Alright, it's time for that blog post I'd promised earlier. I'd mentioned earlier of my idea of creating a sort of map of Popstar. Now I'm going to explain it in full. For reference, I'm not going to be including locations in spin-offs/small sub-games, Canvas Curse (we don't know if it actually takes place in Dream Land or not), Kirby: Planet Robobot (too soon), and the anime. So, let's get to it.
So, we need a generalization of what Popstar looks like. Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby's Return to Dream Land both use the five corners or quintants (you know, like quadrant, but 5; I don't think it's an official word) of Popstar for their locations. Considering a star is a 2-dimensional shape, it has a front and a back. The landmarks of KDL3 could be on one side, with KRtDL on the other. That's how I'll have this set up, and I'll mostly be referring to Dream Land 3's side of things.
We have (clockwise) Grassland, Ripple Field, Sand Canyon, Cloudy Park, and Iceberg (Hyper Zone doesn't count as it's temporary). On the flip-side, we have Cookie Country, Raisin Ruins, Onion Ocean, White Wafers, and Nutty Noon. Note that what is clockwise on one side is counterclockwise on the other, if you know what I mean. So, let's work from there.
To start, Kirby's Dream Land. We have Green Greens, Castle Lololo, Float Islands, Bubbly Clouds, and Mt. Dedede. So, a grass area, a water area, and a cloud area. Seems we have those landmarks established.
Green Greens is a grassy area with close proximity to Castle Lololo, a sort of connection to Float Islands. Green Greens likely takes place in the Grassland area, probably in the south-eastern portion as to be close to the water.
Castle Lololo is the bridge between Green Greens and Float Islands, so it's close between Grassland and Ripple Field.
Float Islands, being a water region, probably takes place in Ripple Field. Ripple Field's music is also that of Float Islands, further emphasizing this.
Bubbly Clouds is a bit of a different story. They're just clouds, so they don't need to be "grounded" per se. Also, being a cloudy region, one might infer that it has to be by Cloudy Park. While they may stretch out that far, it seems unlikely that Kirby went all the way over there in Kirby's Dream Land. It's likely just a particularly cloudy area above Ripple Field.
Then, Mt. Dedede. This is a little tricky. It's on a mountain, so it could be by Sand Canyon, but other sightings of the castle have it on a grassier area, such as in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, which would imply that it's back in Grassland, which wouldn't be absurd. Kirby did have to collect all of the sparkling stars, so why start at Dedede? Plus, how he got to the castle involved flying from a height; it'd probably be more difficult to scale the mountain normally. So, for Mount Dedede, I'm going to say it's back in Grassland, and Kirby effectively made a loop.
Before I move on, I'd like to talk about the food references in the level names. This was a theme in Kirby's Adventure, and it's still present in Kirby's Dream Land. Green Greens, where greens refers to vegetables that are green (obviously). Float Islands; float could refer to buoyancy, or to a dessert that consists of ice cream floating in a juice or soft drink. Bubbly Clouds; bubbly could refer to the shapes of the clouds, but bubbly is also an informal term for champagne. This will become relevant soon; it's not just useless trivia.
Onto Kirby's Adventure.
First level: Vegetable Valley. Greens are a vegetable. It's likely that Vegetable Valley and Green Greens exist within the same area. It's also likely the Green Greens is a region in Vegetable Valley, given that Green Greens is noticeably smaller, being only one area, whereas Vegetable Valley was 5 (if you include the boss), and that Greens are a category of vegetables. Vegetable Valley is also called Lololo's Grove in the German translation, meaning it is probably close to his castle as well, as is Green Greens.
Next is Ice Cream Island. Ice cream is part of a float, so it's likely that Ice Cream Island is one of the Float Islands, probably the main island, similarly to how Hawaii has a large island, followed by a trail of smaller ones.
Butter Building is on the shore of a greater landmass. Since it's a tower, it doesn't cover much horizontal area.
Next up (literally) is Grape Garden. Bubbly... champagne... champagne is a type of wine, in which wine is made from grapes. Making connections like no tomorrow. Bubbly Clouds is likely a region of Grape Garden. Grape Garden is a large mass of clouds hovering over Ripple Field.
Yogurt Yard is a mountainous region. It's probably down by the outskirts of Sand Canyon (which I'll explain specifically why later) as mountains can be located by a desert. Seeing as that's what Sand Canyon is, it'd make sense for Yogurt Yard to be here.
Orange Ocean. Seems we're back at Ripple Field. Orange Ocean is likely the body of water which contains Ice Cream Island, the Float Islands, Butter Building, and Ripple Field. It probably also extends outward a fair ways, which I'll get to.
Lastly, Rainbow Resort. It's in an icy area, and the altitude is high. There are two possibilities for this one: either it's in Iceberg, and Kirby crossed over during Orange Ocean (it does have the most amount of stages in the game, as well as a pirate ship, I mean, c'mon), or it's on the other side of Popstar, in the region between White Wafers and Nutty Noon. White Wafers has cold terrain and Nutty Noon achieves a high altitude, as well as the tower which is the residence of mid bosses, and also has the secret entrance. Unfortunately, this one is not as straightforward to me, but if I had to make a guess, I'd probably just stick with Iceberg for now.
Next up: Kirby's Dream Land 2. As most of Dream Land 2's levels reappeared in Dream Land 3, this shouldn't be a big issue, but we should note that these are defined as islands. Take that as you will. While they appear in the picture as a zig-zag, I'm not considering their positions to be actual; instead, I believe they're arranged as such for simple navigation.
Grassland will take place in the Grassland region of Popstar (obviously). This island would probably include all of the landmarks that I've also stated to appear in the Grassland area (Green Greens, Vegetable Valley, Castle Lololo, Mt. Dedede).
Big Forest appears in the Grassland quintant, in the south western area (you'll understand why I chose SW later).
Ripple Fields takes place in the Ripple Fields area (obviously).
Iceberg also takes place in the Iceberg area (so challenging), but probably more along the southern area of the quintant. It would also include Rainbow Resort, if we believe it to be there and not on the other side of Popstar.
Red Canyon. Remember how I said Yogurt Yard probably takes place on the outskirts of Sand Canyon? That's because I believe Red Canyon is also on the outskirts of Sand Canyon (given Sand Canyon was likely a reference to Red Canyon, as the other locations are all from KDL2) and the music that plays is Yogurt Yard (yes, I do sometimes use music as justification as to where something is). So, Red Canyon is a canyon nearby the Sand Canyon, in which Yogurt Yard is the mountain range. Red Canyon is also probably by the northern part of the Sand Canyon outskirts. This island also includes [part of] Yogurt Yard.
Cloudy Park is in the Cloudy Park region (obviously), and, being clouds, are technically not grounded; however, they do feature a mountain. It's probably also in the southern part of the quintant.
Dark Castle. It doesn't appear in KDL3, but based on a particular pattern, it's probably at the bottom of Popstar, either dead center or slightly to the east. Know what's funny? The picture above shows the islands in a sort of zig-zag. Based on my observations I've just revealed, they still make the same zig-zag (albeit turned 90° and probably stretched in some areas).
Now, Kirby Super Star (Ultra). We don't need to go over Spring Breeze for [hopefully] obvious reasons. So we'll start at Dyna Blade.
Dyna Blade has it's own special map, so I'm not going over every individual part of it, since it's right there (literally right there). Its landscape features a plains area, a castle, a cave, and a mountain. So, after looking at Dyna Blade backgrounds, I haven't found anything that really suggests where it is. All I can note is a mountain and the grassy area, as well as that most of the names involve a sweet (Mallow, Cocoa, Candy). My guess is that it's somewhere in Grassland. Probably not too far from Green Greens, considering Kirby gets the Dyna Chicks all the way to Whispy Woods. However, in a future subgame, Kirby seems to come back to Candy Mountain after having fallen in a forest. It's possible that Dyna Blade takes place in Big Forest (you also meet Coo there, who is also a bird).
The Great Cave Offensive. It doesn't really have any on-land landmarks, aside from the pit Kirby fell in to begin with. It probably takes place near the edge of Grassland, and I'll get to my reason for why later.
Revenge of Meta Knight is the last subgame for Super Star. In early dialogue, it states that Grape Garden is their first target. The area is also nearby an ocean. We've assumed that this is Orange Ocean (given how I talked about Grape Garden's location earlier as well). We also know that the Halberd crashed into this ocean as well, and that its crash site is revealed in a later game. So, the events take place in the Orange Ocean area, in the Ripple Field portion of Popstar, although the whole event probably stretches over quite a distance. When Kirby escapes from the Halberd, he lands in a desert area close to the sea. While the deserts we've talked about are Sand Canyon (which is on the same side of Popstar) and Raisin Ruins (on the opposite side), it's likely that it was in the Ice Cream Island area, given that one of the stages there features a sort of desert, which is where you fight Grand Wheelie.
Revenge of the King is the last subgame for KSSU. It's possible that the landmarks, Purple Plants; Illusion Islands; and Crash Clouds, could be altered versions of their counterparts, Green Greens; Float Islands; and Bubbly Clouds. If not, they're probably nearby, as Mt. Dedede is still the final area and the landmarks are still in the same order.
We don't need to go over Dream Land 3, because that was the first thing I did. I'm also skipping Kirby 64 as Popstar is not very relevant, given that you travel to 5 other planets (6 if you include Dark Star) and Popstar has the least amount of stages. So this leads us to Kirby: Squeak Squad.
First up: Prism Plains. Fortunately, a map exists which seems to already generalize the position of the areas around Popstar. Of course, being a grassy plain region, it would take place in the top portion of Popstar. It's also conveniently located in the south eastern part of said portion.
Nature Notch. It's a chasm that Kirby falls down after Dedede throws him at the Squeaks. It clearly starts in an area behind Dedede's castle (a different castle, mind you), but seems to drift down to the Ripple Field area. Remember how I said Great Cave Offensive probably started near the edge of Grassland? This is why. Both the cave and Nature Notch have underground trees, crystals, castles, and gardens. They're quite similar to each other, so it's very likely they either took place in the same area or very close to each other (the fact that Kirby: Squeak Squad is about finding treasures, in which the chests look very similar, also helps this connection).
Cushy Clouds. Conveniently still located over the Ripple Field area, similarly to Bubbly Clouds and Grape Garden. Cushy Clouds is probably another region of the entire Grape Garden. However, most of Cushy Clouds takes place scaling a mountain; this could be one on the Yogurt Yard range.
Jam Jungle is the first Jungle level to ever appear in a Kirby game, and there is only one other, which isn't even on Popstar. It's probably located by the mountains, but not in the range itself. The swamp waters probably lead back to Orange Ocean.
Vocal Volcano. This probably takes place at the end of the mountain range that borders the Canyon area. It may also be the Volcano that sticks up in Cloudy Park, as seen in KDL2.
Ice Island seems to be in close proximity to Iceberg, given it's environment.
Secret Sea, while still within the Iceberg portion, is probably farther away from the icy territory. It's also probably rather remote, given the "Secret" part of the name. It seems to be part of Orange Ocean, given that this is the Halberd crash site. Interesting how things work.
Next up is Kirby Mass Attack. Mass Attack talks about four islands: Green Grounds, Sandy Canyon, Dedede Resort, and Volcano Valley. They're apparently located on the southern region of Popstar, but it's rather unclear as to what south could mean. South could refer to the crotch of the star (yes, crotch, don't laugh/giggle), or it could refer to an actual side of Popstar (such as the KDL3 side being south and the KRtDL side being north, or vice versa). I'm going to assume the latter. I'm also going to assume that the location of the islands on the game are not necessarily their locations relative to each other, and instead their position on the map was just to make navigation easier.
Green Grounds. Based on our former observations, it's probably near the top area, but it's not the same island as Grassland, as Grassland is an island in itself (unless it got a rename, but let's disregard that). It's probably somewhere to the south west of the top portion, but it also cannot be in the same space as Big Forest, which is also its own island.
Sandy Canyon could exist nearby, or even inside of, Sand Canyon. However, it is possible that these islands could be on the Return to Dream Land side of things, and that it's nearby Raisin Ruins and that Green Grounds is near Cookie Country.
Dedede Resort. As a standard island, it doesn't really have any strict limitations as to where it could be. For the KDL3 side of things, it could be relatively close to Iceberg given the colder areas it has. For Return to Dream Land, it could be near White Wafers, for similar reasons.
Last is Volcano Valley. It could be in close proximity to Vocal Volcano; there aren't many fire-themed areas in Kirby. As for Return to Dream Land side, it could be out in Onion Ocean; islands can form from volcanic activity anyway.
Given my observations, it seems more plausible that they're on the Return to Dream Land side, given that they actually do resemble their positions on the map.
I don't need to talk about Kirby's Return to Dream Land, as, like Kirby's Dream Land 3, their positions are very blunt. They're also new, so there are no obstacles. This leads to my final place: Kirby: Planet Robobot. I didn't want to cover this given that it conflicts with either map (note that locations in Robobot are counterclockwise around Popstar, not clockwise like usual): Patched Plains does fit the grass theme, but Resolution Road doesn't match Iceberg nor does it quite fit Nutty Noon. Overload Ocean would take place under Cloudy Park (which could work), but it wouldn't quite work with White Wafers. Gigabyte Grounds would work with Sand Canyon, but not Onion Ocean. Rhythm Road wouldn't fit with Ripple Field, nor Raisin Ruins. However, someone did come up with an idea. It seems very clear that Patched Plains takes place in Cookie Country, given the fantasy trees with the windmill leaves. There's the idea that Nutty Noon was torn down to make way for Resolution Road (the Sky Tower music does play in the laboratory, too). White Wafers was melted into Overload Ocean. Onion Ocean was dried out for Gigabyte Grounds' oil reserves, in which White Wafers was melted to serve as the new ocean. Rhythm Road was made in Raisin Ruins (the ruins may also have been torn down) in a similar manner to Las Vegas being a city (both with gambling, mind you) in the desert. I don't particularly like the idea of Dream Land's landscaping being destroyed, but it's an idea, credit to Sepublic22.
However, as a result of the Ask-a-thon, it has been stated that after the defeat of Star Dream, the damage to the invaded planets has been reverted, so the landscape of Popstar is probably alright now and back to normal.
So, there you have it. My ideas regarding the geological structure of Popstar. And geez, did this blog post take a lot longer to make than expected. Literal hours. Over an hour of work just to finish through Kirby's Adventure. What a task.