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Kirby's Toy Box

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Kirby's Toy Box
PublisherNintendo
DeveloperHAL Laboratory
Release SNES (Satellaview)
Flag JP February 8, 1996[1]
GenreMultiple
Mode(s)Single, two-player
Rating
Platform(s)SNES

Kirby's Toy Box is the translated name of a small series of Kirby sub-games titled カービィのおもちゃ箱 (Kābī no Omochabako, meaning Kirby's Toy Box) in Japan. The Kirby's Toy Box series was broadcast over Nintendo's first form of digital distribution, the Satellaview network, and, depending on when the player connects to the network, different games were available at different times. These could be downloaded to a ROM cartridge for future play.

All the titles start with a teaser of the main menu (corkboard) of Kirby Super Star. Megaton Punch and Samurai Kirby sub-games are included as well, which are identical to the versions found in Kirby Super Star. The teaser and the borrowed sub-games were likely included for promotional purposes.

Kirby's Toy Box - Baseball

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - ベースボール (Kābī no Omochabako - Bēsubōru) means Kirby's Toy Box - Baseball.

This is a simple one screened game that featured Kirby being the ball. It plays somewhat like pinball, where the player must hit the ball in one of the scoring slots, or if he fails to make it in any slot, he gets a strike. The goal is to get as many runs as possible, and just aim for a high score. The game technically plays forever or until the player gets 3 outs, but since there is a limited period for broadcasting the Baseball game, it only lasts as long. There is a 2-player mode available.

Kirby's Toy Box - Pinball

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - ピンボール (Kābī no Omochabako - Pinbōru) means Kirby's Toy Box - Pinball.

This is also a one screened game, once again using Kirby as the ball. This game is a simple game of pinball, where the player has to launch Kirby into the enemies on the stage to earn points. The hero first has to be shot out of a cannon at whatever power level the player chooses. If Kirby falls down the drain three times, the game ends. As with Kirby's Toy Box - Baseball, the game could be played over and over during the brief period it was broadcast, but could not be played after that time. Enemies in this game include King Dedede, Mr. Frosty, Kracko, Co-Kracko, Bounder, Waddle Dee, Crack-Tweet, and Elieel.

Kirby's Toy Box - Star Break

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - 星くずし (Kābī no Omochabako - Hoshi Kuzushi) literally means Kirby's Toy Box - Star Break.

This is a breakout-style game where Kirby is the ball. The bat is a trampoline held by two Rick-like hamsters. The game uses a star-counter, which decreases periodically on its own. Hitting any one block will dislodge several stars which fall down from where the block was - catching one will increment the player's star counter by 5. If Kirby (the ball) hits the ground when the star counter is higher than zero, he will bounce once, so the player gets one more chance to catch him. Otherwise, the player loses a life. Every time Kirby touches the ground, the star counter is reduced by 10.

Once the player clears the first five stages, King Dedede appears in stage 6. This stage has no blocks, so the player's star counter cannot increase. Dedede throws hammers from time to time - if Rick is hit, the player will not be able to control him for a short while. Hitting Dedede enough times will defeat him.

Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Kirby's Toy Box - Balls Round and Round

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - ぐるぐるボール (Kābī no Omochabako - Gurugurubōru) means Kirby's Toy Box - Balls Round and Round.

In this game, the player fires spherical Kirbys through a spiral tube. This tube has holes in it, which a speedy Kirby will pass right over. The point is to fire the Kirbys with just the right amount of power to pass over certain holes but slow down and fall into another hole. Different holes give different numbers of points, so the goal of the player is to shoot his/her Kirbys into the highest-scoring hole as much as possible. When the player runs out of Kirbys, the game ends.

Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Kirby's Toy Box - Cannonball

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - キャノンボール (Kābī no Omochabako - Kyanonbōru) means Kirby's Toy Box - Cannonball.

In Kirby's Toy Box - Cannonball, the player controls a giant robotic hamster, which can shoot spherical Kirbys out from its head. The game is a simplified take on the same concept used by numerous other games based around lobbing parabolic projectiles at opponents over hills with destructible terrain, such as Scorched Earth and the Worms series. A large hill divides the screen into two halves, with Player 1 on the left; the right side is occupied by another robot hamster, which is controlled by a CPU or a second player. The goal of the game is defeat the opponent robot by hitting it with enough Kirbys. Each robot can move its head to change the direction and angle of the Kirbys it fires. They can also walk slowly forward and backward. The robots can blast tiny holes in the hill by shooting it with Kirbys. When one robot is defeated, the game ends with surviving robot being the winner.

There are multiple stages to play on, but the only difference between them is the scenery. Clouds will stop any Kirby that hits them, causing the projectile to lose all momentum and fall. Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Kirby's Toy Box - Arranging Balls

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - アレンジボール (Kābī no Omochabako - Arenjibōru) means Kirby's Toy Box - Arranging Balls.

In Kirby's Toy Box - Arranging Balls, the player is given the goal of launching spherical Kirbys into the nine holes occupied by Mr. Frostys. The player is given a certain number of Kirbys to launch, and the game ends when he/she runs out of Kirbys to shoot. The player can choose how much power to put into each shot. Points are awarded if the player lands three Kirbys in a row -- the more rows the player completes, the more points he/she will earn.

Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Kirby's Toy Box - Pachinko

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - パチンコ (Kābī no Omochabako - Pachinko) means Kirby's Toy Box - Pachinko.

This game is like a pachinko machine; the goal is to launch the spherical Kirbys the player is given into the pockets of the machine. The player is given two minutes to fire an unlimited number of Kirbys, and he/she is given control of the power put into each shot. Ten points are awarded whenever a Kirby lands in a pocket. If a shot lands directly atop the big Kirby in the center, the player will temporarily win a chance to earn more points; the big Kirby will raise his arms and give 100 points to each shot that hits him in one of three locations. When time is up, the game ends.

Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Kirby's Toy Box - Ball Rally

カービィのおもちゃ箱 - ボールラリー (Kābī no Omochabako - Bōrurarī) means Kirby's Toy Box - Ball Rally.

In Kirby's Toy Box - Ball Rally, the player's goal is to guide Kirby through an obstacle course. He/she can do this using proper timing and the A Button; when A is pressed, some green platforms extend while others retract. Spherical Kirbys are released from the top-most door one by one. They can't stop rolling, so the player must extend the right platforms to guide the Kirbys safely over spikes. As more Kirbys join the playing field, it becomes increasingly difficult to guide them all to the exit. The player scores points by getting a Kirby to the exit. There are 50 Kirbys altogether.

Like every other sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box, this game could only be played during the brief period it was broadcast.

Trivia

  • When a Kirby is KO'd in Kirby's Toy Box - Ball Rally, he becomes an angel and floats away. This idea was later reused in Kirby Mass Attack.
  • This was the first Kirby game that was not released in the United States.
  • Kirby's Toy Box is one of the six Kirby games that has never been released as a permanent digital download. The others are Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby Air Ride, Kirby Slide, Kirby Super Star Ultra, and Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition.
  • Kirby's Toy Box - Baseball, Kirby's Toy Box - Pinball, and Kirby's Toy Box - Star Break are the only Kirby's Toy Box sub-games that are still possible to be played today, and exclusively through unofficial emulators. As the ROM data of some other games was not preserved, video footage and screenshots taken from the original broadcasts are the only way to experience them anymore.
    • On November 8, 2016, ROM cartridges containing Kirby's Toy Box - Balls Round and Round, Kirby's Toy Box - Cannonball, Kirby's Toy Box - Arranging Balls, and Kirby's Toy Box - Pachinko were sold in a Japanese auction for a total of ¥85,500. They were purchased by Frank Cifaldi and Matthew Callis of Video Game History Foundation, who plan to preserve the games.[2]
    • This leaves Kirby's Toy Box - Ball Rally as the only remaining sub-game in Kirby's Toy Box to be unavailable outside of Japan.

External links

References

  1. Satellaview games
  2. Ars Technica


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