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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).

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 30 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.


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.


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: Platformers

Kirby's Dream Land

Game Boy 1 Aug 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

8 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 Sept 1996

KSS Boxart

Kirby's Dream Land 3

SNES / Super Famicom 27 Nov 1997 KDL3 Boxart

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Nintendo 64 26 Jun 2000 K64 Boxart

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

Game Boy Advance 18 Oct 2004 KatAM Boxart

Kirby: Canvas Curse

Kirby: Power Paintbrush in PAL regions

Nintendo DS 13 Jun 2005 KCC Boxart

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Kirby Mouse Attack in PAL regions

Nintendo DS 4 Dec 2006 KSqSq Boxart

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Wii 17 Oct 2010 KEY Boxart

Kirby Mass Attack

Nintendo DS 19th Sep 2011 KMA Box Art

Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Wii 24 Oct 2011 KRtDL Box art

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

Nintendo 3DS 2 May 2014 KTD Box art

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Wii U 20 Feb 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.


25 Apr 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 Frebuary 1996 (Japan Only) KTB screen

Kirby's Star Stacker

Game Boy April 1997 KSSt Boxart

Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble

Game Boy Color 9 Apr 2001 KTnT Boxart

Kirby Slide

E-reader (Game Boy Advance) Nov-Dec 2003 KSlide

Kirby Air Ride

Nintendo GameCube 13 Oct 2003 KAR Boxart

Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition

Wii 16 Sep 2012 KDCol US Box art


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 Dec 2002 KNiD Boxart

Kirby Super Star Ultra

Enhanced remake of Kirby Super Star.

Nintendo DS 22 Sep 2008 KSSU Boxart

Unreleased titles

Title Platform

Kid Kirby

SNES / Super Famicom

Kirby Air Ride (Nintendo 64)

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 Apr 1999 SSB Boxart

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Nintendo GameCube 3 Dec 2001 SSBM Boxart

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Wii 9 Mar 2008 SSBB Boxart

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS 3 Oct 2014 Boxart-3ds

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Wii U 21 Nov 2014 Boxart-wiiu

List of Nintendo 3DS themes

These are not games, but are 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

List of amiibo products

These are not games, but are amiibo figures used to modify existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games. This list only includes games that utilize Kirby figures in a way that is specific to the Kirby series.

Title Release Date Compatible Games Image

Kirby figure

21 Nov 2014 Mario Kart 8
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
One Piece Super Grand Battle! X
Girls Mode 3: Kirakira ☆ Code (Japan only)
Yoshi's Woolly World
Amiibo KirbyAmiibo Kirby P

King Dedede figure

20 Feb 2015 Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Yoshi's Woolly World
Amiibo DededeAmiibo Dedede P

Meta Knight figure

Released in the United States as a Best Buy store exclusive.

20 Feb 2015 Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Yoshi's Woolly World
Amiibo Meta KnightAmiibo Meta Knight P

Other Titles

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





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.[5]
  • 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.

External links

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


  1. VGChartz
  2. Nintendo Japan
  3. Japanese-Wikipedia-「星のカービィ (さくま良子の漫画)」
  4. Japanese-Wikipedia-「星のカービィ! も〜れつプププアワー!」
  5. The Escapist

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