Video Game: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards aka: Kirby 64
Our hero and his companions.
One day, the beautiful world of Ripple Star was overshadowed by a great darkness—specifically, a cloud of Dark Matter. To prevent Ripple Star's crystal from falling into the wrong hands, the Queen launches it into outer space with one of her fairies, Ribbon. But Dark Matter attacks the crystal, causing it to shatter into several pieces....Meanwhile, Kirby is watching a meteor shower when Ribbon lands on him holding what's left of the Crystal. A second shard falls on Kirby shortly thereafter; when he offers it to Ribbon, the crystals recombine. Ribbon then explains to Kirby (via pantomime) that those shooting stars are the other crystal shards, which must be collected in order to save Ripple Star. Kirby is more than happy to help, so he sets off with Ribbon on a quest across several planets.Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is the first game in the Kirby series to go 3D; while the action played on a 2D plane for the most part, enemies would occasionally fly at Kirby from the "background" to menace him. One of the most memorable gameplay mechanics from the game was the expanding of Kirby's "copy" powers; Kirby was able to mix powers from different enemies to make new ones (for example, the combination of Fire + Rock turns Kirby into a living, aimable volcano).This game is the third and final part of The Dark Matter Trilogy, the previous entries being Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3, and thus inherits their more slow paced, simplistic gameplay and more whimsical, dream-like art direction and music.Included as part of Kirby's Dream Collection, for Kirby's 20th anniversary.
Auto-Scrolling Level: In the form of rapid currents on Aqua Star and conveyor belts on Shiver Star (though you could go against the "scrolling" if you were determined enough), as well as the Minecart Madness examples below.
Awesome, but Impractical: There are quite a few, but special mention goes to Rock + Bomb, which lets you throw a stick of dynamite that pretty much kills anything. It also damages you unless you duck, which gives you a hard hat that blocks the damage. It's also on a timed fuse unless it makes contact with an enemy.
Big Bad: Depending on how one views the term and the completion percentage, either Miracle Matter or Zero Two.
Big Bulky Bomb: Rock + Bomb = roll of dynamite that kills everything on screen and hurts you if you don't use the helmet. It takes a while to detonate normally, but triggers instantly if it hits an enemy.
Bizarre World Shapes: Pop Star is a five-pointed star, Rock Star is shattered into several pieces, Aqua Star is a drop of water with wave breaker shaped planet suspended in it, and Ripple Star is heart-shaped.
Blackout Basement: A few small rooms will contain a code you need to enter in the next room. These rooms are dark and the answer will only be revealed with the lightbulb-based Spark + Bomb power.
But Thou Must: Your pause screen has two choices, "Continue" or "Try again"; the latter lets you try on a different level. During the battle with the True Final Boss they become "Continue" and "Tough it out!". They both do the exact same thing.
Cartoon Bomb: The regular bomb power is this in both its icon and the projectiles generated.
Collision Damage: Coming into contact with an enemy causes you to take damage, but usually the enemy is defeated as well by the collision.
Color-Coded Elements: Each ability has its own colour to represent it, and obstacles that can be broken by that ability are in that colour. If they require two abilities, they'll be both colours.
Continuity Nod: Kirby's various Rock + Cutter forms are those of his animal companions from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3.
Your fight with King Dedede early on screams the latter of those two games.
Zero Two has a large bandage on the top of his head. Considering his eyeball popped out in Dream Land 3...
Covers Always Lie: Just look at the cover for this game - it's one of the few North American covers to ever show Kirby smiling. And the True Final Boss? A giant bleeding eyeball that shoots its own blood at you (or at least it looks like blood...).
Easter Egg: If you inhale an enemy and push R to hold them above your head—without digesting them—many of them have unique effects. Bronto Burts, for example, will carry you into the air, and Glunks will shoot a steady stream of pellets into the air that will take out airborne enemies.
Final Boss: Miracle Matter. Also see Post and True Final Boss below.
Final Exam Boss: Miracle Matter, who has a different form for every base ability in the game, and the only way to harm him is to damage him with the same ability he's using. Usually it's better to just suck up the leftovers of his attack and spit them back at him.
Giant Mook: All of the regular minibosses (minus the "Special" minibosses of Waddle Dee (who turns into a Waddle Doo), Adeline, and King Dedede) are large versions of regular enemies. Which leads to one of them being a...
Giant Enemy Crab: A miniboss in Stage 2 of Aqua Star, although if we're being completely honest it's more like Slightly Larger Than Average Enemy Crab.
Girl of the Week: Ribbon (for Kirby) is a variation, never appearing after this game, but never getting a Suspiciously Similar Substitute. The closest thing to a cameo of her, let alone a reappearance, is appearing once in the character gallery in the 20th Kirby anniversary artbook.
Guide Dang It: In general, most of the hidden Crystals do have clues on how to find them, but some of them will still make you go running for GameFaqs (or Nintendo Power magazines).
One of the worst examples is a shard in level 3 of Aqua Star where the shard was far above Kirby's maximum flight height (even with powers). In order to get it, you need to realize that Rick's form from the Stone + Cutter power can climb walls. The number of times this ability is mentioned in the game, manual, or anything besides a guide or walkthrough: 0. It's an ability from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3, and if you've never played either, your only hint is the green-and-brown breakable terrain that stands in your way - and considering Stone + Cutter has six different forms that show up at random, good luck with trial and error.
While on the topic of that breakable multicolored terrain, there are notably a couple of these Crystal-concealing obstacles that do not follow the "use these ability colors" rule you've been following for most of the game. The first is a conspicuous rock in 4-4 that requires, of all things, an Ice ability of any kind to break - this is despite that the rock in question is inside of a volcano and can withstand high explosives. The second is an ice stalactite in 5-1 that requires any Fire ability to destroy; while this actually makes sense, it's still a sharp departure from the established formula, with your only other possible hint being if you somehow managed to get the 4-4 Crystal beforehand.
The Heartless: Dark Matter and the various bits of fuzzy dark things spawned from it.
It's a Wonderful Failure: If you lose the Boss Rush, you get a scene of Kirby looking sad as the Game Over jingle plays, his friends looking on with what can only be described as disdain on their faces, and the "uplifting" message, "It's Hopeless..."
Joke Weapon: Ice + Fire. Some combinations might be underpowered or unimpressive, but this one's nothing short of useless. Also, while Rock + Cutter is one of the best combos in the game, one possible outcome is Kine the fish, who literally can't do anything, even underwater.
Mighty Glacier: Most of the Rock-based powers turn Kirby into this, especially Rock + Rock, which makes Kirby into a giant boulder version of himself.
Minecart Madness: First as a wooden box raft in Stage 3-2, then as an actual minecart in Stage 4-2, and then as a bobsled in Stage 5-1.
Mini-Game: The game features three multiplayer mini-games entirely unrelated to anything, accessible mostly from the "options" menu. They are a pretty good time, though.
Monster Compendium: In the form of enemy cards Kirby can earn only in the jump game after levels. They just show the enemies' names, their animated models, and which power (if any) they give Kirby, and there are eighty-one cards in all. Oh yeah, and the card that Kirby gets is random every time, meaning it's possible to get duplicates. Good luck trying toget them all...
Mood Whiplash: It's a Kirby game, what did you expect? Well, many didn't think anything of it. You go from fighting cute little animals with your adorable companions (stopping to have picnics along the way) to fighting a giant bleeding eyeball who embodies all evil in the universe. Sleep tight!
Even before that, we had Ripple Star. At the beginning, it seems idyllic even though it's been taken over by Dark Matter, By the end, Kirby is fighting a demonic 20-sided die known as Miracle Matter in pure darkness. And each side of said die has an eyeball on it. Even the music is more menacing!
Shiver Star. A snowy and happy place, with a large toy mall, and then you get to the toy factory, full of insta-death crushing walls and conveyer belts. And then you realize that the planet looks suspiciously familiar...
Multi-Mook Melee: The last true level of the game (6-3) is composed mostly of attacks from groups of smaller enemies, punctuated by short hallways.
Mythology Gag: Waddle Dee possessed by Dark Matter turns into Waddle Doo, Adeleine previously appeared in Kirby's Dream Land 3 (where she was called Ado), and Rock + Cutter turns Kirby into a statue of one of his earlier animal companions!
Post Final Boss: Zero Two, unlocked by achieving 100%, is one to Miracle Matter, being in the game to show how Dark Matter was still around after Zero's destruction in the previous game and also being universally seen as MUCH easier than Miracle Matter.
Puzzle Boss: Rock Star's boss, which takes more damage if you shoot each crystal with the same color bullet.
Also Miracle Matter. It can only be hurt by the same power element as it's using at a given time. For example, it uses the Spark ability to fire lasers all over the area. Only way to hurt it is to use an electric based power (solo or mix, whichever works) or simply suck up the excess power and shoot it back at MM.
Ribcage Ridge: Seen in a stage on Rock Star and "hides" a Crystal Shard in its mouth.
Smooch of Victory: This is how Ribbon's expresses her gratitude to Kirby for saving Ripple Star in the True Ending.
Spell My Name with an S: The final boss, commonly written out as "02", has as his name in the game itself spelled out rather differently. Instead of 02, it's arranged with the "2" as a power of base "0" - so instead of it's name being pronounced "Zero Two", it's properly pronounced Zero Squared. Shorthand would suggest it written out as 0^2, as it would take too long to fish for a "to the power of 2" character.
Jossed. It's spelled as 0 with a superscript 2, but its Japanese name is romanized as "Zero Tsū".
This is also confirmed by another enemy found on Rock Star, which is largely a Thwomp-like cube with a single eye design. It's name is I^3, or "I Cubed".
Sphere of Destruction: Spark + Spark creates a giant orb of electrical rings that destroy any enemies they touch with a loud, satisfying shocking noise.
The Spiny: Gordo; one of the few monsters that Kirby can't eat.
Also the Scarfies, which explode if Kirby attempts to inhale them, and spider-like Mariels, which damage Kirby if he digests them.
Unfortunate Names: One of the enemies is actually called a "Pedo" (actually pronounced "PEE-doe", a pun on "torpedo".)
Unique Enemy: Noo in Stage 2-2, Wall Shotzo in Stage 2-4, and Rockn in Stage 5-4.
Victory Cake: Each stage (excepting boss battles) ends with the characters having a nice picnic, and a little mini-game in which Kirby can earn some extra items, including a health-restoring slice of cake.
There's one Crystal Shard in Neo Star's own 4-4... Our hero finds himself in a room with a large rock in the center, with molten lava creating cracks in it. You see the red of the lava and the black of the stone, so surely this must call for Fire-Bomb! No? How about Fire-Rock? That doesn't work either? How about Bomb-Bomb? Fire-Fire? Rock-Rock? No, you destroy that seemingly impenetrable stone in front of you by using Ice. Yes, your rock will practically shatter to pieces if Kirby either breathes some frosty gales in its direction or rolls himself a giant snowball into it. You scientifically inclined folks may try to use the fact that ice plays an integral part of rock decomposition as an explanation for this, but it can hardly stand to the fact that you just used every violent explosive Kirby has access to in this game...
Wall Jump: Rock + Cutter has a one-in-six chance of turning you into a statue of Rick the Hamster, who can can ascend walls in this manner (and doesn't even need to alternate walls to do it). This is vital for getting one Crystal Shard in Stage 3-3.