Nightmare (eNeMeE in the English dub of the anime) is a Final Boss and major character in the Kirby series, despite only making three major appearances in the games. His goal is to spread dark nightmares and influences throughout the galaxy, and uses his cunning wit to accomplish the feat.
In his debut, Nightmare is responsible for corrupting the Fountain of Dreams and attempting to spread his nightmares all across Dream Land. King Dedede tries to stop Nightmare from succeeding by breaking the Star Rod, but Kirby unwittingly summons Nightmare when he returns the Rod to the tainted Fountain, and has to defeat Nightmare before his evil plans become reality.
Nightmare initially manifests as a Power Orb. In this form, Nightmare is a dark sphere covered in silver, glowing stars. A gradient runs across the sphere: the top of the sphere is dark blue while the bottom is dark pink. In a number of early appearances and artwork however, the sphere is simply pitch black and colorless.
His real form is that of a wizard (though his sprite in Kirby's Adventure has a more vampiric appearance) donned in a spinning, tornado-like robe. In the official art for Kirby's Adventure and the anime his robe is covered in stars just like in his first form, but in the actual games, Nightmare's cloak is simply a dark purple robe. On his face, he wears a pair of shades with a single black-chromed lens that flashes. Underneath his cloak lies his weak spot, a wildly-twisting accumulation of darkness. Above his robe, Nightmare wears silver pauldrons and a small red medallion around his neck (sometimes obscured by his chin in-game). In the games, Nightmare has human-like teeth, while in the anime his teeth are sharp and jagged. According to official artwork for Kirby's Adventure, Nightmare has thin bony arms, though this characteristic was not included in later installments of the series except for the anime, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Nightmare's second form is slightly changed. He now has a total of four shoulder pads instead of just two, and much longer horns on his helmet. His chain and medallion are also now consistently visible during the fight. There are also two more jewels on his headpiece. This game's design also reflects a notable decision made to his size in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, in which he dwarfs even the Halberd. In accordance to the show, he is also almost as tall as the screen now.
His design in Kirby Mass Attack takes a number of visual cues from his design in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, though his shadowy cloak no longer conforms to the shape of his tornado-like core and instead bears more resemblance to the original shape of the cloak as seen in his artwork for Kirby's Adventure .
Nightmare is a powerful entity that serves as the final boss in both Kirby's Adventure and its remake. In both games, he can only be defeated by the powerful Star Rod that Kirby collects in both games.
In these games, Nightmare takes control of the Fountain of Dreams in an attempt to extend his control over Dream Land. Trying to prevent this, Dedede breaks the Star Rod and scatters it around Dream Land, temporarily leaving Nightmare unable to take control and seems to trap him inside the Fountain of Dreams. Kirby, unaware of Dedede's intentions, restores the Star Rod and places it back in the fountain. With the Star Rod back in place, Nightmare reveals himself. Nightmare and Kirby then fly into space (Kirby did this with the help of Dedede).
In his Power Orb form, Nightmare, for the most part, stays on the right side of the screen, shooting empty blue stars at Kirby. Nightmare may also shoot a sonic wave, which is faster and is a bit wider than the star attack. Nightmare repeatedly moves from one spot to another while using this attack. The fight is similar to the fight with Kabula in Kirby's Dream Land, but with a time limit, for the entire battle takes place in the planet's atmosphere as the two are falling to Popstar's surface. As such, if Kirby doesn't deplete Nightmare's health bar in time, Nightmare will flee and Kirby will crash into the ground and lose a life. After the final blow is struck, Nightmare retreats and flies to Popstar's moon. Kirby follows close behind on a Warp Star.
As Kirby pursues him, the Power Orb suddenly metamorphoses into his true form. After knocking Kirby from his Warp Star and onto the surface of the moon, Nightmare teleports in close to finish him off, effectively beginning the second phase of the battle. In his second form, Nightmare attacks Kirby by shooting stars at him, ramming into him, and using his tornado-like core to drill into him. He takes fewer hits to defeat than in his first form, but can only be damaged by hitting his weak spot, the accumulation of darkness at his core, which is usually protected by his impenetrable cloak. He briefly reveals his weak spot during each of his attacks. After Kirby lands the finishing blow, Nightmare's body explodes, destroying a huge portion of the moon as a result. After this, Kirby returns to the Fountain of Dreams, places the Star Rod back in there, and everything returns back to normal.
In Kirby: Canvas Curse, Nightmare makes a cameo as a painting in Paint Panic. He is the hardest painting to draw, with a total of four stages.
In addition, Nightmare's battle theme from the previous game received a remix that plays in the penultimate stage in the game, Spectacle Space. Also, when fighting Drawcia Soul with the Old School option on, Drawcia Soul's theme is replaced with Nightmare's theme from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land.
While Nightmare does not appear in the main game, he makes a cameo appearance along with several other final bosses in a graphic; Kirby can assemble this graphic by collecting Graphic Pieces from Treasure Chests.
Nightmare appears in Kirby Mass Attack as the final boss of the Strato Patrol EOS sub-game. In his orb form, he attacks by teleporting around the area and firing stars and energy blades until he takes sufficient damage. In his second form, like in Kirby's Adventure and its remake, he only takes damage when his weak point is open. However, this time around his attacks are almost completely changed. He commonly attacks by releasing energy orbs that follow the Kirbys until they disappear (he fires more orbs as he takes more damage). He also conjures pointed meteors to collide with them, but they can be destroyed before he even drops them. The meteors will also break up into smaller rocks when fired at, which the Kirbys must then avoid. Later in the battle, Nightmare will try to fire energy beams and star barrages at the Kirbys. His defeat animation parallels the one in Kirby's Adventure and its remake.
NES Remix 2
Both Nightmare's Orb and Wizard boss fights do appear as challenges in the Bonus Stages. In Stage 10-4, Kirby fights the Orb form. To add a twist to the challenge, the hero must avoid large, flashing Bullet Bills from Super Mario Bros. These enemies will KO Kirby with one hit. Kirby fights Nightmare's Wizard form in Bonus Stage 20-7, which is pulled directly from Kirby's Adventure without added gimmicks.
Spoiler alert: The following section contains plot-specific details.(Skip Section)
Nightmare makes an appearance in the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime as the overarching antagonist, despite actually appearing in only nine of the one hundred episodes. He is referred to as eNeMeE.
Instead of attempting to corrupt the Fountain of Dreams, this version of Nightmare is intent on universal conquest through more direct, forceful methods. He is responsible for the creation of Nightmare Enterprises, a company that manufactures and sells hordes of monsters that Kirby often has to fight. It's implied that the monsters eventually turn on the customers as well. The money he makes from it also goes to further his conquest goals. There was a time when the Star Warriors stood in his way, but his army of monsters wiped them all out except for Meta Knight, Kit Cosmos, Sir Arthur, Sir Percival, Sir Galahad, and Sir Lancelot.
In the third episode, Kirby's Duel Role, it's mentioned by Kabu that eNeMeE created one monster that didn't obey him, though who it is never stated. This is heavily implied to be Kirby, but it is possible that it might also be Meta Knight (who also seems to hold a grudge against eNeMeE). Furthermore, in the Japanese version of said episode, Kabu states “I do not know if that was Kirby.”
eNeMeE rarely interacts with anyone and spends his time alone. Occasionally, eNeMeE speaks to N.M.E. Sales Guy concerning their business, but mainly exists as a mysterious figurehead of the company.
Throughout the series, eNeMeE is seen simply watching Kirby and Dream Land, and never seems to take Kirby for a threat. He constantly watches Kirby fight his monsters that he sells to King Dedede. One of the few notable actions was when he sped up the rate of an asteroid that was heading for Dream Land, which he seemed to mostly just do for his own amusement, as well as putting money in his pockets from his best customer: King Dedede. For the bulk of the series though, eNeMeE resides deep within his planet-sized fortress creating monsters.
Towards the finale, eNeMeE seems to decide to end his amusement with Kirby and sends some of his Destroya ships to kill him, but this also fails. eNeMeE responds by sending another six, but these are destroyed by Meta Knight's battleship, the Halberd. Even when the Halberd heads towards his fortress, eNeMeE still doesn't take it for a threat and attempts to stop them with one last monster, a golden-colored lobster robot called Heavy Lobster.
This last ditch attempt fails, and the group (at this point consisting of Kirby, Tiff, Tuff, Meta Knight, Sword, Blade, a number of other Cappy Town residents, and other old friends of Kirby) manages to make their way into the fortress. During this time, eNeMeE decides to finally confront them head-on. After a brief scuffle, eNeMeE kidnaps Tiff to lure Kirby into a fight with him in a chess board. Kirby takes the bait and, as Fire Kirby, tries to attack him, but his fire breath proves useless as it only gets sucked into eNeMeE's void located in his cloak and he exhausts himself. With Kirby unconscious, eNeMeE then enters his mind to torment him by firing lightning beams at the food before finishing him off. Tiff, who also ended up in the dream, tosses Kirby a dream version of the Warp Star, which he swallows and gains the Star Rod ability—the only thing capable of damaging eNeMeE. Kirby harnesses the power of the Star Rod and sends a wave of cascading stars at eNeMeE, which destroys him in the physical plane forever, although the Japanese version indicates he still lives on as a nightmare.
Nightmare appeared to also be the real villain in the Kirby of the Stars Pilot and to be the one who actually sends all the monsters at Kirby. In the end, he appears to attack Kirby and his friends with some kind of lighting beam before Kirby wakes up and realizes that it was actually a nightmare. His appearance in the pilot is based on his original design in Kirby's Adventure, with small shoulder pads, a single jewel on his crown, and short horns.
Much like Kracko, Ice Dragon, Paint Roller, and Heavy Lobster, eNeMeE is similar to his in-game counterpart, he resembles that of a wizard donned in a purple-blue robe covered in stars. He wears a pair of shades that flashes. Underneath his cloak lies an accumulation of darkness. Above his robe, eNeMeE wears blue pauldrons and a small red medallion around his neck. He has gray skin and teeth that are sharp and jagged. eNeMeE also has thin bony arms with claws on both of his fingers.
Powers and Abilities
eNeMeE is the strongest and most powerful villain in Kirby Right Back at Ya!; he possesses far greater abilities than any of the monsters that Kirby fights in the anime. Despite the lack of wings, he can fly at high speeds and is fast enough to outrun the Halberd. He can create an army of monsters with his chessboard, can manipulate other peoples' minds, and can even conjure and launch small red colored energy balls from his fingers, that when in contact with a victim, will brainwash them into eNeMeE's minions. He can also enter other peoples’ minds and give them nightmares. He has the ability to fire powerful blue lighting beams from his fingers. Just like in the games, he is also invulnerable to damage from anything but the Star Rod, as all other attacks, such as the Halberd's lasers and Fire Kirby's Fire Breath, are absorbed by the void underneath his cloak.
Nightmare appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Assist Trophy. Upon being summoned, he appears in his Power Orb form and flies offscreen before transforming into his Wizard form and moving towards the foreground, causing the stage on which the fighters are battling to become dark, completely reducing visibility. A trophy of Nightmare exists in both versions of the game, using the sprite of his Wizard form from the respective game.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nightmare's Power Orb form appears as a primary Advanced-class grab spirit which can be obtained after fighting a giant black-colored Kirby wielding a Star Rod. His spirit can be enhanced into his Wizard form which is a primary Legend-class grab spirit. His Advanced-class spirit sports no effect, but his Legend-class spirit slows down the opponent’s Final Smash meter.
We shall see about that! Before this match is over, you will learn the force of my power. (laughs)”
— eNeMeE • Fright to the Finish
Hahahaha... Your friend has chosen an unfortunate time for a nap!”
— eNeMeE • Fright to the Finish
He has used up all his energy... Kirby is now completely helpless. I can crush him with little effort... But first, some fun! I shall enter his sleep and give him a nightmare, and you can join him. I think you'll find this dream a real scream!”
— eNeMeE to Tiff • Fright to the Finish
Aah! Aaaah! No... How did Kirby discover the secret?! That pitiful little Star Warrior has found my only weakness! I am helpless against the power of the Star Rod!”
— eNeMeE • Fright to the Finish
True to my name, I am but a dream that lives in your heart. Therefore, I am immortal. For as long as there is fear in your heart, I will someday return.”
— eNeMeE • Fright to the Finish (Japanese version only)
Best-selling video games? An animated series? He's unstoppable.”
— eNeMeE breaking the fourth wall during his discussion with the N.M.E. Sales Guy about the Kirby franchise's ongoing career • Kirby 3D
There is a secret empire of evil ruled by one known as eNeMeE. It is his plan to control the entire universe. He creates monsters and delivers them to customers like Dedede who do not know their true purpose. But eNeMeE made one grave mistake. One creature was produced that would not obey his orders, and eNeMeE fears it may defeat him.”
There is a company. They call it... Nightmare Enterprises. It was created thousands of years ago by one known as eNeMeE. eNeMeE's goal was to conquer the entire universe. To do this, he created legions of monsters and sent them throughout the galaxies.”
eNeMeE is really a living nightmare, so the only place you can beat him is inside a dream. Good work, Kirby! You are the only Star Warrior who gets the secret of the Star Rod and can use it against eNeMeE.”
This ball of nightmares came from the Fountain of Dreams, taking nightmares to all of Dream Land. King Dedede sealed it away by shattering the Star Rod, but it was revived when the Star Rod was restored by Kirby. In Smash Bros., it hides the stage and the fighters in pure darkness.”
This enemy hails from the Kirby series. After he first appears as a power orb, he then changes into wizard form and proceeds to turn the entire screen pitch black. The players, of course, get lost in the blackness--this includes the CPU characters, who will make mistakes just like human players.”
— Official Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U Website
When Nightmare has changed from his Power Orb to his true form, the screen will go completely black, obscuring the stage.”
— Tips • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Covers the stage in a deep darkness. Can't be KO'd.”
— Training Mode • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
When Nightmare has changed from his Power Orb to his true form, the screen will go completely black, obscuring the stage.”
— Assist Trophy: Nightmare • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In the Japanese version of the anime's last episode, Nightmare says the following lines while Tiff, Kirby and the others are escaping his fortress: "True to my name, I am but a dream that lives in your heart. Therefore, I am immortal. For as long as there is fear in your heart, I will someday return." These lines were edited out of the dub.
Nightmare's Power Orb form makes a cameo in the first Japanese intro of the anime. It is a circus ball that Kirby and Tiff walk on. As with other elements in the anime, the Power Orb is based on Kirby's Adventure’s design, as Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land had not yet been released at the time.
Nightmare is fought on Popstar's moon—the same battlefield where Kirby would later fight Marx. This detail is lost in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, which, although still having the battle take place on the moon, changed the background to the point where the battlefield no longer resembled the way it was depicted in Kirby's Adventure and Kirby Super Star.
In the English version of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, he is known as "the Nightmares," implying the name refers to a collective of negative consciousness or entities. This is thought to be a translation goof, as the NES translation remained perfectly accurate when keeping his Japanese name.
Furthermore, preliminary sketches for Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land also refer to him as "The Nightmare."
In the English version of the anime, Nightmare is known as eNeMeE and the capitalized letters in his name is an abbreviation that represents the name of his company called Nightmare Enterprises.
It may also be a pun on enemy, similar to how N.M.E. is pronounced.
Nightmare's sprites in Kirby's Adventure are somewhat transparent, allowing the stars in the background to show through his cloak. This may be an attempt at recreating his official artwork at the time, where stars are imprinted on his cloak. This effect is no longer present in the remake, and his cloak is now simply a solid, dark purple color.
In the anime, Nightmare retains some of his abilities, such as flying and being invincible to anything except for the Star Rod, but he (like some of the monsters that appear in the anime) gains new abilities, like hypnotizing other people, and instead of firing stars from his hands, he fires lightning beams.
Both forms of Nightmare appear as collectible rare keychains in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, using his sprite from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (Wizard), and Kirby's Adventure (Power Orb). Additionally, his Power Orb form appears as one of the possible balloon animals that Circus Kirby makes.
While various pieces of artwork depict Nightmare with arms, he lacks them in all of his in-game appearances apart from in the Super Smash Bros. series, which, even then, is a motionless piece of artwork.