Kirby's Dream Land is the first game in the Kirby franchise, released on August 1, 1992. Designed by Masahiro Sakurai, a well-known game developer at HAL Laboratory, Kirby's Dream Land introduced many of the series' traditional aspects. While Kirby wouldn't be copying enemies' abilities until 1993's Kirby's Adventure, this first game introduced Kirby's vacuum ability (in fact, Kirby's name was inspired by a brand of vacuums), enemies and bosses that have returned in numerous games, as well as Kirby's ability to float and blow out air.
Initially conceived by Masahiro Sakurai, Kirby's original name was Popopo. Popopo was actually a test character that HAL Laboratory used before they came up with more complex character designs, but he was so well-liked that he was kept for Kirby's Dream Land (which was originally titled Twinkle Popo). However, Popopo was renamed to Kirby after a brand of vacuums, and Twinkle Popo morphed into Kirby's Dream Land.
The plot of Kirby's Dream Land involves Kirby's archnemesis, King Dedede, stealing all of the food in Dream Land (Kirby's home world). It's up to Kirby to retrieve all of the food and put an end to King Dedede.
A fairly traditional platformer, Kirby's Dream Land stars the titular character across five worlds in a quest to save Dream Land. Kirby has the ability to suck in enemies, and then shoot them out as a projectile. Pressing down on the directional pad absorbs the enemy for the sole purpose of getting rid of it. In addition to enemies, there are various power-ups that Kirby can collect as the game progresses, such as spicy food (allowing Kirby to spit fire), a microphone (killing all enemies on screen), and bombs (which explodes and kills multiple enemies).
Other than attack items, Kirby can also eat food to restore health points. For these items, Kirby is not required to suck them up, but rather merely has to touch them in order to gain their restorative properties. There are two healing items in the game: candy (which only heals a few points of health) and the maximum tomato (which fully restores Kirby's health).
Each of the five stages consist of a branching pathway to the boss room, where Kirby fights a large enemy before collecting the Sparkling Star (transporting him to the next stage). Levels may contain side bosses, who must be defeated in order to progress. The fifth level is the only unconventional one, as it is merely a tower where Kirby is required to fight the previous four bosses, and then the final boss, King Dedede. After the normal mode of the game has been completed, and King Dedede has been defeated, the game reveals a code for the extra mode of the game (a more difficult mode than the original game). This code is available before completion of normal mode, although it isn't revealed to the player until then.
In addition to Kirby's vacuuming ability, he has the ability to infinitely float in the air. When he is floating, Kirby is slower, larger, and more susceptible to enemy attacks. To leave this form, Kirby spits out a breath of air, which can serve as an attack against many enemies (not against bosses or side bosses). One item also magnifies this ability by allowing Kirby to fire out projectiles while floating, and is the premise for the third boss.
Mt. Dedede - Final Boss