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Video Game / Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

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Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (known in Japanese as Hoshi no Kirby: Kagami no Daimeikyū, or "Kirby of the Stars: The Great Labyrinth of the Mirror") is the eighth main series Kirby game, and the second to be made for the Game Boy Advance, released in 2004. The game was published by Nintendo and developed by HAL Laboratory with assistance from Dimps and Flagship (a studio owned by Capcom). The title is most notable for the shift from Kirby's typical style of a straightforward Platform Game to a nonlinear Metroidvania with optional cooperative multiplayer. It is notably the first Kirby game to be made following the 2003 departure of series creator Masahiro Sakurai from HAL; Sakurai would act as an advisor to the game's developers as his final piece of involvement with the series.

The story begins with Meta Knight discovering that the Mirror World, which floats in the sky over Dream Land, had been invaded by a sinister presence. The mirrors of this country have the mysterious power to make any wishes reflected in them come true, so realizing that this means the mirrors could only reflect bad things, Meta Knight flies off to save it. Meanwhile on the ground, Kirby is unexpectedly slashed by a shadowy-looking Meta Knight, splitting him into four different-colored Kirbys. The four Kirbys then board a Warp Star and chase their attacker into the Mirror World.

The game is essentially what you get if you throw the Metroidvania genre in a blender with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and the Kirby franchise. The player must traverse a maze of nine interconnected areas, finding the maps for each, pressing buttons to connect them to the Hub Level, and defeating their bosses to collect the eight Mirror Shards to restore the Dimension Mirror, the path to the Final Boss. While you're doing that, the other three Kirbys are off on their adventures too, and you can call them by cell phone at any time to help you fight enemies or solve puzzles which need an extra Kirby or two; the game also has a multiplayer mode which is pretty much the same thing except other players fill the roles of the other Kirbys.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is one of the ten Game Boy Advance games to be available to participants in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, released exclusively to early 3DS adopters for free on the eShop in December 2011. In April 2014, the game was brought to the Wii U Virtual Console. Like all GBA Virtual Console games, the multiplayer mode is inaccessible in these releases.

A successor for the Nintendo DS (called Kirby: Squeak Squad) was released two years later (minus the Metroidvania gameplay), which uses a few of the same mechanics such as treasure chests, vitality hearts, and spray paint cans.

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: In order to get the percentage on the screen to 100, you have to go through every single doorway and open every single chest.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: The lower parts of Moonlight Mansion resemble a laboratory, with machinery and bats of green fluid.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The Dark Mind (first form) battlefields borrow from several areas, namely Candy Constellation, Radish Ruins, Cabbage Cavern, and Peppermint Palace.
  • Alternate Universe: The Mirror World is an alternate universe where Kirby and his splitup companions must venture to defeat the Big Bad.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American boxart, shows Pink Kirby frowning determinedly while in his Sword form. Contrast with the Japanese and European versions (see above), where he is happily playing with his cellphone instead.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Because of how open the game is due to its numerous branching paths, the game includes a map system that marks off areas you've already gone to, and also shows areas and paths you haven't accessed yet to keep the player from getting lost or overwhelmed. It also marks the rooms where you missed something like treasure chests.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Yellow, Red, and Green Kirby will not make any progress through the game, collect Treasure, and defeat major bosses for you unless they're human-controlled. They just collect abilities and go through the various rooms at random. Even getting them to suck in unison to move big stone blocks is a chore.
  • Badass in Distress: Meta Knight goes off to stop the strange shadow corrupting the Mirror World, but Dark Meta Knight seals him in the Dimension Mirror and shatters the mirror from the Hub Level side.
  • Big Bad: Dark Mind, who has seized the Mirror World for his own (presumably) dark machinations. Dark Meta Knight appears to be the main villain at first, but ultimately turns out to just be The Heavy.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Area 2, Moonlight Mansion, is a dark stronghold perpetually immersed in nighttime. While it doesn't have any ghosts in it, it's populated by Golems and their King.
  • Big Damn Heroes: This title turned the trope into a game mechanic - namely, the Kirbys never follow you, the only way to have them help you in both exploration and combat is to call them with your cell phone. It becomes incredibly satisfying to call them for aid against bosses, with them literally coming out of nowhere... unless their Artificial Stupidity kicks in.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Area 5, Carrot Castle, is a regal fort with huge hallways and a balcony enveloped in a beautiful sunset.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Mega Titan is invulnerable to all attacks but Spark and Beam's electric projectiles. Unfortunately for him, his arena has electrified walls which Kirby can push him into.
  • Boss Rush: Unlockable after 100% Completion, it allows the player to pick any copy ability before sending them to fight every boss and mini-boss in random order.
  • Breaking Old Trends: For the first time ever in the series, King Dedede is absent from a Kirby game, nor is there a boss in his likeness to be fought at all.
  • Collision Damage: Almost every foe in the game deals it, with two exceptions: Master Hand and Crazy Hand, just like in Super Smash Bros..
  • Company Cross References: One of the copy abilities in this game is the Smash ability, which gives Kirby his Super Smash Bros. moveset. The ability is acquired by defeating Master Hand, who appears as both a miniboss and as an actual boss alongside Crazy Hand.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Dark Is Evil: Dark Meta Knight, who splits Kirby into four and is both an area boss and the last boss before the final battle against the real Big Bad, Dark Mind.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shadow Kirby. Though you can attack him for a bonus item in some stages, he is generally not a threat and even helps out at some points in the game.
  • Death Mountain: Area 4, Mustard Mountain, is a calm mountainside at its base, but a Lethal Lava Land at its peak.
  • Digging to China: The "Crackity Hack" sub-game revolves around a Brick Break competition where a strong enough chop creates a crack in the ground. Getting the highest possible score makes the crack go all the way to the other end of Pop Star, opening a fissure on the upside-down other end of the planet.
  • Dual Boss: Master Hand and Crazy Hand appear in tandem as an area boss, similar to their appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • A ton of enemy names got changed from Japanese to English. Some like changing Blockn to Blockin, Cookn to Cookin, Kororun to Roly-Poly, and Builgue to Snooter make sense, but not as much the others: Lip to Leap, Mirron to Mirra, Halleynote  to Haley, Fally to Foleynote , Dockorn to Bang-Bang, Dissy to Boxin, Annie to Cupie, Galeb to Golem.
    • The shark boss is named Gabriel in Japanese, but is renamed Gobbler in English.
    • Some mid-bosses had their names changed: Aerostar to Bombar, Vow Fighter to Box Boxer, and Mr. Frosty to Mr. Flostynote .
    • Not even the new Copy Abilities were safe, as Angel became Cupidnote , Minimum became Mininote , and Sma Bro became Smash.note 
    • The mini-game Gigaton Punch became Crackity Hack, despite the obvious "Giga" sign over the audience. Speed Eaters also had its meaning Lost in Translation, as it originally referred to Samurai Kirby (which also relies on quick reflexes).
  • Easter Egg:
    • Eating two Noddys and letting the Mix roulette run out on its own will always give the Smash ability.
    • If Kirby has the UFO ability and calls either his Warp Star or the other Kirbys, a communication dish will appear on the UFO instead of the phone.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: The fight against Meta Knight starts as this, he appears as a colorless shady figure, then he becomes suddenly colored and proceeds to strike toward you without giving you a sword (you only get it through eating the stars that appear whenever he strikes). This is the first sign he's not the real Meta Knight.
  • Endgame+: After defeating Dark Mind, you can re-enter the Dimension Mirror to fight him again, and Master is placed in the Hub Level. It can get past all obstacles, encouraging you to get any collectibles you missed.
  • Escape Rope: By pressing the L button, Kirby can call a Warp Star on his cell phone to return to the hub at any time.
  • Evil Knockoff: Dark Meta Knight, a duplicate that masquerades as the true Meta Knight for most of the game.
  • Good All Along: Shadow Kirby. He may seem like he's interfering with Kirby's progress, but he's actually the protector of the Mirror World, much like Kirby to Dream Land.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Collecting all of the treasures. You can tell when a room is fully completed when it glows on the map.
  • Green Hill Zone: Much like every other Kirby game, the first area, Rainbow Route, is a grassy plain. It also contains the Hub Level.
  • Heart Container: Four in the game; like level map treasure rooms and rooms that connect to the hub (distinguished from treasure rooms by marking that they go to Area 1 (which the hub level is technically part of) or another level's room connecting to the same place), their treasure rooms are larger than most rooms.
  • The Heavy: Dark Meta Knight is clearly set up to be the Big Bad of the game; being The Dragon to Dark Mind we see him succeed in trapping and sealing Meta Knight away in the Dimension Mirror, and is fought as Dark Mind's last line of defense. These traits end up playing a big role when he undergoes a Dragon Ascendant and upgrades to Greater-Scope Villain 10 years later.
  • Hero of Another Story: If you look in the top corner of the screen, you may notice portraits of the other Kirbys, and you may notice that they sometimes gain and lose Copy Abilities. As well, if you look on the map, you'll see them located in different areas at times. This implies that while you're going through the areas and progressing the game, the other three Kirbys are having their own adventures throughout the areas. Unfortunately, they cannot unlock content for you (unless you're playing multiplayer), but you can yank them out of their adventure by summoning them to you, where they will retain whatever abilities and health they had in their prior location.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The exclusive "Mini" ability shrinks Kirby down to the size of a button. While he can only run and jump when such a small size, he can also fit into small passageways allowing him to reach the otherwise impossible-to-reach treasure chests.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Scattered all over the Mirror World are red treasure chests with gold trim, which contain various items ranging from simple healing food and extra lives to music for the Sound Test and Spray Paints to change the color of your Kirby. Opening them is required for 100% Completion.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Smash ability, which gives Kirby multiple powers from his Super Smash Bros. moveset. While it's both very cool and very useful due to having Stone, Hammer, and Final Cutter, letting you get past most obstacles (though it can't light fuses), it's also quite rare because the main way you get it is by swallowing Master Hand, who only shows up in a couple of miniboss encounters and as an area boss (with Crazy Hand). Once you activate all the shortcut switches, you unlock the Copy Room (which has almost every ability in the game, including Smash), but that requires scouring the world to find all those switches first (you can also swallow two Noddys and let the random ability selection stop itself, which will always give you Smash).
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Master ability, which can be used if Kirby has Meta Knight's "Master" sword, is fittingly named because it's hard to lose (when Kirby drops it, it doesn't disappear, so you can almost always pick it back up again) and can get past any obstacle in the game, including ones that would require specific abilities (silver blocks, wooden stakes, and fuses). It's also quite powerful and flexible, having far more attacks available than the plain Sword ability. However, the only time it can be used before the credits is during the final boss battle, so its main use is either for easy access to missed treasures or for just screwing around post-game if the file was 100% completed.
  • Interface Spoiler: The fact that the boss is named "? ? ?" should immediately indicate that it's not Meta Knight.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Smash and Master abilities are useful for getting around obstacles usually broken through with other abilities in addition to having a wide range of moves per ability. The Smash ability has the limitation that it can't light fuses, though the Master ability can.
  • King Mook: King Golem, a Whispy Woods-esque fellow, is one for the Golems.
  • Last Lousy Point: Many of the chests are out of the way and require special abilities to be brought to the room where they're found to get past an obstacle. More often than not, the last one or two percentage points on a save file are due to chests behind blocks that can only be broken with the Hammer or Burning abilities, usually the former since even Burning is limited to horizontal blocks due to the power's movement. And quite a few of them only contain food, meaning the only appreciable reward for finding them is 100% Completion.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Subverted with Dark Meta Knight. The first time you fight him, he's masquerading as Meta Knight, and the fact that he doesn't throw you a sword is your first hint at his true identity.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Both Dark Meta Knight and Dark Mind both shatter upon defeat.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Shadow Kirby probably would've helped the Kirbys much earlier on if he knew they weren't evil as he first thought.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dark Mind is behind the Mirror World's corruption, not Dark Meta Knight.
  • Master of All: Master has considerably more range than Sword, has more than enough power to make it useful, and does not disappear if Kirby gets hit.
  • The Maze: The game's world features several "Goals" which actually just send you back to the Hub Level. With some trial and error, you must figure out the correct path towards each boss.
  • Metroidvania: A relative first for the Kirby series ("The Great Cave Offensive" aside). Most Kirby levels are fairly linear, but this game has many branching pathways, rewards exploration with secret treasures, and often finds the player backtracking to open up new areas.
  • Minigame Credits: The final shootdown against Dark Mind's eye form continues as the credits roll by, and a counter appears at the bottom of the screen to show you how many hits you've landed on him.
  • Mini-Me: Any one of the four Kirbys can get the Mini copy ability and roam along side the "normal" sized ones.
  • Mirror Universe: The Mirror World subverts this. The game's first cutscene shows that Dark Meta Knight is a villain, and throughout the game Shadow Kirby is implied to be just as evil as him. However, the final battle reveals that Shadow Kirby was actually trying to protect the Mirror World all along, and only attacked the other Kirbys because he believed they were intruders. Also, 0's Mirror World counterpart turns out to be just as twisted and wicked as its original self, if not even more so.
  • Mythology Gag: The cell phone can be used not only to summon the other Kirbys to where the player is at the moment, but also can summon a Warp Star to take the player back to the hub. Kirby also used a cell phone in a cutscene in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards to summon a warp star.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only Kirby game to be a full Metroidvania instead of a straightforward Platform Game the series' main games are known for (it's somewhat of a Spiritual Successor to The Great Cave Offensive from Kirby Super Star in that regard). It's also the first game in the entire series where King Dedede does not make an appearance, not even as a minor cameo. The second is Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and even then he gets a figurine cameo.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Hitting the large switch on the way to King Golem unlocks a mirror linking the central hub to a location in Rainbow Route from where you can start freely exploring the rest of Mirror World. Up to that point, the game railroaded you through a small linear section of Rainbow Route and then through Moonlight Mansion, although it's possible to deviate somewhat by obtaining and hanging onto the Burning ability, which lets you access Candy Constellation early from Moonlight Mansion.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The three playable Kirbys are colored pink, red, green, and yellow. You can collect spray paint cans in treasure chests to change your Kirby's color, including a black-and-white one that looks somewhat like a higher-resolution version of how Kirby looked in the first game.
    • Dark Meta Knight and Shadow Kirby look just like their normal world counterparts, but are colored dark grey.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Area 8, Radish Ruins, is a vast complex of ruins in the middle of a jungle that Kirby explores at dusk.
  • Scenery Porn: And how! All areas have several colourful pixelart landscape backgrounds. Minus the Dimension Mirror.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible to access the ability room, giving free access to almost every Copy Ability, before beating the first boss: after pressing the first large switch, Warp Star back to the hub and go hunting for the rest of them.
  • Sequential Boss: Dark Mind has quite a few short phases in his first Nightmare-ish form, broken up by small levels; then a second form that's very similar to Dark Matter and Zero; then an Unexpected SHMUP Level where you chase him to finish him off; then when you finally kill him you're allowed to keep pummeling him during the credits.
  • Shout-Out: Master Hand appears as a miniboss in several places, and in combination with Crazy Hand is the boss of Candy Constellation. Inhaling him grants Kirby the Smash ability, which gives Kirby his Super Smash Bros. moveset (except for the standard special, which mimics his neutral-A).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Area 7, Peppermint Palace, is a tower made entirely of ice.
  • Space Zone: Area 9, Candy Constellation, is a mechanical construct built in the Mirror World's starry skies.
  • Stab the Sky: Kirby can stab up with the Master ability by pressing Up+B, though this serves the actual purpose of attacking overhead enemies.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • This is one of the few games where Whispy Woods doesn't show up, but King Golem fights almost identically.
    • Wiz is one for Paint Roller and Dark Mind is one for both Nightmare and Zero. The only boss from a previous game to appear besides Meta Knight (in a sense) is Kracko.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe example: according to the history booklet in Kirby's Dream Collection, the inclusion of the cell phone mechanics were added because cell phones were new at the time.
  • Temple of Doom: Radish Ruins appear to take place inside a temple, as seen in the world map.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The Japanese logo has its usual colors inverted, being blue with a yellow outline instead of yellow with a blue outline, since the game takes place in a Mirror Universe.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Not directly, in this case—Meta Knight tosses his sword into the Dimension Mirror for Kirby to use against the final boss.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: When Droppy steals an ability that is exclusive to bosses, such as Hammer or Smash, it turns red and starts running around in a panic.
  • Underground Level: Area 3, Cabbage Cavern, is a large network of underground caverns underneath the surface of the Mirror World.
  • Under the Sea: Area 6, Olive Ocean, has large sections where Kirby must swim against the currents to reach the area's Underwater Boss Battle. The first half of which is a Palmtree Panic.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Dark Mind's final phase revolves around Kirby maneuvering his Warp Star to dodge the monster's attacks, similarly to the Warp Goal minigame. However, you can also press the attack button to make Kirby shoot an endless supply of stars.
  • Unique Enemy: There's only one single Squishy in the entire game, found within Moonlight Mansion's forest.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Dimension Mirror, which is only accessible if you collect all eight mirror shards. It consists of a rematch against Dark Meta Knight and the true mastermind behind the corruption of the Mirror World: Dark Mind.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After his first battle, Dark Meta Knight briefly shows his literal true colors just as he makes his escape.
  • Warmup Boss: King Golem fills this role as an Expy of Whispy Woods. However, he is actually weaker than Whispy Woods — since this was the first game since Kirby Super Star to use draining health meters instead of health points, he has roughly 25% less health than Whispy usually does.
  • Wingding Eyes: After defeating Gobbler in Olive Ocean, his angry eyes turn into the classic "dead Xs" as he sinks to the bottom of his pool; exploding when he hits the bottom.
  • With Friends Like These...: Sometimes, summoning your Kirby friends can be more of a hindrance than a help, as they can push you around or get in the way of your path, as well as potentially attack or provoke enemies that you didn't want to bother yet.


Video Example(s):


Radish Ruins

The eighth area of the Mirror World is set within an ancient run-down temple, filled with booby traps and humongous hallways.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TempleOfDoom

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