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More Kirbys, more power.
— Official site • Kirby Mass Attack

Kirby Mass Attack, known in Japan as あつめて!カービィ (Atsumete! Kābī, meaning Gather! Kirby), is a Kirby game for the Nintendo DS, released on September 19, 2011. Released in the system's waning years, it was not a high profile title at E3 2011, although its US title was announced then, in the form of a logo pop up at the end of the Nintendo press conference mainly highlighting the Wii U and the 25th anniversary for the Zelda franchise. Nintendo did not have an area for the Nintendo DS, so the game's playable representative at the convention was a Japanese demo of the game presented by roaming attendants in the Wii U area. Localized demos of the game are made available for download through the Nintendo Channel for users who own both the DS and the Wii on September 10th.

The unlockable minigames in Kirby Mass Attack makes many references to past games in the series and the anime, in gameplay, key characters, and copy abilities.


Plot

Introduction

Excerpt from game introduction - "A Brave Start!"

One day, Kirby went exploring in the Popopo Islands, in the south of Pop Star. He was snoozing in a field, napping the day away. But then dark clouds filled the sky, and a skull-faced fiend descended. It was Necrodeus, the leader of the Skull Gang. The Skull Gang wanted to drown light in darkness.

Necrodeus raised his staff and struck Kirby with his mischievous magic. Necrodeus split Kirby into 10 copies of himself, each having only a fraction of Kirby's greatness! The fiend was easily able to defeat each of these weaker Kirbys.

Before long, there was only one Kirby left. Pop Star was about to lose its greatest defender... and plunge into darkness forever. As the last Kirby raised his head, he saw a star shining brightly. That light was from Kirby's own heroic heart, which had flown to safety. His heart called out to him! "Kirby! Follow me! We can fight Necrodeus together!"

So began Kirby's quest to save Pop Star -- and restore Kirby back to his usual self! If they could defeat Necrodeus, they could use his magic staff to make everything right!

Events

KMA Daroach screenshot

Daroach approaches Kirby

Kirby starts out at Green Grounds, where Daroach approaches him in an airship and offers his help. He asks Kirby to collect Medals, which he claims to have a magical power to dispel the magical darkness surrounding Necrodeus' stronghold, which makes it impossible to approach.

And so, Kirby journeys throughout Pop Star, into Sandy Canyon, Dedede Resort, and then into Volcano Valley, where he finally gets enough of those Medals, which fires a great beam of light to dispel the darkness around Necrodeus' stronghold and opens up the fifth and final world, Necro Nebula.

Kirby confronts a few bosses he met along the way in Necro Nebula before commencing a final showdown against Necrodeus.

Epilogue

Gameplay

While Kirby Mass Attack is a Kirby platformer, there are a few fundamental differences that makes it completely different from all the other titles. This is the first time where the player can control up to ten individual Kirbys instead of just one, although each has much more limited capabilities than the single Kirby due to Necrodeus' spell.

Health system

KMA topscreen

Interface showing Score (top-right), Kirby meter, Collectibles (bottom-left)

Fruit Name Point value
KMA Apple Apple 1
KMA Banana Banana 10
KMA Greenfruit Melon 30
MaxtomatoKAR Maxim Tomato 100

The health mechanic for the game does not follow the tradition where Kirby gobbles up Food to replenish lost health. Food no longer heals Kirby, but instead fills a meter which drops another Kirby down from the sky to join the existing group when completely filled. It takes 100 points to fill up the meter.

The only food available in the parts of Dream Land featured in the game is fruit. There are four different kinds of fruit, and different fruit give different values towards the meter:

There are several ways to obtain fruit: defeating enemies, bumping Kirbys into fruit trees and into certain floating crates will cause fruit to be dropped onto the ground, which the Kirbys can pick up.

Each Kirby essentially only has one point of health, and they turn blue when hit. If the blue ones are hit again, they turn into gray angels and slowly float into the sky, but they can be tapped on to coax the other remaining Kirbys to bring them back onto the ground and return them to their blue, hurt state. There are restoration areas similar in function to the ones in Kirby Air Ride which return hurt Kirbys back to pink. These are pink, floating rings in the sky. Kirbys are healed if they are sent flying through one of them.

Collecting any item gives points towards a high score (top-right on the top screen). If the player is already at the maximum number of Kirbys, filling up the Kirby meter gives a 10,000 point bonus towards the high score instead. That means it is desirable to play through any level with a full complement of Kirbys to get the highest score possible. The player is rated at the end of each level with a medal - bronze, silver, or gold, depending on whether no Kirbys were lost at all (bronze), no Kirbys were turned into angels (silver) or no Kirbys got hurt at all (gold).

Levels

KMA level progression

Level progression and number of Kirbys needed

The main goal in the game is to gather a large number of Kirbys in a stage by collecting fruit, and successfully bringing enough of them to the end of the level and back to the overworld map. In stages, certain obstacles can only be removed when there are enough Kirbys pulling or pushing on it, and individual stages can only be entered from the overworld map only if the number of Kirbys matches or exceeds the number needed to get into the level - the game depicts the Kirbys pressing on a switch. Every main level hub has its levels represented in concentric circles, with links in between, and the boss right in the middle. Levels leading to the boss fight have increasingly-larger numbers of Kirbys needed. There is no specific order by which the levels need to be cleared, but stages are unlocked several at a time by activating Rainbow Bubbles which create Rainbow Bridges like those from Kirby's Dream Land 2.

There are initially a total of four levels in the game: Green Grounds, Sandy Canyon, Dedede Resort, and Volcano Valley, each with twelve stages except the first, which has eleven. Eventually Necro Nebula, the fifth and last level opens up with four stages and the final boss fight (which the game doesn't count as a stage), bringing the total stage count to 51+1 excluding minigames.

KMA Levels

All five areas

Travelling between one world to another brings the Kirby count back down to one since enemies roam the skies and pluck Kirbys off the Warp Star as he flies. However, as long as a certain level of the destination world had been previously cleared, all food except Maxim Tomatoes in that level turn into the green ones which give 30 points each, allowing the player to quickly build back up to the maximum number of Kirbys. Once the player reaches 10 Kirbys, the bonus fruit turn back into the usual apple / banana mix. Unlocking Necro Nebula makes the Skullies around levels 1 to 4 go away, so the number of Kirbys no longer gets reduced when travelling between islands except when heading to Necro Nebula. After the game is cleared, there are no more enemies in the skies of Pop Star and the Kirbys can move between any island safely.

Medal collectibles are hidden behind obstacles throughout the game - collecting them unlocks minigames and Checklists when their number reaches a certain threshold. There are between one to five in each level, and there are two types; a gold one, and a shiny rainbow-colored one. Both count towards unlocking extras, but only by collecting all the Rainbow Medals will Necro Nebula be unlocked. There is always one hidden, special door leading to a short cut in the form of a catapult in each level. As long as it is found in a previous play-through, the next time Kirby journeys through the area, he has the option of taking the catapult to largely bypass the trickiest parts of the level, although that would mean missing out on most of the collectibles and points as well. Also, if the player fails to complete a level a number of times, Invincibility Candy will appear in parts of that level to help the player. This is different to the regular Jumbo Candy variety that makes the Kirbys larger - it just makes them invincible.

Control

KMA Heart of Courage2

Kirbys falling over each other to follow the heroic heart

Kirby Mass Attack is played exclusively with the stylus on the DS's touchscreen, like Kirby: Canvas Curse. The player's stylus moves Kirby's heroic heart, which the Kirbys faithfully follow around. Tapping on any location and the Kirbys will try to move there. Double-tapping makes them dash over instead of walk.

Tapping on an enemy or object sends all the Kirbys on it. They will gang up on enemies and attempt to pull down whichever obstacle is in their way, as long as there are enough Kirbys to perform the action. Flicking the stylus while on a cluster of Kirbys will send them in the direction of the movement one by one. Sending them bouncing off certain trees will dislodge fruits. Holding the stylus in place for a while makes all the Kirbys cluster around the Heart of Courage, which starts glowing. Dragging the stylus on the screen at this point will draw a line similar to drawing Rainbow Lines in Canvas Curse, and the player has limited ink as well, but the Kirbys follow the Heart closely instead of following any drawn line. Some occasions call for tapping a button that pops up to help the Kirbys to pull or push an object or enemy.

Mini-Games

Minigame Details
Field Frenzy Whack Moles, Oohroos and Whispy Woods to earn points. Don't whack Gordo. Defeat the Mechanical Moley at the end to win.
Dash Course Tap the right shape at the bottom screen to progress. It is similar to 100-Yard Hop from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Your speed will increase if you tap the correct symbol, and decrease if you tap the incorrect symbol.
Kirby Brawlball A game of Kirby Pinball! Rack up points to get the high score. Enter Dedede's mouth and defeat all 4 bosses: Whispy Woods, Lololo and Lalala, Heavy Lobster, and Marx. It is a modern rendition of Kirby's Pinball Land.
Kirby Curtain Call Count the right number of Kirbys! Don't mistake other things for Kirby. It is similar to Tamasan's counting minigame from Kirby's Dream Land 3, but Kirbys are counted instead of Gordos.
Kirby Quest Tap the screen when the bar is at the pink or blue areas to attack! Missing will have one or a certain amount of Kirbys get hurt and turn blue. There are 4 stages, each having 1 boss, with the final stage having multiple bosses, including Daroach. The final boss in this game is Dark Matter.
Strato Patrol EOS This minigame was seen in the trailer, where you control Kirbys through the sky with Kirbys. You gain more Kirbys by rescuing them from "Skull Ghosts." The final boss in the minigame is Nightmare.
Survival Rush After beating the game and collecting all the Kirby Coins, the player unlocks this final minigame which is essentially a boss rush to see how fast you can defeat every single boss in the game without dying. It has a mini lobby with 3 Boss Doors that have a 1, 3 & a 5 (in order of difficulty with 5 having all the main bosses), a restoration ring and 3 Maxim Tomatoes in case you lose a Kirby during the battles.

Islands

Characters

Bosses

In-game Bosses

Minigame Bosses

Mid-Bosses

In-game Mid-Bosses

Minigame Mid-Bosses

Enemies

In-game Enemies

Mini-game Enemies

Items and Objects

Music

Trivia

  • The sparkle on Kirby's eyes in his official artwork in the game are two small blue stars.
  • This game and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards are the only Kirby platformers to not feature the Kirby Dance at the end of a stage, though Crystal Shards did feature its classic music, making this game the first to not use the theme.
  • References to the anime are made. In the Japanese version of minigame Strato Patrol EOS, Customer Service is seen on the 'Game Over' screen along with "Holy Nightmare" above him. However, in the English version, a picture of Nightmare is behind him instead. In the minigame "Kirby Quest", one of Kirby's moves is Kabuki Kirby, whom appeared exclusively in a Japan-only episode titled: Take it Down! The Crustacean Demon Beast Ebizou.
  • Escargoon, Chef Shiitake, and Max Flexer from the anime make their respective (surprise) appearances in Kirby Quest.
  • Kirby Mass Attack is the second game to have Kirby actually say "poyo". Kirby's Epic Yarn was the first.
  • The mini-boss music from Kirby Mass Attack is a remix from the Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards mini-boss music.
  • Tankbot, in Kirby Quest, sometimes has yellow eyes instead of the regular ones.
  • King Dedede is one of the objects which can be fished out of the water in the fishing minigame that plays after the last level. He requires the most effort to fish out of all other possible items. Also the slice of Strawberry Shortcake seen at the end of Kirby: Squeak Squad can be caught in the fishing minigame.

Artwork

Box Art

Gallery

Video

E3 2011 trailer
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External links

Additional information:

References

  1. Nintendo DS Japan
  2. Nintendo Network @ E3 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official Nintendo Japan site
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