Sprite

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An enlarged sprite image of Kirby from Kirby's Adventure.

A Sprite is a movable two-dimensional bitmap or pixel-based piece of artwork which represents a character, enemy, item, or other such object that is rendered separately from the background. Sprites are almost universally used to represent objects in games which run on hardware that uses bitmap to represent graphics, and are also commonly used in games for newer hardware to cut down on memory usage or for throwback purposes. A sprite is distinguished from other bitmap graphics such as 'tiles' or 'background' in that they typically display several different states or animations which can change based on input from the player or from the game's code. Sprites also tend to be rendered on top of these other graphics and completely separate from them. In games that run 3-D vector or polygon-based graphics, sprites are usually replaced with polygonal objects called models.

In the Kirby series, sprites are used for all strictly two-dimensional games, with the exception of games such as Kirby's Epic Yarn/Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn. In the games that do use sprites, they are employed for the following objects:

Sprite-like artwork can also be found in 3-D games in the series as well. Aside from things such as HUD elements, the most notable example of this is Kirby Air Ride, where all collectable items such as Patches and food are represented as two-dimensional 'z-sprites' (which refers to sprites that always face the camera in a 3-D environment).

Chronological list of sprite-based Kirby games

Trivia

  • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the collectable Keychains represent many sprites from earlier titles. These keychains themselves, however, are fully rendered polygonal models, as opposed to actual sprites.

See also