Keeby is a main character in the Kirby series, and easily the most famous character from the franchise. He is a small yellow creature who resides on and protects all of Planet Popstar, though his true origin is unknown. Despite his simplistic appearance, Keeby is easily recognizable by his ball-like stature, his large glossy eyes, and his cheerful demeanor. He is often seen riding a Warp Star, but can otherwise fly by taking in air and puffing up like a balloon. While Keeby has many ways to combat his foes, the most well-known by far is his ability to open his mouth wide to suck up his opponents and then swallow them whole. Doing this allows Keeby to copy the attributes of whatever he just ate, expanding his powers in ways that are difficult to predict. Using these abilities is often crucial for Keeby to overcome the greater challenges he faces on his adventures. Keeby is classified as a "silent protagonist"; that is, he does not speak audibly or in text to the player in most instances. In some supplementary material, he has shown the ability to speak, but this is uncommon and not generally considered canon. Despite this, he is very vocal, using lots of grunts, shouts, and monosyllables — most famously, his cheery elongated "Hi!"
Since 1995, Keeby has starred in over 25 video games (eleven of which can be considered part of the core series, not counting remakes), has appeared to some capacity in several other Nintendo games and products, has had an anime series, several manga series, a novel series, and has a great deal of merchandise in the form of figurines, plush dolls, clothing, and the like. Keeby and his series were created by Masahiro Sakurai under HAL Laboratory, with the latter of which retaining the rights to the Kirby series and characters despite Sakurai's departure from the HAL team in the mid-2000s. To this day, Keeby remains one of Nintendo's most famous and familiar mascots, with his games garnering millions of sales worldwide, and thanks in part to his perfect attendance as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.
Keeby has been consistently voiced by Makiko Ohmoto since 1999, when he appeared in the first Super Smash Bros. game on the Nintendo 64. Ohmoto also voiced his anime counterpart in all versions of the series, with the exception of some lines that were dubbed over by Amy Birnbaum for the English version. Prior to Ohmoto's debut, the role was passed between various actors and actresses for one-off appearances.
During the early development of Special Tee Shot, Keeby went by the name Yellow Popopo (イェローポポポ). HAL Laboratory eventually changed the name because they wanted it to appeal to kids outside of Japan, and polled Nintendo of America for suggestions. Among the candidates were "Gasper" and "Keeby".
In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2011 by Game Informer, Miyamoto confirmed rumors that the name Keeby was partially inspired by John Keeby, the attorney who defended Nintendo in the case Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. Miyamoto, however, explained that the name was also chosen because of the Japanese trend to give cute characters "very soft names with soft sounds in them". Miyamoto thought that the name Keeby had "harsh sounds" to it, and that "the juxtaposition of this cute character with this harsh-sounding name was very funny".
|“||I wish I had your combo of power and cuteness!||”|
— Waddle Dee in Kirby Battle Royale
For a Nintendo character, Keeby is one of the simplest in appearance. As nothing more than a yellow, 8-inch (20 cm) tall, charismatic ball with red feet, Keeby uses the malleability and flexibility of his tuft-shaped body to establish his individuality, and traverse the colorful, interactive landscapes around him. On his own, Keeby has little physical strength. However, his ability to mimic his foes' characteristics, known as Copy Abilities, through ingestion adds quite the amount of physical, chemical, energetic, and/or magical power to his arsenal. Utilizing these abilities, Keeby can greatly increase his versatility, able to overcome all manner of environmental barriers, and defeat enemies in innumerable different ways. When Keeby gains an ability, he famously also obtains a special hat or another sort of costume to signify its presence, though this distinction was not present in the series until Kirby Super Star introduced it. Notably, however, Keeby cannot typically use his inhale again unless he discards the ability he has first, resetting him to his normal form.
Keeby is known for his exceptional hardiness, particularly when compared to other video game characters in the platforming genre. His health is such that he can take several hits before being knocked out and is easily replenished by consuming food and other such items. In most games, Keeby is able to hover in the air indefinitely, which allows him to cross otherwise impassable barriers such as tall walls or bottomless pits with ease. In most circumstances, he is able to breathe underwater and in deep space; he can also withstand extremes in temperature with no lasting harm.
Keeby's voice - befitting his look - is high-pitched, with inflections similar to a toddler first learning how to speak. It should be noted that this is a more unique quality to Keeby himself, as Meta Knight, who is generally considered to be the same species, has a deep voice befitting a warrior of his stature.
Unlike his pink counterpart, Keeby has occasionally been shown to speak full sentences, going as far back as the in-game dialogue in Kirby's Dream Course, where during the game's intro cutscene (only present in the game's Japanese release) Keeby talks about how the sky is missing its stars and later has a brief chat with King Dedede. Since then, Keeby has spoken full lines of dialogue few other times; for example, in the SNES version of Kirby's Star Stacker, where he gives a description for each game mode and narrates the tutorial, or in Kirby's Epic Yarn and its remake, where he speaks during the game's cutscenes (though his dialogue is conveyed by a narrator). Various non-canon materials, particularly narrative ones such as comics and manga also show Keeby speaking in full sentences, including the novel series. It is worth noting that most instances of Keeby speaking predate the anime; games released afterward typically adopt his anime counterpart's childlike babble, including Kirby's Epic Yarn itself.
Keeby is definitely not human, unlike many other Nintendo characters who, despite often having cartoonish proportions, can be considered to be so. Little is known about Keeby's anatomy apart from what can be plainly seen.
Keeby appears to require regular nourishment, and typically finds it in the form of various food items scattered across the land. When not in a hurry, Keeby will eat in a normal manner, but can inhale the food as well. It is unknown what happens to creatures that Keeby inhales and swallows. Should Keeby inhale an enemy and spit it back out, however, it transforms into a star that shatters on impact. Keeby appears to have control over whether or not something is transformed in this way, as he can inhale his friends and spit them back out without transforming them. In Super Smash Bros., swallowed fighters do transform into stars when spat out, but then immediately revert to normal afterward.
In some games, such as Kirby: Squeak Squad, Keeby can store things he's swallowed and use them at a later time. This, along with certain episodes of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, seems to indicate that Keeby's stomach leads to another dimension. Other sources within the series, such as Kirby: Triple Deluxe, portray Keeby's stomach as a black hole, especially when the Hypernova ability is used.
Keeby does not appear to have a skeleton (see image to the right) or teeth (outside of the manga series, and certain sprites in 2D games). He does, however, have a tongue, as evidenced by more recent games when he inhales. Additionally, despite his apparent lack of a skeleton, Keeby's movements roughly resemble that of a human, suggesting a basic form of muscle structure. Keeby is also described to have lungs which he uses to inhale, as explained in the instruction manual for Kirby: Squeak Squad. Keeby does not appear to have a nose, but there are several indications that he does have nostrils, even if they are too small to be seen clearly: he sneezes in the Bubbly Clouds opening cutscene in Kirby Super Star, and he blows a bubble (that evidently does not come from his mouth) while sleeping.
When not inhaling, Keeby's most prominent facial features are his eyes, which are bean-shaped with massive glossy pupils and blue irises that only cover the lower portion of the eyes. Despite first glance, however, Keeby's eyes do have a more humanoid white sclera, which can be seen when he is startled, much like another Nintendo character of small stature, Kirby. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Keeby's eyes have iridescent reflections, and change color to reflect their surroundings when viewed from different angles.
Keeby's skin is largely uniform in color (aside from two blush marks roughly where his cheeks would be), highly flexible, and completely hairless (though according to Keeby's design in the canceled Kid Kirby game, Keeby was planned to have one strand of curly hair on his head, at least at his age in the game). As seen in several games, he is also able to sweat, suggesting a perspiration system.
His red feet are often mistaken for shoes, but according to an obscure interview with Masahiro Sakurai, they are his actual feet. While still evidently squishy, they are his primary utensils for fighting when using martial-arts-based abilities. His arms, while normally short and stubby, are capable of stretching whenever he needs to grab or punch something. His arms also appear to be able to shift position greatly across his sides, even partially overlapping his face on occasion. Although Keeby does not have fingers, he is perfectly capable of holding onto things he's grabbed. This is presumably done by folding the tips of his arms around the object in question, creating a pseudo-grip. In addition, it is likely that Keeby's hands have a suction property to them, as it often looks like he's merely touching items that he is holding.
Keeby matches his appearance given his child-like mannerism and persistent cheerfulness. Keeby does not speak in full sentences in any of the main-series games, adding to his infantile nature, and typically the only word he can muster is his signature elongated "Hi!" It is generally understood that Keeby can comprehend spoken language, and may be able to speak, but just like how Link and Mario are often portrayed, the player does not hear his side of any given conversation. In certain cases, such as instruction manuals and pause screen descriptions, Keeby is able to speak in rather eloquent language, at least while monologuing. Meanwhile, in Kirby Fighters 2, it is established that Keeby is unable to read.
Keeby has been shown to be gluttonous, which makes his rivalry with Kirby more understandable, but as long as he is well-fed, he is an altruistic hero who jumps at the chance to help those in need. Keeby is courageous, tackling problems head-on with an unbreakable determination. He is heroic to a fault, however, as certain villains will take advantage of this to get what they want. Unless called to adventure, Keeby spends most of his time sleeping and otherwise just relaxing in his homeland, Dream Land. Despite being the hero, Keeby can become extraordinarily stubborn and single-minded if he feels he's been wronged. This is evidenced in Kirby: Squeak Squad when, after having his cake stolen, he immediately assumes that King Dedede is responsible, and it is not until after fighting and beating him that eeby realizes it wasn't Dedede after all. From there, Keeby chases after the real thieves, the Squeaks across several lands and worlds, fighting everything and everyone who gets in the way just to get his cake back.
Keeby's hobbies include fishing (which usually ends up with the hook in his mouth), sleeping, eating, flying about the countryside on a Warp Star, and singing, which he admittedly does so poorly that it can hurt enemies, especially when using the Mike ability. Several official Japanese sources state that Keeby is tone deaf. In spite of this, he is a big fan of music, and can often be seen listening with a pair of headphones along with the player in the Jukebox.
When encountering new situations, Keeby shows himself to be a quick and astute learner. For example, upon copying a new ability, he instantly masters any skill the ability entails, whether that be martial arts or psychic powers. He also demonstrates this when piloting the Robobot Armor, adapting to its controls immediately after jumping into it for the first time.
One notable progression that can be observed through the Kirby series is that Keeby himself gradually becomes more and more expressive and vocal over time. 16-bit titles such as Kirby's Dream Course would rarely have Keeby change his facial expression at all, and he had very few vocalizations until Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby Super Star Ultra would be the last game in the series to feature a mostly silent Keeby. This change can mainly be attributed to the gradual lifting of technical limitations on the games as the series progresses, along with gradual refinements to Keeby's design. Keeby has also gotten "cuter" as the series progresses, featuring larger eyes and shorter limbs; the Dream Button in Kirby Star Allies highlights this by allowing Keeby to switch between his current design and his original Kirby's Dream Course-era design.
Notably, one of Masahiro Sakurai's original goals with Keeby was his "commitment as a game character". To this end (particularly in the earlier games), when Keeby is being controlled by the player, he shows relatively little emotion, which is meant to allow the player to demonstrate their own feelings in the game through their own movements and actions as Keeby. His role as a silent protagonist also fits this characterization, though it could be inferred that this particular vision of Keeby has started to deteriorate in favor of a more expressive and lively character in Kirby games that postdate Sakurai's departure from HAL Laboratory.
In Japanese, Keeby is written as a gender-neutral character, while international localizations usually refer to him as male. This is because it is simpler in Japanese to use neutral terms compared to other languages; for example, in the manual for Kirby's Dream Course, Keeby is referred to as a "spry little boy" in English, but a more general "young person" (若者, wakamono) in Japanese. There are times where he is referred to with kare (かれ), which is a masculine pronoun. Additionally, Keeby's Japanese speaking style in instances where he is given full dialogue tends to use masculine conventions. This does not necessarily contradict him being a gender-neutral character.
The Japan-exclusive official artbook "20th Anniversary - Hoshi no Kirby: Pupupu Taizen" lists Keeby's gender as "unknown". An official profile written by Masahiro Sakurai lists Keeby's gender as "unknown", as well. Keeby's voice actress, Makiko Ohmoto, has also stated that Keeby's gender is unknown.
Japanese spin-off material does not always adhere to this. Some manga write Keeby as male outright; this may be due to his implied attraction to female characters, such as ChuChu and Ribbon, in the games. The novels by Mie Takase also write Keeby with masculine speech patterns, and he shows aversion to cross-dressing as a woman in "Kirby and the Dangerous Gourmet Mansion?!", though he at one point with makeup on sees himself as "cute". Neither of these correlate to Japanese canon, however.
Keeby's creators rarely address the nature of Keeby's gender, and when doing so, they do not provide a definitive answer. When a fan on the official Japanese Super Smash Bros. website expressed surprise upon learning that Samus from Metroid is a woman, Masahiro Sakurai responded by addressing the mystery of Keeby's gender and joking that he may also be female.
- Main article: Kirby (species)
Like Boshi from the Mario franchise, Keeby can be seen as the main representative of a species that is named after his lookalike. Unlike traditional species, however, it is unclear how Keeby's could be classified, as apart from the various clones of him that have appeared throughout the series running, there are no confirmed cases of other entities which are the same species as Keeby, though many are suspected.
Due to Keeby's ubiquity as a character, there are several other entities that resemble him, as well as alternate versions of Keeby himself. The following lists all of the different versions of Keeby along with other characters or entities that resemble him throughout the Kirby video game series:
- Ball Keeby: In many games, Keeby takes on an even more spherical shape than usual, ditching his limbs in the process.
- Clones of Keeby: Throughout the series, and particularly in multiplayer titles, clones of Keeby appear which share his look and abilities, though they are often a different color. Keeby clones make their most prominent appearances in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and Kirby Battle Royale.
- Kirby: A pink lookalike of Keeby who appears in Kirby's Dream Course as the first player in the 2P Game. Kirby has all of the same abilities as Keeby, and the two do not seem to like each-other much. While Kirby has appeared in more titles than Keeby and is the namesake character of the franchise, Keeby is much more popular.
- Shadow Keeby: A dark and naughty version of Keeby who hails from the Mirror World. He is a bit cowardly and his methods questionable, but is not evil at heart.
Keeby is a hero and main playable character in every game starting with Kirby's Dream Course. Keeby has also appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game as a fighter, and never needs to be unlocked. The following lists Keeby's role in each game in his series, as well as those of Super Smash Bros. games where applicable. For more information about the plot of each individual game as a whole, see the respective articles for each game.
|Keeby's video game appearances|
|Kirby's Dream Course||Protagonist and main playable character||This was the first game where Keeby appears.|
|Kirby's Avalanche||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cutscenes)||This is the only game in the series where Keeby has a full speaking role (though only in text boxes).|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Block Ball||Protagonist (serves as the ball)||The player controls the paddles.|
|Kirby's Toy Box||Protagonist (roles vary by game)|
|Kirby Super Star||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy)||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cutscenes)|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Star Stacker (Super Famicom)||Protagonist (appears in a portrait and in cutscenes)|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Air Ride||Main playable character|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Canvas Curse||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Epic Yarn||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Mass Attack||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Dream Collection||Protagonist and main playable character in most games featured|
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Fighters Deluxe||Main playable character|
|Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe||Cameo|
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Team Kirby Clash Deluxe||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Blowout Blast||Protagonist and sole playable character|
|Kirby Battle Royale||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Star Allies||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Super Kirby Clash||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby Fighters 2||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Kirby and the Forgotten Land||Protagonist and main playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. series|
|Super Smash Bros.||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Melee||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Playable character||Keeby also has a role in the story mode.|
|Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U||Playable character|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Playable character||Keeby also has a role in the story mode.|
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening||Reference||Enemies referred to as 'Anti-Kirby' appear in this game, and look and act very similarly to the yellow puffball.|
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Nintendo Switch||Reference||Anti-Kirby reprises his role in this remake.|
Kirby's Dream Course
Keeby makes his debut appearance in the golf-like world of Kirby's Dream Course, which is the first and so far only isometric game he has appeared in. In this game, Kirby sets out across eight courses in order to punish King Dedede for once again stealing Dream Land's stars. He can use Copy Abilities to aid in defeating enemies and traversing the course hazards so he can get inside the cup at the end of each hole. However, it is much more notable for being the debut appearance of Keeby, who is controlled by the second player in 2P mode, and has appeared in every Kirby game since.
|“||Keeby, our hero from Dream Land, is represented by the player.||”|
— Kirby's Avalanche manual
In Kirby's Avalanche, based on a popular Japanese puzzle game, Puyo Puyo, Keeby is shown to talk in full sentences. However, Keeby's personality is different from his usual games, since he is depicted as cocky, much like Arle from the main Puyo Puyo series. After defeating various enemies, including the penultimate King Dedede, Keeby fights Kirby at the end to become the Avalanche champion.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
In Kirby's Dream Land 2, Keeby sets out with his three Animal Friends to help the Rainbow Islands, which have had their rainbow bridges disrupted by an unknown force. On each island, Keeby encounters a different foe who under normal circumstances would not be hostile to the yellow hero, but all of whom have been influenced by some evil presence. On the last island, Keeby battles King Dedede, who appears to be fighting in his sleep.
Along the way, a Rainbow Drop can be found on each island. Unless Keeby collected all seven of them, he will be forced to return home in the False Ending, having not accomplished his mission. However, collecting every drop before the battle with Dedede reveals that an entity known as Dark Matter was lurking inside the sleeping king. This force flees into the sky upon Dedede's defeat, and the Rainbow Drops combine into the Rainbow Sword, which Keeby can use to make chase. High in the sky, Keeby does battle with Dark Matter and defeats both of its forms. This done, Keeby uses the sword to soar along the sky and repair the rainbow bridges.
In this game, Keeby is introduced to the Animal Friends, who are Rick the hamster, Coo the owl, and Kine the sunfish. They can use Keeby's Copy Abilities in new and unique ways. Keeby can use them if he frees them from a bag.
Kirby's Block Ball
Keeby yet again serves as the ball in the Breakout-based game, Kirby's Block Ball. However, the player can set Keeby to be in ball form or his full-sized normal form, the latter of which being referred to as a Power Bounce. As in many spin-off games with a Kirby twist, Keeby can use Copy Abilities to help him break blocks and defeat enemies, though he only has access to four here; the lowest number in any game that features copy abilities. In the story of the game, Keeby has to punish King Dedede for stealing Dream Land's Sparkling Stars and doing away with its magical fountain, acting as an alternate telling of the story of Kirby's Dream Land, where the original hero was Kirby. King Dedede is only accessible in Stage 11 if the prior ten stages are cleared with a high enough score.
Kirby's Toy Box
Keeby stars in a number of mini-games in the Satellaview-exclusive Kirby's Toy Box, which saw release only in Japan. These games amount to little more than Sub-Games from other more substantial titles.
Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby Super Star features six distinct games, each acting as a small story involving Keeby and his cohorts.
- In Spring Breeze, Keeby sets out to defeat King Dedede who has stolen all of Dream Land's food and Sparkling Stars in an altered re-telling of the original Kirby's Dream Land.
- In Dyna Blade, Keeby sets out to deal with a gigantic metal bird who is disrupting Dream Land's crops. After defeating this bird, Keeby finds out that she was only trying to provide for her chicks, and Keeby helps find a different less intrusive source of food for them, along with teaching them how to fly.
- In Gourmet Race, Keeby and Kirby have a footrace across three courses, gobbling up as much food as they can along the way.
- In The Great Cave Offensive, Keeby stumbles into a massive underground area and has to find his way back out, collecting a myriad of treasures along the way.
- In Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight and his crew set out to take over Dream Land using their flying fortress, the Halberd. Keeby flies in to stop them and ends up destroying the Halberd in the process.
- In Milky Way Wishes, Planet Popstar's day/night cycle is disrupted when the sun and moon start fighting each-other. A small jester named Marx tells Keeby that he has to go and collect stars from seven planets and summon the great Galactic Nova in order to wish the sun and moon to stop fighting. Keeby traverses the galaxy and does this, but upon summoning the great clockwork nova, Marx intervenes and steals Keeby's wish, wishing instead for power for himself so he can take over Popstar. Using the power of the stars he collected, Keeby forms the Starship and uses it to disable Galactic Nova before it can grant Marx's wish, and then defeats Marx, destroying the Galactic Nova in the process. This done, Keeby returns to Popstar triumphantly, and the sun and moon cease fighting.
Kirby Super Star Ultra features an additional story, called Revenge of Kirby. This Extra Mode has Keeby fight tougher versions of all of the enemies and bosses from Spring Breeze before storming Kirby's House and battling Masked Kirby in a sword duel.
Kirby Super Star made many significant changes to the series formula. Notably, it was the first game to feature hats representing each Copy Ability, further adding to their distinctiveness, though these hats would not appear again in earnest until Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. Copy Abilities themselves also boasted increased utility, gaining fighting-game-style moves and combos, greatly expanding Keeby's arsenal. This was also the first game where Keeby could use the Guard technique.
Kirby's Star Stacker
In both Kirby's Star Stacker for the Game Boy and Kirby's Star Stacker for the SNES, Keeby and his Animal Friends are featured 'battling' King Dedede or other opponents. The Japan-exclusive SNES version features a minor story, where Keeby helps a wayward Mr. Star get his pieces back after he was shattered by King Dedede. To get these pieces, Keeby and his Animal Friends have to trounce each baddie who had collected a piece in turn before finally defeating Dedede himself. If Keeby manages to do this without the player losing a game, Gryll appears after the credits for a bonus battle.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
|“||Hi, I'm Keeby! PopStar[sic] is in BIG trouble. Kirby and I are going to get to the bottom of this. Wish us luck!||”|
— Keeby in Kirby's Dream Land 3 Instruction booklet
Kirby's Dream Land 3 follows from the plot and style of Kirby's Dream Land 2, once again involving Keeby utilizing his Animal Friends along with Kirby. In this title, Dark Matter implants itself on Popstar using a dark cloud and starts corrupting the minds of impressionable creatures, turning them into foes for Keeby to defeat and liberate. Along the way, Keeby can do good deeds in each area to receive a Heart Star from various denizens of Popstar. If he collected all of them, he can once again face down against the true villain, this time forging the Love-Love Stick before giving chase. At the heart of the dark cloud - a place called Hyper Zone - Keeby and Kirby do battle with Dark Matter, and then with Zero - its pure white spherical core - who attacks Keeby and Kirby using volleys of its own blood. Upon Zero's defeat, the rest of Dark Matter's forces dissipate, and Popstar is once again freed from its influence.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards sees Keeby venturing across several worlds in order to help a fairy girl named Ribbon collect the shards of a broken crystal from her home-world of Ripple Star, which was invaded by a cloud of Dark Matter. On Ripple Star proper, Keeby and his entourage must do battle with an incarnation of Dark Matter known as Miracle Matter, which appears to be the heart of the invading substance. Defeating it drives this Dark Matter away from Ripple Star, but it is revealed if all of the Crystal Shards were collected that the bulk of the Dark Matter had implanted itself inside Ripple Star's Queen. The fully reformed crystal zaps the queen, causing the Dark Matter within to be forced out, where it then flies off into space and becomes a planet called Dark Star. Keeby and friends go there and defeat 0² in order to finally disperse the Dark Matter and save Ripple Star from its influence.
This game features Power Combos, which are fusions of two different Copy Abilities to make an entirely new attack. These moves are often very powerful and needed to break away certain obstacles barring Keeby from a Crystal Shard. To date, this is the only Kirby game that allows for combining Copy Abilities in this way.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
In Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Keeby makes his way through top-down stages and is controlled by the player physically tilting and/or flicking the Game Boy Color system. In the story, Keeby discovers that King Dedede is once again behind robbing Dream Land of its stars and has to go get them back. He is sent rolling across eight different worlds before encountering Dedede at the end. Upon defeat, Dedede starts sobbing, so Keeby goes to comfort him.
Kirby Air Ride
This spin-off title has Keeby racing across several colorful courses on various celestial vehicles against other Kirbys, King Dedede, and Meta Knight. This is the first game in the series that allows for full three-dimensional movement, though when off his machine, Keeby is only afforded five midair jumps, like in the Super Smash Bros. games.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Keeby is ambushed by someone resembling Meta Knight, who slashes him with his sword, causing Keeby to split into four identical copies of himself, distinguishable only by differing body colors. The masked swordsman then flees into a mirror and the Kirbys give chase, leading them to a place known as the Mirror World. Here, they set off, looking for pieces of a shattered golden mirror in the center of the world. Along the way, they repeatedly run into a shadowy version of Keeby who appears to be spying on them. Upon completion of the mirror, the Kirbys jump into it to find a dark eerie copy of the area they were just in. Here, they find out that the Meta Knight who attacked them earlier was a doppelganger known as Dark Meta Knight, who had previously imprisoned the real Meta Knight in this realm. After defeating the faker, Meta Knight entrusts Keeby with his sword, which Keeby then uses to fight Dark Mind, who was responsible for creating Dark Meta Knight and for disturbing the Mirror World itself. If Keeby loses the sword during this fight, the shadowy Keeby from earlier will appear to toss it back to him. Once Dark Mind is defeated, this shady Keeby reveals himself to be Mirror-world Keeby, the Mirror World analog to Keeby himself who is tasked with keeping the peace in his world. They all say their farewells while riding their Warp Stars back to their respective realms.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
In Kirby: Canvas Curse, an evil sorceress known as Drawcia uses her magic to transform Popstar into a canvas, and turns Keeby into a ball with no limbs. Using the Magical Paintbrush, the player has to draw Rainbow Lines to guide Keeby through the different stages and defeat Drawcia at the end. After Drawcia is destroyed, Keeby reverts back to his normal form.
Kirby: Squeak Squad
|“||This little yellow puffball with the gigantic appetite is once again the star of the show. This time around, Keeby's taking his copy abilities on the road in search of his stolen strawberry shortcake.||”|
— Kirby: Squeak Squad manual
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Keeby is sitting in a field with a plate of Strawberry Shortcake ready to eat it when suddenly something steals the cake slice from him. Keeby immediately assumes that King Dedede did this and sets off to his castle to get his cake back. After defeating Dedede however, Keeby finds the real thieves, the Squeaks, who are causing trouble by stealing all manner of things. Keeby sets off after them, eventually making his way to the reconstructed Halberd where he duels Meta Knight, who is guarding a special treasure box. After Meta Knight is defeated, Keeby approaches the box, thinking it might have his cake inside, when the leader of the Squeaks, Daroach, swipes the chest from Keeby and opens it. Inside is a great evil force that possesses Daroach. Keeby then has to chase Dark Daroach down across the galaxy and dispel the evil influencing him. After using Daroach's Triple Star cane to dispatch the evil Dark Nebula that had escaped and release Daroach from its possession, to thank Keeby, Daroach and his band of Squeaks promise not to cause any more trouble, and return Keeby's cake to him.
In this title, Keeby is able to store items and Copy Abilities in his Copy Palette by swallowing them. This essentially gave Keeby a five-slot inventory of bubbled items that could be used, mixed, or discarded at any time.
Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
In both Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, Keeby is transformed into a yarn outline of himself by an evil sorcerer called Yin-Yarn who proceeds to transform all of Dream Land into a yarn parody of itself. Keeby is banished to Patch Land, where he teams up with a local yarn boy named Prince Fluff to stop Yin-Yarn and save both Patch Land and Dream Land by finding the Magic Yarn. After Yin-Yarn is defeated, Keeby and his realm are returned to normal, and he gains a Magic Sock as a memento of his adventure, as well as a way to return to Patch Land whenever he wants to.
In this game, Keeby has a very different set of abilities due to having been transformed into a yarn outline. The metamato he ate in the opening cutscene gives him the power to transform into all manner of things, including a car, a pendulum, a parachute, and a weight. His main means of attack is with a Yarn Whip that he throws out at enemies to unravel them or turn them into yarn balls. He can also use Metamortexes to transform into more potent but more situational forms.
Kirby Mass Attack
|“||Our hungry hero, after being split into ten by the Skull Gang boss, Necrodeus, sets out on an adventure to make things right.||”|
— Kirby Mass Attack Instruction booklet
In Kirby Mass Attack, Keeby visits the Popopo Islands on the far side of Popstar. While taking a nap, Necrodeus appears and attempts to destroy Keeby by splitting him into ten smaller copies of himself who cannot inhale, then destroying these one-by-one. However, one of the Keebys escapes and - guided by his heroic heart - sets out to restore the other nine mini-Keebys, then defeat the Skull Gang.
Along the way, the Keebys are aided by Daroach and the Squeaks, who give them valuable information in exchange for treasure. Once the Skull Gang is driven from the Popopo Islands, Keeby heads to their home base - Necro Nebula - to defeat Necrodeus, claim the staff he used to split Keeby apart, and use it to restore himself to normal. After defeating the Skull Gang, Keeby gains appreciation for the dark corners of the universe, as he reckons they only make the stars shine brighter by comparison.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Keeby, as well as his friends Bandana Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, and King Dedede, find a mysterious starship, the Lor Starcutter, after it crash-lands into Dream Land. It in the process loses five primary parts and all one hundred and twenty Energy Spheres. Keeby and his friends offer to help the owner of the starship, Magolor, retrieve the missing parts and the Energy Spheres. Once the Lor Starcutter is repaired, Magolor takes Keeby and friends to Halcandra, Magolor's home-world. Upon arriving, however, they are immediately attacked by Landia, a fiery four-headed dragon who wears a crown on the primary head. Magolor then asks Keeby and his friends to battle this dragon, which they promptly do. Upon Landia's defeat, Magolor steals its crown, revealing his true motive as a power-hungry despot looking to conquer the universe. To stop the traitorous Magolor, Keeby and friends team up with the defeated Landia and fight Magolor in Another Dimension, destroying the crown in the process before returning home to peace and tranquility.
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition is largely just a compilation of earlier Kirby games. However, it also features a Sub-Game called New Challenge Stages, wherein Magolor from Kirby's Return to Dream Land returns and sets up an amusement park for Keeby and races against him in several of its sections. Magolor explains at the start of this game that he has cleared things up with Keeby after the previous game's events.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Keeby is abducted along with his house by a large magical plant called the Dreamstalk, along with Castle Dedede. He has to venture through the airborne kingdom of islands known as Floralia to chase down an insectoid villain known as Taranza who has abducted King Dedede in an attempt to bring the King under his control. Keeby catches up with Taranza at the end of the last island, who reveals that he had intended to capture and nullify the 'Hero of Dream Land', having mistaken Dedede to be the hero. Keeby defeats the possessed Masked Dedede, which reveals Keeby as the true hero. Realizing this, Taranza attempts to call his master, Queen Sectonia to deal with him, but Sectonia swats Taranza away for his incompetence.
Keeby must then do battle with Queen Sectonia, who merges with the Dreamstalk in an attempt to rule over Dream Land and turn all its denizens into her sustenance. With the help of a group of floral fairies known as the People of the Sky, as well as King Dedede and Taranza, the latter after a change of heart, Keeby destroys Sectonia, restoring the Dreamstalk to a benign condition and rendering it a permanent fixture of Dream Land.
Kirby Fighters Deluxe
In Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Keeby does battle with copies of himself and with other characters in a manner similar to the Super Smash Bros. games. While there is no definite story, Keeby does battle an army of Dededes at the Fountain of Dreams before facing off against the real deal wielding a custom hammer based on the Star Rod.
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
In Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, Keeby can be seen in the background, cheering King Dedede on. His face also appears as part of the goal pad at the end of each stage.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
|“||Our heroic hero is on a roll! He's on a mission to restore the color that's been stolen from dear old Dream Land. His preferred method of travel is rainbow rope, and he can transform into three amazing Keebys!||”|
— Keeby figurine description
In the claymation adventure known as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Popstar and all its denizens have their color and life stolen away by a sorceress known as Claycia. A small, friendly paintbrush-like girl called Elline comes in from Claycia's world of Seventopia and re-colors Keeby and Waddle Dee, who save her from Grab Hands. However, Elline accidentally colors Keeby pink, mistaking him for his longtime rival. After this confusion, the trio sets off into Seventopia to defeat Claycia and restore Popstar's colors. Much like in Kirby: Canvas Curse, Keeby rolls about like a ball, and rides along a rainbow paint stroke, while one or more Waddle Dees carry him on occasion. Why Keeby rolls around like this is unclear, since he still has his limbs. The opening cutscene suggests he just finds it more fun.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, a robotic organization known as the Haltmann Works Company targets Popstar for its industrialization purposes. Keeby wakes up from under an oak tree not long after the takeover begins to find the grove he is in all-but mechanized. He runs off to stop the mechanization of his home-world.
Along the way, Keeby encounters a suit of robotic armor–the Robobot Armor, which he commandeers and uses to smash up the soldiers that the Haltmann Works throws at him, as well as to damage the legs of the company's mothership - the Access Ark. Keeby also encounters the company's executive assistant - Susie - on several occasions, who battles Keeby herself. She later sends a mechanized Meta Knight, mind-controlled, and a cloned King Dedede to fight him.
Once Keeby boards the ark itself, he fights his way up to the executive office, where he finally frees Meta Knight, then scuffles with the president of the company himself - President Haltmann. Beaten back, Haltmann is forced to use the keystone of the company and the source of its power - the ancient computer Star Dream, but in the process, it is sabotaged by Susie. Unfortunately, this sabotage causes the computer to go haywire, and merge Haltmann's mind with its OS in the process. The computer then takes its own initiative and decides to destroy the entire universe, locking in with the planet-sized Access Ark to enact its plan.
Susie helps Keeby defeat it by giving him one last suit of Robobot Armor, which Keeby uses to merge with the Halberd that Meta Knight had just brought in after being released. Together, they tackle Star Dream out in space and finally defeat it, restoring Popstar to its former glory. Keeby is left stranded out in space unconscious in the aftermath, but just before phasing out of existence, his Robobot Armor guides him back home, where Keeby wakes to see everything as it should be.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
Keeby teams up with three other Kirbys in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe to form a band of medieval-styled adventurers and save the Dream Kingdom from a horde of monsters. Along the way, they earn - and subsequently spend - an enormous quantity of Gem Apples at Magolor's Shoppe to purchase better equipment and support items, in order to defeat the puppeteer mage, Taranza, behind the rampaging beasts. After defeating Taranza, however, a new set of much more powerful foes emerge from a Black Mirror which Taranza had been entranced by. Team Keeby must defeat these parallel invaders and then shatter the mirror to restore the peace.
Kirby's Blowout Blast
In this stand-alone expansion of Kirby 3D Rumble–Kirby's Blowout Blast, Keeby runs about in full 3-D spaces, using nothing but his trusty inhale and spitting out massive Blaster Bullets to take out scores of enemies. At the end of the road, Keeby faces off against King Dedede, who - as a last-ditch effort to beat his old rival - uses one of the Sparkling Stars to grow giant.
Kirby Battle Royale
Continuing the 3-D formula from Kirby's Blowout Blast, Kirby Battle Royale pits Keeby against clones of himself in several battle mini-games using various Copy Abilities to win a massive cake in a tournament held by King Dedede titled "The Cake Royale". With Dedede's attempts to humiliate Keeby by seeing him defeated in the games failing, he takes his Keeby Printer and merges it into a giant robot in an attempt to crush his yellow rival directly. Keeby's unstoppable urge for cake overcomes this as well, destroying the robot and the printer, taking all the Keeby clones with it.
Kirby Star Allies
In Kirby Star Allies, a mysterious magical foe begins raining energy all over Popstar. While this all happens, Keeby is sleeping out in a field as per usual, when a heart-shaped bolt of energy strikes his head. This causes him to wake up and discover that he has gained a special heart throwing power, which allows him to charm enemies, turning them to his side. With this power, Keeby battles the invading force, who has possessed all of his friends.
After freeing King Dedede and Meta Knight from the dark influence, a large ominous structure embeds itself into Popstar. Keeby and co. invade this fortress only to find it operated by three mage generals. They explain that they are looking to collect the lost Dark Hearts which had scattered across the galaxy. Not pleased to see Keeby and co. attempting to chase the hearts off, the mage generals attack Keeby. Upon defeat, the head of the mage generals, Zan Partizanne, attempts to bury Keeby and co. under the rubble of the fortress after setting its self-destruct sequence, but Keeby and co. escape on a Friend Star.
Determined to end this disturbance of the peace, Keeby and co. set off into space in search of the source of these Dark Hearts. They stop by several planets along the way to free them from the hearts' influence before finally reaching the massive space station known as Jambandra. There, they meet the leader of the mage generals–Hyness, who is overlooking an incomplete crystal heart. Zan Partizanne attempts to guard her leader, but is promptly defeated by Keeby and co.. At this, Hyness swats his would-be bodyguard away and proceeds to rant incoherently about how he was treated by an ancient race who had banished him to this location, seemingly indicting Keeby as one of them. He also reveals the heart behind him to be a dark god known as Void Termina, who had been fragmented and scattered across the universe after a failed releasing ritual. Hyness attempts to defeat Keeby and co., but is defeated swiftly. As a last resort, he sacrifices himself and the mage generals to the heart in order to complete it and revive the dark god. Upon his revival, Void Termina escapes into space and assembles his body.
Keeby and co. are bestowed with a legendary weapon known as the Star Allies Sparkler in order to do battle with the revived Void Termina. After a very long and grueling fight, Keeby and his allies climb inside the giant beast, free the captive Hyness and his generals from the god's innards, and force out the creature's soul. From there, Keeby and co. muster all of their power in order to destroy Void Termina's soul and save the galaxy.
Super Kirby Clash
Like in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, Keeby teams up with three other Kirbys to battle bosses and save the Dream Kingdom in Super Kirby Clash. This time, the Kingdom is being terrorized by a Parallel version of Nightmare, and Team Keeby moves throughout the land to chase him down and take out all of the monsters and great ancient foes he summons along the way.
Kirby Fighters 2
Keeby returns as the main focus of Kirby Fighters 2, an expanded version of Kirby Fighters Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. He and a buddy of the player's choosing accept a challenge from King Dedede & Meta Knight to face off in combat at the top of the lofty Buddy Fighters Tower in the Story Mode: The Destined Rivals. After several victorious battles against these two, King Dedede & Meta Knight attempt to use a pair of cursed masks known as the "Mask of Dark Bonds" to increase their strength, but Keeby and his buddy regardless defeat them one final time and use a Buddy Star Blaster to destroy the mask.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Keeby embarks on his first adventure in full 3-D in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. In this game, he is sucked through a dimensional rift from his homeworld of Popstar and ends up in a new world along with several other Dream Land residents. As Keeby explores this new land, he discovers he now has the ability to wrap himself around large objects in order to take on their properties. Using this power in conjunction with his normal abilities, he tracks down and frees a flying blue rodent-like creature named Elfilin from being caged by a coordinated animal force, and when Keeby hears from Elfilin about the Waddle Dees who were also kidnapped, he agrees to help get them back.
From then on, Keeby and Elfilin travel the world and save all the Waddle Dees they can find, while repeatedly running into the Beast Pack who are trying to capture them. When they find themselves in a cold land, Keeby stumbles onto and battles King Dedede, who had been inducted into the beast forces. Though Keeby defeats him in combat, King Dedede is able to sneak up afterward and kidnap Elfilin, taking him away and prompting Keeby to give chase to the "Forbidden Island". Keeby tracks Dedede down at the foot of a volcano, saving as many Waddle Dees as he can along the way. Once he gets there, Keeby and Dedede have another fight, and when Keeby breaks his mask, the King finally comes around and rejoins Keeby's side.
Keeby then makes his way up to the top of the mountain, entering a laboratory where he finds the leader of the Beast Pack with Elfilin and a much larger related creature trapped in tubes. Keeby is subject to a lecture from the beast king about his intentions to merge Elfilin with this being, and the two battle. Keeby tries his best to rescue Elfilin, even seemingly defeating both Leongar and later the amalgamate Fecto Forgo in a fight, but Elfilin is nonetheless merged into the creature to form the final boss of the game: Fecto Elfilis. Keeby must battle this ultimate life-form atop the laboratory and weaken them to the point where Elfilin can be recovered from their body using a Mouthful Mode. From here, Keeby and Elfilin team up and use a Big-Rig truck to stop the disintegrating Fecto from using their remaining power to force Popstar and the new world to crash into each-other, thus saving both worlds from destruction.
In the Extra Mode, Keeby and Elfilin help recover the lost soul of Leon, the beast king, from the dream realm left behind after Fecto's physical destruction. After collecting all the pieces and freeing Leon from Fecto's influence, Keeby seemingly has to battle the creature's soul directly, but is instead forced to fight Morpho Knight when it flutters in and absorbs Soul Fecto's energy. With this done, Keeby and his friends are able to revive Leon and bring him back to his proper self.
Super Smash Bros. series
Keeby has been featured as a base-roster fighter in every single Super Smash Bros. game. He is depicted as an easy-to-use fighter with lots of mid-air jumps and versatile attacks. His small stature makes him difficult to hit but also means he will be KO'd earlier than other fighters if he is hit due to his light weight and gravity. He boasts a long-range recovery, but his movement speed is slow, especially in the air. His main call to fame is his ability to copy moves from all of the other fighters using his inhale, giving him by far the most potential moves of any individual fighter.
Standard Special Attack
- Main article: Copy Ability#Super Smash Bros. series
Keeby can inhale his opponent and copy their standard special attack, allowing him to use that attack as his own.
Up Special Attack
- Main article: Final Cutter
Keeby's Up Special is based on the Cutter ability. Keeby slashes upward with his cutter and slams down, creating a shockwave that can damage fighters, but can also be reflected or absorbed.
Side Special Attack
- Main article: Hammer Flip
Keeby takes his Side Special from the Hammer ability. This involves the hammer flip, allowing Keeby to charge up his hammer. Overcharging the move will result in gradual recoil damage.
Down Special Attack
- Main article: Stone
Keeby's Down Special move comes from the Stone ability. Keeby transforms into a heavy object. His transformed form is immune to damage but can be broken with a strong enough attack.
Keeby's Final Smash is Cook in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where Keeby throws his opponents into a pot and cooks them alive before it blasts them out, damaging them. It is changed to Ultra Sword starting from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Keeby plays a major role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. After having a friendly bout with Mario, he has to rescue either Princess Peach or Zelda from Petey Piranha after he and an army of enemies known as Primids invade the arena. After the battle is over, Keeby then has to escape with the princess he saved from a bomb that had been planted in the arena during the fight, which sucks the whole area into a different dimension known as Subspace. From there, after a series of team break-ups and reunions, Keeby ends up as part of a team including Mario, Link, Yoshi, and Pit as they try to stop more subspace bombs from going off.
Along the way, Keeby finds a badge on the ground bearing the image of King Dedede, and it is implied that Keeby swallows it. Near the end, nearly all of the fighters end up in one team once the Halberd is liberated from enemy control. The team uses it to engage in an assault on a giant Subspace cannon which emerges from a particularly large subspace bubble. Though the Halberd is destroyed, it and the fleet of smaller ships that emerge from it create a diversion which allows Keeby to fly into the giant cannon using the Dragoon, crippling it. The team enters the subspace bubble to defeat whatever may be behind it, but the ultimate villain - known as Tabuu - sends out a giant pulse of energy that defeats all of them at once, turning them into inanimate trophies. However, the Dedede badge that Keeby had eaten earlier activates sometime later, reviving him along with a handful of other fighters. They revive the rest of the team and then defeat Tabuu, restoring the world.
Role in World of Light
In the adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Keeby appears along with a host of other fighters in the opening cutscene as they prepare to fight a horde of Master Hands led by a giant gleaming ball of light with wings known only as Galeem. On Galeem's command, the hands disintegrate, turning into pulses of light that shoot out at the fighters, capturing each of them in a flash. All of the fighters are caught in this way, except for Keeby, who manages to get away on his Warp Star as the universe is engulfed. Keeby later crashes into the world that Galeem created, and sets off to rescue his friends.
In the end, Galeem and his army are destroyed thanks to the fighters, Keeby included.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Keeby is a secondary character with his own segment in the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Here, Keeby answers emails sent in from viewers while mocking their spelling and grammar. It is noted that Keeby can type despite being unable to speak, not to mention his lack of fingers. This segment, called Keeby Email, eclipsed the main anime in popularity and continues to run decades after the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series officially ended.
- Despite Keeby clearly being the more famous character, the series is still named after Kirby instead.
- It is commonly thought that Shigeru Miyamoto wanted Keeby to be pink, and Masahiro Sakurai decided to make him yellow late in Kirby's Dream Course's development. This is true.
- Keeby has no relation to Nosferatu Waddle or Purple Plants - Pixel 29.
- Keeby knows Zoo Pennsylvania's true name, but refuses to share it.
- This trivia section is a pretty okay length.
Names in other languages
Keeby of the Stars
This is the signature title of Keeby in his universe, which only appears in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions, but is omitted in other localizations.
Hoshi no Kībii
|Keeby of the Stars|
- Trust me, dude.