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North American box art
Kirby's Adventure (星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 Hoshi no Kābī: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari?, lit. "Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams") is a platforming video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It was first released 23 March 1993 in Japan, and was later released in North America on May 1, 1993, and in Europe on 1 December 1993.
Kirby's Adventure was the second and last game to use Kirby's original design, albeit in color (the first to use the design was Kirby's Dream Land).
Kirby's Adventure is the only Nintendo Entertainment System Kirby video game, and is the second game in the Kirby series, following his debut on the Game Boy in Kirby's Dream Land. It is also the first Kirby game on a home console, to be in color, and to have a save feature. It also features the first appearance of the popular character Meta Knight. A remake of the game for the Game Boy Advance, titled Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, was released in 2002.
The original version has been released on the Virtual Console in North America on February 12, 2007, in Europe on 16 February 2007, and in Japan on 27 February 2007. It was also one of the 12 "Masterpieces" (demos of famous Nintendo games) provided in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A 3D Classics version was released for the Nintendo 3DS eShop in November 2011 and a Virtual Console version for the Wii U was released in April 2013.
After Kirby wakes up from his after-lunch nap without having any dreams, he goes to the Fountain of Dreams to investigate. In doing so, he discovers that King Dedede has stolen the Star Rod, the source of power to the Fountain of Dreams, and broken it into seven pieces, giving six fragments to his allies, Whispy Woods, Paint Roller, Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright, Kracko, Heavy Mole, and Meta Knight, also keeping one for himself. Without the Star Rod, all of the inhabitants of Dream Land are becoming restless and unable to dream. Kirby decides to track down the fragments of the Star Rod and bring them back to the Fountain of Dreams in order to restore everyone's dreams.
Kirby travels throughout seven worlds, battling enemies, mini-bosses, and bosses through treacherous terrain in order to collect all seven fragments of the Star Rod. Once Kirby defeats King Dedede and rebuilds the Star Rod (with Dedede strangely begging him not to), he places it back into the Fountain of Dreams. However, an ominous black aura fills the skies as a dark creature, named Nightmare, emerges from the fountain. It turns out that Nightmare had corrupted the fountain, and King Dedede removed the Star Rod, broke it, and spread it across Dream Land with the intention of protecting Dream Land. Nightmare then speedily flies off into space, but rather than allowing him to escape, King Dedede inhales Kirby and the Star Rod and spits them into the air, projecting Kirby towards Nightmare. Kirby then uses the Star Rod to defeat both forms of Nightmare, and saves Dream Land once again.
The end sequence shows Kirby and King Dedede flying together and reconciling, while scrolling text explains the aftermath of Nightmare's defeat, before the end credits roll, and Kirby waving the player goodbye after, while flying away on a Warp Star, breaking the fourth wall in the process.
Like the majority of Kirby video games, Kirby's Adventure is a platformer. The game consists of seven worlds, each containing a set of regular levels, a boss fight, and a Warp Star door (which enables Kirby to travel from world to world). Most worlds also contain mini-games (which allow Kirby to gain extra lives), museums (which allow Kirby to gain certain powers), and/or Arenas (where Kirby must battle with a mini-boss to win health items and allow him to copy the boss' special ability afterwards). The game was the first in the series to include a save feature. It automatically saves the player's progress after each level.
The objective of each main level is simply to reach the end of the level. If Kirby touches an enemy or a dangerous object, he takes a point of damage, and if all of his hit points are lost or he falls off the bottom of the screen, the player loses a life. Kirby can touch or eat food items to immediately replenish health or gain temporary invulnerability.
Kirby can walk, run, jump, and he can attack and dodge enemies by slide-tackling. He can also fly by inflating himself, and is able to reach any height that isn't blocked by an obstacle. While flying, Kirby cannot use his other abilities, but he can exhale at any time, releasing a puff of air that can be used to damage enemies or destroy blocks.
Kirby's main ability allows him to inhale indefinitely, sucking nearby enemies and objects into his mouth. Once inhaled, objects remain in his mouth until he either spits them out (dealing damage to enemies and objects in front of him) or swallows them. Upon swallowing certain enemies, Kirby immediately "copies" any special abilities that the enemy possesses, giving him access to a wide variety of powers, some of which may be needed to solve various puzzles. Usually, Kirby cannot inhale anything while he has use of a special ability, but he can "drop" the ability at any time (this happens automatically whenever he takes damage), sending it bouncing behind him as a star for a short time. Kirby can regain the ability by inhaling and swallowing the star before it disappears.
IGN remarked that "by 1993, the programmers of the world had learned how to unleash every last ounce of power hidden inside the original Nintendo system. Kirby's Adventure was one of those late-generation games, and probably the best of them". The game features special visual effects, pseudo-3D backgrounds (including towers that appear to rotate in three dimensions) and parallax scrolling. At 6 Megabit, it was one of the largest games ever released for the NES; even so, it did not use Nintendo's most powerful mapper chip, the MMC5, but rather the older, more common, and less expensive MMC3.
Remakes and ports
Kirby's Adventure was remade for the Game Boy Advance and released as Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (星のカービィ 夢の泉デラックス Hoshi no Kābī Yume no Izumi Derakkusu?, lit. "Kirby of the Stars: The Fountain of Dreams Deluxe"). This remake was released in Japan on 25 October 2002, and in North America on December 2, 2002, and features updated graphics and sound, as well as some minor changes to the gameplay, new mini-games, and the ability to play as the character Meta Knight (in a mini-game called "Meta Knightmare"). Also, Nightmare in Dream Land allows for cooperative multiplayer with 2-4 players, all of whom play as different-colored Kirbys.
The original NES version of the game was later released on the Wii Virtual Console on February 12, 2007 in North America, February 16, 2007 in PAL territories, and February 27, 2007 in Japan.
Kirby's Adventure was also released as a downloadable "3D Classic" for the Nintendo 3DS on 17 November 2011 in North America and PAL territories and 25 April 2012 in Japan.
For Kirby's 20th anniversary, Nintendo released Kirby's Dream Collection. Kirby's Adventure is one of the games included in the disc.
Reception and legacy
Kirby's Adventure received widespread critical acclaim, and is considered to be a classic game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. IGN considers it to be "One of the greatest late-generation NES games", praising mostly the sound and the graphics, giving them a perfect score, while giving a 9.5 (out of 10) to the gameplay and 9 for presentation and "lasting appeal", giving a total score of 9.5 out of 10. It was awarded Best NES Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. GamesRadar ranked it the 14th best NES game ever made. The staff felt that the 3D Classics version held up well.
GameSpot praised the copy ability and the gameplay, but criticized the length of the game, saying "Can beat the game in a single evening", with a total score of 7.3 out of 10. It also received good reviews from fans, with an average of 8.9 out of 10 by readers of GameFAQs.
The remake has received generally positive reviews, with an average score of 80% on GameRankings, based on 28 reviews. In Japan, Famitsu magazine scored the Game Boy Advance version of the game a 35 out of 40.
Kirby's Adventure was released on November 17, 2011 in the US and Europe and 25 April 2012 in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS as a part of 3D Classics series, the series of classic games played in 3D. This release was featured amongst other games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010.
A French version of this game was released in Canada, making it the only French-only NES release in North America.
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