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Video Game: Kirby Superstar

Kirby Super Star is a 1996 SNES game, and part of the Kirby franchise. Unlike the other Kirby games, where everyone's favorite pink puffball has one long adventure, Super Star contained a number of shorter games — its tag line on the box was "8 games in one!" Those games — 6 main, 2 sub — are:

  • Main Games
    • Spring Breeze: King Dedede has stolen all the food in Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. The introductory game, it's essentially a compressed version of the original Kirby's Dream Land with abilities added.
    • DynaBlade: A mysterious creature named Dyna Blade is terrorizing Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. Adds a world map, some additional powers, and a couple extras, but in the end is mostly an intro game like Spring Breeze.
    • Gourmet Race: Kirby and Dedede race to see who can eat the most food while still reaching the finish line first. It's pretty straight forward. Very notable for its music: the Gourmet Race theme "Run, Kirby, Run" is one of the most-remixed songs on YouTube and one of two sources of the THIS VIDEO CONTAINS meme. And that's just a sample.
    • The Great Cave Offensive: Kirby has accidentally fallen down a hole and found himself in a huge cave, filled with treasure. Now he has to find a way out of the cave while grabbing as much loot as he can. More of a Metroidvania game than a linear platformer, Kirby's quest through the cave helps him find items like the Falcon Helmet, Mr. Saturn, and the Triforce, as well as the Kirby Phone and the Triple Star Rod (which, in the case of the latter two, are exclusive to the remake).
    • Revenge of Meta Knight: Meta Knight is setting out to conquer Dream Land in his massive flying battleship, the Halberd, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. In this game, the levels are timed -- failing to clear it within a certain amount of time results in a loss. Also noted for the story — Meta Knight and his crew can be heard talking about Kirby attacking, and the crew is visibly freaking out as he lays waste to the Halberd.
    • Milky Way Wishes: The Sun and the Moon are fighting, throwing day and night into chaos, and it's up to Kirby to stop hi-- I mean, them. This game takes Kirby to other worlds to find the wish-granting Galactic Nova, and since the enemies on these worlds are different than the usual ones, Kirby can't absorb their powers; instead, he has to find the Deluxe Copy Essences around the levels, after which point he has those powers forever, and can shuffle through them.
    • The Arena: Okay, seven main games, as beating all six games unlocks The Arena, a straight-up Boss Rush. Kirby has his choice of abilities and a set number of Maxim Tomatoes, and must battle through every boss and miniboss of the game, from Whispy Woods to Meta Knight to the terror that is Waddle Dee, before a rematch with the final boss.
  • Sub-Games
    • Samurai Kirby: Kirby faces off in a first-strike duel with five increasingly tough opponents. Like the Quick Draw game in Kirby's Adventure / Nightmare in Dream Land, it's a game of reaction time.
    • Megaton Punch: A contest of timing, the challenge is to line up the strength and timing meters just right to deliver a strong enough punch to break Popstar in half. Remixed in Kirby and The Amazing Mirror as Crackity Hack.

While Kirby's Adventure on the NES codified the Kirby formula, Super Star is considered to be the game that perfected it, and is arguably the franchise's — and creator Masahiro Sakurai's — Magnum Opus. It was remade in 2008 as Kirby Super Star Ultra, which added a handful of extra games to the mix, bringing the total to 16 games in one:

  • Main Games
    • Revenge of the King: Like Spring Breeze, this game follows the story of the original Kirby's Dream Land. The trick this time is that this is a remake of Kirby's Dream Land's Extra (or hard) Mode, so the enemies, especially the bosses, are a lot tougher. This includes a fight against war-blimp Kabula, mid-bosses from Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land, and a brand-new King Dedede.
    • Helper to Hero: Instead of playing as Kirby, you choose one of his helpers (characters based on an element that Kirby absorbed, usually controlled by computer or by a second player) and run though a shortened, non-randomized version of The Arena. This can create quite a challenge: sure, winning as Bonkers (Hammer) or Plasma Wisp (Plasma) isn't too bad, but how about winning with Capsule J2 (Jet) or Wheelie (Wheel)? Not to mention getting the best time...
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra: You play as Meta Knight through abridged versions of the original main games, excluding Gourmet Race and The Arena. Meta Knight has a whole suite of moves at his disposal, and uses them to thrash his way through the stages. His ultimate achievement is to fight the ultimate warrior in the universe.
    • The True Arena: This is what happens when The Arena hates you. It's a Kirby Boss Rush again, but with less health-recovery and much tougher bosses — you fight the bosses and sub-bosses from Revenge of the King, then get the final bosses from Revenge of the King, Helper to Hero, and Meta Knightmare Ultra and a bonus boss.
  • Side Games: A set of mini-games that can be played with friends wirelessly, they utilize the Nintendo DS's touch screen and stylus. They can be summarized as:
    • Snack Tracks: Kirby eats.
    • Kirby On the Draw: Kirby shoots.
    • Kirby Card Swipe: Kirby plays Karuta.

Tropes used in Kirby Super Star:

  • Abandon Ship: Discussed near the end of Revenge of Meta Knight. They decide to fight Kirby one last time before doing so... except for Captain Vul. He escaped first.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: King Dedede at the end of Revenge of The King. Especially since the Waddle Dees comfort him.
  • American Meta Knight is Hardcore: The "Meta Knight's Counterattack" part of the game was changed in the Western release to "Revenge of Meta Knight" and Meta Knight's new dialogue makes him sound clearly villainous. They even made him threaten Kirby to death! Those changes have been maintained in Ultra, sans the "Prepare to die!" line.
    • Surprisingly, the Trope Namer himself averts this for the box art for Ultra. In fact, it was the first time in a long while that he wasn't given angry eyebrows.
  • Animated Actors: Implied by the unlockable blooper reel in Ultra. Complete with laugh tracks.
  • Artifact Title: The "Meta Knightmare" mode from Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land was named like that just because it's a pun on the game's name. However, the pun's lost when they decided to call the equivalent mode in Kirby: Superstar Ultra "Meta Knightmare Ultra".
  • Ascended Extra: Bandanna Dee first appeared in Super Star as the first opponent in "Megaton Punch". In Ultra, he has dialog and appears as a boss (albeit not much of one) in "Revenge of the King" (plus he's the only spectator in the stands during the Masked Dedede fight), and the Waddle Dee opponent in "The Arena" was changed to him. Now he's a playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
  • Bad Samaritan: Marx. He pretends to be on Kirby's side, only for it to turn out he was playing Kirby to find NOVA so that he can use it to conquer Dream Land.
  • Balloon Belly: As usual, Kirby's and Dedede's standard attacks result in this. In addition, Dedede will balloon up if he beats you in Gourmet Race.
  • Batman Gambit: Marx in Milky Way Wishes manipulates Kirby into reconstructing wish-granting NOVA so he can wish to become the ruler of Dream Land.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Marx. He looks like a jester, but turns out to be the Manipulative Bastard that tricked Kirby into finding NOVA so that he can conquer Dream Land.
  • Bubbly Clouds: While the game itself is not the Trope Namer, the level that named the trope is brought back.
  • The Cameo: In both versions, various Mario characters can be seen at the sides of King Dedede's arena.
  • Call Back: The Dream Spring and Star Rod from Kirby's Adventure get an appearance in the intro to Milky Way Wishes.
  • Captain Ersatz: Capsule J in the SNES version is just Konami's TwinBee with a headband. This was apparently so blatant that he was later retconned out of the series and replaced with "Capsule J2".
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: Fatty Whale
  • Cool Faceship: The Halberd, with Meta Knight's mask, made its debut here.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: A second player can play as the summoned helpers. In Super Star Ultra, it's required for each player to own the cartridge to do this with most of the games, though Spring Breeze can be played co-op through download play, with both players watching the first player's DS.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Going from playing Super Star to its DS remake can be quite difficult control-wise. In the original, it used the classic SNES control scheme of B being jump and Y attack, with A being used to summon a helper. In Ultra, they went for control consistency with the GBA games and Squeak Squad, having B as attack and A as jump (with X being used to create a helper). It can also be tricky if you, say, play Ultra first and then played the original on something like Kirby's Dream Collection.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: If you copy the abilities of the enemy Tac, you'll gain the power Copy, which... allows you to copy the abilities of an enemy, which would be great if that was not Kirby's default superpower. It isn't totally worthless, but the times it is useful are highly situational.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The Suplex, Jet, and Ninja powers are very difficult to use effectively, especially against bosses, but do crazy damage. Suplex in particular, because bosses can't be grabbed — meaning you have to either grapple any debris the boss creates, or spam Pinpoint Kick. It's awkward and requires a lot of precise maneuvering, but most bosses go down from two or three wrestling moves. This means Bugzzy isn't such a bad choice for Helper to Hero...until you reach Computer Virus.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Wham Bam Rock and Wham Bam Jewel in Ultra.
  • Dual Boss: Twin Woods. The prospect of two Whispy Woodses doesn't sound too threatening, but if you can't put them away fast you'll start to regret it soon.
  • Dub Name Change: Super Star Ultra is known in Japan as Ultra Super Deluxe, which has led to it being sometimes called "USDX".
    • Mark became Marx, for much the same reasons as Tina to Terra in Final Fantasy VI.
    • One of the enemies faced during the Computer Virus boss went by the name of Red Dragon in both versions of Super Star. When Ultra came out, the foe was rechristened with the Unfortunate Name of Grand Dragon in the Japanese version. Since this is the title of the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, this was changed to Great Dragon for English releases.
  • Duel Boss: Meta Knight, of course. He gives you the sword ability, per usual, which you are forced to take for the battle to start. However, if you decide not to and wait a while, it will eventually disappear and you can proceed to fight him with your weapons at your leisure.
  • Edible Collectible: The Gourmet Race is as much about eating lots of food as getting to the finish line quickly. This is in contrast to the rest of the game (and the series in general) where food grants health and occasionally power-ups.
  • Eternal Engine: The Halberd in Meta Knight's Revenge and Mecheye/Mekkai in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Evil Plan: Marx lampshades this (by going over what he did after he wished to rule Popstar) only in Ultra near the end of "Milky Way Wishes".
  • Excuse Plot: Except for Milky Way Wishes, the plots of most games never get really complex. In fact, most of their descriptions are little more than "There's a Big Bad causing trouble! Go stop it!" Then again, Kirby doesn't need much motivation anyway.
    • The Great Cave Offensive is the worst offender. "Kirby fell into a hole! Get treasure and escape from a giant whale, living RPG, paint-spitting mutant chameleon, and an ancient rock face with a hand!"
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra is simply Meta Knight beating the stuffing out of everything to prove he's the most Badass warrior in the galaxy.
  • Final Boss: OK, in order:
    • Spring Breeze: King Dedede
    • Dyna Blade: Dyna Blade
    • The Great Cave Offensive: Wham Bam Rock
    • Revenge of Meta Knight: Meta Knight
    • Milky Way Wishes: Marx
    • The Arena: Marx again.
    • Revenge of the King: Masked Dedede
    • Helper to Hero: Wham Bam Jewel
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra: Galacta Knight
    • The True Arena: Marx Soul, who's a borderline True Final Boss.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Instead of the usual Dark Matter-esque Eldritch Abomination, Marx is just one of the tiny, cute, marshmallow-like denizens of Popstar who manages to gain ultimate power with a Batman Gambit involving Kirby and the wish-granting comet Galactic Nova.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Each sub-game (not counting minigames) works differently from one another. To be fair, they all revolve around the same mechanics.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mild, but Fatty Whale smokes a pipe, even in the international versions. Maybe it's OK because you don't see any tobacco fumes?
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A subversion. The final bosses of Milky Way Wishes first appear in its introduction sequence and are only seen again at the very end. However, in the original Super Nintendo version, the introduction sequence was both optional and not indicated to even exist, meaning many players probably felt this applied to Galactic Nova and Marx. This was corrected in Ultra, where the introduction is automatically played.
  • Giggling Villain: Marx. In Ultra, Marx Soul makes it even worse.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The mini-boss Jukid has polka-dot underwear under his gi, as seen when you knock him down.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Treasures in The Great Cave Offensive, Abilities in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Green Hill Zone: Green Greens in Spring Breeze, Peanut Plain in Dyna Blade, and Floria in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Ground Pound: Stone power can only attack like this.
  • Ground Punch: Kirby has been known to do this in mini-games, especially Megaton Punch.
  • Guide Dang It: The location of the secret planet ??? in Milky Way Wishes can be found only if you look up its location or fly around aimlessly for no particular reason and discover it by accident. Not so much in Ultra, as the planet is marked by a blinking star that stands out amongst the background.
  • Harder Than Hard: The True Arena. So very, very much. You thought that beating The Arena was noteworthy? Well, this is a fight against all the harder bosses and MiniBosses with less than half the healing items and Marx Soul at the very end just to spite you.
  • Heavy Metal: Galacta Knight's battle music is perhaps the only time you're ever going to hear this in a Kirby game. Carries over to his appearance in Return to Dream Land.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When facing against Heavy Lobster in "Revenge of Meta Knight" the first time as Kirby. Granted it's only meant to distract you (The Player) long enough to be blown away by the time the ship launches. Technically, it is possible to destroy it before the cutscene of the boss battle ends, but that doesn't do anything to said cutscene (not even an acknowledgement from the ship's crew).
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Parodied in Samurai Kirby, in which the characters pull out increasingly goofy Improbable Weapons out of Hammerspace.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Invincible Candy item, which gives you temporary invincibility and an Ear Worm of a jingle when eaten.
  • Item Get: Everytime you open a chest in The Great Cave Offensive, you'll get a fanfare and then the information about the item you got.
  • Japanese Ranguage: One of the items in The Great Cave Offensive offensive is called Ramia's Scale, which was pretty obviously supposed to be Lamia's Scale. Curiously, even in Super Star Ultra, where some names were changed from the original localization and even those from other games, this was not fixed.
  • Kiss of Life: Somewhat of a variant; Kirby/Meta Knight and their helpers can eat any health item and then "kiss" their partner, and then the partner will also get healed. Called "face-to-face food transfer" in the manual.
  • Leave Him to Me: In Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight makes everyone abandon ship so he could take on Kirby alone, in one of the hardest boss battles in the series. Then, after he escapes, he comes back after you in a last-ditch attempt to stop Kirby from taking down his ship.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: The description for Revenge of the King says that King Dedede has gotten serious since he was beaten by Kirby many times in the past.
  • Light Is Not Good: Galacta Knight might count, if we actually knew whether he was good/evil. Even if he's not outright evil, the fact that his sheer power meant his very existence posed a threat to the galaxy qualifies him.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Marx uses Kirby to gain Galactic Nova's power and try to conquer Popstar. Also, the Sun and Moon fighting was part of Marx's plan, though this was only made clear in Ultra. It was only implied in the original..
  • Magic from Technology: NOVA, the mechanical wish granting comet.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Marx uses Kirby to gain Galactic Nova's power and try to conquer Popstar. Also, the Sun and Moon fighting was part of Marx's plan, though this was only made clear in Ultra. It was only implied in the original..
  • Market-Based Title: The original Japanese cartridge was titled Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe, the American version Kirby Super Star and the European one Kirby's Fun Pak.
  • Meaningless Lives: There's no punishment at all for running out of lives. The score doesn't even reset.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Captain Vul is the most dedicated of Meta Knight's men to killing Kirby, even sacrificing the ship's well being when he releases Heavy Lobster. However, he never goes after Kirby himself, and when the ship begins crashing, he's the first one to escape.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: The helper from the wheelie powerup is a monowheel.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Dyna Blade, who has switched between mommy and daddy throughout the series. Fans take both sides.
  • Nerf: The playable Meta Knight in Ultra, compared to his appearance in Nightmare in Dream Land. He can't control his jump height and his higher speed became a temporary powerup. His only advantage over his 'Nightmare in Dream Land version is that he's no longer restricted to only three hit points.
  • Never Say "Die": Ultra turns Meta Knight's original death threat of "Prepare to die!" to "Come meet your doom!"
  • New Game+: Meta Knightmare Ultra in KSSU, which allows you to play through the original SNES subgames as Meta Knight.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Arena (provided you play it without Hammer or Plasma Kirby) and The True Arena in Super Star Ultra—the latter can get almost as hard as the original Kirby's Dream Land Hard Mode, even with the trusty hammer at your side! Helper to Hero from Ultra can also be infuriating to beat with all of the characters, especially the weaker ones. Completing Helper to Hero with all of them is so hard that it doesn't count towards 100% completion. You are rewarded for doing it with a truly massive crown and the original intros to the original games as seen on the SNES.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Wham Bam Rock is claymation-style, unlike other characters.
    • This made his design from the original Super Star resemble something like Blackface.
  • One-Wheeled Wonder: The helper Wheelie.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Meta Knight is surprisingly hostile in Revenge of Meta Knight, compared to his usual Worthy Opponent self. Apparently, this was partly due to the translation, and partly due to some ulterior motive like fixing all of Dream Land's problems through a benevolent dictatorship.
  • Power Copying: As always, Kirby can inhale some kinds of enemies to obtain their power (except in Milky Way Wishes unless you managed to find a secret star which contains the Copy ability). The powers are as follows:
  • Prepare to Die: Meta Knight says this to Kirby before their duel in the original, but not in the Japanese one.
  • Raymanian Limbs: The mini-boss Jukid.
  • Redundancy: There are THREE (counting the DS remake) mini-bosses that give you the Supplex ability: Buggzy, Jukid, and Phan-Phan.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Kirby after sinking the Halberd in Revenge of Meta Knight. After Revenge of the King, Dedede does his walk-of-shame into the sunset accompanied by his still-loyal Waddle Dee subjects. Kirby even flies towards the sunset as a giant Kirby, floating along with King DeDeDe's castle as the credits play.
  • Rock Monster: Wham Bam Rock.
  • RPG Elements: Parodied with the Computer Virus boss.
  • Scenery Porn: The first game in the Kirby franchise to really invoke this, making it into a staple element of the series.
    • Ultra redoes all of the visuals, which also has the benefit of replacing the pre-rendered CGI level visuals from the original, which, like Donkey Kong Country's, were fantastic for their time, but look very much outdated today. The new visuals rely much less on CGI, and will likely age much better.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Beating The Arena with no ability is a common one. Considered nearly impossible in the original release (in no small part due to Meta Knight's stinginess with suckable projectiles), it was actually made a lot easier in the remake since all bosses produced more "free" stars to suck up and spit.
  • Shout-Out: Some of the items in The Great Cave Offensive are items (or even characters) from other Nintendo games. For example, Captain Falcon's helmet, the Falchion, a Mr. Saturn, and the Screw Attack can all be found.
    • Another one that appears in the Super Star Ultra updated remake of the game: in the new game mode "Revenge of the King," Kabula fires what seems to be Bullet Bills from the Super Mario Bros. series during the boss fight.
    • This is the first Kirby game in which the Sword ability gives him Link's cap. Likewise, The Yo-Yo ability seems to be based on Ness, right down to the ability's background resembling EarthBound's menu screen.
    • As mentioned above, the Capsule J enemy, which provided the Jet ability, was pretty much Konami's TwinBee character with a minor cosmetic difference. Unfortunately, the remake changed Capsule J into a new enemy called Capsule J2.
  • Shows Damage: A Type 1 example can be found when Kirby or his helper is low on health.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Parodied in the Samurai Kirby minigame.
  • Spiritual Successor: This is the final Kirby game developed by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai. His next game was Super Smash Bros., which features a near-identical combat system.
    • The Subspace Emmissary itself, from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, counts too. It is, quite literally, 'Kirby Super Star in 3D.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: You'll know you're about to hit a boss room when you reach a single room with nothing but Copy Essences and a Maxim Tomato.
  • This Cannot Be!: Captain Vul's reaction to the rest of the crew's reports that Kirby destroyed Main Cannon #2.
  • Title Drop: In the remake:
    "Marx has shown his true form! Fly in and protect Pop Star! Do it, Kirby, our Super Star!"
  • Trick Boss: How Helper to Hero ends. Wham Bam Rock's the trick, Wham Bam Jewel's the REAL Final Boss.
  • True Final Boss: Marx Soul, revived with NOVA's energy as well as being powered up just to take another shot at you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: King Dedede in his "Masked Dedede" form. It even shows in the difficulty level of the fight.
  • Underground Level: Cocoa Cave in Dyna Blade, the Underground Forest in The Great Cave Offensive, and Cavios/Cavius in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The last normal stage of Milky Way Wishes is a side-scrolling shooter, as well as Kabula in Revenge of the King.
  • Updated Re-release: Kirby Super Star Ultra Adds in 4 new games (With 4 new bosses) 3 new sub-games changes merges 2 of the beginners show tutorials in "Spring Breeze" changes some of the lines in the Beginners show tutorials from the original and changes some of the lines from the original.
  • Video Game Remake: Ultra
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Marx is one of the creepiest villains to ever appear in the series. Most games aimed at adults would stop short of a final boss with an attack that involves a splitting himself in half and creating a black hole.
    • He's even worse in the updated remake when you have to face him as Marx Soul at the end of the True Arena. He's even more creepy than his boss form from the original, if the opening cutscene doesn't get you that bloodcurdling scream when he's defeated sure will.
    • This is indirectly referenced in Kirby Triple Deluxe. Kirby's able to collect keychains of both Marx and Marx Soul, but while the former is shown as his intact final boss sprite from the SNES version of Super Star, the Marx Soul keychain depicts Marx in the middle of his splitting attack, complete with what appears to be green blood-like fluids in-between the two halves.
  • Visual Pun: TAC is a feline enemy who steals Kirby's abilities and Helpers, making it a Cat burglar.
    • And Kirby can learn the ability Copy from it. Copy-cat, anyone?
  • Warmup Boss: Whispy Woods.
  • When Trees Attack: Whispy Woods again.
  • Where It All Began: When the Great Cave Offensive is all said and done, the exit ends up being the hole Kirby fell into the cave in the first place.
  • Worthy Opponent: Meta Knight. When you reach him in Revenge of Meta Knight, he will leave a sword for Kirby to use before battling him and will wait up to 30 seconds for you to take it before doing battle. While the Halberd plummets to the ocean. On fire.

Game BoyFranchise/KirbyKirby's Dream Land 3
King Of The MonstersSuper Nintendo Entertainment SystemKirby's Dream Land 3
Kirby's Dream Land 2UsefulNotes/The 16 -bit Era of Console Video GamesKirby's Dream Land 3
Kirby's Pinball LandEveryone RatingKlonoa
Kirby's AdventurePlatform GameKirby's Dream Land 2
Mini-BossImageSource/Video GamesBattleship Raid
Kirby's Pinball LandVideo Games of the 1990sKirby's Dream Land 3
Kirby Squeak SquadNintendo DSKirby Mass Attack

alternative title(s): Kirby Super Star Ultra; Kirby Super Star
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