|“||Kirby thought he had me, but this Drifter's drifting me free and clear!”|
|— King Dedede • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!|
Drifter (Floaty the Drifter in Kirby's Dream Land 2) is an enemy from the Kirby series. He is a parasol-like being with a single eye. Waddle Dees are sometimes seen drifting down from above holding them. Once they're let go of, they chase Kirby until they explode. They grant Kirby the Parasol ability when eaten, regardless of if they are in the hands of another enemy or not.
Drifters seem to be vaguely based on the Kasa-obake, a Japanese spirit resembling an umbrella with one eye.
Floaty the Drifter is a ghostly medium-sized parasol. Unlike their normal parasol counterparts, Drifters possess green fabric (as seen in official art and the anime) as opposed to the regular white and red sections of the plain parasols, and have purple handles. Due to the Game Boy's color limitation, they appear as sepia in the games. Drifters also have one large eye in the middle of its face. They also bear a striking resemblance to the mid-boss Jumpershoot. However, Drifters lack the other facial elements and foot that Jumpershoot has.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 is the only game that Drifter has appeared in to date. Drifter appears either alone or accompanying a Waddle Dee, who will glide down with them from the sky. Regardless of how it shows up, Drifter acts the same way after being freed: they will either pursue Kirby from the air or hop towards him.
In the Anime
Drifters are umbrella monsters Dedede buys in bulk when Escargoon's mother comes to town in the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! episode Like Mother, Like Snail / Escargoon Rules. The King tells his mother that Escargoon (who convinced his mother that he was a king) uses monsters to attack Cappy Town's citizens. Escargoon's mother doesn't fall for it. But just then it starts "raining", and Dedede hands out umbrellas (really Drifters in disguise) to all the Cappies. The Drifters suddenly come to life and begin attacking everyone. Alone, the Drifters are weak, but in large swarms, Drifters can really cause problems. They can soar through the air and attack primarily by enclosing themselves around their victims, suffocating them. When the Drifters get out of hand, Kirby inhales several of them to become Parasol Kirby. Kirby is able to destroy the majority of the remaining umbrella-like foes. King Dedede grabs the last one and prepares to joust Kirby, but he is grabbed by Kirby's Circus Throw and thrown up into the air. The fireworks from the party destroy Drifter and burn it away completely, causing Dedede to fall back to the ground.