After the smash success that was Kirby’s Dreamland for the Game Boy in 1992, HAL Laboratory developed a sequel that was published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. King Dedede is back to his mischievous ways in Dream Land and it’s up to Kirby once again to save the land and repair the Star Rod. Kirby’s Adventure would introduce two huge signatures in the Kirby series that would forever change our hero Kirby.
From the game’s manual:
“Light years away, on a tiny star not visible from Earth, is the magical, peaceful place known as Dream Land. The beings that inhabit this wondrous world live a blissful existence that centers on eating, sleeping, and playing. (MY KIND OF WORLD!) An example of their care-free customs includes the traditional after-lunch nap. After they awaken from their nap, the Dream Landers discuss their dreams and fervently hope that each other’s fondest wishes come true.
One day, a young Dream Lander named Kirby awoke from his after-lunch nap feeling terrible. “What happened?” he wondered to himself. “I didn’t have any dreams during my lunch nap!” This lack of dreams left Kirby feeling very uneasy. After talking to some of his friends, he found that the problem was much more serious than he had thought, for they had not experienced any dreams either! “Something must have happened to the Dream Spring!” they exclaimed in unison.
The Dream Spring is a magical well that is a reservoir for all the dreams of the inhabitants of Dream Land. Dreams also flow out of the Dream Spring and envelop Dream Land, granting all sleeping beings enjoyable dreams. Legends told that the Dream Spring was created by a magical artifact known as the Star Rod. The sparkling star on the tip of this scepter was an actual fragment of a star that had landed in Dream Land in the distant past. The Star Rod now provided energy to the Dream Spring and served as the very symbol of the Dream Land.
The lack of dreams made everyone in Dream Land feel restless and irritable. The joyful laughter that had once resounded throughout Dream Land could no longer be heard at all. Things were bleak. Kirby, the roly-poly hero of Dream Land, boldly announced his intentions to investigate the Dream Spring and find the cause of all the trouble.
Upon reaching the Dream Spring, who did he find but King Dedede, bathing in its magical waters! In the past, King Dedede had caused mischief in Dream Land by stealing all the Dream Landers’ food and Sparkling Stars. Now, in the middle of the Dream Spring, in place of the Star Rod, sat Dedede, covered with bubble bath.
“So, you’re up to your old tricks again, eh, Dedede?!” accused Kirby. “What are you talking about, young pudge ball?” Dedede looked surprised. “I thought I’d do everyone a favor by…”
“No, no, no!” Kirby shook his head. “I won’t listen to your tricks! What have you done with the Star Rod?!”
“Oh, that old thing,” Dedede said nonchalantly. “I broke it into seven pieces and gave each piece to one of my friends…”
“What was Dedede thinking?!” Kirby wondered. Before hearing any more of what Dedede had to say, Kirby set off on the long trek to gather the pieces of the Star Rod and return them to the Dream Spring. Hopefully, he could return the sparkle to the Dream Spring so that the people of Dream Land could again enjoy their happy midday naps.”
Wow, incredible, a video game all about restoring dreams to people who nap after lunch. This is superb and I wish our world was this simple. Kirby just wants a good nap, and I respect him for that. But the truth is… Kirby was wrong!
King Dedede did break the Star Rod, but he did so on purpose and he’s not the true villain of the game. Why would King Dedede break the rod? In an act of heroism, he saw the entity known as “Nightmare” coming and broke the rod before Nightmare could take it and ruin everyone’s dreams. Kirby gets the seven pieces back and builds the Star Rod. He also kicks King Dedede’s butt for good measure and that’s when Nightmare strikes trying to spread bad dreams. Kirby defeats Nightmare and restores the Star Rod to the dream fountain ensuring that everyone can peacefully dream again after their lunches.
With the first game on the original Game Boy, players never knew what color Kirby was! Much to the surprise of everyone including many on the development team, Kirby’s creator always pictured him pink so the iconic pink blob saw color for the first time in Kirby’s Adventure but that’s not the only thing that Kirby showcased on the NES.
Kirby’s famous copying ability was introduced in this game and it’s a series changer! Kirby could suck up just about any enemy in the first game but now he can copy their skills by inhaling them and pressing down to copy their ability. It was awesome. Kirby could swing a sword, throw a sword, breathe fire, blow ice, turn to stone, set off sparks, fly around like a twister, scream into a mic, and roll as a wheel just to name a few of the abilities that he can copy. Kirby’s copying ability was a game-changer and made an easy game even easier which I suppose is a bad thing, but it was so unique and fun to change Kirby. My favorite ability was the sword and the ice breath.
As I just mentioned, Kirby’s Adventure like the original game is easy. It’s a platformer spread across seven worlds but each level takes about two minutes to clear. The difficulty seems like the game is made for young children, and along with the story, it’s not surprising that the game isn’t a challenge. What was a big surprise was the final boss because of the difficulty curve spikes. I didn’t like that as the game changed tones completely from a cute little platformer that requires some skill to a final boss that will strike you down every chance they get. It’s not just that “Nightmare” is tough it’s that he has two stages. The first is a shoot ’em up stage where the gameplay is different from the entire game and then the final phase is having to avoid his shooting stars as he opens his cape for you to hit with the Star Rod. It wasn’t easy to beat him and it shocked me that he was that hard compared to the rest of the game.
Kirby’s Adventure aside from the weird spike in difficulty is a fun and simple game. The intro was cute as they teach you how to draw Kirby and between the levels there are tons of fun mini-games to play like grabbing Kirby plushes from a crane machine to gain extra lives or having Kirby gobble up eggs to earn more lives. My favorite was the quick draw mini-game where it’s set in the wild west as Kirby outdraws his opponents. You’ll get a ton of extra lives through your playthrough and it won’t seem like you’ll need them but when you face the final boss you’ll understand why you have 30 extra lives.
Boss fights were unique and I enjoyed a few of them like the artist that draws on an easel before they come to life and attack Kirby. Similar to the first game, some levels require almost no fighting as you can puff up Kirby and float to the end of the level without much resistance. The fantastic and cute animations of Kirby return when you reach new worlds as well as the amazing music that keeps you from turning the volume down.
I didn’t have an NES growing up but one of my friends did. In one of my earliest video game memories, I remember playing Kirby’s Adventure with my friend in his living room. We would get stuck with the bomb blocks and his mom would come in and break the block for us. It was weird thinking back on that because his mom was a huge dud so for her to know how to do something in Kirby was very surprising. I also remember the quick draw and thinking that was so cool as a little kid.
Kirby’s Adventure introduced us to a pink Kirby and his signature copying ability. While the game is solid all-around I didn’t care for the difficulty spike on the final boss when the overall game is very easy. Kirby’s Adventure is more advanced than the original but it doesn’t the magic that Kirby’s Dream Land did but it’s still a solid game.
Kirby’s Adventure scores a 7.9 out of 10.
Do you remember when Kirby’s Adventure first came out? What did you think of his copying ability and what was your favorite enemy to copy? Were you able to beat the game and were you surprised by the final boss? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
If you’d like to own a copy of Kirby’s Adventure, you can purchase a used copy of it for the NES from eBay for around $30.