If you’re a 90’s kid like me, your childhood consisted of three things; Saturday Morning Cartoons, junk food, and video games. During that decade there were two warring factions that battled for childhood supremacy; Nintendo, known for their ‘PG safe’ attitude and a ‘rooted in play’ approach to gaming, and Sega, known for being the ‘new kid on the block’ with attitude and a ‘rooted in appeal’ approach to gaming. Both companies have their mascots, hit-maker franchises, and overall reach to 90’s kids all over the world; but that’s another post for another time. Today, we’re breaking down a Super Smash Bros. alumni; through his moves, his personality, and why he’s ‘mained’ by a large majority of the fandom. Its the ruff-and-tuff pink puff himself, Kirby.
I first met Kirby in 1993 through Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby’s Dream Land after beating Super Mario Bros. for what I believe to be the second, or third time. Much like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and the Pokemon franchise, Kirby’s reign on the gaming world has spanned three decades and at least two-and-a-half generations. From main games, spin-off titles, rebooted classics, and anime adaptations, it was no secret that Kirby was going to become a part of the biggest crossover brawler franchise Nintendo had ever created. Not only that, but compared to everyone on the Smash roster, he’s the only character who has defeated the most god-like, universe-ending villains this side of Planet Popstar. How you ask? Let’s find out, shall we?
Part 1 – The Origin of Kirby: The God Slayer!
Kirby…is so, so, SO simple when it comes to design! You draw a circle, dot the eyes, then add a smile. Masahiro Sakurai is the reason why Kirby exists, but how did Kirby get his name? Well, Kirby’s original name was Popopo (as weird as that is), and was meant to actually be a placeholder sprite for the original name of Kirby’s game, “Twinkle Popo”. Imagine if they stuck with that name; we’d have a franchise that kids today would jokingly mispronounce as ‘Twinkle Poopoo’. As far as how Kirby got his name, it might have something to do with Nintendo’s legal council; John Kirby. I guess Nintendo didn’t really like “Twinkle Popo” very much because they stated that it wouldn’t appeal to American children, and little did they know that 30 years later, they’d be right. As for his origin and where he’s from, well, he lives on Planet Popstar and is from Dream Land. As for his gender and how old he is, Kirby’s age and gender are both unknown.
Part 2 – Kirby’s Personality and Skill Set
Kirby has a child-like innocence and wonder, but also has a sense of justice in times of danger. He doesn’t really show any fear at all against world or universe-ending threats; rather remaining neutral throughout the whole ordeal. However on the flipside of the coin (in some of his games at least), Kirby has a bit of an impulsive streak when it comes to certain villains; like King Dedede, Dyna Blade, and Meta Knight. In the later games and even in the anime series Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, Kirby deeply cares about those around him and is very forgiving; even towards his fiercest of enemies. Kirby’s pretty famous on his planet as well as Dream Land, as the many enemies that he’s come across know him (or know of him) through his deeds and his popularity. However Kirby’s not one to let it go to his head, as he’s just someone that likes to help people when they need it.
If there’s one thing Kirby likes doing when he’s not saving the world or the universe, is eating…a lot! He’s basically like a bottomless pit, as he can put a table’s worth of food away quite easily, and can eat a cake the size of a mountain. (Goku can’t even do that!) Expired food doesn’t bother him, nor does hot and spicy food, however like any other person, he’s not fond of food that is disgusting or gross (like Whispy Wood’s poison apples or Belly Blaster’s pies in the anime). Speaking of the anime, Right Back At Ya! Kirby is more dimwitted and cowardly until he’s instructed to fight against a particular threat. Also in the anime, anything Kirby eats goes to some sort of dimension; which might explain why he’s able to put away so much food in such little time without issue.
When it comes to abilities and moves, Kirby’s got one that gets the job done depending on who he’s fighting; the Inhale. He can copy the ability of any enemy that has a weapon or elemental power; like fire, ice, water, earth, or lightning. In Kirby 64 you can actually have two different abilities at once after inhaling his enemies, and you can even throw them upwards, or straight across. Kirby of course can also float in the air for a short amount of time, as seen in Kirby’s Dream Land and onward, and can also use a skill called the ‘Air Gun’; where Kirby exhales a puff of air as a projectile that can damage enemies. Kirby’s portrayal in Super Smash Bros. references the moves from his games a lot; as for his Up Special he can use his Cutter Attack, his Down Special is his Rock Crusher (which Smash players have spammed on me multiple times, which I hated), his Side Special which he uses Dedede’s hammer, and the gold ol’ fashioned copy ability from the first game as his Special. He also shares a lot of his combat techniques with that of Knuckle Joe.
Part 3 – The Future of Kirby
Nintendo has done so much with this franchise, and its hard to think even for a second that Kirby is done. While he may not talk or seem like a big and buff heroic type, Kirby is just a simple character who patty-cakes with gods every single week, and then goes to sleep. It’s unknown if Kirby has a family or not, but in the anime he has people in his life who treat him like family. While his portrayal may differ between his video game and anime personality, Kirby continues to appeal to audiences all around the world; much like Mario and Sonic has. Smash players will continue to main him like they’ve done in the past (speaking from experience, although since Ultimate that experience may have changed), he’ll always have new games coming out on the latest systems, and he’ll always be the ‘ruff-and-tuff’ pink puff!
That will do it for this One-2-One, and as always until next post, stay nerdy! 😉