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Video Game / Kirby's Adventure

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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.

Directed by series creator Masahiro Sakurai, this game introduced Kirby's now-signature Copy Abilities, which allow Kirby to copy special powers from enemies that he has eaten. The game also expanded on the level designs, taking advantage of Kirby's then-new abilities.


Noted for being one of the most technically impressive games officially released for the NES. Due to coming out extremely late in the system's lifespan, the programmers had fully learned how to squeeze as much power out of the system as possible - the end result being a game filled with colorful, highly detailed art and extremely impressive visual effects. The rotating towers within the "Butter Building" area 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. A more faithful remake was released in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS as 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure, with autostereoscopic 3D support, graphical clean-ups and revised controls to fit the different control layout.


Its original form was included as part of Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition for Kirby's 20th anniversary in 2012, as well as given a Wii U Virtual Console release in 2013.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Trope Codifier; the English cover for Nightmare in Dream Land shows an angry Kirby kicking with the fighter 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.
  • 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, though none of the exclusive characters from there make an appearance.
  • 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 slamdunk 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.
  • 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 
  • 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).
  • Breakout Character: Meta Knight made his debut 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.
  • 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.
  • Detonation Moon: The result of the fight with Nightmare. It mostly survives, though.
  • Disk One Nuke: A well-hidden room lets you get the powerful U.F.O. ability in the very first level. You can't take it into later levels, though.
  • 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 levels. However, he also helps out by providing you with Invncible 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 and letting it spill over into all installments released after his departure from HAL Laboratories, including the remake Nightmare in Dream Land.
      • 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).
    • 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 levels 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 levels are linked together and any sections a character can't do are excised, and each main section of gameplay (subgames in that title, worlds 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 level of Vegetable Valley contains a secret door under the waterfall that contains the UFO enemy.
    • The HAL room in the third level of Vegetable Valley, found by causing the Warp Star to despawn.
    • In the very last regular level, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Franchise Codifier: The game introduced Copy Abilities, which allowed for a greater amount of action and puzzle elements and became a defining element of the franchise's gameplay. The game 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, with later games only continuing to flesh this approach out.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The first letters of the worlds spell VIBGYOR, as in ROYGBIV (the acronym for the colors of the rainbow) spelled backwards.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Orange Ocean has a few pirate elements, most notably in its third stage.
  • "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.
  • 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 levels 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. One secret section of Orange Ocean stage 2 utilizes this trick. The secret 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 untouched roulette always lands on Hammer.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Orange Ocean 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 6 is a more standard winter level.
  • 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.
    • To be fair to Dedede, he does attempt to explain his reasoning to Kirby in the manual, but Kirby, having already made up his mind and coming to the wrong conclusion, refuses to let Dedede explain, cutting him off before storming off. If Kirby had just stopped for a moment and gave Dedede the chance to explain himself and his motivations, Nightmare likely wouldn't have been released.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Nightmare, the first of the many creepy villains in the otherwise cheerful Kirby series.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: 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.
  • Levels Take Flight: Stage 3 of Grape Garden takes place on some airborne blimps.
  • Level in the Clouds: Grape Garden is a world in the sky, with many buildings situated on Solid Clouds.
  • Living Dream: Nightmare is the embodiment of bad dreams.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: In some levels, Meta Knight will call out his army of Meta-Knights to interrupt Kirby's progress.
  • 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:
  • Nice Hat: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Power Copying: Kirby's Adventure is the first Kirby game in which Copy Abilities are obtainable via inhaling and eating enemies.
  • Promoted to Playable: In Nightmare in Dream Land, Meta Knight is playable in an unlockable speedrun mode, called "Meta Knightmare".note 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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 levels have a more abstract aesthetic.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": 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 localized versions - Icecream Island and Fountain of Dream (also known as the Dream Spring in the English NES/3DS version).
  • 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.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Take too long to beat the first stage of Nightmare and the ground will rise up from the bottom of the screen until you get crushed against the top, instantly killing you.
  • 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 Mode 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 Mode 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 level 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.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: King Dedede. He attempts to stop Nightmare, but his actions also cause all of Dream Land to stop dreaming.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kirby Nightmare In Dream Land


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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