Kirby: Squeak Squad artwork
Pengi (also spelled as Pengy) is a regular enemy in the Kirby series. It is the most prominent of the penguin enemies of the series, and has secured the most amount of roles out of all of them. When inhaled, it gives the Ice ability.
Pengi slides around short distances on its belly as it waits for Kirby to get near. When he does, it opens its large mouth and blasts him with a cool breath to freeze him into an ice cube. It is not advised to inhale Pengi while it blows its ice breath, as it has longer range than Kirby's inhale. Pengi is the only enemy that gives the Ice ability.
Pengi appears in three other games. In each one, it exhibits the same behavior as it did in Kirby's Adventure and grants the Ice ability.
Pengi resembles a penguin which bears a passing resemblance to Cawcun and King Dedede. Its bill is sharp and small on top but the bottom half has a pelican-like throat pouch that extends over most of its front. Its stomach is pale whitish-blue while its back is darkly colored. A pair of flippers hang at its side with little bird feet beneath it.
The design for the leader "Master Pengi" in the anime served as the basis for the redesign in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. This newer design is identical to the old one. However, it incorporates spiky eyebrows above its eyes. This design has remained consistent with all subsequent games Pengi has appeared in.
Aside from the Pengi leader, the Pengies featured in the anime resemble the original Kirby's Adventure artwork. The boss Pengi is usually the only member of the tribe who can speak; the rest just say "Gii", though on one occasion, one of the Pengis is shown yelling at King Dedede and Escargoon. These Pengis have different coloration than in the games, ranging from grey and blue to blue-green and turquoise.
It is worth noting that King Dedede himself greatly resembles a Pengi, and has been called a penguin on multiple occasions, just like the Pengies. While their relation to each other is unconfirmed, the anime takes note of their similarities; at one point Escargoon is about to say something to the King about it, but decides not to.
|“||It is the Pengies' fate to wander far and wide. We are very weary but happy to have stumbled upon your chilly village. We would like to rest here for a while if you will have us. ”|
|— Master Pengi • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!|
In the anime, Pengis appear as guest characters in the episode The Chill Factor. They are lead by the bushy-eyed Master Pengi. They end up showing up one summer's day in Cappy Town, bringing with them cold weather and driving everyone insane.
Their master plan is unveiled when Tiff, Tuff, and Kirby discover a giant storm-generating machine hidden inside the Pengies' glacier. Apparently, the Pengis were displaced and driven off their natural habitat because of global warming (an environmental disaster in the English dub), leading them to emphatically want revenge on the Cappies. They are intent on overtaking Cappy Town and creating a perpetual, year-round winter. With their cover blown, Master Pengi goes on a rampage, freezes everyone in the town, and incarcerates them.
When Kirby and the gang escape and confront Master Pengi in Castle Dedede, he challenges him to a fight and begins using his frost breath to attack. Kirby inhales some of his attacks and becomes Ice Kirby. The two are evenly matched, and it takes the combined efforts of King Dedede, Escargoon (who order a mysterious potion from Nightmare Enterprises), and Tiff (who summons the Warp Star from Kabu) to help Kirby drive the Pengies off. Kirby flies to Booma-Dooma Volcano and pours the concoction into it, causing it to erupt and cool down Dream Land, at which point the Pengies decide to look for another new place to live.
- Ironically, even though the Pengies resemble penguins, they are still capable of drowning like most other enemies.
- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land's Japanese website depicts many screenshots that were taken at a previous point in development. Pengi appears in one. The image shows that its sprite originally bore a strong resemblance to its artwork from Kirby's Adventure.