North American box art
|Platform(s)||NES, Nintendo 3DS|
Kirby's Adventure[a] is a 1993 action-platform video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the second game in the Kirby series after his debut on the Game Boy and the first to include the Copy ability, which allows Kirby to gain power-ups from eating certain enemies. It is the only NES game in the Kirby series, released towards the end of the NES's lifespan and pushed the palette and graphical capabilities of the NES to its limit.
The game centers around Kirby traveling across Dream Land to repair the Star Rod after King Dedede breaks it apart and gives the pieces to his minions. The Star Rod serves as the power source of the Fountain of Dreams and insures that all residents of Dream Land will have restful sleep.
A remake of the game for the Game Boy Advance, titled Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, was released in 2002 featuring enhanced graphics and multiplayer support. The NES version of Kirby's Adventure was re-released on the Wii via the Virtual Console in February 2007. 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.
The game was critically acclaimed and is considered one of the best NES games of all time.
Like the majority of Kirby video games, Kirby's Adventure is a platformer. Kirby can walk left or right, jump, and duck. Introduced in this game, is the ability to dash by double tapping a direction on the control pad; Kirby will run in that direction, moving much faster than his normal walking speed. Kirby can fly by pressing up on the control pad, inflating himself, and is able to reach any height that isn't blocked by an obstacle. While flying, Kirby cannot attack or use his other abilities, but he can exhale at any time, releasing a puff of air that cancels his flight and can be used to damage enemies or destroy blocks. Another new ability is a sliding kick Kirby can deliver by first ducking and then pressing the jump button to attack enemies that can't be inhaled. Kirby's main attack is to inhale air into his mouth, sucking nearby enemies and objects in as well. Objects remain in his mouth until he either spits them out, dealing damage to enemies and objects in front of him, or swallows them.
If Kirby swallows certain enemies he gets a power-up known as a "Copy Ability" based on the special abilities that enemy possesses, some of which may be needed to solve puzzles. Kirby can have a maximum of one copy ability at a time, if the player wishes to receive a different copy ability they must first discard their current ability by pressing the select button. Kirby will also drop his Copy Ability if he takes damage but the player can get it back if they inhale the star that flies out of Kirby before it disappears.
The game consists of seven worlds, each containing a lobby with doors leading to; four to five regular levels, a boss fight, and a Warp Star door which enables Kirby to travel back to worlds he has already been to. Most worlds also contain mini-games which allow Kirby to gain extra lives, museums where Kirby may easily 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. The game was the first in the series to include a save feature and it automatically saves the player's progress after each level.
The objective of each main level is simply to reach its end. 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.
High above Dream Land exists a sacred fountain known as the Fountain of Dreams, the fountain collects the hopes and dreams of every living thing on planet Pop Star and in turn provides restful sleep to the residents of the world, which flows from the fountain in liquid form before evaporating into a mist which spreads over the planet.
One day, after waking up from his after-lunch nap without having any dreams, Kirby goes to the Fountain of Dreams to investigate. In doing so, he discovers that King Dedede has stolen the Star Rod, the source of the fountain's power, and broken it into seven pieces, giving six fragments to his strongest allies, Whispy Woods, Paint Roller, Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright, Kracko, Heavy Mole, and Meta Knight, keeping one of the pieces for himself. Without the Star Rod, all of the inhabitants of Dream Land are becoming irritable as a result of being unable to dream. Thinking King Dedede is once again up to no good, 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.
Once Kirby defeats King Dedede and rebuilds the Star Rod, he places it back into the Fountain of Dreams (ignoring King Dedede's protests). However, an ominous black aura fills the skies as a dark creature, emerges from the fountain. It's revealed that King Dedede was actually trying to protect the Fountain of Dreams from an evil entity known as Nightmare, who had corrupted the fountain, intending to use its powers to attack Dream Land's people. By breaking the Star Rod and hiding it among his minions, King Dedede was actually attempting to prevent it from falling into Nightmare's hands. Nightmare speedily flies off into outer space, but rather than allowing him to escape, King Dedede calls a temporary truce with Kirby. Inhaling him and the Star Rod and launching them into the air, projecting Kirby towards Nightmare. During the final battle, Kirby is able to tap into the Star Rod's power and uses it to defeat Nightmare. With Nightmare defeated, Kirby is able to safely return the Star Rod to its proper resting place on top of the Fountain of Dreams, restoring balance to Dream Land once again.
The end sequence shows Kirby and King Dedede flying together as Kirby returns the Star Rod to the Fountain of Dreams and returns home for a much needed rest.
Kirby's Adventure started out from feedback from many players about Kirby's Dream Land saying that "it was too easy and too short." Masahiro Sakurai thought "For the sequel I was thinking, how can I retain the easy parts, but make it so skilled players could have fun too?" That was how copy abilities were conceived. New players could fly their way to the end of the level, or if your took the Parasol ability "you could enjoy the game in a whole new way." said Hiroaki Suga. There was originally 40 copy abilities in the game, including a one where Kirby would shrink down or scratch and bite enemies. For the mini-games in Kirby's Adventure, Sakurai thought that he'd "make a few small, compact games—ones easier and simpler than the main game itself—to include with Kirby." Then he thought of a “who can press the button first” game (Quick Draw), and after that a “should you press it, or not?” (Egg Catcher) and a “button timing” (Crane Fever) game."
The backgrounds of Kirby's Adventure were accomplished by making them "pretty enough just to look at on their own." Normally, that work is done by a person who specializes in making game maps. For Kirby’s Adventure, however, the team had a designer draw pictures of the maps, which the team then had the mapper re-work for inclusion in the game. The main inspiration for the backgrounds was scenery and art as Miyamoto states, "Locations and sightseeing spots always have mountains, rivers, or something that calls out to your heart—which is why we call those places “beautiful,” right? I think it’s the same way with games. If you just draw any old map for a game, it won’t have any meaning. In the future I really want to see more game maps drawn by people with that artist’s sensibility."
Kirby's Adventure was designed to be have replay value. "My hope is that Kirby’s Adventure will be a game with longevity, one you can always enjoy playing. We’ve included a lot of different things for you to play around with, so it will still be fun even after you beat it the first time," stated Takao Shimizu.
The game was designed to utilize the most of the NES, featuring special visual effects, pseudo-3D backgrounds, including towers that appear to rotate in three dimensions, and parallax scrolling. At 6 megabits, 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 / Nightmare in Dream Land|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance|
For Kirby's 10th Anniversary Kirby's Adventure was remade for the Game Boy Advance as Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land;[b] released in Japan on October 25, 2002, and North America on December 2, 2002. Nightmare in Dream Land features updated graphics and sound, as well as some minor changes to the gameplay, 3 new mini-games, and cooperative multiplayer with 2-4 players, as different-colored Kirbys.
Kirby's enigmatic rival, Meta Knight is a playable character in a new sub-game Meta Knightmare. In Meta Knightmare the player plays as Meta Knight racing to complete the levels from the main game in one sitting as fast as possible using Meta Knight's unique abilities. The player's fastest time is saved at the end. Meta Knight only has half the vitality of Kirby but he also runs much faster than Kirby, can ascend faster with his flight, and can break tough blocks and light cannon fuses with his sword's aura.
The original Kirby's Adventure 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. It was also released on November 17, 2011 in the US and Europe and April 25, 2012 in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS as a part of the 3D Classics series, a 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. Both the original NES and GBA remake were released on the Wii U Virtual Console. The original NES was released in 2013. The GBA remake was released in 2014. For Kirby's 20th anniversary, Nintendo released Kirby's Dream Collection for the Wii. Kirby's Adventure is one of the games included in the disc. The game is also included within the NES Classic Edition.
Reception and legacy
Kirby's Adventure received widespread critical acclaim. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly unanimously recommended the game for its intelligent level design and the huge variety of techniques employed in using Kirby's various abilities. They later awarded it Best NES Game of 1993. GamePro gave it a perfect score and called it "one of the best 8-bit games ever", citing the massive size of the cartridge, the imaginative enemies, the copy ability, the use of graphical effects not normally seen in 8-bit games, and the simple and smooth controls.
In 2009, the Official Nintendo Magazine named this game the 69th-best game ever on a Nintendo console. GamesRadar ranked it the 11th best NES game ever made, explaining that "Taking the concepts created in the first Dream Land game, Adventure expanded on them in great detail, including introducing Kirby's now-famous ability to copy his enemies’ powers."
Reviewing the Virtual Console release, GameSpot criticized the short length of the game, but praised the high quality graphics and audio, the programming tricks used to emulate graphical effects that the NES was not actually capable of, and especially Kirby's numerous abilities for meeting challenges. They further remarked that despite over a decade having passed since its original release, "the game hasn't lost much of its charm or fun". Though they also criticized the lack of longevity, IGN wrote that Kirby's Adventure "is one of the best games to ever come from the NES", praising the graphics, the vast variety and universal enjoyability of the copy abilities, the creatively hidden secret areas, and the general fun of the game. They recommended it even for gamers who had already played the Game Boy Advance remake.
IGN praised the visuals saying 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 3D Classics version also received "generally favorable reviews" according to Metacritic.
In the United States, the Nightmare in Dream Land re-release sold 970,000 copies and earned $29 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 17th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country.
Notes and references
- Known in Japan as Hoshi no Kābī: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語, lit. Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams)
- known in Japan as Hoshi no Kābī Yume no Izumi Derakkusu (星のカービィ 夢の泉デラックス, lit. "Kirby of the Stars: The Fountain of Dreams Deluxe")
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