Qbby is a small box-shaped entity who serves as the main protagonist of the BOXBOY! series. His defining power is the ability to generate boxes from his body, which can be carried or laid down around him in different patterns to solve puzzles. These boxes can also come with powers of their own, further adding to Qbby's arsenal.
Qbby is extremely simple in look, being little more than a white box with two black dots for eyes and two small lines for legs. He appears to be flat due to the visual style of his games, but is actually a cube, hence his name. Besides his ability to generate boxes from his body, Qbby is capable only of walking, swimming, and jumping short distances.
Qbby's special ability to generate boxes from his body can take on many forms and functions. He has to concentrate in order to do so, preventing him from doing anything else until he is finished, and he can usually create up to five at a time, which emerge one-out-the-other. From there, Qbby can either carry them or toss them in order to surmount various obstacles. The boxes on their own can be used as stepping stones, to weigh down switches, or to act as a shield. Qbby can also slide up cliffs by re-merging with boxes that he is carrying. All of these abilities were introduced in Qbby's first game, BoxBoy!, but he would gain further box-related abilities in its sequels: he can generate two sets of boxes at once in BoxBoxBoy!, and can make boxes with special properties of their own (including bearing rockets or teleportation devices, and the ability to move autonomously) in Bye-Bye BoxBoy!.
Qbby has a significant other known as Qucy, who looks just like him besides a large bow and eyelashes. Qbby also has a rectangular friend known as Qudy, who is twice his height. Qbby also coexists with several children, referred to as Qbabies. They are also white cubes, but are slightly smaller and have more distinguishing characteristics, like cheek blush and a colored upper corner. They can help Qbby solve puzzles by being secondary actors.
Relation to the Kirby series
While both Qbby and Kirby were created by HAL Laboratory, they are not of the same franchise or universe. However, there has been some amount of cross-over in terms of reference materials, none of which are canon to either series. The official BoxBoy! twitter account, Hakoboy_HAL, frequently posts photos of a plush Qbby and an equally cuboid Kirby engaging in activities in the real world, such as playing other HAL games.
Kirby in the BOXBOY! series
Using Kirby series amiibo in BYE-BYE BOXBOY! will give Qbby a makeover to resemble the character portrayed by the amiibo in question (which includes Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight or Waddle Dee). Using any of these costumes will also cause the boxes he generates to resemble Star Blocks.
During promotion for Kirby's 25th anniversary in 2017, Qbby was said to be celebrating his 2.5th. A sketch of a Gem Apple costume was released on Twitter as part of a collaboration with Super Kirby Clash.
Kirby also appears in several BOXBOY in-game comics:
- In BYE-BYE BOXBOY!, the comic "So Close, Yet..." has Qbby mimicing Copy Abilities like Fire, Hammer and Sword, but meeting Kirby with Ultra Sword in the end; another comic named "Suit Up!" has Qbby piloting a box-made robot to mimic the Robobot Armor, but meeting Kirby in his real armor in the end.
- In BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!, the comic "How to make friends!" has Qbby throwing boxes to mimic throwing Friend Hearts, but accidentally hitting Kirby.
Qbby in the Kirby series
- A password featuring Qbby was released for Team Kirby Clash Deluxe in celebration of Qbby's "2.5th anniversary".
- Qbby's likeness appears as a sticker in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
- A special costume for the Bomb ability representing Qbby can also be unlocked using Qbby's amiibo in Kirby Battle Royale.
- Qbby also appears as part of the Stone transformation representing HAL H.Q. in Kirby Star Allies and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.
- A password for Super Kirby Clash featuring Qbby was released alongside the Gem Apple costume art.
- Qbby's name is very similar to that of Kirby's. This is probably not a coincidence.
- As a further play on this similarity, the Nintendo 3DS theme named "BOXBOY! Qbby & Friends by Starlight" in English was called "ハコボーイ! 星空のキュービィたち" (Hakobōi! Hoshizora no Kyūbyi-tachi, or "BOXBOY! Qbby & Friends of the Starry Sky") in Japanese, using a phrase very similar to the Japanese title of the Kirby series (星のカービィ, Hoshi no Kābyi or "Kirby of the Stars").
- Qbby appears as a Support Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He is represented by a monochrome Kirby in his spirit battle, and his spirit has the skill of equipping the fighter with an Ore Club which costs all three slots.
- On April 1, 2019, HAL did an April Fools joke by swapping both Kirby's and Qbby's bodies, making Kirby square and Qbby circular.
- To celebrate Kirby's 27th anniversary, Qbby turned into yarn as a homage to Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn.
Names in other languages
- Qbby's house - BOXBOY! series official website (JP)
- Qbby's house - BOXBOY! series official Twitter (JP)