In this unique adventure, Kirby followed the rainbow line that the player drew on the Touch Screen with his or her stylus. The rainbow line could also be used to shield Kirby from attacks, but Kirby wasn't the only star of this game. Other familiar characters made appearances as playable characters too!
— Summary • Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition

Kirby: Canvas Curse (sometimes written Kirby Canvas Curse), known in English-speaking parts of Europe as Kirby: Power Paintbrush, is the first Kirby game for the Nintendo DS. It was originally released in Japan on March 24, 2005, and was then later released in North America on June 13, 2005, in Europe on November 25, 2005, and in Australia on April 6, 2006.

While Kirby: Canvas Curse is a platformer, it does not play like a traditional Kirby video game, as it uses the stylus exclusively and no use of the face buttons on the Nintendo DS.

The game saw re-release for the Wii U Virtual Console platform in PAL regions and in Europe on December 3, 2015 and in Japan in North America on February 3, 2016 and on October 13, 2016, respectively. Kirby: Canvas Curse also received a sequel/successor called Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for the Wii U in 2015.


One day, a strange portal appears in the sky, and out of it comes a witch named Drawcia. Drawcia casts a spell over Dream Land, turning it into a world of paint. Upon fleeing back into the portal she came through, Kirby gives chase, eventually finding himself in Drawcia's also paint-themed world. The witch curses Kirby, turning him into a limbless ball. After Drawcia escapes, the Magical Paintbrush turns to the player to help Kirby. The player and Kirby set off to find and defeat Drawcia to restore Dream Land to its normal state.


Kirby Canvas Curse is a platformer, with elements centered around art. The player takes control of a magical paintbrush (the DS stylus), and helps guide Kirby or one of four other playable characters on a quest to defeat Drawcia and restore Dream Land to peace.

Unlike most previous Kirby games, the player does not directly control Kirby with a +Control Pad, analog stick, face buttons, or shoulder buttons. Instead, the player only uses the stylus and touch screen to control Kirby. The player can draw rainbow lines, which Kirby will roll on, or poke Kirby, to make him do a little speed dash. These rainbow paths can form ramps or bridges for Kirby to cross, or walls to protect him from enemy projectiles. Drawing paths depletes the player's rainbow ink supplies, which recharges slowly while Kirby is in the air or on a path, but quickly when Kirby is on the ground. These paths eventually disappear, even faster if another path is painted. However, the player must either tap on Kirby to cause him to dash forward onto the path, or have the path created directly underneath him, causing him to automatically move forward on it.

The player can use the stylus to stun enemies by tapping on it. Afterward, the player can either allow Kirby to roll into the enemy with his own momentum or by dashing to defeat the enemy. Defeating certain kinds of enemies by either dashing into them or touching them while stunned causes Kirby to gain one of several special abilities, which may be used at any time by tapping Kirby himself. This special ability replaces the dash. Once an ability is obtained, the only way Kirby can lose it is either by tapping a button in the bottom left corner or by being damaged. This is also the only way to get a different ability from the one Kirby already has.


Kirby: Canvas Curse spans eight levels, with all but the last one having three stages, a name associated with a color of the rainbow and a first letter when combined with the other first letters spell the word "Rainbow". These are:

A variety of themes are used throughout the game. These themes range from a volcanic area to a frozen area. The objective of every level in the game is to reach a rainbow-colored doorway. As the player makes progress in the game, the environmental hazards become far more plentiful. In one level, the player must maneuver Kirby quickly enough to avoid getting defeated by an ever-rising body of lava. Occasionally, Kirby will come across a barrier, which prevents the paint lines from being created inside of them, forcing Kirby to do nothing but roll, dash, and use a power (if applicable). Portions of these levels can be played in Rainbow Run mode, where speed and amount of paint used are key factors in the player's success.

At the end of each world except for world seven, Kirby must face a boss. In worlds one through six, the first time he completes them, he must face one of each boss - Paint Roller, Kracko, or King Dedede (all of whom must be battled twice). With the exception of the final boss, all bosses are sub-game based. The boss of world eight is the main villain of Kirby: Canvas Curse, Drawcia Sorceress. She is the only boss fought with the same controls, rules and physics as the regular main game, though without any special abilities available. Drawcia starts out in her standard form. Upon defeat of this form, she will transform into a large ball of paint with five eyes and a mouth, called Drawcia Soul.


Boss games

Rainbow Run

MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Rainbow Run
Rainbow Run is a mode in Kirby: Canvas Curse that exists for the sole purpose of collecting Medals. The player has to go through a part of a stage with limits, described below.

Time Trial: The goal of Time Trial is to get Kirby (or any other unlocked character) through a stage in as little time as possible. If the best times are beaten, 1-3 Medals can be won.

Line Trial: Similar to Time Trial, only instead of a time limit there is a limited amount of magic ink. A meter on the top screen shows how much ink there is, and when it reaches zero, the player receives no prize. Depending on the ink remaining at the goal, 1-3 Medals will be rewarded. (The normal ink meter still exists on the touch screen and they work independently of each other.)


MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Medal
Kirby: Canvas Curse features special collectibles called Medals, which can be used to unlock secret features in the game, such as characters, sound tests, and alternate paint colors. There are three ways for the player to find a Medal. The first way is to get one in one of the main levels. Each level has three Medals to be found, all of which can be seen on the map if Kirby is in the correct area and close enough. It is often required that the player do something particularly challenging to acquire one, and the difficulty of the challenge is respective to the difficulty of the level. The other way is through Rainbow Run mode. In it, Kirby must complete a portion of one of the main levels, with the objective being either getting through it as fast as possible, or getting through it while trying to use as little paint as possible. Reaching a certain peg awards Kirby with one or more Medals. The third way is by defeating the lesser bosses outside of the main game with an A Rank on the third level in each of the boss battles.

Medal Swap

Use the medals you earned in the Main Game and in Rainbow Run to get prizes hidden inside blocks.
— Medal Swap • Kirby: Canvas Curse Instruction Booklet
Medal Swap

One of the goals of the game is to collect a total of 250 hidden Medals. Many are found hidden in the main game, while others are earned by beating scores in Rainbow Run, getting an A rank in level 3 of a Boss game, or by beating the game with different characters. (There are four others to unlock.)

The game features a Medal Swap, where medals can be traded for health upgrades, new stages for Rainbow Run, new styles of ink for their stylus, new characters, and an option which replaces all the in-game music with songs from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land.

Features unlocked through medal swap:

  • Music for Sound Test
  • Playable Characters
  • Life Boost
  • New courses for Rainbow Run
  • New ink styles for the Magic Paintbrush.

Copy Abilities

Balloon icon
Missile icon
Tornado icon


Playable Characters

The game features (in addition to Kirby) Waddle Dee Ball, Waddle Doo Ball, Dedede Ball and Meta Knight Ball as playable characters. Waddle Dee is faster than Kirby, but can't copy abilities. Waddle Doo permanently uses Beam, King Dedede has a hard-hitting Hammer attack and the highest HP out of any character, but is very slow and heavy. Meta Knight has his signature sword attack and is fast and light, but has only three health. Also, Kirby is the only one whose max HP can be increased.

Db The following section contains transcluded content from the Database. Source: (viewedit • help)


King Dedede | Kracko | Paint Roller | Drawcia | Drawcia Soul


Bang-Bang | Blado | Blipper | Bloon | Bobo | Bomber | Bouncy | Bronto Burt | Cappy | Chilly | Como | Flame Shotzo | Flamer | Gaveela | Glunk | Gordo | Kabu | Needlous | Pacto | Painting | Para Matter | Rocky | Scarfy | Shotzo | Snoppy | Soarar | Sparky | Squishy | Thudd | Tick | Topper | Twister | Waddle Dee | Waddle Doo | Wheelie


MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Kirby: Canvas Curse/Music


MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Glitch#Kirby: Canvas Curse


Kirby: Canvas Curse has received positive critical acclaim since its release, holding a critical score of 86 on Metacritic[4] and 87.34% on Game Rankings based on 61 reviews.[5] 1UP called it "genuinely excellent", saying that "it's a welcome reinvention of gaming's most overplayed genre" and later concluded that Kirby: Canvas Curse is "the DS's first great game". The stylus gameplay has also been noted, with IGN hailing it as "incredibly innovative", GameSpy saying it is "quite rewarding", and GameSpot calling it is "a satisfying part of the gameplay."

The game has drawn its criticism however, with a few sources claiming that although the game was innovative, it was not especially entertaining, with Play Magazine editor noting that "It's innovative... but for me, that's not enough."


MaxtomatoKAR Main article: Kirby: Canvas Curse (transcript)


  • Kirby: Canvas Curse contains a built-in PictoChat search function. When enabled, the player's Nintendo DS will look for other Nintendo DS systems that have activated PictoChat while still allowing the player to play Kirby: Canvas Curse--an orange icon will appear in the top-left corner of the screen if the search is successful. If the player taps this icon, his/her Nintendo DS will power down, reboot, and activate PictoChat.
  • This is the first game since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards where abilities do not grant hats to Kirby.
  • During the credits, the player can cause the Portraits of the characters to fall by simply tapping them with the stylus.
  • All the music in each level is a remix of a song from a previous game with the exception of a few such as Drawcia's themes and The World of Drawcia.
  • All of the first letters in the names of the levels with the exception of The World of Drawcia form an acrostic (Reddy Land, Arange Gorge, Iello Adventure, Neo Greo, Bloo Hills, Omarine Zone, and Wonder Lilane), which spells out "Rainbow."
  • The title screen occasionally changes color from white to turquoise.
  • In the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass Mii Plaza game Monster Manor, the Haunted Painting enemy that appears occasionally uses an attack called "Canvas Curse."
  • Concept artwork seems to suggest that additional playable characters were considered for Kirby: Canvas Curse; these characters include Lololo & Lalala, Zero, Dark Matter, and Nightmare's Power Orb form. Other pieces of concept art reveal that Drawcia and the Magical Paintbrush went through several designs, and that a three-headed dragon was considered as a boss near the end of the game.[6]
  • A pink Nintendo DS stylus was included as a physical extra with all Japanese retail copies of the game. This bonus was omitted from its releases in other regions.
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse holds the distinction of being the Kirby game released closest to the launch of its target system. It was released in Japan on March 24, 2005, 124 days after the launch of the Nintendo DS.
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse is the only Kirby game to receive a commercial produced by KCL Productions, a mascot costume manufacturer. In the commercial, Kirby and a large, walking finger named Finger go on an adventure through a city before following a rainbow path.[7]


Box Art


Concept Artwork

External links


  1. Gamespot
  3. Walmart
  6. Kirby: Canvas Curse concept art
  7. Kirby: Canvas Curse commercial
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