- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Zero is easily at or near the top of most "best Kirby villains" lists.
- Nago, Pitch, and ChuChu, the three animal friends who got introduced in this game, joined the other three animal friends, Rick, Kine, and Coo, as some of the more popular characters despite this game being the only time they have a major role. They eventually started making cameo appearances in later Kirby games starting with appearances as collectible keychains in Kirby: Triple Deluxe and even appear as moves in the updated Cleaning ability in Kirby Star Allies.
- Goddamned Bats: The Bronto Burts and Pteran placement in the later levels of this game rival that of the Medusa heads in the early Castlevanias. And yes, also bats.
- It Was His Sled: Zero is the (literally) bloody True Final Boss of the game.
- Nightmare Fuel: Has probably the most in a series famous for it:
- Whispy's demon face when you cut his health down to half. He then starts walking forward to try to kill you.
- The black pyramid in Sand Canyon. Its dark scenery and background of blue wires make for a surreal and creepy combination, with a haunting song to go with it. And some of the blocks which make up the pyramid pulsate organically.
- King Dedede's Body Horror from being possessed by Dark Matter. His chest rips open in order to reveal a set of black teeth or Dark Matter's eye to shoot at you.
- To top it all off is Zero, who attacks by shooting blood at you, then tears out its eye in a last-ditch attempt to kill you.
- Signature Scene: The Zero fight. Specifically, the part where it tears its eye out, which many consider the single creepiest thing in the franchise, which is really saying something.
- That One Boss:
- Ado, the boss of Cloudy Park. Not only is she a Sequential Boss, but each phase gets harder and harder as the battle progresses. The hardest phase of them all is when Ado summons replicas of Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright, who were already difficult enough in Kirby's Adventure and Kirby's Dream Land 2. Any veteran of those games would know exactly why that phase sucks so much. As a result, it's quite satisfying to see Ado jump down from her pedestal, blindly charge forward, and die to a single attack, even Kirby's sliding kick (which doesn't even SCRATCH other bosses).
- That One Puzzle:
- The Heart Star mission of the black pyramid stage of Sand Canyon. You have to collect the pieces of R.O.B. by going into various rooms, each with incredibly difficult puzzles involving abilities and animal friends. To rub salt in the wound, the kicker is that you have to collect the parts in a specific order, or else you fail and you have to do the whole thing all over again. The stage itself is very short if you skip the mission altogether, but you miss out on the True Final Boss if you do.
- The Heart Star mission of Cloudy Park 5: escort Rick to his girlfriend Pick. In case you forget, Rick can't fly, only jump up walls like Mega Man X, but this level only has stone pillars to stand on, and the only way to get across the bottomless pits between each pillar is to bounce on the various airborne enemies, and then there's a section where you have to do some wall-jumping with Gordos along the walls, with very little room to maneuver without hitting one and falling all the way back down. Hopefully you've played a lot of Mario, since if you die once, you lose Rick and you have to do the whole level all over again.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: To non-Japanese fans, there was no clear indication of Ado's gender until the Japanese "20th Anniversary Hoshi no Kirby Pupupu Taizen" art book, which identified her as female. She had always been considered female in Japanese spin-off material like manga adaptations though.
- Vindicated by History: The game did not get a lot of recognition on release since it was released a full year after the Nintendo 64 came out. Those who did play it often felt it was a disappointment compared to Kirby Super Star, due to its slower pace and simpler abilities. However, it's now a favorite among fans for the puzzle-solving gameplay, varied combination abilities, and especially its Surprise Creepy nature.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The game looks like it has a higher resolution than it really does, thanks to the geniuses at HAL Laboratory programming the proto-HD filter into the game.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Zero bleeds to attack you! And then tears its eye out in the second phase, with blood everywhere!
YMMV / Kirby's Dream Land 3