|If you swallow a foe who has a special ability...
Kirby will copy its special ability!
This is Kirby's special move. It's called his Copy Ability.
— Narrator's dialogue from the Beginner's Room in Kirby Super Star Ultra
Copy Ability is a catch-all term referring to Kirby's trademark ability to inherit and utilize the special powers and/or skills of the entities he swallows using his inhale. First introduced in Kirby's Adventure, this ability grants the pink puffball a potentially massive array of different methods of attack and means of traversing the lands he finds himself in. Starting with games like Kirby Super Star, acquiring a Copy Ability also bestows a unique hat, outfit, or other distinguishing feature upon Kirby, which serves as a quick-glance way to determine what kind of power he has obtained.
When Kirby obtains a Copy Ability, he (usually) loses his ability to inhale, instead now relying on the ability's unique attacks to battle his foes. Acquiring an ability often causes Kirby to pose ecstatically or demonstrate the new ability and causes a distinctive chipper sound to play. Kirby's HUD name and icon are also typically replaced with those signifying the ability in question. When Kirby has an ability, he is often referred specifically with that ability as part of his name (e.g. "Fire Kirby", "Sword Kirby", "Plasma Kirby", etc.). However, these abilities are seldom permanent, as Kirby can easily lose them, either by discarding them willingly, taking damage, or simply using them too many times in some instances. When an ability is lost in the former two methods, it will bounce away as an Ability Star, which can be re-absorbed with another inhale.
In main-series Kirby games, Copy Abilities tend to play a central role in gameplay, as many enemies are designed with weaknesses to specific abilities, and many puzzles require certain abilities or combinations thereof to solve. Several of these games also offer more elaborate mechanics involving these abilities, whether that be by using them to call helpers, combining them with other entities or with each other to create powerful combo attacks, or imposing game rules restricting the use of certain ability functions. Copy Abilities also tend to play a role in the spin-off games, where it is often the case that Kirby has permanent access to one as a form of character selection, or the ability is heavily modified to cater to the specific type of gameplay.
Lists of Copy Abilities
The following tables list every Copy Ability featured in games in the Kirby series.
Standard Copy Abilities
Standard Copy Abilities are those which Kirby can get simply by inhaling and swallowing the appropriate enemy. So far, there are 62 Copy Abilities in the Kirby series of video games, with 28 being the most abilities that have appeared in a single game (Kirby Star Allies):
Combination Copy Abilities
In addition to standard abilities, some titles allow Kirby to fuse his abilities in various ways, whether that be by pairing abilities with certain allies or objects, combining two attacks together, or directly fusing abilities. The following is a brief overview of each category of combination abilities, with details on the respective main articles:
|Combination Copy Ability categories|
|Animal Friends||Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3||Kirby can pair with one of six different animal buddies to alter the effect of his Copy Ability attacks. Each animal/ability combination is unique, and often resembles other Copy Abilities or attacks not otherwise present in the games alone. Each combination only offers one type of attack, however.||Rick, Kine, Coo, Nago, ChuChu, Pitch||Animal friends are also capable of absorbing copy abilities for Kirby from enemies while he is riding them.|
|Wheelie Rider||Kirby Super Star & Kirby Super Star Ultra||When Kirby has a Wheelie Helper on his team, he can hop onto the Wheelie to form this combination ability, similar to a Piggyback in more recent games. Using this power allows Kirby to ride much faster than he could with the Wheel ability on its own.||This ability is accessible anywhere where Wheelie can be obtained, but is specifically used for the escape sequence at the end of Revenge of Meta Knight.||Kirby is able to keep his current Copy Ability when mounting Wheelie, though he cannot use it until getting off again.|
|Power Combo||Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Exclusively in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby is able to combine two Ability Stars together to form a Power Combo. This creates an all-new ability that combines elements from the two base abilities into a single attack. Some of the combinations are more powerful than others, and some create quite odd results.||Curling, Stone-Stone, Spark-Cutter, Ice-Spark, etc.||Some of these abilities would return, at least in form, in Kirby Star Allies.|
|Bubbled essence fusion||Kirby: Squeak Squad||In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby can gain the ability to fuse certain abilities together once he obtains the appropriate Ability Scrolls. He can do this by combining two compatible Copy Essences together in the Copy Palette.||Fire Sword, Ice Sword, Thunder Sword, Ice Bomb, Thunder Bomb||Only a small handful of abilities could be combined in this manner.|
|Robobot Armor modes||Kirby: Planet Robobot||In Kirby: Planet Robobot, Kirby gains access to the Robobot Armor, a powerful robotic suit which Kirby pilots to dispose of large threats on his adventure. The Robobot Armor is compatible with certain Copy Abilities, and can absorb them from enemies to gain new attacks and functions. Unlike Kirby, however, only some abilities are compatible.||Fire Mode, Sword Mode, Spark Mode, Jet Mode, etc.||Much like Wheelie Rider, Kirby's currently equipped ability does not affect the Robobot Armor, and Kirby does not lose his ability when using it.|
|Friend Abilities||Kirby Star Allies||In Kirby Star Allies, Kirby and his allies can combine their attacks together to create new combination moves. There are two distinct forms this can take; Power Effects and Friend Attacks. The former adds a permanent elemental boost to a weapon, and the latter acts as a one-time special move that will need to be repeated to use again.||Sizzle, Bluster, Icicle Lance, Still Life, Geokinesis, Fatal Chorus, etc.||Power Effects are similar to the fusion abilities in Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Friend Attacks are similar to the Power Combos in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.|
Special abilities and final weapons
The following are special attacks and forms which are not obtained from inhaling enemies, but are still often treated like Copy Abilities. These abilities are often used in the final boss fight(s) or at special points in stages:
|Kirby's Adventure, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land||This powerful weapon shoots Star Bullets at will. It is found at the Fountain of Dreams and is used to defeat Nightmare.||There are two different uses of this ability. One has Kirby shooting stars in midair, and the other has him firing from the ground and using spin attacks.|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||This weapon appears after collecting every Rainbow Drop and is used to battle Dark Matter. It can deflect projectiles, but has no ranged attack of its own.|
|Kirby Super Star, Kirby Super Star Ultra||This special flying ship is used by Kirby to battle Galactic Nova in Milky Way Wishes and Kabula in Revenge of the King. It allows him to move freely through the air and fire a continuous volley of stars. It is formed by using magical wishing stars in Milky Way Wishes and by the Sparkling Stars in Revenge of the King.||Also referred to as the Star Chariot. This ability comes with its own Helper if two players are playing.|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||This weapon is formed when Kirby collects all of the Heart Stars. It is very similar in function to the Star Rod, and is used to battle Dark Matter and Zero.|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Kirby and Ribbon team up to utilize this ability. They can shoot crystal projectiles at 0² to defeat it.||This ability would later appear as one of Adeleine & Ribbon's normal attacks in Kirby Star Allies.|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Kirby makes use of Meta Knight's golden sword to unleash more powerful attacks and solve most puzzles in the Mirror World. He is given this sword to defeat Dark Mind.||This ability is not required to defeat the final boss, and can be lost like any normal ability.|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad||Kirby is given this weapon by Daroach after purging Dark Nebula from his body. It has the power to throw stars in many different directions, and can solve many puzzles.||This ability is not required to defeat the final boss, and can be lost like any normal ability. This ability would later appear as one of Daroach's normal attacks in Kirby Star Allies.|
|Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn||Throughout the regular stages of Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn are special swirling vortexes which transform Kirby and Prince Fluff into special forms with unique abilities. One in particular, the Tankbot, is used to battle Yin-Yarn at the end of the game.||Other forms include the Digger, Dolphin, Fire Engine, Off-Roader, Rocket, Saucer, Spin Boarder, Star Shooter, and Train.|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||These are five super-powerful variants of standard Copy Abilities which can be absorbed from special variants of enemies and used to clear away large obstacles and defeat certain bosses. These abilities are the Ultra Sword, Monster Flame, Flare Beam, Snow Bowl, and Grand Hammer.||The Ultra Sword in particular would go on to become Kirby's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||Near the end of the game, in Level 8: Another Dimension, Kirby and his friends mount Landia and ride him through the course in pursuit of Magolor and the Lor Starcutter. They do battle at the end of the stage. Landia controls much like the Starship, but has a number of additional moves.|
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||After eating a Miracle Fruit, Kirby's Inhale becomes massively more powerful, able to suck in giant objects and spit them back out again. This ability is used to defeat Queen Sectonia at the end of the game.|
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse||At specific points in stages, Elline can transform Kirby into one of three different forms to tackle various obstacles. These forms include the Kirby Tank, Kirby Submarine, and Kirby Rocket. This last form is used to battle Dark Crafter at the end of the game.|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||To face off against Star Dream, Kirby fuses the Robobot Armor with the Halberd to create this final weapon. It uses the Combo Cannon for its regular attack and can dodge using the Sail Wing. Its special attack is a massive Planet Buster which functions similarly to Star Bullets.|
|Kirby Star Allies||In addition to regular Friend Abilities, there are a total of five special Friend Actions which are used at intermittent points in stages to cross certain obstacles. These are the Friend Circle, Friend Bridge, Friend Star, Friend Train, and Star Allies Sparkler. This last one is used to battle Void Termina at the end of the game.|
The following are miscellaneous abilities which do not fit into the other categories:
- Mix - This occurs whenever Kirby swallows two or more enemies which provide abilities, and grants him a new ability from a roulette.
- Yarn Transformation - Aside from the Metamortex transformations, Yarn Kirby has access to a number of smaller transformations which act as part of his move-set.
- Ravel Abilities - These are six special powers in Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn which function almost identically to Copy Abilities in the main series.
- Four heroic roles based on existing Copy Abilities are used in the Clash series of games. These are:
- Block - This Copy Ability was planned for inclusion in Kirby: Squeak Squad, but was cut out of the final game.
Copy Ability Utility
While each ability is unique in its own right, there are multiple abilities which can be used for the same sort of task in-game. A few abilities are multi-purpose, able to clear many different types of hazards. Aside from dealing damage to enemies, the following table will show various obstacles and which abilities can be used to clear them in the main series:
|Can break Metal Blocks||Can pound Stakes||Can break Ice Blocks and light Fuses||Can cool down Fire Blocks||Can cut Ropes||Can clear away foliage||Can strike objects through walls||Can electrify Wires||Can light up dark places||Can be used underwater||Can grab enemies and/or objects|
*Can only light Fuses prior to Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Cannot break Ice Blocks or light Fuses from Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward.
**Only from Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward.
***Only in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad.
****Only in Kirby Super Star and related games.
*****Only in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
******Only in Kirby: Squeak Squad after obtaining the appropriate Ability Scroll.
Non-Series Copy Abilities
These Copy Abilities are from games and other media that Kirby has appeared in, but which may not be considered as an actual Kirby game.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Water also appeared in the anime prior to appearing in the games.
Super Smash Bros. series
- Main article: Copy Ability/Super Smash Bros.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Kirby is able to copy the neutral special move of any other character and use it against them (with only some moves differing in function based on circumstance). As of November 30th, 2019, there are a total of 83 unique abilities that Kirby can utilize in the series when he copies an opponent, though only a maximum of 80 can be used in a single game (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate being that game).
- Main article: Copy Ability/gallery
- So far, the copy ability which has appeared the most in the series is Parasol, with 16 total appearances.
- If Kirby uses Copy on a Scarfy, he will get the Crash ability. This is the only way to obtain an ability from them.
- Como is the only occurrence of an enemy who gives a copy ability but originally didn’t for more than 2 games, only giving Spider in Kirby Star Allies.
Names in other languages
fù zhì néng lì
|Italian||Abilità di copia||Copy ability|
|Spanish||Habilidad de copia