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Trivia / Kirby

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  • Ascended Fan Nickname: The Waddle Dee with a bandana was commonly referred to as Bandana Waddle Dee as fans, and come Kirby: Triple Deluxe, that became his canon name. The developers had initially considered calling him Bandee, but decided to make him representative of Waddle Dees as a whole rather than his own character.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Masahiro Sakurai's favorite Copy Abilities are Fighter and Suplex, owing to his love of fighting games.
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    • Shinya Kumazaki has mentioned that his favorite Copy Ability is Hammer.
  • Development Hell:
    • Between Kirby Air Ride and Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Epic Yarn was developed by Good-Feel instead), HAL Laboratory made repeated attempts to create a home console game for the Kirby series. Their most known attempt was the Nintendo GameCube game, announced in 2004, and widely believed to be reincarnated as Kirby's Return to Dream Land. However, an interview revealed that the GameCube game was only the first of four attempts at a home console game, the final being Return to Dream Land.
    • Kirby Air Ride itself was trapped in Development Hell for quite some time. It was originally intended as a Nintendo 64 launch title, but after spending many years in production (during which it evolved from a sequel to Kirby's Dream Course to a standalone racing game), it was quietly canceled. It finally showed up as a GameCube title at E3 2003.
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  • Executive Meddling: Rumor has it that Masahiro Sakurai left HAL because this happened during the development of Air Ride. He also stated in an interview that he didn't like the sequelization of the gaming industry.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Currently at Stage 4 in the West, but this is a recent development relative to the franchise's lifespan, oddly enough. Despite being a long-running series that sells well, having a very recognizable main character, and being adapted into a generally liked anime series, Kirby barely edged at Stage 3 in the West for most of its life. This can be attributed to the games' limited appeal to the bigger game demographics in the West (which also resulted in some Critical Dissonance for the earlier games), stylistically inconsistent releases throughout the 2000s, and generally being overshadowed by other Nintendo franchises. The series had its first big break when Super Smash Bros. Brawl gave it a large focus, and fully broke into the mainstream around the release of Kirby's Return to Dream Land in 2011. Since then, there's been a steady release schedule of new games and merchandise, and Kirby games are often considered major releases. However, in its home market of Japan, Kirby is at Stage 4.5, where Kirby-themed pop-up shops and restaurants are commonplace in major cities and the Japanese are more receptive of cuteness, regardless of demographic, than in the West. The series has also done collaborations with various Japanese companies, ranging from clothes to stationery to coffee, the latter with awesome jazz music and sweet animation to boot.
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  • Flip-Flop of God: Does Kirby have red feet, or is he wearing red shoes? Nothing really touches on this question except for a few licensed comics. Among series directors, Sakurai once stated that Kirby does not use shoes, but when asked what Kirby's feet look like without shoes, Kumazaki instead laughed and replied with "the mysterious composition of Kirby’s body is top secret." Another source vaguely refers to Kirby's feet having "gummy pads" allowing him to cling to surfaces, though it also falsely claims that Kirby can get the ability to fire "lightrays" from his eyes, so it may be facetiousnote . There's also the fact that many other characters and species have similar-looking appendages, including Meta Knight, who started off with what appeared to be plainer limbs which later evolved into padded armor. However, the original Twinkle Popo reveal artwork clearly depicts the red portion as a sock or slipper-like texture with a hint of pink skin, so despite the promotional design being tweaked, it shows that they were at the very least intended to be some kind of footwear.
  • Fountain of Expies: Dark Matter and Zero kickstarted the trend of Kirby final bosses having giant eye motifs, which carries on to this day, and later bosses have emulated the species in varying degrees of ways. It thus led to theories that the majority of the final bosses are connected to Dark Matter or Zero in some way. Given the implications of Kirby Star Allies' Void Termina, there may be a degree of truth to that theory.
  • God Never Said That:
    • It is often said by fans that the reason why Adeleine disappeared between Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and Kirby Star Allies was due to Masahiro Sakurai imposing mandates that prevented humans from appearing in Kirby. While there is some truth to the mandate, the no humans mandate only applies to the anime adaptation, not to the games or even other adaptations (as Adeleine appeared in several manga adaptations). Why Adeleine disappeared for nearly two decades remains unknown.
    • Though the Kirby: Planet Robobot Miiverse Ask-a-thon confirmed that — at least for that game — extra games like Meta Knightmare Returns and The True Arena are "what-if" scenarios, it doesn't necessarily mean elements within them are non-canon (i.e. Galacta Knight's existence), which some fans initially thought to be the case. Shinya Kumazaki later clarified in a Kirby and the Forgotten Land interview that the Kirby series itself essentially operates on a Loose Canon; the games are generally canon to each other in terms of basic plot points and character development, but the specifics are negligible to avoid restraining future plot ideas too much.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: The series frequently uses the Fairlight CMI's "ARR1" sample in its soundtracks, to a downright memetic degree among fans. The sample was previously a staple of popular music in the '80s, being audible in songs such as "Shout" by Tears for Fears, "Moments in Love" by Art of Noise, "Zoolook" by Jean-Michel Jarre, "Domino" by Genesis, and "Lay Your Hands On Me" by Peter Gabriel (among many, many others).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble is one of the very few Kirby games that has not received a digital re-release on the Virtual Console (likely due to difficulties with translating the game's motion controls to another format; even third-party emulators have yet to make them work outside of the original cartridges), and Kirby Super Star Ultra is the only DS Kirby game that has not been released on the Wii U Virtual Console.
  • The Merch: Kirby has a surprisingly huge and diverse range of merchandise (although most of it bar plushes are Japan-only). Aside from the typical plushes and keyrings, Kirby merchandise has taken the form of towels, blankets, stationery, bento boxes and cups, sweets, and even make-up kits. He also has a range of picture books, which, while nominally in Japanese only, has been officially translated for the Nintendo channel as part of the franchises's 30th Anniversary celebrations. The success of the merchandise can likely be put down to Kirby's cute and simple design, making it easy to put his face to practically anything, as well as Japan's love of Kawaisa in general.
  • Newbie Boom:
    • While it didn't make a Cash-Cow Franchise out of the series the same way the Pokémon anime did, quite a few Kirby fans will admit the anime for the games, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, is what introduced them to the series and it shows. The anime still maintains a dedicated following to this day. So much so that, since its conclusion, HAL has brought various things from the show into the games and even included several of its episodes in the 20th anniversary Compilation Rerelease Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition.
    • The Super Smash Bros. games also caused this, as Kirby is one of the central characters in each game, and is also one of the most popular characters for his character-based Copy Abilities and multiple floaty jumps. Lots of players became enamored with the pink puffball, which raised visibility and sales for his own games. This was taken even further when Meta Knight and King Dedede were added in Brawl, each bringing their unique personalities and abilities to the fray and providing different perspectives on Kirby's universe.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot also resulted in an influx of newcomers to the series thanks to positive reception and word-of-mouth, interestingly despite the game being much more continuity-based than previous titles. Siivagunner's channel making its land on the same year as Robobot's release and featuring the game in many rips helped this game to stay afloat public consciousness more too.
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land is yet another Kirby game that produced a large influx of newcomers, especially given that it's the first Kirby game with full 3D platforming. At one point, the initial trailer for the game was the second-most trending YouTube video when the trailer was first released. Forgotten Land became the fastest-selling Kirby game of all time.
  • No Export for You:
    • The Super NES version of Kirby's Star Stacker never got released outside of Japannote  due to being released there in 1998, two years after the Nintendo 64's release and one year after the discontinuation of the SNES in North America.
    • Conversely, Kirby's Avalanche never got released in Japan, since it was just a Dolled-Up Installment of Super Puyo Puyo.
    • For lesser-known reasons, the 20th anniversary compilation-game Dream Collection didn't get a Europe or Australian release.
    • Most Kirby merchandise, as well most of the manga, light novels and picture books, have never been released outside of Japan.
    • An English release of the Story of Dedede Who Lives in Pupupu manga was planned by Viz Media in 2010, but was ultimately cancelled. They would pick it back up again in 2021, releasing it under the name Kirby Manga Mania.
  • Permanent Placeholder: Kirby was originally just programmed in to develop the game around him and come up with a character design later on, but then the developers began to grow attached to the cute little blob, and the design was decided as final.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • In the late 2000s, there were a bevy of Fan Wank all centered around "plot elements" that allegedly only existed in the Japanese versions of the games. Most of these centered around Dark Matter being The Man Behind the Man to just about every Kirby villain under the sun, with a particularly notorious one claiming Dark Matter was present in Kirby: Canvas Curse and gave Drawcia her powers via Deal with the Devil becoming widespread enough that it had to be wiped from this very Wiki several times. Funnily enough, some concept art later revealed Dark Matter (along with Nightmare) really was going to be in Canvas Curse albeit as a playable character rather than a boss, making it an enemy of Drawcia rather than an ally as the rumor claimed.
    • The Japanese 25th anniversary Art & Style Collection book does not explicitly confirm that Ado and Adeleine are the same character. This stemmed from a page in the art book describing reference material for Ado's design in the Kirby's Dream Land 3 manga, which was misinterpreted by a Japanese fan as describing Adeleine's design; this misinterpretation was then carried to the English-speaking fandom by way of, of all things, the ProtonJon community, one member of whom publicized the misinterpretation in English on Twitter. Currently, the closest to a direct statement on the matter is in 20th Anniversary Hoshi no Kirby Pupupu Taizen, which suggests that Ado may be a nickname for Adeleine but does not officially confirm either way.
    • A number of wild fandom rumors surrounded Shinichi Shimomura, a leading designer for the series credited with directing Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (the latter with Masahiro Sakurai). Because of a lack of publicly available documentation and the fact that he disappeared from the public eye after Nightmare in Dream Land, fans started theorizing that Shimomura was either dead or flat-out nonexistent, with some believing that "Shinichi Shimomura" was actually a pseudonym for Satoru Iwata. Eventually, photos of him from a Japanese Kirby's Dream Course guidebook surfaced in 2022, proving that he is indeed real; most fans nowadays believe that he most likely retired.
  • Reclusive Artist: Despite his sizable contributions to the franchise through directing the Dark Matter Trilogy and working as a map designer on several other games, developer Shinichi Shimomura suddenly disappeared from the public eye following the release of Nightmare in Dream Land (which he co-directed alongside Masahiro Sakurai) in 2002. He hasn't been seen or credited on any games since, and is so elusive that a sizable contingency of people assumed that he was actually Satoru Iwata operating under a pseudonym, which was eventually debunked when two pictures of Shimomura from a Japanese Kirby's Dream Course guidebook surfaced online in 2022.
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact: While the Kirby series itself has trucked on continuously since 1992, the "Dark Matter Trilogy", as the nickname implies, only occupied three games: Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Their creator, as mentioned, is a Reclusive Artist who faded from the public view after 2002. Despite this brevity, the three games have had a tremendous impact on the Kirby series since their release, introducing a greater level of "show, don't tell" storytelling, emphasis on more intricate puzzle solving (compared to the Sakurai-directed games' action-oriented approach), and willingness to delve into surprisingly dark and disturbing imagery and subject matter that later games would follow. This is most noticeably displayed with Kirby's Return to Dream Land and the games that followed its example, which despite orienting the games back in a Super Star-esque direction owe much of their puzzle-solving elements, atmosphere, and storytelling styles to the template that the Dark Matter Trilogy first set.
  • Shrug of God:
    • Are Ado and Adeleine two different people? Or is Adeleine just Ado having grown out of the SNES days? While it has been suggested that Ado may just be short for Adeleine (which is more evident via Japanese Romanization), a straight answer has never been given.
    • Are the Three Mage-Sisters actual sisters, "sisters" in the sense of being priests, or some combination of both? (Given that they're part of a cult.) It's acknowledged in Star Allies' Nintendo Switch Channel as a "mystery" (along with Kirby and Meta Knight's relation). Later hints in the DLC (namely, their Soul Melter EX pause screen descriptions) suggest that they were disparate girls with no relation to each other before Hyness saved them and took them in.
  • Throw It In: Kirby's appearance was originally intended to be a placeholder.
  • Trope Namers: This series named the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Kirby's Dream Land was first proposed as Popopo of the Spring Breeze, and later held the name Twinkle Popo during development, with the starring character named Popopo; he was initially meant as a placeholder dummy character until the team figured out a more advanced design, but they came to like the little guy so much that they decided to keep him in. Twinkle Popo had promotional materials released and was even ready for shipment until Satoru Iwata grew concerned that the initial orders were only 26,000 copies; he consulted with Shigeru Miyamoto, who suggested rebranding the game and letting Nintendo publish it, to which he agreed despite pressure at HAL Laboratory to refuse and stick with the existing orders. The name "Kirby" was chosen out of a list of name candidatesnote . Miyamoto was also under the impression that Kirby was yellow (due to the game's monochrome sprites leaving room for interpretation), so he expressed surprise to Masahiro Sakurai when he saw the game's box art depicting Kirby as pinknote . In addition, concept artwork for the Twinkle Popo pitch reveals a different level lineup compared to the final game — Green Greensnote , Silk Fallsnote , Elder Woodsnote , Air Fortressnote , Float Islandsnote , Bubbly Clowdsnote , and Heat Palacenote 
    • For Kirby's Adventure, an interview in the Japanese player's guide revealed that there were over 40 Copy Abilities at one point of development, including a rocket (implemented as Missile in Amazing Mirror), an Animal ability for scratching and biting enemies (implemented in Squeak Squad), and block creation (which gets used in another HAL Laboratory game, BoxBoy!). Concept artwork also shows that the Spark ability could have functioned more like Fire and Ice instead of Needle and Freeze as well as a scrapped shrinking ability, the latter of which still has Dummied Out sprites and was later used in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror as the Mini ability.
    • Kirby's Dream Land 2 was originally going to feature vehicle transformationsnote  — rocket, submarine, U.F.O., a digging Heavy Mole-like machine, tank, and scooter.
    • Kirby, with the addition of a pink, curly hair on his head, was originally supposed to star in a Spinoff Babies game, Kid Kirby, for the SNES; it was never finished, and all that remains of the game now are a few sprites and a few stage layouts released by a former developer for DMA Design (now Rockstar North) via his Flickr account.
    • Kirby Super Star was tentatively titled Kirby of the Stars: Active until Shigesato Itoi was brought on to help decide the final name; he also designed the box art. More Copy Abilities were considered — Flowernote , Cardnote , Tonosamanote , Rushnote , Donatenote , Satellitenote , Summonnote , Wingnote , Mantlenote , and Granadenote . Additionally, in an interview promoting the release of the Super NES Classic Edition, Masahiro Sakurai revealed that there was one more game planned called "Kagero Mansion" (Japanese: Kagero no Yakata, lit. Heat Haze Mansion). In it, Kirby was cursed with a mouth-sealing spell, so he had to explore a Haunted House in order to find a cure. Without being able to inhale, Kirby had to find other methods to obtain Copy Abilities, such as touching a candle to get Fire. The game was deemed low-priority, however, and had little to no work to show for it. He also revealed that the success of Donkey Kong Country led the developers to remove the game's existing sprite-work in favor of an art style based on computer graphics midway through development, which was partially responsible for the late SNES release.
    • When the Nintendo 64 was in development and still called the Ultra 64, one title in development was Kirby Bowl 64Kirby Bowl being the Japanese name for Kirby's Dream Course. The snowboarding mode it featured apparently evolved into Kirby's Air Ride, which went through years of delays until it was quietly cancelled in 1998. It caught the public by surprise when a GameCube version, now named Kirby Air Ride, was announced in 2003. In addition, it was supposed to have a multi-themed star shaped track, but that got scrapped due to time constraints. It was also supposed to have a much bigger City Trial; the project was really ambitious even then.
    • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and King Dedede were meant to be individually playable in the story mode; in the final game, only the latter remains playable, being ridden by Kirby in short sections.note  There is also evidence suggesting that all of the animal friends from Kirby's Dream Land 3 were intended to reappear in significant capacity, as all three of their themes appear in-gamenote , they have Dummied Out HUD artwork, and there is a piece of concept artwork depicting Adeleine painting Coo into existence to carry Kirby. Certain concept art also shows storyboard for cutscenes playing out slightly differently, such as possible dialog, and a musical minigame where the four main characters played together in a "K4" band as the player follow along with on-screen sheet music.
    • Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble was almost rebranded as a Pokémon game outside of Japan.
    • Also, Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2 for the GameCube, using the Game Boy Advance and cable to control the same way as the original title. It later became "Roll-o-Rama" without Kirby in development before cancellation.
    • The initial E3 2002 trailer of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land showed little actual signs of being a remake of Kirby's Adventure - a mere five months before the game's release in Japan.note  Additionally, the English subtitle "Nightmare in Dream Land" was directly taken from the working subtitle of Kirby's Adventure seen in Nintendo Power Volume 47, Page 114.
    • There was originally supposed to be a main platformer for the GameCube, but it never got released. Its original E3 2005 trailer depicts the addition of three Helpers in a version of the Kirby Super Star ability system with a piggyback featurenote , a new hardhat instead of a twisted headband for Hammer Kirbynote , Water Kirby from the animenote , and a Wave-Motion Gun-equipped Dedede Robotnote . Its press release stated that the story involves Kirby getting "the stolen Warpstar back from King Dedede." Concept artwork shows more unused enemies including what looks like the final boss resembling Magolor and what appears to be the idea of multiple modes in the vein of the Kirby Super Star games. According to an interview, this was the first of three unsuccessful attempts at making a home console Kirby game before Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the fourth attempt that finally brought it out of Development Hell. The 3D structure of the second attempt resurfaced in Kirby 3D Rumble (and, by extension, Kirby's Blowout Blast; the use of abilities in that structure wouldn't be revisited until Kirby Battle Royale), and Kirby Star Allies shows the return of Helpers (and, to a lesser extent, the Cleaning ability) from the well-known first attempt. The third attempt was a cel-shaded 2D game with upgradeable abilities, with Kirby and the Forgotten Land revisiting the latter feature as Kirby's abilities could be upgraded in that game. Worth noting is that the game would have included a new knightnote  with red and black butterfly wings, as first seen in the art book bundled with Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition. This design has been reused as Morpho Knight.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn wasn't supposed to be a Kirby game; it was initially an original project called Fluff's Epic Yarn (Japanese: Keito no Fluff, or "Fluff of Yarn"), with Fluff as the main character. The development team at Good-Feel wasn't satisfied with how the game was turning out, so Nintendo suggested adding Kirby.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land has a Dummied Out Super Ability known only as "Super Cutter" and a plant enemy known as Hearbell. Additionally, the 25th anniversary Kirby Art & Style Collection art book shows Magolor's design going through several revisions, including one that inspired Haltmann from Kirby: Planet Robobot and one depicted as a girl. Additionally, an old Miiverse post states that the scene of Magolor seemingly being released from the Master Crown's control after beating his second form would only have played if the player had collected "all special items" (likely referring to Energy Spheres); however, it was eventually decided that it was too important to leave out, and the scene plays regardless of how many Energy Spheres have been collected.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot has concept art released online of several Susie designs, along with a concept for what looks like a Zero-inspired Mother Computer.
    • Kirby Star Allies has several pieces of concept art released through official Twitter accounts, including various incarnations of the Three Mage-Sisters and ability caps for Artist and Festival.
    • A program entitled Kirby Family was intended for the Game Boy Color and its final build was leaked on September 9 2020. It was essentially the Spiritual Successor to Mario Family, a Japan-only 'game' that linked to an embroidery machine where the user could reproduce a set of patterns on cloth. Poor sales of the machine outside of Japan led to the Kirby project being cancelled however. These articles provide more details.
    • In the Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games episode covering Kirby's Dream Land, Sakurai mentions that he originally wanted Kirby to eat enemies with his tongue akin to Yoshi (though according to him, Kirby originally had this ability before Yoshi) before he settled on him inhaling enemies instead. The idea of eating enemies with an extendable tongue would later carry over to Gooey in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
  • The Wiki Rule: NIWA's WiKirby, Fandom/Wikia's Kirby Wiki, and Miraheze's The Kirby Encyclopedia.note 

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