|“||This restores Kirby's life gauge to full.”|
|— Items • Kirby: Squeak Squad Instruction Booklet|
The Maxim Tomato (called Bag of Magic Food and Magical Food in Kirby's Dream Land, sometimes referred to as simply Tomatoes) is a recovery item that restores all of Kirby or another character's health when consumed. It is a large red tomato with a prominent black "M" printed on its center. In most games in the Kirby series, it is the best healing item.
The foe Poppy Bros. Jr. is sometimes seen riding on a Maxim Tomato instead of an apple. If Kirby attacks Poppy with anything other than Inhale (or an ability that uses the inhale technique, like Throw), he will destroy the Maxim Tomato. Inhaling will suck the Poppy Bros. Jr. off and allow Kirby to pick up the Maxim Tomato.
Maxim Tomatoes have consistently been depicted as large, bright red tomatoes with a cut green stem and a distinct "M" printed on them, however the details of this description have varied greatly between titles.
Modern games typically present the shape of the tomato as being largely rounded, with a single circular, seamless face upon which the "M" is emblazoned. Some titles have sometimes presented the tomato as having almost gourd-like seams running down its face, with the "M" sometimes appearing centred onto one of its radial faces, or appearing on the seam between two. The tomato also often ends in a slight taper, although older games and some artwork exaggerate this.
The green stem is a consistent feature of the tomato, despite an associated Maxim Tomato plant never being depicted or mentioned. The leaves on this stem vary between games; with as many as eight in some. Interestingly, the Sanei plush Maxim Tomato has five leaves shaped to form a star when viewed from above.
The "M" is one of the least consistent details; with the font changing between every design, and the common black being inconsistently depicted as purple or yellow in some artwork and games. The more traditional designs often used a clean, sans serif font, but more recent designs have used a rounded, thicker font. Almost all instances of the "M" depict it with a thin white border, resembling that of a sticker.
In line with its unique art style, Kirby Café depicts the "M" with a loop in its centre rather than the standard V-shaped centre of the letter M.
|Main article: Metamato|
In Kirby's Epic Yarn, a Metamato (a tomato that resembles a Maxim Tomato made out of yarn) is the source of Yarn Kirby's shape shifting abilities. One is noticeably worn on the hat of the main villain Yin-Yarn, but is mistakenly eaten by Kirby (who thinks it's a Maxim Tomato) in the opening scene. This angers the yarn magician and prompts him to suck the pink hero into the sock around his neck, starting Kirby's adventures in Patch Land.
Maxim Tomato box
|Main article: Maxim Tomato Box|
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, some Maxim Tomatoes appear in Maxim Tomato boxes. They are red boxes with a Maxim Tomato on the side. They contain a Maxim Tomato and can be carried around until needed. Once held, the player can choose to either place it on the ground for later use or throw it, which will open it once a few seconds have passed (time in which it can be safely picked up again).
|Main article: Reviving Tomato|
Reviving Tomatoes appear in Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot. Always found encased in an Assist Star, they resemble gold tomatoes with a star on the center. They are given to Kirby by Bandana Waddle Dee when he loses to a boss three or more times in a row. In addition to healing Kirby's health when used, they will automatically revive him to full health if he has one in storage when he is KO'd.
In Kirby Mass Attack, a Maxim Tomato gives 100 points on the fruit meter. Since it takes 100 points to fill the meter, it is guaranteed that the player will get a new Kirby and/or a 10,000 point bonus when eating one. Also, in the Kirby Quest sub-game, the first three Chapters' bonus levels involve getting a Maxim Tomato from a certain character—Chef Kawasaki in the first chapter, Max Flexer in the second, and Chef Shiitake in the third. If the Kirby(s) successfully beat any of these characters, they will get the Maxim Tomato, which heals any hurt Kirbys.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
The Maxim Tomato is a recovery item in all the Super Smash Bros. games.
In the original Super Smash Bros., the Maxim Tomato heals a character of 100% of their damage percentage. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Tomato only heals 50% of damage, due to the inclusion of the Heart Container recovery item from The Legend of Zelda series that also heals 100% (or all damage if the player is playing Boss Battles or All-Star Mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) of the player's health. If a character is attacked while using the Maxim Tomato, it will "absorb" the damage. For example, if an attack does 30% damage, the tomato will absorb it and the user only recovers 20% damage.
Like all other Super Smash Bros. items, it appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Maxim Tomato trophy can be unlocked by playing 10 matches.
The Maxim Tomato also appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the design from Kirby: Squeak Squad is used. Usable only by representatives of the Kirby series, this sticker doubles the healing effect of eating a Maxim Tomato.
|“||This bag contains some pretty special food. I can't tell you exactly what's inside, but if I pick one up, I will completely restore all of my vitality.”|
|— Kirby's Arsenal • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||Kirby just loves to eat these bright red tomatoes! They restore his vitality completely!”|
|— Power Packed Items! • Kirby's Adventure Instruction Booklet|
|“||Kirby's favorite food. His life meter will be completely restored.”|
|— Items • Kirby's Dream Land 2 Instruction Booklet|
|“||This is Kirby's favorite snack. Eat this miracle fruit to regain all your strength!”|
|— • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Instruction Booklet|
|“||Maxim Tomatoes cure 50 percentage points of your accumulated damage. Once you eat one, after a brief moment, your damage meter slowly drains the appropriate amount, regardless of whether or not you pick up another item right afterwards. In the Kirby series, these juicy, health-restoring items were a favorite of the pink hero.”|
|— Trophy description • Super Smash Bros. Melee|
|“||Get this to replenish all of Kirby's vitality.”|
|— Items • Kirby: Canvas Curse Instruction Booklet|
|“||A juicy tomato that heals 50 percentage points of the damage you've accumulated. When one of these appears in combat, rest assured there will be a race to see who can reach it first. It's a race of desperation between players who want to heal their damage and those who want to stop them from doing so. In the Kirby series, Maxim Tomatoes healed all damage.”|
|— Trophy description • Super Smash Bros. Brawl|
|“||A tomato marked with a large, black M. This is Kirby's favorite snack, and in the past it has fully restored Kirby's health. The ones that show up in Smash Bros. aren't from the same crop, though, and only heal 50 points of damage. That'll still help you in a fight—unless an enemy eats it first.”|
|— Trophy description • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U|
- Tomatoes are stated to be Kirby's favorite food in the games. In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! continuity, however, watermelons are said to be Kirby's favorite food.
- A Maxim Tomato is one of the objects drawn by Paint Roller in the Paint Panic sub-game.
- The Maxim Tomato has appeared in nearly every Kirby game to date, either as an item, a cameo, or as an illustration.
- It is unknown why exactly the name is Maxim Tomato instead of Maximum Tomato, as a maxim is a principle or rule of conduct, although in Latin, the word "maxim" derives from "maxima," which means "largest or most important".
- Maxim Tomatoes spin 360 degrees in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Despite the fact that Maxim Tomatoes were ported directly from this game to Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the tomatoes in Kirby: Triple Deluxe do not spin. This is also the case with 1UPs.
- Maxim Tomatoes do, however, spin in Kirby: Triple Deluxe’s sub-game, Kirby Fighters, and its expanded standalone Kirby Fighters Deluxe.
- The spinning animation was also absent from Kirby: Planet Robobot but returned in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.
- These discrepancies are likely due to the fact that being unable to see the prominent "M" on a Maxim Tomato's front could result in visual confusion with the Reviving Tomato, an item only appearing in the main games of Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot, which is identical outside of a change in colour and a different symbol printed on its face.
- The Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards instruction manual calls the Maxim Tomato a "miracle fruit" referring to its healing abilities. Kirby: Triple Deluxe introduces an item actually called a Miracle Fruit, that gives Kirby the Hypernova ability.
- During the boss fight against King Dedede & Meta Knight in Chapter 4 of the Story Mode in Kirby Fighters 2, Dedede takes a bite out of a Maxim Tomato, revealing a cross section view of it and its star-shaped placenta.