Escargoon (Escargon in the Japanese version) is one of the main characters in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. He is King Dedede's sidekick and one of the new characters added to the series. He's given several episodes devoted to him and a good deal of character development. He is voiced by Naoki Tatsuta in Japan and by Ted Lewis in the Dub.
Escargoon is an escargot/snail (hence the name) who comes up to Dedede's shoulder. His skin is lavender, and his shell is dark green. His eyes are green as well, and rise over the rest of his head on a stalk. He has a short, light green moustache and goatee, and only four teeth.
Escargoon grew up in a small house on a farm with his mother somewhere on Pop Star. When he grew up he left home, promising his mother that he'd make her proud. Unfortunately, the real world was harsh, and he ended up working for King Dedede in Dream Land.
In Japan, Escargon is called Dr. Escargon in the original, but only in the first few episodes.
Escargoon has two distinct sides to his personality. There's the part of him that helps Dedede with his schemes and tricks, but he also seems to have a genuinely nice side to him that appears in extreme situations.
Escargoon appears to be an older guy, middle aged or later, and tends to get quite grumpy with the children of the village. He usually acts quite mean and naughty towards people in general, using his status as the King's assistant to give him the right to boss people around or threaten them with the death penalty. One confusing aspect however is whether he's really a mean guy who only acts nice when he wants something, or if he's actually nice but only does bad things to get Dedede's approval. (Since his mother says Escargoon is cowardly and would never hurt anyone, it seems that the latter option is more likely- though Dedede's influence is certainly corrupting.)
Escargoon can be quite cheerful and animated at times, and often does oddly effeminate things such as wear frilly aprons with hearts. (Other than that he rarely wears any articles of clothing, except an occasional bow tie, sun hat, or scarf in cold weather.) He's also the usual host of Channel DDD for newscasts and special programs.
He's also quite intelligent with a wide range of knowledge in botany (he wrote an encyclopaedia on the subject called The Encyclopaedia of Botanica), chemistry and electronics/robotics. When Dedede doesn't order something from Nightmare Enterprises, he tends to use one of Escargoon's inventions instead, such as a formula that turns things into Demon Beasts. He builds various machines such as a submarine and missiles . Unlike King Dedede, he doesn't trust Customer Service, and rarely orders things from him.
He has a tendency to make comparisons and similes (for example, in "Pink-Collar Blues", he compares asking the Waddle Dees a question to "interrogating a mime troupe.")
The person Escargoon spends the bulk of his time with is, of course, King Dedede. His duties as Dedede's assistant are numerous, from cooking to cleaning to giving back rubs. He basically tries to ensure the King's well-being and happiness in any way he can, sometimes to the detriment of his own. And, unfortunately, one of his jobs is to be Dedede's personal punching bag. He often falls victim to Dedede's mallet or just gets punched if he happens to be nearby and the king is angry. Dedede also likes to pull pranks on him and scare him just because he can.
Despite all this, he actually cares about Dedede quite a lot. Despite this, he still hates how Dedede treats him and tries to get even when he can, and often subtly insults him right to his face in ways that Dedede isn't bright enough to catch on to - though on the rare occasion he still gets hit anyway.
Escargoon's true feelings became clear in Sweet & Sour Puss, where he sings a song saying how Dedede is always mean to him. This song gives an interesting insight on Escargoon's feelings (as a joke, the creators put the song in tune to the theme song on the anime). The lyrics are:
"He's always a thorn in my side, That demon Dedede, But it's really hard for Escargoon, Laughing of failed schemes, And blaming it all on me, He's truly selfish, but I love his majesty."
This perhaps explains why he's content to continue working for Dedede, when he could conceivably get a job elsewhere with his skills. (In the dub version, he doesn't actually care about him, but instead only sticks around in hopes of gaining money or becoming King, himself.) He's even shown sleeping with a plush toy of Dedede in a later episode, and puts up with some of his more bizarre plans- one of which involved him dressing in drag so Dedede could practice his marriage proposal techniques.
Escargoon's Mother is the most important person to him, maybe even more so than Dedede. He's quite attached to her, and will do anything to make her proud- even once pretending to be the King. His mother loves her only son dearly, but she can be rather harsh with him and will tease him - though affectionately. (His father is never mentioned, so he either died when he was young or was never involved in his son's life.)
Unlike Dedede, Escargoon doesn't harbor any bad feelings towards Kirby himself. He'll help Dedede just for the sake of helping him, but, on his own, he doesn't really have a problem with the pink puffball. Kirby likes Escargoon quite a bit - but, then, again, Kirby likes nearly everyone.
- His name is a combination of the French word Escargot, meaning Snail, and the word goon' .
- In the Japanese version, Escargoon ends nearly all his sentences with degesu or maybe gesu, which is an altered form of desu (Japanese 'to be' or 'is'.)
- His English voice is apparently intended to be a reference to late comedian Paul Lynde.
- He and Dedede are the characters shown animated in CG the most after Kirby.
- Despite being a snail, he can run fast.