The third game to be released in the Kirby franchise, Kirby's Dream Land 2 (known as Hoshi no Kirby 2 in Japan) was released on May 1, 1995 in North America. The game, released for the Game Boy, was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. Initially, a color version of the game was planned for the Game Boy Color (akin to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX), but this was canceled. The game can still be played in color on the Super Game Boy.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 was well-received upon its release. It sold over a million units, making it one of the bestselling games on the original Game Boy. It has also been listed in several top Game Boy game lists, including Nintendo Power's top ten Game Boy/Game Boy Color games list.
The game was re-released via the 3DS eShop in North America on August 1, 2013.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 once again follows the exploits of Kirby in the kingdom of Dream Land. The antagonist of Dream Land 2 is a mysterious force known as Dark Matter, which has destroyed the seven Rainbow Bridges connecting the Rainbow Islands together. The Dark Matter, working through a possessed King Dedede, must be stopped by Kirby.
Getting the "true ending" of Kirby's Dream Land 2 requires the player to collect the seven Rainbow Drops scattered throughout the Rainbow Islands. These transform into the Rainbow Sword, which can be used to eradicate the Dark Matter and even save King Dedede in the process.
The gameplay of Kirby's Dream Land 2 expands on that of the original Kirby's Dream Land, as well as Kirby's Adventure. For the most part, the game is a traditional side-scrolling platformer. The goal in each level is to reach the final door, by traversing throughout a (sometimes mazelike) level, defeating enemies, gathering items, and dodging obstacles.
Kirby has six health points. Each hit takes away one of these points, which can be replenished by picking up a variety of items, such as the well-known Maxim Tomato. Kirby's other abilities include an indefinite jump (by inhaling air and flying upward), exhalation as an attack (even when Kirby doesn't posses an enemy's ability), as well as swimming and regular jumping.
The key new feature of Kirby's Dream Land 2 is the addition of several animal friends to assist Kirby. There are three allies in Dream Land 2: Rick the Hamster, Kine the Ocean Sunfish, and Coo the Owl. Each specializes in a different mode of travel, which are (respectively) ground, sea, and air. Kirby is still able to use enemy's abilities while riding these creatures, but they may sometimes be modified. It also gives Kirby higher power in terms of speed, attack, and health points.
There is a total of seven separate worlds Kirby must travel through.
- Level 1 - Grass Land
- Level 2 - Big Forest
- Level 3 - Ripple Field
- Level 4 - Iceberg
- Level 5 - Red Canyon
- Level 6 - Cloudy Park
- Level 7 - Dark Castle
To truly finish the game Kirby must locate each of the eight rainbow drops. There is one located in every world, for a total of seven. Each is hidden in a way that requires Kirby to figure out how to use his copy abilities in a way that allows him to reach the drop. Only once they all have been located can he confront the true final boss.
This is a list of the available copy abilities in Kirby's Dream Land 2.
- Cutter - Kirby throws a sharp blade like a boomerang.
- Burning - Kirby turns into a fireball.
- Ice - Kirby breathes a freezing breath.
- Parasol - Kirby swings a parasol like a sword.
- Spark - Kirby stands still and shoots sparks around himself.
- Needle - Kirby sprouts needles like a porcupine.
- Stone - Kirby transforms into an invincible boulder. If used in the air, Kirby will fall on his enemies.