|“||This adventure took Kirby to exciting new planets and gave Kirby the ability to mix Copy Abilities together to create impressive Power Combos! Twenty-eight different Power Combos were possible. Each had its own special moves and powers. This is the only Kirby game to allow Kirby to use the inhale ability underwater without Kine's help.”|
|— Summary • Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition|
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, released in Japan as 星のカービィ64 (Hoshi no Kābī 64, meaning Kirby of the Stars 64) is a 2000 platformer Kirby game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was originally released on March 24, 2000 in Japan, on June 26, 2000 in North America, and on June 22, 2001 in Europe. The sixth main installment in the Kirby series, it is the fourth and final installment in the Kirby's Dream Land saga, after Kirby's Dream Land 3. It is also the first Kirby series game to use 3D graphics, although the gameplay remains completely two-dimensional except for the final boss.
This game was later re-released on the Wii Virtual Console in America and Europe in early 2008, and the Wii U Virtual Console in July 2015.
On the planet of Ripple Star, lives a group of kind and peaceful fairies. The planet itself is protected from danger by the power of the great Crystal, which watches over Ripple Star. This power, however, draws the attention of Dark Matter, who wishes to use the great Crystal for its own evil agenda. Its gigantic mass attacks and searches for the Crystal, blackening the sky and sending the fairies into panic. In response to the threat Dark Matter presents, the queen of Ripple Star orders a fairy named Ribbon to take the Crystal to a safe place. Ribbon tries to fly away with the Crystal in tow, but is stopped by three orbs sent by Dark Matter. The Crystal shatters into 74 shards, scattered throughout several planets, and Ribbon crashes onto Planet Popstar. Kirby finds one shard and gives it to Ribbon, whereupon the two set out to find the others. Once Kirby and his friends collect every Crystal Shard and defeat Miracle Matter, Dark Matter flees Ripple Star and explodes. The victory is cut short, however, as the Crystal detects a powerful presence of Dark Matter energy within the Fairy Queen and expels it from her, manifesting over the planet to create Dark Star. Kirby and his friends infiltrate Dark Star, and King Dedede launches them up to challenge 02. Kirby and Ribbon, armed with their Crystal Gun, destroyed 02 and the Dark Star.
Like every other main-series Kirby game, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a platformer that features Kirby's signature abilities of flight, inhalation, and ability imitation, though a few adjustments have been made to their mechanics. Whereas in most other games Kirby is able to fly indefinitely, here he is limited to a grounded jump and a limited period of midair jumps (possibly due to a similar limitation being present in Super Smash Bros., which was released prior to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards).
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards features the special aspect of combining two Copy Abilities to create new ones by either sucking up two enemies up at the same time or releasing a power star then inhaling that star and an enemy. Each power has a different color power star and a double power star has the colors of both sub-powers in an 8-point star. Also, the game only features seven (base) abilities: Burning, Ice, Spark, Cutter, Bomb, Needle, and Stone. Some combo abilities include Volcano, Refrigerator Kirby, Double-Bladed Laser Sword, Giant Claws, Explosive Ninja Stars, and Giant Stone Kirby. It is also the only game in the series where Kirby can inhale underwater.
All sub-games can be played in multiplayer, and up to four players are supported.
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There are no actual mid-bosses in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, as they are not featured in the Enemy Info cards. Instead, they are simply larger versions of regular enemies, and have more hitpoints and larger attacks.
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|Main article: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards/Music|
|Main article: Glitch#Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards|
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards received mostly positive reviews, holding at a rating of 74.49% on Game Rankings. While many complained that the game was short and easy, others enjoyed the varied level design and colorful graphics. The game sold 1.07 million copies in Japan and 541,600 copies in the United States. Famitsu gave the game 32/40. Whereas GameSpot gave it a 6.9/10. IGN gave it a 7.9/10 and Nintendo Power gave it an 8.1/10.
|“||The pink puffball cometh.
Some call it a puffball, some call it a marshmallow, but most people prefer to simply call it Kirby. There have been plans to bring the hero of Kirby's Dream Land to N64 for quite a while, but surprise video footage at this year's E3 has confirmed that Kirby has landed a starring role on Nintendo 64.
Kirby's claim to fame is the uncanny ability to inhale enemies, and to acquire the special abilities of the digested victims. Kirby may appear to be harmlessly cute, but the precious ball of fluff can suck up enemies much larger than itself. You'll quickly learn that it's not wise to judge a puffball by its color.
Currently, few details have been released about the gameplay found in Kirby 64. We know that Dream Land will be transformed into a 3-D world full of hazards and challenges, and many familiar characters from past Kirby adventures will be involved in the action.Kirby 64 will most likely premier next year.”
|— Description • "Kirby 64" sneak peek website|
|Main article: List of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Staff|
- In pre-release materials of the game, it was shown that King Dedede, Waddle Dee and Adeleine were originally going to be playable characters. There were also more aquatic stages. It is not known why the elements did not make it into the final game. King Dedede was still playable in certain stages, however.
- Waddle Dee was supposed to pick up enemies and even hide in a house for his attacks.
- In one of the three files, Kine's theme music can be heard during the instructions before the actual gameplay.
- This game was originally proposed to be released on the Nintendo 64 DD, but was later moved to the Nintendo 64, due to the commercial failure of the former.
- This game is one of the few to not feature the Pep Brew as a food item.
- This game is one of the few to not feature the Kirby Dance in any form. Instead, after every successful boss fight, Kirby turns to the screen, waves, and says "Hiiiii".
- Despite this, the Kirby Dance musical theme can be found in the Sound Test accessible from the main menu.
- In the Japanese version, there is an onigiri (rice ball) food item, but this was replaced by a sandwich in all other versions. During the goal game at the end of levels however, Waddle Dee can be seen munching on an onigiri.
- If Kirby is balancing on the very edge of a platform (during the balancing animation) and uses the Cutter ability (single or Super Boomerang), it appears as though his feet are merely floating alongside his form rather than connected.
- The File Select music was remixed and used for the Menu music in Kirby: Canvas Curse. It also has some elements of the Milky Way Wishes intro music, and bears similarities to the File Select music of various The Legend of Zelda games.
- The level select music for Ripple Star called "Ripple Star Select" is used as the rest area theme for Helper to Hero in Kirby Super Star Ultra, as well as the music for Dream Land in Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn.
- In Kirby's Epic Yarn, the music for the Yin-Yarn battle is a slightly tweaked remix of this game's standard boss theme and Miracle Matter's theme.
- The boss theme of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a remix of the boss theme from Kirby's Dream Land 3. Another remix was used as the mid-boss theme (which plays during Halcandra) for Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
- 02's motives for attacking Ripple Star and smashing the Crystal are never explained. They are most likely the same motives for attacking Popstar in the previous game.
- The Good Ending bears some resemblance to the ending scene of the 1977 film Star Wars, and is likely a parody of or homage to it.
- This is the only game to depict Kirby having any hint of romantic relationship, with Ribbon giving Kirby a kiss on the cheek in the good ending. ChuChu does have a crush on Kirby in the official manga, but the manga is not considered to be canon.
- The game's description on the Wii Shop Channel states that this is the first game where Dark Matter is the main villain; this is untrue, as Kirby's Dream Land 2 was where the character debuted as a villain (albeit subliminally), and Kirby's Dream Land 3 strongly implied it to be the villain in the prologue.
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and Kirby's Epic Yarn are the only games in the series in which Kirby smiles while standing and walking. In all other games, Kirby's expression is neutral.
- In the Music Room in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is represented by an image of the number 64 on a gingham (plaid) background. This is the same 64 as it is used in the Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards logo. The gingham pattern is also featured.
- The mid-boss theme of this game was remixed and used during the battle against the Meta-Knights in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. The theme was rearranged as the music for Deploy the Kirby Tank! and Burning Secrets in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
- A North American print advertisement for the game comically described Kirby as "The Face of Terror."
- While this was the first game in the Kirby series to use realtime 3D graphics, Kirby had previously appeared as a 3D model in Super Smash Bros.
- One of the selectable designs for the in-game HUD was changed outside of Japan. It originally displayed the lives counter, health counter, and Copy Ability slots entirely with Japanese kanji, even for the numbers of the lives counter. For international releases, it was changed to a more standard crayon design.
- The kanji used to represent each stock of health in the Japan-exclusive HUD design is 気 (Ki, or "energy").
- This is one of the few Nintendo 64 titles in the Wii U's Virtual Console library to be compatible with a Wii Remote held sideways. This is likely due to the Control Stick not being required to move Kirby, and the multiplayer modes using very few buttons.