The fourth Nintendo DS game of the Kirby series, Kirby Mass Attack (known as Atsumete! Kirby or Gather! Kirby in Japan) is yet another spin-off title, this time featuring a Lemmings-esque style of gameplay rather than the classic Power Copying found in most Kirby games.The game also features several minigames, which have cameo appearances of characters from previous Kirby titles.The central plot revolves around Necrodeus, the Big Bad of the game, who splits Kirby into 10 smaller Kirbies while the original Kirby is sleeping. Necrodeus manages to kill all the Kirbies save one that escaped alive. The lone Kirby then goes off on an adventure to save Dreamland and fight Necrodeus to reunite himself once more. In the meantime, Kirby is joined by the returning Squeak Squad, and Daroach, their leader, helps Kirby by giving him hints and general tips along the way.The game was released in America on September 19th, 2011, in Japan on August 4th, 2011 and in Europe on October 28th, 2011.
Kirby Mass Attack provides examples of:
100% Completion: Collect all the medals, get gold stars on every level, complete the Checklist, and clear all the minigames.
Abnormal Ammo: This game has a tank vehicle which shoots out live ammunition. Small-sized, pink ammunition...
All There in the Manual: Daroach is the only one who provides enemy names, as well as backstory for the islands and the Skull Gang, if you talk to him on his ship.
Apes in Space: Some gorilla-like oohroos haul a next level-opening switch onto a spaceship and take off with it. To retrieve the switch, the Kirbys must infiltrate the apes' terrestrial headquarters, find their super secret spaceship blueprints, and assemble their own functioning starship. The advanced technology is remarkable considering it is all researched, planned, and built by some mooks who die in one and a half seconds of pounding.
In Strato Patrol EOS, whenever you kill Mr. Bright (the sun), Mr. Shine (the moon) will revive him. Obviously, you must kill Mr. Shine first. But if you kill Mr. Bright four times, Mr. Shine will decide to merge with Mr. Bright's power and goes berserk.
Badass Adorable: Kirby, especially now that he has ten Fun Size versions of himself to save the day. It's practically cuteness overload!
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Kirby can breathe on a planet where the gravity is so low that he has to swim from place to place, but cannot breathe underwater.
Lampshaded by Daroach at one point if you talk to him enough: "If there's no air in space, why is it that YOU can breathe?"
Boss Rush: The penultimate stage in Level 4 has harder versions of some minibosses, and the fifth level in its entirety before the final boss is this for the previous 4 bosses. And getting every single medal makes Daroach give you a special "Survival Rush" mode and then leave forever.
Stage 4 of Kirby Quest ends with fighting King Dedede, Sweet Stuff, Bonkers, Mr. Frosty, Meta Knight or Galaxia, then finally Dark Matter.
Kirby Brawlball. Right, Select, B at the same time. Meow!
Butt Monkey: Beanbons are frequently the target of many hazard demonstrations.
But Thou Must: Daroach asks you if you'll collect the medals for him. If you say no, he simply comments on your sense of humor and reiterates his "request".
The Cameo: In addition to the below mentioned Canon Immigrants, some characters not normally appearing in this game appear in sub-games, such as typical Kirby enemies, HR-D3 (which ended up as a proper Kirby platformer boss in Kirby's Return to Dream Land), Meta Knight, Nightmare, and none other than Dark Matter, in his first appearance outside his trilogy of games (i.e. Dream Land 2, Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards). Worthy of note, it also has cameos from characters that never appeared in a game, such as Escargoon from the Kirby anime.
Dynablade makes an appearance as a special move in Kirby Quest, as does a colored-in Kirby Tank from Kirby's Epic Yarn.
Darker and Edgier: With a Big Bad that's played straight as the first (and so far only) Eldritch Abomination in the games to ACTUALLY come close to killing Kirby, in contrast to the other antagonists (Eldritch Abominations included) that Kirby CONSTANTLY trounces despite their difficulty and styles of attack, along with a series of elements exclusive to this game that would result in the deaths of certain Kirbies if not avoided, and however many Kirbies were eliminated by the Big Bad's mooks until only one was left every time they left one of the islands, this game can easily be considered the darkest out of all the Kirby games, completely sealed in Cerebus Syndrome compared to the other games.
Development Gag: The game takes place in the Popopo Islands. Popopo was the original name for Kirby during the development of the first game.
After losing in a fight to the Big Bad, Kirby still goes off to fight him once again.
When a Kirby takes a hit, he turns blue. When he takes another hit, the Kirby dies and floats up to heaven... At least, he would, if it weren't for another alive Kirby being able to launch himself towards the dead Kirby's soul, drag him down, and bring him back to life.
Divide and Conquer: Necrodeus utilizes a rather unique version of this in the intro: he splits up Kirby into ten clones, with each having only a small part of the complete Kirby's power. Without his special abilities, Kirby was helpless against Necrodeus, allowing the skull-faced fiend to destroy the Kirbys one by one. Necrodeus would have won then and there, if one Kirby hadn't escaped.
The Dragon: Skullord. He's a greedy pig who Necrodeus granted some of his powers to. He rules over some of the Skullys.
Duel Boss: One of the challenges requires the player to defeat King Dedede with only one Kirby. This is both harder and easier than it sounds. Since you have only one Kirby, you can't afford to be KO'd at all; get hit by just one bomb blast, and you have to start all over. This makes the first phase of the fight somewhat tense and the second phase (which is already hectic) textbook Nintendo Hard. The third and final phase, however, is a cakewalk, as Dedede takes surprisingly little pummeling to KO, even from a single Kirby.
Early-Bird Cameo: The Kirbys encounter Big Birdee in the first stage, and then fight her in a later stage. Then she becomes an ally to the Kirbys in an even later stage.
Kirby Quest has one, too, but in regards to further in the series itself rather than further within the game. The final boss of chapter two is HR-D3, which appears as a typical Kirby boss in Kirby's Return to Dream Land's Extra Mode (its hard mode, much like the extra modes of Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Adventure). However, the insignia on its chest on Return to Dream Land is not King Dedede's sigil as in Kirby Quest, but a different symbol: the sigil of its pilot in Return to Dreamland, the Metal General EX.
Skullord's role is rather similar to Miracle Matter. Both are the Final Boss of their game but are really The Dragon to a greater evil, and beating them after collecting all of a certain item (Crystal Shards for Miracle Matter, Rainbow Medals for Skullord) unlock a relatively short final world and the True Final Boss.
Interface Spoiler: Not in the main game, but Kirby Quest. If you beat the subgame without a perfect, you still unlock the song in Dark Matter's first phase, "Strongest Sword". The only sword there is one of his attacks. Guess what the said sword is?
Knight of Cerebus: Necrodeus, without a doubt. As a matter of fact, he was so far the only Eldritch Abomination to actually come close to COMPLETELYkilling off Kirby for real. According to Nintendo, this guy is so powerful that he almost wipes Kirby completely out of existence. In the words of the story, it was thanks to him that "Popstar was about to lose its greatest defender and be plunged into darkness forever."
Law of 100: With fruits. Fill the meter to get either another Kirby or a load of bonus points.
Limit Break: As shown in this video, if you get a perfect score on Stage 4 of the "Kirby Quest" subgame, you get challenged by Galaxia instead of Meta Knight. If you beat it, you can use the sword to defeat Dark Matter in one hit.
Me's a Crowd: There are ten Kirbies in this game. Given, Necrodeus split him with magic, but there are still TEN KIRBIES. Their feet and hands are a little smaller, so they look childish.
Metal Slime: There are golden enemies that are quick to flee. Killing these will result in filling out part of the checklist.
The Kirby Quest sub-game has more typical examples (being that its combat plays like a turn-based RPG), in that some enemies holding Maxim Tomatoes will give more experience than usual and the tomato will revive fallen allies for free. If an attack misses, however, they flee.
Mission Control: Daroach acts as this, giving the Kirbys advice and updating them on the situation at hand.
Nintendo Hard: Completing the game perfectly, especially considering one of the achievements involves beating every single boss and level without taking any damage! Most levels aren't too tough in this regard, but then you get to the last level of the fourth world and then you see just how tough this game truly is.
No Fair Cheating: Taking a goal shortcut will result in getting no star for the stage.
Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: If you continue to pester Daroach about medals when he has no clues to give, he will eventually say, "I think I haven't gotten my point across. Let me try it more slowly... I'm. Still. Looking. For. Clues. About. Medals."
Also the Meta-Knights, Nightmare, and, if you do it a certain way, Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright in Strato Patrol EOS and Dark Matter in Kirby Quest.
Shifting Sand Land: The second world has a few levels taking place in the desert environment.
Shoot the Medic First: The Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright fight in Strato Patrol EOS. Mr. Shine, the moon, will keep reviving Mr. Bright. He stops doing it the fourth time, at which point Mr. Shine will become a sun-moon hybrid.
The logo on the sub-game Kirby Quest bares a remarkable resemblance to Arcana which was an RPG developed by Hal Labs. Another interesting reference to Arcana is that Kirby's Quest's battle songs work in a similar way, in which the final battle song is a more upbeat version of the normal battle song.
Shows Damage: Some of the stronger enemies, bosses, and blocks show damage. Some show cracks, and some change color palette when damaged.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Stage 10 of Sandy Canyon has the Kirbys having to pass through by removing the plug in the sand. For the rest of the level, they have to outrun the rising sand. The first room has typical desert music, but you'd think that the larger areas after it, since they require outrunning sand they could sink in to their death, you'd think it would have intense music, right? Nope — the music for the rest of the level is "Night Desert," a calm and peaceful song that plays in calmer desert areas, except for this exception to the "calmer desert areas" rule.
Spike Balls of Doom: In this game, a few enemies can carry and throw these. Of course, series staple Gordos are also present.