Kirby: Triple Deluxe artwork
|“||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 secondary antagonist in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. An insect-like character who kidnaps King Dedede in the opening cutscene of the game, Taranza initially appears to be the main antagonist, but it is ultimately revealed that he is merely a misguided servant of a much more sinister villain, Queen Sectonia. He is never fought directly in the game, instead controlling King Dedede in order to fight Kirby.
Taranza is a floating, limbless creature a little over Kirby's height. He has a brown head with two beady white eyes, and an off white marking above his mouth giving the appearance of a wide, mischievous smile with two pointed orange teeth underneath, and gray-white hair with a kind of curved tip. He has two orange, inward-curving, yellow-tipped spikes on the top of his head, likely meant to represent spider mandibles. On the front of his hair, he has what appear to be two orange eyes with white pupils, and he has four more eyes on the back of the hair, again likely to give him the appearance of being a spider. He wears a red scarf, tied at the front, and a dark green, yellow-orange rimmed cape with a spider-web design. His dark green body has two of what appear to be gray-white buttons on it's front, and red circle designs on either side. He has a red stinger-like appendage on his bottom and six gloved hands. The fingerless gloves are white, with orange wrists, U-shaped designs on the backs starting at the wrists, and orange tips on the thumbs.
The morning after the mysterious Dreamstalk lifts Kirby's home and King Dedede's castle into the floating kingdom of Floralia, Taranza enters the king's castle (Kirby enters behind him shortly after, having discovered his house was no longer on the ground), easily dispatches several Waddle Dee guards, and captures King Dedede. He flees the castle with the king in tow, and heads higher into Floralia, with Kirby climbing the Dreamstalk after them.
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 moves 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 King Dedede from his clutches.
Unbeknownst 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 as he takes King Dedede into his hideout - a small structure reminiscent of a castle. As Kirby enters the castle, Taranza notes his persistence, but says he cannot allow Kirby to interfere with his plans. He correctly guesses that Kirby followed him in order to rescue King Dedede, who he calls "the hero of the lower world". He vaguely and 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 King Dedede, turning him into his masked form (Masked Dedede), warning that the "hero" may be more hostile than Kirby remembers him, and forces the king to attack Kirby, using strings and controlling King Dedede like a puppet. Kirby defeats King Dedede, breaking his hammer and part of his mask in the process, but Taranza zaps him with his strange magic, and he, after grabbing an axe, confronts Kirby again. Kirby defeats the king a second time, and the rest of his mask is destroyed, taking Taranza's control over him with it.
Taranza approaches an unconscious Dedede with disbelief, confused as to how they could lose, as he did just as his master ordered. He then considers Kirby to be the true hero of the lower world, and he quickly summons Queen Sectonia, hoping she'll save him from suffering the same fate as Dedede. Sectonia immediately attacks Taranza with her scepter, sending him flying out of the castle and into the sky, while criticizing his failure to follow her orders, as she told him to capture the hero of Dream Land, Kirby, who he mistook King Dedede as. Queen Sectonia then attacks Kirby, though she is defeated. She then combines herself with the Dreamstalk, stating that Floralia, Dream Land, and all of Planet Popstar will be her sustenance for eternity, and vines begin to cover the planet. With the help of King Dedede and the People of the Sky, Kirby causes the vines to retreat briefly, giving him enough time to confront Queen Sectonia for a second time. He defeats her, but she grabs Kirby by the foot with a vine and captures him. Taranza then reappears carrying Dedede, ready to help. He throws Dedede at Kirby, and Dedede uses his hammer to smack Kirby free of the vines. Dedede then throws Kirby at Taranza, who throws a Miracle Fruit at Kirby, turning him into Hypernova Kirby. Hypernova Kirby then fights and defeats Sectonia for the third and seemingly final time. Afterwards, Sectonia's vines rapidly disintegrate, and Kirby and Dedede begin to fall from the sky. The People of the Sky catch Kirby and his home, while Taranza catches Dedede. Taranza, Kirby, Dedede, and the People of the Sky then admire the fully-bloomed Dreamstalk, which serves as a new landmark in Dream Land, as flower petals fall from the sky around them. Taranza moved to Dream Land along with Kirby and King Dedede.
Relationship with Queen Sectonia
In the past, Taranza and Queen Sectonia had a very good friendship. However, Queen Sectonia turns evil after being corrupted by the Dimension Mirror that Taranza presented. Taranza called out to help Soul of Sectonia, but his voice didn't reach to her (Soul of Sectonia second phase). After Soul of Sectonia was defeated, Taranza looked up at the tragic death of his dear queen, who was his best friend.
Taranza is shown to be a skilled wielder of magic, though he is never fought directly. He can fire purple balls of energy, possess and/or strengthen other beings, and use a web-like net of energy to capture others and carry them wherever he wants to. Taranza is implied to be physically weak, judging from how easily Queen Sectonia blasted him away with her scepter.
When possessing King Dedede, Taranza used strings (presumably spiderweb) attached to King Dedede's limbs to control him like a puppet.
|“||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|
- Taranza, with his simple, floating body, dark brown skin, and limbless hands, looks quite similar to Magolor.
- A painting of Magolor appears in the background of Stage 3 of Wild World, hanging near a painting of Taranza. This could suggest that they are related in some way -- possibly even the same species.
- Taranza is never directly fought by Kirby, which is unusual for a major antagonist in the Kirby series.
- Taranza functions similarly to Kamek from the Yoshi franchise, they both influence the bosses fought within the games, and neither are directly fought.
- 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 clone of Sectonia in Kirby: Planet Robobot is defeated, the last entity the shape-shifting liquid turns into before exploding is a being that resembles Taranza. The main differences between this entity and Taranza art that this entity has longer hair, different horn shapes, and pronounced eyelashes. This shows that Taranza and Sectonia were members of the same species, as stated on Miiverse.
- The flavour text for the 2.0 version of Dedede Clone in Kirby: Planet Robobot tells that some of the trial models were fearful of "a certain insect." This could refer to Taranza and how he quickly subdued and kidnapped King Dedede in Kirby: Triple Deluxe's intro. However, it might also be referring to Queen Sectonia, whom Dedede hides from behind Kirby, even when she is nearly defeated.