Saturday, May 9, 2015

Kirby's Adventure (NES, 1993)

Today we're looking at a very special game. It's his console debut, as well as the birth of Kirby in his power-absorbing incarnation. It's not a literal birth, though, 'cause...that'd be gross, and I already covered Bloodborne.

The game starts you off in Daniel Bryan's favorite Kirby zone. (He's a Vegan)

Is that a sword I see him wielding? GIMME

This looks suspiciously like the first level of Kirby's Dream Land, but with a lot more screen space. One thing I always liked about the NES was that the character models were much smaller, usually, than they were on the Game Boy, allowing for much more screen area for everything else to take place on. It's especially notable when comparing Mega Man games between the two platforms. And by that I mean two platforms onscreen at once, 'cause that's all the Game Boy can handle

This ain't your grandpa's Kirby year before this. No, this one has SUPAA POWERS. I grab a beam from an enemy and quickly start blitzing everybody with it.

Poppy looks...much smaller on the NES. Going from Kirby's Dream Land to this is sorta like going from watching a 16 ft WCW ring to watching a 20 ft WWF ring back in the day. More space is good, for sure. And our wrestling reference count is now at TWOOOOOO.

...make that three.

I find the sword quickly and try to hang onto it for a while. Kirby's Dream Land 2 didn't have this until the final boss. It's a prized weapon due to the general novelty of it.

I still can't kill these cannons. When I was a kid, I tried to find a way to do just that, to no avail. They just sit there and no-sell everything like... like... like The RZA acting.

The fire-comet from Kirby's Dream Land 2 is present, but it isn't as appealing here. Maybe because you cover so much less screen area with it.

Uh oh. This can mean only one thing: Whispy Woods. Has he entered his bondage phase yet?

Nope. He's pretty much the same fight as the original game. I'll say this though... seeing a shot of this fight on the back of the box for this game was enough to sell me on wanting an NES. Seriously. It was so cool to see the first boss of my first game, rendered in COLOR on a TV like this.

It seems like nothing now, but it was something a kid could really appreciate then.

Continuing on, it's the island level. No relation to Summerset Isles from the Elder Scrolls world, which we might never see a game for because Bethesda won't make a damn Elder Scrolls VI WTF Bethesda

Super-easy minigame where you gotta pluck Kirby out of obscurity and make him a superstar.

...five references now. "Superstar" and plucking him out of obscurity, which VKM said they did for Sting.

That...was not difficult. Give me my four lives, bitch!

Cloud levels follow soon after, as we seem to be following the pattern made famous by Kirby's Dream Land. Only this game, of course, has more to it.

The boss here is the Shang Tsung of Kirby bosses, the Artist. He sketches other bosses and you have to defeat them to make his health diminish. Luckily, most of them can only take a couple hits.

Yep, all of that level variety post-Whispy... was just in world 2. Onward to world 3, which looks like it might be a replacement for Castle Lololo.

This place is much cooler on the NES. Turns out the castle is made of gold.

Miniboss fight! The miniboss set for this game is different from the one for Kirby's Dream Land 2, but equally un-challenging for the most part.

Kirby does battle with a sentient tire in front of a crowd of 93,000 at the SILVERDOME, BROTHER

Meta-Knight makes his debut here, siccing a bunch of goons on our hero and fleeing.

 It's sword versus hammer as I take on another miniboss. The hammer is another power that I really like, because it's essentially King Dedede's weapon.


Wow, this world goes on and on. Surprised at the amount of stages in this game so far.

The sun and moon debut, but they're slower and easier to beat in this game than they are in Kirby's Dream Land 2.

 Onward to world four, which is an entire cloud world. It's very purple.

Poppy Bros return, and this time they double-team our hero. Double-team supreme!

The Kracko fight is weird. First you race him to the top of this vertical passage, and sometimes he just unavoidably slams into you. I think maybe you're supposed to stop on the platforms and wait to dodge him there rather than just trying to fly up as quick as possible.

Get to the top and the actual fight begins. Behold as Kracko puffs up his magnificent plumage to attract a mate.

As is tradition, the cloud world has a hidden door that causes you to fall out of the sky, catching powerups all the way. Awesome.

Finally, we arrive at... is this Dedede's Castle? Man, he must have been hit hard by the housing crisis.


The next boss is this thing that carves its own path. This thing sorta appears in Super Metroid, of all places. No, seriously. Very similar enemy pops up in one of the hidden areas and chews through a wall as you chase it.

Who loves orange soda? Why, Kirby loves orange soda. How did you know?

This is orange soda on the rocks.

One of my favorite powers in this game is the UFO. It lets you fly around and shoot lasers, including a charged-shot. One of several RAD powers that didn't make it into Kirby's Dream Land 2. In general, I'd say this is a far superior game, even if I didn't think so when I was younger. The only thing KDL2 has over this is the animal accomplices.

META-KNIGHT. You automatically get a sword for this fight, and it's a straight-up brawl.

Total departure from most of the boss fights in the game, and a much-needed one. Just you and him slugging it out with weapons, no real strategy involved.

Things take a bit of a cosmic turn as the game draws to a close. These visuals are so stimulating in terms of colors and art direction. it's more pleasant to look at than a lot of dull modern games are.

Speaking of colors, they take a vacation for the last level. It's a straight-up remake of Kirby's Dream Land's first level, and a heady dose of nostalgia.

King Dedede is pretty much the same fight as usual. He needs to stop getting possessed.

Kirby beats him up and he recovers his senses, as is tradition. Since this game lacks collectibles, I presume The Babadook will pop out automatically?

Yep, there it is. It's called "Nightmare" in this game; not sure if it's the same creature as Dark Matter. Kirby locks horns with it in the upper atmosphere, like Kirby's Dream Land 2. Difference is that you fight with a Star Rod rather than a sword.

The Star Rod fires stars, making it a great distance weapon as you fight the nondescript ball. The biggest threat here is the time limit; you auto-die pretty quickly if you don't defeat the boss first. Have to be really aggressive to pull this off.

Said auto-death is in the form of a ground that autoscrolls upwards until it eventually crushes you. This is sorta like the atmospheric re-entry in KDL2, just scarier.

Defeat the ball and it unfurls into its true form, Nightmare. He's basically a...vampire? I'm not sure.

In other news, that was the second-best usage of "unfurl" ever.

This guy is like an evil Jay Leno. Started with low HP, do I have a chance?



Long story short, I won. It was an epic battle. ...pretty sure I lost that first go, though.

That does it for this game. Excellent game, one of the most fun times you can have on the NES. It later got a remake for the Game Boy Advance, which I'm gonna cover next.


  1. The first sequel turns everything on its head. The original gave us flying and inhaling, but this game gave us the wide variety of everything else Kirby does.

    Beam is one of the best in Kirby Super Star thanks to the versatility, but even this plain version is one of the best weapons in the game due to the range (wider than sword!), and it's also good for hitting tricky switches.

    The best thing to do in these vertical stages is just get Hi Jump and tear through everything.

    Kirby and Kel? I'd have watched that.

    I love the final boss's animation when you hit him, too.

    Back in the day before gamefaqs I found every hidden door in the game except for 6-3. That one was a trip to locate later in life. Love this game.

  2. Whewww this is so much visually clearer than KDL3. What a relief for the eyes.
    Also like the game utilizing the little-used purple right away.

    The mountains in this first level look SO MUCH LIKE the ones in Super Mario World's first level!

    I agree about how nice it is to have such huge environments in this game. It doesn't have to be that way every time because the small world worked well for Kirby too, but this is nice.

    This crane game must be 100x easier than real-life crane games.
    IS the castle made of gold? Or of butter?

    It's nice how in the bottom screen they show you what powers you have.

    It seems rare for a game to go from Game Boy to Nintendo rather than vice versa. I actually didn't know this existed until now. But it makes sense since Game Boy is lower-budget. This team proved their stuff and then got leveled up to this system.

    A+ Wrestling References!

    You mentioned Double Poppy Bros. in an earlier mail. Good to see it come true here.

    This is an awesome game but they were working with more memory than KDL2 did, so I can understand KDL2 being simpler.

    So colorful.

    Woow, so much happened in this game. It felt like a journey. And it looked beautiful, like you said. The NES came super-far from Zelda 1.