It’s Good To Be A Kirby Fan

A dozen Kirby games have come out since the last Red Dead Redemption.
A dozen Kirby games have come out since the last Red Dead Redemption.

It can be frustrating to be a fan of video game. The game you’ve waited years for has been delayed a second time. The series you love is being ruined by its publisher. The patch the developer just issued nerfed your favorite character. These problems do not apply in the world of Kirby, the Nintendo series that must be the least frustrating thing to be into in all of video games.

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Next time you’re unhappy about the game series you’re trying to love, take inspiration from what happens in the land of Kirby games, where things go inexplicably right.

Did you know, for example, that there’s never a lack of Kirby games? There’s no such a thing as wondering when they’ll ever get around to making another game about that cute pink puffball who inhales his enemies. There is always a new Kirby adventure on the way.

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It is currently late February 2018 and a Kirby game just came out in the United States one month ago. It’s not very good, but that doesn’t matter, because… there will be another new Kirby game released in less than a month.

Never nerfed, rarely delayed and usually in really good games.
Never nerfed, rarely delayed and usually in really good games.

If you’re a fan of, say, an obscure series like The Legend of Zelda, you’ve last gotten new Zelda games in 2011, 2013 and 2017. Call of Duty fans get about one game a year. Kirby fans? Three games in 2014, one game in 2015, one game in 2016, two games (in the U.S.) in 2017 and two more in 2018. That’s nearly two a year. Yeah, people, consider finding your gaming happiness by becoming a Kirby fan.

It’s unclear which law of supply and demand Nintendo operates on when planning how many Kirby games they’ll make. Kirby is not popular enough to be featured in a major motion picture, not popular enough to be featured in Mario Kart, not even popular enough to be mentioned in Nintendo’s press release boilerplate, which notes that the company “has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon.” (Maybe it’s because Kirby was created by HAL Laboratory, but then why is Game Freak’s Pokémon in there?)

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To be a Kirby fan is to get the good stuff and the weird stuff and so much of it that the occasional bad stuff doesn’t matter. Recent main-line Kirby games like Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot have been superb secret-filled sidescrollers with clever level design and impressive visual pop. They’re easy, which is a pro or a con, depending on your perspective.

To be a Kirby fan is to basically be bathing in a waterfall of Kirby games. There are so many Kirby games that fans can have discussion threads about the acronyms formed by the first letters of the names of levels in various Kirby games. (Kirby Triple Deluxe’s six main levels, for example, are titled Fine Fields, Lollipop Land, Old Odyssey, Wild World, Endless Explosions and Royal Road, which can be acronymed to F.L.O.W.E.R.—or as other floral words in other languages, according to this Redditor.)

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Amazingly, they’ve not yet made a Kirby curling game, but there’s hope yet. This is promo art for March’s Switch game Kirby Star Allies
Amazingly, they’ve not yet made a Kirby curling game, but there’s hope yet. This is promo art for March’s Switch game Kirby Star Allies

To be a Kirby fan is to know that the mini-games—the mini-games!—of a new Kirby game will, these days, be prototypes for better, much beefier standalone versions of those games that come out the same year. This happened with the two mini-games in 2014’s Kirby Triple Deluxe, which spawned same-year, more elaborate standalone games based on them. And it happened with 2016’s magnificent Planet Robobot, which had mini-games involving co-op boss battles and 3D platforming which both turned into much more fleshed out standalone titles, ones that held up better than Triple Deluxe’s spawn.

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To be a Kirby fan is realizing that somehow the people who make Kirby games don’t just have time to make a couple of Kirbys a year but also somehow just had time to make an all-new platformer called Box Boy in 2015 and then release two sequels in the two years that followed (there are even Kirby references in them).

Kirby is never nerfed. Kirby games are almost never free-to-play or filled with microtransactions (just once). Older Kirby games are always brought back (search for “virtual console” in this list of Kirby games!). Are Kirby games even ever delayed? Google for that and you’ll get one hit: a Kirby game was delayed in 2004. (Update 6:34pm: How could I forget Kirby Air Ride, first shown for the N64 and then released on GameCube in 2003? So that’s another delay from long ago.)

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You suffer nothing when you’re a Kirby fan. So the next time you’re stressing about whichever franchise is getting you down, consider getting into the Kirby games. Or at least take solace that it’s all going right, at least for the Kirby fans. Hey, it could all happen to your favorite franchise, too.

Editor-in-Chief. Playing: Watch Dogs Legion (need to get back to RDR2, Iconoclasts, Arkham Origins, Sushi Striker, Samus Returns, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint)

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DISCUSSION

I just want to say one thing as a Kirby fan. My favorite Kirby game is Revenge of the Meta Knight from Kirby SuperStar. The reason is that it is the first and only Kirby game where he is treated as the unstoppable monster he is!

You get to read the conversations of the terrified Halberd Crew, including Captain Vul and a few others, as you play through the games second half. They are absolutely astonished and horrified as Kirby rampages across the deck of the ship, eventually getting under the ship, complete destroys the Heavy Lobster mech unit, the main cannons, and the power generator.

“Kirby’s outside! He’s going under the ship!”

“He’s whaaaaat?”

Eventually, the crew tries to abandon the ship and begs the Meta Knight to join them. The noble rogue chooses to remain on the ship as it goes down to buy time for his crew to escape. The crew is saddened and grateful to their noble leader for his sacrifice.

“Now it’s your turn to evacuate.”

“No! I want to stay with you, sir!”

“You fool! Abandon ship! That’s an order!”

But the player is Kirby. The game makes you feel like such an unstoppable, terrifying monster as you send the Halberd crashing into the ocean!

I love that game!