Video Game / Kirby's Dream Land

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The one that started it all...
Kirby's Dream Land (known as Hoshi no Kirby in Japan, meaning "Starry Kirby" or "Kirby of the Stars") is a 1992 Game Boy game developed by Nintendo subsidiary HAL Laboratory. It is the first game of the Kirby series. The story is simple: King Dedede and his minions have stolen all of Dream Land's food and the Sparkling Stars used to harvest it, so Kirby sets off to right these wrongdoings after hearing about it on his travels.

Created and directed by a young HAL employee named Masahiro Sakurai (he was just 19 when he came up with the Kirby character), the game was deliberately designed to be short and easy to allow younger kids to get into video games without having to contend with the high difficulty that Nintendo titles were infamous for. The venture proved to be a success, sparking the growth of one of HAL's most famous franchises.

It was also released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2011 and appeared in Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition in 2012. It also served as heavy inspiration for the "Spring Breeze" sub-game in Kirby Super Star for the SNES, as well as "Revenge of the King" in the Kirby Super Star Ultra remake for the Nintendo DS.

This game features the following tropes:

  • Acrofatic: Not only is King Dedede fat, he moves very fast.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Mt. DeDeDe, which has elements of all four stages you have to go through in any order, before you can battle Dedede.
  • Big Bad: King Dedede. In fact, this is one of the few non-spinoff games where he actually holds the position of Final Boss.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Castle Lololo.
  • Boss Rush: Like the Mega Man series, Mt. DeDeDe is composed of rematches against the four initial bosses before King Dedede himself. Unlike Mega Man, however, there are small levels before each one.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The second half of Float Islands and the name of the fourth level. Also the Trope Namer.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Kirby inflates himself in the ending to be bigger than Dedede's castle so he can carry it and return the food inside to the Dream Landers. However, this could be explained as him drawing from the power of the Sparkling Stars, since they go into him before he does so.
  • Dual Boss: Lololo & Lalala in the second stage, Castle Lololo.
  • Dub Name Change: Some of the items were renamed in the original localization: Mike became Microphone, Superspicy Curry became Spicy Food, Sweet Potato became Mint Leaf, Maxim Tomato became Bag of Magic Food, and Energy Drink became Pep Brew.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • You can't copy abilities, dash, slide, or save progress after beating a stage. It's just simple suck-and-spit attacks. On top of that, Kirby doesn't fight a nightmarish Eldritch Abomination at the end of this one; it's just him and Dedede.
    • Western media also depicted Kirby as white just like the typical Game Boy screen, though Kirby was pink in Japan from day one.
  • Enemy Roll Call: The Extra Game ending does this. Averted in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Green Hill Zone: Green Greens.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Extra Game can be very punishing to unfamiliar players. Enemy damage is doubled and they move faster, some enemies have newer strategies, and the final boss moves much faster. New enemies have been added in place of some weaker enemies. Also, you can set the health and extra lives counter all the way down to one—one slip up, and it's all the way back to the title screen!
  • One-Hit Kill: Something that is rare for a Kirby game, touching the Gordos in Mt. DeDeDe instantly kills Kirby, regardless of how much vitality he had.
  • Palmtree Panic: Float Islands (the first half).
  • Power-Up Food:
    • This is the game that originally featured "Superspicy Curry", a dish that gives Kirby the ability to spit fire for a limited time and has not been seen again until the Super Smash Bros. series (from Brawl onwards) and Kirby Mass Attack.
    • Mint Leaves were also another item that appeared in this game, allowing Kirby to temporarily infinitely shoot air pellets without deflating. Like the Superspicy Curry, they don't make a reappearance until Kirby: Triple Deluxe's Kirby Fighters mode.
  • Power Up Motif: Two. One for the invincible Candy, another for the Mint Leaf and Superspicy Curry.
  • Smart Bomb:
    • The Mike item, which kills all enemies on screen. Unlike its ability counterpart in later games, it can only be used once.
    • Just before each of the bosses in Mt. DeDeDe, there is (for some reason) a dancing Kirby. Touching this kills all enemies on the screen.
  • The Stinger: After beating the game normally, King Dedede is seen landing in front of the Extra Game code after getting tossed out his castle. He eventually recovers, throws a small tantrum, and runs off. Once the Extra Game is beaten, he instead lands in the same area (this time showing the Config Mode code) but can't even bring himself to get up. Kirby eventually shakes him awake and Dedede cries for moment before sulking off in defeat.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Certain levels have Bomb items which, when spat out, send explosions forward that decimate all enemies in their way.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The fight with the boss of Float Islands, Kaboola(later renamed Kabula in Ultra), is this.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Whispy Woods in Extra Game. He drops Gordos, which do three units of damage out of six. And while he does that, you need to look for apples to fire at him.

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