|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Minigames|
Wii/Wii U (Virtual Console)
|“||This adventure took Kirby to exciting new planets and gave Kirby the ability to mix Copy Abilities together to create impressive Power Combos! Twenty-eight different Power Combos were possible. Each had its own special moves and powers. This is the only Kirby game to allow Kirby to use the inhale ability underwater without Kine's help.”|
|— Summary • Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition|
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, known in Japan as 星のカービィ64 (Hoshi no Kābī 64, meaning Kirby of the Stars 64), is a 2.5D platformer Kirby game for the Nintendo 64 that was originally released in Japan on March 24, 2000, and was then later released on June 26, 2000 in North America and on June 22, 2001 in Europe.
It is the sequel to Kirby's Dream Land 3 and its story is fourth in sequence within the Kirby's Dream Land saga. It is also the first Kirby series game to use realtime polygonal 3D graphics, although the gameplay remains completely two-dimensional, except for the final boss. This game was later re-released on the Wii Virtual Console in America and Europe in early 2008, and the Wii U Virtual Console in July 2015.
On the planet of Ripple Star, lives a group of kind and peaceful fairies. The planet itself is protected from danger by the power of the great Crystal, which watches over Ripple Star. This power, however, draws the attention of Dark Matter, who wishes to use the great Crystal for its own evil agenda. Its gigantic mass attacks and searches for the Crystal, blackening the sky and sending the fairies into panic. In response to the threat Dark Matter presents, the queen of Ripple Star orders a fairy named Ribbon to take the Crystal to a safe place. Ribbon tries to fly away with the Crystal in tow, but is stopped by three orbs sent by Dark Matter. The Crystal shatters into 74 shards, scattered throughout several planets, and Ribbon crashes onto Planet Popstar. Kirby finds one shard and gives it to Ribbon, whereupon the two set out to find the others. Once Kirby and his friends collect every Crystal Shard and defeat Miracle Matter, Dark Matter flees Ripple Star and explodes. The victory is cut short, however, as the Crystal detects a powerful presence of Dark Matter energy within the Fairy Queen and expels it from her, manifesting over the planet to create Dark Star. Kirby and his friends infiltrate Dark Star, and King Dedede launches them up to challenge 02. Kirby and Ribbon, armed with their Shard Gun, destroyed 02 and the Dark Star.
Like every other main-series Kirby game, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a platformer that features Kirby's signature abilities of flight, inhalation, and ability imitation, though a few adjustments have been made to their mechanics. Whereas in most other games Kirby is able to fly indefinitely, here he is limited to a grounded jump and a limited period of midair jumps (possibly due to a similar limitation being present in Super Smash Bros., which was released prior to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards).
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards features the special aspect of combining two Copy Abilities to create new ones by either sucking up two enemies up at the same time or releasing a power star then inhaling that star and an enemy. Each power has a different color power star and a double power star has the colors of both sub-powers in an 8-point star. Also, the game only features seven (base) abilities: Burning, Ice, Spark, Cutter, Bomb, Needle, and Stone. Some combo abilities include Volcano, Refrigerator Kirby, Double-Bladed Laser Sword, Giant Claws, Explosive Ninja Stars, and Giant Stone Kirby. It is also the only game in the series where Kirby can inhale underwater.
All sub-games can be played in multiplayer, and up to four players are supported.
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There are no actual mid-bosses in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, as they are not featured in the Enemy Info cards. Instead, they are simply larger versions of regular enemies, and have more hitpoints and larger attacks.
Bivolt | Blowfish | Bo | Bonehead | Bouncy | Bumber | Burnis | Cairn | Chacha | Drop | Emp | Fishbone | Flopper | Flora | Flutter | Frigis | Gabon | Galbo | Ghost Knight | Glom | Glunk | Gobblin | Gordo | Hack | I3 | Ignus | Kacti | Kany | Kapar | Magoo | Mahall | Mariel | Maw | Mite | Mopoo | Mumbies | N-Z | Noo | Nruff | Pedo | Plugg | Pompey | Poppy Bros. Jr. | Propeller | Pteran | Punc | Pupa | Putt | Rockn | Rocky | Sandman | Sawyer | Scarfy | Shotzo | Sir Kibble | Skud | Slushy | Snipper | Spark-i | Sparky | Splinter | Squibby | Tick | Turbite | Wall Shotzo | Whispy Woods Jr. | Yariko | Zebon | Zoos
|Main article: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards/Music|
The game has had its own soundtrack compilation released under the title Hoshii no Kaabii OST, available only in Japan. The most notable track missing from it is Kine's theme, which is Sound Test music no. 002, and not used in-game.
|Main article: Glitch#Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards|
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards received mostly positive reviews, holding at a rating of 74.49% on Game Rankings. While many complained that the game was short and easy, others enjoyed the varied level design and colorful graphics. The game sold 1.07 million copies in Japan and 541,600 copies in the United States. Famitsu gave the game 32/40. Whereas GameSpot gave it a 6.9/10. IGN gave it a 7.9/10 and Nintendo Power gave it an 8.1/10.
- In pre-release materials of the game, it was shown that King Dedede, Waddle Dee and Adeleine were originally going to be playable characters. There were also more aquatic stages. It is not known why the elements did not make it into the final game. King Dedede was still playable in certain stages, however.
- Waddle Dee was supposed to pick up enemies and even hide in a house for his attacks.
- In one of the three files, Kine's theme music can be heard during the instructions before the actual gameplay.
- This game was originally proposed to be released on the Nintendo 64 DD, but was later moved to the Nintendo 64, due to the commercial failure of the former.
- This game is one of the few to not feature the Pep Brew as a food item.
- This game is one of the few to not feature the Kirby Dance in any form. Instead, after every successful boss fight, Kirby turns to the screen, waves, and says "Hiiiii".
- In the Japanese version, there is an onigiri (rice ball) food item, but this was replaced by a sandwich in all other versions. During the goal game at the end of levels however, Waddle Dee can be seen munching on an onigiri.
- If Kirby is balancing on the very edge of a platform (during the balancing animation) and uses the Cutter ability (single or Super Boomerang), it appears as though his feet are merely floating alongside his form rather than connected.
- The File Select music was remixed and used for the Menu music in Kirby: Canvas Curse. It also has some elements of the Milky Way Wishes intro music, and bears similarities to the File Select music of various The Legend of Zelda games.
- The level select music for Ripple Star called "Ripple Star Select" is used as the "wait-room" theme for The Arena, Helper to Hero, and The True Arena in Kirby Super Star Ultra, as well as the music in Dream Land in Kirby's Epic Yarn.
- In Kirby's Epic Yarn, the music for the Yin-Yarn battle is a slightly tweaked remix of this game's standard boss theme and Miracle Matter's theme.
- The boss theme of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a remix of the boss theme from Kirby's Dream Land 3. Another remix was used as the mid-boss theme (Halcandra) in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
- 02's motives for attacking Ripple Star and smashing the Crystal are never explained. They are most likely the same motives for attacking Popstar in the previous game.
- The Good Ending bears some resemblance to the ending scene of the 1977 film Star Wars, and is likely a parody of or homage to it.
- This is the only game to depict Kirby having any hint of romantic relationship, with Ribbon giving Kirby a kiss on the cheek in the good ending. ChuChu does have a crush on Kirby in the official manga, but the manga is not considered to be canon.
- This is the last time King Dedede is seen without mittens.
- The game's description on the Wii Shop Channel states that this is the first game where Dark Matter is the main villain; this is untrue, as Kirby's Dream Land 2 was where the character debuted as a villain (albeit subliminally), and Kirby's Dream Land 3 strongly implied it to be the villain in the prologue.
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and Kirby's Epic Yarn are the only games in the series in which Kirby smiles while standing and walking. In all other games, Kirby's expression is neutral.
- In the Music Room in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is represented by an image of the number 64 on a gingham (plaid) background. This is the same 64 as it is used in the Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards logo. The gingham pattern is also featured.
- The mid-boss theme of this game was rearranged as the music for Deploy the Kirby Tank! and Burning Secrets in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
- A North American print advertisement for the game humorously described Kirby as "The Face of Terror."
- While this was the first game in the Kirby series to use realtime 3D graphics, Kirby had previously appeared as a 3D model in Super Smash Bros.