Please remember that WiKirby contains spoilers, which you read at your own risk! See our general disclaimer for details.

Kirby Dance (theme)

From WiKirby, your independent source of Kirby knowledge.
Jump to navigationJump to search
Kirby Dance
Goal Game (cloud 7):

Goal Game (cloud 6):

Goal Game (clouds 4, 5):

Goal Game (clouds 2, 3):

Goal Game (cloud 1):

(The long version is functionally identical to the Kirby's Dream Land version and is therefore omitted.)
Various arrangements of the Kirby Dance theme.
Details
Debut appearance Kirby's Dream Land (1992)
Last appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Other appearance(s) Kirby's Adventure
Kirby's Pinball Land
Kirby's Dream Course
Kirby's Avalanche
Kirby's Dream Land 2
Kirby's Block Ball
Kirby Super Star
Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy)
Kirby's Dream Land 3

Kirby's Star Stacker (Super Famicom)
Super Smash Bros.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
Kirby Air Ride
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Kirby: Canvas Curse
Kirby: Squeak Squad
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Kirby Fighters Deluxe
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
Kirby Battle Royale
Kirby Star Allies
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
Super Kirby Clash
Kirby Fighters 2
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Kirby's Dream Buffet
Composer(s) Jun Ishikawa
 This box: view  talk  edit 

The "Kirby Dance"[1][2], also known as the Stage Clear or Level Clear music[3], is a brief musical piece used throughout the Kirby series to accompany Kirby's signature dance, often playing when Kirby clears a stage or defeats a level's final boss. Jun Ishikawa composed the original version for Kirby's Dream Land.

Description[edit]

A transcription of the Kirby's Dream Land version of the Kirby Dance theme.

The dance jingle in its original form is in C major, and loops through an implied chord progression of ii-V-I (Dm-G-C) each measure. The upbeat, bouncy, energetic piece complements Kirby's dance animations, which are often full of jumping and sliding with exaggerated squash and stretch. Games commonly use a short version of the tune, which is simply the second half of the full (long) version.

Each measure of the tune always starts with a pair of triplets, initially in the melody but migrating to the bass line for the final measure. The heavy use of triplets is appropriate for the Kirby Dance as musical commentary strongly associates triplets with a sense of spinning and twirling[4], which feature in Kirby's dancing dating all the way back to Kirby's Dream Land.

Interestingly, there are three distinct variations of the long Kirby Dance melody. The primary difference is the end of the second bar. In the original version, this consists of a leap from C down to G. However, starting in Kirby's Dream Course, Hirokazu Ando consistently arranges it as a leap from C down to E. Meanwhile, starting with Kirby Super Star, Jun Ishikawa usually arranges it as a leap from C down to E followed by a lower C. This can be best compared by the two different arrangements in Kirby's Return to Dream Land — the Ishikawa version goes C-E-C, while the Ando version goes C-E.

Game appearances[edit]

The inaugural Kirby Dance, featuring plenty of spinning and twirling to accompany the Kirby Dance theme.

Kirby's Dream Land[edit]

In its first appearance in Kirby's Dream Land, the Kirby Dance music accompanies Kirby's dance after obtaining each Sparkling Star (except for the final one).

Kirby's Adventure / Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land[edit]

The abridged Kirby Dance theme makes its appearance for the first time in Kirby's Adventure in the Goal Game, except if Kirby lands on the highest platform. In that case and when Kirby recovers a piece of the Star Rod, the full-length piece accompanies a longer dance. The full theme also features a prominent percussion line, consisting of a drum sound marking the start and end of each measure except the end of the final measure, not heard in the short version.

The remake Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land rearranges both short and long versions of the theme with a new soundfont. Additionally, when crossing the finish line in the Kirby's Air Grind sub-game, an even further abridged version of the theme plays, effectively remixing the first half of the first measure and the second half of the last measure. This shortest version is followed by applause, which plays even in the Sound Test.

Kirby's Pinball Land[edit]

A functionally identical arrangement to the Kirby's Dream Land version of the theme accompanies the Kirby Dance in Kirby's Pinball Land.

Kirby's Dream Course[edit]

A synth-orchestral arrangement of the full Kirby Dance theme accompanies Kirby's dance upon the completion of each course of Kirby's Dream Course.

Kirby's Avalanche[edit]

At the very end of Kirby's Avalanche, after Kirby defeats King Dedede, a short jingle of the Kirby Dance theme plays during the scene where Kirby is posing with his trophy.

Kirby's Dream Land 2[edit]

The arrangement of the full Kirby Dance music in Kirby's Dream Land 2 is again essentially identical to the version in Kirby's Dream Land, and features in post-boss dances. However, as the Goal Game featured for the first time in a Kirby game for the Game Boy, the short version of the Kirby Dance theme also makes an appearance. In fact, there are five different versions of the Kirby Dance theme that can play in this version of the Goal Game:

  • If the player lands on cloud 7, only the final note of the Kirby Dance melody will play.
  • If the player lands on cloud 6, about half a bar of a modified Kirby Dance melody will play.
  • If the player lands on cloud 5 or cloud 4, a bar of Kirby Dance music will play. This combines the bass line from the final measure with the first half of the first measure's melody and the second half of the final measure's melody, resulting in doubling of the F-G-A B-A-B triplets.
  • If the player lands on cloud 3 or cloud 2, the final bar-and-a-half of Kirby Dance music will play, except with the first half-bar's melody modified to be a pair of triplets (C6-G5-C6-E6-E5-G6).
  • If the player lands on cloud 1, the entire short version of the Kirby Dance music will play.

Kirby's Block Ball[edit]

The Kirby Dance in Kirby's Block Ball features an arrangement of the dance theme that is largely identical to the versions in Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Pinball Land, but with a fuzzier percussion track and with the bass line of the second bar starting with D-D-G-G instead of F-F-G-G. Additionally, the "Borderline Clear" track includes a short snippet of the Kirby Dance theme at the end.

Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra[edit]

In both Kirby Super Star and its remake, the Kirby Dance music plays for long and short dances following Sparkling Stars and Goal Game landings. The instrumentation is clearly distinct between the long and short versions, with the melody having a woodwind sound to it in the short version but being handled by synth strings in the long version.

Also, a unique, slightly-altered arrangement of the theme plays in Kirby Super Star Ultra's exclusive "Kirby Master!" video.

Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy)[edit]

The arrangement of the Kirby Dance theme for the Game Boy version of Kirby's Star Stacker is largely similar to the Kirby's Block Ball version, except for the bass line. At the head of each measure, the bass line jumps from D to the G below it, rather than the G above it as is usual.

Kirby's Dream Land 3[edit]

Kirby's Dream Land 3 only features the short version of the Kirby Dance theme, in an arrangement quite similar to the short version in Kirby Super Star but with perceptible differences in percussion and note lengths used, as well as a higher-quality soundfont.

Kirby's Star Stacker (Super Famicom)[edit]

The Japan-only Super Famicom version of Kirby's Star Stacker features a trumpet-heavy arrangement of the Kirby Dance music in A major. This is the first time that the Kirby Dance theme featured in a Kirby game in a key other than C major; in this case, A major.

Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble[edit]

In Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, the Kirby Dance makes an appearance after defeating a boss. This version can be found as Track 16 in the game's Sound Room.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards[edit]

Despite not featuring any dancing from Kirby, the Sound Check makes a new arrangement of the Kirby Dance theme available as Tracks 61 (long version) and 62 (short version).

Kirby Air Ride[edit]

Kirby Air Ride features two abridged arrangements of the Kirby Dance theme. The Top Ride results screen features a one-bar version in the vein of the Kirby's Dream Land 2 one-bar version (for landing on cloud 4 or 5 in the Goal Game). The Air Ride results screen uses something closer to the standard short Kirby Dance music, but finishes the melody on the supertonic (re) to set up the rest of the results screen music. Although the bulk of both tracks are set in E Mixolydian, the Kirby Dance portions are in E major, marking the first time that a Kirby game released outside of Japan featured an arrangement of this theme not in C major.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror[edit]

The Kirby Dance theme arrangements for Kirby & The Amazing Mirror heavily resemble those used in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. The finish line fanfare arrangement originally created for Kirby's Air Grind now plays when Kirby crosses the finish line in the Kirby Wave Ride sub-game, again featuring applause.

Kirby: Canvas Curse[edit]

Kirby: Canvas Curse features aggressively electronic arrangements of the short and long versions of the Kirby Dance themes. In addition, clearing each stage triggers a heavily abridged version along the lines of the Kirby's Air Grind/Kirby Wave Ride finish line music, but with an extremely different chord progression (IV-V-iv) ending in dissonance rather than resolving to the tonic (as all previous arrangements do).

Additionally, as part of the final Medal Swap perk, the player can choose to replace all three arrangements with their "Old School" Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land counterparts. These are largely faithful renditions except for the shortest version used to mark clearing each stage, which no longer features applause as it did in the context of Kirby's Air Grind.

Kirby: Squeak Squad[edit]

Kirby: Squeak Squad features short and long versions of the Kirby Dance theme. The arrangements are not significantly changed from those used in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land and Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, although with entirely distinct instrumentation.

Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn[edit]

Kirby's Epic Yarn and its 3DS remake Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn both have orchestral arrangements of the short and long versions of the Kirby Dance themes. In addition, the full theme has a variation interrupted by Yin-Yarn's return during the game's final boss battle.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

There are four arrangements of the Kirby Dance theme in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, all of which are unique.

  • Two new versions arranged by Hirokazu Ando play during the Goal Game when landing on numbers 7 through 2 (short) and 1 (long). The short version also plays after clearing a Challenge Stage.
  • An arrangement by Jun Ishikawa, using the same instruments as the SNES and GBA installments, plays after defeating a boss. This arrangement is named Kirby Dance (Long) - After Boss in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.
  • An orchestral arrangement by Hirokazu Ando plays during the "Kirby Master!" movie, much like in Kirby Super Star Ultra.

All of the above arrangements return in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, along with the "Memorial Fest" variation from Kirby Star Allies accompanying the Festival ability's return.

Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition[edit]

The short Kirby's Return to Dream Land arrangement plays after clearing a Challenge Stage in New Challenge Stages.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe[edit]

Kirby: Triple Deluxe features eight distinct variations of the Kirby Dance theme, the most of any Kirby game, though only four are unique.

  • Two completely new versions, arranged by Hirokazu Ando, play when clearing the Goal Game at numbers 7 through 2 (short) and 1 (long).
  • The Kirby's Return to Dream Land versions play after collecting a Grand Sun Stone (long) and clearing a stage in Dedede's Drum Dash (short).
  • The original Kirby's Dream Land version plays when landing on numbers 7 through 1 sequentially in the Goal Game. A unique short arrangement of the classic theme plays when clearing a round in Kirby Fighters.
  • The "Kirby Master!" arrangement from Kirby's Return to Dream Land plays in the Theater movie of the same name.
  • A new short arrangement of the theme by Jun Ishikawa plays on the HOME menu when hovering over the game's icon.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse[edit]

The Story Mode of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse features short and long versions of the Kirby Dance theme after clearing regular stages and boss stages, respectively. The short version (titled Stage Clear in the Music Room) slows down in tempo throughout the last bar, while the long version (titled Level Clear in the Music Room) successively quickens in tempo by around 10% from bar to bar for the first three measures. Applause features at the end of both versions and will loop indefinitely, both in Story Mode and in the Music Room.

An additional arrangement of the long version features as part of "Final Transformation!", but is interrupted midway through the third measure.

Kirby: Planet Robobot[edit]

Kirby: Planet Robobot reuses the Kirby Dance music from three different games:

  • The long version from Kirby's Return to Dream Land accompanies Kirby's dance after clearing a boss stage. The short version accompanies the score tally after each Quest in Team Kirby Clash.
  • The versions from Kirby: Triple Deluxe accompany Kirby's dance after the Goal Game for the vast majority of landings.
  • If Kirby lands on clouds 7 through 1 in sequence in consecutive Goal Games, the original Kirby Dance music from Kirby's Dream Land plays.

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe / Super Kirby Clash[edit]

In Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash, the short version of "Kirby Dance" from Kirby's Return to Dream Land reprises its role from the Team Kirby Clash sub-game.

Kirby Battle Royale[edit]

Kirby Battle Royale features fast-paced orchestral short and long versions of the Kirby Dance theme at the start of "Results 1" and "Results 2", the music tracks for the battle results and final results screens, respectively. Curiously, the short version is in E major while the long version is in G major, marking this the first time any single Kirby game featured arrangements in multiple keys (and neither in C major). Additionally, "Results 2" is entirely in C major apart from its transposed use of the Kirby Dance theme.

Kirby Star Allies[edit]

Kirby Star Allies features a new arrangement of the theme when accompanying Kirby's dancing. The short version plays after landing on clouds 7 through 2 in the Goal Game, while the long version plays after landing on cloud 1 in the Goal Game or after defeating a boss.

During gameplay, two Copy Abilities can cause a version of the Kirby Dance theme to play:

  • A special samba-inspired arrangement, called "Memorial Fest", accompanies the Festival Dance Friend Ability.
  • If the Souper Supper move is charged for long enough, Cook Kirby will hum the short Kirby Dance tune, albeit off key.

As with the prior few mainline games, landing on clouds 7 through 1 in sequence in consecutive Goal Games triggers the original Kirby Dance music from Kirby's Dream Land. This music also accompanies the Dream Button unlock notification after clearing The Ultimate Choice on Soul Melter EX.

Kirby Fighters 2[edit]

Kirby Fighters 2 has its own arrangement when accompanying Kirby's dance. It's featured after clearing a round like in Kirby Fighters and its Deluxe version.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land[edit]

Kirby and the Forgotten Land has its own arrangement of the theme to accompany Kirby's dance. A short version plays on completing a non-boss stage, while a long version plays after defeating a boss or at specific story beats.

Kirby's Dream Buffet[edit]

Kirby's Dream Buffet includes a very short parapharase of the Kirby Dance theme, spanning the first seven notes of the melody. The melody itself sounds as if transposed to F-sharp major but ends on G rather than F-sharp, and the arrangement as a whole is more accurately described as being on a D-sharp Aeolian dominant scale. No dance accompanies the use of this arrangement on the results screen.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

In the Super Smash Bros. series, a remix of this theme usually plays when Kirby (or another Kirby character) wins.

Super Smash Bros.[edit]

This game has an orchestrated remix of this jingle. This variation is in the key of A major.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Another orchestrated remix of this jingle is present as a winning theme as well, which contains more string instrumentation.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

In this game, there are two remixes of this jingle. The first one is orchestral and in the key of G, and the other one is a rock remix in the key of C. The former one is for Kirby and King Dedede, while the latter is a unique remix for Meta Knight's victory. These variations are reused for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U[edit]

While appearing as a victory theme, this jingle also briefly appears in the Ice Cream Island music track.

Other appearances[edit]

The theme is arranged at the end of the track カクテルをつくろう! ("Let's Make a Cocktail!") on the Japanese Kirby's Adventure vocal album. The arrangement is a moderate-tempo, gentle, almost completely rewritten melody in A-flat major, and contrasts heavily with the lively original.

Kirby no Kirakira Kids Original CD Masters, a soundtrack CD ostensibly made to accompany the Game Boy version of Kirby's Star Stacker, features only entirely re-instrumented arrangements of the game's music tracks. This includes track 14, ダンス (Dance), which features two loops of the long version of the Kirby Dance theme.

The Japanese version of the Pink-Collar Blues episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! features an extended orchestral arrangement of the short version of the Kirby Dance theme, included in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Sound Plus under the title ワドルディたち (Waddle Dees).

The Kirby Dance theme was arranged in the style of an eki-melo or train melody jingle for the Kirby Pupupu Train merchandise event. This arrangement can be found on the Kirby Pupupu Train Eki-melo Collection as track 13, クリアダンス/駅メロ Ver. (Clear Dance - Eki-melo Ver.).

The short version from Kirby Star Allies is used as the 1st place jingle at the end of a Super Kirby Clash Maximus Cup round in Tetris 99.

The opening segment of the Kirby 30th Anniversary Music Festival, Green Greens ~ Running Through the New World, closes with a slow-tempo orchestral/big band arrangement of the Kirby Dance theme. Accompanying this is a video compilation of Kirby dancing across thirty years' worth of video games, representing nearly every game (released at the time of the Festival) that features the Kirby Dance, with only a number of spin-offs omitted—namely Kirby's Pinball Land, Kirby's Dream Course, the Game Boy version of Kirby's Star Stacker, Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn — while also including a non-dance from Kirby's Blowout Blast. Shortly afterwards, while introducing the audience to the glowsticks made for the Festival, Kirby performs the dance and hums the dance tune in a manner similar to the Cook Kirby "arrangement" in Kirby Star Allies.

Trivia[edit]

The composer of the Kirby Dance theme, Jun Ishikawa, did not know how many frames of animation would fit in the length of the music.
  • An anecdote from Masahiro Sakurai about the development of Kirby's Dream Land suggests that the music precedes the dance, or at least the rhythm of the dance. Sakurai asked the sound composer (Jun Ishikawa) how long the music was in frames, the response being "I don't know". Sakurai had to play and rewind a cassette tape recording many times to make the dance animation match up with the music.[5]
  • Due to its numerous abridged arrangements in the Goal Game, Kirby's Dream Land 2 features the most unique Kirby Dance theme arrangements in a single Kirby game, with six distinct versions. If counting reused arrangements, it's beat by Kirby: Triple Deluxe at eight, followed by Kirby: Planet Robobot and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe at five, Kirby's Return to Dream Land at four, and Kirby Star Allies also at four (five if counting Cook Kirby's humming).

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カービィダンス[1][2][6][7]
kābyi dansu
ステージクリア[3]
sutēji kuria
クリアダンス[8][9][10]
kuria dansu
面クリア時の踊り[11]
men kuria ji no odori
Kirby Dance
Stage Clear
Clear Dance
Stage Clear Dance
Chinese 卡比跳舞[2]
Kǎbǐ tiàowǔ
Kirby Dance
Dutch Kirby's dansje[2] Kirby's dance
French Danse de Kirby[2] Kirby's dance
German Kirbys Tanz[2] Kirby's Dance
Italian Il ballo di Kirby[2] Kirby's dance
Korean 커비 댄스[2]
keobi daenseu
Kirby Dance
Portuguese Dança do Kirby Kirby's dance
Spanish El baile de Kirby[2] Kirby's dance


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kirby: Planet Robobot Original Soundtrack
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Kirby and the Forgotten Land Corner Stage
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Music Room
  4. See, for example, Hansen, N. Chr., & Huron, D. (2019). Twirling Triplets: The Qualia of Rotation and Musical Rhythm. Music & Science, 2. [1]
  5. "開発当時、サウンド担当にクリア音楽のフレーム数を聞いたところ「わからない」とのことで… カセットテープに録音したクリア音楽を何度も巻き戻しつつ、音に合わせて作りました。"Masahiro Sakurai (on Twitter)
  6. Kirby: Triple Deluxe Soundtrack
  7. Kirby Star Allies: The Original Soundtrack
  8. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Sound Plus
  9. Kirby Wii Music Selection
  10. Kirby Pupupu Train Eki-melo Collection
  11. Kirby's Adventure (soundtrack)