King Dedede (デデデ大王 Dedede Daio?) is a major recurring antagonist (and anti-hero) and a minor tritagonist from the Kirby series. He is a giant penguin-like being who wields a large wooden mallet, and has been the apparent main antagonist of the Kirby series since its beginning. King Dedede has steadily transitioned into both an anti-hero and Kirby's "arch-frenemy", as he willingly assists or directly allies with Kirby on a number of occasions for the greater good while maintaining their rivalry. His powers are vaguely similar to Kirby's; he is able to puff himself up and float (although he only got this ability through rigorous training after his first defeat at Kirby's hands), and suck up enemies and spit them out as high-speed projectiles (unlike Kirby, he cannot copy a foe's ability). He can use both of these abilities in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
King Dedede is the selfish, grumpy, self-proclaimed king of Dream Land, who has appeared as Kirby’s rival and nemesis in every Kirby game (with the exception of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror) since Kirby’s Dream Land. He is a hammer-wielding penguin with fine robes and a greedy disposition. Like Kirby, King Dedede is able to inhale enemies and spit them out as projectiles (but cannot copy a foe's ability like Kirby), or inhale air in order to puff himself up and float, the latter of which he learned after rigorous training following his first defeat at Kirby's hands. Outside of this, Dedede wields a large wooden mallet as his signature weapon; this mallet is depicted in some games as having special features built into it, such as a powerful jet engine, or the ability to fire missiles or a chargeable laser. While his more heinous actions are influenced by being possessed by Dark Matter, he is usually considered to be the main villain of the Kirby series. In early Kirby games and spin-off titles, Dedede is depicted as the central antagonist. Beginning with Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, however, he slowly transitioned into an anti-hero, although he remains the most well-known antagonist in the series. However, a common misconception about King Dedede is that he is an "evil" character. He seems to be more selfish than evil and appears to otherwise have a good heart. Most of the games where Dedede is evil is where he is being possessed. He was possessed three times by Dark Matter, once by Yin-Yarn, and once by Taranza. King Dedede's actions range from stealing food from the Dream Land residents in Kirby's Dream Land to breaking the Star Rod, source of power in the Fountain of Dreams, into seven pieces in Kirby's Adventure (although this latter was to protect Dream Land from an evil it did not know about). to stealing all the stars from the sky in Kirby's Dream Course. In other games, such as Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Dedede's evil actions are not from his own volition; he is manipulated by a greater evil through mind control or possession. However, he is not above teaming up with Kirby as a friendly rival on occasion, such as in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby: Canvas Curse, or Kirby's Return to Dream Land. King Dedede's relationship with Kirby is more along the lines of friendly competition, begrudging admiration, and annoyance on both sides than flat-out hatred or villainy. King Dedede's relationship with Kirby also varies, from a rival to a partner. While he appears to view Kirby with general annoyance or reluctant friendship, Kirby himself bears no such grudge. The duo partake in friendly speed-eating contests in Kirby Super Star's Gourmet Race sub-game, and Dedede even teams up with Kirby as a playable character in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and Kirby Star Allies. In the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, he is much more malicious and determined to defeat Kirby, but he rarely succeeds due to his simple-mindedness. However, he retains a form of respect for Kirby, which he rarely shows.
King Dedede also makes an appearance as a main antagonist in the animated TV series, Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (known as "Hoshii no Kaabii" in Japan), once again as the self-proclaimed king. He is usually accompanied by his snail-like sidekick, Escargoon (Escargon in Japan), and has an army of Waddle Dees at his command, akin to the games, with a single Waddle Doo as the commander. While he is the king, he appears to take no administrative role for the kingdom, and most of the characters simply ignore his rule. His role in the anime is much more comical, but also more mean-spirited and evil. He is also much less intelligent than he appears in the games, and his bumbling attempts to cause Kirby to become less popular usually end up failing very miserably.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, King Dedede is voiced by his creator, Masahiro Sakurai, who also voiced him in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. His appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series is primarily influenced by Kirby Super Star. However, there are additional details original to the series, such as his kimono-like robes and mechanically-enhanced hammer. This design later influenced other Kirby games, including Kirby Mass Attack and Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
In the original Super Smash Bros., King Dedede only made a mere brief cameo in the background of the Dream Land stage. According to a page on the Japanese Super Smash Bros. site, King Dedede alongside Bowser and Mewtwo, were planned to be a playable character. But space and technical limitations caused him to only have the aforementioned cameo and so he was cut from the roster. His design in Super Smash Bros. is based on his appearance in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, which is completely ironic since Smash Bros came out almost a year before Kirby 64 was released.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, King Dedede only reappeared in the Dream Land stage once again and also making another appearance as a collectible trophy. Again like in the original Super Smash Bros. he was planned to be a playable character. But he was cut because of time constraints (the same reason that kept him out of Smash 64).
King Dedede makes an appearance as one of the 200+ collectible trophies in the game that can be found by "typical" means—either through the Trophy Lottery or picking it up during one of the single-player Regular Matches. Its trophy reads like so:
- King Dedede
- Dedede is the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land. While he says he's king, Dedede prefers no administrative functions and the citizens of Dream Land continue to live as they always have. He's able to suck in air and fly like Kirby does, but only as a result of vigorous training he undertook after being bested by Kirby.
- Kirby's Dream Land [9/92]
As a playable character
King Dedede finally becomes a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, making him the third playable character from the Kirby series following Kirby and Meta Knight. He wields his trademark hammer, swinging it in most of his standard attacks, like the Ice Climbers, and has very powerful hammer-based attacks. His special moves are Inhale (Neutral Special), Waddle Dee Toss (Side Special), Super Dedede Jump (Up Special), and Jet Hammer (Down Special). Inhale is very similar to Kirby's trademark move, except King Dedede lacks the ability to copy abilities. Waddle Dee Toss lets the king throw his minions at foes, sometimes producing not only Waddle Dees but also more deadly Waddle Doos and Gordos. It is also possible for Dedede to throw out capsules containing items. Super Dedede Jump is an effective recovery move, sending King Dedede high into the air, then crashing into the ground to damage foes. He can also cancel out of doing this. Finally, King Dedede mechanizes his hammer with Jet Hammer. The hammer's power is charged up by holding the special attack button, and then released for a mighty swing. King Dedede incurs damage after charging for too long, however. His dash attack and Super Dedede Jump come from Kirby's Adventure.
Like other playable characters, King Dedede appears visually similar to his canon incarnations but greatly enhanced graphically. For example, his usually uncovered girth (other than his patterned waistband, that is) is now covered by fine robes of a similar color, making his overall wear resemble a kimono. He also has several interesting costume colors, which not only change the color, but the design on his waistband too, including a sepia-toned one. His voice is provided by Masahiro Sakurai himself.
King Dedede currently ranks 12th on the tier list in C+ tier. King Dedede possesses a powerful chain grab that can perform infinites on most lower tier characters, which is complemented by his fast and long reaching grab. He also overcomes his poor speed through his high vertical endurance, boasts one of the best recoveries in the game, and has a strong aerial game (with his back aerial in particular being very useful).
- King Dedede
- The self-styled king of the amazingly peaceful Dream Land. He continually does things unbecoming a king, like stealing the kingdom's food supplies or all the stars from the sky. He's not all bad, though, and sometimes performs good deeds. While he and Kirby often battle, they've been known to compete good-natured at speed-eating contests and minigames.
- (GB) Kirby's Dream Land
- (N64) Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
As a playable character
King Dedede returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. His appearance has been changed to give him a more cartoonish look, reminiscent of his appearance in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!.
A majority of King Dedede's attacks have been changed from the previous game, such as now performing a cartwheel attack for his Down Tilt, and his Side Special Move has been changed to Gordo Throw, which involves Dedede batting a Gordo forward to attack opponents. Additionally, King Dedede's Final Smash has been changed to Dedede Burst, which involves Dedede inhales the nearby opponents in place before hammering them and launching them away with an exploding bomb.
King Dedede has seen a large fall from his previous tier list spot for Brawl, now ranking 52nd out of 55 characters for SSB4. While still maintaining his high power and disjointed reach with his hammer, he lost his effective chain grab, a technique removed from SSB4. This removes what made him so effective in Brawl. His back aerial was also changed for the worse, no longer being as versatile as it once was. King Dedede also has a new side special: Gordo Throw. Since he now throws only Gordos, the new move has consistent power compared to the random nature of Waddle Dee Toss. However, this new attack can also be a hindrance for Dedede, as the Gordos are easily sent back to him by reflectors or any attack that does 2% or higher. The combination of his large size and slow mobility also makes him vulnerable to combos and camping.
Due to his flaws heavily outweighing his strengths, Dedede is regarded poorly in competitive play despite some notably high tournament results from players like Big D and Zaki.
- King Dedede
- He calls himself the King of Dream Land, but he doesn't have a lot of interest in ruling. He really loves to eat, so it's no surprise he's a heavyweight fighter. Despite his size and low speed, he can easily recover with his four jumps. His Jet Hammer will leave a mark on everyone he meets.
- (GB) Kirby's Dream Land (08/1992)
- (3DS) Kirby: Triple Deluxe (05/2014)
- King Dedede (Alt.)
- For the Gordo Throw side special, King Dedede sends a Gordo bouncing with a hammer strike. It bounces off walls—or sometimes gets stuck in them. After a while, it'll disappear. If an enemy hits one, it'll bounce back toward you. Use the special again to whack it back at them!
- (GB) Kirby's Dream Land (08/1992)
- (3DS) Kirby: Triple Deluxe (05/2014)
As a playable character
King Dedede once again returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As with many other characters of the roster, he has been given more facial expressions to fix the cartoonish look of the game. He once again features a new Final Smash called Dede-Rush, which features him launching an opponent into a steel cage, assuming his Masked Dedede persona, and then attacking any trapped opponents with a barrage of missiles and his Jet Hammer. Unlike Brawl and SSB4, he is an unlockable character instead of a starter character.
- In the Kirby anime, there are frequent references to King Dedede's aversion to stars, but in most of his appearances, he has a very large star on either side of his hammer.
- Outside of the anime and with the exception of a few sparse references (such as Snake's codec message about him), King Dedede's dubious authority is never mentioned.
- Between his cameo in SSB and his appearance as a playable character in Brawl, King Dedede was redesigned. In Kirby games released at the same time as SSB he was a lot like a penguin (a real penguin) because his head was very large compared to the rest of his body, and his beak was a lot bigger. In more recent games, King Dedede is less like a penguin. His head is now more proportional to his body, and his beak is less prominent. However, in the Smash Bros. series he has always looked more similar to the old design than to the new one, with a large head and beak.
- If one looks closely at his official art in each Smash game he appears in, he grows more torpid with each entry.
- King Dedede along with Mewtwo and Bowser were the only characters to be planned to be in all versions of Smash Bros..
- King Dedede, alongside Zero Suit Samus, Pit, and R.O.B. are the only characters to have different Final Smashes per game.
- King Dedede is one of the two playable characters to appear in every game of the series who was not playable in every iteration, the other being Charizard.
- When counting both versions of SSB4 as the same game, Ridley also shares this distinction.
- King dedede is the one of the character who have a different voice actors in original and smash. Masahiro Sakurai voice acting King dedede in Smash bros. series, but in Kirby series, Shinya Kumazaki voice acting King dedede. The other character is Zero Suit Samus.
- Ever since his debut in Brawl, King Dedede has the worst air speed of any fighter.
- King Dedede is also the heaviest Brawl veteran as of Ultimate, though Snake was heavier than him in Brawl.
- Starting with SSB4, if King Dedede is present when playing on Dream Land (SSB), the sprite of King Dedede in the background will not appear.
||Bronto Burt · Buzzy Beetle · Fly Guy · Goonie · Koopa Troopa · King Dedede · Moltres · Pidgey · Ridley · Whispy Woods|
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|Characters||Kirby (64 · Melee · Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)|
Meta Knight (Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)
King Dedede (Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)
|Assist Trophies||Knuckle Joe · Nightmare · Chef Kawasaki|
|Mii Fighter Costumes||Meta Knight · Marx|
|Background characters||King Dedede|
|Stage Hazards||Whispy Woods|
|Enemies||Bonkers · Bronto Burt · Gordo · Parasol Waddle Dee · Plasma Wisp · Shotzo · Tac · Waddle Dee · Waddle Doo|
|Stages||Dream Land · Fountain of Dreams · Green Greens · Halberd · Dream Land GB · The Great Cave Offensive|
|Items||Bomber · Dragoon · Maxim Tomato · Parasol · Star Rod · Superspicy Curry · Warp Star|
|Music||List||List of Music (Kirby series)|
|Collectibles||Trophies||Melee Trophies · Brawl Trophies · 3DS Trophies · Wii U Trophies|
|Stickers||List of Stickers (Kirby series)|
|Spirits||List of spirits (Kirby series)|
|Masterpieces||Kirby's Dream Land · Kirby's Adventure · Kirby Super Star|