Entertainment System Puzzle NA April 25, 1995
Known as Kirby's Ghost Trap in British English. Based on Super Puyo Puyo. Not released in Japan.
KBBa Box.jpg Kirby's Block Ball Game Boy Action Japan December 14, 1995
NA May 13 1996
KSSGB Box.jpg Kirby's Star Stacker Game Boy Puzzle Japan January 25, 1997
NA April 5, 1997
KTnT Box.png Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble Game Boy Color Action Japan August 23, 2000
NA April 11, 2001
Not released in Europe and Australia.
Kirby Air Ride boxart.png Kirby Air Ride Nintendo GameCube Racing Japan July 11, 2003
NA October 13, 2003
Kirby Canvas Curse box art.png Kirby: Canvas Curse Nintendo DS Platformer Japan March 24, 2005
NA June 13, 2005
Known as Kirby: Power Paintbrush in British English.
Kirby's Epic Yarn NA box art.png Kirby's Epic Yarn Wii Platformer Japan October 14, 2010
NA October 17, 2010
-
Kirby Mass Attack cover.png Kirby Mass Attack Nintendo DS Platformer Japan August 4, 2011
NA September 19, 2011
-
DDDD logo.png Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe Nintendo 3DS (eShop) Rhythm Japan July 23, 2014
NA August 29, 2014
Based on Dedede's Drum Dash from Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
KFD logo.png Kirby Fighters Deluxe Nintendo 3DS (eShop) Fighting Japan July 23, 2014
NA August 29, 2014
Based on Kirby Fighters from Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
KatRC NA box art.png Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Wii U Platformer Japan January 22, 2015
NA February 20, 2015
A spiritual successor to Kirby: Canvas Curse. Called Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush in British English.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe logo.png Team Kirby Clash Deluxe Nintendo 3DS (eShop) Role-playing Japan April 13, 2017
NA April 12, 2017
Based on Team Kirby Clash from Kirby: Planet Robobot.
KBBl logo.png Kirby's Blowout Blast Nintendo 3DS (eShop) Platformer Japan July 4, 2017
NA July 6, 2017
Based on Kirby 3D Rumble from Kirby: Planet Robobot.
KBR box art.jpg Kirby Battle Royale Nintendo 3DS Action Japan November 30, 2017
NA January 19, 2018
This is the first game in the series to feature full online multiplayer.
SKC eShop artwork.jpg Super Kirby Clash Nintendo Switch (eShop) Role-playing NA September 4, 2019
Japan September 5, 2019
Successor to Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.
Kirby Fighters 2 Banner.jpg Kirby Fighters 2 Nintendo Switch (eShop) Fighting NA September 23, 2020
Japan September 24, 2020
Successor to Kirby Fighters Deluxe.

Remakes and compilations[edit]

These games are rereleases of older games for newer systems, often enhancing graphics and adding additional content.

Boxart Title Console Original release date Notes
KSSS Box.jpg Kirby's Star Stacker Super Famicom Japan June 25, 1999
A remake of the Game Boy title of the same name. Only released in Japan.
KNiDL box artwork.jpg Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land Game Boy Advance Japan October 25, 2002
NA December 2, 2002
A remake of Kirby's Adventure.
KSS Ultra box art.png Kirby Super Star Ultra Nintendo DS NA September 22, 2008
Japan November 6, 2008
A remake of Kirby Super Star.
KA 3DS logo.png 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure Nintendo 3DS Japan April 25, 2012
NA November 17, 2011
A port of Kirby's Adventure.
Kirby's Dream Collection box art.png Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition Wii Japan July 19, 2012
NA September 16, 2012
Compilation of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards to celebrate Kirby's 20th anniversary. Includes an original game mode called New Challenge Stages, a soundtrack CD and 45 page book containing artwork and other behind-the-scenes information covering Kirby's history. Never released in Europe and Australia.
KEEY Rated Cover.jpg Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn Nintendo 3DS Japan March 7, 2019
NA March 8, 2019
An enhanced port of Kirby's Epic Yarn

Other games[edit]

The following are Kirby games that do not fit into any of the above categories, and are usually small spin-off or peripheral titles. They are not considered to be part of the core Kirby series by Nintendo or HAL Laboratory:

Boxart Title Console Genre Original release date Notes
KTB title.png Kirby's Toy Box Super Famicom
(Satellaview)
Various Japan February 8, 1996
A collection of mini-games broadcast over the St.GIGA network, exclusive to Japan.
Kirby Slide gameplay 2.png Kirby Slide Game Boy Advance (e-Reader card) Puzzle NA December 2003
A Kirby-themed puzzle slider mini-game.
Needed.png Hoshi no Kirby: KiraKira Medal Land[1] Arcade machine Various Japan 2006
Includes 20 different minigames based on Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Licensed medal throwing Kirby game by Atlus.
Needed.png Hoshi no Kirby: Medal Land no Mahou no Tou[2] Arcade machine Various Japan 2007
Mentioned in the Japanese version of Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition. Licensed Kirby game by Atlus.

Canceled games[edit]

There are five known Kirby games were under development at some point but were never released. They are regarded as canceled games.

Title Console Notes
Kid Kirby Super Nintendo
Kirby's Air Ride Nintendo 64 Eventually released on the Nintendo GameCube.
Kirby Family Game Boy Color Planned as the Kirby equivalent of Mario Family.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2 Nintendo GameCube A planned follow-up title to Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble before eventually dropping the Kirby name and becoming Roll-O-Rama. Had it been released, it would have been the first title to demonstrate the connectivity between the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.
Kirby for Nintendo GameCube Nintendo GameCube A main-series game for Nintendo GameCube featuring a revamped Helper system based on that of Kirby Super Star alongside the camera perspective of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It was scrapped due to issues designing levels playable in both single player and multiplayer. Had it released, it would have become the eighth mainline Kirby game. Three more builds followed, with only the last being released as Kirby's Return to Dream Land.

Main characters[edit]

Artwork Name Description
Kirby Allies.png
Kirby Kirby is the hero of the franchise and the primary playable character in each game (with one exception). His powers, which are vital to the gameplay of most installments, include inhaling objects and creatures in order to either spit them out again or steal their ability, as well as inflating himself, enabling him to fly. In most games, he must use his unique powers to save his homeland Dream Land, the planet Popstar on which it is located or even the entire galaxy from the respective game's main antagonist.
KF2 King Dedede.png
King Dedede King Dedede is the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land and Kirby's archrival, though rarely the main antagonist. Although portrayed as greedy and selfish primarily in Kirby's Dream Land, where he steals all of Dream Land's food for himself, he often means well throughout the series, but ends up antagonizing Kirby due to a misunderstanding or being mind-controlled by the true villain. Once the misunderstanding has been resolved or the mind-control has been broken, however, he often ends up helping Kirby, most notably in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where he is one of the game's main heroes.
KF2 Meta Knight.png
Meta Knight An enigmatic character of ambiguous allegiance, Meta Knight repeatedly confronts Kirby during the latter's journeys, often challenging him to a duel. Although seemingly antagonistic towards Kirby, he serves as a stalwart ally to the pink puffball more often than not, and any misgivings they may have had over the sinking of the Halberd seem to have been mended. When Meta Knight is inclined to battle with Kirby, no matter the circumstance, he provides Kirby with a sword in order to force a fair fight. He is the leader of a group of warriors known as the Meta-Knights, who Kirby often has to battle against.
KF2 Bandana Waddle Dee artwork.png
Bandana Waddle Dee A Waddle Dee who is distinguished only by his blue bandana, Bandana Waddle Dee is one of King Dedede's most loyal subjects. However, he is also very good friends with Kirby, forcing him to sometimes choose between the two. He can wield both a Spear and a Parasol in combat with good efficacy, but he usually avoids fighting unless necessary, aiming to help the main characters by tossing them Assist Stars instead. He got his first starring role in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and he went on to become a recurring major character in the Kirby franchise.

Minor characters[edit]

Lesser-known characters who have made more than one significant appearance in the series include the following:

Notable minor characters in the Kirby series  
Character Picture Games (not including cameos) Role(s) Description Notes
Animal Friends
KDL3 Dream Friends artwork.png
Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby Star Allies Serve as Kirby's companions, and can pair up with him for combination attacks. Several anthropomorphic animals help Kirby out during some of his adventures, letting him ride them and putting their own spin on his Copy Ability attacks. They served major roles in this fashion in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3, and since then, they have made many cameo appearances in later titles. The original three Animal Friends eventually returned in a more important role in Kirby Star Allies as playable Dream Friends, while the rest of the Animal Friends also appear in said game as part of the Cleaning move-set, referencing how they interacted with Clean originally. There are a total of six Animal Friends: Rick (a hamster), Kine (an ocean sunfish), Coo (an owl), Nago (a cat), Pitch (a bird), and ChuChu (an octopus). The former three debuted in Kirby's Dream Land 2, while the latter three debuted in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
Gooey
KF2 Gooey.png
Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby Star Allies, Kirby Fighters 2 One of Kirby's companions. Gooey is a blue blob creature with a long tongue and beady eyes which tend to wander. He is made of the same stuff as Dark Matter, but is not evil, instead becoming good friends with Kirby and being somewhat goofy in character. Gooey can grab enemies with his tongue and copy their abilities like Kirby, and he can also transform into a 'Mock Matter' form in order to fly about and fire dark lasers like his evil counterparts. He first appears in Kirby's Dream Land 2 as a minor character who replaces any Animal Friends in bags that Kirby is already using, and he functions as a healing item. He returns in Kirby's Dream Land 3 with a completely different purpose: he serves as the second player's character in multiplayer or can be summoned in as an AI helper in exchange for some health in single-player. In this game, he is able to use Copy Abilities like Kirby, but he swallows enemies with his long tongue rather than with an inhale. He has appeared more recently as a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies and a playable Buddy in Kirby Fighters 2
Dark Matter
KDL3 DarkMatterCA.png
Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3 Consistent villain throughout all of its appearances. An evil entity which often takes the form of a circular cloud of black energy with a single large eye and usually frills around its circumference. Its main characteristic is its ability to engulf worlds and possess their inhabitants, typically using dark clouds to achieve this. Kirby usually has to then battle possessed characters in order to free them from Dark Matter's grasp. To actually drive off Dark Matter, Kirby often needs to use a special weapon or ability to pierce its core and defeat it from within. Other beings associated with (or speculated to be associated with) Dark Matter include Zero, , Miracle Matter, Dark Matter Clone, Dark Nebula, Dark Mind, King D-Mind, and Void Termina.
Adeleine
KSA Adeleine.png
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby Star Allies A supporting ally for Kirby, as well as a boss-like opponent when possessed. A young painter girl who came to Popstar to study art and serves as a supporting protagonist in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. She befriends Kirby and paints items for him to use on his adventures, but before this, she is possessed by the villainous Dark Matter, and fights Kirby. Adeleine is a very talented painter, and her paintings will usually pop out of the frame to become the genuine objects, including food and other helpful items. She takes the role of a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies, where she is paired with Ribbon. It is unclear whether she and Ado (a boss from Kirby's Dream Land 3 with great similarity to Adeleine) are the same character.
Ribbon
KSA Ribbon.png
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby Star Allies Supporting ally for Kirby. Ribbon is a supporting protagonist in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. She is a young fairy girl who hails from Ripple Star, a planet inhabited by fairies. She is assaulted by Dark Matter while trying to usher the great crystal to safety, which leads to it breaking and Kirby helping her get the scattered crystal pieces back. Ribbon directly assists Kirby in the final battle against . Ribbon reappears alongside Adeleine in Kirby Star Allies, with the two serving together as a playable Dream Friend.
Marx
KSA Marx Artwork.png
Kirby Super Star (Ultra), Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby Star Allies, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate A final boss who betrays Kirby, as well as a Dream Friend who helps him. An unassuming jester who can be seen balancing on a ball. In Milky Way Wishes, he tasks Kirby to stop the sun and moon from fighting by calling upon the Galactic Nova to grant him a wish to do so, but betrays Kirby by stealing the wish and using it to grant himself immense power with which to control Popstar, revealing that he made the sun and moon fight as part of his plan. Kirby then has to defeat him by destroying Galactic Nova's nucleus to disable it, then engaging Marx in combat, causing both to explode in the end. Marx reappears in a more minor role in the Sub-Game Kirby Brawlball in Kirby Mass Attack as the fourth and final boss. Marx appears again in Kirby Star Allies as a playable Dream Friend, where he retains characteristics from both his normal form and his mutated boss form, and also appears in the latter form as a surprise boss in the Heroes in Another Dimension true ending credits. He also makes a notable appearance as a boss in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where his boss fight is based on his original boss fight but with some new attacks.
Dark Meta Knight
KSA Dark Meta Knight Artwork.png
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies A villain who later appears as a Dream Friend. An evil Mirror World counterpart to Meta Knight who acts as an agent of Dark Mind. At the start of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, he splits Kirby into four differently-colored but otherwise identical versions of himself with one slash of his sword for unknown reasons, and a short time later, he defeats Meta Knight, seals him away in the Dimension Mirror, and splits it into eight shards, which he scatters across the Mirror World. He has two boss fights throughout the game, though he disguises as Meta Knight for the first. He returns as the surprise final boss of Dededetour! in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, where he gains more unique features in his design to distinguish him from Meta Knight, such as a slash mark on his mask. He also appears as a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies, where his design changes even more, including his wings now being tattered.
Daroach
KSA Daroach Artwork.png
Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby Star Allies An unwitting enemy to Kirby who turns to his side. A wily mouse, magician and burglar who leads the thieving band known as the Squeaks. He causes trouble for Kirby the first time they meet in Kirby: Squeak Squad due to a misunderstanding over a Treasure Chest and a Strawberry Shortcake, being fought as a boss both normally and in an evil form resulting from his possession by Dark Nebula, but he later apologizes and becomes an ally of Kirby, being a helpful side character in Kirby Mass Attack and a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies. He possesses the Triple Star Cane, a powerful weapon which can be used to destroy evil entities like Dark Nebula.
Galacta Knight
KSSU Galacta Knight artwork.png
Kirby Super Star Ultra, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby: Planet Robobot, Kirby Star Allies, Super Kirby Clash A mysterious enemy. Often called "the greatest warrior in the galaxy", Galacta Knight is usually called upon in Extra Games by a villain or other morally ambiguous character to test the strength of the main character (usually Meta Knight). Galacta Knight's origin and motive are unclear, but he is capable of absurdly powerful magic attacks, and for this reason, is usually sealed away in a crystal or in Another Dimension. In Super Kirby Clash, he is referred to as the Aeon Hero.
Magolor
KSA Magolor Artwork.png
Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies, Super Kirby Clash, Kirby Fighters 2 A final boss who betrays Kirby, but eventually turns to Kirby's side. An alien wizard and fibber from the planet Halcandra. He pilots the Lor Starcutter, an ancient starship capable of traveling across dimensions. In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby and co. agree to help him when his ruined ship comes crashing down to Popstar by collecting its scattered pieces and the Energy Spheres that power it, and he also makes them defeat the dragon Landia, but he reveals afterwards that he was trying to obtain the Master Crown which Landia was guarding in order to use its extreme power to achieve a more powerful form and rule the universe. With some help from Landia, Kirby and co. defeat Magolor, who turns over a new leaf and appears as a friendly character in later games, including building the New Challenge Stages and racing Kirby in them, being a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies, and being a playable Buddy in Kirby Fighters 2. In Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash, he runs the Gem Apple Shoppe, selling Team Kirby everything they need for their adventure.
Taranza
KSA Taranza Artwork.png
Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies, Super Kirby Clash A villain who eventually turns to Kirby's side. A clumsy arachnid mage from Floralia, who sought nothing else but to please his gracious queen, Sectonia, who ruled with an iron fist over the People of the Sky, who planned to bring the hero of Dream Land, Kirby, to their aid. When Sectonia hears of this plan, she has Taranza capture the hero of Dream Land for her, though he accidentally captures King Dedede rather than Kirby. When this mistake becomes apparent, the queen, mad with power, strikes him away, causing him to doubt his loyalty, and he joins forces with Kirby and King Dedede to defeat her and grant her 'eternal beauty sleep'. Taranza later appears as a boss in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash, being the main antagonist in the former and a minor antagonist in the latter, and also as a playable Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies.
Susie
KSA Susie Artwork.png
Kirby: Planet Robobot, Kirby Star Allies A villain who turns to Kirby's side. The executive assistant of the Haltmann Works Company, Susie is heavily armed with advanced alien technology, including a blaster, a rotor-based transporter, and most notably, her giant mechanical business suit. She was an enemy to Kirby during the occupation of Planet Popstar in Kirby: Planet Robobot, being fought as a boss and presenting other bosses to him throughout the game, but eventually, she reluctantly turned to his side after her father, the company president, was taken by the mother computer Star Dream. Even so, she still aims to carry on her father's legacy by taking over the company. She reappears in Kirby Star Allies as a playable Dream Friend.

Trivia[edit]

  • So far, the platform to feature the most original Kirby games is the Nintendo 3DS, with seven entries.
  • Since its debut, at least one Kirby game has appeared on every major Nintendo console and handheld device (except for the Virtual Boy).
  • HAL Laboratory keeps a list of every Kirby game they have worked on at their website. Despite the following games being officially part of the Kirby series, Kirby's Block Ball, Kirby's Avalanche, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn are not present on HAL's list.

External links[edit]

References[edit]