|“||The simplicity of Kirby's inhale/spit attack and Kirby's ability to fly over obstacles made this a perfect game for beginners. It introduced many of the enemies and power-ups that are now so familiar to Kirby's fans. It also introduced a character who would often be Kirby's star opponent: King Dedede!”|
|— Summary • Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition|
Kirby's Dream Land is a platformer Kirby game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It was originally released on April 27, 1992 in Japan, on August 1, 1992 in North America, and on August 3, 1992 in Europe. It is notable for being the first installment in the Kirby series.
Kirby's Dream Land was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in June 2011.
|“||On a tiny star somewhere far, far away from earth, there is a very special place known as Dream Land. The Dream Landers are very happy people who use their magical Sparkling Stars to play and work among the heavens. That is until one dark night when the gluttonous King Dedede and his rotten band of thieves swooped down from neighboring Mt. Dedede for a midnight snack in Dream Land. Not only did they steal all their food, but they stole the Dream Lander's treasured Sparkling Stars as well. Because the Dream Landers didn't have the Sparkling Stars to gather food anymore, they began to get very hungry. Suddenly a spry little boy named Kirby happened along and said, "Don't worry, I'll get your food and your Sparkling Stars back!". With these words, Kirby set off on his quest toward the dreaded Mt. Dedede. We wish him luck!”|
|— Kirby to the Rescue! • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
Kirby's Dream Land operates similarly to other platformers during the 8-bit and 16-bit era of video games: Kirby must head toward the goal at the end of each level while jumping over obstacles and defeating enemies. Kirby can also fly but cannot leave the screen through doing so.
Like most games in the 1980s and early 1990s, the player can accumulate points as they defeat enemies and collect items. The player is rewarded an extra life by means of gathering enough points. However, the game lacks a save function so scores are not recorded. All levels are played on a two-dimensional plane, allowing the player to move only left, right, up, and down.
Kirby's main technique is his ability to inhale his opponents and items. When Kirby inhales an enemy or object, it remains in his mouth. At this point, Kirby can either spit it out like a projectile in the form of a star that causes damage to anything in its path, or simply swallow it and defeat it altogether. When food is inhaled, it is swallowed right away and will heal Kirby if he has any damage. The concept of flying and eating in a platformer was new at the time.
Unlike future games, Kirby does not gain new powers upon swallowing enemies that hold special abilities. However, Spicy Curry and Mint Leaves can be found throughout the game, allowing Kirby to spit fireballs and air puffs, respectively, for a short time. Kirby can also occasionally find Bomb and Mike items, the former of which damages enemies in front of Kirby when exhaled, and the latter of which damages all enemies on screen when exhaled.
Pushing up on the +Control Pad inflates Kirby and allows him to fly and to enter/exit through doorways.
Pushing right on the +Control Pad moves Kirby to the right.
Pushing down on the +Control Pad makes Kirby crouch, allows him to swallow an enemy that he is holding in his mouth, or lets him jump down to lower floors.
Pushing left on the +Control Pad moves Kirby to the left.
A Button: This button makes Kirby jump.
START Button: This button pauses the game.
|— Controller Operations • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||When I'm on the ground, press left or right on the +Control Pad to make me walk. If you press down on the +Control Pad when I'm standing still, I can crouch down to avoid an enemy. I can also jump over an obstacle by pressing the A Button.”|
|— ACTION 1 •••••• Walking • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||If you press the B Button, I can inhale any enemy that may be standing nearby. Can you see my cheeks puff out? If you press down on the +Control Pad, I can swallow an enemy.
Even if I swallow 2 enemies, they can only be used once for an attack.
Using Munched Up Enemies for Firepower
|— ACTION 2 •••••• Inhaling/Exhaling Enemies • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||All Fluffed Up and Ready to Fly!
If you press up on the +Control Pad, I can take in a big gulp of air and fly through the skies!
Going After an Enemy with Air Pellets
|— ACTION 3 •••••• Flying • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
- Normal Mode
- Extra Game
If the player presses the up, A, and select buttons at the title screen, the Extra Game becomes available. The Extra Game has exactly the same story and levels as the main game, but enemies and bosses have become more powerful, and alternative enemies are in place instead of some of the basic enemies.
If the down, B, and select buttons are pressed on the title screen, Configuration Mode can be accessed, allowing the player to choose how much vitality and lives Kirby will start with when the game begins, or to listen to the game's music and sound effects.
|The following section contains transcluded content from the Database. Source: (view • edit • help)|
Benny | Blatzy | Blipper | Blopper | Booler | Boomer | Bronto Burt | Broom Hatter | Cappy | Cawcun | Chuckie | Coner | Dizzy | Flapper | Flotzo | Gaspar | Glunk | Gordo | Grizzo | Grumples | Hurly | Kabu | Kookler | Koozer | Mr. P. Umpkin | Mumbies | Parasol | Peezer | Poppy Bros. Jr. | Puffy | Scarfy | Shotzo | Sir Kibble | Skuller | Squishy | Tookey | Twizzy | Two Face | Waddle Dee | Waddle Doo | Whiskers | Wizzer
Items and Objects
|The following section contains transcluded content from the Database. Source: (view • edit • help)|
|“||Once in King Dedede's realm, there are five stages you must get through. To help you through your journey, here's a short peak of what lies ahead...”|
|— The Road Ahead • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|Green Greens||Castle Lololo||Float Islands||Bubbly Clouds||Mt. DeDeDe|
|Main article: Kirby#Conception|
Kirby's Dream Land was the result of an internal request at Nintendo for design plans for "a game that anyone could enjoy". Masahiro Sakurai, a new employee at HAL Laboratory/Nintendo at the time, enthusiastically responded to this with a project proposal for what became the first Kirby game. Sakurai's proposal for the game was approved, and it entered development at HAL, with Sakurai as lead planner, designer, and artist. Although Kirby was originally intended as a basic placeholder sprite for a more detailed character, Sakurai became fond of the simple, circular design that could be easily sketched in a notebook, and his colleague Satoru Iwata agreed that a character who could be drawn by anyone would have wide appeal.
While it was decided from the start that the player character would somehow use enemies to attack, Kirby's inhale and float abilities were not always part of the game concept. A scrapped early idea of Sakurai's was that players would kick and headbutt enemies like a soccer ball. The concept of flying by puffing up like a balloon was one that had a positive reaction at HAL, and it naturally led to the idea of inhaling enemies and spitting them out as an attack. Kirby's floating ability was proposed by Sakurai as a way for players to escape from pits, since he disliked it when video game characters were easily defeated by falling into a hole, despite being able to sustain multiple hits.
The development environment for the game was difficult, using a customized Twin Famicom that did not include support for a physical keyboard. All code had to be entered manually using a trackball and an on-screen keyboard. Despite these steep limitations, Sakurai completed a test version of the game entirely on this system. The development kit had some advantages, in that it allowed the game's data processing load to be easily streamlined, resulting in especially smooth animations.
During almost the entire development time of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby was known as "Twinkle Popo". The Kirby name was decided upon fairly close to the Japanese release after a discussion with Nintendo of America, who sent HAL a list of suggestions for names that would have more appeal to an American audience; the name "Kirby" was chosen from this list. Shigeru Miyamoto observed in a 1993 interview that this was the last name of John Kirby, a former legal counsel of Nintendo of America. Although it was not the reason HAL chose the name, a special copy of Kirby's Dream Land was gifted to John Kirby's family before release, suggesting that his name's inclusion on the list may not have been a coincidence. 
Kirby's Dream Land is the first game in the Kirby franchise, introducing characters and ideas that would appear in future installments. Kirby's Dream Land was followed by the direct sequels Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3 as well as Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards; these four games constitute the Kirby's Dream Land saga.
In Kirby Super Star (and its remake), one sub-game is based on Kirby's Dream Land called Spring Breeze. It retains the same plot and gameplay from the original, but graphics and sounds are enhanced, and Copy Abilities are included. Castle Lololo as a stage is removed, but the exterior makes a brief appearance at the end of Float Islands. Lololo & Lalala are still fought within it despite this change. The fight with Kaboola is removed altogether as well. Kirby also no longer fights the previous stage bosses in Mt. Dedede.
In Kirby Super Star Ultra, a harder version of Spring Breeze called Revenge of the King is included which acts quite like the Extra Game of Kirby's Dream Land. Many of the enemies from the original Extra Game are included, and Kaboola returns as Kabula.
Kirby's Blowout Blast takes cues from Kirby's Dream Land, with the biggest feature being a greater focus on Kirby's inhaling ability and the music featured being remixes of the Kirby's Dream Land soundtrack. Lololo & Lalala, Kracko, and King Dedede are fought in this game in the same order they were fought in Kirby's Dream Land.
|Main article: Kirby's Dream Land/Music|
|Main article: Glitch#Kirby's Dream Land|
Kirby's Dream Land has received mostly positive reviews, holding an average of 62.22% at Game Rankings based on 9 reviews. Nintendo Power editors George and Bob shared roughly similar opinions of the game. George stated that 'it is a really fun game, owing its quality to its excellent play control and well thought out concept', while Bob stated that 'it is deceptively simple looking, when it in fact features a decent challenge for more experienced gamers'. In an article detailing various Kirby series video games, IGN stated that it 'was a decent platformer, but also very basic compared to later titles'. They also listed it as one of the games they wanted to be re-released for a hypothetical "DSi Virtual Console" service on the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare, describing it as a "replayable classic adventure." They also added that original characters like Kirby were the stars of the Game Boy rather than established characters such as Link, Mario, Samus Aran, and Pit. They would again praise Kirby's Dream Land for being an original game in their "History of the Game Boy" article, adding that while "attitude" was common in new platforming mascots, Kirby was cheery and adorable, while the game featured "breezy, casual gameplay and lighthearted atmosphere." 1UP.com praised it for its unique platforming mechanics, describing it as the start of a "gluttonous legend." Nintendojo described it as being an 'enriching experience', as well as being challenging. Nintendo Life stated that, while it was a quality game when it was first released, it has since been outclassed by followup titles in the series.
Kirby's Dream Land is also the best selling game in the Kirby series' history to date, selling over 5 million units worldwide. Other than games in the Pokémon, Mario, and Tetris series, it was also the best selling game for the original Game Boy.
|Main article: List of Kirby's Dream Land Staff|
|“||Explore all areas thoroughly and look for hidden passage-ways. Magical Food, Pep Brew, and 1-Ups are hidden in some unexpected places.
You'll have to be patient in order to defeat some of the bad guys. Use enemies, blocks, or anything else you can find to defeat some of the stronger enemies.”
|— ★Hints★ • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||A boss enemy from Kirby's Dream Land. Whispy Woods is a big tree that shoots whirlwinds at Kirby. It isn't the toughest enemy: all Kirby has to do is avoid the occasional whirlwind, suck in apples that fall down, and then shoot them back at the tree. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Whispy Woods is quite the blowhard.”|
|— Whispy Woods trophy description • Super Smash Bros. Melee|
|“||The original Kirby game, Kirby's Dream Land, was designed to be easy for beginners to play, but finishing it unlocks a more challenging mode.”|
|— Tips • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U|
|“||King Dedede debuted alongside Kirby in the 1992 title Kirby's Dream Land. He's a big eater who wants all the food in Dream Land for himself!”|
|— King Dedede's Origin's Tip • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U|
|“||Kirby made his debut in 1992 in Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy. The goal of his journey was to recover stolen food from King Dedede.”|
|— Kirby's Origin's Tip • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U|
- The cover art of the North American version of Kirby's Dream Land depicts Kirby as white instead of pink. This is because, at the time of the game's release, there was an argument going on between Masahiro Sakurai and Shigeru Miyamoto over Kirby's coloration. No decision had been reached by the time localization began so Nintendo of America, confused, chose the coloration that appeared on the Game Boy screen.
- This caused many fans to speculate that Kirby was some sort of friendly spirit.
- If the player pauses the game and waits 20 seconds, Kirby will begin dancing. After the dance is over, he will return to his original pose and remain idle until the game is unpaused.
- In the special Extra Mode credits showing the names of enemies, some of the names are absent, misplaced or misspelled.
- Kirby's Dream Land was spelled incorrectly on Club Nintendo's website; it is spelled Kirby's Dreamland.
- Despite King Dedede's frequent appearance as an antagonist in the series (often portrayed as Kirby's "arch nemesis"), Kirby's Dream Land is the only main series title in which King Dedede is actually the real main antagonist and final boss.
- Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse are the only platformers in the series that are devoid of icy stages.
- In the Music Room in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Kirby's Dream Land is represented by a monochromatic image of Kirby riding the Warp Star.
- The Japanese commercial for Kirby's Dream Land features a child drawing a picture of Kirby while singing a song about the process. This sequence would later be recreated in the opening of Kirby's Adventure.
- A remix of the title theme of Kirby's Dream Land plays on the title screen of Spring Breeze in Kirby Super Star Ultra and Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition. A short remix of this music was used on the disc menu of Kirby's Return to Dream Land. This music was again remixed in Kirby Star Allies as the music that plays in the HAL Room in the third stage of Far-Flung - Starlight Heroes, Jambandra Base.
- This is the only game through the entire Kirby series to not feature a save file of any sort.
- The StreetPass Mii Plaza game Puzzle Swap features a puzzle panel based on Kirby's Dream Land. It consists of Kirby standing in one spot the entire time, playing a variety of animations, such as stretching, waving, posing, sitting down, and making an angry face while posing as if he were getting ready to fight. A Parasol Waddle Dee also occasionally floats down in the background.
- Kirby's Dream Land appears as a Masterpiece in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The full game is available, however players have three minutes to play the whole game.
- In November 2018, Nintendo trademarked Kirby's Dream Land, with the references being "program for home video game machine," "downloadable video game program," and "program for smartphone." It is not publicly known why this trademark was filed.
Official Miiverse Artwork
- Official Nintendo Japan site
- Nintendo eShop (Page is in Japanese)
- Nintendo World Report
- Electronics Boutique catalog (October 1992)
- Kirby’s Adventure – 1993 Developer Interview (Translated by shmuplations.com)
- "The Character Named Kirby" Famitsu Column (Translated by Source Gaming)
- "Kirby's Development Secrets" - GAME Watch blog post (Translated by Source Gaming)
- The Washington Post
- Game Rankings
- Nintendo Life