20 Days of Kirby
Did you know that on April 27th in 1992, Kirby’s Dream Land released for the Game Boy? Yes, Kirby is 20 freakin’ years old. It may be hard to believe that Kirby has been making pink cool for such a long time, but what better time is there for us to show our appreciation for one of Nintendo’s most iconically designed characters than right now?
For the next 20 days a whole slew of artists will be showing Nintendo’s big pink dot some love by sharing a drawing a day of Kirby.
The mysteries surrounding Kirby’s sudden change of attitude when he hits American shores are likely to be kept in the same vault as the official Mother 3 translation. Is it a series of red eye flights to and from his homeland? A general distaste for all the things we hold dear? Maybe it’s just a Masahiro Sakurai thing, as Kid Icarus’ Pit seems to be just as unhappy on this side of the pond. Honestly, I’ll take Kirby however I can get him.
Ever since I was young (3 years old) I played as Kirby in the first Super Smash Bros. Then as I went on through life only knowing and loving his name and not thinking about any other games that are out, I discovered the internet. Our family didn’t have a computer until I was in grade 3. Whilst listening to the sounds of broadband I was thinking what I should search. I typed, slowly finding the letters on the keyboard, k.i.r.b.y. From then onwards I’ve found the many games of Kirby and have played every one.
Kirby’s animal friends are one of my favorite things in the series. Same goes for Louies in Bomberman.
I’ve only ever run into Kirby when playing Smash Brothers, although I was never very good at it and couldn’t really tell what was going on most of the time. I suspect he could make more effective use of his inhalation technique if he only applied himself.
I have been told that people are biologically inclined to find round things ‘cute’. Make that round thing saucer-eyed and pink and Kirby really takes the cake! I’m happy to have grown up together with Kirby and am just as charmed by him now as I was as a child. Happy birthday, little guy!
My love for Kirby began when I was 7 or so when I first got Kirby’ Adventure for the NES. My mother’s reaction upon seeing the game was “Wait? So he eats everything in sight? What a horrible thing to have as a superpower.” I could only imagine what Kirby felt the moment he realized that he was overeater. This is that moment.
Growing up, my Game Boy was a constant companion during family trips and even family gatherings. I was shy, and the thick casing of the Game Boy made for a great shield against forced social interaction.
I was also kind of chubby and looked up to husky heroes like Mario. But there was something different about Kirby. Mario sweated and stressed to keep up the fast-paced world around him; Kirby floated effortlessly over obstacles while savoring the sweet life–literally. What a relief for nervous big-boned children everywhere!
So I drew Kirby preparing for his anniversary banquet. He’s checking his reflection in a Game Boy screen, something that has reflected back so many faces over the years. You know, because it wasn’t backlit.
Is Kirby past his prime at 20? I don’t think so at all, but here’s what it would look like if he was. Besides, sometimes you just need a lazy day on the couch between adventures in dream land. This was drawn on a post-it, which fortuitously looks fairly similar to the lurid Game Boy screen I tend to associate Kirby with.
Wow! 20 years with Kirby?! I can’t believe it! The first time I ever saw Kirby was when I was older and set games aside for art school. My friend Frank was playing Kirby’s Dreamland on his Super Gameboy Player for the SNES. My first reaction was anger.
How come I have never heard of him?! Why don’t I have the NES game?! Who is this cute puffball?! That’s when I realized that it was because he was so cute. When I was a kid, everybody that I played NES with just wanted to shoot or blow up things. We wanted to look cool. We were drawn to more “kick ass” games like Castlevania, Bionic Commando, and Contra. We steered clear of games like The Adventures of Lolo, Clu Clu Land, and Kickle Cubicle.
But the truth is that Kirby does kick ass.
The Kirby games are deceptively simple. On the surface they are games for preschoolers, but when you try to unlock everything that’s when you see how challenging they can be. Kirby’s design is the same way. He’s just so simple and so iconic that he just lends himself to shape-changing power ups, new moves, reinvention and rediscovery.
That is why Kirby has been around for 20 years, his durability, his simplicity and his cuteness!
I’m glad I discovered that little puffball all those years ago.
Oddly enough, I never played the original Kirby games. But when Smash Brothers came out, I instantly fell in love with the little pink fellow and it became my favorite character to use in the game. I imagine Kirby loves his Warp Star to death and hugs it very often.
Look at the character Kirby, a simple, pink sphere with only the slightest details to suggest a face and limbs. From that basic shape the games impress upon it a wild amount of variety, turning him into a UFO or a wheel and most recently a bit of yarn. It says a lot about the character that he has endured this long and in some ways, Kirby is like the ultimate icon of video games. This shapeless mass that we can impress upon it and reshape into our own dream lands and adventures.
I will admit that most of my Kirby memories come from sucking people up in Smash Brothers and then dumping them off the edge of the screen, or swallowing them and jumping to my death. Good times.
There is just something fun about Kirby. Sucking up enemies, the puffy clouds and the almost weightless feeling you get controlling him. It’s hard to see the little pink guy and not smile.
After practically growing up on Mario games, the thing that struck me most about Kirby was his ability to fly whenever he wanted, an ability that Mario only had during the fleeting occasions in which he could retain a power-up. For a small child who barely understood the concept of pressing up to go through doors, these moments of flight were especially fleeting, making Kirby that much more amazing. Also, it was pretty strange how the water was filled with tiny stars.
It’s hard to believe that Kirby’s Dreamland was the first video I played and owned as a child. Kirby grew up as I did, being released on several different consoles and with new friends and enemies along the way. With every new game title, Kirby would win the hearts of younger generations while still being entertaining for an aging fan like myself.
Kirby, thanks for being the adorable pink blob you are and hoping to see more of you in years ahead!
In truly blasphemously blasphemous fashion, I confess that for a long time I was not a Kirby fan. When I was younger I found brief appeal in the fantastic presentation of the games, but after a short while I felt like I could just run through every Kirby game and arrive at the same result. There was nothing pushing me to savor the game or levels and even though I could recognize how well made each game was, I never found them fun. That is, until I purchased a DS and Canvas Curse. This was the first game in the series that had all the polish I’d appreciated from the previous games, but slowed it down enough for me to really enjoy what was going on. It was the first time I felt the magic that I imagine everyone else felt when playing Kirby games.
While it’s easy to attribute Kirby’s success to the strength of Nintendo as a publisher, the efforts of HAL Laboratory, Inc. are the real magic behind the series. In a period where so many other creations have failed, HAL has allowed Kirby to flourish. Our pink friend thrives in many genres, taking the form of anything one tough cream puff can. My hat is off to Kirby and HAL for 20 wonderful years.
My Kirby piece is a bit of an homage to the NES boxart. But really it’s more about how Kirby games brings happiness and fun in a bleak day.
The first Kirby game I owned was Kirby’s Dream Land, and I kicked the shit out of it. Kirby probably gives real great blowjobs. I figured he hangs out with Furby and Jigglypuffs most days. Or he goes to the derby.
I call my piece HelluvalottaKirbies. I was partly inspired by the DS game Kirby Mass Attack. I figured why draw one ok Kirby when I can draw 215 crappy Kirbies? I have always loved Kirby games though, something about them is always so relaxing to play. Plus I love the music. Best Kirby game: Kirby’s Dream Course on SNES. (See it being drawn in Colors! 3D.)
Kirby always seemed like he wouldn’t care about brand boundaries – he’d just play and have fun. Even if the peripheral was clunky, awkward and way ahead of its time.
Kirby is one of those mascots who snuck up on me. Over the past 20 years I really didn’t think too much about it, but as I look back I realize that not only do I own most of his games, but I have a real affinity for the little pink puffball. The most impressive thing to me about Kirby is just how creative Nintendo has kept the property. Being under the radar in comparison to giants like Mario and Link, Kirby has had the leniency to embark in some really odd and crazy adventures. Here is to another 20 years of Kirby taking over the world.
And you, our fellow Kirby lovers, should you feel the need to draw a Kirby of your own and wanna send it our way, here’s how to do it: First you draw a circle, then you dot the eyes, add a great big smile, and presto, it’s Kirby!- (Kirby’s Dream Land)