Kirby Super Star is a side-scrolling platformer developed by HAL Laboratory and originally published by Nintendo in 1996 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The fourth platforming-focused game in the Kirby series, Super Star is actually a collection of seven main game modes and two smaller minigames. All of the modes star eponymous protagonist Kirby, a pink puffball who can inhale his enemies and swallow them to copy their special abilities. New to the franchise is the ability for Kirby to convert his current Ability into a "Helper" AI partner which can optionally be controlled by a second player.
Super Star was remade for the Nintendo DS in 2008 as Kirby Super Star Ultra, featuring enhanced graphics and sound effects, rearranged music, 3D cutscenes, four new main game modes and three new minigames. The original title was digitally re-released for the Wii and the Wii U via Virtual Console, and it also appears in the Kirby Dream Collection disc-based compilation.
As with previous Kirby titles, most of the game modes in Super Star consist of platforming through a series of levels that gradually increase in difficulty, nearly all of which contain several standard enemies and a stage boss. Kirby's basic moveset allows players to walk, run, jump and fly, as well as perform the slide tackle maneuver introduced in Kirby's Adventure. As with all of the series' games, Kirby can inhale enemies or objects (or even a puff of air) before spitting them out as his standard method of attack. Some enemies can be swallowed to grant Kirby a special Copy ability based on the type of enemy consumed. Kirby Super Star also adds guarding to reduce damage.
Although the Copy mechanic was originally introduced in Kirby's Adventure, Super Star features a new set of twenty-four Copy powers for players to discover throughout the game, some of which make a return from Adventure. This is the first Kirby game that displays full in-game move lists for each of Kirby's Copy abilities, and the first to have unique hats associated with each power-up. Kirby can sacrifice his equipped Copy ability at any time in order to summon a CPU-controlled helper character corresponding to that ability. Helpers have many of the same abilities as Kirby and occasionally possess special techniques, and they all employ a unique color scheme to differentiate the helper from its enemy counterpart. A second player can play as the helper character by connecting a second controller.
A variety of game modes can be selected from Super Star's bulletin board-style menu, although only four of the main modes (Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Gourmet Race and The Great Cave Offensive) and both minigames are initially available. Revenge of Meta Knight is unlocked by finishing Spring Breeze and Dyna Blade, as well as placing first in Gourmet Race. Milky Way Wishes requires completion of all four of these modes, and The Arena is only accessible after clearing Milky Way Wishes. While each game mode only allows for a single save file, three separate player profiles can be accessed from Super Star's main title screen that track players' overall progress across each of the sub-games. Earning 100% completion on a single profile unlocks the game's Sound Test.
King Dedede and his minions have stolen all of the food in Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to recover it before the inhabitants starve. The easiest and shortest of the seven main game modes, Spring Breeze is essentially a remake of the original Kirby's Dream Land with four stages and the inclusion of Copy abilities, which were not present in the original game, as well as altered stage layouts. However, Spring Breeze omits the "Castle Lololo" stage and Kabula boss from Kirby's Dream Land. It also removes the boss rush mini-stages that originally occurred prior to fighting the game's final boss, King Dedede.
- Stage 1 - Green Greens: A short, grassy level that gently introduces players to Kirby and a handful of his Copy abilities. Mid-Boss: Poppy Bros. Sr. | Boss: Whispy Woods
- Stage 2 - Float Islands: Kirby takes a swim and discovers the powerful Invincibility Candy capable of defeating even mid-bosses in one hit. Mid-Boss: Mr. Frosty | Boss: Lololo & Lalala
- Stage 3 - Bubbly Clouds: Danger appears in the skies above Dream Land in the form of Kracko, a persistent cloud-like enemy with powerful lightning attacks. Mid-Boss: Kracko Jr. | Boss: Kracko
- Final Stage - Mt. Dedede: Kirby reaches the mountain fortress for a final showdown with Dedede to decide the fate of Dream Land. Boss: King Dedede
When Kirby is violently awoken one day by a gigantic bird named Dyna Blade, he sets out towards its nest to discover the reason behind its sudden aggression. This game features a simple world map containing four main stages, as well as two hidden stages that serve as power-up caches for several of Kirby's various Copy abilities. Although somewhat lengthier than Spring Breeze, this mode is only slightly more difficult in comparison and continues to introduce new Copy powers to the player, some of which can be used to open new areas or discover secret items.
- Stage 1 - Peanut Plains: A breezy area that hosts only a few enemies, but the terrain is rugged enough to keep new players on their toes. Boss: Chef Kawasaki
- Stage 2 - Mallow Castle: Kirby explores a large castle containing several secret areas and an auto-scrolling section. A hidden switch located here opens the path to Trial Room 1. Boss: Bonkers
- Stage 3 - Cocoa Cave: A mysterious cave system filled with dangerous traps and a few new enemies. Boss: Bugzzy
- Stage 4 - Candy Mountain: The final stretch leads straight up the side of a treacherous mountain brimming with lava. A secret switch here unlocks the path to Trial Room 2. Mid-Boss: Mr. Frosty & Bonkers | Boss: Poppy Bros. Sr. (x2)
- Final Stage - Dyna Blade's Nest: At the mountain's peak, Kirby battles against the ferocious bird and makes an unexpected discovery after their fight. Boss: Dyna Blade
- Trial Rooms 1 & 2: Together these small secret stages contain twenty Copy abilities and only a few easy enemies, allowing players to practice the use of these power-ups freely. Unlocking both Trial Rooms is required for 100% completion.
A game mode that takes place in "Gourmet World" where Kirby races against King Dedede while also competing to eat the most food along the way. Players can practice any of the three courses in a solitary time trial, but Kirby must win the full three-course Grand Prix to complete this mode.
- Course 1 - Pumpkin Grand: A short course with gentle rolling hills and few real obstacles.
- Course 2 - Corn Hall: The difficulty increases in this course featuring multiple paths across much more rugged terrain.
- Course 3 - Onion Garden: The final maze-like course begins with five Copy pedestals that Kirby can use to keep up the pace against the insatiable Dedede.
The Great Cave Offensive
The lengthiest mode to fully complete, The Great Cave Offensive is a non-linear treasure hunt in which Kirby must collect hidden treasure chests while navigating an expansive cave system. There are a total of sixty unique treasures to discover; each one collected increases the player's overall completion rate. This game does not feature strictly-linear level design and instead shares similarities with the structure of a "Metroidvania"-style platformer, allowing for backtracking which is usually necessary for perfect completion. Collecting all of the game's treasure also requires extensive knowledge of Kirby's various Copy abilities.
- Sub-Tree Area: Kirby falls into an underground forest teeming with enemies. A few scattered treasures are easily found, but one inside a maze of switches requires clever timing. Boss: Fatty Whale
- Crystal Area: A mine cart takes Kirby into a series of larger caves encrusted with shimmering crystal. Boss: Computer Virus
- Old Tower: This optional area holds many treasures, but locating them all demands patience and the assistance of Helpers. Boss: Chameleo Arm
- Garden Area: The path winds slowly back up through stone rooms and puffy clouds that hide some of the most valuable treasure. Boss: Wham Bam Rock
|1||Gold Medal||10,000G||Sub-Tree|| |
|2||Gold Coin||1,000G||Sub-Tree||A koban, an Edo-period Japanese oval coin|
|3||Whip||6,800G||Sub-Tree||Resembles the Vampire Killer from Castlevania|
|4||Crystal Ball||200,000G||Sub-Tree|| |
|5||Lucky Cat||5,000G||Sub-Tree||Maneki-neko, a Japanese luck talisman|
|6||Seiryu Sword||142,000G||Sub-Tree||Seiryū (the Japanese name for Qing Long) is a mythological Chinese dragon|
|7||Screw Ball||80,000G||Sub-Tree||Screw Attack power-up from Metroid|
|8||Echigo Candy||8,000G||Sub-Tree||Echigo was an old province in Japan now located in Niigata Prefecture|
|9||Zebra Mask||278,000G||Sub-Tree||Resembles Phanto from Super Mario|
|10||Star Stone||82,100G||Sub-Tree|| |
|11||Beast's Fang||7,300G||Sub-Tree|| |
|12||Bandanna||1,990G||Sub-Tree||Similar to the bandanna worn by Fighter Kirby|
|15||Glass Slippers||120,000G||Crystal||Cinderella's famous footwear|
|18||Brass Knuckle||20,000G||Crystal|| |
|19||Amber Rose||22,100G||Crystal|| |
|20||Fish Fossil||8,250G||Crystal|| |
|21||Beast Fossil||24,220G||Crystal|| |
|23||Bucket||200G||Crystal||Bucket worn by Mario in Mario & Wario|
|25||100 Dollar Coin||10,000G||Crystal|| |
|26||Ancient Gem||68,000G||Crystal||A magatama, a Japanese ceremonial jewel|
|27||Falcon Helmet||41,000G||Crystal||Captain Falcon's helmet in F-Zero|
|29||Truth Mirror||500,000G||Crystal|| |
|30||Star Tiara||408,200G||Old Tower|| |
|31||Turtle Shell||800G||Old Tower||Green Koopa Troopa shell from Super Mario|
|32||Sword||325,000G||Old Tower||Marth's Falchion in Fire Emblem|
|33||Warrior Shield||50,000G||Old Tower|| |
|34||Unicorn's Horn||80,300G||Old Tower|| |
|35||Autumntime||250,000G||Old Tower|| |
|36||Rice Bowl||50G||Old Tower|| |
|37||Tut's Mask||160,000G||Old Tower||Golden burial mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun|
|38||Mr. Saturn||120,000G||Old Tower||Mascot character from EarthBound|
|39||Armor||212,000G||Old Tower||Resembles Sir Arthur's armor from Ghosts 'N Goblins|
|40||Treasure Box||100,000G||Old Tower|| |
|41||Mannequin||3,000G||Old Tower|| |
|42||Gold Crown||528,000G||Old Tower|| |
|43||King's Cape||508,000G||Old Tower|| |
|44||Model Ship||800,000G||Old Tower|| |
|45||Sun Ring||800,000G||Old Tower|| |
|47||Katana||990,000G||Garden||Highest value of all treasures|
|49||Xmas Tree||40,000G||Garden|| |
|50||Kong's Barrel||1,500G||Garden||Barrel from Donkey Kong|
|51||Ramia's Scale||12,800G||Garden||Mistranslation of Lamia, a creature from Greek mythology|
|52||Shiny Bamboo||600,000G||Garden|| |
|54||Spirit Charm||78,500G||Garden|| |
|55||Pegasus Wing||42,800G||Garden||One of the Three Sacred Treasures in Kid Icarus|
|56||Raccoon Doll||8,150G||Garden||Japanese tanuki doll|
|57||Shell Whistle||82,000G||Garden|| |
|58||Orihalcon||512,000G||Garden||Mistranslation of orichalcum, a mythical substance found in Atlantis|
|59||Platinum Ring||40,000G||Garden|| |
|60||Triforce||800,000G||Garden||Powerful artifact from The Legend of Zelda|
Revenge of Meta Knight
As Meta Knight launches the flying warship Halberd in his latest bid to conquer Dream Land, Kirby races against time to stop him. Revenge of Meta Knight is the only mode to feature a time limit for each level, as well as NPC commentary during gameplay in the form of dialogue boxes at the bottom of the screen, lending Revenge a more frantic tone than Super Star's previous games. Meta Knight appears near the end for a climactic sword duel and continues to harass Kirby during the final escape sequence from the destroyed Halberd.
- Stage 1 - Halberd Deck: Kirby begins his assault on the main deck of Meta Knight's warship, but he is distracted by Heavy Lobster before being blown away from the ship by one of its main thrusters.
- Stage 2 - Orange Ocean: After landing in the ocean, Kirby quickly makes his way to shore and finds a Warp Star, but he is shot down by the Halberd's cannon and falls into a forest. Mid-Boss: Iron Mam | Boss: Whispy Woods & Twin Woods
- Stage 3 - Forest: His second detour takes Kirby through a thick forest and up a familiar mountain; after reaching the summit, Dyna Blade gives Kirby a ride back to the Halberd. Boss: Bonkers (x2)
- Stage 4 - Halberd Cannon: Dyna Blade is injured by cannon-fire, but Kirby manages to board the Halberd once more and quickly destroys its Main Cannon No. 2. Mid-Boss: Meta-Knights, Jukid & Poppy Bros. Sr. | Boss: Combo Cannon
- Stage 5 - Halberd Port Section: Kirby descends across the port-side hull and locates another Warp Star, which he uses to deal serious damage to the Halberd's left wing. Boss: Mr. Frosty
- Stage 6 - Halberd Interior: Jumping into a hull breach, Kirby fights through the Halberd's maintenance ducts and is again ambushed by Heavy Lobster. This time Kirby destroys it and takes out the Halberd's right wing. Boss: Heavy Lobster
- Stage 7 - Halberd Lower Hull: Clouds swirl beneath the belly of the Halberd, giving Kirby some much-needed cover as he infiltrates the underside of the ship and destroys its main reactor. Boss: Halberd's Reactor
- Stage 8 - Halberd Bridge: Kirby makes his final approach towards the bridge as the crippled Halberd rapidly loses altitude, where Meta Knight awaits him for one last duel. Mid-Boss: Meta-Knights | Boss: Meta Knight
- Stage 9 - Evacuation: Though defeated, Meta Knight relentlessly pursues Kirby as he frantically races to escape the Halberd before it crashes into the ocean.
Milky Way Wishes
One day the Sun and Moon began fighting ceaselessly above Kirby's home planet of Popstar, throwing the heavens into utter chaos. A jester-like resident of Popstar named Marx asks Kirby to make peace between the Sun and Moon by gathering power from each of Popstar's seven neighboring planets. This power can be used to summon Nova, a gigantic mechanical "comet" capable of granting a single wish.
Milky Way Wishes sports an increased difficulty with tougher enemies and more challenging stages than those in previous modes. Kirby navigates between planets on an overworld map, allowing players to visit stages in any order. This mode also features a twist on the standard Copy mechanic in that Kirby can no longer swallow enemies to Copy their powers; instead, players must locate Copy abilities as unique pedestals hidden throughout the game's stages. Once a particular Copy ability has been acquired, Kirby can manually activate that ability at any time without the need to swallow its corresponding enemy first.
After gathering all of the planets' power and summoning Nova, Marx suddenly reappears and shoves Kirby aside before making his own selfish wish to rule over Popstar. Nova complies and grants Marx incredible power, and Nova then begins to descend upon Popstar. Fortunately the comet is temporarily held back by the combined strength of the Sun and Moon, allowing Kirby to fly into Nova on a Warp Star. He destroys its mechanical core from the inside, halting Nova's advance long enough for Kirby to confront the powered-up Marx in an all-out final battle. Once defeated, Marx flies out of control toward the heavens and crashes straight into Nova, destroying them both in a massive explosion and ending the crisis on Popstar.
- Floria: Popstar's closest neighbor, its climate can be altered simply by entering a door, and Kirby can use these seasonal changes to open new paths. Abilities: Ice, Fighter, Cutter | Boss: Twin Woods
- Aqualiss: A watery planet featuring yet another tricky maze for Kirby to conquer. Abilities: Parasol, Sword, Beam | Mid-Boss: Jukid | Boss: Fatty Whale
- Skyhigh: A sky-themed area resembling the Bubbly Clouds stage in Spring Breeze. Abilities: Jet, Wheel, Wing | Mid-Boss: Poppy Bros. Sr. | Boss: Kracko
- Hotbeat: Things heat up in this lava-filled stage, but Kirby can take refuge in some mine carts later on for a quick breather. Abilities: Fire, Suplex | Mid-Boss: Bugzzy | Boss: Chameleo Arm
- Cavios: Kirby begins this area on a mountainside and descends into the caverns of the planet, where he must fight through a series of mini-bosses. Abilities: Bomb, Hammer, Stone | Mid-Boss: Poppy Bros. Sr., Jukid, Mr. Frosty, Iron Mam, Bonkers, Chef Kawasaki, Bugzzy | Boss: Wham Bam Rock
- Mecheye: This high-tech world is actually one gigantic city packed with nasty traps and windy skies. Abilities: Yo-Yo, Plasma | Mid-Boss: Mr. Frosty, Jukid, Chef Kawasaki, Bugzzy, Poppy Bros. Sr., Bonkers, Iron Mam | Boss: Heavy Lobster
- Halfmoon: Nighttime eternally covers Halfmoon, which more closely resembles a loose collection of stardust than an actual planet. Abilities: Mirror, Ninja | Mid-Boss: Chef Kawasaki, Iron Mam | Boss: Computer Virus
- Nova: Following Marx's betrayal, Kirby infiltrates the approaching Nova in this unique side-scrolling shoot-'em-up stage. Boss: Heart of Nova, Marx
- ???: Hidden among the larger planets, this tiny area contains a few TAC enemies and one power-up. Abilities: Copy
The Arena is a hidden boss rush endurance mode similar to Super Smash Bros.' "All-Star Mode." Players can select from any of Kirby's standard Copy abilities before fighting through a series of nineteen randomly-ordered battles featuring every boss previously encountered in Super Star. Two of the battles are groups of mini-bosses, and one battle contains only the common enemy Waddle Dee (albeit with increased health). The Arena's final boss is always Marx. Between bouts, players may recover health using a total allotment of five Maxim Tomatoes, and they can acquire new Copy abilities from two randomly-selected Copy pedestals. A player's total completion time is displayed following a successful run.
This dueling-samurai minigame is a test of reflexes between Kirby and one of several opponents. When the game begins, both characters appear on opposite sides of the screen. Players must react to an on-screen "!" prompt by pressing any button, with the winner being whoever strikes first without a false start. Against the CPU, Kirby's opponents will gradually react more quickly, with Meta Knight being the fastest CPU opponent. This minigame features three levels of CPU difficulty and a two-player mode.
The second timing-based minigame takes place in a martial arts competition between Kirby and three separate opponents where the goal is to cause the most damage to a stack of bricks in a single strike. Three different meters must be activated in succession to build up striking power, with their strength determined by the player's timing accuracy. The competitor who deals the most damage (measured in megatons) in a single round will be declared the winner. Like Samurai Kirby, Megaton Punch also features three levels of CPU difficulty and a two-player mode.