Kirby is a pink puffball from Dreamland and is the hero of the Kirby franchise created by Masahiro Sakurai. Since his debut in Kirby’s Dream Land in 1992, Kirby has starred in 17 other games. Kirby has also been featured in the Super Smash Bros. franchise (also created by Masahiro Sakurai) as a playable character. Kirby has been in various other media as well, such as manga. A television show featuring Kirby called Kirby: Right Back At Ya! aired for 100 episodes.
Concept and Creation
Kirby had originally retained his image by the name of Popopo and was to appear in the original concept game titled ' Twinkle Popopo'. He was set into programing as an incomplete placeholder for the main character, featured only as a blob sprite in the early development, of what would know be known as the first entry of Kirby in the series of games to come. However, in the final release for the public in 1992, he become well accepted in Japanese title release "Hosi no Kābī" (translated as "Kirby of the Stars"). When given the choice of character design, game creator Masahiro Sakurai preferred Kirby's placeholder mold over the originally intended concept design.
Kirby has the ability to inhale objects or enemies. If an enemy with a unique power is inhaled, Kirby can swallow the enemy and steal its power. Inhaled enemies and objects can also be spit back out to deal damage. Mini-bosses can be inhaled after they are defeated. Kirby can also fly by filling himself with air and flapping his stubby arms.
In Kirby Super Star, Kirby can substitute his current power for an ally version of the swallowed enemy who would be controlled by the computer or the second player. In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby could turn his power into a crystal. The crystal could be thrown at enemies to make a combination crystal which Kirby could inhale to get a combination power. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby would encounter powers contained in bubbles. These powers could be stored in Kirby’s stomach (the DS’s touch screen). The player could use the touch screen to drag one power to another to combine powers.
List of Kirby’s Inhale Abilities
Kirby is capable of inhaling a number of enemies at a time and may inherit a varied ability from the previous inhaled foe. Exhaling the foe simply redirects their shape as a star.
- Animal - Kirby wears an animal fur. Kirby attacks with a slash attack. Kirby can dig through dirt.
- Beam - Kirby wears a jester hat. Kirby attacks by whipping out an electric chain.
- Bomb - Kirby wears a blue Santa hat. Kirby can throw bombs or set bombs down on the ground.
- Bubble - Kirby has a crown of bubbles. Kirby attacks with a bubble wand that shoots bubbles. The bubbles turn enemies into abilities inside bubbles.
- Fireball - Kirby has a crown of flames and flames on his arms. Kirby turns into a fast moving ball of flame. Can break metal blocks.
- Cook - Kirby wears a chef’s hat. Kirby takes out a pot, and all enemies on screen jump in and are turned into food. Can only be used once.
- Copy - Kirby wears a high-tech visor. He sends out a short-range scanning beam that will automatically copy the ability of any enemy it touches for Kirby to use. (If the enemy has no ability to copy, the beam simply destroys them.)
- Crash - Kirby flashes white. He turns himself into a smart bomb that destroys every enemy on the screen. One time use.
- Cupid - Kirby has a halo and angel wings. Kirby shoots and arrow that can be charged up. Kirby can hover.
- Cutter - Kirby wears a helmet with horns. Kirby attacks using boomerangs. Only 2 boomerangs can be thrown at a time. Can cut strings.
- Fighter - Kirby wears a red headband. Kirby attacks using various fighting moves, including jabs, uppercuts, and a charged projectile.
- Fire - Kirby wears a crown of fire. Kirby attacks by breathing fire. The fire can melt ice or metal.
- Ghost - Kirby wears a sheet with eye holes. Kirby attacks by rushing into enemies and possessing them. The player can then control the enemy or release it.
- Hammer - Kirby holds a hammer. Kirby attacks by swinging the hammer. He can also throw the hammer for a powerful ranged attack, but he gives up the ability by doing so. Can break metal blocks. Can be used underwater. Can hit pegs.
- Hi-Jump - Kirby wears a cape. Kirby attacks by jumping high and landing with a shockwave.
- Ice- Kirby wears a crown of ice crystals. Kirby attacks by breathing ice, turning enemies into ice cubes which can be kicked. The ice can freeze water or lava.
- Laser - Kirby wears an eye gadget. Kirby attacks with a laser that bounces off walls.
- Magic - Kirby wears a magician’s top hat. Kirby attacks by making doves appear, shooting playing cards and making a jack-in-a-box appear. The cards can cut strings.
- Master Hand - Can only be obtained by beating and inhaling Master Hand. Kirby can use the hammer, stone, a cutter attack, and a punching attack.
- Metal - Kirby becomes covered in metal. Kirby cannot be damaged by regular enemies, but moves slower. Kirby can turn into a ball, allowing him to roll down slopes.
- Mini - Kirby becomes tiny. That’s it.
- Mirror - Kirby wears a red and blue jester's cap. He can attack by sending out a short-range stream of mirror shards with his wand, or by making a quick mirror image of himself. Both techniques reflect enemy projectiles. Can cut strings.
- Missile- Kirby has a target on the top of his head. Kirby attacks by turning into a rocket that the player can guide. Can break metal blocks.
- Mike - Kirby goes through three different appearances: wearing headphones and yelling into a radio microphone, wearing a white cap and yelling into a megaphone, and wearing a mohawk and yelling into a rock concert mic. Each instance has the same effect: Kirby yells so loudly that all enemies on the screen explode. After the third use, this ability disappears.
- Needle - Kirby wears a spike cap. Kirby attacks by encasing himself with spikes.
- Ninja - Kirby wears a helmet with Japanese style hair. Kirby can throw shuriken or create an explosion. Kirby can also walk on water and cling to walls. The explosion changes to water type if Kirby is on water.
- Paint - Kirby wears a gray cap backwards. He grabs a paint bucket and paintbrush and fills the whole screen with colors, damaging every enemy on the screen. Also used in the boss fight with Chameleo Arm in Kirby Super Star to counteract his camouflage. One time use.
- Parasol - Kirby holds a parasol. Kirby attacks by whacking people with the parasol. He can also use the parasol to slow his descent in mid-air and to shield himself from the front.
- Plasma - Kirby wears a crown of green electricity. Kirby creates a circle of electric energy around him. Can send electricity on certain surfaces. He builds up power by quickly moving back and forth (a technique intended to replicate the act of building up static electricity by rubbing your feet against a carpet).
- Sleep- Kirby wears a sleeping cap. Kirby cannot attack for a few seconds while he sleeps. Sometimes sleeping will heal Kirby.
- Stone - Kirby wears a helmet that looks like the ninja cap. Kirby can turn into a stone. Can hit pegs.
- Suplex - Kirby wears a blue headband, and his skin tone turns slightly darker. He can dash forward to grab objects or enemies, then toss or slam them in various ways like German suplexes and piledrivers. It works very similarly to the Throw ability from Kirby's Adventure, but Suplex is the name given to this ability in Kirby Super Star.
- Sword - Kirby holds a sword. Kirby attacks using sword slashes. Can cut strings. Can be used underwater.
- Throw - Kirby wears a blue headband. Kirby can suck enemies toward him, then throw them. Can break metal blocks.
- Tornado - Kirby has a crown of swirling air. Kirby can turn into a tornado which the player can guide.
- UFO- Kirby is in a UFO. Kirby attacks using a charge laser, or the Beam power. Kirby can hover. Can be used underwater.
- Wheel - Kirby wears a red cap. Kirby attacks by turning into a wheel and rolling across the ground. In Kirby Squeak Squad, if the wheel rolls onto ice or electricity, the element will change.
- Wing - Kirby wears Native American feathers on his head as well as some red facepaint. He sends out small feathers as a weak projectile attack, but he can also perform powerful aerial diving attacks. This ability also fundamentally changes the way Kirby's flight mechanics work: he gains more horizontal velocity and doesn't need to inhale before taking flight.
- Yo-Yo - Kirby wears a blue cap backwards. He attacks by swinging a yo-yo and by breakdancing.
Rick is a character that befriends Kirby along the way in the adventures sum to Kirby's Dream Land 2, alongside other fellow companions Coo and Kine. It is taken that from all of Kirby's Animal Friends, Rick has substantial relations of quality with Kirby as being adorable creatures, thus landing him in favor with audiences of the Kirby series. The intrinsic journey allows for the use of Rick as the featured land friend that helps along the best suited for this particular terrain, as to Coo and Kine are suited for air and water, respectfully.
Coo is an owl best noted for his purple down and assistance to Kirby in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3. Coo's appearance is appreciated as a friend as he is donned with the ability of flight within the journey.
Kine is a stylized sun fish with aquatic qualities imbued to him. Kine is bestowed the ability to fresh-out-of-water, but is more suited to his domain on water.
Super Smash Bros.
Kirby is a playable character in all of the Super Smash Bros. games and has left several marks in the games of the Smash Bros. series. Kirby is always playable at default.
Kirby retain various specialized movesets of is his own, such as inhale
Kirby uses a moveset similar to the Master Hand moveset in all three games, but instead of a punch as the neutral B attack, Kirby has the Inhale attack. Kirby’s other attacks are Hammer (In Melee and Brawl only) as side-B, Final Cutter as up-B, and Stone and down-B. Kirby’s inhale can be used on all characters besides for Kirby to steal the neutral-B move of that character. Once a move is gained, Kirby can no longer use the inhale ability. Kirby can get rid of his current ability by taunting.
Kirby's Meme Presence
The BGM tracks from various Kirby games have been used in the creation of many popular Japanese "Madness" videos, also called MADs, using compiled footage from various anime, game and live action to create presentations cued to the music. The music from the "Gourmet Race" minigame in Kirby Super Star, and the "Sand Canyon" stage of Kirby's Dream Land are particularly popular, though the music from any stage seems to be fair game.
The video from this Giant Bomb news post is an example of the "Gourmet Race" meme in action.
- Kirby's name may have connections in its origin from the Kirby Company, known for manufacturing vacuums in their production, as it may refer to the character's abilities to inhale and impale foes with intense wind-powered might.
- Kirby is known to cause intense squealing, various intonations of "D'awwwww!" and restoration of the ability to feel childlike wonder again after so, so long.