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Kirby Mass Attack

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KMA Box Art

Kirby Mass Attack UK

KMA Box Art Jap

KMA Logo2

KMA J logo

Kirby Mass Attack
DeveloperHAL Laboratory
Release Nintendo DS
Flag JP August 4, 2011[1]
Flag USA September 19, 2011[2]
Flag EU October 10, 2011
Flag AU October 27, 2011
Flag KOR December 1, 2011
Genre2-D Platformer
Platform(s)Nintendo DS
In this game, poor Kirby was split into 10 weaker copies of himself by the villainous Necrodeus. Using the stylus, players guided these mini Kirbys on an amazing adventure to restore Kirby to his former self. If Kirbys were lost along the way, collecting fruit restored them. On top of this main game, seven minigames added to the action.
— Summary • Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition

Kirby Mass Attack, known in Japan as あつめて! カービィ (Atsumete! Kābī, meaning Gather! Kirby), is a Kirby game for the Nintendo DS, released on September 19, 2011. Released in the system's waning years, it was not a high profile title at E3 2011, although its US title was announced during the press conference in the form of a logo pop up nearing the end, which had mainly highlighted the Wii U and the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise. Nintendo did not have an area for the Nintendo DS, so the game's playable representative at the convention was a Japanese demo of the game presented by roaming attendants in the Wii U area. Localized demos of the game are made available for download through the Nintendo Channel for users who own both the DS and the Wii on September 10th.

The unlockable sub-games in Kirby Mass Attack make many references to past games in the series and the anime, in gameplay, key characters, and Copy Abilities.



Excerpt from game introduction - "A Bold Start!"

One day, Kirby went exploring in the Popopo Islands, in the south of Popstar. He was snoozing in a field, napping the day away. But then dark clouds filled the sky, and a skull-faced fiend descended. It was Necrodeus, the leader of the Skull Gang. The Skull Gang wanted to drown light in darkness.

Necrodeus raised his staff and struck Kirby with his mischievous magic. Necrodeus split Kirby into 10 copies of himself, each having only a fraction of Kirby's greatness! The fiend was easily able to defeat each of these weaker Kirbys.

Before long, there was only one Kirby left. Popstar was about to lose its greatest defender... and plunge into darkness forever. As the last Kirby raised his head, he saw a star shining brightly. That light was from Kirby's own heroic heart, which had flown to safety. His heart called out to him! "Kirby! Follow me! We can fight Necrodeus together!"

So began Kirby's quest to save Popstar — and restore Kirby back to his usual self! If they could defeat Necrodeus, they could use his magic staff to make everything right!


KMA Daroach screenshot

Daroach approaches Kirby

Kirby starts out at Green Grounds, where Daroach approaches him in an airship and offers his help. He asks Kirby to collect medals, which he claims to have a magical power to dispel the magical darkness surrounding Necrodeus' stronghold, which makes it impossible to approach.

After Kirby defeats Skullord, Daroach tells Kirby that in order to enter Necrodeus's lair, Necro Nebula, he needs to get every single rainbow medal, one hidden in each stage. After collecting all of the rainbow medals, the power of the rainbow treasure appears and gives him access to the fifth and final world, Necro Nebula.

Kirby then confronts the four bosses he met along the way in Necro Nebula before commencing a final showdown against Necrodeus.



While Kirby Mass Attack is a Kirby platformer, there are a few fundamental differences that makes it completely different from all the other titles. This is the first time where the player can control up to ten individual Kirbys instead of just one, although each has much more limited capabilities than the single Kirby due to Necrodeus' spell.

Health system

KMA topscreen

Interface showing Score (top-right), Kirby meter, Collectibles (bottom-left)

Fruit Name Point value
KMA Apple Apple 1
KMA Banana Banana 10
KMA Greenfruit Melon 30
MaxtomatoKAR Maxim Tomato 100

The health mechanic for the game does not follow the tradition where Kirby gobbles up Food to replenish lost health. Food no longer heals Kirby, but instead fills a meter which drops another Kirby down from the sky to join the existing group when completely filled. It takes 100 points to fill up the meter.

The only food available in the parts of Dream Land featured in the game is fruit. There are four different kinds of fruit, and different fruit give different values towards the meter:

There are several ways to obtain fruit: Defeating enemies, bumping Kirbys into fruit trees and into certain floating crates will cause fruit to be dropped onto the ground, which the Kirbys can pick up.

Each Kirby essentially only has one point of health, and they turn blue when hit. If a blue Kirby is hit again, he will turn into a grayish-white angel and slowly float into the sky. Before he floats off the screen, however, the player can launch a Kirby and drag the defeated ally to the ground — this makes him return to his blue, hurt state. There are restoration areas similar in function to the ones in Kirby Air Ride which return hurt Kirbys back to pink. These are pink, floating rings in the sky. Kirbys are healed if they pass through one of them.

Collecting any item gives points towards a high score (top-right on the top screen). If the player is already at the maximum number of Kirbys, filling up the Kirby meter gives a 10,000 point bonus towards the high score instead. That means it is desirable to play through any level with a full complement of Kirbys to get the highest score possible. The player is rated at the end of each level with a medal - bronze, silver, or gold, depending on whether no Kirbys were lost (bronze), no Kirbys were defeated (silver), or no Kirbys got hurt at all (gold).


KMA level progression

Level progression and number of Kirbys needed (pre-release)

The main goal in the game is to gather a large number of Kirbys in a stage by collecting fruit, and successfully bringing enough of them to the end of the level and back to the overworld map. In stages, certain obstacles can only be removed when there are enough Kirbys pulling or pushing on it, and individual stages can only be entered from the overworld map only if the number of Kirbys matches or exceeds the number needed to get into the level - the game depicts the Kirbys pressing on a switch. Every main level hub has its levels represented in concentric circles, with links in between, and the boss right in the middle. Levels leading to the boss fight have increasingly-larger numbers of Kirbys needed. There is no specific order by which the levels need to be cleared, but stages are unlocked several at a time by activating rainbow bubbles which create Rainbow Bridges like those from Kirby's Dream Land 2.

There are initially a total of four levels in the game: Green Grounds, Sandy Canyon, Dedede Resort, and Volcano Valley, each with twelve stages except the first, which has eleven. Eventually Necro Nebula, the fifth and last level opens up with four stages and the final boss fight (which the game doesn't count as a stage), bringing the total stage count to 51+1 excluding sub-games.

KMA Levels

All five areas

Travelling between one world to another brings the Kirby count back down to one since enemies roam the skies and pluck Kirbys off the Warp Star as he flies. However, as long as a certain level of the destination world had been previously cleared, all food except Maxim Tomatoes in that level turn into the green ones which give 30 points each, allowing the player to quickly build back up to the maximum number of Kirbys. Once the player reaches 10 Kirbys, the bonus fruit turn back into the usual apple / banana mix. Unlocking Necro Nebula makes the Skullys around levels 1 to 4 go away, so the number of Kirbys no longer gets reduced when travelling between islands except when heading to Necro Nebula. After the game is cleared, there are no more enemies in the skies of Pop Star and the Kirbys can move between any island safely.

Medal collectibles are hidden behind obstacles throughout the game - collecting them unlocks sub-games and Checklists when their number reaches a certain threshold. There are between one to five in each level, and there are two types; a gold one, and a shiny rainbow-colored one. Both count towards unlocking extras, but only by collecting all the Rainbow Medals will Necro Nebula be unlocked. There is always one hidden, special door leading to a short cut in the form of a catapult in each level. As long as it is found in a previous play-through, the next time Kirby journeys through the area, he has the option of taking the catapult to largely bypass the trickiest parts of the level, although that would mean missing out on most of the collectibles and points as well. Also, if the player fails to complete a level a number of times, Invincibility Candy will appear in parts of that level to help the player. This is different to the regular Jumbo Candy variety that makes the Kirbys larger - it just makes them invincible.


KMA Heart of Courage2

Kirbys falling over each other to follow the heroic heart

Kirby Mass Attack is played exclusively with the stylus on the DS's touchscreen, similar to Kirby: Canvas Curse. The player's stylus moves Kirby's heroic heart, which the Kirbys faithfully follow around. Tapping on any location and the Kirbys will try to move there. Double-tapping makes them dash over instead of walk.

Tapping on an enemy or object sends all the Kirbys on it. They will gang up on enemies and attempt to pull down whichever obstacle is in their way, as long as there are enough Kirbys to perform the action. Flicking the stylus while on a cluster of Kirbys will send them in the direction of the movement one by one. Sending them bouncing off certain trees will dislodge fruits. Holding the stylus in place for a while makes all the Kirbys cluster around the heroic heart, which starts glowing. Dragging the stylus on the screen at this point will draw a line similar to drawing Rainbow Lines in Canvas Curse, and the player has limited ink as well, but the Kirbys follow the heart closely instead of following any drawn line. Some occasions call for tapping a button that pops up to help the Kirbys to pull or push an object or enemy.


Sub-game Details
Field Frenzy Whack Moles, Oohroos and Whispy Woods to earn points. Don't whack Gordo. Defeat Mecha Mole or Moley at the end to win.
Dash Course Tap the right shape at the bottom screen to progress. It is similar to 100-Yard Hop from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby's speed will increase if the player taps the correct symbol, and decrease if he/she taps the incorrect symbol.
Kirby Brawlball A game of Kirby pinball. Rack up points to get the high score. Enter Dedede's mouth and defeat all 4 bosses: Whispy Woods, Lololo & Lalala, Heavy Lobster, and Marx. It is similar to Kirby's Pinball Land, albeit shorter and more akin to a real pinball table.
Kirby Curtain Call Count the right number of Kirbys. Don't mistake other things for Kirby. It is similar to Tamasan's counting sub-game from Kirby's Dream Land 3, but Kirbys are counted instead of Gordos.
Kirby Quest Tap the screen when the bar is at the pink or blue areas to attack. Missing will have one or a certain amount of Kirbys get hurt and turn blue. There are four stages, each having one boss, with the final stage having multiple bosses, including Daroach. The final boss in this game is Dark Matter.
Strato Patrol EOS The player guides the Kirbys through the sky with the stylus, while they automatically fire shots forward. The player gains more Kirbys by rescuing them from Skullys, and the power of the shots fired can be increased as well. The final boss in the sub-game is Nightmare.
Survival Rush After beating the game and collecting all the medals, the player unlocks this final sub-game which is essentially a boss rush to see how fast the player can defeat every single boss in the game without getting KO'd. It has a mini lobby with three Boss Doors that have a 1, 3, and 5 (in order of difficulty with 5 having all the main bosses), a recovery ring and three Maxim Tomatoes in case the player loses a Kirby during the battles.



Playable Characters


In-game Bosses

Sub-game Bosses


In-game Mid-Bosses

Sub-game Mid-Bosses


In-game Enemies

Sub-game Enemies

Other In-game Characters

Items and Objects


MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Kirby Mass Attack/Music

Demo Version

The playable demo version of Kirby Mass Attack was just one stage long — Stage 1 of Green Grounds, specifically. However, this version had some slight differences:

  • The Kirby Mass Attack logo was changed to say, Kirby Mass Attack Demo Version. The screen shown before the stage also has "Demo Version" displayed on it.
  • Many apples have been replaced with bananas and melons. Even some bananas were replaced with melons.
  • After the Beanbon fight inside the tree, the Kirbys must break Star Blocks to progress. In the demo, the Star Blocks are replaced with metal blocks, and the Kirbys must destroy them by hitting an explosive block.
  • Some minor parts of the landscape have been changed.
  • Only one medal exists in the demo. Other medals are entirely removed or replaced with fruit.
  • A turnip was moved to a further position. A Big Beanbon and two Star Blocks exist where it should be. Another Big Beanbon appears toward the end of the stage.
  • A cluster of Star Blocks (each containing a banana) and an explosive block replace the Recovery Ring and Recovery Ring sign.
  • The stage's Shortcut Door does not exist in the demo.
  • A turnip-like plant growing in the ground was moved to a further position. Three Beanbons exist where it should be.
  • Six Star Blocks beneath a Snoozroot were changed to six metal blocks.
  • The Autocannon and the clip with Big Birdee are completely removed. Instead, Kirby can get a Maxim Tomato by crashing though metal blocks with a Beanbon.
  • After the stage is cleared, a congratulations screen will appear. Art of ten Kirbys, King Dedede, a Waddle Dee, and a Skully are depicted. The text on the screen reads: "THANKS FOR PLAYING! In Kirby Mass Attack, many things are possible only once you have 10 Kirbys." Once the player hits the Next button, more text will appear: "We hope you enjoyed growing your Kirby crew as big as possible in this demo!" A Title Screen button will appear, and the player can replay the demo if he/she chooses to.


Reception for Kirby Mass Attack has been positive with the game being praised for its intricate use of the Nintendo DS's stylus-touch screen controls. The game has aggregate scores of 83/100 at Metacritic, based on 46 reviews, and 84.36% at GameRankings, based on 28 reviews.

As of the end of March 2012, Kirby Mass Attack has sold 1.06 million units. Of that, 410,000 units were sold in Japan and 640,000 units were sold overseas.


  • The sparkles in Kirby's eyes are tiny blue stars that appear in the official game artwork, but do not appear in Kirby's sprites.
  • This game and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards are the only Kirby platformers to not feature the Kirby Dance at the end of a stage. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards only featured the theme, and Kirby Mass Attack is the exact opposite: It only features the dance (on the "game over" screen of Kirby Brawlball).
  • References to the anime are made. In the Japanese version of sub-game Strato Patrol EOS, Customer Service is seen on the 'Game Over' screen along with "Holy Nightmare" above him. However, in the English version, a picture of Nightmare is behind him instead. In the sub-game "Kirby Quest", one of Kirby's moves is Kabuki Kirby, whom appeared exclusively in Kirby 3D.
  • Escargoon, Chef Shiitake, and Max Flexer from the anime make their respective (surprise) appearances in Kirby Quest.
  • Kirby Mass Attack is the second game to have Kirby actually say "poyo". Kirby's Epic Yarn was the first.
  • The mid-boss music from Kirby Mass Attack is a remix from the Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards mid-boss music.
  • Tankbot, in Kirby Quest, sometimes has yellow eyes instead of the regular ones.
  • King Dedede is one of the objects which can be fished out of the water in the fishing sub-game that plays after the last level. He requires the most effort to fish out of all other possible items. Also, the slice of Strawberry Shortcake seen at the end of Kirby: Squeak Squad can be caught in the fishing sub-game.
  • Unused pieces of a Crane Fever-style sub-game[4] and a spray paint function[4] can be found in the game's ROM, along with several unused enemies and environmental objects.
    • Kirby Mass Attack contains more unused code than any other game in the series.
  • A beta screenshot in a Japanese magazine shows an underwater level with giant ice crystals in the background.[5] The background was changed, and the level remains as Stage 10 of Green Grounds.
  • With skulls, skeletons, ghosts, zombies, and cemeteries, Kirby Mass Attack could arguably be the darkest game in the series.
  • Kirby Mass Attack references Kirby's original name, Popopo, as it takes place on the Popopo Islands.
  • This is the latest Kirby title to use sprites in-game.
  • Kirby Mass Attack's game over screen may be a reference to the game over screen shown in EarthBound, another game produced by HAL Laboratory.


Box Art




E3 2011 trailer

External links

Additional information:


  1. Nintendo DS Japan
  2. Nintendo Network @ E3 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official Nintendo Japan site
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. Kirby's Rainbow Resort

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