Kirby Super Star Ultra artwork
|First appearance||Kirby Super Star (1996)|
|Latest appearance||Kirby Mass Attack (2011)|
|Category||Regular enemy, Helper|
TAC (originally T.A.C.) is an enemy in the Kirby games. He is a cat-like burglar dressed in a ninja outfit with sandals, and carries around a bag of stolen goods. TAC first appeared in Kirby Super Star as an enemy and a Helper. He is currently the only source of the rare Copy ability. As such, TAC is also the Helper for the copy ability.
TAC appears as a common enemy in these games. He will run around and will attempt to steal Kirby's copy ability (or kidnap his Helper). TAC then attempts to flee from the scene with the stolen copy ability or Helper. If Kirby chases after him and catches him via defeating him with any available attack, he will get his copy ability/Helper back. But if he doesn't catch him in time, he will leave the area with whatever he managed to steal. He may occasionally (but very rarely) fly away as his escape method instead of running away, especially if cornered.
As a Helper, TAC differs greatly from Kirby with the Copy ability. Whereas Copy Kirby projects a beam to analyze and copy an enemy's power, TAC swiftly thrusts his hand forward in an attempt to obtain a power. As for his guard, TAC camouflages his body to blend in with the background. Doing so negates virtually any attack used against him. In Helper to Hero, TAC wears a white garb and carries a reddish sack.
TAC as a Helper is highly versatile, more so than Kirby with the Copy ability, or any other Helper. This is because TAC can take on the form of any other Helper when he copies the corresponding ability, which fully heals him in the process. When the TAC Helper takes such a form, his icon is marked by a "?" symbol, and he can discard the new copy ability and revert to regular TAC at any time.
TAC appears in Kirby Air Ride as an Event in City Trial Mode. When the event is activated, TAC will appear with stolen goods, mainly food and Patches. Running into him will cause him to drop the items before running off. In most cases, TAC appears under the city. Unlike most events, he does no damage if he collides with Kirby. TAC blasts off like a rocket when the event is over, and leaves behind a very useful "All" Patch that can be collected. If the player spins at TAC and hits him, the player will receive 3 random power-ups at the same time.
Also, there is a challenge on the Checklist where Kirby has to steal 8 items from him.
- TAC is the word "cat" spelled backwards. His name also corresponds to the ability that he gives, resulting on a play on the phrase "copy cat". It also happens to be an abbreviation for "copy ability thief" backwards.
- TAC's design may be based on the term "cat burglar."
- In Kirby Super Star Ultra, TAC's usual "Steal" was modified to be a chargeable move; holding the button allows TAC to charge up and perform the "Cat Magnum", which does more damage to the enemy when fully charged.
- In Helper to Hero, TAC cannot copy abilities like he regularly can. Instead, the target is just simply damaged when TAC attacks.
- In Kirby Mass Attack, TAC makes a cameo on the pinball table in the sub-game Kirby Brawlball.