Back When Kirby Was Rude
The iconic pink puffball wasn't always so innocent and adorable
Kirby and the Forgotten Land came out recently and is already a big success, but this pink bundle of cuteness and hunger wasn't always so adorable. In fact, you might be surprised by some of these Kirby oddities. Let's take a closer look, starting with Kirby's Avalanche.
Nintendo is no stranger to using their characters for puzzle spin-offs, so we have games like Wario's Woods, Dr. Mario, Yoshi's Cookie, and Kirby's Avalanche (Kirby's Ghost Trap in Europe). Avalanche technically wasn't released in Japan, as it's actually a Puyo Puyo re-skin for the western market, released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo. But what did these changes include?
First, for those who never played a Puyo Puyo game: you compete against another player (or the computer) in a battle of endurance. You receive a piece with two blobs that you can rotate, connecting four or more of the same color together will make them disappear, making whatever is on top to fall down.
If you destroy several groups of blobs in the same move, you'll send boulders over to your enemy. The boulders are colorless and take space, but when you clear a group of blobs any adjacent boulder will disappear with them. Whoever gets their third column from the left will lose.
This is a strategy game where you have to use your brain and reflexes to seek a concatenation of blob clearing to send an "Avalanche" to your enemy.
The story of the game is that Kirby decided to organize a competition to determine who's the best "Avalanche" player in Dreamland. The rules are simple: participants will walk through the forest towards the Dream Fountain, if they meet with anyone, they have to play, and the loser leaves the competition.
Now this is purely a puzzle game, so we don't actually get to walk Kirby around. Instead, we'll have a short exchange between Kirby and our enemy before they battle, exchanges that might involve some trash-talking from one or both parties.
The game had a K-A (kids to adults) rating, so people who don't know the franchise won't be horrified by Kirby's language, but those who do, will be confused by the uncharacteristic banter; especially when the "edgiest" he's usually shown to be is his angry expression on American box art.
Kirby's Biggest Case
Germany's Club Nintendo published two Kirby detective stories, one in 1993 and the other in 1996, but I'm going to talk about the latter here, as it features Kirby reading questionable magazines, smoking, saying vulgar words, and drinking.
Kirby's Biggest Case (Kirbys Grösster Fall in Germany) starts off with a suspicious woman, called Anette, asking Kirby to investigate her grandfather, Dr. Mainhold, who was declared dead. He had made a machine that could make video game characters real and then turn them back into video games, but his laboratory burnt down, the machine was stolen, and a charred corpse was found. She rejects the idea that the corpse is her grandfather's and wants Kirby to get to the bottom of it.
They schedule a meeting at a bar, but when she fails to appear at the meeting spot, they decide to go to her mansion, where her corpse is found just before police sirens are heard wailing in the distance. This attempt to frame Kirby for murder proves that the laboratory burning down was no mere accident.
While we see a villain wanting to cause havoc with the machine - which happens to be shaped like a Nintendo 64 - Kirby and company learn that Mainhold didn't work alone, and there were other scientists working with him. So they look for them in order to get more information about what happened, and manage to find Dr. Huber in a golf club, but Kirby doesn't manage to get any information before being knocked out by a golf ball and waking up inside a barn.
They find Huber again, and go to the harbor in order to go to the island where he's located. But they are attacked and captured by pirates, and later drugged with food to put them to sleep. Kirby then wakes up to a sinking ship, and manages to reach the island. Unfortunately, before Kirby is able to reach the villain, King Dedede is put inside a game and then turned evil, so he can fight Kirby after he's put inside the game as well.
While Kirby is helpless, his friends find him and manage to break him out and defeat Huber...except it was actually Mainhold wearing a mask the whole time, which makes his granddaughter's death all the more grim. But that doesn't matter, as the bad guy has been caught and the machine destroyed, The end.
Despite the implied usage of alcohol and the clear usage of cigarettes, Kirby remains surprisingly naïve and friendly throughout the comic. This comic also gives Kirby a girlfriend, called Susie (not to be confused with Susie from Robobot), who looks very much like him except for wearing heels and a bow.
Now, the previous examples might be dismissed as being non-canon due to Nintendo of Japan not being directly involved, so now I bring my last example: Kirby's Adventure - specifically the Japanese version.
Kirby's Adventure released in 1993 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and like many games at the time, it explained the setting in the manual. But the American release not only touched up the drawings (for the worse, as far as I'm concerned), it also altered the dialogue slightly.
While in the American version there's nothing eyebrow-raising from Kirby, in the Japanese version he's somewhat rude to Dedede, so I'll be putting a translation below.
*Note: This "you" is a very rude way to refer to someone in Japanese.
**Note: Could also be translated as "what the heck".
So the tone here is a bit more aggressive; perhaps this Kirby is already tired of having to deal with King Dedede.
While no exactly crude or abusive, it's funny to see how, in the past, Kirby was portrayed to be somewhat brash and blunt. It might be nothing compared to what you can see on TV, but when contrasted with the do-gooder goofball that Kirby has been shown to be in recent times, it might come as a surprise. After all, there's a stretch between the protector of his friends (and food) saying "poyo"....and saying "shit".
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