KPR Susie artwork.png This article is about the series starring Kirby. For other uses, see Kirby (disambiguation).

A variant of the Kirby series logo

The Kirby series is an ongoing franchise of video games starring the eponymous character, Kirby, and created by Masahiro Sakurai and developed by the HAL Laboratory. It is one of Nintendo's most popular and best-selling franchises, selling over 35 million units since its debut.[1] The series is known for its bright and artistic setting, cute characters, cheerful and upbeat music, and, most notably: the ability to inhale, swallow, and copy the abilities of enemies.

Overview

All the titles in the Kirby series feature a pink, spherical creature named Kirby as the main playable character, hero, and protagonist. The most recurring character in the series besides Kirby is King Dedede, the greedy, hammer-wielding, self-proclaimed ruler of Dream Land; he has appeared in almost every Kirby game. Meta Knight is another major recurring character. He appears to be the same species as Kirby (though this is not known), and is a chivalrous but enigmatic warrior who assists the hero on many occasions. Depending on the situation, he sometimes fights Kirby to get the things he desires, or to prevent him from causing a much larger problem. He respects a certain code of honor, and always offers Kirby a sword when fighting with him. Bandana Waddle Dee is the fourth main character in the series, becoming one in the more recent games. He is Kirby’s best friend and is always willing to help when someone is in need. He also has strong ties with his leader, King Dedede. He wields a spear and a blue bandana to separate himself from the others.

The games' fictional setting, Planet Popstar, includes many regions of different climates and terrain, which are home to many different creatures. The areas in each game have unique names, but they fall into categories such as fiery caverns, open meadows, water-filled or submerged areas, icy mountains, and similar nature-based environments.

Gameplay

The Kirby series usually involves the player controlling the pink puffball, Kirby, as he saves Dream Land, Planet Popstar, or other planets from threats.

Kirby can walk, run, and jump, but also perform unique moves, like a slide attack and even inflate himself like a balloon by sucking up air to fly. In every game except Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby can float indefinitely. Kirby can shoot out a puff of air to attack his enemies after flying. Kirby Super Star introduced guarding, while Kirby: Triple Deluxe introduced a dodge.

In the first game of the series, Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's main form of attack is inhaling objects or his enemies whole, and spitting them at each other. The first game also featured power ups like Superspicy Curry and the Mint Leaf, that allowed Kirby to spit fire and air respectively for a limited time to attack his foes. The second game, Kirby's Adventure, and almost every main game after that, gives Kirby the ability to inhale and swallow his foes to obtain their abilities; for example, swallowing an enemy that is using a sword gives him the Sword ability, and swallowing a flaming enemy gives him the Fire ability. He can use one of these Copy Abilities at a time to give his enemies a taste of their own medicine, and players can try out more than twenty Copy Abilites in most games, sometimes even combining them. Games like Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby: Triple Deluxe give Kirby amplified abilities; in the former, he can swallow certain foes to wield huge hammers or swords, and in the latter, he can eat a special bean to greatly increase his inhale ability — in this state, Kirby can inhale entire trees and trains.

Most Kirby games involve the player moving Kirby to the right of the screen through several levels and worlds that usually follow a theme, like grass, or desert, or lava. Many enemies populate the worlds, some of which are native to one particular world, like fire enemies to lava worlds, or flying enemies to cloud worlds. Some enemies stop Kirby in his tracks, preventing him from progressing until they are defeated. These mid-bosses are usually located near the middle of the level and tend to be larger than normal enemies. They take many more hits and have many more attacks than normal enemies, but can still be swallowed after their defeat, which awards a Copy Ability. The ability that the mid-boss gives is usually necessary to solve an upcoming puzzle that will award some kind of collectible. Bosses are typically giant enemies that seem to govern the entire area. Most bosses can summon smaller enemies to fight for them, and they take even more hits and have even more attacks that mid-bosses. They cannot be inhaled, but they do open the path to the next world after their defeat. Games like Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby Super Star allowed Kirby to summon or partner up with allies that would fight alongside him. Other games, like Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, allow Kirby to travel alongside more of his kind.

Kirby has a set amount of health in the series' games, and food can be found in random areas that will restore his health after he touches an enemies or is hit by an attack. Losing all health results in Kirby losing a life, but 1UPs can also be found in levels. Other hazards, like pits or being crushed, instantly KO Kirby. Invincibility Candy can be found, which stays true to its name and prevents Kirby from taking any damage for a short time. Touching enemies hurts them instead, but instant-death hazards are still effective. Items like Keys and Crackers allow Kirby to pass hazards or attacks enemies without an ability. Levels usually take place in may rooms, and going through Doors allows Kirby to progress. Some doors cannot be reentered after Kirby goes through them the first time. The Warp Star is a large star-shaped item that Kirby can ride to get to far away areas very quickly. In main Kirby games, it steers itself, and damages any enemies and breaks through any obstructions in its way. Other objects, such as trolleys and cannons, also serve as a means of transport for Kirby.

List of Kirby games

For a text-only reference list of these titles, see List of Kirby games.

Main Series

Title Platform Release Date (NA) Box Art
Kirby's Dream Land Game Boy August 1, 1992 KDL Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Adventure NES May 1, 1993 KA Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Dream Land 2 Game Boy May 1, 1995 KDL2 Boxart.jpg
Kirby Super Star

Kirby's Fun Pak in PAL regions
9 Games in 1 package. The Spring Breeze sub-game is a short remake of Kirby's Dream Land.

Super NES September 20, 1996 KSS Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Dream Land 3 Super NES November 27, 1997 KDL3 Boxart.JPG
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Nintendo 64 June 26, 2000 K64 Boxart.jpg
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Game Boy Advance October 18, 2004 KatAM Boxart.jpg
Kirby: Squeak Squad

Kirby Mouse Attack in PAL regions

Nintendo DS December 4, 2006 KSqSq Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Kirby's Adventure Wii in PAL regions

Wii October 24, 2011 KRtDL Box art.png
Kirby: Triple Deluxe Nintendo 3DS May 2, 2014 KTD Box art.jpg
Kirby: Planet Robobot Nintendo 3DS June 10, 2016 Planetrobobot.jpg
Kirby Star Allies Nintendo Switch March 16, 2018 KSA Boxart.jpg

Spin-offs

Title Platform Release Date (NA) Box Art
Kirby's Pinball Land Game Boy November 27, 1993 KPL Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Dream Course Super NES February 1, 1995 KDC Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Avalanche

Kirby's Ghost Trap in PAL regions
Not developed or released in Japan.

SNES April 25, 1995 KAv Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Block Ball Game Boy May 4, 1996 KBB Boxart.JPG
Kirby's Toy Box

Only released in Japan.

Broadcast Satellaview February 8, 1996 (Japan Only) KTB screen.PNG
Kirby's Star Stacker Game Boy July 14, 1997 KSSt Boxart.jpg
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble Game Boy Color April 9, 2001 KTnT Boxart.jpg
Kirby Air Ride Nintendo GameCube October 13, 2003 KAR Boxart.jpg
Kirby Slide Game Boy Advance (E-reader) November-December 2003 KSlide.jpg
Kirby: Canvas Curse

Kirby: Power Paintbrush in PAL regions

Nintendo DS June 13, 2005 KCC Boxart.jpg
Kirby's Epic Yarn Wii October 17, 2010 KEY Boxart.jpg
Kirby Mass Attack Nintendo DS September 19, 2011 KMA Box Art.jpg
Kirby Fighters Deluxe

Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game Kirby Fighters.

Nintendo 3DS (eShop) August 29, 2014 KFDLogo.png
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe

Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Triple Deluxe sub-game Dedede's Drum Dash.

Nintendo 3DS (eShop) August 29, 2014 DDDD Logo.png
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush in PAL regions

Wii U February 20, 2015 Kirby Rainbow Curse NA Box.jpg
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Planet Robobot sub-game Team Kirby Clash.

Nintendo 3DS (eShop) 12 April 2017 TeamKirbyClashDeluxe Logo.png
Kirby's Blowout Blast

Considered a stand-alone game based on the Kirby: Planet Robobot sub-game Kirby 3D Rumble.

Nintendo 3DS (eShop) July 6, 2017 BlowoutBlast Logo.png
Kirby Battle Royale Nintendo 3DS January 19, 2018 3DS KirbyBattleRoyale pkg png jpgcopy-656x601.jpg
Super Kirby Clash Nintendo Switch (eShop) September 4, 2019 SKC Logo.png
Kirby Fighters 2 Nintendo Switch September 23, 2020 KF2 Logo.png

Remakes and Collections

Title Platform Release Date (NA) Box Art
Kirby's Super Star Stacker

Remake of Kirby's Star Stacker.

Super Famicom November 30, 1997 KSStSt Boxart J.jpg
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Remake of Kirby's Adventure.

Game Boy Advance December 2, 2002 KNiD Boxart.jpg
Kirby Super Star Ultra

Remake of Kirby Super Star.

Nintendo DS September 22, 2008 KSSU Boxart.png
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition

Made to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary.

Wii September 16, 2012 KDCol US Box art.png
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

Remake of Kirby's Epic Yarn.

Nintendo 3DS March 8, 2019 DnAaIvCU8AAHS5f.jpg

Real World

Title Platform Release Date (NA) Box Art
Kirby Board Game

The only board game in the series. Only released in North America.

Board game November 2003 KBG 1.jpg
Kirby of the Stars: Magical Tower of Medal Land

The only arcade game in the series. Only released in Japan.

Arcade 2007 Medalland.png

Web games

Title Release year
Quick Draw (Flash version) 2002
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land Kirby Mini-Game 2002
Kirby Air Ride Jigsaw Puzzle! 2003
Speed Eaters (Flash version) 2004
Speedy Tea Time (Flash version) 2006
Kirby Shuffle Puzzle 1 2008
Kirby Shuffle Puzzle 2 2008
Kirby Star Ride 2008
Waddle Doom 2008
Kirby's Epic Patchifyer 2011
Kirby Smashifyer 2011
Kirby: Triple Deluxe Match-Up 2014
Hypernova Yourself 2014
Kirby's Quick Draw 2015
Kirby: Planet Robobot Jigsaw Jumble 2016
Robobot Yourself 2016
Kirby Star Allies Jigsaw Jumble 2018
Choose your buddy 2018
Kirby of the Stars Photo Frame 2018
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn Jigsaw Jumble 2019

Cancelled titles

Title Platform
Kid Kirby SNES/Super Famicom
Kirby Bowl 64 Nintendo 64
Kirby's Air Ride Nintendo 64
Kirby Family Game Boy Color
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2 Nintendo GameCube
Kirby GCN Nintendo GameCube

List of Super Smash Bros. games

Kirby characters also appear in Nintendo's fighting game series, Super Smash Bros.

Title Platform Release Date (NA) Box Art
Super Smash Bros. Nintendo 64 April 26, 1999 SSB Boxart.jpg
Super Smash Bros. Melee Nintendo GameCube December 3, 2001 SSBM Boxart.jpg
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Wii March 9, 2008 SSBB Boxart.jpg
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS October 3, 2014 Boxart-3ds.png
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Wii U November 21, 2014 Boxart-wiiu.png
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch December 7, 2018 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate US boxart.png

List of amiibo products

Kirby series amiibo

These are not games, but are amiibo figures used to provide extra functionality to compatible Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and Wii U games, including those outside the Kirby series. Common amiibo functionality in the Kirby series includes giving the player items, Copy Abilities, or power-ups.

The first Kirby game to support amiibo functionality was Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.

Title Release Date Compatible Games Image
Kirby (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure November 21, 2014 NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
Amiibo Kirby.pngAmiibo Kirby P.png
King Dedede (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure February 20, 2015 NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
Amiibo Dedede.pngAmiibo Dedede P.png
Meta Knight (Super Smash Bros. series) amiibo figure


Released exclusively at Best Buy at launch in the United States. Released exclusively at Best Buy and Future Shop at launch in Canada.

February 20, 2015 NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
Amiibo Meta Knight.pngAmiibo Meta Knight P.png
Kirby (Kirby series) amiibo figure June 10, 2016 [2] NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesKirbyAmiibo.pngKirby Kirby amiibo box.png
Meta Knight (Kirby series) amiibo figure June 10, 2016 [2] NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesMetaKnightAmiibo.pngKirby Meta Knight amiibo box.png
King Dedede (Kirby series) amiibo figure June 10, 2016 [2] NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesKingDededeAmiibo.pngKirby Dedede amiibo box.png
Waddle Dee amiibo figure June 10, 2016[2] NTSC / North America  Compatibility chart
Japan  Compatibility chart
PAL / Europe  Compatibility chart
KirbySeriesWaddleDeeAmiibo.pngKirby Waddle Dee amiibo box.png

List of Nintendo 3DS themes

These are not games, but are Kirby-related themes used to decorate members of the Nintendo 3DS family.

Title Release Date Music Image
Kirby: Stripes and a Smile March 3, 2015 "Green Greens (pop version)" Kirby Stripes and a Smile.png
Kirby: Sweet Gourmet Race March 3, 2015 "Get Up and Go-urmet! (brass band version)" Kirby Sweet Gourmet Race.png
Kirby: Craft-Paper Party March 3, 2015 "Green Greens"/"Peanut Plains (acoustic version)" Kirby Craft-Paper Kirby.png
Kirby Planet Robobot: Robobot Armor Activate! June 13, 2016 "Pink Ball Activate!" Kirby Planet Robobot Robobot Armor Activate!.png
1 Day of Kirby and Secretary Susie


Released exclusively in Japan for early purchasers of Kirby: Planet Robobot.

? "Resolution Road" KPR Susie Theme.png
Kirby's 25th Anniversary April 27, 2017 "Welcome to Dream Land" Kirby's 25th Anniversary.png
Kirby's Blowout Blast*


Released only in Japan (as a promotional campaign with Lawson convenience stores) and Europe.

July 4, 2017 Kirby's Adventure title theme KBlBl Theme.png
Kirby Battle Royale: May the Best Kirby Win!


Released as a promotion and a My Nintendo reward in North America.[3]

November 2017 Kirby Battle Royale main theme KBR Theme.png
Kirby: Copy Ability Poll 12 Dec 2017 "Marshmallow Castle" Kirby Copy Ability Poll.png

Other media

These are not necessarily games, but are directly related to Kirby nonetheless.

Soundtracks

Narrations

Manga and comics

Books

Real-World Events

A photograph of the PAX Prime event

  • On September 1, 2012, Nintendo hosted an event at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington. To celebrate Kirby's 20th Anniversary, the company wanted to break the Guinness World Record for the most people in a room blowing a chewing gum bubble simultaneously. Altogether, 536 fans showed up to participate, setting the new record.[6]

Kirby Pupupu Picnic promotional artwork

  • A collaboration between Japanese toy store Kiddyland and Nintendo began on August 22, 2015, using special events and exclusive Kirby-themed products to promote the store. The collaboration incorporates a campaign on social media outlet Twitter, photo opportunities, and original stickers given out to customers making purchases of 1500 yen worth of Kirby merchandise. Participating Kiddyland venues also offered an exclusive line of Kirby-themed merchandise including tote bags, hand towels, clear file posters, 'marshmallow seal' stickers, and plush charms. These goods range in price from 380 to 1000 yen. The "Kirby Pupupu Picnic" event was held at the Kiddyland stores in Harajuku and Umeda from August 22 to September 18, 2015.[7]

Kirby Café promotional artwork

  • On August 5, 2016, a Kirby-themed café chain named Kirby Café opened in Japan. It served food patterned after Kirby series staples, such as Kirby himself, King Dedede, Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, Whispy Woods, Planet Popstar, Maxim Tomatoes, Invincible Candy, and the Star Rod. Additionally, Kirby Café locations contained a shop section that offers Kirby-themed merchandise and the café's very own soundtrack.[8] Though the café was closed later that year, it reopened in 2018.

Trivia

  • The first 27 years of the Kirby series took place during the Heisei Era in Japan. The last Kirby game to be released during this period was Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn.
  • The Kirby series has a history of releasing a game as one of the last first-party Nintendo games on a specific platform in the North American market. Kirby's Dream Land 3, released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, released on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, are two examples in which the series claimed the last first-party Nintendo game on their respective consoles.
    • Kirby Star Stacker for the Game Boy, Kirby's Super Star Stacker for the Super Famicom, Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble for the Game Boy Color, Kirby Mass Attack for the Nintendo DS, and Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition for the Wii were also among the final first-party games released for their consoles.
  • Every five years, a Kirby game based off of an art form is released, starting with Kirby: Canvas Curse in 2005, then Kirby's Epic Yarn in 2010, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse in 2015.
  • Excluding console add-ons and systems that predate the series, the only Nintendo system that has not had an exclusive Kirby game is the Virtual Boy.
  • HAL Laboratory's BOXBOY! series was developed by staff members who regularly work on Kirby projects. The series' director is Yasuhiro Mukae, who was previously a designer for Kirby: Triple Deluxe. He considered using Kirby as the main character of BOXBOY!, but abandoned the idea because having Kirby produce boxes for gameplay he thought would look too unusual.[9]
  • The StreetPass Mii Plaza game Puzzle Swap contains many Kirby-themed puzzle panels. These include panels based on Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's 20th Anniversary, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, and Kirby: Planet Robobot.

The autographed Kirby plate hangs on 84's wall.

  • The 84 is a secret bar in Japan, only accessible to celebrities in the video game industry. Game memorabilia decorates the establishment. A Kirby plush toy and a decorative Kirby-themed plate sporting Masahiro Sakurai's personal signature are among these decorations.[10]
  • The video game system with the most Kirby games is the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, with 16 total (seven original games, two remakes, and seven Virtual Console releases).
    • Since the Nintendo 3DS family of systems also has backwards compatibility for games from the Nintendo DS family of systems, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems is capable of playing 20 Kirby games in total.
  • During the March 2016 Nintendo Direct, Bill Trinen stated that the Kirby (Kirby series) amiibo figure "grants him a power you can only get in this game with amiibo."[11] This is untrue, as the UFO ability is also available in the Ability Testing Area after reaching 100% completion. The promotion may have been referring to the fact that the UFO ability cannot be obtained in The Arena or The True Arena without using the amiibo. Due to UFO's obscurity in Story Mode, it is also possible Trinen was misinformed, believing the ability to be totally inaccessible without amiibo.
  • In November 2019, Nintendo of America deleted every existing Kirby microsite hosted on the website, aside from the main Kirby site.[12]

Gallery

External links

References

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