Video Game: Kirby's Dream Land 2

One day, a small dark alien cloud descends into Dream Land. This cloud, named Dark Matter, destroys the Rainbow Bridges connecting the setting of the game, the Rainbow Islands, and possesses King Dedede in order to take over Dream Land. Kirby, along with some new friends, sets off to save Dream Land.

And so begins Kirby's Dream Land 2 for the Game Boy, the first game in a sub-series of the Kirby franchise colloquially known as the "Dark Matter Trilogy" (the others being Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards). The gameplay is mostly the same as the previous two games in the series, with Kirby still being able to run, jump, float, and inhale enemies to copy abilities if they have one. However, the number of abilities in this game are reduced from the great variety from Kirby's Adventure, which would be a staple of the trilogy. To compensate, Dream Land 2 introduces a new mechanic: the Animal Friends. They are Rick the hamster, who can't fly, but runs fast and is unaffected by ice; Kine the fish, who can swim against water currents but hops slowly on land; and Coo the owl, who can fly against wind currents. The Animal Friends can be rescued from certain rooms, and using a Copy Ability while riding an Animal Friend creates a different attack. Rounding out the cast is Gooey, a friendly blob made from the same stuff as Dark Matter which appears if you already have an Animal Friend that would be rescued otherwise. He gives Kirby a helpful item for being rescued.

Also central to the game are the Rainbow Drops. There is one in each world of the game, and each one is contained in a room that is very well hidden, and itself requires heavy puzzle solving to obtain. While collecting the Rainbow Drops is optional, they are key to defeating Dark Matter, and collecting all seven of them allows you to exorcise the Dark Matter from King Dedede and access the True Final Boss against Dark Matter itself. This puzzle solving combined with ability use would become another staple of the trilogy.

The game was one of a select number of games enhanced by the SNES's Super Game Boy peripheral, giving it a special border, and colored graphics.

This game provides examples of

  • Alluring Anglerfish: The boss of Ripple Field, Sweet Stuff.
  • Background Music Override: Riding the Animal Friends replaces the level's current music with their respective themes
  • Big Bad: Dark Matter.
  • Blackout Basement: Some rooms in the game are dark, and the only way to light up these rooms is to use Kine's Spark power to make a lightbulb and light the room. This also reveals hidden doors to rooms.
  • Boss Rush: Unlocked after 100% completion. There's also a Bonus Stage Rush.
  • Call Back: Some of Rick's Copy Abilities call back to the cut abilities from Adventure. Rick's Burning attack is Fire's fire breath. Rick's Spark attack is Beam's electric whip.
  • The Cameo: In the Japanese version, Gooey would randomly be replaced by a girl. This girl is Chao, a character from a Japan-only game called Yūyūki. In the American version Chao was replaced by a female Gooey. Interestingly, Chao appears in the sequel.
  • Cool Sword: The Rainbow Sword.
  • Death from Above: Coo's Spark attack sends lightning downward. Highly useful when there's a lot of flying space; useless in narrow horizontal areas.
  • Demonic Possession: Dark Matter does this to King Dedede.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Rainbow Sword, which is made of the seven Rainbow Drops and is used in the True Final Boss fight.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The miniboss Mr. Green, which gives the Spark ability when inhaled, of course.
  • Final Boss: King Dedede, possessed by Dark Matter. The game ends there if you didn't collect all the Rainbow Drops.
  • Fish out of Water: Quite literally with Kine, who only hops slowly on land.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The second phase of the Dark Matter battle has you plummet through the atmosphere. If you take too long fighting it, Kirby'll be burnt to a crisp in reentry!
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The seven Rainbow Drops, which are optional, but not if you want to fight the True Final Boss.
  • Guide Dang It: Even after clearing every stage, collecting all the Rainbow Drops, and defeating the True Final Boss, you'll only be at around 93% complete. It turns out you need to go back into the boss doors of the first six worlds and clear the special Bonus stages there with a Perfect score. And even after THAT, you won't reach 100% completion unless you find the special "girl" version of Gooey that will only appear randomly where Gooey normally appears. Nowhere in the game does it explicitly tell you, or hint at, any of this.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The first phase of the Dark Matter battle has you battle in the atmosphere/space.
  • Hub Level: Each world has one.
  • Leitmotif: Each Animal Friend has one which becomes the background music if you're riding him.
  • Meaningful Name: The three Animal Friends have names which are derived from Japanese Kanji which correspond to their specialties. Rick is derived from "riku" for "land". Kine is derived from "kai" for "sea". Coo is derived from "kuu" for "sky".
  • One-Winged Angel: Dark Matter initially takes the form of a sword-wielding warrior, but after you defeat that form, it turns into the more recognizable Oculothorax.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Ice Dragon, the boss of Iceberg.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Whispy wears one until his health is cut down to half.
  • Power Copying: Only a scant number of seven.
  • Power Up Mount: The Animal Friends.
  • Solar and Lunar: Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright, the Dual Boss of Red Canyon.
  • Spread Shot: The Cutter ability while riding Coo fires Feather Flechettes forward, diagonally upward, and diagonally downward. It's a total Game Breaker excepting the Rainbow Drop rooms.
  • Sword Fight: The first phase against Dark Matter, who takes the form of a swordsman.
  • Video Game Settings: In order:
  • Tennis Boss: One way you can beat Dark Matter is to reflect its attacks back at it with the Rainbow Sword. It deals 4 times more damage than hitting Dark Matter directly and it gives Kirby some distance.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Kine is only useful in the water while he hops slowly on land which severely limits his usefulness overall in the game.
  • Timed Boss Battle: The second form of the True Final Boss, Dark Matter, must be defeated quickly as both it and Kirby are descending into the atmosphere. If they begin reentry, Kirby starts to take damage from the heat until he dies. It's only attack in the game to deal more than one damage (it deals two.)
  • True Final Boss: Dark Matter, only faced if you collected all the Rainbow Drops.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Dark Matter. Of course, it's quite tame compared to others in the series.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Whispy Woods, as in all Kirby games.