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I mean, he does kill an awful lot of innocent people.

Growing up, I never played Kirby games. Of course, I knew who the little pink blob was thanks to commercials and, later, Super Smash Bros. on the N64. Despite my lack of firsthand knowledge, I always assumed he was a hero. However, the more Kirby games I play as an adult, the more I doubt that assertion—especially in the newest game, Kirby Planet Robobot.

The game begins with an extra-terrestrial robotic invasion of Dreamland. As the invaders appear, King Dedede and Meta Knight immediately counterattack—though both are defeated quickly.

Kirby? He sleeps through the whole thing.


It’s not until he wakes up naturally and sees the new robotized landscape that he feels the need to do anything about it. Seeing the eyesore that was his stomping grounds, Kirby charges off towards the nearest major invasion point, preparing to kill and/or devour all those in his way.

The last two games start off similarly. In Triple Deluxe, he only begins to fight back after his house is moved while he is sleeping. In Rainbow Curse, it’s only when the apple he is about to eat is drained of color along with the rest of Dreamland (though that doesn’t seem to bother him as much as the apple) that he decides to act.


What I’m getting at is Kirby doesn’t really seem to care about Dreamland or its problems. It’s only when those problems affect him directly that he starts to care—and by “care,” I mean “solve the problem by killing every single living being between him and the cause of the problem.”

And I’m serious about that. Kirby kills a lot of people. In Kirby Planet Robobot the invaders aren’t from Dreamland. Moreover, they are robotic in nature—and thus easy to identify. In this case, it makes sense that a true hero would go no-holds-barred against any robotic enemy. But Kirby does not limit his destruction to the robotically inclined. Sure, many of the game’s enemies return from past Kirby titles, so maybe they’ve allied with the robots just to get revenge. But what about the Waddle Dees?


Waddle Dees are by far the most populous race on Dreamland and they’re about as threatening as a sack full of puppies. If conquered, they’re not going to fight back. They’re basically slaves. If they’re told by some enemy to walk back and forth all day holding a giant spike-covered log, they’ll do it without hesitation. And Kirby? He’ll murder the hell out of them for it.

Now, I guess we could call those Waddle Dees collaborators, but such rationalizations don’t matter in the least to Kirby. All that matters it that they are in his way. In several levels, Kirby moves through a Waddle Dee city. It being the morning, many Waddle Dees are commuting to work. As good people, they follow all the traffic signals—though there’s a good chance they’ll hit a jaywalking Kirby. Of course, once Kirby picks up one of the invader’s mecha suits, he’ll gladly murder all those innocent drivers too.


Really, the only Waddle Dee safe from Kirby seems to be his bandana-wearing friend. And by “friend” I’m using what I imagine Kirby’s definition of the word to be—i.e., “that guy I don’t kill because he brings me food sometimes.”

To the citizens of Dreamland, Kirby is probably viewed not as a person, but as a force of nature. Basically, he’s like the Hulk. Leave him alone in the wild and he’ll be happy. But heaven forbid you piss him off; because if you do, he’ll walk a path of indiscriminate destruction across your entire civilization. And in Kirby Planet Robobot he gets a transforming death machine that—like Kirby himself—is powered by the corpses of his victims.


So, yeah. Kirby isn’t quite “hero” material. Perhaps the best classification for him is “walking natural disaster.”

Which makes me wonder, do the Waddle Dees sell Kirby insurance?

Kirby: Planet Robobot was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on April 28, 2016. It will be released in the US and Europe on June 10, 2016.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.