|This article is about the series starring Kirby. For other uses, see Kirby (disambiguation).|
The Kirby series is an ongoing franchise of video games starring the eponymous character, Kirby, and created by Masahiro Sakurai and developed by the HAL Laboratory. It is one of Nintendo's most popular and best-selling franchises, selling over 35 million units since its debut. The series is known for its bright and artistic setting, cute characters, cheerful and upbeat music, and the ability to inhale, swallow, and copy the abilities of enemies.
All the titles in the Kirby series feature a pink, spherical creature named Kirby as the main playable character, hero, and protagonist. The most recurring antagonist of the series is King Dedede, the greedy, hammer-wielding, self-proclaimed ruler of Dream Land; he has appeared in every Kirby game except Kirby & The Amazing Mirror. Meta Knight is another major recurring character. He appears to be the same species as Kirby (though this is not known), and is a chivalrous but enigmatic warrior who assists the hero on many occasions. Depending on the situation, he sometimes fights Kirby to get the things he desires, or to prevent him from causing a much larger problem. He respects a certain code of honor, and always offers Kirby a sword when fighting with him.
The games' fictional setting, Planet Popstar, includes many regions of different climates and terrain, which are home to many different creatures. The areas in each game have unique names, but they fall into categories such as fiery caverns, open meadows, water-filled or submerged areas, icy mountains, and similar nature-based environments.
Kirby can walk, run, and jump, but also perform unique moves, like a slide attack and even inflate himself like a balloon by sucking up air to fly. In every game except Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby can float indefinitely. Kirby can shoot out a puff of air to attack his enemies after flying. Kirby Super Star introduced guarding, while Kirby: Triple Deluxe introduced a dodge.
In the first game of the series, Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's main form of attack is inhaling objects or his enemies whole, and spitting them at each other. The first game also featured power ups like Superspicy Curry and the Mint Leaf, that allowed Kirby to spit fire and air respectively for a limited time to attack his foes. The second game, Kirby's Adventure, and almost every main game after that, gives Kirby the ability to inhale and swallow his foes to obtain their abilities; for example, swallowing an enemy that is using a sword gives him the Sword ability, and swallowing a flaming enemy gives him the Fire ability. He can use one of these Copy Abilities at a time to give his enemies a taste of their own medicine, and players can try out more than twenty Copy Abilites in most games, sometimes even combining them. Games like Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby: Triple Deluxe give Kirby amplified abilities; in the former, he can swallow certain foes to wield huge hammers or swords, and in the latter, he can eat a special bean to greatly increase his inhale ability — in this state, Kirby can inhale entire trees and trains.
Most Kirby games involve the player moving Kirby to the right of the screen through several levels and worlds that usually follow a theme, like grass, or desert, or lava. Many enemies populate the worlds, some of which are native to one particular world, like fire enemies to lava worlds, or flying enemies to cloud worlds. Some enemies stop Kirby in his tracks, preventing him from progressing until they are defeated. These mid-bosses are usually located near the middle of the level and tend to be larger than normal enemies. They take many more hits and have many more attacks than normal enemies, but can still be swallowed after their defeat, which awards a Copy Ability. The ability that the mid-boss gives is usually necessary to solve an upcoming puzzle that will award some kind of collectible. Bosses are typically giant enemies that seem to govern the entire area. Most bosses can summon smaller enemies to fight for them, and they take even more hits and have even more attacks that mid-bosses. They cannot be inhaled, but they do open the path to the next world after their defeat. Games like Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby Super Star allowed Kirby to summon or partner up with allies that would fight alongside him. Other games, like Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, allow Kirby to travel alongside more of his kind.
Kirby has a set amount of health in the series' games, and food can be found in random areas that will restore his health after he touches an enemies or is hit by an attack. Losing all health results in Kirby losing a life, but 1UPs can also be found in levels. Other hazards, like pits or being crushed, instantly KO Kirby. Invincibility Candy can be found, which stays true to its name and prevents Kirby from taking any damage for a short time. Touching enemies hurts them instead, but instant-death hazards are still effective. Items like Keys and Crackers allow Kirby to pass hazards or attacks enemies without an ability. Levels usually take place in may rooms, and going through Doors allows Kirby to progress. Some doors cannot be reentered after Kirby goes through them the first time. The Warp Star is a large star-shaped item that Kirby can ride to get to far away areas very quickly. In main Kirby games, it steers itself, and damages any enemies and breaks through any obstructions in its way. Other objects, such as trolleys and cannons, also serve as a means of transport for Kirby.
List of Kirby games
For a text-only reference list of these titles, see List of Kirby games.
|Title||Platform||Release Date (NA)||Box Art|
|Genre: Traditional platformers|
|Kirby's Dream Land||Game Boy||1 August 1992|
|Kirby's Adventure||NES / Famicom||1 May 1993|
|Kirby's Dream Land 2||Game Boy||1 May 1995|
|Kirby Super Star||SNES/Super Famicom||
20 September 1996
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||SNES/Super Famicom||27 November 1997|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||Nintendo 64||26 June 2000|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
||Game Boy Advance||2 December 2002|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Game Boy Advance||18 October 2004|
|Kirby: Squeak Squad
||Nintendo DS||4 December 2006|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra
||Nintendo DS||22 September 2008|
|Kirby's Return to Dream Land||Wii||24 October 2011|
|Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition
||Wii||16 September 2012|
|Kirby: Triple Deluxe||Nintendo 3DS||2 May 2014|
|Kirby: Planet Robobot||Nintendo 3DS||10 June 2016|
|Genre: Non-traditional platformers|
|Kirby: Canvas Curse
||Nintendo DS||13 June 2005|
|Kirby's Epic Yarn||Wii||17 October 2010|
|Kirby Mass Attack||Nintendo DS||19th September 2011|
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
||Wii U||20 February 2015|
|Title||Platform||Release Date (NA)||Box Art|
|Kirby's Pinball Land||Game Boy||27 November 1993|
|Kirby's Dream Course||SNES/Super Famicom||1 February 1995|
||SNES||25 April 1995|
|Kirby's Block Ball||Game Boy||4 May 1996|
|Kirby's Toy Box
||Broadcast Satellaview||8 February 1996 (Japan Only)|
|Kirby's Star Stacker||Game Boy||April 1997|
|Kirby's Super Star Stacker
||Super Famicom||30 November 1997|
|Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble||Game Boy Color||9 April 2001|
||Game Boy Advance (E-reader)||November-December 2003|
|Kirby Air Ride||Nintendo GameCube||13 October 2003|
|Kirby Fighters Deluxe|
Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game Kirby Fighters. One of the Kirby games known to be non-canon.
|Nintendo 3DS (eShop)||29 August 2014|
|Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe|
Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game Dedede's Drum Dash. One of the Kirby games known to be non-canon.
|Nintendo 3DS (eShop)||29 August 2014|
|Team Kirby Clash Deluxe|
Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Planet Robobot sub-game Team Kirby Clash. One of the Kirby games known to be non-canon.
|Nintendo 3DS (eShop)||12 April 2017|
|Kirby's Blowout Blast|
Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Planet Robobot sub-game Kirby 3D Rumble. One of the Kirby games known to be non-canon.
|Nintendo 3DS (eShop)||Summer 2017|
|Kid Kirby||SNES/Super Famicom|
|Kirby's Air Ride||Nintendo 64|
|Kirby Family||Game Boy Color|
|Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2||Nintendo GameCube|
|Kirby GCN||Nintendo GameCube|
List of Super Smash Bros. Games
Kirby characters also appear in Nintendo's fighting game series Super Smash Bros.
|Title||Platform||Release Date||Box Art|
|Super Smash Bros.||Nintendo 64||26 April 1999|
|Super Smash Bros. Melee||Nintendo GameCube||3 December 2001|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Wii||9 March 2008|
|Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS||Nintendo 3DS||3 October 2014|
|Super Smash Bros. for Wii U||Wii U||21 November 2014|
List of Nintendo 3DS themes
These are not games, but are Kirby-related themes used to decorate members of the Nintendo 3DS family.
|Kirby: Stripes and a Smile||3 Mar 2015||Green Greens (pop version)|
|Kirby: Sweet Gourmet Race||3 Mar 2015||Get Up and Go-urmet! (brass band version)|
|Kirby: Craft-Paper Party||3 Mar 2015||Green Greens/Peanut Plains (acoustic version)|
|Kirby Planet Robobot: Robobot Armor Activate!||10 Jun 2016||"Pink Ball Activate!"|
|1 Day of Kirby and Secretary Susie
|Kirby's 25th Anniversary||27 Apr 2017||Welcome to Dream Land|
List of amiibo products
These are not games, but are amiibo figures used to modify existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games. Games that make specific use of Kirby series characters or themes are in bold.
|Title||Release Date||Compatible Games||Image|
|Kirby (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure||21 Nov 2014|| Compatibility chart|
|King Dedede (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure||20 Feb 2015|| Compatibility chart|
|Meta Knight (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure
||20 Feb 2015|| Compatibility chart|
|Kirby (Kirby series) amiibo figure||10 June 2016 || Compatibility chart|
|Meta Knight (Kirby series) amiibo figure||10 June 2016 || Compatibility chart|
|King Dedede (Kirby series) amiibo figure||10 June 2016 || Compatibility chart|
|Waddle Dee amiibo figure||10 June 2016 || Compatibility chart|
These are not necessarily games, but are directly related to Kirby nonetheless.
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe OST - Soundtrack for Kirby: Triple Deluxe. See Kirby: Triple Deluxe/Music
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land OST - Soundtrack for Kirby's Return to Dream Land. See Kirby's Return to Dream Land/Music
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Sound Plus - Soundtrack for Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
- Kirby's Airride Business Trip Sound Test - Soundtrack for Kirby Air Ride
- Kirby Super Ultra Deluxe OST - Soundtrack for Kirby Super Star Ultra. See Kirby Super Star Ultra/Music
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards OST - Soundtrack for Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. See Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards/Music
- Mario Kirby Masterpiece
- Kirby and the Story of the Dream Spring
- Kirby of the Stars
- Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede Who Lives in Pupupu
- Kirby of the Stars!: Mo~Retsu Pupupu Hour!
- On September 1st, 2012, Nintendo hosted an event at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington. To celebrate Kirby's 20th anniversary, the company wanted to break the Guinness World Record for the most people in a room blowing a chewing gum bubble simultaneously. Altogether, 536 fans showed up to participate, setting the new record.
- A collaboration between Japanese toy store Kiddyland and Nintendo began on August 22, 2015, using special events and exclusive Kirby-themed products to promote the store. The collaboration incorporates a campaign on social media outlet Twitter, photo opportunities, and original stickers given out to customers making purchases of 1500 yen worth of Kirby merchandise. Participating Kiddyland venues also offered an exclusive line of Kirby-themed merchandise including tote bags, hand towels, clear file posters, 'marshmallow seal' stickers, and plush charms. These goods range in price from 380 to 1000 yen. The "Kirby Pu-Pu-Pu Picnic" event was held at the Kiddyland stores in Harajuku and Umeda from August 22 to September 18, 2015.
- On August 5, 2016, a Kirby-themed café chain named Kirby Café opened in Japan. It served food patterned after Kirby series staples, such as Kirby himself, King Dedede, Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, Whispy Woods, Planet Popstar, Maxim Tomatoes, Invincible Candy, and the Star Rod. Additionally, Kirby Café locations contained a shop section that offers Kirby-themed merchandise and the café's very own soundtrack.
- Every five years, a Kirby game based off of an art form is released, starting with Kirby: Canvas Curse in 2005, then Kirby's Epic Yarn in 2010, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse in 2015.
- Excluding console add-ons and systems that predate the series, the only Nintendo systems that have not had their own Kirby game are the Virtual Boy and Nintendo Switch.
- HAL Laboratory's BOXBOY! series was developed by staff members who regularly work on Kirby projects. The series' director is Yasuhiro Mukae, who was previously a designer for Kirby: Triple Deluxe. He considered using Kirby as the main character of BOXBOY!, but abandoned the idea because having Kirby produce boxes for gameplay he thought would look too unusual.
Kirby's 25th Anniversary
- List of Kirby media on Wikipedia. It is an incomplete list, but all of the facts are fully-cited.