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This article is about the main character of the Kirby series. For information about the video game series, see Kirby (series).
Character InfoBox
KRtDL Kirby 3.png
Artwork from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Debut Game Kirby's Dream Land
Last Game Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Other Game(s) All
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Kirby is a small, pink creature of unknown origins. He is often seen riding a Warp Star, and battling King Dedede. He is notable for possessing one unique ability, differentiating him from others: being able to suck up enemies and use one of their main attributes.

Name Origin

In a recent Game Informer interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, Miyamoto confirmed rumors that the name Kirby was partially inspired by attorney John Kirby, who defended Nintendo in a lawsuit by Universal City Studios after the release of Donkey Kong, in which Universal claimed that Donkey Kong was illegally based on King Kong. Miyamoto however, explains that the name Kirby existed on a list of potential names for the character, and that the name was partially chosen because of the trend that in Japan cute characters often use 'very soft names with soft sounds in them'. Miyamoto thought that the name Kirby had 'harsh sounds' to it, and that 'the juxtaposition of this cute character with this harsh-sounding name was very funny'. [1]


For a Nintendo character, Kirby is amongst the simplest in appearance. As nothing more than a short, pink, 8-inch tall,[2] charismatic ball with red feet, Kirby uses the malleability and flexibility of his tuft-shaped body to establish his individuality, and traverse the colorful, interactive landscapes around him. Kirby has little physical strength, however his ability to steal his foes' characteristics, known as Copy Abilities, through ingestion adds quite the amount of physical, chemical, and/or electric power to his arsenal. Utilizing these abilities, Kirby can inherit the embodied power of the enemy, and in some titles, can even meld multiple powers together, by swallowing additional foes in succession. In earlier games, Kirby did not undergo any physical changes upon receiving a copy ability; this all changed in Kirby Super Star: Kirby dons a unique hat for almost every Copy Ability he obtains. In games after Kirby Super Star, the ingestion of a Copy Ability always yields a physical change, whether it be a simple hat, or a total body transformation.

Game Appearances

Kirby's Dream Land

Kirby makes his debut appearance in Kirby's Dream Land, where he clashes with his nemesis King Dedede for the first time in the series. The game depicts him as a young and agile boy who eagerly helps out his fellow Dream Landers in their crisis with King Dedede.[3] The mischievous king has not only stolen all the food in Dream Land, but also abducted the land's Sparkling Stars. Without further hesitation, Kirby sets out to travel through the four areas of King Dedede's realm, reclaim the Sparkling Stars from the kings vassals, defeat King Dedede, and give Dream Land its food and its Sparkling Stars back.

The boxart of Kirby's Dream Land depicts Kirby with white skin, as opposed to his trademark pink color. This is most likely due to the fact that Kirby's color scheme had not been finally decided. The game is also the first to mention Kirby's lack of singing talent, though it isn't as exaggerated as in later titles. In this game, the enemies explode from laughter at Kirby singing off key, as opposed to actually getting physically harmed from his songs.[4]

Kirby's Adventure/Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

In Kirby's Adventure and Nightmare in Dream Land, Dream Land starts encountering nightmares, and Kirby once again attempts to come to the rescue. He finds out that King Dedede took the Star Rod, the source of power of Dream Land's good night sleep, and splits it into 7 pieces, giving a part to each of King Dedede's 6 friends (it is actually seven as Butter Building has 2 bosses) and keeps one for himself. Kirby defeats his friends, and fights King Dedede. However, upon beating King Dedede, a being known as Nightmare arrives. Kirby now understands that King Dedede took and broke the Star Rod to prevent Nightmare from getting it and faces Nightmare with it. He fights him off and gives Dream Land a good night sleep once again.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Kirby is called to action in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards after Ribbon, a young fairy, tells him about the shattered state of the Power Crystal, the symbol and source of the realm's unity. Ribbon manages to safeguard one of the pieces of the Power Crystal, and reveals to Kirby that he must embark on a quest to recover all the remaining Crystal Shards before the game's antagonist, Dark Matter not only takes over the seat of government at Ripple Star, but the entire realm. Unique to this title, Kirby can obtain two copy abilities at once, by swallowing two foes in succession. The varying mixes of copy abilities are not just aesthetically interesting, they do have a purpose: specific combinations can break barricades that hide Stars, 1-Ups, and most importantly, Crystal Shards. After traveling through the six worlds, defeating the bosses and collecting the 72 Crystal Shards scattered across the realm, Kirby and Ribbon team up to take on Dark Matter's source, Zero Two, the final obstacle between them and realm-wide peace.

Kirby: Canvas Curse

In Kirby: Canvas Curse, an evil witch named Drawcia appears and tries to turn Dream Land into a portrait. Kirby goes after her to stop her, but ends up being pulled into her world and is turned into a ball. He goes after her again, this time however to break the canvas curse put on him and Dream Land. In this form, he can no longer fly, but can now use an attack known as a Dash Attack and can use this take an enemy's power. He can also ride lines created by the Magic Paintbrush.

Kirby: Squeak Squad

In Kirby: Squeak Squad, it's snack time and Kirby is about to have a slice of a delicious cake. However, when he is about to bite into it, it disappears! Kirby tries suspecting who stole the cake, and King Dedede's name automatically pops into his head. He goes there, but finds out he doesn't have it. He then sees a group of bandit mice, known as the Squeaks stealing one of King Dedede's treasure chests, and then finds out that they stole his cake. He begins another journey through Dream Land, and confronts Daroach the leader of the Squeaks. He beats him, but Meta Knight swoops in and steals the treasure chest. He confronts Meta Knight and beats him, but unfortunately for Kirby, that chest didn't contain his cake, but the lord of the underworld! He then has to beat a possessed Daroach and then Dark Nebula himself. He beats him, and gets his cake as an apology from the Squeaks.

Kirby's Epic Yarn

In Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby is once again the protagonist of the game, along with his companion Prince Fluff. At the beginning of the game, Kirby is walking through Dream Land when he spots a Metamato made out of yarn. Kirby quickly gulps down the Metamato, before the eyes of its owner, Yin-Yarn. In revenge, Yin-Yarn uses his magic sock to suck Kirby into Patch Land - a world where everything, (characters, backgrounds, enemies) is made out of different materials. Kirby finds that he has been turned into yarn!

In Patch Land, Kirby quickly spots a blue character being chased by an enemy. He saves him and then learns that his name is Prince Fluff. Prince Fluff decides to show Kirby around Patch Land. While Prince Fluff is explaining how Patch Land has been ripped into seven pieces, a slug comes and attacks them. Kirby quickly decimates it and the magic yarn comes down. Prince Fluff explains that the Magic Yarn can be used to stitch the pieces of Patch Land back together. Then Kirby and Prince Fluff embark together on a quest to get the rest of the pieces of the Magic Yarn to return Patch Land to its former glory.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land

In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby, as well as his friends Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, and King Dedede find a mysterious starship, the Lor Starcutter, crash land into Pop Star, thereby losing five of its parts, and all 120 Energy Spheres. Kirby must help the owner of the starship, Magolor, retrieve the missing parts and the Energy Spheres. Once the Lor Starcutter is repaired, Magolor takes Kirby to Halcandra, Magolor's homeworld. There Kirby must help Magolor defeat Landia, a bird-like creature, only to find that Magolor was a power-greedy villain determined on taking over the universe. Kirby then must fight Magolor and his soul in Another Dimension to preserve Pop Star and the universe.

Super Smash Bros. series

Cook Kirby, Kirby's Final Smash.

Kirby has appeared in every game of the Super Smash Bros. series, and is joined by Meta Knight and King Dedede in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For his basic special move, he can suck up other characters, and copy one of their special moves, replacing his Inhale ability with it. If he does so, he also copies one of their more distinctive clothing features (if he copies Mario, for example, he will also wear Mario's red cap). If one Kirby inhales another, he can steal his Copy Ability. His Inhale ability can also be used to suck up almost anything else, such as items, food, and projectiles fired at him, though explosives will cause him a little damage from inside. His Final Smash is Cook Kirby, where he puts all nearby characters and items into a pot and starts cooking them. After he is done cooking, the enemies and some food items come out.

Melee trophy information

A denizen of the far-off, peaceful planet Pop Star, Kirby became a citizen of Dream Land after defeating King Dedede. Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician. He has the ability to absorb the powers of his enemies, and his elastic body makes him a versatile adventurer.

Smash 1:

Kirby's small size lets him dodge many attacks, but his light weight makes him fly far when struck. Using his ability to inflate, he can jump five times. His Swallow attack creates wild combos; not only can he copy foes' moves, but he'll also put on special hats and mimic their voices. His Hammer is unwieldy but powerful.

Smash 2:

Because of his light weight, Kirby is always in danger of being sent flying, but his ability to puff up and fly allows him to come back from amazing distances. His Final Cutter strikes on the way up and on the way down, and it sends out a beam of force upon landing. Kirby transforms into various objects and crashes down when he uses his Stone technique.

Names in Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カービィ
Spanish Kirby -
French Kirby -
German Kirby -
Italian Kirby -
Chinese 星之卡比
xīng zhī kǎ bǐ
Combination of "star" and the pronunciation of Kirby.



  1. Miyamoto Talks Wii U, Zelda And Nintendo's Past - GameInformer
  2. "Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician" -Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy
  3. "Suddenly a spry little boy named Kirby happened along and said, "Don't worry, I'll get your food and your Sparkling Stars back!"." (Kirby's Dream Land manual, pg. 4)
  4. "I'm not a very good singer and I sometimes sing off key, but King Dedede's bullies can't stand to hear me sing and will just explode with laughter when I puff out the microphone." —Kirby (Kirby's Dream Land)