Flashback: “Kirby’s Dream Land” turns 25

“Kirby’s Dream Land,” created by HAL Laboratory, came out 25 years ago on GameBoy, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. HAL Laboratory is famous for developing “Super Smash Bros.” and “Earthbound” “Kirby’s Dream Land” is a 2D platformer in black and white, and is similar to popular Nintendo game, “Super Mario Bros.”.

Photo courtesy of neogaf.com

Because the game was on the original Gameboy and thus had no color, the American release depicts Kirby as white on the game’s packaging, whereas the Japanese version depicts him as pink, much to the chagrin of game developer Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of “Donkey Kong.,” “Legend of Zelda” and many others), who wanted Kirby to be yellow. Since, Kirby has been multiple colors, including both yellow and pink. Originally, Kirby wasn’t even supposed to be the main character of the series, but a simple placeholder until the developers could create a character they felt was better suited to the game. However, by the end of the game’s creation, the image of Kirby was so well-liked that HAL Laboratory kept him on as the main character.


Kirby would go on to star in almost two dozen sequels and spinoffs, as well as become a playable character in all four “Super Smash Bros.” titles. On top of these games, Kirby also starred in a 100 episode anime series, that was distributed through 4Kids TV, as well as an ongoing manga series.


The game features Kirby who fights for his homeworld against King Dedede, the game’s final boss. King Dedede has stolen all of the food from Kirby’s homeworld for his own personal feast, as well as the “Sparkling Stars,” items that help the residents of Dream Land harvest the food.


Because of the game’s simplistic style and easy playing mechanisms, many game reviewers have cited it as a game great for new players or for ones unfamiliar with the platformer game style. The downside of this, however, was that when the player happened to run out of lives, the only option was to start at the very beginning of the game once more. The game also lacked save files, so if the console happened to shut off before an entire playthrough of “Dream Land,” one had to start from the beginning as well. These problems were rectified in later titles. Despite the game’s easy play and simple plot, Kirby is arguably one of the most popular Nintendo characters ever created.


“Kirby’s Dream Land” can be found on emulators across the web, making it easy for people today to still play this iconic game even without owning a Gameboy. “Kirby’s Dream Land” has also been ported to Nintendo 3DS as of 2013, and can be played either there or on 2DS.