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Video Game / Kirby: Canvas Curse

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Kirby: Canvas Curse (Touch! Kirby in Japanese, and Kirby: Power Paintbrush in British English) is the first Kirby game for the Nintendo DS, released in 2005. Kirby has lost his limbs due to a curse from an evil sorceress known as Drawcia, who went on to transform Dream Land into a world made of paint.

The player takes on the role of Drawcia's rogue paintbrush and must make extensive use of the DS's stylus to guide Kirby through the art-infested Dream Land. 10 years later, it received a Spiritual Successor on the Wii U called Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: The player can earn medals for accomplishing certain tasks, which in turn can be used to unlock certain features.
  • 1-Up: Collecting 100 stars awards the player with an extra life.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese box art shows Kirby smiling alongside a pink stylus. In the American box art, he has the angry eyes and a frown, reflecting his anger at being cursed.
  • Anomalous Art: The main villain Drawcia is a painting that came to life and became hostile, which Kirby has to fight.
  • Art Attacker: During the final battle, Drawcia can create hazards such as spikes, bombs and dark versions of enemies by painting them.
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  • Art Initiates Life: Drawcia draws the bosses you face. She was also born from a painting herself.
  • Audible Sharpness: Meta Knight Ball somehow slashes enemies when it comes in contact with them.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Kirby loses his arms and feet at the beginning thanks to Drawcia's magic, relying on the player's own paintbrush (formerly Drawcia's) to guide him through the levels safely.
  • Be the Ball: The game's entire gimmick — Kirby's been reduced to a sphere, and it's up to the player to guide him through the stage via magic ink.
  • Big Bad: Drawcia, a Wicked Witch who wants to transform Dream Land into a world made entirely out of paint.
  • Blackout Basement: Certain levels take place at night and are pitch-dark, requiring you to tap lanterns in order to illuminate the area.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: You only have to complete the level 2 sub game to finish the game normally. However, if you are aiming for 100% (or just some extra medals), you will have to contend with the level 3 sub games. They are no joke. You must score at least an A rank if you want that medal. If you're trying to 100% the game, good luck.
    • Block Attack's level 3 layouts are particularly tricky to navigate, featuring narrow corridors lined with electric boxes, bumpers to knock you off course, or just flat out block and enemy spam to drain away your time. Kracko Jr. and Kracko's rooms also become partially electrified.
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    • Cart Run not only adds another level segment, but now you must complete 3 laps, totaling 15 segments. If you take any damage or slam into a block, King Dedede WILL capitalize on that and boost ahead of you.
    • Paint Panic however absolutely takes the cake. There aren't 20 drawings, but 99. And you can only afford to miss 3 of them. There are also multi-stage drawings which can very easily eat up your time. If you don't care for winning, you can scrape by with about 70 drawings.
  • But Now I Must Go: The paintbrush vanishes once Dream Land is turned back to its original state.
  • Cosmetic Award: With enough medals, you can turn your rainbow ink paint into zebra or bead patterned lines.
  • Drop the Hammer: King Dedede throws hammers during his boss encounter if you get ahead of him too far, and his playable version swings a hammer around in lieu of a spin when tapped.
  • Dub Name Change: Thudd from Dendon, and for some reason a fair chunk of the levels (despite the fact they were all originally in English).
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: You control Kirby using a magical paintbrush that paints rainbow-colored lines as paths for Kirby. After defeating the final boss, a rainbow also appears in the sky in the game's ending.
  • Evil Laugh: Drawcia cackles throughout her boss intros and even in the final battle against her. It changes into a bloodcurdling, high-pitched scream in her Soul form.
  • Endless Game: After defeating the Kracko and Kracko Jr. block attack for the (optional) third time, the player is free to just break things to their heart's content, at least until they drop Kirby one too many times or do not reach the successive checkpoints in time.
  • Extra Eyes: Drawcia's Soul form has five yellow eyes with no pupils.
  • F--: You can get ranks of G, H, I, and J in the sub-games should you do that badly. This is in addition to the existence of AA and AAA ranks.
  • Follow the Money: Many levels have trails of stars that guide the player towards the goal or medals.
  • Fragile Speedster: Meta Knight Ball's dash takes him twice as far and lets him move twice as fast as the other characters, but he has only three hit points.
  • Fictional Painting: The Big Bad Drawcia is revealed to be a painting brought to life, and turns back into a painting in the end.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The first seven worlds' namesnote  spell out the word "Rainbow" while simultaneously retaining a Color Motif appropriate to its lineup position.
  • Hard Mode Filler: After beating Story Mode, you unlock the option to play as four other characters, each of whom are essentially just slightly more difficult variants on Kirby. Waddle Dee is the same as Kirby but can't copy abilities, King Dedede has his hammer and double the HP but is slower and bigger, Meta Knight has his sword and is fast but only has 3 HP, and Waddle Doo has his beam and is slightly slower, but has 5 HP. Beating each stage with all five characters is mandatory for 100% completion.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Kracko and Kracko Jr. minigame plays out much like Breakout, letting Kirby bounce across several rooms destroying any blocks or enemies he collides with.
  • An Ice Person: Two of the enemies provide this powerup. Chilly is a small snowman-like monster that can surround itself in a freezing barrier, and Snoppy is a yeti-like monster that can curl itself into a ball. If Kirby defeats one of them, he gains the Freeze ability, which lets him use the same attack while sliding forward.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The player takes the role of a paintbrush that can stun or even destroy some enemies by tapping them, break parts of the environment, and provoke Kirby into copying an enemy's ability or use whatever Copy Abilities he may have obtained.
  • Improvised Armour: Your paint lines can stop some enemy attacks cold and block Kirby off from dangerous areas. Some things will break right through your lines, though, including some of Kirby's Copy Abilities.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Canvas Curse marks the only appearance of the Balloon ability, which allows Kirby to inflate and become floaty and bouncier before popping to stun all onscreen enemies. Unlike the other Copy Abilities, Kirby can retain it upon taking damage if he is inflated at the time.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • Gordo, Shotzo, Thudd, Blado, Flame Shotzo, and Pacto are all common enemies that cannot be destroyed by any means, nor stunned with the player's paintbrush.
    • Downplayed with Gaveela, which can be stunned by tapping it, but cannot be destroyed.
  • Just Eat Him: Gaveelas lunge at Kirby to bite him, but spit him out instead of swallowing him.
  • Law of 100: Collecting 100 stars results in gaining a 1-Up.
  • Mighty Glacier: Dedede Ball has seven hit points (like fully-upgraded Kirby), but is twice as big as the other characters and has a hammer instead of a dash (which doesn't give him as much momentum and also leaves him vulnerable on the top, bottom, and rear).
  • Mook Carryover: Needlous were enemies that had previously only appeared in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (replacing the Togezo enemy from Kirby's Adventure), but now are back to grant the Needle ability alongside the usual staple, Tick.
  • Not Quite Flight:
    • Downplayed. You can guide Kirby through the air with your paint ink lines, but your paint refills very slowly in the air, so you cannot keep him airborne indefinitely without using certain abilities like Spark or Beam.
    • During the battles against King Dedede, the player uses the stylus to control a cart track generator, thus creating a path to help Kirby tarverse a chasm.
    • The Balloon ability inflates Kirby and sends him a short distance upwards, though he quickly starts to descend unless the player taps him again.
  • Off-Model: Kirby spends a majority of the game without his limbs, yet somehow regains them when he dies.
  • Old Save Bonus: Waddle Doo Ball is usually one of the last things you can unlock, but it can be the first if you play with another Kirby game in the Game Boy Advance slot.note 
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Associated with Drawcia. You can hear it in the boss intro cutscenes, in the World of Drawcia, and especially in the first phase of her battle music.
  • One-Winged Angel: After Kirby defeats Drawcia, her clothes dissolve and she transforms into Drawcia Soul, a massive ball of paint with five yellow eyes and a mouth.
  • The Paralyzer: The magical paintbrush can destroy blocks, but tapping enemies only stuns them.
  • Playing with Fire: Two of the enemies are Bobo, who is a living flame; and Flamer, a small disk that can surround itself in fire to perform a burning tackle. Defeating them grants Kirby the Burning ability, which causes him to dash forward as a fire ball.
  • Racing Minigame: There is a stylus-controlled kart race against King Dedede, in which the player must guide Kirby's kart towards food icons to trigger temporary speed boosts.
  • Rainbow Motif: The first seven worlds are all named after one of the colours of the rainbow, with the sixth being based on "Ultramarine" rather than Indigo.
  • Rank Inflation: Alongside ranks that go all the way down to J, you can get an AA rank and even an AAA rank in the sub-games.
  • Scenery Porn: As expected for a Kirby game, many of the visuals are simply stunning due to the paint motif the game has.
  • Secret Character: Waddle Dee Ball, Waddle Doo Ball, Dedede Ball, and Meta Knight Ball can be unlocked after completing the game - Waddle Dee upon the first clearing, Dedede and Meta Knight becoming redeemable with medals afterwards, and Waddle Doo either upon clearing the game with all four other characters or playing with one of the GBA Kirby games in the second slot.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Kracko and Kracko Jr. protect their eyes with cloud puffs and spheres, respectively.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Sparky and Spark Kirby attack with electricity; the former by surrounding itself in a lightning aura, and the latter by shooting a bolt upwards.
    • Kracko surrounds itself with a lightning barrier during its boss fight.
  • Shout-Out: One of the levels is named Neo Geneo/Greo.
  • Snowy Screen of Death: When you reach the area where Drawcia dwells, the top screen's map display is replaced with dark red static.
  • Sonic Stunner: The Balloon Copy Ability, new to this game, emits a sonic boom that paralyzes all enemies on screen if Kirby is tapped three times.
  • Spooky Painting: The bosses you face are pictures of old Kirby villains brought to life, and the villain herself was born from a painting, and wants to turn the whole world into one of paint.
  • Stalactite Spite: The icicle variants fall and regenerate continuously, rather than only dropping when you pass under them. Boulders and other ice chunks still mysteriously stay in place until Kirby rolls by them.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Drawcia is completely invulnerable both to the power paintbrush and Kirby's dash attack. Her only weakness is her own energy sphere attack, which the player can send back at her to shatter her defenses.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The Block Attack minigame consists of guiding Kirby across multiple rooms and defeating Kracko before time runs out.
    • Rainbow Run contains Time Trials mode, which challenges the player to complete specific sections of certain levels, as well as exclusive new areas, in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Drawcia's paintbrush, which is the only reason she is even beatable. She conjures brushes out of thin air, and they usually disappear back into it once she is done with them, but one stuck around and flew to the player.
  • Wicked Witch: Subverted. Drawcia looks like a sorceress with a pointy hat, but her true form is just a ball of paint, since she is actually just a painting who mysteriously came to life.