With Kirby and the Forgotten Land just past those Green Greens, I've been playing a lot of Kirby games over the past few months, and it's been an absolute joy. The really exciting part has been learning so much about his various, legendary copy abilities, many of which have stories I hadn't even considered! Who would know!
Turning the big three-O this year, three decades of Kirby's adventures is nothing to shake a Star Wand at lightly, so I thought it might be nice to share some insight on some of the Dream Land Defender's many talents!
Imagine this: You’re of the scene-bouncing sort, a few drinks into a carefree evening, and you’ve entered a tasteful–but claustrophobic–music hall. The dancefloor is alive but not indistinguishable, people having a good time, and you catch the eye of a like-minded flirt, with whom you hit it off.
The evening proceeds well. You’ve danced a bit, maybe awkwardly, but they’re genuinely enjoying your company. You sit down, talk a bit. Not a care in the world. You’re feeling something warm and meaningful, despite your self-awareness and skepticism of the One Night Fling, until their eyes skip yours, and lock onto something or someone else.
“Oh, he’s here.”
You turn to track their gaze, realizing they’re fixated on the DJ’s station, at which nearly all eyes in the establishment are sighting up in anticipating.
“He’s the reason I’m here tonight, actually.”
It’s Kirby. The DJ is Kirby. Kirby has stolen your moment. They all love him. He’s just screaming into some microphone, making your ears literally bleed. He has screamed you to death.
It’s actually not common knowledge that Kirby was the source of inspiration for Cormac McCarthy’s iconic Border Trilogy of books. He worked a ranch a little north of Reynosa, Mexico, in the late-’70s/early-’80s where he garnered a reputation for being one of the strictest, most-efficient cowboys working the scene. Was always really quiet on the weekends, when the ranchers would hit the local bars and rodeos. It wasn’t about the light at the end of the work week for Kirby. It was more primal. The connection between man and beast. The bond of pain that walked both ways, linked by a tired, unflappable rope of leather.
This was when Kirby was really, really down. There hadn’t been much action, Dream Land was quiet. And for Kirby, you know, there’s either eating or fighting to save Dream Land. There’s not really much else. So he needed a hobby. One of the Poppy Bros mentioned his ex-wife was really into archery, and he actually still had all of her old gear. Everyone was really behind the idea, give the little pink guy something to do with his time. Ultimately Kirby mostly just sucked on arrows and didn’t really understand that the bow is something you use to shoot the arrows and not just throw at people, but it got him through a rough patch.
Kirby is the reason we can’t bring bottled drinks onto airplanes.
“I… suppose, but Dr Leena had me taking… just one dose, weekly, before. I’m not sure bumping up to three doses daily is really what we should be doing…”
“No, I mean, I get it, I’m just skeptical… It makes me nervous, having to take any medication haha… Where… did you say you studied?”
“... Okay. Thank you, Doctor.”
Kirby was never tried for malpractice.
Needle + Cutter
So, imagine being a Rocky. A slave to Dark Matter’s omnipotent malevolence, you’re compelled to stand in Kirby’s way just cause. You have a family, you need work, and the life of a stone-cold mercenary is the only one you know. Okay, we’ve done this dance before, you think. Kirby’s alright, he’s a good sport about all this stuff usually. So you saddle up with your buddy–Sir Kibble; you guys have worked together before, been through a lot–and head out.
Kibble is further along than you, and as you mount the hill over which your pink life’s work approaches from, you hear the most blood-curdling scream in your storied career as a fighter. This isn’t the ordinary wail of a boo-boo or the result of a slice or punch. This is a death wail. Moreover, it’s one of a prolonged, pronounced fear. Not yet knowing to be afraid yourself, you reach the hilltop and see what can only be described as a Kirby-like abomination, all spikes and distorted limbs, tearing Sir Kibble to literal shreds, gnashing his body like a thresher. The sound of Kibble’s voice was rendered inhuman, the wailing his own, stemming from the deep, animal fear in all of us when confronted with true death. You freeze, and not in the I’m-literally-a-rock way. The fear of the void has been put in you by this cosmic force of indifference mutilating your dear friend before your eyes.
The wailing eventually stops, Kibble gone limp. Discarding his corpse, twisted metal that was once armor, the pink thing pauses. It still has eyes, fixed on the ground. Fixed on the ground, until it looks up. It looks at you.
No one really likes to talk about Kirby’s Fire phase.
Kawasaki stopped inviting Kirby over for meals because he just kept leaping through his ceiling and destroying his home.
Your life is no longer your own, a scarred, tired Meta Knight lectured. It is something both greater and lesser. A vacuum for the service of others; a tool. No mere trinket, but the finest vessel into which all martial skills may be poured, like lead into a mold. You are shinobi, servant of a purpose greater. Moving forward demands rigor, unwavering resolve, and skill beyond compare. Hesitation is defeat, Kirby.
When farmers in Kansas were stumped by the bright lights that scarred their night sky they were convinced of some extraterrestrial visitation. When a mysterious, low-flying object appeared around the Eiffel Tower in 1967 American intelligence agents quickly moved in to survey any witnesses, gathering statements and working closely with the French government to quash the story from hitting headlines. The Chinese have long boasted of maintaining a piece of salvage from what they claim to be the very same vehicle, though international intelligence agencies have yet to confirm this.
Though there have been several similarities between all cases, a notable constant is the trail of half-eaten strawberry shortcakes and nibbled legs of turkey left strewn about the grounds in the vicinity. As if someone–something with an insatiable hunger has been out there. Watching. Waiting.
Kirby was actually really into wrestling for awhile. He and his friends would stage amateur fight nights, just for fun. Barbecue, sometimes Knuckle Joe’s band (The Digits) would play. It was fun. They stopped immediately once Waddle Doowas killed when Bonkers landed on his neck.
Back in 2014 there was this huge power outage in Dream Land. A lot of folks chalked it up to Dedede. He’d rigged much of his castle with a separate breaker that caused a few minor brownouts in the surrounding neighborhoods. Not to mention Cracko was still reeling from his divorce, so the lightning storms were pretty intense then. No, those were all valid, but it was actually because of Kirby drunkenly accepting a dare from Kawasaki to kiss the outlet when he was in Spark mode. Thank goodness the hospital’s back-up generator was running.
“So, what, you couldn’t find him?”
“No, man, no I…”
“What then, Doo?
“I mean… Alright, so I went over to his place and knocked. I mean, ‘knocked.’ At Kirby’s! The door is always open so it was weird enough that it was closed… It was unlocked though, so–”
“So why didn’t you get him?”
“Dude, Mr Frosty, shut up, let me finish. I went in, ‘Kirby? Hey man,’ you know, just calling out. I mentioned the trampoline, that we were gonna take it just for the thing tonight if that was cool, you know… But so–”
“Did you get the trampoline?”
“Dude shut up. So I’m in his house–the lights are off. It’s like two or three and it is dead quiet, so I’m worried at this point. ‘Kirby, hey man…’ And then I’m going down the hall and come to his room.”
“And he was just there?”
“Just standing there dude. I called to him but… like, I was afraid. He was just standing there. Just staring into the mirror. He was saying something weird but… like, I’ve never, ever seen him like that. It was… man it was really, really scary.”
And so we have it! Kirby is a man of many talents, and many... secrets. Who knows what sort of strange sights and fearsome foes we might find in the Forgotten Land? Do we suspect Kirby will learn to file his taxes without Dedede's help? Will Waddle Dee ever get to confess his crush on his boss, Meta Knight? Who knows! I can't wait to find out!