The Kirby universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's Kirby series of multi-genre video games. It was developed by HAL Laboratory, Inc., the same company that started the Super Smash Bros. series, and it revolves around the titular spherical, pink entity Kirby and his adventures around the galaxy of PopStar. The series has had many games of several different genres, with side-scrolling platformers being the most prominent.
Masahiro Sakurai, the future designer for the Super Smash Bros. series, was designing a Game Boy platformer originally titled Twinkle Popopo, and it originally had a different main character design. Sakurai created a blob placeholder sprite for the character during development, and after a while he liked the placeholder sprite better as a main character design, so the character was named "Kirby" (either after the Kirby Corporation, a vaccuum cleaner company, or Nintendo's legal counsel John Kirby, who saved Nintendo from an infringement lawsuit involving the name Donkey Kong and its similarity to the name King Kong) and the game's title was made to be Kirby's Dream Land. After the game's release in 1992, Kirby and his fictional world and related properties became a mainstream video game franchise for Nintendo in the years to come.
Kirby's next appearance was in the critically lauded Kirby's Adventure for NES, which introduced his ability to inhale enemies, swallow or spit them out, and gain abilities from the enemies he swallowed; this became a Kirby trademark present in most subsequent games. It also introduced a rival figure to Kirby named Meta Knight. Alongside two more entries in the Kirby's Dream Land series, as well as various golf, puzzle, and pinball spinoffs, was 1996's Kirby Super Star for SNES. Then, aside from Kirby's appearance in 1999's Super Smash Bros. (developed by the same company as the Kirby games, HAL Laboratory), the franchise underwent a bit of a hiatus on the international side of things until 2000's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. After Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble for Game Boy Color afterward, Kirby properties reprised their roles in 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The Kirby franchise continued its stream of releases at a seemingly annual rate with 2002's Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land for GBA, which was an enhanced remake of Kirby's Adventure, then the 2003 racing game Kirby Air Ride for Gamecube, which featured a menu interface and musical score remarkably similar to those of Melee (again, both were developed by HAL Laboratory). Then there was 2004's Kirby and the Amazing Mirror for GBA, 2005's Kirby: Canvas Curse for Nintendo DS, and most recently 2006's Kirby: Squeak Squad for DS. (As a side note, Master Hand and Crazy Hand make cameo appearances in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror.) A new Kirby game is being developed for Wii; in addition, Kirby, Meta Knight, and King Dedede are set to appear as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
In 2001 an anime series based on the Kirby franchise was produced and aired in Japan until 2003 and finished airing stateside in 2006. This series, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, is considered an alternate universe because it does not take place in the same canonical continuity of the video games. Through 100 episodes, the show depicts a Kirby series antagonist, the sorceror-like Nightmare, attempting to take over the Kirby universe with his demon-like army and company titled Nightmare Enterprises, and the "main" series antagonist King Dedede and his flunky Escargoon are made by Nightmare to hunt down the last remaining members of the faction that originally opposed Nightmare for the past thousands of years, the Star Warriors; these remnants include the almost infantile Kirby and the enigmatic, Zorro-like Meta Knight. Featuring characters seen throughout the game series, the show ends with Kirby's final battle with Nightmare. While it appears to be a kid's show, it also features darker themes, satire, parody, and self-referential humor that older viewers can pick up on. The series was highly popular and successful in Japan but not so much in the United States.
Kirby games in general feature characters, storylines, and gamaplay that are said to appeal mainly to young gamers. Sakurai has stated that this series of games is meant to accomodate those who are just starting to play video games, which includes but is not limited to children. As such, Kirby games can be beaten by a player of nearly any age; however, as is certainly the case with the Smash Bros. series, they are also designed to provide deeper challenges for more experienced gamers. Most Kirby games have garnered solid reviews from critics as a result of this.
In Super Smash Bros.
The Kirby franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Bros., with one character, one stage, and two items.
- Kirby: Kirby is a small, pink, spherical creature with a positive disposition and several abilities and powers that are almost magical in nature. In the games and anime, he is characterized as being roughly eight inches in height; his dimensions are obviously increased in size for his appearances in the Smash Bros. series of games. He resides on a star-shaped planet named Popstar in the galaxy of Dream Land, and whenever some form of evil or danger threatens Dream Land, Kirby does not hesitate to go out on a journey to defeat it. Kirby in his Smash appearance demonstrates his ability to float through the air, as well as his trademark power to inhale opponents and copy and use their B-moves as his own B-move. His B-Up and B-Down moves resemble powers he gains when he inhales enemies in his games. He is a high-tier character in the original Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. features one Kirby-themed stage that is normally available, but hidden in the game's code is several other versions of the stage that must be hacked open to be played:
- Dream Land: This stage is a small area of colorful grassland where a common boss in Kirby games, an air-spouting tree called Whispy Woods, resides in the background and slowly blows fighters off to one side of the stage from time to time.
- Tutorial Stage 64: Seen in the How to Play segment of the game, this environment is Dream Land with all the tree-background and the top and right platforms removed.
- Kirby Beta Stage 1: An early form of the above stage. For unknown reasons, it remains in the code of the game as a seperate level, and includes an original tree graphic in the background seen nowhere else.
- Kirby Beta Stage 2: A modification of Beta Stage 1 that is wider and includes a lot of odd objects and features used by the developers to test game physics.
- Maxim Tomato: One of the powerups Kirby often collects to replenish depleted health in Kirby games is this tomato-like item which restores Kirby to full health. It is normally harder to find than the other, less-effective health-replenishers. In Smash, the Maxim Tomato, perhaps contrary to its name, restores the health of the character who picks it up by 100 % rather than restoring all accumulated damage which the Heart Container from the Zelda series can do. It is still a powerful healing item, however.
- Star Rod: A central plot element to Kirby's Adventure is this powerful artifact, which when inserted into the Fountain of Dreams ensure peace and good dreams for Dream Land and its denizens, and Kirby must use it to combat Nightmare in the final battle. In both that game and the Smash Bros. series, the Star Rod can be used as a bludgeoning weapon, and can also launch a star as a projectile when swung with force.
- 10: A fast-paced remix of Kirby stage music, heard on Dream Land. Both the music and the stage were reused in Melee.
- 20: The victory fanfare of Kirby is an orchestration of the shortened "Stage Complete" theme heard in general Kirby games.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
While Super Smash Bros. Melee features much more content than the original game, Kirby remains the sole representative of the franchise. New content includes two new stages with a third returning from Super Smash Bros., two new items, two returning items, and a set of Trophies.
- Kirby: Kirby is still the only playable Kirby series character. Kirby returns swinging a mallet (a power he can absorb in Kirby games from a simian enemy called Bonkers) as his new B-Forward move; however, due to a combination of minor alterations to Kirby's design and the redesigned Melee gameplay engine, Kirby suddenly becomes one of the lowest-tier characters in the game.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features three Kirby-themed stages:
- Dream Land: Green Greens: This stage is thematically similar to the Dream Land stage, with Wispy Woods blowing toward either end of the stage, but the layout is rather different, consisting of the ground being divided up in three by two sets of building blocks that fall from the sky to build up walls that can be broken. Some of these boxes are explosive in nature.
- Dream Land: Fountain of Dreams: A stage with a layout similar to Battlefield, this is the Fountain of Dreams that safeguards the Dream Land galaxy so long as the Star Rod is inserted into the fountain's shaft. The dreamy music heard here was reused in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land when Kirby battles King Dedede at this location.
- Past Stages: Dream Land 64: This is the original Dream Land stage from Smash, returning in Melee totally unaltered.
The Kirby universe features four separate items that can be used in battle in Melee:
- Maxim Tomato: Returns from Smash unchanged in type of function, but its healing power has been nerfed down to 50% points.
- Parasol: A new item which often manifests as a copyable power for Kirby in his games, allowing him to attack enemies and also float down to earth slowly. In Melee, this can be used as a bludgeoning weapon, but this item's peculiar nature is revealed when the character holding it jumps up and falls down; the parasol opens up and the character floats down to earth slowly, like Peach's Up-B move, though the Parasol doesn't damage while opened.
- Star Rod: Returns from Smash essentially unaltered.
- Warp Star: A new item which is essentially Kirby's mode of long-distance transportation in his games. This is one of the most destructive items in Melee; when picked up, the character will ride and hover on it for a moment, launch straight up, and crash back down with lightning speed and explosive force, dealing major damage and knockback to opponents in the area of the landing zone. Warp Stars in flight can be steered either left or right to a limited degree before crashing down.
- 11: Fountain of Dreams: An orchestrated, atmospheric version of the Kirby music heard in Past Stages: Dream Land. This music was later reused in the boss fight at Fountain of Dreams in Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland.
- 12: Green Greens: An orchestration of Kirby stage music, heard in Dream Land: Green Greens.
- 29: Dream Land N64: The music for SSB64's Dream Land stage, which is stage music heard in Kirby games, is brought back unaltered along with the stage itself as Past Stages: Dream Land.
- 43: Kirby's Victory: The victory fanfare of Kirby is an orchestration of the shortened "Stage Complete" theme heard in general Kirby games.
- 60: All-Star Intro: Remix of quiet music heard in Kirby Superstar for SNES, heard at the All-Star Teleporter.
Full Trophy List
- Kirby's three game trophies
- Maxim Tomato (trophy)
- Warp Star (trophy)
- Star Rod (trophy)
- Parasol (trophy)
- Whispy Woods (trophy)
- Fountain of Dreams (trophy)
- Fire Kirby (trophy)
- Fighter Kirby (trophy)
- Ball Kirby (trophy)
- Waddle Dee (trophy)
- King Dedede (trophy)
- Rick (trophy)
- Gooey (trophy)
- Meta-Knight (trophy) (incorrect trophy title, should be "Meta Knight")
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Considering the number of total characters and stages that have been revealed about Super Smash Bros. Brawl through trailers and DOJO!! updates, a comparatively large amount of Kirby-universe content have been confirmed for the game. This may be attributed to the fact that the Smash Bros. series and the Kirby series were both developed by HAL Laboratory.
- Kirby: The pink puff reappears to reprise his role and traits from Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee as a small character who can float in the air with a long series of multiple jumps, with his Final Cutter Up-B and Hammer Forward-B intact. Like other returning characters, Kirby is given a Final Smash attack named Cook Kirby, which appears to consist of dunking his opponent into a boiling pot.
- Meta Knight: A sensational new character addition, Meta Knight is a masked-swordsman character ostensibly of the same species as Kirby, but with a dark blue body and facial features in white that can be seen whenever he takes his mask off. Meta Knight's roles in his various appearances in Kirby games and the anime have ranged from ally to villain; he has helped Kirby at times, but at one instance in Kirby Super Star he attempted to take over Dream Land with the intent to remove corruption (likely Dedede), defending himself from the attacking Kirby in the process, but was defeated. In his appearance in Brawl, his cape transforms into wings which he uses to float in midair much like Kirby and Jigglypuff, and he demonstrate a new gliding ability.
- King Dedede: The first main foe Kirby ever faced, King Dedede has appeared in almost every game since Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy. In his Brawl debut he is considered a heavy character like Bowser and Donkey Kong. He brings several qualities he had in the Kirby platforming games with him, such as his Super Dedede Jump, and some of his various servants in the form of the Waddle Dee Toss. He also brings his hammer with him and uses it in regular combat, but it has also been upgraded to have machine-like qualities, as evidenced by the Jet Hammer move.
- Halberd: The Halberd has been seen in several incarnations throughout the Kirby franchise; it is where the portion of Kirby Super Star concerning Meta Knight's villanous role takes place. The stage off in a hangar located on the high seas, and as the match goes on the warehouse opens up, the Halberd takes off into the air along with the platform the players fight upon, and the Halberd flies around the backdrop of the now-floating stage. During the fight, the platform will land on the ship itself, which draws heavy fire from nearby cannons.
- Green Greens: A returning stage from Melee.
- Maxim Tomato: A returning item whose exact effect is yet to be revealed.
- Warp Star: A returning item whose exact effect is yet to be revealed.
- Superspicy Curry: An item that made its first (and until Brawl, only) appearance in the original Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy, which temporarily gave Kirby the ability to spew fire. It has a similar function in Brawl, igniting the user in flames and allowing them to cause fire damage to anyone they touch.
- Dragoon: The legendary air machine from Kirby Air Ride that makes its first appearance in Brawl, Dragoon is actually 3 separate items that one must obtain in order to use its power. When all three pieces are obtained, the user that obtains them can ride the machine and attack opponents by locking on.
- Knuckle Joe: Hailing from Kirby Super Star, and also a minor character in the Kirby anime, Knuckle Joe makes an appearance as an Assist Trophy in Brawl. When summoned, he hits the nearest opponent with a barrage of attacks, then randomly ends the attack with one of two finishing moves.
- Meta Knight's Revenge - A jazz remix of the two Meta Knight stage themes from the Revenge of Meta Knight segment of Kirby Super Star. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Legendary Air Ride Machine - A redone version of the theme played in Kirby's Air Ride when one has successfully completed either the Dragoon or Hydra. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Gourmet Race - This is a heavy metal version of a song that originated in Kirby's Super Star and has been featured in most Kirby games since, as well as in both previous Smash Bros. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Butter Building - A techno styled remix of the Butter Building level theme from Kirby's Adventure. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- King Dedede's Theme - A song featured in most Kirby games when Kirby battles King Dedede, this song is completely redone. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Squeak Squad Theme - Taken directly from the DS title Kirby Squeak Squad, this was the song used when battling the members of the Squeak Squad. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Vs. Marx - An epic sounding remix of both the Vs. Marx theme from the Milky Way Wishes segment of Kirby Super Star as well as the song played during the scene right after defeating Marx. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- 0² Battle - A complete remix of the final boss theme from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Boss Theme Medley - Featuring many songs from the entire series, this is a medley of many different boss battle themes from across the Kirby series. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Checker Knights - Taken directly from Kirby's Air Ride, this was the song played on the Checker Knights track, as well during various minigames. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Forest/Nature Area - Taken directly from the GBA game Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, this was the song of the Forest & Nature area of the maze. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Frozen Hillside - Another song taken directly from Kirby's Air Ride, this was the music track played on the Frozen Hillside racetrack. It is used on the Halberd stage.
- Green Greens (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Green Greens stage.
- Fountain of Dreams (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Green Greens stage.
- Kirby and King Dedede's victory theme - A whimsical orchestration of the shortened "Stage Complete" theme heard in general Kirby games.
- Meta Knight's victory theme - A "rock remix" of Kirby's victory theme.
- Meta Knight
- King Dedede
- Cook Kirby
- Galaxia Darkness
- Waddle Dee Army
- Maxim Tomato
- Warp Star
- Superspicy Curry
- Star Rod
- Knuckle Joe
- Beam Kirby
- Sleep Kirby
- Wing Kirby
- Fire Kirby
- Ice Kirby
- Spark Kirby
- Waddle Dee
- Waddle Doo
- Sword Knight
- Bronto Burt
- Sir Kibble
- Battleship Halberd
- Cell Phone
|Melee Kirby universe|
|Stage locations:||Dream Land|
|Stages:||Fountain of Dreams | Green Greens | Past Stages: Dream Land|
|Items:||Maxim Tomato | Parasol | Star Rod | Warp Star|
|Brawl Kirby universe|
|Characters:||King Dedede | Kirby | Meta Knight|
|Stage locations:||Dream Land|
|Stages:|| Battleship Halberd|
Melee Stages: Green Greens
|Items:||Dragoon | Maxim Tomato | Superspicy Curry | Warp Star|
|Assist Trophies:||Knuckle Joe|