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Video Game / Kirby Super Star

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"Eight games in one? That sounds like fun!"
Kirby Super Star Ultra 
Kirby Super Star (Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe in Japanese, and Kirby's Fun Pak in European languages) is a 1996 SNES game, and part of the Kirby franchise. This game also sees the return of series creator Masahiro Sakurai's directorship, having last worked on 1993's Kirby's Adventure. Unlike the other Kirby games, where everyone's favorite pink puffball has one long adventure, Super Star contained a number of shorter games — its tag line on the box was "8 games in one!" Those games — 6 main, 2 sub — are:

  • Main Games:
    • Spring Breeze: King Dedede has stolen all the food in Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. The introductory game, it's essentially a compressed version of the original Kirby's Dream Land with abilities added.
    • Dyna Blade: A mysterious creature named Dyna Blade is terrorizing Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop her. This game adds a world map, some additional powers, and a couple extras, but in the end, it is mostly an intro game like Spring Breeze.
    • Gourmet Race: Kirby and King Dedede race to see who can eat the most food while still reaching the finish line first. It's pretty straightforward. Very notable for its music: the theme for Gourmet Race stages 1 and 3 "Get Up and Go-urmet!" is one of the staples of the Kirby franchise, and it's also a popular source for remixes on websites such as YouTube.
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    • The Great Cave Offensive: Kirby has accidentally fallen down a hole and found himself in a huge cave, filled with treasure. Now he has to find a way out of the cave while grabbing as much loot as he can. More of a Metroidvania game than a linear platformer, Kirby's quest through the cave helps him find various valuable relics.
    • Revenge of Meta Knight: Meta Knight is setting out to conquer Dream Land in his massive flying battleship, the Halberd, in order to put an end to "Dream Land's lazy lifestyle", and it's up to Kirby to stop him. In this game, the levels are timed — failing to clear it within a certain amount of time results in a loss. Also noted for the story — Meta Knight and his crew can be heard talking about Kirby attacking, and the crew is visibly freaking out as he lays waste to the Halberd.
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    • Milky Way Wishes: The Sun and the Moon are fighting, throwing day and night into chaos, and it's up to Kirby to stop hi— or rather, them. This game takes Kirby to other worlds to find the wish-granting comet Nova, and since the enemies on these worlds are different than the usual ones, Kirby can't absorb their powers; instead, he has to find the Deluxe Copy Essences around the levels, after which point he has those powers forever, and can shuffle through them.
    • The Arena: Okay, seven main games, as beating all six games unlocks The Arena, a straight-up Boss Rush. Kirby has his choice of abilities and a set number of Maxim Tomatoes, and must battle through every boss and miniboss of the game, from Whispy Woods to Meta Knight to the terror that is Waddle Dee, before a rematch with the final boss.
  • Sub-Games:

While Kirby's Adventure on the NES codified the Kirby formula, Super Star is considered to be the game that perfected it, to the point where its style of gameplay has become the series standard. It was remade in 2008 for the Nintendo DS as Kirby Super Star Ultra (Hoshi no Kirby Ultra Super Deluxe in Japanese), which added a handful of extra games to the mix, bringing the total to 16 games in one:

  • Main Games:
    • Revenge of the King: Like Spring Breeze, this game follows the original Kirby's Dream Land. The trick this time is that this is a remix of Kirby's Dream Land's Extra Game (hard mode), so the enemies, especially the bosses, are a lot tougher. This includes a fight against war-blimp Kabula, mid-bosses from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, and a brand-new King Dedede.
    • Helper to Hero: Instead of playing as Kirby, you choose one of his helpers (characters based on an element that Kirby absorbed, usually controlled by computer or by a second player) and run though a shortened, non-randomized version of The Arena. This can create quite a challenge: sure, winning as Bonkers (Hammer) or Plasma Wisp (Plasma) isn't too bad, but how about winning with Capsule J2 (Jet) or Wheelie (Wheel)? Not to mention getting the best time...
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra: You play as Meta Knight through abridged versions of the original main games, excluding Gourmet Race and The Arena. Meta Knight has a whole suite of moves at his disposal, and uses them to thrash his way through the stages. His goal is to fight the ultimate warrior in the universe, while your goal is to get the best time.
    • The True Arena: This is what happens when The Arena hates you. It's a Boss Rush again, but with less health-recovery (5 regular tomatoes) and much tougher bosses — you fight the bosses and sub-bosses from Revenge of the King, then get the final bosses from the three added games, and a bonus boss.
  • Sub Games: A set of mini-games that can be played with friends wirelessly, they utilize the Nintendo DS's touch screen and stylus. They can be summarized as:
    • Snack Tracks: Kirby eats food on a conveyor belt.
    • Kirby on the Draw: Kirby does target practice with popguns.
    • Kirby Card Swipe: Kirby plays Karuta.

Ultra is also notable for being the directorial debut of Shinya Kumazaki, who would serve as the director and later general director of the franchise as a whole from that point forward.

Tropes used in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra:

  • Abandon Ship: Discussed near the end of Revenge of Meta Knight. Meta Knight urges his followers to evacuate from the Halberd before it crashes, but they decide to stay by his side and fight Kirby one last time... except for Captain Vul, who abandons the rest of the crew.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Non-death variant with King Dedede at the end of Revenge of the King. Having once again failed to best Kirby in a fight, he sorrowfully treks through the desert as twilight approaches, being comforted by his loyal Waddle Dee army.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Zigzagged with the Revenge of Meta Knight mode, which received some minor changes seemingly to make it more "hardcore"—the most notable of which is the name itself (from "Meta Knight's Counterattack"). A fairly innocuous "Let us duel!" was replaced with "Prepare to Die!", pointedly avoiding one of Nintendo's stricter rules at the time. Inversely, a line where Meta Knight coldly insults his crew for dying on a sinking ship in their single-minded pursuit of Kirby was replaced with one where he agrees to their plan and thanks them for their loyalty. Both of these changes were reverted for Ultra; the earlier line became "come meet your doom!" Even Meta Knight's stated motivation is changed to make him sound more villainous:
    Meta Knight (Japanese): The time has come. The time to show our power! Dream Land has become rotten to the core, and we will change it with our own hands!
    Meta Knight (English): The time has come. The time to show our power! Dream Land's lazy lifestyle will end! I will rule!
  • Animated Actors: Implied by the unlockable blooper reel in Ultra. Complete with laugh tracks.
  • Animated Outtakes: One of the special unlockables in Ultra is a blooper reel with edited versions of most of the game's cutscenes. For example, the Milky Way Wishes opening cutscene has Marx bouncing on his ball as he tells Kirby about what's happening, but in the blooper reel, Marx falls off his ball after a few hops.
  • Arc Villain: Due to the way the game is structured, every mode has a clear standalone antagonist:
    • King Dedede is the villain of "Spring Breeze" and "Gourmet Race", in which his gluttony inspires him to steal all the food in Dream Land. He later returns in "Revenge of the King", hoping to settle his rivalry with Kirby once and for all.
    • "Dyna Blade" has the eponymous bird, who has been ruining Dream Land's crops.
    • Surprisingly averted in "The Great Cave Offensive", as Kirby is only exploring a cave and searching for treasure. All enemies he comes across, including the last boss, are simply monsters that inhabit the underground complex.
    • "Revenge of Meta Knight" has the eponymous knight, who wishes to take over Dream Land in order to put an end to its inhabitants' "lazy lifestyle".
    • "Milky Way Wishes" has Marx, the person responsible for getting the Sun and the Moon to fight each other.
    • "Meta Knightmare Ultra" introduces Galacta Knight, a legendary warrior who had been sealed away due to his destructive powers. He is summoned by Nova so Meta Knight can test his strength.
  • Arrange Mode: Meta Knightmare Ultra in Ultra allows you to play through the original SNES games as Meta Knight in a continuous time attack run.
  • Ascended Extra: The bandanna-wearing Waddle Dee first appeared in Super Star as the first opponent in Megaton Punch. In Ultra, he has dialog and appears as a boss (albeit not much of one) in Revenge of the King (plus he's the only spectator in the stands during the Masked Dedede fight), and the Waddle Dee opponent in The Arena was changed to him. He was eventually a playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land and made into a recurring series character.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: In Ultra, the climactic fight against Galacta Knight is accompanied by a Thrash Metal theme song appropriately titled "The Greatest Warrior in the Galaxy". It carries over to all of his future appearances.
  • Bad Samaritan: Marx pretends to be on Kirby's side, only for it to turn out he was playing Kirby to find Nova so that he can use it to conquer Dream Land.
  • Balloon Belly: As usual, Kirby's and Dedede's standard attacks result in them puffing up as they inhale their enemies. In addition, Dedede will balloon up if he beats you in Gourmet Race.
  • Batman Gambit: Marx in Milky Way Wishes convinces the Sun and the Moon to fight each other, then manipulates Kirby into reconstructing wish-granting comet Nova by saying that is the only way to stop the conflict. Once Kirby accomplishes his mission, Marx immediately uses the wish to become the ruler of Popstar.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Marx looks like a jester, but turns out to be a Manipulative Bastard who tricks Kirby into finding Nova in an elaborate plan to conquer Popstar.
  • Book Ends: The Great Cave Offensive begins and ends in the same room, making the whole map a big loop.
  • Boss Remix: The final boss's theme has snippets of the regular boss theme in it admidst all the Uncommon Time. The brand-new boss theme composed for Heavy Lobster in Ultra is a very heavily remixed version of Green Greens.
  • Boss Rush: The Arena, which is the final game in the original version, has you fight every boss from the previous modes (as well as Waddle Dee) in a random order, before rematching the final boss. In the remake, The True Arena is the same concept with additional, more difficult bosses.
  • The Bus Came Back: The fourth boss of Revenge of the King is Kabula (a.k.a. Kaboola), a character from Kirby's Dream Land that was dropped in Spring Breeze and hasn't been seen since its very brief cameo in the Super Famicom version of Kirby's Star Stacker, over ten years prior.
  • But Thou Must!: When starting Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, The Great Cave Offensive or Milky Way Wishes, it asks if it's your first time playing. However bizarrely, if you choose "no", it will still show a tutorial, though a brief single screen one instead of the longer playable one you get from picking "yes". Averted in regards to the DS version; selecting "No" takes you straight into the game.
  • The Cameo:
    • In both versions, various Mario characters can be seen at the sides of King Dedede's arena and in Megaton Punch.
    • Two of Stone Kirby's rarest transformations are gold statues of Mario and Samus.
    • Mario himself appears next to the Nintendo logo during the Milky Way Wishes credits in the original game, and the Revenge of the King credits in the remake.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Fountain of Dreams from Kirby's Adventure gets an appearance in Milky Way Wishes, at the end of each planet.
    • Being a re-imagining of Kirby's Dream Land's Extra Game, the ending of Revenge of the King is reminiscent of its last after-credits scene. It had a teary Dedede walking off the screen while Kirby follows to comfort him. Revenge of the King has the Waddle Dee troops supporting their depressed master instead.
    • A few worlds from Kirby's Adventure reappear in Revenge of Meta Knight. After the crew knocks Kirby off deck, they mention flying off to Grape Gardens for a test. Meanwhile, Kirby travels through sundrenched islands similar to Orange Ocean and a mountainous forested area reminiscent of Yogurt Yard before finally recouping with the Halberd.
    • Ultra changes some of the Treasures in The Great Cave Offensive to items that reference previous Kirby games. These are the Hydra parts (referred to as Machine Parts) from Kirby Air Ride, the Cell Phone from Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, the Power Paintbrush from Kirby: Canvas Curse, and the Triple Star Cane from Kirby: Squeak Squad.
  • Captain Ersatz: Capsule J in the SNES version is just Konami's TwinBee with a headband. This was apparently so blatant that he was replaced with "Capsule J2" in Ultra and Kirby Quest of Kirby Mass Attack and later "Capsule J3" in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
  • Cartoon Whale: Downplayed. Fatty Whale, a boss that first appears in The Great Cave Offensive, is a dark blue whale with baleen and a wide grin. However, he is compact and rounded and lacks a square-shaped head.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: Fatty Whale and Wham Bam Rock both have attacks where they cause rocks to fall from the ceiling, which Kirby can use as projectiles or swallow to gain the Stone ability.
  • Cool Airship: The Halberd, a giant airship with Meta Knight's mask at the helm, made its debut here.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: A second player can play as the summoned helpers. In Super Star Ultra, it's required for each player to own the cartridge to do this with most of the games, though Spring Breeze can be played co-op through download play, with both players watching the first player's DS.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: The mini-boss Jukid has polka-dot underwear under his gi, as seen when you knock him down.
  • Company Cross References:
    • This is the first game where Kirby gains Link's signature green cap when copying the Sword ability, as well as Sword Beams at full health. According to the developers, they were returning the favor for Kirby's guest appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
    • Likewise, the Yo-yo ability seems to be based on Ness, right down to the ability's background resembling EarthBound's menu screen. HAL Laboratory helped develop EarthBound in part.
    • Several Super Mario Bros. characters appear at the sides of King Dedede's arena and in Megaton Punch.
    • The Stone ability can rarely turn into golden statues of Mario or Samus.
    • Several treasures in The Great Cave Offensive refer to other Nintendo games, including the Screw Ball (Screw Attack), Bucket, Falcon Helmet, Turtle Shell (Koopa Shell), Mr. Saturn, Kong's Barrel, and Triforce.note  In Ultra, several items were replaced with more references, such as the Zebra Mask with the Phanto Mask, the Nunchucks with the (Hydra) Machine Parts, Summertime with the Power Paintbrush, the Dud with the Cell Phone, Autumntime with Three-Star Cane, and Wintertime with the Gold Watering Can.
    • Another Mario reference that appears in Ultra: in Revenge of the King, Kabula fires what seems to be Bullet Bills during the boss fight.
    • Moto Shotzo, a tank-like enemy found on the battleship Halberd, is based on Trax, the titular character of a Game Boy shooter game that HAL Laboratory created in 1991.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Spring Breeze (a remake of Kirby's Dream Land) removes Castle Lololo, as well as Kabula, the original boss of Float Islands (Lololo and Lalala take her place). The boss rush preceding Dedede from the original game is also cut out, likely due to the Arena making it redundant. Kabula does return in the remake's Revenge of the King, which is inspired by Dream Land's extra mode.
  • Conflict Killer: In "Milky Way Wishes", the Sun and the Moon are fighting above Popstar, but join forces to prevent Nova from performing a Colony Drop on Popstar long enough for Kirby to disable him.
  • Cosmetic Award: The single hardest task in the game is, rather than the True Arena or even 100%, clearing Helper to Hero with every helper. This is the only task in one of the main games that does not contribute to 100% completion, and you get two rewards for doing it: a giant crown on the Helper to Hero option and the SNES intros to the original games.
  • Cute Is Evil: Marx might look like an adorable citizen of Popstar, but he tricked Kirby into awakening Nova so that he can use it to conquer the pink puff's home planet.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Going from playing Super Star to Ultra can be quite difficult control-wise. In the original, it used the classic SNES control scheme of B being jump and Y attack, with A being used to summon a helper. In Ultra, they went for control consistency with the GBA games and Squeak Squad, having B as attack and A as jump (with X being used to create a helper). It can also be tricky if you, say, play Ultra first and then play the original on something like Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition.
    • Going to either version from other games in the series can result in unavoidable deaths due to pressing the Jump button a second time to start floating rather than the Up button like previous games did. Some later games allow either, so those used to the older games that skipped Super Star are likely to flub when they finally try it out.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Two of the additional games in Ultra:
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra involves playing through the original games as Meta Knight to train himself and eventually fight the most powerful warrior in the galaxy.
    • Helper to Hero is a reimagining of The Arena which gives the 20 helpers in the game the opportunity to prove themselves as being more than just Kirby's sidekicks.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After Kirby defeats Dyna Blade and helps feed her baby chicks, the giant bird becomes friendly with him. She later repays Kirby in "Revenge of Meta Knight" by helping him get back onto the Halberd.
  • Degraded Boss: Wham Bam Rock, the final boss of The Great Cave Offensive, is a standard end-of-level boss in Milky Way Wishes' Cavius stage. Out of all the modes, it's the only final boss to receive this status.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: If you copy the abilities of the enemy T.A.C., you'll gain the power Copy, which... allows you to copy the abilities of an enemy, which would be great if that was not Kirby's default superpower. It's not entirely useless, but the times it is useful are highly situational (e.g. Milky Way Wishes). It's also unusual in that its scan can damage objects and larger enemies and bosses that are immune to Kirby's standard inhale. On the other hand, making a T.A.C. helper effectively gives a second player the ability to copy (and discard) powers at will as well.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Suplex, Jet, and Ninja powers are very difficult to use effectively, especially against bosses, but do crazy damage. Suplex in particular, because bosses can't be grabbed — meaning you have to either grapple any debris the boss creates, or spam Pinpoint Kick. It's awkward and requires a lot of precise maneuvering, but most bosses go down from two or three wrestling moves. This means Bugzzy isn't such a bad choice for Helper to Hero... until you reach Computer Virus, that is.
    • As far as helpers go, T.A.C. is by far the most useful, especially against bosses. While normally he can shoot his arm out as a projectile to copy a foe's ability, most bosses don't have Copy Abilities, so it deals damage instead. It's a bit unwieldy to use, but it's very effective if used properly since it can be charged up for quite a bit of damage (but it's not as effective in the air due to the charge time). From there, it can defeat several bosses in seconds. This makes him a surprisingly effective choice for clearing The Arena and Helper to Hero. He even has a guard that makes him completely invulnerable to damage by blending in with the background as an added bonus.
  • Dishing Out Dirt:
    • Wham Bam Rock and Wham Bam Jewel in Ultra. Their main attack is using a stone hand to smash Kirby and his partner, or dropping stones from above.
    • The Stone ability lets Kirby or his partner turn into a rock and slam down on enemies. Changing back has a minor area of damage from the stone breaking away hitting nearby (read: point-blank) enemies.
  • Dual Boss: Twin Woods. The prospect of two Whispy Woodses doesn't sound too threatening, but if you can't put them away fast you'll start to regret it soon.
  • Dub Name Change: In the SNES version, all of the bosses in The Arena have the same names in Japanese except Computer Virus, which was originally Battle Windows.note 
  • Duel Boss: Meta Knight, of course. He gives you the Sword ability, per usual, which you are forced to take for the battle to start. However, if you decide not to and wait 30 seconds, Meta Knight will eventually get impatient and start the fight anyway.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the first Kirby game to portray Kirby as getting hats from his powers. It's also the only Kirby game where said hats can be removed to either turn into the various "helpers" from the game (or turn Helpers into them) or to turn them into a different Helper. It's also the only game with Copy Ability hats that doesn't allow Kirby to voluntarily discard his abilities as ability stars (Ultra restores this ability). They can be discarded as ability items, though.
    • Before Kirby Star Allies was released, this was the only Kirby game to have ordinary enemies become playable helpers.
    • This game and, by extension, its remake are the only Kirby games to have a Copy Ability that could be gotten from more than one boss in the same game (as Suplex can be obtained from Bugzzy, Jukid and, in the remake, Phan Phannote ).
  • Edible Collectible: The Gourmet Race is as much about eating lots of food as getting to the finish line quickly. This is in contrast to the rest of the game (and the series in general) where food grants health and occasionally power-ups.
  • Elite Tweak: Copy is mostly a useless curiosity of an ability (see This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman below for situations where it's useful) for Kirby. By contrast, the helper that Copy spawns, T.A.C., is generally felt to be one of the best characters in the game, both in co-op and for the boss rushes.
  • Evil Plan: Marx lampshades this (by going over what he did after he wished to rule Popstar) near the end of Milky Way Wishes, though this is only apparent in the Japanese version and Ultra.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Except for Milky Way Wishes, the plots of most games never get really complex. In fact, most of their descriptions are little more than "There's a Big Bad causing trouble! Go stop it!" Then again, Kirby doesn't need much motivation anyway.
    • The Great Cave Offensive is the worst offender. "Kirby fell into a hole! Get treasure and escape from a giant whale, living RPG, paint-spitting mutant chameleon, and an ancient rock face with hands!"
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra is simply Meta Knight beating the stuffing out of everything to prove he's the most badass warrior in the galaxy.
  • Falling into the Plot: Kirby discovers the titular cave in "The Great Cave Offensive" by falling into a deep hole.
  • Final Boss:
    • Spring Breeze: King Dedede
    • Dyna Blade: Dyna Blade
    • The Great Cave Offensive: Wham Bam Rock
    • Revenge of Meta Knight: Meta Knight
    • Milky Way Wishes: Marx
    • The Arena: Marx again.
    • Revenge of the King: Masked Dedede
    • Helper to Hero: Wham Bam Jewel
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra: Galacta Knight
    • The True Arena: Marx Soul, who's a borderline True Final Boss.
  • Floating Limbs: The mini-bosses Jukid and Iron Mam, as well as the Plasma Wisp enemy, have floating hands.
  • Foul Flower: The seemingly-innocent enemies called Lovelies are common throughout the game, except in Ultra's "Revenge of the King" mode, where they are replaced by creepy-looking roses called Roselies, who are just as dangerous.
  • Four-Seasons Level: The gimmick of Floria in Milky Way Wishes is that each door the player enters changes the landscape to match a different season.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Instead of the usual Dark Matter-esque Eldritch Abomination, Marx is just one of the tiny, cute, marshmallow-like denizens of Popstar who manages to gain ultimate power with a Batman Gambit involving Kirby and the wish-granting comet Nova.
  • Full Health Bonus: The Sword ability fires out a sword beam when Kirby slashes while at full health. Given that the Sword ability also gives Kirby a green hat, this may be a direct reference to The Legend of Zelda.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Each game works differently from one another, though they all revolve around the same mechanics. The minigames are even more drastically different.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The bosses of The Great Cave Offensive have no plot significance and only show up to fight Kirby at the end of each section. Particular mention goes to Computer Virus, the boss of the Crystal area; it's an inexplicable JRPG parody that has no business being down there. Similarly, Wham Bam Rock, the final boss, isn't even hinted to exist until you meet it. It even gets degraded in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Giggling Villain: Marx is constantly letting out a high-pitched giggle, indicating how he's jumped off the deep end. In Ultra, Marx Soul makes it even worse, with him letting out all sorts of distorted, glitchy cackles.
  • Good All Along: Dyna Blade at first seems to be stealing all the crops just to be a jerk. After you beat her, you find out she was just trying to feed her babies. Fortunately, Kirby pushes their nest underneath Whispy Woods to feed them, and even teaches them how to fly.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: Once the Sun and Moon finally settle their differences, Kirby goes back home after a long journey to take his well-deserved afternoon nap.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: 60 Treasures in The Great Cave Offensive, 19 Deluxe Copy Essences in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Green Hill Zone: Green Greens in Spring Breeze, Peanut Plain in Dyna Blade, Floria in Milky Way Wishes, and Purple Plants in Revenge of the King are themed after grassy plains.
  • Ground Pound: The Stone power can only attack by transforming into a rock form and dropping on top of enemies.
  • Ground Punch: Megaton Punch. A sufficiently strong punch can crack the planet in half.
  • Guide Dang It!: The location of the secret planet "?" in Milky Way Wishes is hidden on a large green star that, while somewhat distinctive, is easily overlooked and ignored unless one uses a guide or flies around aimlessly for no particular reason to discover it by accident. Not so much in Ultra, as the planet is more clearly marked by a blinking star that stands out amongst the background.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When facing against Heavy Lobster in Revenge of Meta Knight the first time. Granted, it's only meant to distract you long enough to be blown away by the time the ship launches. Technically, it is possible to destroy it before the cutscene of the boss battle ends, but that doesn't do anything to said cutscene (not even an acknowledgement from the ship's crew).
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Parodied in Samurai Kirby, in which the characters pull out increasingly goofy Improbable Weapons out of Hammerspace. In order, Kirby uses a Paper Fan of Doom (Waddle Doo), a squeaky toy hammer (Wheelie), a custard pie (Chef Kawasaki), a party popper (King Dedede), and a standard sword (Meta Knight).
  • Inconsistent Dub: Galacta Knight is added to Ultra, but his movie identifies him as Galactic Knight. The latter is actually his Japanese name.
  • Intercom Villainy: In the sub-game Revenge of Meta Knight, the crew of the Halberd airship you're storming would throw threats at Kirby over the intercom while also conversing with themselves. They become increasingly irate the further you go through. In Super Star Ultra, the new sub-game Revenge of the King also has this in Dedede's Castle stage, mainly with Dedede and Bandana Dee.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Candy, which gives you temporary invincibility, increased agility, and a catchy jingle when eaten.
  • Item Get!: Every time you open a chest in The Great Cave Offensive, you'll get a fanfare and then the information about the item you got.
  • Japanese Ranguage: One of the items in The Great Cave Offensive is called Ramia's Scale, which was pretty obviously supposed to be Lamia's Scale. Curiously, even though some names in Ultra were changed from the original localization (like Orihalcon to Orichalcum), this was not fixed.
  • Kiss of Life: Somewhat of a variant; the player character can eat any health item and then "kiss" their partner, and then the partner will also get healed. Called "face-to-face food transfer" in the manual.
  • Last Lousy Point: Ultra is technically 100% finished without doing this, but if you actually want to get everything in the game (meaning movie 00 in the Theater), you have to beat Helper to Hero using all twenty helpers. Not only is that incredibly tedious, but a select few of them really don't make it easy.
  • Leave Him to Me!: In Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight makes everyone abandon ship so he could take on Kirby alone, in one of the hardest boss battles in the series. Then, after he escapes, he comes back after you in a last-ditch attempt to stop Kirby from leaving his ship as it crashes.
  • Leitmotif: "Kirby's Triumphant Return", a motif associated with Kirby doing heroic acts, recurs throughout the entire game (and even in some future games). It makes appearances in "Havoc Aboard the Halberd" and "Crystal Area".
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The description for Revenge of the King says that King Dedede has gotten serious since he was beaten by Kirby many times in the past. It shows through the Masked Dedede boss fight, where he has a new, high-tech hammer with new attacks and an electrified cage surrounding the ring. He's also much more aggressive. In the original Dedede fight, any and every hit would make the King flinch and cancel whatever attack he is performing. Here, while he still flinches, Kirby's attacks merely pause his attacks' momentum. The moment Dedede recovers, he completes the attacks as if nothing ever happened. Sometimes, if Kirby is close enough, Dedede will instead opt for an instant trip attack.
  • Level in the Clouds: The iconic sky level that appeared in prior adventures, Bubbly Clouds, is brought back. In addition, Skyhigh from Milky Way Wishes and Crash Clouds in Revenge of the King are sky-themed levels where the platforms are clouds.
  • Light Is Not Good: Galacta Knight has angelic wings in shades of white and pink, but he's a formidable foe, and his sheer power meant his very existence posed a threat to the galaxy.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The music that plays within the cutscenes showing Kirby flying between areas within Revenge of Meta Knight is longer than the cutscenes themselves. It plays fully when one watches said cutscenes as one video within the remake's theater, since the song doesn't stop between each cutscene.
  • Long Title: While the American title isn't too long (besides "Kirby Super Star Ultra"), the Japanese title for the first game is "Kirby of the Stars Super Deluxe." It then goes into Word Salad Title territory with the remake, which is "Kirby of the Stars Ultra Super Deluxe."
  • Lost in Translation: Spring Breeze's name might seem random at first, but it actually comes from the Japanese instruction booklet for Kirby's Dream Land, where Kirby is described as "riding in on the spring breeze" in the storyline. The line appears in the subgame's intro, but in the original game, the cutscene only plays when lingering on the game's title screen and so is easily missed. It plays automatically in Ultra.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Marx uses Kirby to gain Nova's power and try to conquer Popstar. Also, the Sun and Moon fighting was part of Marx's plan, though this was only made clear in Ultra and the Japanese version.
  • Magic from Technology: Nova is a mechanical clockwork comet that can magically grant wishes.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Marx uses Kirby to gain Nova's power and try to conquer Popstar. Also, the Sun and Moon fighting was part of Marx's plan, though this was only made clear in Ultra. It was only implied in the original.
  • Meaningless Lives: There's no punishment at all for running out of lives. The score doesn't even reset.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Captain Vul is the most dedicated of Meta Knight's men to killing Kirby, even sacrificing the ship's well-being when he releases Heavy Lobster. However, he never goes after Kirby himself, and when the ship begins crashing, he's the first one to escape.
  • Minecart Madness: Each section of The Great Cave Offensive is connected by a tunnel with rideable minecarts, which run through the local mooks. Riding the carts isn't necessary, but doing so is faster than traversing the tunnels on foot.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: The first area of The Great Cave Offensive is called "Sub-Tree" for a reason. There's a whole jungle down there.
  • Monster Allies: The helper mechanic. After you take a Copy Ability, you can create a Palette Swap of the enemy that gives you said power, that will follow you around and attack enemies nearby. Their AI leaves much to be desired, though.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Dyna Blade, who has switched between mommy and daddy throughout the series thanks to Inconsistent Dub.
  • Never Say "Die": Ultra retranslates Meta Knight's death threat as "Come meet your doom!!" On the SNES, it was "Prepare to die!" This is actually closer in spirit to the original Japanese line, which was "Let us duel!" One of Meta Knight's earlier lines was retranslated to include the word "perish", though.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Thanks for giving the Sun and Moon a reason to stop fighting by teaming up against a common enemy, Marx.
  • No Name Given: Captain Vul in the original version, but the rewritten Ultra script gave him a name that carried over in his keychain cameo in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Wham Bam Rock is claymation-style, unlike other characters. This made his design from the original Super Star resemble something like Blackface. His Ultra appearance looks more like a stone relief, while Wham Bam Jewel somewhat resembles its original design, but with fangs and a third eye.
  • One-Wheeled Wonder: The Wheelie enemy, normally just a tire, becomes a one-wheeled motorbike when made into a Helper. This lets Kirby ride on its back using the Wheelie Rider dual-ability.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Meta Knight is surprisingly hostile in Revenge of Meta Knight, compared to his usual Worthy Opponent self. Apparently, this was partly due to the translation, partly due to his ulterior motive of fixing the "corruption" in Dream Land, and partly due to Characterization Marches On.
  • Palmtree Panic: Float Islands in Spring Breeze (and its variation Illusion Islands in Revenge of the King), Orange Ocean in Revenge of Meta Knight, and part of Aqualiss (Aquarius in Ultra) in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Power Copying: As always, Kirby can inhale some kinds of enemies to obtain their power (except in Milky Way Wishes unless you managed to find a secret star which contains the "Copy" Ability).
  • Prepare to Die: Meta Knight originally says this to Kirby before their duel in the Revenge of Meta Knight, but not in the Japanese version, and not in Super Star Ultra.
  • Reactor Boss: One of the bosses in Revenge of Meta Knight is the Halberd's very reactor. It attacks with a large flame cannon, under-floor flamethrower, and Reflecting Laser turrets. The latter of which is the only way to damage the otherwise-invincible reactor.
  • Recoiled Across the Room: Marx's Breath Weapon move (where he shoots a gigantic laser out of his mouth) propels him far backwards outside of the screen.
  • Replay Mode: The Arena is a Boss Rush that is unlocked once you've completed all other main sub-games. In addition, Spring Breeze, Revenge of Meta Knight, and Revenge of the King (in the DS remake) allows you to select stage numbers in their title screens. The DS remake meanwhile adds in Theater mode, which allows the player to re-watch any one of the game's pre-rendered FMVs, including an Animated Outtakes reel, a 100% Completion bonus animation, and the sprite-based cutscenes from the original SNES version.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Kirby rides Wheelie over and into the sunset after sinking the Halberd in Revenge of Meta Knight, and also flies towards the sunset as a giant balloon, floating along with Castle Dedede as the credits play in Spring Breeze. After Revenge of the King in Ultra, Dedede does his walk-of-shame into the sunset accompanied by his still-loyal Waddle Dee subjects.
  • Rock Monster: Wham Bam Rock and its Ultra-exclusive stronger form, Wham Bam Jewel are both designed as sentient masses of rocks and minerals that the player must fight. Ultra even redesigns Wham Bam Rock to resemble a stone statue.
  • RPG Elements: The Computer Virus boss is set up as a group of computer windows relaying color commentary. The enemies it takes the forms of are stock RPG enemies like slimes, wizards, and dragons, all of which are invincible when attacking and vulnerable during rest periods to simulate turn-based combat. Kirby even earns experience points at the end of the battle, which the text box points out is totally useless. Computer Virus even has their own battle theme: a chiptune version of the normal boss music.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • While the previous Kirby games certainly weren't bad-looking, it was this game that really showed what the artists were capable of, resulting in some very pretty spritework.
    • Ultra redoes all of the graphics, replacing many of the CGI-style visuals from the original with gorgeous hand-drawn artwork.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Capsule J enemy, which provided the Jet ability, was pretty much Konami's TwinBee character with a minor cosmetic difference. Apparently, the resemblance was so close that Ultra changed Capsule J into an enemy called Capsule J2.
    • The cast call in the ending sequence for Revenge of Meta Knight is a rather conspicuous one to the credits sequence in Lupin III: Part 1.
  • Shows Damage: Kirby and the helpers both blink when low on health. When a helper loses all of their health, they blink more brightly and more aggressively, giving a short window of time to heal, convert, or depower them before they explode.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Parodied in the Samurai Kirby minigame, where the player must hit the A button following an audio cue to defeat each opponent in one blow. Missing the cue or hitting A too late results in the enemy defeating Kirby in one blow instead.
  • Smart Bomb:
    • The Crash and Mike copy abilities return from Kirby's Adventure, carrying over their limited-use screen nuke capabilities.
    • A third screen nuke ability debuts here in the form of Paint, which only appears during the Chameleo Arm and Heavy Lobster (and Marx Soul in Ultra) fights as a way to cleave large chunks off of the bosses' health (albeit at the cost of making Heavy Lobster more aggressive and unpredictable). Like Crash, it can only be used once, after which Kirby has to reacquire the ability from a paint blob/Paint Slime.
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • Since the localization was completely redone for Kirby Super Star Ultra, lots of names were slightly changed, including Cook Kawasaki to Chef Kawasaki, Sir Meta-Knight to Lord Meta Knight, Burnin' Leo to Burning Leo, Poppy Bros. Jr. to Poppy Bro Jr., T.A.C. to Tac, and PopStar to Pop Star.note 
    • In Ultra, the Computer Virus enemy characters except Slime had their names retranslated (Dancing Doll and Witch became Puppet and Magician, respectively). Most noticeably, one of the monsters originally went by the name of Red Dragon, but due to it receiving another palette, it was changed to Great Dragon.note 
    • Also in Kirby Super Star Ultra, some of the names of other bosses were further changed — Ghameleo Arm became Chameleo Arm, Combo Cannon became Main Cannon #2, Halberd's Reactor was shortened to Reactor, and Heart of Nova became Galactic Nova Nucleus. note 
    • Furthermore, the locations of Milky Way Wishes were all given expanded names: Floria to Grass Planet Floria, Aqualiss to Water Planet Aquarius, ? to ???, Skyhigh to Wind Planet Skyhigh, Hotbeat to Flame Planet Hotbeat, Cavios to Cave Planet Cavius, Mecheye to Machine Planet Mekkai, Halfmoon to Eternal Star Halfmoon, and Nova to Galactic Nova. note  In addition, Shooting was renamed Starship in Ultra.
  • Suddenly Speaking: The two Revenge of modes are some of the few occasions where there's actual dialogue in a Kirby game. Milky Way Wishes and the final part of Meta Knightmare Ultra also qualify to a lesser extent.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: You'll know you're about to hit a boss room when you reach a single room with nothing but Copy Essences and a Maxim Tomato. This is lampshaded in Revenge of Meta Knight, where the crew complains that Kirby found their "secret stash" in one hidden room.
  • The Worf Barrage: The Paint ability. You get it from one of three bosses, and while it does decent damage to the first two, it's only a light breeze to the last.
  • This Cannot Be!: Captain Vul's reaction to the rest of the crew's reports that Kirby destroyed the twin cannon.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Copy, while normally a completely-useless and redundant ability, has a few hidden strengths. Using it on Scarfies, which can't be inhaled, grants you the all-powerful Crash ability. It can be used to damage bosses and mid-bosses since it otherwise would hamper Kirby's ability to damage them. Also, in Milky Way Wishes (where Kirby's Copy Ability doesn't work), Copy becomes much more useful; for this reason, it's well-hidden on the secret planet "?".
  • Title Drop: In Ultra:
    "Marx has shown his true form! Fly in and protect Pop Star! Do it, Kirby, our Super Star!"
  • Trick Boss: How Helper to Hero ends. Wham Bam Rock's the trick, Wham Bam Jewel's the real final boss.
  • True Final Boss: In Ultra, Marx Soul, revived with "a nova's power" as well as being powered up just to take another shot at you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Revenge of the King, King Dedede becomes much more formidable upon assuming his Masked persona. He has upgraded his hammer with multiple weapons, modified the arena with electric walls to limit Kirby's mobility, and is overall much more aggressive.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Meta Knight. His motives were always somewhat ambiguous, but in Revenge of Meta Knight, he intends to take over Dream Land, directly threatening Kirby in the process. This is part Characterization Marches On and part American Kirby Is Hardcore, as the localization took his already-shady morals and made them more explicitly villainous. Kirby Star Allies mentions that Meta Knight secretly has a vain streak deep in his heart, which likely explains why he appears so ruthless here.
  • Uncommon Time:
    • Meta Knight's battle theme is entirely in 5/4, and the Milky Way Wishes map theme is mostly in 7/8.
    • "Meddlesome Marx", which plays during the final battle, takes the cake; it switches time signatures constantly with little rhyme or reason.note 
  • Underground Level: Part of Float Islands in Spring Breeze (and its variation Illusion Islands in Revenge of the King), Cocoa Cave in Dyna Blade, the Underground Forest in The Great Cave Offensive, and Cavios (Cavius in Ultra) in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The Nova stage of Milky Way Wishes is a side-scrolling shooter, as well as Mt. Dedede Sky (Kabula's stage in Revenge of the King) in Ultra.
  • Variant Power Copying: While Kirby normally relies on typical Power Copying through the use of Copy Abilities, Copy is a noticeable exception. TAC, the enemy that grants the ability, steals Copy Abilities from Kirby by swiping the ability item off of him and storing it in a rucksack; as a helper, this swipe acts as an impromptu punch. Copy Kirby, meanwhile, steals abilities off of enemies by scanning them with a visor, gaining their ability immediately afterwards.
  • Video Game Remake: Kirby Super Star Ultra is a remake of the original SNES game with updated graphics, 3D animated cutscenes, and a rewrite of the script. In addition, it also adds in four new games (with new bosses), three new sub-games, and wireless multiplayer, among other features.
  • Vignette Episode: Unlike most games in the series that have one straightforward plot, this game features multiple modes that each contain their own little story and a unique set of rules to boot.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show:
    • Marx is one of the creepiest villains to ever appear in the series. Most games aimed at adults would stop short of a final boss with an attack that involves splitting himself in half and creating a black hole.
    • He's even worse in Ultra when you have to face him as Marx Soul at the end of the True Arena. He's even more creepy than his boss form from the original, and if the opening cutscene doesn't get you, that bloodcurdling scream when he's defeated sure will. If you can beat him.
    • This is indirectly referenced in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. Kirby's able to collect keychains of both Marx and Marx Soul. While the former is shown as his intact final boss sprite from the SNES version of Super Star, the Marx Soul keychain depicts Marx in the middle of his splitting attack, complete with what appears to be green blood-like fluids in-between the two halves.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Coconut bombs will fall and explode if you walk under them. You can avoid this danger by blowing them up with any attack, even though that should usually still hurt you.
    • Even though swallowing a bomb will hurt you in some minigames, eating one in the main games will give you the Bomb ability.
  • Visual Pun: T.A.C. is a feline enemy who steals Kirby's abilities and helpers, making it a cat burglar. And Kirby can learn the ability Copy from it. Copy-cat, anyone?
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: If you come in contact with your partner shortly after picking up a healing item, Kirby will regurgitate some of the food directly into his friend's mouth so that they both get healed. Mercifully, the game censors this action so it looks more like the two are kissing.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Whispy Woods, as per usual, serves as the simplest boss in the game excluding the Arena's Waddle Dee.
  • When Trees Attack: Whispy Woods and its variant Twin Woods are both sentient trees that Kirby must fight to progress. Both bosses attack Kirby with a mix of falling apples and wind puffs.
  • Where It All Began: When The Great Cave Offensive is all said and done, the exit ends up being the same hole Kirby fell through to enter the cave.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: In "Dyna Blade". Kirby (white) sets out to find Dyna Blade (grey) after the latter ravaged the crops, only to find that she was only feeding her babies.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol:
    • Once he gains power from Nova, Marx gains hearts on many parts of his body, especially his glistening wings. Did we mention that he's a psychotic, deceptively cute monster who manipulated Kirby into helping him gain said power?
    • The core of Nova is represented by a floating pink Heart Symbol. Kirby must literally destroy Nova's heart to stop it from granting Marx's wish for world domination.
  • World's Best Warrior: Galacta Knight is titled the Greatest Warrior in the Galaxy in Ultra.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Meta Knight to Kirby. When you reach him in Revenge of Meta Knight, he will leave a sword for Kirby to use before battling him and will wait up to thirty seconds for you to take it before doing battle. While the Halberd plummets to the ocean. On fire.
    • In Meta Knightmare Ultra, Meta Knight asks Nova to let him fight with a Worthy Opponent. Nova gives him Galacta Knight, the most powerful warrior in the galaxy.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Waddle Dee in The Arena. While he does have a good chunk of health, he makes no effort to attack you. However, he was replaced by Bandana Waddle Dee in Ultra and serves as the penultimate boss of Revenge of the King. Still, he isn't that really hard to beat, assuming that you have no Copy Ability on you...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kirby Super Star Ultra


Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)

The Twin Woods are one of the bosses in the Kirby franchise. There's two Whispy Woods and Kirby must defeat both of them to win.

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Example of:

Main / DualBoss

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