A fun little diversion after my Mega MANia posts. "Kirby's Adventure" was released in 1993 for the NES console. It is the second Kirby game ever made, after the 1992 release of "Kirby's Dream Land" for the Game Boy. It is a fun little game, pretty easily beaten in a night or two, and it sets up many of the conventions that are used in…well pretty much every Kirby game after this.
While "Dream Land" introduced us to both King Dedede and Kirby and the bare bones basics of the Kirby series (Kirby could fly as much as he wanted, and suck up items/fire them as stars, but that's about it), "Adventure" is the first game where Kirby is able to swallow certain enemies and copy their abilities. In fact, it gives us most of the abilities that we will see for the rest of the series, such as Hammer, Sword, Cutter, Stone, Flame, Freeze, and even Suplex.
This is also the first game where this particular character makes an appearance…
Yup you get to fight Meta-Knight, even in his classic Sword battle style. He will constantly assail you throughout the game and sic his henchmen upon you (yup the same henchman you later fight in "Kirby's Super Star").
This game also has the "villain fake-out" that most Kirby games have, where the seemingly innocent main bad guy is replaced with a pretty evil and terrifying looking bad guy. In "Kirby Super Star" it was the demonic jester Marx who was the main bad guy, and in this game it is the Nightmare, whose first form provides one of the most challenging boss fights in the game, but also the most epic final boss themes from any video game.
It's a pretty well constructed game, with the worlds and the gameplay styles being varied enough that the experience remains fresh (it does tend to drag a bit in the middle but the end of the game picks up a great deal). The music is top knotch and fun, and the animation is absolutely beautiful for an NES game from 1993. Most importantly, though, it serves as a pretty strict blueprint for all future games to follow.
Kirby is an innocent and adorable little character, but his games always tend to bely a more subversive and darker side, as the themes dealt with border on being a little dark. In this game, for example, Kirby has to stop the embodiment of Nightmares from stealing everyone's hopes and dreams. The game starts with a simple plot to stop King Dedede from stealing the staff that controls peoples' dreams (Dedede being a pretty innocent/harmless character himself; more selfish than truly evil), but suddenly shifts (as does the difficulty level) into a much more dark tale. Our little cute puffball seems out of place fighting a villain that looks like an all-powerful evil, but he is the only thing that stands in the way of ultimate evil. It creates an interesting juxtaposition for the player that certainly amps up the tension in the final fight.
This idea is carried into later games with the aforementioned Marx fight in "Superstar," where you try to stop a creepy clock monster/god from destroying the world, and the only way to stop it is to first destroy the Clock Monster's heart, and then defeat the Demon Jester, Marx, who summoned it.
Nope not terrifying at all right?
I know it isn't a full analysis as of yet, but I will get to more Kirby games in the future, and I feel this is a good start for the series. I am going to move onto something completely different next…probably through the JRPG by Squaresoft, "Live a Live." I have heard good things!