Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy, 1995)

Here's a game I was dying to play for a while in 1995. As the sequel to my first game, this had me super-hyped. I beat the game in a day once I finally had it, though it took me a week or so to unlock the true final boss.

I think it'd be something else if one of these Kirby games pulled a Metroid and revealed that Kirby is a woman at the end.

The first world is similar to the first level of the original game, except it has multiple levels within it. Overall, this game is about five to seven times longer than the original. That said, being longer than Kirby's Dream Land is like having a bigger penis than Carlos Mencia.

Speaking of penis, I'm playing this with Super Game Boy palettes, and the color scheme looks great.

This game lets you absorb the powers of enemies, Kirby's now-famous super power. That wasn't the case in the original game.

The fire power is one of the first you get, and it's pretty awesome. Zips you forward like a comet. Right off the bat, you can tell that this is a much deeper game than the original (though still not particularly deep in the grand scheme of things). The addition of absorbable enemy powers instantly gives this a lot more playability. It was a trip and a half in 1995.

This game is full of minibosses, and each one has their own power. Here, I fight the fire boss with fire. Defeating him gets you...

...Rick the Hamster, the first of Kirby's three new pets. The hell was that guy keeping him in a sack for?

With Kirby in tow, Rick gives you an extra life meter and augments your special attacks in his own way. While the fire power rockets Kirby forward, Rick uses it as a breath attack.

The yellow-heavy Super Game Boy color scheme for the first world isn't always a good thing, as our heroes dive into what appears to be pee.

The first major boss is Whispy Woods, as usual... but this time he's Sado-Masochistic Bondage Whispy. Played by Dakota Johnson.

I win, and notice that Rick doesn't get to split into three the way Kirby does during the victory dance. I don't know why, but this strikes me as odd.

World 2 is a forest-themed world. Which means lots of Whispy Woods' tamer cousins lurk in the background.

Wait a minute, I thought Nintendo didn't allow religious symbols in games! This could offend someone.

...I know Val Venis is offended by something else in this shot.

Aside from getting through the worlds, the secondary goal of this game is to collect Rainbow Drops. There's one to find in each world, seven in total. I prefer this to the usual collection method of games putting optional collectibles in every single level. Gives you less to worry about when you know there are just a few of these to grab on the way.

The second of Kirby's new pets is Coo the owl. He's probably the most useful of the pets, with total air-mobility and some potent ability-enhancements. He's definitely an upgrade from Rick, who unfortunately can't fly at all.

The best thing about Coo is his fast flight speed, which lets you easily soar over large portions of levels without dealing with the enemies. Alas, most levels are only one screen high, so enemies can still reach you if you're not careful.

The umbrella miniboss guards another Coo. Since I've already got Coo, I get a health restore out of it. These minibosses need to stop keeping people in sacks, it's rude.

Boss of world 2 is similar to Lololo and Lalala, except there's just one of him. It's much more manageable. You gobble up the babies and fire them back at the big hedgehog until it dies. God. That's horrible. If this same fight happened in, say, Bloodborne, it'd be so disturbing. As if enough babies didn't get eaten in that game.

World 3 is a tropical beach themed world, much like the first game. Even has the exploding coconuts. This was a blast from the past when the game first dropped. Weird thing is, I played it on Super Game Boy back then so I never identified this as a Game Boy game. It was more of a pseudo-SNES game.

These are very Mario-esque pipes, which wasn't lost on me in 1995. My exposure to Mario games was still minimal then, and I was somewhat Mario-obsessed because of that lack of exposure. So anything Mario-esque would get me excited.

The third of Kirby's epic mounts is Kine the fish. Kine is absolutely the master of underwater combat in this game, though he's fairly useless outside of water.

Boss of world 3 is an autoscrolling fight, much like Kaboola in the first game. Yep, it's yet another callback. Unfortunately you don't get any machine gun air-shot for this one. Kine is a huge help; otherwise you're knocking starfish back at him. It's a pretty nasty scene.

World 4 is ice-themed, which is definitely something we didn't see in the first game. Kirby doesn't slide around as much as, say, Mario does, so an ice world is a welcome occurrence. Insert joke about Kirby getting stoned and/or rolling here, as he slides down hills and brutally crushes his foes.

I make heavy use of the fire power here to melt blocks. HYAW, FIRE POWAA!


Penguin: "hlep"

I like the ice world, except for one thing... the rainbow drop. By far the most difficult-to-get rainbow drop in the game is found here, one that requires all sorts of power-swaps and gymnastics.

It involves using Kine to break ice blocks with fireballs, and a bunch of other maneuvers that you basically have to lay out in advance. I think at one point you have to drop your special power, eat a block, then re-absorb the power before it poofs.

Yep, this is a very well-earned Rainbow Drop. Before this playthrough, it was the only one I could remember (due to the difficulty) and I thought all of them were like that. I wasn't even going to bother getting them until I found out that they're all fairly easy to get aside from this one. So we'll get to see the hidden super-secret Moon Presence final boss after all.

World four boss is...I'm not exactly sure what this thing is. Uh...


Moving on, this squid miniboss looks like something out of War of the Worlds. The book version with the walkers, not the flying ships. WHAT'S IN THE SAAAACK

Er, yeah. World 5 is Red Canyon, an interesting canyon world. It's red.
Well... we covered the basics of Plains/Forest/Aquatic/Ice worlds, and the Cloud and Castle worlds have to be the final two, so they had to get creative for this one and came up with a canyon. I'm surprised it isn't a desert world. It's certainly the most unique world, in any case.

I think my favorite of the recurring minibosses in this game is the ninja. His special attack is the cutter, a crowd favorite.

In later ninja fights, I brought Coo and just rained lightning bolts on him with impunity. Man, that's weirdly satisfying.

Some of the powers aren't quite so effective, especially where Rick is concerned. His version of the cutter has him THROWING KIRBY like a boomerang, and while this is going on Rick is nearly immobile. It isn't exactly helpful.

Boss of world 5 is the dastardly duo of the sun and moon. This pair would go on to appear in a number of other Kirby properties. This was my first exposure to them as a kid because I didn't get around to Kirby's Adventure until MUCH later in time. Rest assured, if I had ever gotten an NES (I came so close a few times), Kirby's Adventure probably would have been the first thing I got. And Metroid. And...Mega Man 3. And... and all of the Marioes.

Moving on to world 6, cloud world. I took like, no screenshots of this world, aside from Kirby swimming up the birth canal of a cloud in this shot. It's the most dangerous birth canal I've ever seen.

Kracko makes his eagerly-awaited return. He starts out in miniboss-form, but quickly upgrades to full boss form. That's right, you fight them in succession rather than in different parts of the level.

Given that he gets a new life meter once he changes forms... well, I'm no mathematician, but I think this gives him more HP than any other normal boss. Then again, Dedede takes less damage from everything, so it doesn't really matter that Kracko has more ticks of health.

Regardless, I soundly defeat Kracko, and it's on to...

...the final world. This place is super-ominous, especially for a Kirby game. Impressively so. It took me an entire afternoon to get from the beginning of the game to this point back in 1995, and I remember it being freshly-nighttime at this point. How appropriate is that?

Dark Castle has an entire seven stages (plus boss) making it the longest world in the game. Still, most of these stages are fairly quick. They were likely running low on time at this point because Dark Castle's level design tends to use a lot of cutting/pasting and mirroring. Stages often look very similar to each other in this world.

Each of the seven levels has a different miniboss at the end of it. Not sure if all of the minibosses are thus represented in the final world; I think there might have been more over the course of the game, but maybe not.

The final battle (?) pits our hero against the sledgehammer-swinging King Dedede. He's much nastier in this game than he was in the original, with a more aggressive fighting style and the ability to temporarily gain super-speed.

During his speed-bursts, he turns red and his attacks get total priority over your dodging. It's best to stay waaaay the hell away from him during these times.

If you haven't collected the Rainbow Drops, the game ends after the Dedede fight. If you HAVE collected them (and it's pretty likely you have, given that they're all really easy to get aside from World 4's) then The Babadook emerges from Dedede and the real final battle commences.

This is Dark Matter, the REAL villain of the Kirby-verse. Given that he's essentially a secret postgame boss, he's a bit of a doozy. You fight him with a sword (new power alert!) and have free reign to fly around the screen at will. His first form isn't too bad once you figure out the pattern of attack, but it's still far and away the hardest boss up to this point. For a Kirby game, this is blisteringly intense.

Did I say first form? Yep, he has a second form. It's a bastardly eyeball that looks like a Zelda refugee. It gains an entire new life meter for this fight, too.

Victory is a matter of batting crystals back at it when it summons them to fire at you. Have to act really quick to pull this off, because they don't stick around for long.

He also unleashes lightning bolts, and if you take too long to kill him, you auto-die from atmospheric re-entry. Like I said, it's an intense fight. The good news is you can beat him in three hits if you manage to knock two crystals into him at a time.

Not sure if this is the same guy as Nightmare (the villain of some of the games) or if they're just similar-looking cousins. Regardless, it's another example of this game being where the series found its footing in terms of how Kirby games would be from here on out, as opposed to the first game. Kirby's Adventure (coming soon) introduced new concepts, and this one solidified them.

The ending rolls. Not sure if Coo and Whispy made friends or if Whispy is just totally defeated as a person and allowing Coo to use him as a perch because, dammit, what else does he have to live for? Sheila took the kids and Kirby won't even let him practice his bondage fetish in peace!

While the first game ended with Kirby returning food to the people of Dreamland, this one ends with Kirby flying through the sky with his new sword. I just wish you got to keep the sword in New Game+ like you can in Return to Dream Land.

So...yeah. That's the end, best ending and all. I gotta say, it's really cool to see something from your childhood pop up again and say hi.


  1. You know what else is coo about Coo? His coo music.

    The funny thing about this game is that while it's a sequel to the first, it's also a sequel to Kirby's Adventure. Which is most obvious in how it has powers, but there's other things too.

    Kirby is "rolling stoned"

    That poor penguin. You may as well have been a meteor crashing down to earth.

    Canyon, eh? That made for a cool world in New Super Mario Bros Wii.

    This Dark Matter has the atmospheric re-entry too huh? I forgot about that.

  2. Coo, man. Coo.

    I haven't seen many Super Game Boy playthroughs so this was a neat post for me too. I'm glad you did the game this way.

    Are the Kirby games underrated? They're always pretty good and that's nice Seal of Quality stuff.

    It was fun to watch all the mounts in action. Funny that Zeusing the ninja from your owl perch was so satisfying. I imagine everyone has wanted to do that before.

    Rick is a really cute name for a hamster.

    A lake of pee? Blame Goten.

    Like the facial expression on that cyclops triangle a lot for some reason.

    The blue they picked for this game is really soothing.

    It's neat how the background color scheme changes throughout this last level, going from purple for Dedede to black for Dark Matter. And a sword fight while flying through space...what could be cooler? Great post.