|“||This mysterious baddie kidnaps the king and takes him up the Dreamstalk and to the floating islands of Floralia. What is his evil plan?”|
|— Official Kirby: Triple Deluxe website|
Taranza is a major character and the former secondary antagonist of Kirby: Triple Deluxe. A spider-like character who kidnaps King Dedede in the opening cutscene of the game, Taranza initially appears to be the main antagonist; however, he is ultimately revealed to be a misguided servant/unwitting pawn of a much more sinister villain, Queen Sectonia. He is never fought directly in the game, instead affecting other bosses in order to make them fight Kirby.
Taranza is a floating, limbless creature a little over Kirby's height. He has a brown head topped with two yellow-tipped spikes, as well as gray, curvy hair; additionally, his mouth contains two fangs. On the front of his hair, Taranza has two orange eyes, two white eyes below those, and four more eyes on the back of his head. He wears a red scarf and a dark green cape with a spider-web design. His body has two sets of white buttons on its front, and red circle designs on either side. Finally, Taranza has a stinger-like appendage on his bottom and six white and orange gloved hands. His appearance in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is similar, except for the fact that his clothes have a red and purple color scheme.
The morning after the Dreamstalk lifts Kirby's home and King Dedede's castle into the floating kingdom of Floralia, Taranza enters the king's castle, easily dispatches several Waddle Dee guards, and captures King Dedede. He flees the castle with the king in tow, and heads higher into Floralia, followed by Kirby climbing the Dreamstalk in pursuit.
Throughout Kirby's journey through Floralia's six worlds, Taranza attempts to impede his progress by creating or aggravating bosses. He uses spider web-like magic to turn inanimate objects to life, such as a flower into Flowery Woods, a cloud into Kracko, and a stone statue into Coily Rattler. On the other hand, he shakes Paintra's painting and throws a rock at a sleeping Pyribbit, aggravating both into confronting Kirby. Kirby continuously defeats the bosses and pursues Taranza, intent on saving Dedede.
Unknown to Taranza, Kirby enters portals to many alternate dimension areas at Royal Road, and saves the People of the Sky he finds there. With their help, he then follows Taranza and Dedede into a castle. As Kirby enters, Taranza notes Kirby's persistence, and says he cannot allow Kirby to interfere with his plans. He correctly guesses that Kirby followed him in order to rescue Dedede, whom he calls "the hero of the lower world." He briefly explains that the People of the Sky thought they could use the Dreamstalk to save their world, but he saw right though their plan. He then takes control of Dedede, turning him into Masked Dedede and forcing him to attack Kirby. Kirby defeats King Dedede, breaking his hammer and part of his mask in the process, but Taranza revitalizes him with a stronger dose of his magic. Despite this frenzied state, Kirby defeats the king a second time, and the rest of his mask is destroyed, breaking Taranza's control permanently.
Taranza approaches the unconscious Dedede, confused how he had lost, as he followed his master's orders. He then realizes Kirby is really the hero of the world below. At the pink puff's mercy, he quickly summons Queen Sectonia, hoping she'll save him. Displeased with his failure and deeming him useless, Sectonia immediately attacks Taranza, sending him flying out of the castle and into the distance.
After Kirby defeats Sectonia, in her base and fusion with the Dreamstalk, he is caught off guard and ensnared by her vines. Before she can squeeze him to death, Taranza reappears to help. Carrying Dedede, he throws his former captive, who smacks Kirby free of the vines' grip. Dedede then throws Kirby to Taranza, who gives Kirby a Miracle Fruit. Hypernova Kirby then takes on and defeats Sectonia for the seemingly final time. Afterwards, the vines rapidly disintegrate, and Kirby and Dedede plummet from the sky. The People of the Sky catch Kirby and his house, while Taranza catches Dedede with minor struggle. Taranza, Kirby, Dedede, and the People of the Sky then admire the fully-bloomed Dreamstalk.
It is not known whether Taranza returned to Floralia or stayed in Dream Land with King Dedede and Kirby, but it can be assumed that he has the ability to travel between the two lands using the Dreamstalk.
|This section contains information that does not coincide with the main series canon.|
In the distant past, a faraway place called the Dream Kingdom is beset by enemies. After Kirby and his team defeat Kracko and Pyribbit, they hear rumors of a mage who invigorates enemies to attack, who turns out to be Taranza. They defeat him, but enemies continue to cause trouble. Team Kirby sets out to defeat Landia EX, the latest threat, and peace is restored after their victory.
A few days later, a dimensional rift opens unexpectedly, releasing Parallel Susie. Team Kirby conquers her and Parallel Landia, and learns that Taranza was the one who conjured the rift. The mage summons the black mirror and Dark Taranza, who in turn summons the king of darkness, King D-Mind. This villain destroys Dark Taranza and assaults Team Kirby. The heroes challenge him and destroy the black mirror, trapping the king in a sealed-off dimension.
With the mirror shattered, Taranza comes to his senses and becomes a passive member of the village. Peace returns to the Dream Kingdom and Team Kirby vows to suppress any threats that should emerge.
For the first time in the series, Taranza is fought directly. After being unlocked for 35 Gem Apples, the battle takes place in the Empyrean. He is an Ordeal boss in the Tough category and must be defeated before the player can access the Decisive Battlefield. His magical attacks include firing projectiles, throwing a bouncy orb, firing jewels from the background, dashing across the screen in an energy bubble, and creating a large explosion around himself. He teleports frequently to dodge attacks and assault Team Kirby from different angles. Finally, Taranza uses energy nets to trap the Kirbys. He flies into the background, throws the net, and any Kirbys hit by it will be immobilized. To free the trapped Kirby, the others must attack the net until it breaks (or if the player is trapped, mash the +Control Pad). If not done fast enough, the net will shrink around the trapped Kirby and then explode, dealing massive damage. If the net is broken, however, Taranza will be launched onto the ground, temporarily stunned.
Taranza is not fought again, but his black mirror counterpart, Dark Taranza, uses the same techniques. He is fought in the Decisive Battlefield.
After King D-Mind's defeat, Taranza becomes a resident of the village, occupying the roof of Magolor's Shoppe. His color scheme changes from purple and pink to his traditional one, indicating the end of his curse.
Taranza appears in the audience in the Coin Clash mode in the Party Room stage. He can be seen at the top right.
In the past, Taranza and Queen Sectonia had a very good friendship. However, Queen Sectonia became evil after being corrupted by the Dimension Mirror that Taranza presented to her. She used her beauty to intoxicate Taranza into doing her bidding. This influence was seemingly broken when Sectonia attacked Taranza. Realizing Sectonia was a danger to everyone; servants, subjects, and opposers alike, Taranza aided in taking down his former queen. He later tried to call out to help Soul of Sectonia, but his voice didn't reach her due to her insanity and desire for power.
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, it is revealed that Queen Sectonia was once of the same species as Taranza prior to her possession of a new body.
Taranza is shown to be a skilled wielder of magic. He can fire purple balls of energy, possess and strengthen other beings, and use a web-like net of energy to capture and carry others. When possessing King Dedede in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Taranza uses magical strings attached to Dedede's limbs to control him like a puppet.
In Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, where he is fought directly, Taranza uses magic to fight, primarily in the form of energy orbs. Aside from those attacks, he can surround himself in a damaging barrier to ram into the Kirbys, trap them with an explosive energy net, or teleport rapidly around the screen.
|“||To think that you've made it this far. Aren't you a persistent little thing? But even you will kneel before us. I, Taranza, cannot allow you to interfere with Queen Sectonia's plans. Let me guess: you're here to save the hero of the lower world. The people of this land thought they were clever. They thought they could use the Dreamstalk to save their world. But I saw right through their plan. Well, since you're already here... I'll give you your precious hero back. But he may be a little more...hostile than you remember him!”|
|— Taranza • Kirby: Triple Deluxe|
|“||Wh-what is the meaning of this?! I did just as Her Majesty commanded. The lower world should fall to its knees before me! Could...Could you be the true hero of the lower world? Curses! If that's true... Majesty! Your Majesty Sectonia! Oh, glorious Sectonia! Please come to my resc-- Glaaaugh! Wh-why...?”|
|— Taranza • Kirby: Triple Deluxe|
|“||As Team Kirby continues its treacherous climb, the puppeteer mage at last shows his face. With the creatures he controls, this powerful foe threatens the kingdom. You must defeat him! Go, Team Kirby!”|
|— Quest Opening • Team Kirby Clash Deluxe|
|“||The magician reveals himself! Break his web of spells and restore peace!”|
|— Quest Description • Team Kirby Clash Deluxe|
- Taranza, with his simple, floating body, dark brown skin, and limbless hands, somewhat resembles Magolor.
- A painting of Magolor appears in the background of Stage 3 of Wild World, hanging near a painting of Taranza. This suggests that they may be related in some way.
- Despite having speaking lines in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is the first time Taranza has been shown to be able to open his mouth.
- Taranza functions similarly to Kamek 's role in the Yoshi and Mario franchises. Both are mage-like characters acting on the behalf of the true villain of their respective games, whom they share a personal relationship with. Both kidnap someone they believe to be a powerful hero who will interfere with their master's plans, only to be thwarted by someone else instead. Both influence the bosses fought within the games without being directly fought. Finally, both are ultimately defeated/attacked by their own superior, only to return to signal the beginning of the final phase of the final boss battle.
- However, Taranza betrays Queen Sectonia by intervening on Kirby's behalf, while Kamek remains loyal to Baby Bowser for many years onward.
- Taranza's voice, provided by Hirokazu Ando, was first heard in the downloadable Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe sub-game. It can be heard when Dedede hits a backbeat while wearing the Taranza mask. In a Miiverse post, director Shinya Kumazaki stated that the voice was "designed with the image of an androgynous young spider."
- Taranza's keychain, like Magolor's, depicts his skin as black rather than brown.
- When the Sectonia Clone in Kirby: Planet Robobot is defeated, the last entity which the shape-shifting liquid turns into before exploding is a being that resembles Taranza. The main differences between this entity and Taranza are that the entity has longer hair, different horn shapes, and pronounced eyelashes. This shows that Taranza and Sectonia were once members of the same species, as stated on Miiverse.
- During the conclusion of Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, Taranza can be seen holding a flower that bears a striking resemblance to Queen Sectonia's second form.
- He can later be seen sitting above the Shoppe, still holding the flower.
- In Kirby Star Allies, Taranza is one of the transformations of the Stone Copy Ability, being part of a duo with Queen Sectonia's standard form.