Video Game: Kirby and The Amazing Mirror

The pink puffball's second outing on the Game Boy Advance, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror shifts from the standard linear platformer norm to a sprawling Metroidvania game with optional cooperative multiplayer.

The story begins with the Mirror World being taken over by Dark Mind, and Meta Knight going in to try and stop it. Meanwhile, as Kirby is walking he is attacked by a dark copy of Meta Knight from the Mirror World and split into four Kirbys of different colors. The four board a warp star and chase Dark Meta Knight into the Mirror World.

The game is essentially what you get if you throw the Metroidvania genre in a blender with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and the Kirby franchise. The player must traverse a maze of nine interconnected areas, finding the maps for each, pressing buttons to connect them to the Hub Level, and defeating their bosses to collect the eight Mirror Shards to restore the Amazing Mirror, the path to the Final Boss. While you're doing that, the other three Kirbys are off on the adventure too, and you can call them by mobile phone at any time to help you fight enemies or solve puzzles which need an extra Kirby or two; the game also has a multiplayer mode which is pretty much the same thing except other players fill the roles of the other Kirbys.

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is one of the ten Game Boy Advance games to be available to participants in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, released exclusively to 3DS early adopters for free on the [eShop] in December 2011. In April 2014, the game was brought to Wii U's Virtual Console. (Like all GBA Virtual Console games, the multiplayer mode is inaccessible in these releases.)

Kirby and The Amazing Mirror contains examples of:

  • All The Worlds Are A Battlefield: The Dark Mind (first form) battlefields borrow from several levels, namely Candy Constellation, Radish Ruins, Cabbage Cavern, and Peppermint Palace.
  • Alternate Universe: The Mirror World is an alternate universe into which Kirby and co. must venture to defeat Dark Mind.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the American boxart to the Japanese version (see above).
    • It is interesting to note exactly how the art changed. Closer inspection reveals that Kirby and Sword traded colors and swapped positions. Also of note is that the total Angry!Kirby to Jolly!Kirby ratio is maintained. Taking the multiplayer feature and Spray Paint item into account allows for some rather creative interpretations. All this considered, the American background is undoubtedly more menacing.
  • Badass in Distress: Meta Knight goes off to stop Dark Mind, but as he enters the Amazing Mirror, Dark Meta Knight shatters the Mirror from the hub level side and seals Meta Knight in Dark Mind's dimension.
  • Big Bad: Dark Mind, who has seized the Mirror World for his own (presumably) dark machinations.
  • Big Damn Heroes: This title turned the trope into a game mechanic - namely, the Kirbys never follow you, the only way to have them help you in both exploration and combat is to call them with your Kirby Phone. It becomes incredibly satisfying to call them for aid against bosses, with them literally coming out of nowhere... unless their Artificial Stupidity kicks in.
  • Boss Rush: Unlockable after 100% Completion.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Dark Is Evil: Dark Meta Knight, who splits Kirby into four and is both a level boss and the penultimate boss right before the final battle, and Dark Mind, the Big Bad.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shadow Kirby. Though you can attack him for a bonus item in some stages, he is generally not a threat and even helps out at some points in the game.
  • Determinator: If you believe Kracko is the same entity in each game, then the fact that he chased Kirby into a parallel universe is what gives him this status.
  • Dual Boss: Master Hand and Crazy Hand appear in tandem as a level boss, similar to their appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Dub Name Change: The most amount out of any game in the series thus far (and arguably since), due to all the observable names of enemies that got muddled in translation (such as "Mr. Flosty" from Mr. Frosty and "Leap" from Lip), as well as the mini-game "Gigaton Punch" to "Crackity Hack", among other examples. Needless to say, this was a point of controversy in the fandom, and Nintendo would go on to say their localization was based on the perceived market of the age demographic.
    • Even abilities weren't safe, with a grand total of three renamed (the most out of any game). Minimum had a minor change to Mini and SmaBro had a reasonable alteration to Smash, but most notably Angel was altered to Cupid. This is despite the fact that Cupid is a specific mythological figure than a general one, arguably making the change MORE religious (which was clearly unintentional). This was retained in Squeak Squad, but was reverted in the ability's cameo in Triple Deluxe.
  • Duel Boss: Only the very final phase of Dark Mind, as in every other boss fight you can have the rest of the Kirbys backing you up.
    • Granted, you can call the other Kirbys just before you deal the finishing blow to him in the fireball form battle, and then as many Warp Stars appear as needed to chase down Dark Mind.
  • Evil Knockoff: Dark Meta Knight, a duplicate created by Dark Mind that masquerades as the true Meta Knight for most of the game.
  • Expy: This is one of the few games that Whispy Woods didn't show up in, but King Golem fights almost identically.
    • Wiz is one for Paint Roller and Dark Mind is one for both Nightmare and 0. The only boss from a previous game to appear, besides Meta Knight (in a sense), is Kracko.
  • Good All Along: Shadow Kirby. See Dark Is Not Evil above for details.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Collecting all of the treasures. You can tell when a room is fully completed when it glows on the map.
  • Heart Container: Four in the game; like level map treasure rooms and rooms that connect to the hub (distinguished from treasure rooms by marking that they go to Level 1 (which the hub level is technically part of) or another level's room connecting to the same place), their treasure rooms are larger than most rooms.
  • Hero of Another Story: If you look in the top corner of the screen, you may notice portraits of the other Kirbys, and you may notice that they sometimes gain and lose copy abilities. As well, if you look on the map, you'll see them located in different levels at times. This implies that while you're going through the levels and progressing the game, the other three Kirbys are having their own adventures throughout the levels. Unfortunately, they cannot unlock content for you (unless you're playing multiplayer), but you can yank them out of their adventure by summoning them to you, where they will retain whatever abilities and health they had in their prior location.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: The Smash ability; it's rare because the rare encounters with Master Hand, except for two where he's joined by Crazy Hand, or if you swallow two Noddys and let the selection stop itself are the only opportunities to obtain the ability until the copy ability room is unlocked (which requires all doors connecting to the hub or doors connecting to such rooms to be unlocked, thus this method is only available late in the game without Sequence Breaking) since no plain mooks grant it, but as the Super Smash Bros. moveset for Kirby it mimics has moves taken from the Stone and Hammer abilities, it's useful for both breaking silver blocks requiring certain abilities (and unlike other moves, regardless of angle needed to break the blocks) and pounding in wooden stakes, though another ability would be needed to light fuses. That, and, it's cool.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Master ability, which can be used if Kirby has Meta Knight's Master Swordnote , is fittingly named because it can't typically be lost accidentally (when Kirby loses it, it doesn't disappear) and can get past any obstacle in the game, including any obstacle that requires specific abilities (silver blocks, wooden stakes, and fuses). It's also quite powerful and flexible, having far more attacks available than the plain Sword ability. However, the only time it can be used before the credits are seen at least once is during the final boss battle, so its main use is either for easy access to missed treasures or for just screwing around post-game if the file has 100% completed.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Smash and Master abilities are useful for getting around obstacles usually broken through with other abilities in addition to having a wide range of moves per ability. The Smash ability has the limitation that it can't light fuses, though the Master ability can.
  • King Mook: King Golem, a giant Whispy Woods-esque fellow.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Subverted with Dark Meta Knight. The first time you fight him, he's masquerading as Meta Knight, and the fact that he doesn't throw you a sword is your first hint at his true identity.
  • Metroidvania: A relative first for the Kirby series ("Great Cave Offensive" aside). Most Kirby levels are fairly linear, but this game has many branching pathways, rewards exploration with secret treasures, and often finds the player backtracking to open up new areas.
  • Minigame Credits: The final shootdown against Dark Mind's eye form continues as the credits roll by, and a counter appears at the bottom of the screen to show you how many hits you've landed on him.
  • Mirror Universe: The Mirror World, of course, or so it appears at first.
  • Mythology Gag: The ending scene is nearly identical to the ending of Kirby's Adventure.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only Kirby game to be a full Metroidvania instead of a straightforward Platform Game the series' main games are known for (it's somewhat of a Spiritual Successor to The Great Cave Offensive from Kirby Super Star in that regard). It's also the only game in the entire series where King Dedede does not make an appearance, or at least it would be until Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Hitting the large switch on the way to King Golem unlocks a mirror linking the central hub to a location in Rainbow Route from where you can start freely exploring the rest of Mirror World. Before then, the game railroaded you through a small linear section of Rainbow Route and then through Moonlight Mansion before hitting said switch, although deviating is possible to a smaller degree if the player obtains and keeps a hold onto the Burning ability, such as being able to access Candy Constellation early from Moonlight Mansion.
  • Palette Swap: The three other Kirbys, as well as Dark Meta Knight and Shadow Kirby.
    • Also, you can collect spray paint cans in treasure chests, which can be used on the main menu to change your Kirby's color, including a black-and-white one that looks somewhat like a higher-resolution version of how Kirby looked in the first game.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: One of the more difficult Kirby games for several reasons:
    • You start with very low health (six bars, thankfully one can find up to 4 health extensions by exploring and finding secrets).
    • Enemy density is much higher than usual, and they are often placed in inconvenient spots, with a few ambushes thrown in. Many of them even attack much faster and more effectively than they do in previous installments.
    • Many tight flying sections, with spikes or airborne enemies all around.
    • You lose your ability after one hit from any attack.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible to access the ability room, giving free access to almost every copy ability, before beating the first boss: after pressing the first large switch, Warp Star back to the hub and go hunting for the rest of them.
  • Sequential Boss: Dark Mind has quite a few short phases in his first form, broken up by small levels; then a second form that's very similar to 0; then an Unexpected SHMUP Level where you chase him to finish him off; then when you finally kill him you're allowed to keep pummeling him during the credits.
  • Shout-Out: Master Hand appears as a miniboss in several places, and in combination with Crazy Hand is the boss of Candy Constellation. Additionally, one of Kirby's abilities in this game is the Smash ability, which gives Kirby his Super Smash Bros. moveset (except for the standard special, which mimics his neutral-A), and is acquired by eating Master Hand.
    • Dark Mind's first form is very similar to Nightmare, and its second form is a fiery version of 0.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe example: according to the history booklet in Kirby's Dream Collection, the inclusion of the cell phone mechanics were added because cell phones were new at the time.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Not directly, in this case—Meta Knight tosses his sword into the Dimension Mirror for Kirby to use against the final boss.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: The result of a Droppy stealing an ability that is exclusive to bosses, such as Hammer or Smash.
  • Unexpected SHMUP Level: Dark Mind's final phase.
  • Videogame Settings:
  • Warmup Boss: King Golem fills this role as an Expy of Whispy Woods.
    • King Golem is actually weaker than Whispy, since this was the first game since Kirby Super Star to use a draining meter instead of blips, he has roughly 25% health than Whispy usually does.
  • With Friends Like These...: Sometimes, summoning your Kirby friends can be more of a hindrance than a help, as they can push you around or get in the way of your path, as well as potentially attacking or provoking enemies that you didn't want to bother yet.