Video Game: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

One day, the beautiful world of Ripple Star was overshadowed by a great darkness—specifically, Dark Matter (who, in this appearance, is depicted similarly to the Hyper Zone mass from the previous title). 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 sends three small orbs of itself in space to chase and attack 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 Burning + Stone turns Kirby into a living, aim-able 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.

This game has examples of:

  • 100% Completion: The only way to fight 02.
  • 2D: Most of the levels are this, with the half coming from stage hazards and abilities.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
    • The lava in Neo Star's 4th stage. It later turns into Rise to the Challenge.
    • There's also a part of the Shiver Star factory stage with some electric walls pushed by robots.
  • After the End: Shiver Star looks suspiciously like a post-apocalyptic Earth...
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: While fighting Miracle Matter.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Holy Mother of all aversions. At least in terms of the box art, anyway. Not so much the US commercial....
  • Antlion Monster: Snipper, an enemy with comically oversized antlion pincers that hides at the bottom of sandy pits.
  • Arrows on Fire: Burning + Needle.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Stone + Stone turns Kirby into an oversized rock golem that's even bigger than most mini-bosses.
  • 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.
    • The boss of Aqua Star is Acro, the orca whale (who somehow migrated from Pop Star and apparently forgot that Kirby saved her in the previous game). The screen follows him while she moves all over the place spitting things at you. After you temporarily take her out, you must Rise to the Challenge while she returns to spit things at you from below until you take her out again.
    • The boss of Shiver Star is a giant robot who chases you across a crumbling bridge.
  • Awesome but Impractical: There are quite a few, but special mention goes to Stone + 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.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Miracle Matter.
  • Battle Boomerang: Both regular Cutter and Cutter + Cutter.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: When Waddle Dee, Adeleine and Dedede are possessed by Dark Matter, Kirby has to beat the crap out of them to free them.
  • BFS: Burning + Cutter = Giant Flaming Sword you can throw.
  • Big Bad: Depending on how one views the term and the completion percentage, either Miracle Matter or 02.
  • Big Bulky Bomb: Stone + 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.
  • Bleak Level: The cave stage in Ripple Star.
  • Blow You Away: When Kirby jumps after his initial jump, then you press the attack button, this happens. Also, some of his ice powers.
  • Book Ends: Ripple Star's first stage is designed similarly to Pop Star's first stage and has the same music.
  • Boss Rush: Available as a bonus mode. Also comes with a twist: even if you manage to swallow things that could give you powers, you won't get any.
  • 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 Stone + 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.
    • 02 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...).
  • Crapsaccharine World: What Ripple Star is mostly turned into when Dark Matter takes it over.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Kirby meets Ribbon.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Waddle Dee, Adeleine and Dedede become your allies after they are freed of the Dark Matter orbs that possessed them.
  • Demonic Possession: Dark Matter can do this.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: Here, Kirby can literally go through these.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Stone + Burning turns Kirby into a boulder-spewing volcano.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Bomb + Needle turns Kirby into a the series' standard Invincible Minor Minion, the Gordo for a few seconds, before launching its spikes.
  • 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.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: While typical of the Kirby series, Miracle Matter is infamously difficult—especially considering that Ripple Star is mostly a Breather Level.
  • Edge Gravity: When balanced on an edge, Kirby will wheel his stubby little arms, teeter back and forth, and exclaim "Woah!".
  • Edible Ammunition: Ice + Spark power turns Kirby into a refrigerator that throws food at the enemy, destroying them. The food can then be eaten to regain health.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Dark Matter.
  • Elemental Powers: Bomb, Ice, Cutter, Burning, Needle, Stone, Spark, and they can all be combined for varying levels of awesome.
  • Elemental Weapon: Combining Cutter with Burning or Spark results respectively in a flame sword and a Darth Maul-like double-bladed lightsaber. On top of looking pretty damn cool, they are also very effective.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Ribbon + Crystal
  • The End... Or Is It?: Fail to get 100% Completion and the ending cinematic suggests that the ruler of Ripple Star is still possessed.
  • Enemy Mine: King Dedede hates Dark Matter more than he hates Kirby.
  • Epic Flail: Sort of. Stone + Spark gives Kirby a giant rock tetherball which he holds via electricity.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Ice + Cutter turns Kirby into an ice-skater who attacks via rapid spinning leaps.
  • Expy: Both the Dark Star and Dark Matter's appearance in this game is reminiscent of the Hyper Zone of the previous game.
  • Fairy Companion: Ribbon
  • 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, which is the only way to damage him in Endurance mode.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flaming Sword: Burning + Cutter, see BFS.
  • Giant Mook: All of the regular minibosses (minus the "Special" minibosses of Waddle Dee (who turns into a Waddle Doo), Adeleine, 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.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Miracle Matter is unique in being of the few major Kirby antagonists with no foreshadowing whatsoever.
  • 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.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The titular Crystal Shards (for plot advancement and 100% Completion) and enemy data cards (just for the heck of it).
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Cutter ability consists of Kirby throwing his face at enemies.
  • 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 Burning 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.
  • Heroic Mime: Everybody on the side of Good.
  • Homing Projectile: Bomb + Bomb allows Kirby to shoot missiles from his mouth.
  • Human Snowball: The Ice + Ice power.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Ice + Stone turns Kirby into a curling puck.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Needle + Needle turns Kirby into a giant Swiss Army Knife full of diverse painful objects.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Weaponized in the Spark + Burning power.
  • Interface Spoiler: The enemy info cards you can get at the end of each stage are entirely randomized, so you're likely to see cards of enemies or even bosses you haven't encountered yet. It's entirely possible to get card of the True Final Boss early on in the game, leaving you wondering "Wait, what the hell is that thing!?" for most of the run. (Or all of the run, if you don't get 100% Completion.)
  • 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 + Burning. Some combinations might be underpowered or unimpressive, but this one's nothing short of useless. Also, while Stone + 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.
  • Laser Blade: Spark + Cutter gives Kirby a Double-Bladed Lightsaber. Cutest Sith Ever.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The generally smooth factory level's music ends with creepy piano chords, while the bad ending's otherwise cheery "We did it!" music gets extremely creepy at the end as the adorable Fairy Queen abruptly gains an evil look and glances at the screen.
  • MacGuffin: The Crystal shards, not the complete Crystal but the shards by themselves do nothing and could be replaced with credit cards.
  • Meat-O-Vision: After traversing through Rock Star's desert, Kirby starts seeing his companions as food. Good thing Adeleine can paint objects to life!
  • The Medic: Adeleine, who appears once per World to paint Kirby a healing item/powerup or help him solve a Crystal Shard puzzle.
  • Mega Manning: It's a Kirby game, what do you expect?
  • Mighty Glacier: Most of the Stone-based powers turn Kirby into this, especially Stone + Stone, 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 to get 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 to stop Dark Matter from taking over the rest of the universe as it did Ripple Star. Sleep tight!
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Cutter + Needle turns Kirby's arms into a giant set of jaws.
  • 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 looks strikingly similar to Ado from Kirby's Dream Land 3 (who was another Mook Maker, to boot), and Stone + Cutter turns Kirby into a statue of one of his earlier animal companions!
  • Ninja: Cutter + Bomb gives Kirby exploding shurikens.
    • That you can't see until they land.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted.
  • One-Hit Kill: Getting crushed between two surfaces kills Kirby.
  • The Phoenix: Burning + Burning.
  • Pixellation: A pixelated mess is one of the things Adeleine sends after you when she's possessed.
  • Plot Coupon: The Crystal Shards
  • 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.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The fairy ruler in the bad ending.
  • Ship Tease: Ribbon kisses Kirby in the true ending, causing a Luminescent Blush. Nobody else in the Kirby games, or even the anime, has ever done this - or at least romantically.
  • Shout-Out: Spark + Cutter looks like Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber.
    • The true ending also looks quite a bit like the destruction of the Death Star and the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope.
    • The file select music is very similar to that of Ocarina of Time's.
  • Sinister Geometry: Rock Star's boss (8-sided) and Miracle Matter (20-sided).
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Seen occasionally on several stages (most obviously Shiver Star's toy factory).
  • Smooch of Victory: This is how Ribbon's expresses her gratitude to Kirby for saving Ripple Star in the True Ending.
  • 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.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The game opens with Dark Matter taking over Ripple Star.
  • Super Title 64 Advance
  • Taken for Granite: Most of the Stone powers turn Kirby into stone. Stone + Cutter gos a step further and turns Kirby into a random rock statue of one of his animal buddies from Kirby's Dream Land.
  • Takes One to Kill One:
    • Rock's Star's boss takes more damage if its parts are hit with like-colored projectiles.
    • The final boss, Miracle Matter, is a Barrier Change Boss that can only be hurt by the power he's currently using.
  • Taking You with Me: Stone + Bomb creates a MASSIVE hunk of dynamite that will hurt Kirby if he doesn't hide beneath the helmet.
    • Ice + Bomb turns Kirby into a walking snowman bomber (except the explosion doesn't hurt himself).
  • This Is a Drill: Stone + Needle—it's even self propelling!
  • Timed Mission: Though it's not outright stated, taking too long to fight HR-E from Shiver Star will result in Kirby dying.
  • True Final Boss: 02, unlocked after defeating Miracle Matter with all of the Shards. Also a Post Final Boss.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The True Final Boss plays rather like Star Fox. Although considering how many of these things we've been through already, it's hardly 'unexpected'.
  • Unfortunate Names: One of the enemies is actually called a "Pedo" (actually pronounced "PEE-doe", a pun on "torpedo".)
  • The Unfought: Dark Matter is not fought in its base form - it either flees or attempts to flee.
  • 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.
  • Videogame Settings:
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: 02 even provided the former page image.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Getting one of the crystal shards requires you to almost fall to your death down a Bottomless Pit (though Kirby can float back up if he has enough breath).
    • 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 Burning-Bomb! No? How about Burning-Stone? That doesn't work either? How about Bomb-Bomb? Burning-Burning? Stone-Stone? 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...
    • Ice + Burning. What did you think would happen?
  • Wall Jump: Stone + 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.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Ice + Burning. Kirby quickly freezes then melts himself, creating a shield effect too brief/short ranged to be useful. Serves you right for mixing fire and ice.
  • When Trees Attack: The first boss of the game, recurring boss character Whispy Woods.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Burning, both normal and double.

Alternative Title(s):

Kirby 64, Ptitleiihlp09n