Friday, May 8, 2015

Kirby's Dream Land 3 (Super NES, 1997)

 One of the last Super NES games.

The story here is that Dark Matter has returned and oozed all over Dreamland. I like how Kirby's new blue buddy is completely losing his mind with glee over this.

 While the second game in the series gave you three fairly solid animal friends, this game gives you way too many allies. It's hard to remember all of them, and the cat steals all of Rick the Hamster's heat. In addition to trying to kill him when no one is looking.

Kirby commences traveling around Dreamland getting rid of Dark Matter appendages. This game sorta has a Yoshi's Island art style, but not as detailed or interesting.

Grass Land seems to be the first world in every Kirby game. If you're somehow unfamiliar with this guy and reading for the first time, he's known for his ability to absorb powers from defeated enemies. He's sorta like Mega Man, except he absorbs powers from every enemy and can only have one at a time. All things considered, Kirby games are a lot of fun even though everything about them says "for babies". Especially Epic Yarn. Man, I could barely stand that game. Super-creative idea that was completely bogged down by the level design being for five year olds. After I got through the game with zero resistance in an hour and a half, I cursed Game Informer and their super-uncritical review of the game.

In any case, this game begins with a pitched battle against Kirby's equivalent of Goombas. This game has interesting visuals for sure, and it's cool to see the Dream Land series finally make the jump to the Super NES. The problem is that this happened in 1997, well after the system had gone by the wayside. Doesn't help that 1996 gave us a far superior SNES Kirby game with Kirby Super Star.  

Kirby and one of his new allies, Gooey, do battle with a flying witch. Let me just say... that is one damn sexy witch. I've never wanted to be a broom so much in my life.

It's a RACE TO THE BOTTOM as Kirby takes on a bunch of possums.

Some of these backgrounds are pretty cool. Still, it really does seem like this game could have been better off on the N64.  That system needed more major games at this point, to say the least. Wasn't Mario 64 like the only A+ game on the system for like a year?

The game is even more Yoshi's Island esque in the caves. 1-Ups are abundant, and given how easy this is they aren't really necessary.

Uh oh, woods. This means...

 ...the nefarious Wispy Woods is near. Will this guy ever get a haircut?

When he loses half his health, he uproots and chases you around. That's new.

Side note: Coo the Owl is probably the best of the allies (or as WoW players would call them, "Epic Pets"). Not only can he fly, but his attacks are generally ranged.

 The next world is mostly water-based, so Kine the Fish swings into action. Remember when games used to have specialized "water forms" for underwater levels? The Frog Suit in Mario Bros 3, Rush Marine in the early Mega Man titles, and so forth.

Kirby enjoys long walks on the beach. And ladies, he's single.

The next boss is a fish. Took me some time to figure this one out... you knock the skulls back at him. ...yes, he spits skulls at you.

So far this game is highly unmemorable. Up until now it was super-easy, too. It's nothing new, and everything about it just strikes me as "unnecessary". Couldn't they have been working on Kirby 64 instead? It didn't come out for another three years.

World 3 is a desert. EVO: Search for Eden also had a water world with a shark boss, then immediately followed that with a desert world. COINCIDENCE?


 Sweet, a pyramid. Is that Stonehenge in the background? Are they just trying to pile as many Wonders of the World into one shot as they can? Maybe we can fit Andre the Giant and Chyna in there too.

 The inside of the pyramid looks like something out of Earthbound. I really need to cover Earthbound on here eventually.

Rob the Robot makes a weird cameo appearance atop the pyramid. What's he doin' up there? Just watching. ...just watching.

Boss fight! It's the next evolution of Lololo and Lalala: A rabid raccoon and a foaming fox. They thirst for blood.

Here's Kirby's new cat buddy. It's a safe bet that at this point he ate Rick the Hamster.

Our heroes stumble in on a chickadee doing helium. They back away slowly.

 Hell yes, now this is my kind of weather. Unless you're trapped in it. In the woods. During mosquito season.

Too bad this is the only level like it in the game. The Donkey Kong Country series has quite a few areas like this.

Here's an interesting level... all of the enemies are frozen in time and space.

 The boss here is the artiste. I believe he's from Kirby's Adventure on the NES. He draws bosses from other games in the series and proceeds to sic them, like this...thing from Kirby's Dream Land 2. It's a pretty sweet fight, actually.

The sun and moon return! Luckily, all of these boss reduxes only take a couple hits to defeat. They aren't full-fledged boss fights with full HP, because that would be crazy.

 Whoa, even Kracko is one of his portraits. This is the Shang Tsung of Kirby fights.

 His final creation... "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner!

After a pitched fight, Kirby emerges victorious. It was a battle greater than the final battle of Lord of the Rings.

 At this point I start going back and re-doing earlier levels in an effort to 100% the game so I can fight the true final boss. To get 100%, in each level you need to make an NPC happy. Do this and you get a star. Get every star and you see the real ending.

In each level the goal is different. actually kinda cool. In the first level, you have to make this purple flower happy, which is a simple matter of not stepping on any purple flowers in the rest of the level. Some of the goals are very obscure... time to find a guide.

In this level I bring Kine to the end so he can be friends with this pink fish. "HELLOOOOO!" says the pink fish when reached for comment.

One of the new Epic Pets is this green bird. Since he lets you fly, he's already stealing all of Coo's thunder. Here he is encouraging Kirby to binge drink. "Go on, Kirby" rasps the bird. "Take a swig or two. You deserve it, Kirby."

 After 100%ing World 1, I have to fight this guy again. He has some new powers, but he's still easy.

 Kirby taps into the power of BIG POPPA PUMP SCOTT STEINER and locks on the Steiner Recliner. WISPY WOODS TAPS! BY GOD WISPY WOODS TAPS!

 Kine dances around with an umbrella to the delight of this yellow dude. This is a scene right out of Teletubbies...not that I've ever seen Teletubbies or anything.

In a way, this whole "make everyone in Dreamland happy to defeat Dark Matter" concept is pretty cool. It reminds me of Ghostbusters 2, where they somehow had to make New Yorkers be nice to each other to defeat the massive, amorphous mass of pink slime.

In this level, Kirby must escort a small child to the end so they can be reunited with their mom, who is apparently Rei from Sailor Moon.

 Most levels take twice as long when you go for the hidden objectives. The challenge level is definitely higher.

Back to 100%ing... I've gotten rid of most of the Dark Matter appendages.

Whichever one of these worlds was being covered by Dark Matter's penis... They have my condolences. 

 Some of these side-goals are deceptively tricky. In this stage, you need to get to the end with Rick, which means a lot of unwieldy platforming and bouncing off the heads of enemies.

The reward, however...makes it all worth it.

 Time to move forward with the game. World 5 here is is actually the final world. You face off with King Dedede in his castle, and that's the final battle unless you made everyone happy.

This should rock. I'm a big fan of ice worlds in these old games.

Kirby must do battle with FFIX's Quina Quen as the battle for the soul of Dreamland rages on! That food-cooking bastard!

Next, our hero outruns an avalanche. With his insane metabolism, he could probably just eat the avalanche.

 Next up, Kirby fights... METROIDS? WTF. Of course, you defeat them by freezing them.

 Like other games, they also have a tendency to get hung up on getting around platforms.

Well done, Nintendo. Well done.

At the end of the area you find Samus, and she'll be happy if you defeated all the Metroids. Kirby spreads joy like Santa Claus.

 I still don't like this game very much, but I sure do like all of these ice levels. They're especially fun to blast through with the fire power, which turns Kirby into a comet as he body-slams foes.

 Here's a tricky little section. Those spike-emitting enemies are jerks, and they know it.

 Now this is weird. There's an Evil Kirby Clone walking around up there, but I can't get up there to do battle with it. Look at how soulless it is. It's like Team Ninja got ahold of Kirby or something. You know, 'cause... Other M had no soul

The last level is an ice tower. It's quite plain, and you fight a broom miniboss. All things considered, I think I was too hard on this game before. It's a lot like Kirby's Dream Land 2, just... more colorful. The level design is similar enough. Had this been a Game Boy game (and a bit earlier in time) I think I would have been into it back then.

 The hidden goal here is to collect all of the angel feathers for this little beast. It's one of the easiest hidden goals in the game... the designers must have wanted to give players a break on the last level.

 The final battle is upon us, as King Dedede attacks with his vicious sledgehammer as usual.

 If you've finished any Kirby game, you know the deal here. He's the same fight in every single one. At least Dr. Wily and Bowser show up in different forms and stuff.

Nevermind what I just said, because this time he has a second form. After defeating him, he gets possessed by Dark Matter and grows a stomach-mouth. IT'S THE THING! USE FIRE, KIRBY!

 Still, victory is never particularly in doubt.

 Roll credits... look, there's the spider-head. Maybe I'm onto something with citing The Thing.

Dark Matter is still out there. Wasn't this guy the final boss of Link's Awakening?

 Time to go for 100%, as our heroes reconvene in the pyramid. It has the most difficult side-goal in the whole game, despite only being in World 3. Notice how my copious amounts of extra lives have reset since I beat the game and had to reload the file. Damn.

Assembling Rob the Robot gets you the most difficult star in the game. He then proceeds to awkwardly lift things and move them around.

 Beat a tougher version of the boss, as per usual, and World 3 is finally done. That should do it.

 FLAMING KIRBY takes a moment to slice a snowman in half. HE HAD A FAMILY, DAMMIT!

 After getting everything in the final world I defeat King Dedede... again... and Dark Matter's influence is lifted from that world.

 But wait! I still only have 95% overall in this game. It seems that to get the last 5%, you have to play a bunch of minigames. Here's the Snake in a Pot minigame from The Rock's Movie The Scorpion King. No relation to The Rock's Show Smackdown.
 Several minigames later (I'm summing up), we arrive at... Boss Butch. ............Yeah.

Nintendo 16, huh?

This is nothing more than a boss rush mode. Why they called it Boss Butch... I don't know. Can't say ANYONE in this game is remotely butch.

 At least the backgrounds look different for these fights, as I defeat King Dedede for the THIRD TIME.

 Back to the regular game, I now officially have 100%. I defeat King Dedede for the FOURTH TIME and get whisked away to...

 ...the secret final world, which consists of one fight.

 You get the sword for once in this game as you battle Dark Matter in some sort of gravity well. These Dark Matter fights are usually pretty awesome, and this is no exception.

...except in this game it isn't a sword. In keeping with the "love your neighbor" theme of this game, it's just a magic wand. Wonder if it was supposed to be a sword and it got censored. He usually fights Dark Matter with a sword. Who knows.

 His second form is a giant white ball. Is he now White Matter?

 I see the Game Over screen for the first and only time here. Dark Matter doesn't mess around, and once again my amassed lives are out the window.

Defeat him and he implodes pretty violently for this game. Yikes.

 Dreamland is saved, and Kirby drifts back to Earth where he apparently becomes a petal from Flower.

 The ending shows Kirby hanging out with all the bad guys, now freed of Dark Matter's corrupting influence. What a heartwarming tale!

 ...if a completely black-and-white one. What about Dark Matter? All the other bad guys can reform, but Dark Matter is too shitty for forgiveness?

I guess. He was the one compelling them to be bad, after all. Because in most video games, no one is capable of evil unless they're being controlled by some otherworldly being. This is why I like Kefka... he was just a flat-out EVIL PERSON who didn't need to be controlled by any demons or anything. Humans need to take responsibility for their own badness, because in the real world the buck stops with us.

That's it for this game. Not a whole lot to say about it. Found it completely unmemorable, but I did like the graphic design. To an extent. The color scheme seemed a little bit "weak" to me, for lack of a better term. This game does a lot of stuff that other Kirby games do FAR better.

I'll never forget when I was a kid playing Kirby's Dream Land 2. As I've talked about here before, I finished the main game in one afternoon, but then I noticed that there were these side-objectives to collect. In that game, they were Rainbow Drops, one to a world, hidden in hard-to-reach places. I set out to collect the Rainbow Drops, having NO IDEA what would happen if I got all of them, just so that I'd have something to do. A couple days later, I had them all, and I was shocked when beating the game again whisked me off to fight Dark Matter. Had no idea who or what this guy was, but it wasn't anything I'd seen in a Kirby game before. Just a complete 180 of atmosphere.

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  1. Samus and metroids in a Kirby game... I can check that off my big board of "things I never thought I would see"

  2. Well I for one enjoyed seeing the quests. The graphics for these screenshots look kinda off though.

    I wonder if they didn't do Kirby on 64 for a while because they were struggling with how to make it 3D.

    If Kirby, land of love, were the world's most popular game...totally agree with you about people needing to take responsibility for their own evil though. That "oh I was controlled" shit never happens in real life. And bad guys playing games need to learn how to turn it around.

    1. Whooa this blue buddy is high isn't he?

      Oh, there are non-good Kirby games, eh.

  3. How the hell is 6 animal friends too much to remember? Especially when you already know 3 so you only need to learn 3 more that's like nothing lol Still a lot less than all the helpers from Super Star.

    Anyways the Kirby series, while easy for the most part, is definitely not "for babies", especially with that final boss.

    PS: Gooey is still the best character in the series.