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"What would Dream Land be without dreams? A nightmare!"
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land 

One day, the peaceful life of Dream Land was shattered by a mysterious crisis! The inhabitants didn't dream!
On the edge of Dream Land, dreams and hope once gushed forth from the Dream Spring, fueled by the Star Rod.
Investigating the Dream Spring, Kirby found naughty King Dedede swimming in its magical waters!
Dedede had broken the Star Rod and given the pieces to his friends, who are now hiding in Dream Land!
To bring back the lost dreams, Kirby sought the Star Rod!
— The game's story, given in its Attract Mode

Kirby's Adventure (known in Japanese as Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari, or "Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams") is a 1993 NES Platform Game in the Kirby series and the second Kirby game overall.

One day, everyone in Dream Land suddenly lost their ability to dream! King Dedede was behind it — he stole the Star Rod, broke it into seven pieces and gave each one to his friends. Now, it's up to Kirby to beat them all, retrieve the pieces, and reassemble the Star Rod to bring everyone's dreams back.

This game, directed by series creator Masahiro Sakurai, introduced many of the series' iconic aspects; while still in an early and unrefined form, the basis this game built would heavily inform the series' future. The big addition is Kirby's now-signature Copy Abilities, which allow him to copy special powers from enemies that he has eaten. This new feature allowed the creators to greatly expand on the level designs, adding more puzzle and action elements. Kirby's Adventure also marked the debut of recurring Anti-Hero Meta Knight, redefined King Dedede as an Anti-Villain instead of a simple Fat Bastard, and introduced more elaborate story elements (conveyed mostly via Show, Don't Tell) that expanded the plot beyond the excuses that were common in the platformer genre.

Noted for being one of the most technically impressive games officially released for the NES, Kirby's Adventure is also the largest official NES game, coming in at 6 megabits. Due to this expanded size, and coming out late in the system's lifespan, the programmers were able to squeeze as much power out of the system as possible — the end result being a game filled with colorful, highly detailed art and very impressive visual effects. The rotating towers within the Butter Building level are especially noteworthy. It's also an early example (albeit far from the first) of a game with a major Plot Twist, as what seems to be a fairly simple Excuse Plot takes a turn when it's revealed that Dedede had very good reasons for breaking the Star Rod.

The game was first remade as Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi Deluxe, or "Fountain of Dreams Deluxe" in Japanese) in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance with upgraded visuals and music, along with different minigames. It was notably the last Kirby game that Shinichi Shimomura (a longtime level designer for the series and director of the "Dark Matter Trilogy") contributed to before his sudden disappearance from public eye; he served as co-director alongside Sakurai. Nightmare in Dream Land was created to support Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, a TV anime very loosely based on the games.

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure, a more faithful remake (often mistaken for a port, but actually rebuilt from the ground up), was released in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS. It features autostereoscopic 3D support, graphical clean-ups, and revised controls to fit the different control layout. The game's original form was also included as part of Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition for Kirby's 20th anniversary in 2012, and has seen releases on the Virtual Console for Wii and Wii U, as well as Nintendo Switch Online.

Not to be confused with the fan comic Kirby Adventure or Kirby's Adventure Wii, which is the European title for Kirby's Return to Dream Land.


Tropes used in Kirby's Adventure and Nightmare in Dream Land:

  • 1-Up: Collecting a 1-up symbol gives Kirby an extra life.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: After spending the whole game fixing it, Kirby ends up using the Star Rod to defeat Nightmare. This makes it the first in a long series of "Last Battle Abilities", special powers that Kirby gets to use in the final hour of each game.
  • 100% Completion:
    • In the original NES game, 100% completion will unlock Extra Game, which disables saving and cuts Kirby's maximum health in half. Clearing Extra Game as well changes your save file's status to "Super Star", signifying "true" completion.
    • In the remake, your completion percentage is tracked separately for the main game and Extra Game; to compensate, you can save during Extra Game. Beating it unlocks a third new mode that lets you play as Meta Knight. You can't save, though.
  • Ability Mixing: Bizarrely, the ability "Mix" has been in the series since this game, but here it works like an ability roulette instead of the trope proper. It only started actually mixing abilities in certain later games in the series.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Kracko Jr. chases Kirby into the clouds above before it becomes Kracko.
  • Advertised Extra: The focus on Meta Knight on the American cover for the remake is odd, in that the remake actually removes several of Meta Knight's Stealth Mentor scenes. However, it alludes to his playable appearance instead.
  • Alliterative Name: All levels except the second are named this way: Vegetable Valley, Butter Building, Grape Garden, Yogurt Yard, Orange Ocean, and Rainbow Resort. The oddball, Ice Cream Island, has the second initial messing with the pattern (though in Japanese, it's Icecream Island).
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: You fight Nightmare on the moon, with a starry sky as the background and teal-colored terrain with star-shaped marks on it. In Nightmare in Dream Land, the scenery is significantly revamped, instead consisting of wispy, pinkish-orange terrain against a backdrop of greenish-brown, dark purple, and burgundy clouds.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Trope Codifier; the English cover for Nightmare in Dream Land shows an angry Kirby kicking with the Backdrop ability, and gives a lot of focus to Meta Knight, who looks so mysterious and shady in the background. For comparison, the Japanese box art has a bright and cheery look showing Kirby happily marching with the Star Rod.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The game makes it very clear that Nightmare, true to his name, is the personified form of bad dreams. He was sealed inside the Star Rod, a piece of the Fountain of Dreams, which allows residents of Dream Land to dream.
  • Anti-Villain: There's a reason why King Dedede was guarding the Fountain of Dreams from Kirby. He already sealed Nightmare and even tried to warn Kirby that placing the Star Rod on the Fountain of Dreams was a very bad idea.
  • Art Shift: The English cover for Nightmare in Dream Land uses the art style from the anime, which the game was created to promote, though none of the exclusive characters from there make an appearance.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation:
    • Official artwork depicts Kirby's appearance remaining unchanged whenever he obtains a Copy Ability, save for Ice and Freeze, which turn his skin pale blue. While his Ice and Freeze colorations carry over to his in-game sprites, other copy abilities recolor his skin peach and make him slightly fatter (best shown by the arm facing away from the camera no longer being visible) for accessibility purposes.
    • Meta Knight's official artwork depicts him with white gloves and a red cape. His sprite, meanwhile, features a purple cape and pinkish-lavender gloves due to palette limitations.
    • Nightmare's Power Orb form is black with yellow stars in official artwork, but the in-game sprites use a pink and blue gradient with white stars. Depictions in later games and the Video Game Remake Nightmare in Dream Land would follow the in-game graphics' example.
  • Ash Face: Kirby will end up with this and comically bulging eyes if he accidentally eats a bomb in the Egg Catcher minigame.
  • Astral Finale: The battle with Nightmare's first form takes high in space, where Kirby and Nightmare will be slowly descending as the battle goes on. After that, the second phase with his Wizard form takes place on the moon.
  • Be the Ball: Kirby has ability to transform into a ball, appropriately named "Ball". He can deal lots of damage to his foes, but the bad controls might cause Kirby to slam-dunk himself into Bottomless Pits...
  • Big Bad: King Dedede's the one sending out Mooks to stop Kirby, even if he was well-intentioned this time. The true antagonist emerges once Kirby places the Star Rod back into the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Bindle Stick: Kirby carries one in the game's opening.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Extra Game in Kirby's Dream Land was considered to be a great challenge because it changed the patterns of many enemies and bosses, but in Kirby's Adventure it just cuts the vitality meter in half and disables saving. Nightmare in Dream Land didn't improve it much beyond adding the main mode's save feature, though it did subvert this by introducing an additional "Meta Knightmare" mode where Meta Knight takes Kirby's place as the Player Character. note 
  • Border-Occupying Decorations: The 3D Classics release has a pink-white border and the logo in the bottom-right corner.
  • Boring, but Practical: Despite being the game that introduced Power Copying to the series, the game is easier more often than not if you just ignore the special powers and kill enemies with your basic inhale attack.
  • Boss Bonanza: Stage 2 of Rainbow Resort consists of one with minibosses (minus Grand Wheelie, who is not fought until the next three stages).
  • Boss Rush: Clearing the game unlocks a mode where you can challenge all the bosses, one by one, in succession and with no chance for recovery.
  • Bottomless Pits: Falling off the screen makes Kirby lose a life.
  • Breakout Character: Meta Knight made his debut as a mysterious recurring boss in this game, and was well-received to the point of receiving his own sub-game in Kirby Super Star, being Promoted to Playable in the remake and future Kirby games, and even joining the cast of Super Smash Bros.
  • Cannot Dream: No one in Dream Land can dream as long as the Star Rod is missing from the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Cloak of Defense: Nightmare, the Final Boss of the game, wears a cloak that protects his tornado-like core from damage. The only way to hurt Nightmare is to strike his core when he reveals it from under his cloak when attacking.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The game, at first, seems to be a cutesy followup to Kirby's Dream Land... right up until the climax, when it's revealed the Star Rod you were reassembling is actually the only thing keeping the Nightmare Wizard, a living personification of Nightmares, trapped in the Fountain of Dreams (which was King Dedede's true goal this entire time).
  • Credits Montage: The game features Attract Mode-style battles with each of the non-final bosses within its credits. The remake's Extra Game features the minibosses fought in Rainbow Resort's boss tower instead.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Heavy Mole is some kind of underground digging machine with a single half-closed eye. It also shoots missiles with a similar monoeye on the head.
  • Dark Is Evil: Nightmare is a large, skeletal creature who emerges from the Fountain of Dreams to spread nightmares all across Dream Land. He's also the main cause of the conflict, prompting King Dedede to shatter the Star Rod at the cost of the people of Dream Land being unable to dream.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Meta Knight is The Dragon to King Dedede in this game, and his original artwork is much less colorful than his current one, with a pitch black body and dark blue mask. However, aside from sending his crew, the Meta-Knights, out to attack Kirby throughout the game, he also appears randomly in certain stages to throw Kirby Invincible Candy for him to use (which is removed in the remake). It's implied that Meta Knight's behavior is a form of secret training. The end of the game reveals that he's a Hero Antagonist who guarded the penultimate piece of the Star Rod to help King Dedede prevent Nightmare from emerging from the Fountain of Dreams, which could explain why he gives Kirby the Invincible Candy.
  • Death Mountain: Yogurt Yard, though more lighthearted than the typical example, primarily focuses on rugged mountain terrain.
  • Deface of the Moon: Inverted. The new blast crater in the moon is the sign of a defeated Big Bad rather than an attempt to prove his power.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The final stage in Rainbow Resort is monochrome, as a throwback to Kirby's Dream Land for the original Game Boy.
  • Detonation Moon: The result of the fight with Nightmare. It mostly survives, though.
  • Disc-One Nuke: A well-hidden room lets you get the powerful U.F.O. ability in the very first stage. You can't take it into later stages, though.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Kirby must recover all seven pieces of the Star Rod in order to repower the Fountain of Dreams. Turns out Dedede had to split it in order to seal the Nightmares in the fountain, and the Star Rod is the weapon capable of defeating their embodiment.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Meta Knight's an interesting figure; he serves King Dedede as the boss of Orange Ocean, and calls on the Meta-Knights to fight you in certain stages. However, he also helps out by providing you with Invincible Candy. It's implied that he does this as a form of secret training for the pink puffball.
  • Dreams vs. Nightmares: The conflict begins when King Dedede takes apart the Star Rod, a magical item that creates dreams for the residents of Dream Land. Kirby must reassemble the Star Rod so that everyone can have dreams again. But when he does, he accidentally summons a demonic being called Nightmare, who wants to spread nightmares across Dream Land. Only once Kirby destroys Nightmare does Dream Land go back to having happy dreams.
  • Dual Boss: Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright are the bosses of Butter Building. One of them fights Kirby directly, while the other retreats into the background to fire projectiles from a distance.
  • Duel Boss: Meta Knight, the boss of Orange Ocean, forces you to accept the sword he throws to you in order for the battle to start.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This being the first Kirby game to make use of the now-standard Copy Ability mechanic, there are a considerable number of differences between how this game handled it and how later entries would.
      • The first and most obvious difference is the lack of themed hats for each ability, with the only indication that Kirby had a copy ability being that his skin would change from pink to brown (for most abilities), blue (if he had Ice or Freeze), or flashing dark brown and white (if he had Mike, Crash, or Light). The Shinichi Shimomura-directed Kirby's Dream Land 2, 3 and Kirby 64 would maintain the lack of ability hats, but would simplify things further by not having any visual indicator whatsoever (largely owing to the first game in the trilogy being on the monochrome Game Boy, with the second two installments simply carrying that over for no real reason). Masahiro Sakurai wouldn't introduce ability hats until Kirby Super Star, maintaining it in later installments directed by him (including the remake, Nightmare in Dream Land) and letting it spill over into all installments released after his departure from HAL Laboratory.
      • Copy abilities are extremely basic with their movesets, with most having only one real attack with no forms of modifying it, the sole exceptions being Sword, Hammer, UFO, and the Star Rod (Parasol allows for scratch damage with the tip of the titular weapon, but it's not so much a real attack as it is a defense mechanism). All later games would introduce some way of varying things up a bit: the Shimomura-directed games featured the Animal Friends in Dream Land 2 & 3 and the ability combination mechanic in 64, and the Sakurai-directed Super Star introduced the idea of copy abilities having diverse movesets, some of them integrating multiple Adventure-era abilities into one (e.g. Burning being changed into a part of Fire's moveset, Freeze being incorporated into Ice, and Backdrop and Throw being combined into Suplex nine times out of ten). While Nightmare in Dream Land deliberately went back to simpler ability movesets due to being a remake, the more diverse Super Star-style abilities would be reintroduced in the post-Sakurai era on a lesser scale in Amazing Mirror while coming back in full force in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
      • While nearly all of the abilities in Adventure would become commonplace years down the road in some form or another, Ball and Light would be outright ditched, never reappearing in any capacity following this game (unless one counts Kirby: Canvas Curse and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse as featuring a perpetual Ball-ability Kirby).
    • In both this game and the remake, you must pick up the sword Meta Knight provides you, and you're locked into the ability for the whole fight. In every future appearance of this gimmick, the sword works like it usually does and you can avoid picking it up, usually by waiting until Meta Knight grows impatient.
    • Meta Knightmare, the first iteration of a dedicated speedrun mode in the Kirby series, has a few elements that differentiate it from later installments. Aside from playing as Meta Knight, who has a slightly expanded Sword moveset, the mode is near-identical to the normal game. As such, it has none of the unique elements of later speedrun modes like later Meta Knightmares' Meta Points and associated abilities, Dededetour!'s warp holes, or Guest Star ????'s stat-boosting hearts, and it also doesn't have any exclusive secret bosses, or even any harder bosses and minibosses, while the stages are all unchanged and you still have to do things like traverse the hub areas. Additionally, it's all done in one sitting, and the game doesn't keep track of your time on a per-area basis, only giving you the overall completion time at the end of the run. Super Star Ultra's Meta Knightmare Ultra would set the more typical elements of it and similar submodes in stone; here, it becomes more of an Arrange Mode-style game where the stages are linked together and any sections a character can't do are excised, and each main section of gameplay (subgames in that title, levels in later games) receives its own timer, with a leaderboard highlighting your best times. It would also reintroduce Rest Areas from Super Star, which appear between areas to give a full heal and let you save your current progress.
  • Easter Egg:
    • The first stage of Vegetable Valley contains a secret door under the waterfall that contains the UFO enemy.
    • The HAL room in the third stage of Vegetable Valley, found by causing the Warp Star to despawn.
    • In the very last regular stage, entering the moon as a door brings you to a secret area full of pickups and the last giant switch.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Apart from Rainbow Resort and the Fountain of Dreams, all of the levels are named after food (although Rainbow Resort being such a cold place could be a reference to rainbow sherbet).
  • Elite Mooks: The Meta-Knights, which consist of Axe Knight, Mace Knight, Javelin Knight, and Trident Knight. Usually, they are sent by Meta Knight to prevent Kirby from getting the Star Rod pieces. They're noticeably sturdier than most other enemies of their sizes, but inhaling still does them all in easily.
  • Epic Flail: Mace Knight, one of the Meta-Knights, attacks with a large flail.
  • Excuse Plot: The game subverts this by making you think it's merely about Dedede causing trouble again. It turns out he's not.
  • Fastball Special: Before the last battle, Nightmare escapes into the sky as Kirby and King Dedede dance around in panic. Dedede then sucks up Kirby and spits him in the direction of Nightmare, before tossing the Star Rod to him so he can chase Nightmare.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: There are abilities centered around these elements, with a specific long-ranged and close-ranged version of each appearing. Since this game, Kirby has also had unique damage animations for when he's hit by any of these three elements.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After Kirby repairs the Star Rod and is about to put it back, King Dedede repeatedly tries to stop him with an uncharacteristically freaked-out expression. The release of the Nightmare Wizard shows why.
  • Flunky Boss: Kracko, the boss of Grape Garden, sends out Starmen (no, not those Starmen) as his minions (rather than the usual Waddle Doos).
  • Flying Saucer: Javelin Knight and the UFO enemies (the latter of whom is rarely seen to copy its powers).
  • Free-Fall Fight: The penultimate boss battle is an Unexpected Shmup Level in freefall. The ground acts as an Advancing Wall of Doom, though it's hard to tell because the ground doesn't appear until the player takes too long.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Notice the initials of the first names of the levels: Vegetable Valley, Ice Cream Island, Butter Building, Grape Garden, Yogurt Yard, Orange Ocean, and Rainbow Resort; the end result, when written in reverse order, makes ROY G BIV, a mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow. Additionally, the theme color for each level (seen in their intro cutscenes) corresponds with its initial.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A rather nasty bug appears in relation to the Stone ability. Upon getting to the room with a mini boss in Orange Ocean 1, Kirby is standing right on a block that can be broken with the Stone ability. Using the ability to break the block will leave Kirby splashing in a single block of water, and attempting to use the ability again will result in the game glitching out. However, if B is pressed followed immediately by Start to pause, a variety of effects can happen, including the game crashing. In a best-case scenario the game can randomly warp to different areas including the Credits sequence, which counts as the game being beaten.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Orange Ocean has a few pirate elements, most notably in its third stage, where it is mostly set in a pirate ship.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Heavy Mole, the boss of Yogurt Yard, is continuously moving forward, forcing Kirby to keep up or else be crushed between the screen and the walls he excavates.
  • Glass Cannon: In his boss battle in both versions of the game, Meta Knight has great speed and attack power, but low stamina. In his playable mode in the remake, he has half the HP that Kirby has and can't copy abilities, but can run as fast as Kirby's Wheel power-up and can break blocks with his sword that Kirby needs the hammer to break.
  • Good All Along: King Dedede. He split the Star Rod to prevent Nightmare from taking control of the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Kirby goes on a quest to recover the seven pieces of the Star Rod. Unfortunately, this ends up being a mistake as returning the Star Rod to the fountain allows Nightmare to come through.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Nightmare. He's the actual threat to Dream Land, but King Dedede had already sealed him away before the events of the game, and he's only accidentally freed by Kirby at the very end, only to be Killed Off for Real by Kirby shortly afterwards.
  • Green Hill Zone: Vegetable Valley, following in the footsteps of Green Greens, consists of simple introductory stages taking place in rolling hills and forests.
  • Guide Dang It!: Swallowing two of the same enemy and allowing the ability roulette to stop on its own always yields Kirby the same ability. This trick isn’t explicitly mentioned anywhere in-game, but it's the intended solution for accessing the secret switch in Orange Ocean stage 2, without Kirby coming prepared first. The switch requires the Hammer ability to access, but the mini-boss who provides the ability, Bonkers, is conspicuously absent from the stage. Kirby can instead ingest two Sparkies (which give the Spark ability) in a nearby room for the ability—the uninterrupted roulette always lands on Hammer.
  • Gusty Glade: Some stages in the game include winds, like the airship section in one stage.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Orange Ocean Stage 5 is a mix of Slippy-Slidey Ice World and Palmtree Panic, serving as a transition from the tropical Orange Ocean into the chillier Rainbow Resort. Orange Ocean Stage 6 is a more standard winter level, albeit with a few beach and ocean elements.
  • Hat of Power: Kirby originally didn't wear hats outside of Quick Draw Kirby and the Sleep and Freeze (and Star Rod) icons, but obtained them for his normal-use abilities in Nightmare in Dream Land.
  • Hero Antagonist: King Dedede, Meta Knight, and all of the previous bosses only fought Kirby so the Star Rod couldn't be reassembled and allow Nightmare to escape from the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Hub Level: In each level, there's a central room that grants access to its individual stages, as well as the boss after it's unlocked. This game is one of the first to use the same engine in the "between levels" segments as in the stages themselves.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: Kirby's Ball ability bounces slowly at first and picks up speed, then starts to glow and ricochets off of the floor and ceiling rapidly, causing some of the highest damage out of all the abilities upon contact.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Ice and Freeze Kirby can freeze enemies into ice blocks.
    • Enemies with ice-based powers include Pengi, Chilly, and Mr. Frosty.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: It was this game, and not its predecessor, which marked the debut of series-classic character Meta Knight.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each of the seven levels is alliterative, but also happens to traverse the "Roy G. Biv" mnemonic in reverse order, reinforced by the seventh level being Rainbow Resort. Also, the first six have food-related names (Vegetable Valley, Butter Building). Ignoring that there is also a Level 8, Fountain of Dreams, though it encompasses just the final boss battles.
  • Idiot Ball: The plot happens because Dedede, after breaking the Star Rod for noble purposes, decided to use the Fountain of Dreams as a swimming pool and apparently not tell the residents of Dream Land in advance why he did what he did, giving Kirby the exact wrong idea of what he was doing.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: King Dedede is spelled in-game as King DeDeDe in English versions, and Nightmare was altered to "the Nightmares" in Nightmare in Dream Land, but it reverted two ability names that were changed in the original localization — Fireball properly changed to Burning (as in later games) and Back Drop went back to Backdrop. The Japanese version on both systems also spells two levels differently from the English versions — Icecream Island (altered to Ice Cream Island) and Fountain of Dream (altered to Fountain of Dreams, and alternatively called the Dream Spring).
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The game introduces the very rare UFO which can't be taken between stages (unless a glitch is used) and lets the player fire one of the most powerful attacks in the game at will.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Lollipops turn Kirby invincible and enable him to run without the need of double-tapping the D-pad.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Butter Building is all about scaling the eponymous tower, and has multiple segments where Kirby climbs around its exterior (with a spiffy pseudo-3D rotating effect).
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: The game introduces Bugzzy, a Kuwagatamushi who gives Kirby the ability to suplex enemies when eaten. The corresponding Kabutomushi, Beetley, wouldn't be introduced until Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: This game is the start of Dedede's penchant for actually not being that bad a guy when it comes to protecting his kingdom, which stuck with him for the whole series.
  • Kaizo Trap: Due to the way Heavy Mole basically creates its own arena during the boss battle, it's possible to fall offscreen and die after striking the finishing blow but before transitioning to the goal area.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kirby defeats Nightmare during a battle on the moon. Even though we don't see what happened, it involved half of the moon being blown up so it's probably safe to assume he's dead. It also helps that he's the only villain not to canonically reappear or be revived in any form.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Nightmare, the first of the many creepy villains in the otherwise cheerful Kirby series.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Ball Ability, not normally available until Bubbles first appears halfway through the game, takes a little while to start up and until Kirby starts bouncing at full speed he's quite vulnerable to damage. Once the maximum bounce height is reached, Kirby becomes invulnerable at every point except the peak of his jump and just after he hits the ground, and his damage output becomes extreme - as in, it is one of the most powerful Copy Abilities in the series even compared to one-use abilities like Crash or Mike. If you know what you're doing, Ball Kirby can kill a boss in as little as four hits.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Meta Knight refuses to start fighting until you pick up the sword he offers, ensuring an equal duel. This would go on to be a recurring trait of his character.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: A sheer misunderstanding on Kirby's part resulted in Kirby collecting all the star rod pieces from King Dedede and his minions. King Dedede wasn't given a chance to explain properly that the reason why he broke the Star Rod in the first place was to prevent Nightmare from possessing the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Level in the Clouds: Grape Garden is a level in the sky. In the first stage, the clouds not only make up the floor, but also the walls; the second half does have brick-based platforms, for the sake of variety. The second stage has Kirby travel through the topmost parts of buildings. The third stage features zeppelins powered by currents of wind, thus combining this trope with Gusty Glade. The fourth stage starts in what appears to be a forest in the sky, but then transitions into a more down-to-earth location. The fifth stage brings back the setting of the second, and features a Mini-Boss battle as well as a palatial spring. The sixth stage takes Kirby into one of the sky's palaces, and features a Blackout Basement section. The boss stage starts as Kirby hops skyward with the help of cloud platforms before reaching the top to fight the boss proper.
  • Levels Take Flight: Stage 3 of Grape Garden takes place on some airborne blimps.
  • Living Dream: The final boss of the game is a living Nightmare who attempts to use Popstar's Fountain of Dreams to spread malevolent nightmares to all of the planet's inhabitants at once. Naturally, he is sealed away temporarily when King Dedede removes the Star Rod from the fountain and splits it up between himself and six other bosses, preventing anyone on the planet from dreaming him up. Kirby eventually repairs it and puts it back, despite Dedede trying to stop him, but fortunately, Kirby uses the Star Rod to defeat Nightmare for good.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The boss of Ice Cream Island, Paint Roller, attacks by drawing random stuff and sending it at Kirby. For the player to get a good time in V.S. Boss! mode, the first thing summoned by him should be a cloud, so Kirby can get the Spark power and use it against him and the next boss.
  • Magical Star Symbols: The Star Rod, which runs on the power of dreams, is topped with a star and shoots stars. The evil Nightmare is covered with stars in his Ball form, and in his Wizard form, wears a cloak decorated with stars.
  • Metal Slime: The UFO enemy appears rarely, moves erratically, and often escapes after a few seconds. If you swallow it up before it disappears, you'll receive the rare and powerful U.F.O. ability.
  • Mini-Boss: The game set the tradition in itself and subsequent games of having a bunch of recurring minibosses, though one of them (Poppy Bros Sr.) debuted in the very first game. In the games with a Boss Rush mode, they appear again in groups to make up for the lack of power compared to a normal boss. Some of them provide hard-to-come-by abilities such as Cook.
  • Minsky Pickup: The title screen opens with this, when Kirby is finished being "drawn."
  • Mirror Match: In Nightmare in Dream Land, the playable Meta Knight still fights Meta Knight as a boss.
  • Motion Parallax: There is complex motion parallax scrolling during the first phase of the final boss battle.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: In some stages, Meta Knight will call out his army of Meta-Knights to interrupt Kirby's progress.
  • Museum Level: The game features "Museum" rooms across the world map, where motionless, harmless enemies can be found on pedestals; these rooms exist mainly to give Kirby a quick way to gain specific copy abilities, including some that are otherwise rare.
  • Musical Spoiler: This game is the only Kirby game ever to give King Dedede the normal boss theme when faced instead of his theme song, likely due to being the first Kirby game where he's not the final boss. Averted in Nightmare in Dream Land, in which the Fountain of Dreams theme introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, instead plays as the boss music.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • New Game Plus: Extra Game, where Kirby has half his normal health, is unlocked after beating the main game with 100% completion. In Nightmare in Dream Land, beating Extra Game 100% unlocks a mode where you can play the game as Meta Knight.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Putting the Star Rod back in the fountain allows Nightmare to break free. However, Kirby gets rid of the problem his own way before Nightmare has a chance to really do anything other than a Deface of the Moon.
  • Night and Day Duo: This game marks the debut of Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright. They take turns battling Kirby on the ground while the other floats in the sky — changing movesets and switching their boss stage between day and night whenever they swap. Mr. Shine is a Waddling Head in the shape of a crescent moon who pelts the ground with shooting stars, throws crescent-shaped boomerangs, and has a Rolling Attack; Mr. Bright is a floating ball Wreathed in Flames with disembodied hands who projects a heat beam at the ground, throws fireballs, and has a flaming charge attack.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Extra Game in the original game. Your hit points are reduced to three, and you can't save your game. The GBA remake changes it so you can save your game.
    • Meta Knightmare in Nightmare in Dream Land. Like with Extra Game, you start with two lives and get three hit points, but unlike the GBA remake's Extra Game, you can't save your game. Meta Knight gets six sword based attacks that can solve all puzzles and he moves faster, but he can't copy abilities and is much heavier than Kirby.
  • Nostalgia Level: Stage 6 of Rainbow Resort is based on the four stages from Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy. Nearly everything is in black and white.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Really, Dedede? Did you think taking a bath in the Fountain of Dreams helps justify the fact that you had good intentions this time? No wonder why Kirby thought that you were up to no good again!
  • Odd Name Out: Rainbow Resort is the only level to not have a food item in its name.
  • Palmtree Panic: Interestingly, there are two levels like this: Ice Cream Island (which mostly focuses on islands and beaches) and Orange Ocean (which focuses more on the open ocean with some pirate aspects).
  • Perfect Play A.I.: In the "Bomb Rally" minigame, knocked-out players are replaced with computer-controlled Bubble enemies which are programmed to always pass the bomb perfectly without fail.
  • Playing with Fire: The game introduced Fire Kirby and recurring foes Flamer, Hot Head, Fire Lion, and Mr. Bright.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Kirby investigates the disappearance of the Star Rod only to find King Dedede swimming in the Fountain of Dreams. When Dedede says he took the Star Rod and split it into several parts to divide amongst his henchmen, Kirby immediately storms off to collect them before Dedede can explain that he did so to keep the true villain from obtaining it, and that collecting the parts is a really bad idea. It doesn't help that in the manual, Kirby cuts him off before he can explain what he meant by "doing everyone a favor". Though, really, Dedede was also being incredibly casual about explaining himself (the instruction manual says as much).
  • Post-End Game Content: In both the original and the remake, clearing Extra Game unlocks a Boss Rush mode, which is purely for fun and has no bearing on your completion status. The remake also has the time attack mode Meta Knightmare, which is unlocked at the same time and is also just for fun.
  • Post-Final Level: After beating Dedede in Rainbow Resort, you enter Level 8: The Fountain of Dreams, which consists solely of the battle against Nightmare.
  • Power Copying: Kirby's Adventure is the first Kirby game in which Copy Abilities are obtainable via inhaling and eating enemies.
  • Power-Up Full Color Change: Kirby's pink skin becomes a beige-peach color when he obtains a copy ability; obtaining Ice and Freeze, meanwhile, turn his skin light blue. The only other change to his appearance is that his sprite becomes slightly wider, but it's difficult to notice.
  • Pre-Final Boss: Both the player and Kirby are led to believe that King Dedede is the Final Boss again, but he's fought immediately before the actual Final Boss of the game.
  • Promoted to Playable: In Nightmare in Dream Land, Meta Knight is playable in an unlockable speedrun mode, called "Meta Knightmare". The mode is unlocked after finishing Extra Game and is considered Post-End Game Content.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: An internal document created by the developers states that Dedede's friends (i.e., the bosses) were persuaded or bribed by him to protect the Star Rod pieces. In particular, Heavy Mole chose to work for Dedede in exchange for a year's worth of coal.
  • Puzzle Boss: The final boss is normally invincible, and can only be damaged when it opens its cape to attack, revealing its weak point. Since its actual attack pattern is easily predictable, the main challenge is figuring out the timing to counterattack.
  • Quick Draw: The game features a minigame based on this type of duel, invoking Showdown at High Noon.
  • Rainbow Motif: The first seven levels are correspondingly based on the colors of the rainbow, in reverse order, with Fun with Acronyms-type Theme Naming. The seventh is themed after red, but named after the whole rainbow.
  • Ret-Canon:
    • The Fountain of Dreams stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee, based on the eponymous Fountain of Dreams from Kirby's Adventure, was given a colorful redesign and orchestral reprise of the "Gourmet Race" track original to Melee, both of which were later reincorporated into the Kirby universe-Fountain of Dreams in Nightmare in Dream Land a year later.
    • Nightmare in Dream Land also came out around the time when the anime was in full swing. This shows in the design of Kirby, Meta Knight, Dedede, and especially bosses, minibosses, and Nightmare, who all look much more like they do in the show then they did in the original Adventure. The American commercials for the game even used the cast from the anime as part of the song they sang in it (in one case, it was a parody of Johnny Rivers' Danger Man theme, "Secret Agent Man"). These design changes would carry over to future titles, such as Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and Kirby Super Star Ultra.
  • Retcon: A regional example, with this game showing Kirby as pink when he was originally depicted as white in the first game's international marketing. The marketing tries to soften the transition by making Kirby's color a shade between pink and white, which would also carry over to Kirby's Pinball Land. Starting with Kirby's Dream Course, he would be depicted as the vivid pink of his Japanese counterpart in all regional marketing.
  • Scenery Porn: The game has some of the most lush graphics of any NES game, and shows them off at any chance it can get. The pseudo-3D rotating towers in Butter Building and the complex Motion Parallax during the first phase of the final boss are particular highlights.
  • Shared Life-Meter: The Meta-Knights are a boss fight consisting of a large group of Mooks, using the life meter to gauge Kirby's progress as he defeats them.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Spark Kirby can generate electricity by moving around to use for attacking.
    • The Beam ability allows Kirby to attack with a shocking whip.
    • There's also Kracko, a lightning cloud who attacks frequently with bolts.
  • Showdown at High Noon: The Quick Draw minigame is a game of reaction time based on this trope.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: In Nightmare in Dream Land, Quick Draw was re-themed to match Kirby Super Star's version of the game, replacing the wild west setting with a samurai theme.
  • Sinister Sentient Sun: Mr. Bright is a small sun boss that fights Kirby alongside his moon counterpart, Mr. Shine.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The last few stages of Orange Ocean, which transition into the final level, Rainbow Resort.
  • Solar and Lunar: Mr. Bright & Mr. Shine are an anthropomorphized sun and moon, respectively.
  • Space Zone: Rainbow Resort seems to be a mix between this and Slippy-Slidey Ice World; this is more visible in the NES version, as its stages have a more abstract aesthetic.
  • The Spiny: From this game onwards, Kirby can inhale and swallow thorny enemies to gain the Needle power and turn himself into a Spiny. However, Kirby can't move while the spikes are out. Gordos are the more traditional spiky Collision Damage variant, but they're completely invincible.
  • Spoiler Cover: A minor thing, but the Japanese box art for Nightmare in Dream Land shows Kirby holding the fully-repaired Star Rod, indicating that he succeeds at the story's stated goal. This doesn't spoil the twist ending with Nightmare, though.
  • Stealth Mentor: Meta Knight sends his Mooks to fight Kirby, challenges him to a duel later... and yet brings Invincible Candy to Kirby in a couple of stages. This doesn't happen in Nightmare in Dream Land, but the Invincible Candy still mysteriously drops from the sky quickly.
  • Super Drowning Skills:
    • Beginning with this game, most enemies cannot swim. They will sink and drown the moment they fall into the water.
    • One jarring example of this, is the enemy Pengi. Obviously inspired by a penguin, yet this enemy drowns on mere contact with water, despite the fact there are many swimming enemies on the game.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: This is the first installment where Kirby can swim in the water. He isn't bothered by water, as he can swim and breathe underwater indefinitely.
  • Theme Naming: The names of the levels are all alliterative, and they stand for ROYGBIV (the colors of the rainbow) backwards.note 
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The Light ability, a one-use ability whose sole purpose is to light up dark rooms, is incredibly niche and situational. It never returned aside from the remake. Later games do include abilities that light up dark rooms as a passive effect: Kine's Spark ability in Dream Land 2 and 3, and any ability that generates light (e.g. Fire, Spark) in Return to Dream Land.
  • Throat Light: The remake features Nightmare dying in this manner, his eyes gouged in a pale light as he dissipates upon defeat.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Take too long to beat Nightmare's Power Orb and the ground will rise up from the bottom of the screen until you get crushed against the top, instantly killing you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: This is the first game to establish King Dedede's new ability to mimic Kirby's Video Game Flight. According to his Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy description, he took intense Training from Hell in order to do so.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: This is the first game to show a sign of King Dedede's Character Development, going from the Big Bad of the first game to the Well-Intentioned Extremist of this game. The whole reason he broke the Star Rod was to protect Dream Land from Nightmare.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Kirby accidentally releases Nightmare from the Fountain of Dreams, by fixing the Star Rod that King Dedede shattered for the sole purpose of sealing Nightmare away.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The first part of the fight with Nightmare. Many Kirby final bosses would soon follow this trend.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: You unlock Extra Game upon getting 100% Completion. Here the whole game has to be beaten with no saves and with only half your health. The remake, Nightmare In Dream Land, also unlocks Extra Game this way, but the mode is slightly easier because you can save. The remake also features a third difficulty level, Meta Knightmare, which replaces Kirby with Meta Knight.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Light Kirby's only use is to illuminate certain dark rooms. However, Kirby's ability to fly makes platforming in said rooms a non-issue, and the platforms are visible enough in the remake to make Light thoroughly useless. There's one, and only one time that Light is of any real use: the dark room in stage 6 of Grape Garden has a hidden door that leads to a giant switch, which can only be seen when the room is lit up. If the player knows where said room is, however, then it isn't necessary at all.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Rainbow Resort, an icy region that is home to the Fountain of Dreams. You actually fight the main villain Nightmare using the fountain's Star Rod.
  • Video Game Remake: Nightmare in Dream Land for the GBA is a remake of Kirby's Adventure, updating the graphics and sound as well as presenting new features.
  • Video Game Sliding: Kirby can perform a slide that damages common enemies but not bosses. Later games made the Stone ability able to slide on slopes, and changed the standard slide such that it makes Kirby trip and roll if used on slopes.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright. Up to this point, both of the bosses you've fought (Whispy Woods and Paint Roller) have been easy-to-hit targets that use only one attack at a time, and their attacks are either easily dodged, highly telegraphed, or both. Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright, however, are a Dual Boss: one will stay on the ground and fight Kirby head-on, while the other performs an attack from the sky, making their attacks much more difficult to dodge. While their attacks are still telegraphed, they're much faster than the previous bosses', and will require you to pay more attention to what they're doing. The fight is a lot harder without a copy ability, encouraging the player to experiment with different abilities if they're having trouble with a boss.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: When Dedede breaks the Star Rod to prevent all of Dream Land from having nightmares, he decides to reward himself by using the Fountain of Dreams as his own personal bubble bath. Needless to say, Kirby is quick to assume he's up to his old tricks.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Whispy Woods is the boss of Vegetable Valley. He's stationary and has fairly easy to dodge attacks, but since none of his attacks yield a power-up, the battle teaches the player the importance of acquiring a valuable Copy Ability before entering each boss room, or otherwise sucking up their projectiles and spitting them back at them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: King Dedede. He attempts to stop Nightmare, but his actions also cause all of Dream Land to stop dreaming.
  • Where It All Began: The last stage is a black-and-white homage to its Game Boy predecessor, Kirby's Dream Land, with two rooms for each of that game's four stages.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Meta-Knights are a mini-boss troupe sent by Meta-Knight to stop Kirby. They're treated as a boss by the game.
  • Wreathed in Flames: With the Burning copy ability, Kirby turns into a fireball and rushes into his foes. It was even called "Fireball" in its debut in this game.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Kirby Nightmare In Dream Land

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Kirby's Chainsaw

In "Something About Kirby's Adventure", Kirby uses a chainsaw to defeat Whispy Woods, and the two part ways before leaving Vegetable Valley. The chainsaw later shows up at Yogurt Yard, although very briefly on the left.

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