|“||Poke foes with sharp spines that sprout out of Kirby!”|
|— Kirby Battle Royale - Kirby's 25th Anniversary Copy Ability Poll|
Needle debuted in Kirby's Adventure. It is a defensive ability, much like Spark or Freeze. With it, Kirby covers his body in many retractable spines. The ability impales any enemy that draws near, so in most cases, Kirby can only be harmed by projectiles. In Kirby: Canvas Curse, Needle Kirby's body is not only spiky enough to heavily damage enemies, but can also grip tightly to walls and other such surfaces. In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, there is an attack where Kirby turns the needles on his helmet into one large drill, hitting enemies directly above him. He can also roll along the ground while covered by the needles and firing small spikes from around his body at enemies.
The length of Kirby's spikes vary from game to game. The most noticeable difference is between Kirby's Adventure and its remake, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, where the short spikes in the original were changed to being over twice as long.
In its appearances without an ability cap, Kirby's spikes are either pink or a bright metallic gold, and they come straight out of Kirby himself.
|Needle||B/1/Tap with Stylus||Multiple pointy spikes come out of Kirby, jabbing any nearby enemies. The nature of the spikes differ across games. Several require holding the button to keep the spikes out, the rest use it as a toggle.||None||16|
|Needle Burst||Hold 1/B + shake Wii Remote/press all directions on +Control Pad||Kirby shoots six spikes out from his hat. When used in midair ten spikes are shot.||None||16|
|Rolling Needle||Dash + 1||Kirby curls into a ball and can roll around at high speeds for a few seconds, similar to Wheel.||None||28|
|Mega Needle||↑ + 1/B||Kirby's hat turns into one large spike and shoots straight up, attacking anything above him, similar to a Tick's attack.||None||16|
|Falling Spine||↓ + B||Kirby flips upside-down, sticking one large spike and several smaller spikes straight down.||None|
|Rick||B||The hair on Rick's back sticks out, like a porcupine. This attack only protects Rick from behind, so he needs to turn around to get an enemy facing his front.||None|
|Coo||B||Kirby sticks his pins straight down. Coo can still move slightly. In the sequel, Kirby makes one giant needle.||None|
|Kine||B||Kine pokes out many spikes from his body. This move is almost the same as Kirby's alone.||None|
|Nago||B||Nago spins his partner who shoots a blitz of spikes quickly, launching at slightly varied angles.||None|
|ChuChu||B||ChuChu launches five needles out from herself, two going left/right, one straight up, and two covering the angles in between.||None|
|Pitch||B||Pitch flies straight forward until the button is released, sharp beak outstretched the whole time.||None|
Needle is similar to Stone, but with different applications. Unlike Stone, it will not halt Kirby's trajectory in mid-air, but it does allow him to almost instantly stick to surfaces upon landing, including sloped surfaces. When used on the ground, Needle acts as a strong brake to Kirby's movement, though not as instantaneously as Stone. If he does not hit another enemy with a Copy Ability after activation, Kirby will remain in Needle form until his next shot. In the two-player mode, Kirby or Keeby will be damaged by touching a player with Needle activated, and the Needle user cannot be bumped or moved while in this state.
Needle undergoes the greatest visual change in the anime. It gains an ability cap for the first time in the franchise, gaining a pink helmet with a red visor, a white chin-strap, yellow skin and orange feet, but Kirby no longer turns into one giant spike ball (spinning like one giant spike ball in the episode Flower Power). Instead, Needle is changed into a long-distance ability. A similar cap would later be used in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, and would make further appearances.
Kirby can launch the needles off the top of the helmet like tiny missiles, which he can then control. The needles 'grow back', but not always, leaving him defenseless at times. In the transformation sequence, a flash of red lightning forms his helmet and changes his skin color. Needles appear from the helmet, which shrink to their usual size seen in the games.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Needle Kirby also appears as a trophy.
|Lots of needles, just like a porcupine's, come out of Kirby! It's a great defense!|
|Hands off! Here: pointy spikes! There: pokey spikes!|
|Spike anything! Ride rainbows!|
|Prick your foes with a thorny jab! Really stick it to 'em! Roll from a dash to bring the pain with a Rolling Needle!|
|“||A Kirby ability made when Kirby inhales a spiked enemy. When attacking, the needles on Needle Kirby's body extend, giving him a porcupine-like look. This ability provides both offensive and defensive measures against nearby enemies. Plus, needles which extend on Kirby's underside when jumping eliminate any threats on landing.”|
|— Trophy description • Super Smash Bros. Brawl|
|“||Kirby normally looks as tasty as a big ol' marshmallow, but he's significantly less appetizing when he's copied the Needle ability. Those pokey spikes won't add any flavor at all. With this ability, Kirby can bash into enemies or launch the spikes at them. A great, easy-to-use ability!”|
|— Trophy description • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U|
- In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, this ability still turned Kirby yellow, even in multiplayer. This was removed in later games to prevent confusion, eliminating Kirby's color-changing feature.
- In Kirby: Return to Dream Land, the Rolling Needle attack resembles the signature move of Togezo, which was the first enemy to offer the ability.
- Pre-release screenshots of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards reveal that the colors of Needle and Cutter's ability icons were swapped; Needle was originally green and Cutter was originally orange.
- Though the ability icons in Kirby: Triple Deluxe are mostly circular versions of the icons in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Needle's icon in the former game was changed from orange to yellow.
- The Needle Burst attack is based off of ChuChu's needle attack; however, the move has much greater range and damage than ChuChu's spikes did. This move is also very similar to Kirby's Spike Bomb attack from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but without the ability to hover.
- The Falling Spine attack from Kirby: Triple Deluxe appears to be based visually off of Coo's needle attack as it appeared in Kirby's Dream Land 2.