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In-game render from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
First game Kirby's Dream Land 3
Latest game Kirby Star Allies
Other game(s) Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby's Blowout Blast
Copy Ability None
Enemy Info Card K64 Enemy Info Card 66.png
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Nruff is a recurring enemy throughout the Kirby series, debuting as a boss in Kirby's Dream Land 2 but appearing as a regular enemy in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Its appearance is similar to that of a brown boar, usually portrayed in games without tusks and with perpetually closed eyes. Its fur sticks out in spikes behind it, giving it an appearance similar to the spines of a porcupine, and it possesses stripes on its back that are lighter in color than the rest of its body. It does not grant a Copy Ability in any games.

Aside from its major appearances, Nruff is also seen in the anime as a minor character, as well as making a cameo as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Game appearances

Kirby's Dream Land 3

In Kirby's Dream Land 3, Nruff appears as a common enemy rather than a boss and has assumed its tusk-less, striped appearance. The enemy version of Nruff, which is first encountered in the third stage of Grass Land and last seen in the game's final regular stage, attacks simply by galloping back and forth, only turning around when it slams into wall, causing the screen to shake a little. It can sometimes be found with a Waddle Dee riding on top of it, much like how Poppy Bros. Jr.s are able to ride Grizzos in the original Kirby's Dream Land; once such a Nruff collides with an obstacle, however, its rider is thrown off and briefly left unconscious on the floor.

Although Nruffs can be inhaled in this game (besides being vulnerable to all other attacks), swallowing them does not grant Kirby an ability. Nruffs with riders disappear when scrolled off the screen after their rider is defeated and do not respawn unless Kirby leaves the section and enters it again.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Nruff reappears as a regular enemy in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, acting similarly to its previous appearance, but never being used as a steed by other enemies. It is mainly found on Ripple Star and Neo Star.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Nruffs reappear as a regular enemy in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where they have undergone major changes in appearance. While otherwise keeping a similar look to their Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards incarnation, Nruffs now possess bulbous, red noses and much longer ears than before, as well as trading in their spiky fur for a short, spike-shaped tail. The direction of the stripes on the creature's back has also changed, now running from top to bottom instead of parallel to its body.

Nruffs are first encountered in Raisin Ruins and are often found stampeding down or up hills, raising dust behind them and making small jumps whenever they reach an edge, which can enable them to cross narrow pits. Just like in Kirby's Dream Land 3, they may occasionally carry a Waddle Dee on their back, which is treated as a seperate enemy and catapulted off when its mount collides with a wall or is harmed by Kirby or his allies. Like in previous games featuring them as regular enemies, Nruffs are once more vulnerable to any attack and award no ability when swallowed.

Kirby Star Allies

In Kirby Star Allies, Nruffs both act and appear the exact same as they did in Return to Dream Land.

As a Boss

Nruff & Nelly
Nruff & Nelly Art.png
Artwork of Nruff & Nelly from Kirby's Dream Land 2
Debut Game Kirby's Dream Land 2
Similar to Lololo & Lalala
Pon & Con
Goldon & Silvox
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A portion of the Nruff and Nelly fight in Dream Land 2.

KDL2NruffNelly.png Nruff makes its debut appearance as the boss of Big Forest, the second Level, in Kirby's Dream Land 2, along with several smaller boars known as Nellys, constituting the Nruff and Nelly boss encounter together with them. Its appearance differs drastically from its later ones in this game; it is larger, is shown in artwork to possesses a pair of tusks and is missing its stripes. Its smaller counterparts look similar, but are depicted with half-open eyes in their artwork and bear stripes on their backs like Nruff does in most other appearances.

In a similar manner to Lololo & Lalala and even moreso Pon Con, Nruff and its Nellys are fought in a room with three ledges, randomly spawning on one of the latter either from the left or right side of the screen and proceeding to the opposite side. Unlike Lololo & Lalala, Nruff will sometimes jump in order to switch ledges, as well as stopping on occasion to throw bombs at Kirby. As Nruff — like other bosses — cannot be inhaled, the pink hero must use the smaller Nellys, which are worth 200 points when destroyed or 100 when inhaled, for ammunition or attack it with a Copy Ability in order to reduce its health.

Once half of its health is gone, its paths will become less predictable and its bomb-throwing attacks more frequent. It will also attempt to confuse Kirby on occasion. Once Nruff is defeated, Kirby is awarded 15000 points and gains access to Ripple Field.

Other appearances

Nruff makes a minor appearance in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, where it possesses the appearance of its Kirby's Dream Land 2 incarnation. Nruff and Nelly live in the forest, deep within Acore's roots.


Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ヌラフ