Kirby Super Star

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Kirby Super Star boxart 4435.jpg

Kirby Super Star is a 1996 SNES game, and part of the Kirby franchise. Unlike the other Kirby games, where everyone's favorite pink puffball has one long adventure, Super Star contained a number of shorter games -- its tag line on the box was "8 games in one!" Those games -- 6 main, 2 sub -- are:

  • Main Games
    • Spring Breeze: King Dedede has stolen all the food in Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. The introductory game, it's essentially a shortened version of the original Kirby's Dream Land.
    • DynaBlade: A mysterious creature named Dyna Blade is terrorizing Dream Land, and it's up to Kirby to stop it. Adds a world map, some additional powers, and a couple extras, but in the end is mostly an intro game like Spring Breeze.
    • Gourmet Race: Kirby and Dedede race to see who can eat the most food while still reaching the finish line first. It's pretty straight forward. Very notable for its music: the Gourmet Race theme "Run, Kirby, Run" is one of the most-remixed songs on YouTube and one of two sources of the THIS VIDEO CONTAINS meme. And that's just a sample.
    • The Great Cave Offensive: Kirby has accidentally fallen down a hole and found himself in a huge cave, filled with treasure. Now he has to find a way out of the cave while grabbing as much loot as he can. More of a Metroidvania game than a linear platformer, Kirby's quest through the cave helps him find items like the Falcon Helmet, Mr. Saturn, and the Triforce, as well as the Kirby Phone and the Triple Star Rod (which, in the case of the latter two, are exclusive to the remake; see below for details).
    • Revenge of Meta Knight: Meta Knight is setting out to conquer Dream Land in his massive flying battleship, the Halberd, and it's up to Kirby to stop him. In this game, the levels are timed -- failing to clear it within a certain amount of time results in a loss. Also noted for the story -- Meta Knight and his crew can be heard talking about Kirby attacking, and the crew is visibly freaking out as he lays waste to the Halberd.
    • Milky Way Wishes: The Sun and the Moon are fighting, throwing day and night into chaos, and it's up to Kirby to stop them. This game takes Kirby to other worlds to find the wish-granting Galactic Nova, and since the enemies on these worlds are different than the usual ones, Kirby can't absorb their powers; instead, he has to find the Deluxe Copy Essences around the levels, after which point he has those powers forever, and can shuffle through them. It turns out that Marx, who sent you to find Nova, was using you to get Galactic Nova's power in order to rule Popstar. Kirby has to rush back to stop him in a climactic final battle.
    • The Arena: Okay, seven main games, as beating them all six games unlocks The Arena, a straight-up Boss Rush. Kirby has his choice of abilities and a set number of Maxim Tomatoes, and must battle through every boss and miniboss of the game, from Whispy Woods to Meta Knight to the terror that is Waddle Dee, before a rematch with Marx.
  • Sub-Games
    • Samurai Kirby: Kirby faces off in a first-strike duel with five increasingly tough opponents. Like the Quick Draw game in Kirby's Adventure/Nightmare in Dream Land, it's a game of reaction time.
    • Megaton Punch: A contest of strength timing, the challenge is to line up the strength and timing meters just right to deliver a strong enough punch to break Popstar in half. Remixed in Kirby and The Amazing Mirror as Crackity Hack.


Kirby Super Star Ultra boxart 4216.jpg

While Kirby's Adventure on the NES codified the Kirby formula, Super Star is considered to be the game that perfected it, and is arguably the franchise's -- and creator Masahiro Sakurai's -- Magnum Opus. It was remade in 2008 as Kirby Super Star Ultra, which added a handful of extra games to the mix, bringing the total to 16 games in one:

  • Main Games
    • Revenge of the King: See Spring Breeze. Dedede, food, up to Kirby, Blah Blah Blah. The trick this time is that this is a remake of Kirby's Dream Land's Hard Mode, so the enemies, especially the bosses, are a lot tougher. This includes a fight against war-blimp Kabula and a brand-new King Dedede.
    • Meta Knightmare Ultra: You play as Meta Knight through abridged versions of the original main games, excluding Gourmet Race and The Arena. Meta Knight has a whole suite of moves at his disposal, and uses them to thrash his way through the stages.
    • Helper to Hero: Instead of playing as Kirby, you choose one of his helpers (characters based on an element that Kirby absorbed, usually controlled by computer or by a second player) and run though a shortened version of The Arena. This can create quite a challenge: sure, winning as Bonkers (Hammer) or Plasma Wisp (Plasma) isn't too bad, but how about winning with Capsule J2 (Jet) or Wheelie (Wheel)? Not to mention getting the best time...
    • The True Arena: This is what happens when The Arena hates you. It's a Kirby Boss Rush again, but with less health-recovery and much tougher bosses -- you fight the bosses and sub-bosses from Revenge of the King, then get the final bosses from Revenge of the King, Helper to Hero, and Meta Knightmare Ultra (Masked Dedede, Wham Bam Jewel, and Galacta Knight), and finally a reborn Marx, now called Marx Soul. It is possibly the most mind-numbingly difficult challenge in the entire Kirby series.
  • Side Games: A set of mini-games that can be played with friends wirelessly, they utilize the Nintendo DS's touch screen and stylus. They can be summarized as:
    • Snack Tracks: Kirby eats.
    • Kirby On the Draw: Kirby shoots.
    • Kirby Card Swipe: Kirby plays Karuta.

Tropes used in the Kirby Super Star:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Abandon Ship: Discussed near the end of Revenge of Meta Knight. They decide to fight Kirby one last time before doing so.
  • American Meta Knight is Hardcore: The "Meta Knight's Counterattack" part of the game was changed in the occidental release to "Revenge of Meta Knight" and Meta Knight's new dialogue makes him sound clearly villainous. They even made him threaten Kirby to death! Those changes have been maintained in Ultra, sans the "Prepare to die!" line.
  • Animated Actors: Implied by the unlockable blooper reel in Ultra. Complete with laugh tracks.
  • Ascended Extra: Bandanna Dee first appeared in Super Star as the first opponent in "Megaton Punch". In Ultra, he has dialog and appears as a boss (albeit not much of one) in "Revenge of the King" (plus he's the only spectator in the stands during the Masked Dedede fight), and the Waddle Dee opponent in "The Arena" was changed to him. Now he's a playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
  • Bad Samaritan: Marx.
  • Balloon Belly: As usual, Kirby's and Dedede's standard attacks result in this. In addition, Dedede will balloon up if he beats you in Gourmet Race.
  • Batman Gambit: Marx in Milky Way Wishes manipulates Kirby into reconstructing wish-granting NOVA so he can wish to become the ruler of Dreamland.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Marx.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Trope Namer.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss
  • Cool Face Ship: The Halberd, with Meta Knight's mask, made its debut here.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The Suplex, Jet, and Ninja powers are very difficult to use effectively, especially against bosses, but do crazy damage. Suplex in particular, because bosses can't be grabbed -- meaning you have to either grapple any debris the boss creates, or spam Pinpoint Kick. It's awkward and requires a lot of precise maneuvering, but most bosses go down from two or three wrestling moves. This means Bugzzy isn't such a bad choice for Helper to Hero...until you reach Computer Virus.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Wham Bam Rock and Wham Bam Jewel in Ultra.
  • Dual Boss: Twin Woods. The prospect of two Whispy Woodses doesn't sound too threatening, but if you can't put them away fast you'll start to regret it soon.
  • Duel Boss: Meta Knight, of course.
  • Dub Name Change: Super Star Ultra is known in Japan as Ultra Super Deluxe, which has led to it being sometimes called "USDX".
    • Mark became Marx, for much the same reasons as Tina to Terra in Final Fantasy VI.
    • One of the enemies faced during the Computer Virus boss went by the name of Red Dragon in both versions of Super Star. When Ultra came out, the foe was rechristened with the Unfortunate Name of Grand Dragon in the Japanese version. For obvious reasons, this was changed to Great Dragon for English releases.
  • Eternal Engine: The Halberd in Meta Knight's Revenge and Mecheye/Mekkai in Milky Way Wishes.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Instead of the usual Dark Matter-esque Eldritch Abomination, Marx is just one of the tiny, cute, marshmallow-like denizens of Popstar who manages to gain ultimate power with a Batman Gambit involving Kirby and the wish-granting comet Galactic Nova.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Each sub-game (not counting minigames) works differently from one another. To be fair, they all revolve around the same mechanics.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mild, but Fatty Whale smokes a pipe, even in the international versions. Maybe it's OK because you don't see any tobacco fumes?
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: A subversion. The final bosses of Milky Way Wishes first appear in its introduction sequence and are only seen again at the very end. However, in the original Super Nintendo version, the introduction sequence was both optional and not indicated to even exist, meaning many players probably felt this applied to Galactic Nova and Marx. This was corrected in Ultra, where the introduction is automatically played.
  • Giggling Villain: Marx. In Ultra, Marx Soul makes it even worse.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Treasures in The Great Cave Offensive, Abilities in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Green Hill Zone: Green Greens in Spring Breeze, Peanut Plain in Dyna Blade, and Floria in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Ground Pound: Stone power.
  • Harder Than Hard: The True Arena. So very, very much.
  • Heavy Metal: Galacta Knight's battle music is perhaps the only time you're ever going to hear this in a Kirby game. Carries over to his appearance in Return to Dream Land.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Invincible Candy item, which gives you temporary invincibility and an Ear Worm of a jingle when eaten.
  • Item Get: Everytime you open a chest in The Great Cave Offensive, you'll get a fanfare and then the information about the item you got.
  • Kiss of Life: Somewhat of a variant; Kirby/Meta Knight and their helpers can eat any health item and then "kiss" their partner, and then the partner will also get healed. Called "face-to-face food transfer" in the manual. Somewhat Squicky if you point out its similarity to a certain Shock Site...
  • Leave Him to Me: In Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight makes everyone abandon ship so he could take on Kirby alone, in one the hardest boss battles in the series. Then, after he escapes, he comes back after you in a last-ditch attempt to stop Kirby from taking down his ship.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: The description for Revenge of the King says that King Dedede has gotten serious since he was beaten by Kirby many times in the past.
  • Light Is Not Good: Galacta Knight might count, if we actually knew whether he was good/evil. Even if he's not outright evil, the fact that his sheer power meant his very existence posed a threat to the galaxy qualifies him.
  • Magic From Technology: NOVA, the mechanical wish granting comet.
  • Manipulative Bastard / MacGuffin Delivery Service: Marx uses Kirby to gain Galactic Nova's power and try to conquer Popstar.
    • Also, the Sun and Moon fighting was part of Marx's plan, though this was only made clear in Ultra. It was only implied in the original..
  • Miles Gloriosus: Captain Vul is the most dedicated of Meta Knight's men to killing Kirby, even sacrificing the ship's well being when he releases Heavy Lobster. However, he never goes after Kirby himself, and when the ship begins crashing, he's the first one to escape.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: The helper from the wheelie powerup is a monowheel.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Dyna Blade, who has switched between mommy and daddy throughout the series. Fans take both sides.
  • Nerf: The playable Meta Knight in Ultra, compared to his appearance in Nightmare in Dreamland. He can't control his jump height and his higher speed became a temporary powerup.
  • Never Say "Die": Ultra turns Meta Knight's original death threat of "Prepare to die!" to "Come meet your doom!"
  • Nintendo Hard: The Arena (provided you play it without the hammer) and The True Arena in Super Star Ultra--the latter can get almost as hard as the original Kirby's Dream Land Hard Mode, even with the trusty hammer at your side! Helper to Hero from Ultra can also be infuriating to beat with all of the characters, especially the weaker ones.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Wham Bam Rock is claymation-style, unlike other characters.
    • This made his design from the original Super Star resemble something like Blackface.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: The location of the secret planet ??? in Milky Way Wishes can be found only if you look up its location or fly around aimlessly for no particular reason and discover it by accident. Not so much in Ultra, as the planet is marked by a blinking star that stands out amongst the background.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Meta Knight is surprisingly hostile in Revenge of Meta Knight, compared to his usual Worthy Opponent self. Apparently, this was partly due to the translation, and partly due to some ulterior motive like fixing all of Dreamland's problems through a benevolent dicatorship.
  • Power Copying: As always, Kirby can inhale some kinds of enemies to obtain their power (except in Milky Way Wishes unless you managed to find a secret star which contains the Copy ability). The powers are as follows:
  • Prepare to Die: Meta Knight says this to Kirby before their duel in the original, but not in the Japanese one.
  • Riding Into the Sunset: Kirby after sinking the Halberd in Revenge of Meta Knight. After Revenge of the King, Dedede does his walk-of-shame into the sunset accompanied by his still-loyal Waddle Dee subjects.
  • RPG Elements: Parodied with the Computer Virus boss.
  • Scenery Porn: As always, a staple of Kirby games.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Parodied in the Samurai Kirby minigame.
  • Shows Damage: Type 1 example can be found when Kirby or his helper is low on health.
  • Shout-Out: Some of the items in The Great Cave Offensive are items from other Nintendo games.
    • Another one that appears in the Super Star Ultra updated remake of the game: in the new game mode "Revenge of the King," Kablua fires what seems to be Bullet Bills from the Super Mario Bros. series during the boss fight.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: You'll know you're about to hit a boss room when you reach a single room with nothing but Copy Essences and a Maxim Tomato.
  • Spiritual Successor: This is the final Kirby game developed by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai. His next game was Super Smash Bros., which features a near-identical combat system.
    • The Subspace Emissary levels of Brawl resemble this game so much that it may have been an attempt at salvaging a cancelled Kirby game.
  • This Cannot Be!: Captain Vul's reaction to the rest of the crew's reports that Kirby destroyed Main Cannon #2.
  • Took a Level in Badass: King Dedede in his "Masked Dedede" form. It even shows in the difficulty level of the fight.
  • Underground Level: Cocoa Cave in Dyna Blade, the Underground Forest in The Great Cave Offensive, and Cavios/Cavius in Milky Way Wishes.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The last normal stage of Milky Way Wishes is a side-scrolling shooter, as well as Kabula in Revenge of the King.
  • Video Game Remake: Ultra
  • Vile Villain Saccharine Show: Marx is one of the creepiest villains to ever appear in the series. Most games aimed at adults would stop short of a final boss with an attack that involves a BLACK HOLE dimension of pure death.
    • He's even worse in the updated remake when you have to face him as Marx Soul at the end of the True Arena. He's even more creepy than his boss form from the original, if the opening cutscene doesn't get you that bloodcurdling scream when he's defeated sure will.
  • Warmup Boss: Whispy Woods.
  • When Trees Attack: Whispy Woods again.
  • Where It All Began: When the Great Cave Offensive is all said and done, the exit ends up being the hole Kirby fell into the cave in the first place.
  • Worthy Opponent: Meta Knight. When you reach him in Revenge of Meta Knight, he will leave a sword for Kirby to use before battling him and will wait up to 30 seconds for you to take it before doing battle. While the Halberd plummets to the ocean. On fire.