Ribbon is portrayed as a tiny fairy with dark blue eyes and rosy cheeks. She has light pink, messy shoulder-length hair. Her clothes consist of a large red ribbon in her hair (hence her name), a long-sleeved red dress with two golden buttons and a frilly white collar, and a pair of small beige shoes. Being a fairy, she has a pair of nearly translucent cyan wings attached to her back that allow her to hover. Though the upper part of her body has a humanoid appearance, her legs are short and stubby just like Kirby's.
Ribbon is portrayed as a courageous character with many different personality traits. At first, Ribbon appears to be a very carefree character, as seen when she is frolicking before Dark Matter takes over Ripple Star and when she chases a butterfly right before she and Kirby encounter Waddle Dee. She is also seen to be very friendly such as when she immediately makes friends with Kirby. However, she is actually much more complex. She is actually shown to be very sensitive, as is shown when she is nearly crying over the loss of her home to the Dark Matter invasion and when she says goodbye to Kirby with either a handshake or a kiss (depending on the ending). She is also brave, immediately going to the queen to protect her and then making a getaway with the Crystal without hesitation when the queen begs her to do so, and helping Kirby fight 0².
Ribbon makes her debut in the Nintendo 64 game, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. In this, she resides on the heart-shaped planet, Ripple Star. When the giant cloud of Dark Matter takes over her home, she rushes to the castle to alert the Fairy Queen. The queen then tells her to take the Crystal and safely escape from Ripple Star. Ribbon then grabs the Crystal as it then flies away, but it is tailed by three Dark Matter that split from the mass. The three attack the fairy and shatter the Crystal into at least seventy-two shards which are scattered across the solar system. Ribbon then crashes onto Planet Popstar, right on top of our star-gazing hero, Kirby. He sees that a piece of the crystal on the ground is the same as the one Ribbon has, and offers to help her restore Ripple Star to its former glory, and the two set out to find the rest of the Crystal Shards. Along the way, the duo encounter three inhabitants of Popstar who have found Crystal Shards and have been possessed by Dark Matter -- Waddle Dee, Adeleine and King Dedede. After freeing them, the three then agree to join Ribbon and Kirby save Ripple Star.
Eventually the team of heroes reach Ripple Star only to find that it has been almost entirely been covered in darkness while they were finding the Shards. Eventually, Kirby reaches the top of Ripple Star's grand castle and encounter Miracle Matter - the apparent cause of Dark's Matter's appearance on Ripple Star. After a long battle, Kirby manages to defeat it. However, while Dark Matter has very visibly left Ripple Star, an abnormally powerful presence resides within the Queen Fairy. Once the gang has found all of the Crystal Shards, a beam is shot from the completed Crystal at the Queen Fairy, freeing her from its evil grasp. The remaining force then leaves the atmosphere and, in a last-ditch effort to salvage its plans, forms a foreboding giant planet known as the Dark Star nearby. Once they arrive at the core, Ribbon carries Kirby, allowing the player to fly freely during the battle against the real villain, 0². After Kirby and the group defeat 0² using Ribbon's Crystal Gun, the threat is over and the band of heroes return to Ripple Star. There, they are given crystal medals of honor. Ribbon gives Kirby a quick kiss on the cheek, who blushes profusely and then bashfully dances in a stupor as he accidentally crashes the ceremony.
Ribbon returns as a Dream Friend along with Adeleine in the game's second update, with the two characters taking up one slot together in a similar matter to Rick & Kine & Coo. She occasionally appears alongside Adeleine when using some moves. She is mostly present during their idle animations, talking with Adeleine or giving each other high fives. However, Ribbon carries Adeleine when she (Adeleine) tries to jump.
A Ripple Star fairy. She suddenly fled to protect the Crystal from the "Black Cloud."”
— Japanese instruction booklet • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Does Kirby have a girlfriend? Does the fairy have an it-friend? Is that a Blue Rupee she's holding, or could it be a magical Ocarina that allows Kirby to travel through time? Does this fairy constantly scream "Hey!" at the top of her lungs? Only time will tell.”
— Teaser description • Official Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards website
The wait is over! This clever artist and her fairy companion from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards are back on Planet Popstar! They may not be the galaxy's most powerful duo, but their perilous paintings and shiny crystals are nothing to scoff at.”