Feature

Kirby Through The Years

by Kyle Hilliard on Feb 18, 2015 at 02:35 PM

Kirby may just be a pink ball with oval arms and red shoes, but he's gone through a lot of changes over the years.

Whether it's small changes, or entire changes in the properties he's made of, Nintendo has done a lot with a character that is ostensibly a pinks circle. In this feature, we're taking a look at the sometimes large, sometimes minor changes Kirby has experienced over the years. Kirby has ventured into the world of pinball, racing, and Smash Brothering, but for the sake of this feature, we'll be sticking to Kirby's platforming adventures.

Kirby's Dream Land (1992)

Kirby began his life on the Game Boy with Kirby's Dream Land. Much in the same way the Hulk had gray skin before settling on green, Kirby took a few years before deciding pink was his color. You could chalk it up to the Game Boy screen's limited palette of colors, but even on the box, he appears in a ghostly gray as opposed to his now iconic vibrant pink.

He's a picture of modern pink Kirby posing next to an old picture of himself in Kirby's Dream Collection on Wii. It's like looking at an old embarrassing high school photo of yourself and asking yourself, "Why did I ever think that was cool?"

Kirby's Adventure (1993)

When Kirby moved his adventure over to the NES, he was finally able to take advantage of color and adopt his pink look. Other than the new color, he is basically identical to his Game Boy counterpart, except for his height. He's slightly more squat here than he was in Dream Land. This is also the first time Kirby decided to put dark pink ovals near his eyes – a fashion choice he would never let go of.

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995)

For his third adventure, Kirby jumped backed to Game Boy. He lost his color again on the Game Boy, but on the box we was pink. he also gained back his height that he lost for the NES.

Kirby's Super Star (1996)

For Kirby's first SNES adventure,he started to shine slightly, but overall his pudgy pink shape remained consistent.

Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997)

For Kirby's third Dream Land adventure, Kirby got rid of his shine, and adopted something close to a colored pencil look. It was an early clue that Kirby would be adopting many different art styles in the future.

For more of Kirby's changes throughout the years, head to page two.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)

Kirby's first 3D adventure also marked the first time he became a perfect sphere. His arms also got smaller.

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (2002)

For the Game Boy Advance's Nightmare in Dreamland, Kirby adopted a deep black outline, and returned to his more squashed look.

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (2004)

Little changed between 2002 and 2004. It would take another year before Kirby would kind of reinvent himself.

Kirby: Canvas Curse (2005)

In Canvas Curse, Kirby kicked off his shoes and, uh... removed his arms, to become a perfect circle. This is the precursor to Rainbow Curse, and players controlled Kirby by drawing lines on screen instead of controlling him directly.

Kirby: Squeak Squad (2006)

Squeak Squad was a slightly more traditional Kirby game after the Canvas Curse offshoot, and as a result, Kirby opted for the more traditional black outline look he used on the Game Boy Advance.

For more of Kirby's changes throughout the years, head to page three.

Kirby Super Star Ultra (2008)

Super Star Ultra may be a remake of Super Star for the SNES, but it looks a fair bit different from its inspiration. Kirby decided to ditch the shine he found way back in 1996 (except for the shine on his shoes), and his black outline got thicker and more intense. The outline of his arms also got slightly more prominent.

Kirby's Epic Yarn (2010)

It was at this point that Kirby decided to change so radically that he actually became a different property altogether. Instead of being made whatever he was made of before (marshmallow, probably) now Kirby was made of Yarn. He was an outline instead of solid object and his arms extended more outward instead of downward.

Kirby Mass Attack (2011)

Kirby's black outline became less pronounced for the 2011 DS title, and his body shrunk slightly. His eyes now took up a much larger portion of his body.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)

Despite the success of his yarn outing, Kirby decided to revert to his old look for his next console release. This is the first time he appeared as a 3D model since Nintendo 64.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe (2014)

For Triple Deluxe, Kirby's first 3DS game, Kirby retained his 3D model and overall design that he adopted in Return to Dream Land. His shade of pink was slightly darker, but otherwise, he didn't change much.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)

Kirby decided for another inexplicable property change and become clay. Unlike Canvas Curse, however, he decided to hold onto his arms and feet while rolling around as a ball.

For more on Kirby, check out our review Rainbow Curse here. For more 'Through the Years' looks, check out our features on Metal Gear and Grand Theft Auto.