Kirby Super Star

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Kirby Super Star
Kirby Super Star Coverart.png
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory
Director(s)Masahiro Sakurai
Producer(s)Satoru Iwata
Shigeru Miyamoto
Designer(s)Tsuyoshi Wakayama
Programmer(s)Shigenobu Kasai
Composer(s)Jun Ishikawa
Platform(s)Super NES
  • JP: March 21, 1996
  • NA: September 20, 1996
  • PAL: January 23, 1997
Genre(s)Action, platforming
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Kirby Super Star,[a] released as Kirby's Fun Pak in PAL regions, is a 1996 platforming video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, part of the Kirby series of platforming video games by HAL Laboratory. The game was advertised as featuring eight games: seven short subsections with the same basic gameplay, and two minigames. The game was later released for the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles. An enhanced remake titled Kirby Super Star Ultra was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008.[1] Nintendo re-released Kirby Super Star in Japan, the United States and Europe in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition.[2]


In Kirby Super Star, players play as Kirby, who can float, inhale blocks and enemies and spit them out. By swallowing certain enemies after inhaling them, Kirby can copy their abilities and use them as his own, becoming able to perform a wide range of attacks. A unique feature of the game is the addition of helpers. When Kirby has an ability, he can transform it into a helper character which can be controlled by a second player or the computer. Certain abilities such as Crash or Mike cannot be turned into helpers. Kirby can choose to give the helper a different form, or revert them into a power up in an emergency. Certain helpers, such as Wheelie, allow Kirby to interact with them during two player play. If the helper takes too much damage, there is a short time for Kirby to grant it a new power before it disappears until Kirby creates a new one. However, if Kirby takes too much damage, he will lose a life.

Gameplay takes place across seven main modes and several sub-games.

Spring Breeze[edit]

Spring Breeze is a simplified remake of the original Kirby's Dream Land, albeit with the gameplay enhancements of Super Star. Kirby must make his way to a castle to challenge King Dedede, who has stolen food from the citizens of Dream Land. Unlike the original, Float Islands and Castle Lololo have merged and Kabula does not appear. Also, upon reaching Castle Dedede, Kirby does not have to face all the previous bosses he fought.

Dyna Blade[edit]

Cutter Kirby and Rocky, fighting Dyna Blade in the unlockable game The Arena.

Dyna Blade is an original mode in which Kirby must stop Dyna Blade, a giant bird, from disturbing Dream Land's crops. The mode consists of four levels that the player must clear before facing off against Dyna Blade. There are also two secret areas and a mini-boss that moves across the world map.

Gourmet Race[edit]

Gourmet Race is a race type mode in which Kirby must race against King Dedede whilst eating as much food as possible. Taking place across three levels of varying length, the winner is whoever earns the most points by the end of all three levels, with bonus points awarded for being the first to finish each race. Players can choose to race either King Dedede or his "ghost", which is the player's best attempt at the race, or simply race alone for the fastest time. The DS version features multiplayer functionality.

The Great Cave Offensive[edit]

The Great Cave Offensive is a Metroidvania[3][4][5] adventure type mode which sees Kirby exploring a cave searching for treasure. Hidden throughout the game's four areas are sixty treasure chests, with a maximum score of 9999990 achievable by collecting all 60 treasures. Some of the treasures are references to other Nintendo games, such as the Triforce of The Legend of Zelda, the Screw Attack from Metroid, the helmet of Captain Falcon from F-Zero and a Mr. Saturn from EarthBound. Other treasures reference valuable items that appear in role-playing games such as Orichalcum.

Revenge of Meta Knight[edit]

Revenge of Meta Knight sees Kirby attempt to destroy Meta Knight's battleship, the Halberd, before Meta Knight can conquer Dream Land. Each area has a time limit, which will cost Kirby a life if it hits zero. It is particularly plot-based, featuring comments from the various crew members of the Halberd. The ship takes damage after every round beaten. At the bottom of the screen, there is a meter showing how the Halberd is doing. Bosses appear such as Twin Woods, two Whispy Woods, and Heavy Lobster, a robotic lobster-like machine. This culminates in fighting Meta Knight twice, in a duel, and in a chase to escape the falling Halberd.

Milky Way Wishes[edit]

Milky Way Wishes is the largest game in the collection. Because the Sun and Moon around planet Popstar are fighting, a creature named Marx tells Kirby he must travel across nine different planets and restore the giant wish-granting comet-clock NOVA. Unlike the other modes, Kirby cannot copy the abilities of enemies he inhales; instead, he collects "Copy Essence Deluxes". Once in Kirby's possession, they allow the player to select a Copy Ability from a list and are permanently kept throughout the entire game. The mode also features scrolling shooting sections near the end. In the end, Marx wishes to NOVA to control Popstar. Kirby stops this by destroying NOVA's heart, then battling Marx and defeating him. Beating Milky Way Wishes grants The Arena subgame.

The Arena[edit]

The Arena is an endurance mode that challenges the player to fight every boss in the game. The total boss battles include 26 bosses in 19 rounds. In between rounds is a room with five Maximum Tomatoes, which can only be used once each, and two randomly selected pedestals which will grant the player certain powers (the player can choose any power at the beginning of the game). Beating The Arena grants the Sound Test function, which allows the player to replay any of the sounds from the game.

Sub games[edit]

Both of these modes are playable either against the computer or with two players.

Samurai Kirby.

A timing based mini-game, similar to Kirby's Adventure's Quick Draw, in which the player must quickly attack his opponent when the signal is given without being too early or late.

Megaton Punch.

Another timing based game in which the players must time a series of button presses to punch a crack in the planet, the goal being to try to make a bigger crack than their opponent.


The game utilized the SA-1 chip for increased performance.

Super Star was originally conceived near the end of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System's lifespan. The game's development cycle lasted 3 years. According to Masahiro Sakurai, the game was developed using three design pillars: two-player co-operative gameplay, beat 'em up-like gameplay and an omnibus format in order to ensure players could reach an ending.[6] The former was a request from his colleague Shigeru Miyamoto.

When playing with two players, player 1 would be Kirby and player 2 could manifest as a copied enemy. "What I liked about dividing the characters that way was how seasoned players and inexperienced players could play together" Sakurai states, and so advanced players could encourage beginners.[6]

With the introduction of copy abilities. Sakurai wanted to expand the copy ability formula with more moves and combo attacks but "The main player would simply hurl blades and lay waste to opponents while the Helper just watched."[6] So the development team decided to make the enemies take more damage to defeat, a la a beat 'em up.

Many video games in the 16-bit era were long and took weeks to complete. So Sakurai thought "about having resolutions come more quickly and that led to the omnibus format. I wanted to give each section its own plot in addition to providing different types of gameplay."[6]

The game also utilized computer-generated imagery, implemented halfway through development due to the success of Donkey Kong Country. During the switch, Sakurai was confident that there was virtues of using CGI he "feel like it happened at just the right time."[6]

Scrapped concepts included Kagero Mansion, a survival horror game in which Kirby is stuck in a mansion with a curse sealing his mouth, therefore rendering him unable to use his inhale/copy ability.

During development it was tentatively titled Kirby of the Stars: Active.[6] Sakurai states

"That's what we tentatively called it, to suggest that the game was more proactive and had more active gameplay. When it was time to decide the official title, Shigesato Itoi-san became involved."[6]

When it was released in stores in Japan it was sold in a package resembling a wooden box with a seal burnt on to it because "High-priced sake and dishware often comes in paulownia boxes. Luxury items often come in minimal external packaging, and we wanted to portray that richness, so the design turned out like that." says Sakurai.[6]

Despite being planned for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System from the beginning of its production, development initially began on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This was a prototype build of the game, used to test out ideas before implementing them into the final product. Sakurai states that having the game operating on an internal prototype build makes it easier to develop ideas.[citation needed]


Kirby Super Star Ultra
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory
Director(s)Shinya Kumazaki
Producer(s)Masayoshi Tanimura
Kensuke Tanabe
Artist(s)Hitoshi Kikkawa
Composer(s)Jun Ishikawa
Hirokazu Ando
Platform(s)Nintendo DS
  • NA: September 22, 2008
  • JP: November 6, 2008
  • AU: November 27, 2008
  • EU: September 18, 2009
Genre(s)Action, platforming
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

A remake of the game, titled Kirby Super Star Ultra[b] was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008. It includes all games found in the original, but adds several new ones, as well as featuring enhanced graphics, music, and sound effects and including 3D FMV cutscenes for all of the levels. Some translations are different; for example, what was translated as "Sir Meta-Knight" in the Super NES version is now translated as "Lord Meta Knight" in the DS version, and some Great Cave Offensive treasures' names have been re-translated to reference other Nintendo series as they did in the Japanese version (e.g. "Turtle Shell" is now "Koopa Shell", "Screw Ball" is now "Screw Attack", and "Sword" is now "Falchion").

DS exclusive modes[edit]

The following modes are exclusive to the Nintendo DS remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra.

Revenge of the King
A more difficult version of Spring Breeze which sees Kirby face off against King Dedede's new form, Masked Dedede. Unlike Spring Breeze, Kabula appears, and is faced using Starship Kirby, and every enemy and mid boss are replaced while bosses are all powered up.
Meta Knightmare Ultra
A mode in which players control Meta Knight as he plays through levels based on Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight and Milky Way Wishes. At the end of Milky Way Wishes, instead of fighting Marx, players fight Galacta Knight, the strongest warrior in the galaxy.
Helper to Hero
Similar to Arena mode, except players now take control of the helper characters and fight a new character, Wham Bam Jewel.
True Arena
An enhanced version of Arena, featuring the additional bosses from the new modes including the 3 final bosses of each mode, Masked Dedede, Wham Bam Jewel, and Galacta Knight, and an all-new boss, Marx Soul, the villainous Marx reincarnated.
The DS version features three new sub-games; Snack Tracks, Kirby Swipe and Kirby on the Draw, which use the touch screen and are playable with up to four players locally.


Review scores
Game Informer7/10[12]7.25/10[13]N/A
Game RevolutionB−[14]N/AN/A
IGN(AU) 8.3/10[16]
(US) 7.9/10[17]
Nintendo LifeN/AN/A9/10[19]
Nintendo Power9/10[20]N/AN/A
Aggregate scores

Kirby Super Star was both a critical and commercial success, selling over one million copies in Japan.[25] It received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings,[23] and is widely regarded as one of the best games of the franchise.[26] The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly applauded the large amount of content, simultaneous two-player mode, graphics, and Kirby's power-absorbing ability.[9] Captain Cameron of GamePro gave it a perfect 5 out of 5 in sound, control, and FunFactor, and a 4.5 out of 5 in graphics. He commented that "The perfect execution of the varied controls leads to simple-but-charming fun."[27] Reviewing the Virtual Console release, Nintendo Life praised the "impressive" musical score and "colorful" visuals.[19]

Kirby Super Star Ultra received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[24] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 32 out of 40.[11] 1UP praised the game for its multiplayer and described it as "excellent", but noted that it was not very difficult and the level design was not as intricate as in the Mario series.[7] IGN's Craig Harris said that, while fun, the game is "a bit on the easy side".[17]

Electronic Gaming Monthly named Kirby Super Star a runner-up for Side-Scrolling Game of the Year (behind Guardian Heroes).[28]

On December 11, 2008, Super Star Ultra became a Famitsu Gold title.[29] As of January 11, 2009, Kirby Super Star Ultra has sold 1,021,000 copies in Japan.[30] It was also the ninth best-selling game of Japan in 2008.[31] As of December 2008, it was the fifth best-selling Nintendo DS game in the U.S.[32]


Many of the music tracks in Kirby Super Star have been remixed in various games, such as the Super Smash Bros. series; the Nintendo 64 game, for instance, had a new version of the Gourmet Race theme as Kirby's theme song.

Kirby Super Star was made available on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on October 13, 2009, in North America on May 17, 2010 and in the PAL region on May 28, 2010. The Wii U Virtual Console version was released in Japan on May 1, 2013 and in North America and Europe on May 23, 2013. When released in Europe for the Wii U Virtual Console, the North American version was included instead of the European version. It was also one of the games included in Kirby's Dream Collection, which was released for the Wii in celebration of the series' 20th anniversary.

Meta Knight's battleship, the Halberd, would reappear in Kirby: Squeak Squad, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Kirby: Planet Robobot.

A stage based on The Great Cave Offensive appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In reference to the scope of the mode of the same name, the arena is amongst the largest stages in the game's catalog, and thus supports up to eight players. It features a unique mechanic dubbed the "Danger Zones", stage hazards that instantly KO any fighter whose percentages exceed 100%.

The game is also included in the Super NES Classic Edition.


  1. ^ Released in Japan as Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe (星のカービィスーパーデラックス, Hoshi no Kābī Sūpā Derakkusu, Kirby of the Stars Super Deluxe)
  2. ^ Known in Japan as Hoshi no Kirby Ultra Super Deluxe (星のカービィ ウルトラスーパーデラックス, Hoshi no Kābī Urutora Sūpā Derakkusu, lit. "Kirby of the Stars Ultra Super Deluxe")


  1. ^ "Nintendo's Wario, Kirby Bring the Fun; Sleuths Get a New Mystery Case Files Game". Business Wire. June 25, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  2. ^ "Super NES Classic Edition". Nintendo of America, Inc. September 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Meli, Jowi (April 26, 2014). "Month of Kirby: A Series With Rewarding Game Design". Nintendo Life. Retrieved September 12, 2016. Many of the following games have also provided useless such an incentive, hitting a peak with fan-favourite Kirby Super Star's The Great Cave Offensive. This Metroidvania-style treasure hunt is one of the most popular Kirby adventures to date...
  4. ^ Wanderer (September 21, 2008). "Review: Kirby Super Star Ultra". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 'The Great Cave Offensive' is as close as you’ll get to a 'Metroidvania' Kirby...
  5. ^ Parish, Jeremy (June 12, 2012). "Metroidvania". GameSpite. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Developer Interview: Kirby Super Star - Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition - Official Site". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  7. ^ a b Pfister, Andrew (September 23, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra Review". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Davis, Ashley (October 3, 2008). "Destructoid review: Kirby Super Star Ultra". Destructoid. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Review Crew: Kirby's Super Star". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 86. Ziff Davis. September 1996. p. 30.
  10. ^ MacDonald, Keza (September 28, 2009). "Kirby Super Star Ultra". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Kirby". Famitsu Scores Archive. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  12. ^ Helgeson, Matt (December 2008). "Kirby: Super Star Ultra: Respectable Platforming with the Pink Puff". Game Informer (188). Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  13. ^ McNamara, Andy; Reiner, Andrew; Anderson, Paul (October 1996). "Kirby Superstar [sic]". Game Informer (42). Archived from the original on November 20, 1997. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Gunn, Sara (October 7, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  15. ^ Bedigian, Louis (October 5, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra - NDS - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 2, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  16. ^ Barraza, Clara (November 24, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra AU Review". IGN. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Harris, Craig (September 22, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra Review". IGN. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  18. ^ Thomas, Lucas M. (May 25, 2010). "Kirby Super Star Review (Wii)". IGN. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  19. ^ a b Dillard, Corbie (May 20, 2010). "Review: Kirby Super Star (SNES)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  20. ^ "Kirby Super Star Ultra". Nintendo Power. 234: 100. November 2008.
  21. ^ Robbins, Drew (October 2, 2008). "Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS) Review". 411Mania. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  22. ^ "Kirby Super Star Ultra for DS". GameRankings. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Kirby Super Star Ultra for Super Nintendo Entertainment System". GameRankings. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Kirby Super Star Ultra for DS Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  25. ^ "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  26. ^ dalmatianlover (2007). "Kirby's Most Memorable Games". Retro Junk. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "ProReview: Kirby Superstar [sic]". GamePro. No. 98. IDG. November 1996. p. 130.
  28. ^ "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 88.
  29. ^ "ハル研究所ウェブサイト:HAL LABORATORY, INC.|DIARY|". Hallab. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  30. ^ "Sony Opens 2009 With a Bang: Dissidia and Monster Hunter Take Top Two Spots". Chart Get. January 7, 2009. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  31. ^ Parfitt, Ben (January 9, 2009). "JAPANESE 2008 MARKET REPORT". MCV. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  32. ^ Kohler, Chris (January 16, 2009). "Top 10 Games of December 2008, By Platform". Wired. Retrieved October 12, 2016.

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