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Blast From the Past: Kid Kirby

Artwork from an aborted SNES game reveals the Kirby game that never happened.

If Kid Kirby's got hair, does that mean adult Kirby is bald? Mind=blown.
If Kid Kirby's got hair, does that mean adult Kirby is bald? Mind=blown.
Jeff and I have a long-standing disagreement over which is the superior Mario game: Super Mario Bros. 3, or Super Mario World. While I'm happy to acknowledge the technological advances made by SMW, it also featured Yoshi, a cloyingly cute character whose popularity was a direct factor in the creation of Baby Mario, my least favorite Mario character this side of Waluigi. Not that the Mario series has ever been particularly mature or serious-minded, but Baby Mario has always struck me as a lazy way for the franchise to cater to an even younger audience. It doesn't help that Baby Mario reminds me of awkward attempts from my youth to rejuvenate old pop culture staples with stuff like James Bond Jr. and Yo Yogi!

That said, I don't think the idea of a Kid Kirby game to be quite so distasteful, largely because Kirby is so goddamn saccharine sweet to begin with. What's the harm in making him smaller and giving him an unruly cowlick? This SNES-era Kirby spin-off never actually saw the light of day, but an intrepid user from The Lost Levels managed to track down some sprite artwork for the game (along with some sweet Uniracers assets) that was hiding on the Flickr account of a former employee of DMA Design, which is where Kid Kirby was being developed. While they're not as plentiful or fleshed-out as the Halo MMO concept stuff that came out earlier this week, it still gives a very basic idea of how the game might've looked. Which is to say, enough like a regular Kirby game that I can understand why someone decided that it simply wasn't necessary.