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:
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 versionof the originalKirby'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 oneofthemost-remixedsongsonYouTube and one of two sources of the THIS VIDEO CONTAINS meme. And that's just a sample.
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. It turns out that Marx, who sent you to find Nova, was using you to get Galactic Nova's power in order to rule Popstar. Kirby has to rush back to stop him in a climacticfinalbattle.
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 Marx.
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.
While Kirby's Adventure on the NEScodified 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:
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'sExtra (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 Dreamland, 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. The final opponent is Wham Bam Rock from The Great Cave Offensive, but he's merely the trick for Wham Bam Jewel, the Crazy Hand to Wham Bam Rock's Master Hand. 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 reviving Nova, at which point Meta Knight asks to fight the strongest warrior in the galaxy. Nova then frees Galacta Knight, a warrior sealed away due to his massive power. A climactic duel ensues.
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(Masked Dedede, Wham Bam Jewel, and Galacta Knight), and finally a reborn Marx, now called Marx Soul. It is possibly the most mind-numbingly difficult challenge in the entire Kirby series.
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:
Abandon Ship: Discussed near the end of Revenge of Meta Knight. They decide to fight Kirby one last time before doing so.
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.
Animated Actors: Implied by the unlockable blooper reel in Ultra. Complete with laugh tracks.
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.
CoolFaceship: 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.
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.
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.
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 wishes 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!"
Fan Nickname: Bandanna Dee and Captain Waddle Dee, as well as Angel Meta Knight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
Nerf: The playable Meta Knight in Ultra, compared to his appearance in Nightmare in Dreamland. He can't control his jump height and his higher speed became a temporary powerup. His only advantage over his 'Nightmare in Dreamland version is that he's no longer restricted to only three hit points.
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 the hammer) 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.
This made his design from the original Super Star resemble something like Blackface.
Only Idiots May Pass: 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.
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 Dreamland'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:
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.
Shout-Out: Some of the items in The Great Cave Offensive are items from other Nintendo games.
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.
Shows Damage: A Type 1 example can be found when Kirby or his helper is low on health.
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.
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.
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?
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.