Kirby has two main characteristics. He’s round and pink. Other than his fellow Smash Bros. fighter Jigglypuff, he’s pretty much the only character that can be immediately recognized because of these traits. While he’s lost quite a noticeable amount of body mass over the years, he’s always been round. But oddly enough, he hasn’t always been pink, and he keeps changing colors in most of his games. What? Kirby not being pink? How is that even possible? Well, it is. Unlike most video game characters (except maybe for Yoshi) Kirby has been seen sporting a lot of different colors. Let’s take a look at them!
Masahiro Sakurai has already stated Kirby was always supposed to be pink. Still, due to the Game Boy’s obvious limitations, he was perceived as a white, suck-happy puffball. This wasn’t limited to his in-game appearance, though. The American cover for Kirby’s Dream Land features a completely white Kirby, same with the (hilarious) TV commercial shown below. A bit Boo-like, yes, but very clean and simple. White fits Kirby well! It’s good that you can use white Kirby in games like Kirby Squeak Squad, Kirby Air Ride and both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. Not in the original Super Smash Bros., though. White Kirby is my personal favorite, and I always select it when available. He even has a “snow” variant in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and Squeak Squad.
As you may know, Kirby was created as a temporary generic character for a deliberately easy platformer that later evolved into Kirby’s Dream Land. As mentioned before, he was always supposed to be pink, but has appeared in a handful of Kirby games as a yellow balloon. The best part about yellow Kirby is that Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto wanted him to be yellow, but Sakurai decided his own character had to be pink. Can you imagine Kirby’s trademark color being yellow? I don’t know; a round, yellow video game character that eats a lot sounds rather familiar to me. Unlike white Kirby, yellow Kirby could be selected in the original Super Smash Bros. game, along with the rest of the series and games like Kirby & the Amazing Mirror.
In Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, the 3rd player always controls a red Kirby. While he looks very fiery and intense in red, it’s kind of weird that someone who loves tomatoes so much also resembles one a lot. Still, red in one of his most common palette swaps in most of his game appearances, and fits his fighting spirit in the Super Smash Bros. series. Now that I mention his fighting spirit, if red Kirby gets the Fighter ability, he gets a white bandanna instead of his regular red one. It’s probably so it’s visible on his red body, but the Street Fighter fanboy inside me makes me want to pretend the red bandanna is from Street Fighter 2’s Ryu, and the white one from Street Fighter Alpha’s Ryu. Hadouken!
I know what you’re all thinking. But no, blue Kirby is not Meta Knight; Kirby’s sword-wielding rival is just an oddly colored Kirby-like creature. I’m specifically referring to a normal Kirby that just happens to be blue. It’s personally one of my favorite Kirby colors! And it fits with a lot of his copy abilities. In fact, he turns blue while using Ice and Freeze. Blue Kirby is the 4th player in the mini-game mode of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and just like the rest, it’s selectable in a lot of Kirby games. There are even two shades of blue in Kirby Squeak Squad; ocean (light blue) and sapphire (which I must admit, looks remarkably similar to Meta Knight).
I like calling green Kirby “Lime Kirby”. It just fits. I don’t care if Masahiro Sakurai has called green Kirby “Kusamochi Kirby” before, it’s just not as accurate. Well, to be fair, green Kirby has gone through many different shades, including wearing completely mismatching orange shoes while remaining green. Kirby had a very good record of matching the color of his shoes with that of his body, what just happened here? Oh, well, it doesn’t look that bad. Green Kirby is the 4th player for the mini-game mode in Kirby Super Star Ultra, and is available in several other games. Green Kirby is probably the most organic-looking Kirby, and while not nearly as menacing and fearsome as The Incredible Hulk, he pulls off the color very well.
There are other less recurrent colors like brown and purple, but these are apparently Kirby’s favorite colors. Do you have a personal favorite? Is there any particular reason for that? Please comment about it!