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Kirby (series)

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Kirbycolors This article is about the series starring Kirby. For other uses, see Kirby (disambiguation).
KirbyLogo

A variant of the Kirby series logo

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[1]. 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.

Overview

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 MirrorMeta 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.

Gameplay

The Kirby series usually involves the player controlling the pink puffball, Kirby, as he saves Dream Land, Planet Popstar, or other planets from threats.

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 things, like trolleys and cannons, are also a means of transport for Kirby.

List of Kirby games

For a text-only reference list of these titles, see List of Kirby games.

Main series

Title Platform Release Date (US) Box Art
Genre: Traditional platformers
Kirby's Dream Land Game Boy 1 August 1992 KDL Boxart
Kirby's Adventure NES / Famicom 1 May 1993 KA Boxart
Kirby's Dream Land 2 Game Boy 1 May 1995 KDL2 Boxart
Kirby Super Star


9 Games in 1 package. The Spring Breeze sub-game is a short remake of Kirby's Dream Land.
Kirby's Fun Pak in PAL regions

SNES/Super Famicom

20 September 1996

KSS Boxart
Kirby's Dream Land 3 SNES/Super Famicom 27 November 1997 KDL3 Boxart
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Nintendo 64 26 June 2000 K64 Boxart
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Game Boy Advance 18 October 2004 KatAM Boxart
Kirby: Squeak Squad


Kirby Mouse Attack in PAL regions

Nintendo DS 4 December 2006 KSqSq Boxart
Kirby's Epic Yarn Wii 17 October 2010 KEY Boxart
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Wii 24 October 2011 KRtDL Box art
Kirby: Triple Deluxe Nintendo 3DS 2 May 2014 KTD Box art
Kirby: Planet Robobot Nintendo 3DS 10 June 2016 Planetrobobot
Genre: Touch platformers
Kirby: Canvas Curse


Kirby: Power Paintbrush in PAL regions

Nintendo DS 13 June 2005 KCC Boxart
Kirby Mass Attack Nintendo DS 19th September 2011 KMA Box Art
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Wii U 20 February 2015 Kirby Rainbow Curse NA Box

Compilations / Spin-offs

Title Platform Release Date Box Art
Kirby's Pinball Land Game Boy 27 November 1993 KPL Boxart
Kirby's Dream Course


First appearance of Keeby.

SNES/Super Famicom 1 February 1995 KDC Boxart
Kirby's Avalanche


Not developed or released in Japan.
Kirby's Ghost Trap in PAL regions

SNES 25 April 1995 KAv Boxart
Kirby's Block Ball Game Boy 4 May 1996 KBB Boxart
Kirby's Toy Box


Only released in Japan. Known as Kirby no Omocha Hako locally.

Broadcast Satellaview 8 February 1996 (Japan Only) KTB screen
Kirby's Star Stacker Game Boy April 1997 KSSt Boxart
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble Game Boy Color 9 April 2001 KTnT Boxart
Kirby Slide Game Boy Advance (E-reader) November-December 2003 KSlide
Kirby Air Ride Nintendo GameCube 13 October 2003 KAR Boxart
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition Wii 16 September 2012 KDCol US Box art
Kirby Fighters Deluxe
Considered a stand-alone Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game rather than a full title.
Nintendo 3DS (eShop) 29 August 2014 KFZ Box
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
Considered a stand-alone Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game rather than a full title.
Nintendo 3DS (eShop) 29 August 2014 DDDZ Box

Remakes

Title Platform Release Date Box Art
Kirby's Super Star Stacker


Remake of Kirby's Star Stacker. Only released in Japan.

Super Famicom 30 November 1997 KSStSt Boxart J
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land


Remake of Kirby's Adventure.

Game Boy Advance 2 December 2002 KNiD Boxart
Kirby Super Star Ultra


Enhanced remake of Kirby Super Star.

Nintendo DS 22 September 2008 KSSU Boxart

Unreleased titles

Title Platform
Kid Kirby SNES/Super Famicom
Kirby's Air Ride Nintendo 64
Kirby Family

[2]

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 SSB Boxart
Super Smash Bros. Melee Nintendo GameCube 3 December 2001 SSBM Boxart
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Wii 9 March 2008 SSBB Boxart
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS 3 October 2014 Boxart-3ds
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Wii U 21 November 2014 Boxart-wiiu

List of Nintendo 3DS themes

These are not games, but are Kirby-related themes used to decorate members of the Nintendo 3DS family.

Title Release Date Music Image
Kirby: Stripes and a Smile 3 Mar 2015 Green Greens (pop version) Kirby Stripes and a Smile
Kirby: Sweet Gourmet Race 3 Mar 2015 Get Up and Go-urmet! (brass band version) Kirby Sweet Gourmet Race
Kirby: Craft-Paper Party 3 Mar 2015 Green Greens/Peanut Plains (acoustic version) Kirby Craft-Paper Kirby
Kirby Planet Robobot: Robobot Armor Activate! 10 Jun 2016 "Pink Ball Activate!" Kirby Planet Robobot Robobot Armor Activate!

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 Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
Amiibo KirbyAmiibo Kirby P
King Dedede (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure 20 Feb 2015 Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
Amiibo DededeAmiibo Dedede P
Meta Knight (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure


Released exclusively at Best Buy at launch in the United States. Released exclusively at Best Buy and Future Shop at launch in Canada.

20 Feb 2015 Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
Amiibo Meta KnightAmiibo Meta Knight P
Kirby (Kirby series) amiibo figure 10 June 2016 [3] Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesKirbyAmiiboKirby Kirby amiibo box
Meta Knight (Kirby series) amiibo figure 10 June 2016 [3] Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesMetaKnightAmiiboKirby Meta Knight amiibo box
King Dedede (Kirby series) amiibo figure 10 June 2016 [3] Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesKingDededeAmiiboKirby Dedede amiibo box
Waddle Dee amiibo figure 10 June 2016 [3] Flag USA  Compatibility chart
Flag JP  Compatibility chart
Flag EU  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesWaddleDeeAmiiboKirby Waddle Dee amiibo box

Other Titles

These are not necessarily games, but are directly related to Kirby nonetheless.

Soundtracks

Narrations

Manga

Real-World Events

Kirby fans gum world record

A photograph of the PAX Prime event

  • 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.[6]
Kiddyland

Kirby Pu-Pu-Pu Picnic promotional artwork

  • 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.[7]
Kirby Cafe

Kirby Café promotional artwork

  • On August 5, 2016, a Kirby-themed café chain named Kirby Café opened in Japan. It serves food patterned after Kirby series staples, such as Kirby himself, King Dedede, Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, Whispy Woods, Planet Popstar, Maxim Tomatoes, Invincibility Candy, and the Star Rod. Additionally, Kirby Café locations contain a shop section that offers Kirby-themed merchandise.[8]

Trivia

  • 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 system that has not had its own Kirby game is the Virtual Boy.

External links

  • List of Kirby media on Wikipedia. It is an incomplete list, but all of the facts are fully-cited.

References

  1. VGChartz
  2. Nintendo Japan
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 amiibo Character Lineup
  4. Japanese-Wikipedia-「星のカービィ (さくま良子の漫画)」
  5. Japanese-Wikipedia-「星のカービィ! も〜れつプププアワー!」
  6. The Escapist
  7. Crunchyroll
  8. Kirby Café official website

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