Kirby (カービィ Kābī, Japanese pronunciation: [kaːbiː]) is a fictional character and the titular protagonist of the Kirby series of video games owned by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. As one of Nintendo's most famous and familiar icons, Kirby's round appearance and ability to copy his foes' powers has made him a well-known figure in video games, consistently ranked as one of the most iconic video game characters. He first appeared in 1992 in Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy. Originally a placeholder, created by Masahiro Sakurai, at the age of 19, for the game's early development, he has since then starred in over 20 games, ranging from action platformers to puzzle, racing, and even pinball, and has been featured as a playable fighter in all Super Smash Bros. games. He has also starred in his own anime and manga series. His most recent appearance is in Kirby Star Allies, for the Nintendo Switch. Since 1999, he has been voiced by Makiko Ohmoto.
Powers and Abilities
Kirby has the ability to inhale objects or enemies. If an enemy with a unique power is inhaled, Kirby can swallow the enemy and steal its power. Inhaled enemies and objects can also be spit back out to deal damage. Mini-bosses can be inhaled after they are defeated. Kirby can also fly by filling himself with air and flapping his stubby arms.
In Kirby Super Star, Kirby can substitute his current power for an ally version of the swallowed enemy who would be controlled by the computer or the second player. In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby could turn his power into a crystal. The crystal could be thrown at enemies to make a combination crystal which Kirby could inhale to get a combination power. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby would encounter powers contained in bubbles. These powers could be stored in Kirby’s stomach (the DS’s touch screen). The player could use the touch screen to drag one power to another to combine powers.
Role in games (fanon)
Kirby is mostly in the Battle of the Multiverse series as a hero. The only time he's a bad guy is in Brutal Mario and even then, that's most likely because he's possessed by Bowser and Mario himself has been framed. Kirby is depicted as a normal character. Kirby would have little to nothing to the story.
Kirby is largely innocent and has a cheerful demeanor and a positive attitude. He likes to help other people so much, sometimes he goes out of his way to do it; in the Dyna Blade sub-game of Kirby Super Star Ultra, he feeds Dyna Blade's chicks on his own (though expresses annoyance at Dyna Blade's chicks' constant noise-making before dragging them off to Whispy Woods to be fed by the constant dropped apples from the tree's branches) and teaches them how to fly. He has been shown to have a sense of justice, and won't spare someone who is a danger to those around him, as evidenced by his battles against final bosses. Throughout the many dangers he is put through, he is notably brave, maintaining a neutral expression almost constantly. This is especially evident in the Subspace Emissary. In the anime, he doesn't harbor dislike for anybody, in particular, not even King Dedede or Escargoon who mostly cause trouble for himself, and mostly greets everyone he meets.
While he is brave and has a sense of justice, Kirby is quick to suspect King Dedede as the culprit for mischief, such as at the beginning of Kirby: Squeak Squad. In fact, Kirby has demonstrated a consistent impulsive streak throughout the series and can be as quick to start fights as he is to pass them by, fighting Dedede, Meta Knight and Dyna Blade on impulse. He also willingly responded to Dedede's call for a rematch and attacked Shadow Kirby without thinking. This recklessness can often lead him into trouble or cause him to create trouble (such as when he accidentally released Nightmare).
In the games themselves, regardless of region, Kirby retains his innocent and cheery personality, promotional materials such as advertisements and box art tends to be tweaked if not changed outright when released internationally due to cultural differences between Japan and overseas countries, in particular America, due to strong, tough characters being popular in the West. Regarding advertisements, the American versions of various TV advertisements generally depict Kirby in a tough manner, such as literally chewing a human into a spitwad for Kirby's Dream Land, doing various action movie roles for Kirby's Adventure,, and having him and his friends being in a motorcycle gang and picking a fight with another motorcycle gang in Kirby's Dream Land 2,.
Likewise, with magazine ads, the advertising for Kirby's Dream Course and, to a lesser extent Kirby's Avalanche, depicted Kirby as a good kid who became a hardened criminal, including mug shots indicative of a police lineup, and an ad treating Kirby as the "face of terror" in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Only two exceptions to this are known to exist: The first was with Kirby's Block Ball, which depicts Kirby demolishing people inside via the Japanese ad, while the American version was comparatively softer. The second was for the Japanese promotional material for Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, which depicted Kirby with a slightly serious, yet still mostly aloof, attitude. For the box art, with the exception of Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot (which depicts Kirby having a determined expression regardless of the box version), Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, and to a certain extent Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U (which depicts Kirby being in a relaxed and cheery disposition regardless of the version), and to a certain extent the English cover of Kirby Mass Attack (which depicts half of the mass of Kirbys on the cover as content, and the other half as angry), the various game covers starting with Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land has the Japanese version depicting Kirby in a cheery manner while the American version depicts Kirby in a more serious and angry manner. This was even noted in the May 2011 issue for Nintendo Power's coverage on Kirby, where it mentions that for box arts, he resorts to his "angry eyes".
Kirby is a protagonist in the games.