Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kirby (Japanese: カービィ Kābi) is a character in a series of video games published by Nintendo for their video game consoles and handheld video game systems over the years. He has been the star of a number of namesake games which were developed by HAL Laboratory. Kirby has also became a popular anime character as well in the recent years.
Kirby is a small, pink, round ball-shaped character with large feet and small arms. He is a fantasy character and as such is not intended to "be" anything, although this is still the source of some humorous speculation, similar to that surrounding McDonalds' Grimace character. Kirby's color has been the source of some confusion: the box art and cartridge label of Kirby's Dream Land erroneously depicted Kirby as being white, and it has been suggested that Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to make Kirby yellow. Ultimately, Kirby's creator Masahiro Sakurai insisted upon pink. It should be noted that all three of these colors would be depicted as white on the Game Boy, the platform on which Kirby made his first appearance. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, all three colors appear as palette swaps for the character.
Kirby is an oddly heroic resident of Dream Land, on the planet of Popstar or Pop Star (varyingly spelled with a space). The cute, peaceful residents of Dream Land often find themselves being terrorized by some form of evil creature, who Kirby must venture out to defeat.
Kirby's signature ability is to "suck up" enemies with his big mouth and swallow them, stealing their powers. Kirby games feature an enormous variety of powers to gain. Swallowing one enemy may grant him the power to shoot needles from his body, another may allow him to become a spinning wheel or a fireball. Kirby can also spit out objects that he's sucked up at high velocity to knock out enemies. Alternatively, the sucking power can be used to suck up air, allowing Kirby to fly. Note that the Kirby did not have the power to steal his opponents' abilities in the original 1993 game.
In some later games, Kirby also gains the ability to summon computer-controlled allies to help him in battle, such as the friendly monsters from Kirby Super Star, Gooey from Kirby's Dreamland 3, or the Mirror Kirbys from Kirby and the Amazing Mirror.
Also, Kirby's ball-like appearance has earned him a place as the ball in a number of sports or arcade related games, such as pinball and golf.
It is said that the appearance of Kirby's character came during testing of a prototype for the Kirby game. In this phase, testers were simply viewing a block that assumed the space a later character would occupy during gameplay. Apparently, the testers fell in love with this block and decided to adopt a character around it- and thus, Kirby was born.
Other Major Characters
- King Dedede or Deedee is the self-proclaimed king of Dreamland, and Kirby's main nemesis (essentially he serves as the Bowser to Kirby's Mario). He has appeared in all of the Kirby games except for Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. While not exactly evil, Dedede is quite greedy, and his penchant for stealing Dreamland's food or other resources often puts him into conflict with Kirby. He's in charge of the hordes of monsters Kirby has to fight through in each of the games, and in most games he's the boss enemy of the final normal level. Dedede has sucking powers similar to Kirby, able to inhale Kirby, spit him out, as well as inhaling air to fly around. Dedede's also quite heavy, and likes to try to jump into the air and smash down onto Kirby. He also fights with a large wooden hammer which he attempts to pound Kirby with. While he was the final enemy of the original Kirby's Dreamland, in many games after Dedede is defeated he turns out to be misguided or possessed, and a secret additional level is made available containing the real end-of-game boss monster. Dedede often helps Kirby access this secret level, usually by spitting him into space. Dedede has also appeared as a helper in Kirby 64, where he could carry Kirby and break through walls.
- Meta-Knight is a dark, war-like inhabitant of Dreamland who first appears in Kirby's Adventure. He fights with a sword, and wears a mask and cape to hide his cute, Kirby-like features (whenever his mask is shattered, he disappears). In later games he's also able to morph his cape into a pair of bat-like wings for flying. In many of the games he is the last boss monster encountered before fighting King Dedede, and he also serves as the final enemy of the Meta-Knight's Revenge chapter of Kirby Super Star. In Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (the only Kirby game in which Dedede does not appear), Dark Meta-Knight replaces Dedede in the role of "fake" final boss. Unlike most bosses, Meta-Knight is only slightly bigger than Kirby, but he fights fiercely with a variety of sword techniques. An honorable sort, he always provides Kirby with a sword before they battle so the two of them can fight on an even level. He also has his own small crew of monsters that serve him independent of King Dedede, and who often attack Kirby under his orders. There have been rumors about Meta-Knight and Kirby being related, but these have not been confirmed and are quite improbable.
- Gooey is apparently Kirby's best friend. He appears in Kirby's Dreamland 3, and is essentially a small blue blob of goo with a silly expression on his face. Gooey has the similar powers to Kirby (exept that he licks up enemies), and a second player can take control of him while the first player controls Kirby. In a single player game, Gooey can be summoned as a computer-controlled ally. He's apparently a non-evil version of the Dark Matter, and during the game's final battle in space, Gooey's flying form is similar to the 1st form of the Dark Matter.
- Coo, Rick, and Kine are a hamster, owl, and sunfish team that aides Kirby in many of his later adventures, beginning with Kirby's Dreamland 2. By riding one of his animal friends, Kirby unlocks new combinations of powers determined by the specific animal friend and the enemy power Kirby is currently using.
- Nago, Chu Chu, and Pitch are a cat, octopus, and bird team that appears in Kirby's Dreamland 3 in addition to Coo, Rick, and Kine. Chu Chu's species is unknown, but many assume her to be a flapjack octopus based on her appearance. Like Coo, Rick, and Kine, Kirby can ride them and gain new variations on his enemy abilities.
- Dark Matter serves as the ultimate evil in Kirby's universe. First appearing as the secret final boss in Kirby's Dreamland 2, in most of the games he turns out to be the true final enemy. Usually manifesting as a large black ball with a single eye at its center, Dark Matter has the power to possess creatures and turn them evil (usually Dedede and his minions), and it can even mutate characters it has a particularly powerful hold over (such as Dedede in Kirby's Dreamland 3). Impervious to normal attacks, Dark Matter can only be fought if Kirby manages to collect all the pieces of the game's special magical item (such as a rainbow sword or heart rod) needed to defeat him. When fought, Dark Matter has a variety of forms, and Kirby usually fights it in a mid-air battle in outer space over Popstar. In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Dark Matter is known as Miracle Matter and O2 in the game's final battles.
- Nightmare is the final boss of Kirby's Adventure, and begins the series' trend of having a secret final boss after the defeat of King Dedede. Apparently, Nightmare infests the Fountain of Dreams in order to give the people of Dreamland nightmares, but King Dedede foils his plans by stealing the Star Rod (the Fountain's source of power). At the end of the game, Kirby defeats Dedede and restores the rod to the fountain, unwittingly releasing Nightmare. Dedede sucks up Kirby and the Star Rod, and blasts the two of them into space to fight the Nightmare. Initially, Nightmare manifests as a star-filled ball of space that fires stars at Kirby, but after Kirby and Nightmare crash on the moon, he transforms into a large-chinned, vampire-like wraith (complete with cape and horns), sometimes known as "Nightmare Wizard" for the game's final battle. In this form, he continues to fire stars at Kirby, and is only vulnerable to a Star Rod blast fired into the staticy, glowing whirlwind of energy that makes up his main body. Destroying Nightmare also blasts a decent-sized chunk out of Popstar's moon.
- Marx is a resident of Dreamland who is apparently of a similar pink, cloud-like species as Kirby. Marx has a very distinct appearance, with a big jester's cap, large clown shoes, and demented-looking facial features. He moves about by bouncing on a large ball. In Milky Way Wishes, the final chapter of Kirby's Super Star, Marx deceives Kirby into awakening the wish-granting comet Nova, ostensibly to wish for Popstar's Sun and Moon (Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright) to stop fighting. In reality, Marx wants ultimate power, and when Kirby revives Nova, Marx knocks him out of the way before he can make a wish, and wishes to rule Popstar. Nova transforms Marx into a larger, more powerful form, and begins floating towards Popstar. The Sun and Moon join together to prevent Nova from reaching the planet, and Kirby battles Marx on the comet's surface in the game's final fight (this fight is highly remenescent of the final battle against the Nightmare in Kirby's Adventure). Marx flies around and has a variety of powerful attacks, including freezing breath, rapid-growing vines, firing cutters from his wings, firing a powerful energy beam from his mouth, and transforming into a black hole, but ultimately Kirby is able to destroy both him and Nova.
- Dark Meta Knight appears in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror as the boss in Radish Ruins (one of the areas in the game) and as one of the final bosses. He is simply a mirror version of Meta Knight.
- Shadow Kirby or Mirror World Kirby appears in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror as a minor enemy who appears once in the areas. If you hurt him, he will leave behind an item and walk out of the screen. He is just like Kirby only black, which is similar to the look of Dark Meta Knight. In the final battle against Dark Mind, if you lost Master, Meta Knight's magical sword, Shadow Kirby throws it back to you from near the edge of the screen, then walks off again. It is later revealed that Dark Kirby is not as evil as he looks.
- Kracko appears in most Kirby games as a level (or area) boss. He is a big white cloud with an eye in the center that floats around shooting lightning and dropping Hi-Jump ability characters out of himself. In Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, he also drops raindrops, and instead of Hi-Jumps, he drops out Waddle Dees with parasols, which give the player the Parasol ability.
Dream Land monsters
While the various Kirby games tend to have original and creative boss monsters, there are a number of them that have incarnations in a variety of Kirby games. Following are a few of these recurrent bosses:
- Whispy Woods (a tree that blows clouds and causes apples to fall)
- Lololo and Lalala (The heroes from The Adventures of Lolo, who apparently work for Dedede)
- Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright (an evil sun and moon figure that cooperate)
- Kracko (an eye in a cloud, that shoots lightning bolts)
- Meta-knight (A mysterious cloaked knight who, when unmasked, looks a lot like Kirby)
Below are the games in which Kirby appears as the main protagonist, sorted by their US release date when available. All games were released for Nintendo gaming systems only:
- Kirby's Dream Land (1992 - Game Boy)
- Kirby's Pinball Land (1993 - Game Boy)
- Kirby's Adventure (1993 - Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System)
- Kirby's Dream Course (1994 - Super Famicom/Super Nintendo)
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995 - Game Boy)
- Kirby's Block Ball (1995 - Game Boy)
- Kirby's Avalanche (1995 - Kirby's Ghost Trap in Europe, Super Nintendo)
- Kirby Super Star (1996 - Super Famicom/Super Nintendo)
- Kirby's Star Stacker (1997 - Game Boy)
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1998 - Super Famicom/Super Nintendo)
- (2000 - Nintendo 64)
- Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble (2001 - Game Boy Color)
- (2002 - Game Boy Advance) (an enhanced remake of Kirby's Adventure)
- Kirby Air Ride (2003 - GameCube)
- Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (2004 - Game Boy Advance)
- Touch! Kirby's Magic Paintbrush (2005? - Nintendo DS)
- Kirby Adventure GCN (Nintendo GameCube)
- BS Kirby no Omotya Bako Baseball (Satellaview, Super Famicom, Japan only)
- Kirby Super Star Stacker (Kirby No Kirra Kids, Super Famicom, Japan only)
Kirby is a playable character available at the start of both Super Smash games:
Anime and manga
Kirby stars in his own anime titled Hoshi no Kaabii ("Kirby of the Stars"). It is currently licensed in North America by 4Kids under the title Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and it aired on 4Kids TV, formerly the Fox Box (since 2002, heading to its final episodes), via Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (since 2001 which has done 100 episodes). It is produced by Nintendo and HAL Laboratories.
- Kirby's "official" U.S. homepage
- Kirby's "official" Japanese homepage
- Kirby's Rainbow Resort (fan site)
- Tv Tome - Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
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