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Kirby's back, and this time he has The Power of Friendship by his side.

"What are friends? Friends are there to pick you up when you're feeling a little down. Friends are there to rearrange someone's face when they're acting like a clown. Friends are a hamster, a fish, and an owl in Kirby's Dream Land 2. If you ain't fighting on their side... well, man, I pity you."
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One day, the evil Dark Matter causes the disappearance of the Rainbow Bridges connecting the setting of the game, the Rainbow Islands, and possesses King Dedede in order to transform Dream Land into a Dark World. Kirby, along with some new friends, sets off to save Dream Land and the Rainbow Islands.

And so begins Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Hoshi no Kirby 2 in Japanese) for the Game Boy, the first game in a loose arc of the Kirby franchise which fans colloquially refer to as the "Dark Matter Trilogy" (the others being Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards). Directed by Shinichi Shimomura instead of series creator Masahiro Sakurai and released in 1995, the gameplay is mostly the same as the previous two games in the series, with Kirby still being able to run, jump, float, and inhale enemies to copy abilities if they have one. However, the number of abilities in this game are reduced from the great variety from Kirby's Adventure. To compensate, Dream Land 2 introduces a new mechanic: the animal friends. They are Rick the hamster, who can't fly, but runs fast and is unaffected by ice; Kine the fish, who can swim against water currents but hops slowly on land; and Coo the owl, who can fly against wind currents. The animal friends can be rescued from certain rooms, and using a Copy Ability while riding an animal friend creates a different attack. Rounding out the cast is Gooey, a friendly blob made from the same stuff as the main villain. Gooey only appears if you already have an animal friend that would be rescued otherwise (most of the time; rarely, either a girl named Chao (Japanese version) or a female Gooey (English version) will pop from the bag and act as a 1UP).

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Also central to the game are the Rainbow Drops. There is one in each level (world) of the game, and each one is contained in a room that is very well hidden, requiring puzzle solving to obtain. While collecting the Rainbow Drops is optional, they are key to defeating the Big Bad, as collecting all seven of them allows access the True Final Boss against Dark Matter itself. This puzzle solving centered around ability use would become another staple of the trilogy.

The game was one of a select number of games enhanced by the SNES Super Game Boy peripheral, giving it unique per-area color palettes, a special border, and additional sound effects that made use of the SNES's sound chip to provide extra ambiance.


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This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The game's story, including Dark Matter possessing Dedede, is in the instruction book.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: The boss of Ripple Field, Sweet Stuff, resembles a cartoonish one.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American advertisement definitely counts, since Kirby and his friends rough up some Hells Angels. Averted on the cover, which is this page’s image.
  • Background Music Override: Riding the animal friends replaces the stage's current music with their respective themes.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Cutter Copy Ability gives Kirby a sharp blade that returns after being thrown.
  • Big Bad: Dark Matter, who ends up possessing King Dedede for the majority of the game.
  • Blackout Basement: Some rooms in the game are dark, and the only way to light up these rooms is to use Kine's Spark power to make a lightbulb and light the room. This also reveals hidden doors to rooms.
  • Boss Rush: Unlocked after 100% Completion. There's also a Bonus Stage Rush.
  • The Cameo: In the Japanese version, Gooey would randomly be replaced by a human girl. This girl is Chao, a character from the Japanese game Famicom Mukashibanashi: Yūyūki. In localization, Chao was replaced by a female Gooey. Interestingly, Chao (along with Goku) appears in the sequel.
  • Color Wash: When playing on a Super Game Boy, this trope comes into play, and it's done rather effectively given the color motif of this game. Each world uses a palette based around a specific color of the rainbow. Grass Land is yellow, Big Forest is green, Ripple Field is blue, Iceberg is indigo (or at least the closest the SGB could get to indigo while still looking appealing), Red Canyon is, well, take a guess, Cloudy Park is orange, and Dark Castle is violet. Adding onto this, the King Dedede battle uses black and pink, reflecting the conflict between Kirby and Dark Matter, while the battle against Dark Matter himself uses a blue-gray hue. The world selection screen goes as far as to change tint depending on what Rainbow Island the player is hovering over!
  • Cool Sword: The Rainbow Sword is an 11th-Hour Superpower whose mere presence exorcises Dark Matter from Dedede's body.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of Rick's Copy Abilities call back to the cut abilities from Kirby's Adventure. Burning + Rick = Fire, Spark + Rick = Beam, etc.
  • Death from Above: Coo's Spark attack sends lightning downward. Highly useful when there's a lot of flying space; useless in narrow horizontal areas.
  • Death Mountain: Red Canyon is a rocky terrain high above the sky. It is mostly filled with dry lands and tall cliffs.
  • Demonic Possession: Dark Matter does this to King Dedede in the beginning of the game.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Stone Copy Ability. It transforms into an indestructible boulder, crushing enemies below.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Rainbow Sword, which is made of the seven Rainbow Drops and used in the True Final Boss fight.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The miniboss Master Green, which gives the Spark ability when inhaled.
  • Feather Flechettes: Coo can fire these with the Cutter ability.
  • Final Boss: King Dedede, possessed by Dark Matter. The game ends there if you didn't collect all the Rainbow Drops.
  • Fish out of Water: Quite literally with Kine, who only hops slowly on land.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The second phase of the Dark Matter battle has you plummeting through the atmosphere. If you take too long fighting it, Kirby will start burning in reentry.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The seven Rainbow Drops are optional if you simply want to beat the game and see the credits, but must be collected in order to fight the True Final Boss and reach the Golden Ending.
  • Green Hill Zone: Grass Land is the first of the Rainbow Islands, and it follows Green Greens before it. Rick makes his first appearance here and serves as your first Power Up Mount for the remainder of the world.
  • Guide Dang It!: Even after clearing every stage, collecting all the Rainbow Drops, and defeating the True Final Boss, you'll only be at around 93% complete. It turns out you need to go back into the boss doors of the first six worlds and clear the special Bonus stages there with a Perfect score. And even after THAT, you won't reach 100% completion unless you find the girl that will only appear randomly where Gooey normally appears. Nowhere in the game does it explicitly tell you, or hint at, any of this.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The first phase of the Dark Matter battle takes place in space. The second phase happens as the two fighters are falling through the atmosphere.
  • Hub Level: Each world has one. Also provides the current page image.
  • An Ice Person: Kirby with the Ice Copy Ability, by means of a Breath Weapon.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Each of the three Animal Friends represent one of these three types; Rick the Hamster being Land, Kine the Fish being Sea, and Coo the Owl being Sky. One of the levels even lampshades this at the very beginning, where you are given a choice of three doors, each representing this trope. Defeating the miniboss after going through one of the doors earns you that particular Animal Friend for you to mount on.
  • Leitmotif: Each animal friend has one which becomes the background music if you're riding him.
  • Level in Reverse: The fourth, fifth, and sixth levels of Dark Castle are literally mirrored (and harder) versions of the first, second, and third levels respectively. Part of levels 3 and 6 are maze-like Autoscrolling Levels, and getting through the latter without getting trapped and crushed between the wall and screen edge requires memorizing the path from the former.
  • Level in the Clouds: Cloudy Park takes some cues from the first game's Bubbly Clouds. Kirby navigates through it with the help of Coo the Owl while avoiding the Gordos (spiky hovering enemies).
  • The Lost Woods: Big Forest, as the name implies, is a huge, dense forest with trees all around. Coo makes his debut in this level.
  • Meaningful Name: The three animal friends have names which are derived from Japanese Kanji which correspond to their specialties. Rick is derived from "riku" for "land". Kine is derived from "kai" for "sea". Coo is derived from "kuu" for "sky".
  • My Name Is ???: In the game's bad ending, the silhouette of the True Final Boss is labeled with "!?" instead of their name.
  • One-Winged Angel: Dark Matter initially takes the form of a swordsman, but after that form is defeated, it turns into the more recognizable Oculothorax.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Ice Dragon, the boss of Iceberg, is a Cute Monster version.
  • Palmtree Panic: Ripple Field is a beachlike area with islands all around. Kine makes his debut here, as there are water segments in which he is most useful for.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Whispy wears a mask covering his mouth and hypnotic glasses until his health is cut down to half.
  • Parasol of Pain: The Parasol Copy Ability protects Kirby from attacks coming from above and can damage enemies in front of him.
  • Playing with Fire: The Burning Copy Ability transforms Kirby into a fireball that jets forward.
  • Power Copying: Only a scant number of seven compared to the 25 of Kirby's Adventure. However, each of these has a different variation for each animal friend, making a total of 28 abilities, including the standard version.
  • Power Up Mount: Kirby rides Rick and is carried by Coo and Kine. They all give new applications to his default copy abilities.
  • Rainbow Motif: The game is set on the rainbow islands, each of which corresponds with a color of the rainbow (which is visually reflected with various Color Washes when playing on a Super Game Boy). Kirby collects Rainbow Drops on each island in order to defeat Dark Matter, who represents the absence of color with his predominantly black design and shattered the rainbow bridges that connect the islands before the events of the game.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Sweet Stuff's strategy is similar to Kaboola's except underwater.
  • Shock and Awe: The Spark Copy Ability surrounds Kirby with an electric barrier.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Iceberg is an icy wasteland with slippery slopes and frozen water. Rick and Kine are most useful here because of this.
  • Smashed Eggs Hatching: Crack-Tweets appear in eggs that hatch when attacked or inhaled.
  • Solar and Lunar: Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright, the Dual Boss of Red Canyon, make their reappearance from Kirby's Adventure.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Level 4, Iceberg, is known as Ice Berg in the manual.
  • Spikes of Doom: The Needle ability projects spikes all around Kirby's body.
  • Spread Shot: The Cutter ability while riding Coo fires Feather Flechettes forward, diagonally upward, and diagonally downward.
  • Storming the Castle: The final island consists primarily of Kirby assaulting Dark Castle.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The behaviors of the enemies Masher, Butch, and Blade are similar to the Meta-Knights in Kirby's Adventure and later Kirby Super Star. The only notable difference is that the former enemies cannot be inhaled, while the latter enemies can.
  • Sword Fight: Dark Matter's first form takes the shape of a shadowy swordsman to go up against Kirby and the Rainbow Sword.
  • Tennis Boss: One strategy Kirby can use against Dark Matter is to reflect its attacks back at it with the Rainbow Sword. It deals four times more damage than hitting Dark Matter directly and makes it less likely for Kirby to get hurt from contact damage.
  • The End... Or Is It?: If you get the bad ending, you receive an Enemy Roll Call with every foe in the game, including a silhouette of the True Final Boss you have yet to defeat. "The End" appears after this, but a question mark is appended to it after a few seconds.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Dark Castle, a gothic, drab castle. It is the longest level in the game with seven stages.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Kine is only useful in the water while he hops slowly on land which severely limits his usefulness overall in the game.
  • Time-Limit Boss: The second form of the True Final Boss must be defeated quickly as both it and Kirby are descending into the atmosphere. If they begin reentry, Kirby starts to take damage from the heat until he dies.
  • True Final Boss: Dark Matter, only faced if all the Rainbow Drops are collected.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Dark Matter starts the trend of Kirby games having surprisingly frightening antagonists. While it pales in comparison to what came after (partially due to the limitations of the Game Boy), Dark Matter's design clashes with the cutesy art style of the rest of the game, and his possession of King Dedede leads to some pretty unsettling Body Horror.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Sweet Stuff requires more skill to defeat than the first two bosses, being the first boss to use attacks that fill up most of the screen and require careful positioning to dodge. It can also take far more punishment than both Whispy Woods and Nruff.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Whispy Woods, as per usual in the Kirby games.

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