Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Five Things We Learned From Kirby Super Star

Five Things We Learned From Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star: pictured -- the titular Superstar / Eater of Souls
There are various tales of some people in this world who, according to one of several long-held belief systems, think that eating the body of one's enemy will imbue the devouring party with the power of the fallen foe. For more information on this practice, please see the warlord character from the informative film District 9 (if this is the only reason you watchDistrict 9 though, you should be warned that you're going to have to sit through about an hour of a guy yelling "FOOK" before you get to what you're looking for).

The existence of Kirby, a little pink marshmallow whose two defining traits are cuteness and omnivorousness, is an affirmation of these beliefs. In fact, if Kirby wasn't such an adorable little creampuff of a dude, he would probably be pretty terrifying. Guys who can swallow you whole and absorb your skills usually have titles like "the Harvester" or "Soul Reaver."

Kirby is one of Nintendo's major mascots, but he's also a fascinating character study, and the strange world he inhabits is rife with interesting quirks. Kirby Super Star was the SNES game that proved that Kirby was one versatile marshmallow, and in addition to building the prestige of our favorite all-digesting pink doughball it taught us much -- and not just about the upsides of feasting on the flesh of your adversaries!
1.) Don't judge a book by its cover.

Don't let the innocent look fool you. Kirby is up to some intense shit.
So yeah, just taking a brief look at him, Kirby looks about on the same level of toughness as, say, Jigglypuff or Dora the Explorer. I mean, he's a soft, chubby, pink little guy who lives on a planet called "Pop Star." He looks like he was created for appearances on mobiles above infants' cribs.

But those who write Kirby off as harmless are sorely mistaken. In Kirby Super Star, for instance, there are several mini-games that center around Kirby competing in manly showdowns with different adversaries. The first is the "Megaton Punch" game, where Kirby attempts, in front of a crowd of spectators, to literally create a fissure in the crust of a planet just by executing a baller karate chop. And let's not forget the "Samurai Kirby" game, where Kirby is in a quick-draw competition to see who can unsheathe their katana (or hammer, or cone-shaped bludgeon) the fastest. The winner gets bragging rights. The loser presumably (though this is not rendered in detail due, we must assume, to graphical limitations and Nintendo of America censorship policy) has his face cut off.

Though there is no "Kirby Russian Roulette" game, it wouldn't be that far removed from what's in Kirby Super Star. Kirby, when the time is right, can be one badass little creampuff.

2.) Dissenting against an unjust power is a noble act.

King Dedede acts like someone who the CIA would be planning to assassinate.
Let's also not forget that Kirby is the de facto ruler of the opposition party in Dream Land. You see, yes, Dream Land is a magical, far away place where cuddly creatures roam around and Kirby lives happily. It's bright, colorful and fun!

Dream Land, however, is a kleptocratic dictatorship ruled with an iron flipper by King Dedede, penguin and head of state. Apologists will say that Dedede is not evil, just mischievous. But ask yourself -- King Dedede steals all the food in the land in the "Spring Breeze" portion of Kirby Super Star. Is hoarding all the edible resources of your kingdom with no regard to whether your subjects starve the act of a cute, fun-loving trickster king? Or is it the act of a psychopath?

Let's face it, if King Dedede were in charge of a nation on Earth, he would have a billion UN sanctions on his ass. Kirby, by standing up to his schemes, is clearly a true patriot of Dream Land.

3.) Attire is important.

Kirby in his arson-wear.
When Kirby eats one of his enemies and gains their power, his outfit also changes. Usually this is the incorporation of a new hat or accessory into his ensemble to indicate what his new power is. Some are straightforward -- "parasol" power means that now Kirby has a parasol. Some are less so -- "bomb" power means that Kirby wears a little elf hat and now throws explosives. Either way, it's clear that Kirby knows the importance of suiting your clothing to the job at hand.

4.) If you don't have a traditional job, your source of income may be unconventional.

Note the ludicrous amount of gold Kirby has already accrued.

We don't usually consider how Kirby supports himself. For other Nintendo characters, it's clear how they make a living. Mario and Luigi are obviously plumbers, and while they seem to generate more income from head-butting blocks, either way they've got money to burn. Link is a freelance knight, but we know he has a comfortable nest egg of rupees just from all the ceramics he's destroyed with money inside them.

Kirby, on the other hand, doesn't have a profession. He's just a little creampuff guy.  So in order to fill up his account at the Bank of Dream Land, Kirby has to turn to rather alternative measures -- namely, looting. In the game "the Great Cave Offensive," Kirby pretty much just loots a cave. Sure, he fights dudes along the way, but the main focus is clearly making bank.   But how else is Kirby going to support his eating habits?

5.) Everyone has hobbies.

Add caption

Though this article is ostensibly about Kirby Super Star, we do need to say:

No comments:

Post a Comment