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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 is a platformer Kirby game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was first released in Japan on March 24, 2000, in North America on June 26, 2000, and in Europe on June 22, 2001. It is considered the fourth and final installment in the Kirby's Dream Land saga, after Kirby's Dream Land 3.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was re-released on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console in 2008 and in 2015, respectively. It was re-released on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass in 2022.

Story

Beginning

In a distant corner of the galaxy, fairies lived peacefully on the planet called Ripple Star. But then one day, a mysterious black cloud appeared and surrounded the peaceful planet. The cloud, a sinister force known as Dark Matter, had come in search of the fairies' secret treasure—their shining Crystal.

A fairy named Ribbon knew that dreadful things would come to pass if Dark Matter gained control of the powerful Crystal. She grabbed the shining stone and escaped from Ripple Star—just before the planet was completely engulfed.

But as Ribbon fled, three dark clouds split from the mass of Dark Matter to chase her through space. And when they caught up with her and attacked, the fairies' crystal shattered into tiny shards, which dropped like falling stars in the solar system.

Still holding one of the Crystal Shards, Ribbon fell onto the planet called Pop Star, where—perhaps by fate—she ran smack in to Kirby. After hearing her desperate plight, Kirby resolved to help Ribbon recover all of the Crystal Shards.
— The Crystal Shards... • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Instruction Booklet

On the planet of Ripple Star lives a race of kind and peaceful fairies, who are protected from danger by the power of the great Crystal, which watches over the planet. 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 one of her subjects named Ribbon to take the Crystal to a safe place, which she obeys. As Ripple Star is engulfed completely by darkness, Ribbon flies far out into the void with the Crystal in tow, but finds herself pursued by three orbs sent by Dark Matter. Ribbon flies as fast as she could, but the orbs prove to be relentless. They attack Ribbon and end up shattering the Crystal into 74 shards, which scatter all across the solar system, and Ribbon herself falls onto Planet Popstar.

On Planet Popstar, Kirby sits on a hill admiring the beauty of starfall, unaware that the "stars" are actually falling Crystal Shards. As he gets up, he is suddenly struck by Ribbon crashing into him. He rises again to see who or what had hit him, but then a shard falls onto his head, inquiring him to pick it up. Ribbon awakens with another shard in her hand, making her realize that the Crystal, which she was meant to protect, had been shattered, disheartening her. Kirby then gets her attention by holding up the shard he had found. As they get closer, the shards begin to shine brightly. They throw them together and the shards automatically fuse to form a bigger shard, making them elated. However, Ribbon loses her smile and reveals to Kirby that the rest of the shards had been scattered all across his planet and others. Being the hero that he is, Kirby eagerly volunteers to help Ribbon recover all the lost shards, making the fairy happy again. As the sun rises, the two set out on their quest to find every one of the missing Crystal Shards.

Gathering Shards and Allies on Planet Popstar

Kirby and Ribbon begin their search for Crystal Shards through a vast plain. During which, they encounter several creatures either created or controlled by Dark Matter who attempt to impede on their journey, including a larger variant inside a shed, but they were all bested by Kirby in the end. Meanwhile, a friendly Waddle Dee finds one of the Crystal Shards in a pen and picks it up. As he starts playing with it, however, Dark Rimuru appears next to him and proceeds to possess the terrified Waddle Dee. Kirby and Ribbon then arrive at the scene and find Waddle Dee unconscious as the darkness seeps into him. Kirby calls out to him and he responds by getting up and revealing that he had been turned into a malicious Waddle Doo. The Waddle Doo then tries to attack Kirby to obtain the shards he had collected, but the hero ultimately defeats him in battle, forcing Dark Rimuru to leave his body and retreat. Ribbon then takes the Crystal Shard Waddle Dee had and both she and Kirby leave to find the rest. As Waddle Dee regains consciousness, Kirby bids him good-bye as he takes off, but Waddle Dee becomes determined to repay his debt to Kirby for freeing him, so he decides to join him on his adventure, with no complaints from either Kirby or Ribbon.

The heroes continue finding Crystal Shards within a colorful forest. While traveling through and inside the trees, Kirby comes across a wide gap that even he cannot hover over. Luckily, Waddle Dee operates a makeshift lift to get Kirby across. While this is going on, a young girl named Adeleine is busy painting the beautiful landscape on her canvas atop a large treestump when a shard falls right next to her. She picks it up and finds it inspiring, but Dark Rimura appears from her canvas and quickly possesses her. When Kirby and co. arrive, the possessed Adeleine greets them with a wicked grin across her face. Using her painting skills, she creates a variety of monsters to attack Kirby, including an Ice Dragon and the original Dark Matter, but they all proved to be ineffective against Kirby, so she decides to attack Kirby herself, only to be easily beaten, allowing Ribbon to recover the shard she had on her. She then wakes up restored to normal, with Ribbon greeting her. As Kirby and Waddle Dee celebrate their victory with a series of high-fives, Adeleine approaches them and asks if she could lend her skills to the heroes on their quest as a favor for freeing her. Kirby and the others agree and they set off with their new ally to find more shards.

Kirby and his party then travel to Castle Dedede to locate more Crystal Shards. As they fight their way through the castle's guards, King Dedede himself stands on the ledge of the rooftop, looking over his kingdom, when he finds that a shard had landed on his property. As he goes to inspect it, Kirby and co. arrive and Kirby himself tries to take the shard. Being the bully that he is, Dedede grabs the shard away with a mischievous grin on his face. Kirby tries to convince the king to give up the shard, but Dedede refused to hand it over to his sworn rival. Just then, Dark Rimuro lands right between them, knocking them both away. As Kirby and Dedede get a look at it, Dark Rimuro gets a good look at the king and notices his incredible strength and decides to possess him to defeat Kirby, believing that he would succeed where the others had failed. Dedede is helplessly lifted into the air as the Dark Matter seeps into him, and once fully possessed, he goes to battle Kirby. Kirby was able to overpower him initially, but then Dedede begins floating in the air and his stomach turns into an eye and sharp teeth to destroy Kirby, but the hero managed to defeat him again and take shard from him. Waddle Dee helps his king back unto his feet and the others leave to find any more shards on Planet Popstar. Waddle Dee attempts to convince Dedede to join in on their journey, as his strength could be invaluable to them, but the stubborn monarch initially refuses Kirby after being beaten by him again. He walks away, but then looks behind to ponder his decision, only to find Waddle Dee standing behind him much to his embarrassment, so he refuses again. Waddle Dee gives up and takes his leave as well, but after much thought, King Dedede realizes that he needs to pay back Kirby for saving him as well as get revenge on Dark Matter for possessing him again, so he too jumps off the rooftop to join his rival on his adventure.

Searching through the Cosmos

After finding the last Crystal Shard on Popstar within Whispy Woods, Ribbon uses their power to create a portal leading to the next planet, Rock Star. She flies through the portal to continue the search for the shards, with Kirby and friends following suit.

After scouring the arid deserts and ruins on Planet Rock Star, as well as fighting an ancient security system within a buried spaceship, Kirby and co. find all the Crystal Shards on the planet. After a nice picnic on the sand, they then travel to Aqua Star to collect all the shards along its beaches and within its vast ocean, inhabited by a vicious killer whale. They then go to Neo Star, a prehistoric world where they are forced to fight a living mass of lava and then narrowly escape a erupting volcano. Then after finding the last Crystal Shard within a large, transforming robot on the arctic world of Shiver Star, Ribbon creates a portal leading to her home planet of Ripple Star, which has been completely taken over by Dark Matter, much to her horror. She then looks to her friends to find that they wish to continue despite the terrible danger they might encounter, giving her the confidence to see their journey to the end. They all then pass through the portal to their last destination.

Upon passing through the countless monsters infesting the planet, Kirby then confronts Miracle Matter, the supposed core of all Dark Matter which can mimic all his own abilities. Upon Miracle Matter's defeat, the heroes then use the reconstructed Crystal to purge the Dark Matter from Ripple Star and send it hurdling through space, freeing its people and restoring it to its former glory. The fairies, including Ribbon and the queen, hold a celebration for Kirby and co. as they prepare to return to Popstar in one of the fairies' spaceships. But after the heroes leave, the Fairy Queen gives a sinister glare towards Ribbon, showing that she is under Dark Matter's control.

Real Ending

If the player had collected every last one of the Crystal Shards, the Dark Matter will explode after being purged rather than escaping into space. As the heroes celebrate their victory, the celebration is cut short when the Crystal shoots a beam of light at the Fairy Queen, expelling the Dark Matter controlling her. The Dark Matter then travels into space and forms a new planet called Dark Star, which threatens the whole solar system again. Seeing that their adventure isn't quite done yet, Kirby uses his cell phone to call in his trusty Warp Star, allowing him and his friends to travel to Dark Star and finish the fight once and for all.

Kirby's friends help him make it to Dark Star's center, where he and Ribbon join together to fight , the true source of all Dark Matter. After defeating 0² in a climactic battle, they and the others make a hasty retreat as Dark Star explodes into nothingness, ending its threat now and forever. They then return to Ripple Star, where the Fairy Queen hosts an award ceremony for the heroes. Ribbon herself awards Kirby with a kiss on the cheek, causing him to blush and stumble over the stairs.

Gameplay

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a traditional platformer Kirby game; the player controls Kirby, whose objective is to get to the end of each stage through the use of Copy Abilities.

The game features Kirby's signature abilities of floating, inhale, Star Spit, Slide, and Air Gun, 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).

It is also the first Kirby game to use 3D graphics, although the gameplay remains completely two-dimensional except for the final boss.

The game's main collectables are Crystal Shards (which are necessary to complete the game) and Info Cards (which detail the regular enemies in the game).

Modes

Main Games

  • Story Mode

Sub-games

All sub-games can be played in multiplayer, and up to four players are supported.

Characters

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

Playable characters

Kirby and Ribbon high five.

Important characters

Enemies

Bivolt | Blowfish | Bo | Bobo | Bonehead | Bouncy | Bronto Burt | Bumber | Burnis | Cairn | Chacha | Chilly | Drop | Emp | Fishbone | Flopper | Flora | Frigis | Gabon | Galbo | Ghost Knight | Glom | Glunk | Gobblin | Gordo | Hack | | Ignus | Kacti | Kany | Kapar | Keke | Magoo | Mahall | Mariel | Maw | Mite | Mopoo | Mumbies | N-Z | Noo | Nruff | Pedo | Plugg | Pompey | Poppy Bros. Jr. | Propeller | Pteran | Punc | Pupa | Putt | Rockn | Rocky | Sandman | Sawyer | Scarfy | Shotzo | Sir Kibble | Skud | Slushy | Snipper | Spark-i | Sparky | Splinter | Squibby | Tick | Turbite | Wall Shotzo | Whispy Woods Jr. | Yariko | Zebon | Zoos

Mid-Bosses

There are no traditional mid-boss characters in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Instead, there are Room Guarders, which in this game are larger versions of regular enemies with extra health, usually accompanied by infinitely respawning smaller enemies acting as Star Spit ammo.

Bosses

Waddle Doo | Adeleine | King Dedede | Whispy Woods | Pix | Acro | Magman | HR-H | Miracle Matter |

Copy Abilities

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. It is also the only game in the series where Kirby can inhale underwater.

Items and Objects

Cell PhoneCrystal ShardEnemy Info cardPower CrystalStar

Planets (Levels)

K64 Pop Star.png Rock Star.png Aqua Star.png
K64 Planet Popstar icon.png K64 Rock Star icon.png K64 Aqua Star icon.png
Pop Star Rock Star Aqua Star
Neo Star.png Shiver Star.png Darkripplestar.png
K64 Neo Star icon.png K64 Shiver Star icon.png K64 Ripple Star icon.png
Neo Star Shiver Star Ripple Star
Dark Star.png
Dark Star

Music

KPR Maxim Tomato.png Main article: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards/Music

The game has had its own soundtrack compilation released under the title Hoshi no Kābī OST, available only in Japan. The most notable track missing from it is Kine's theme, which is Sound Check music no. 002, and not used in-game.

Glitches

KPR Maxim Tomato.png Main article: Glitch#Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Reception

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards received mostly positive reviews, holding at a rating of 74.49% on Game Rankings.[5] While many complained that the game was short and easy, others enjoyed the varied level design and graphics. The game sold 1.07 million copies in Japan and 541,600 copies in the United States.[6] Famitsu gave the game 32/40.[7] Whereas GameSpot gave it a 6.9/10.[8] IGN gave it a 7.9/10 and Nintendo Power gave it an 8.1/10.[9]

Staff

KPR Maxim Tomato.png Main article: List of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Staff

Related Quotes

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[10]

Trivia

Artwork depicting various character icons, dated 1998, October 30

Magazine scan depicting gameplay, with icons similar to the previous artwork in the HUD

Screenshots depicting gameplay of King Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine

  • 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 Energy Drink 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 theme can be found in the Sound Check 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 international 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 Cutter + Cutter), 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: Stage 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 in Halcandra and again Mid-Boss All Stars 2) 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.
  • 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 implies 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 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.
  • The fourth selectable design for the in-game HUD was changed in international versions. The Japanese version originally displayed Kirby's remaining lives, vitality meter, and Copy Ability slots entirely with kanji. For international releases, it was changed to a more standard crayon design.
    • Kirby's Remaining Lives:
      • 0: 0. This is the only number to be written numerically, as its kanji symbol is uncommon.
      • 1: 一. Pronounced ichi (onyomi) or hito (kunyomi).
      • 2: 二. Pronounced ni (onyomi) or futa (kunyomi).
      • 3: 三. Pronounced san (onyomi) or mi (kunyomi).
      • 4: 四. Pronounced shi (onyomi) or yon or yo (kunyomi).
      • 5: 五. Pronounced go (onyomi) or itsu (kunyomi).
      • 6: 六. Pronounced roku (onyomi) or mu (kunyomi).
      • 7: 七. Pronounced shichi (onyomi) or nana (kunyomi).
      • 8: 八. Pronounced hachi (onyomi) or ya (kunyomi).
      • 9: 九. Pronounced ku or kyū (onyomi) or koko (kunyomi).
      • When the player has 10 or more remaining lives, the ones' place restarts at 0, and the tens' place goes up by one per every ten units, as is typical in English numerals; this is not how numerals in Japanese work, however.
    • Kirby's Vitality Meter:
      • Vitality: 気. Can mean "spirit," "mind," "heart," etc.
      • No vitality: 鬱. Can mean "low spirits," "depression," "gloom," etc.
    • Special Powers:
      • Burn: 火. Means "fire."
      • Stone: 石. Means "stone."
      • Ice: 氷. Means "ice."
      • Needle: 針. Means "needle."
      • Bomb: 爆. Means "bomb."
      • Spark: 電. Means "electricity."
      • Cutter: 切 Means "cut."
      • Ribbon: 妖. Means "fairy."
      • Crystal: 晶. Means "crystal."
      • Nothing: 無. Means "nothing."
  • 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.
  • The official Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Strategy Guide published by Prima (readable here) is incomplete and inaccurate in many areas. The biggest mistakes include the following:
    • The book ends by showing the game's Bad Ending. It does not provide information on Dark Star or 0²'s battle, nor does it suggest that collecting every Crystal Shard unlocks further content. (Page 96)
    • Some characters are misidentified. Adeleine's Ice Dragon and Dark Matter drawings are referred to a "mutant Galbo" and "mutant Mumbies," and Ignus is said to be Putt's boulder. (Pages 35 and 79)
    • Many enemy behaviors and traits are mistaken. Noo is said to fly out of Shiver Star's clouds and hit Kirby when this behavior describes Mopoo instead; Kacti is said to be incapable of jumping when some Kacti only jump; Mumbies is said to be immune to all attacks except Kirby's inhale when the opposite is true. (Pages 13, 14, 17)
    • 0² is mentioned once in the Info card section of the book. It is stated to be "a benevolent creature" who "rarely presents any trouble in the cloud levels of Shiver Star." This description is blatantly false. (Page 6)
  • A secret code allowing players to receive an 100% file early was implemented in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards; if a second controller is connected, and all save files are empty, this button combination may be pressed while on the HAL Laboratory logo when the game is booted: while holding L, press C up, then C up again, then R, then C right, then C left, and then start. When done correctly, a 1UP jingle is heard and the third file will be at 100% completion.[11]
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is the first game to have Kirby fight King Dedede before Whispy Woods; Kirby's Epic Yarn is the second instance of this.
  • The villainous force in this game is only called Dark Matter in the translated versions of the game.
  • This is the first Kirby title where King Dedede supports Kirby as a true ally.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was the final entry in the Dark Matter trilogy, following up from Kirby's Dream Land 2 & Kirby's Dream Land 3.

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References

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