Bits & Bytes: Kirby at 30

Robert reminisces about Kirby hitting the big 3-0!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/16/2022 23:03 Comment on this     ShareThis

Bits & Bytes is a weekly column where Editor-in-Chief Robert shares his thoughts about video games and the industry on a lazy Sunday. Light reading for a day of rest, Bits & Bytes is short, to the point, and something to read with a nice drink.

My first Kirby game was the first Kirby game: Kirby’s Dream Land. My aunt Brenda had bought it for me, although I can’t remember the occasion. I was around six or seven and had no idea what Kirby was. All I could go off of was the cover of the box. Round, floating, ghostly white, with a canopy of leaves blocking the view of a piercing blue sky, Kirby’s nature wasn’t readily apparent. It didn’t matter—a new Game Boy game meant hours of entertainment awaited. A flick of the power switch and suddenly I was in Dream Land.

More than anything else, the music in this game is burned into my memories. It was immediately catchy. The first stage, Green Greens, offers up the basic Kirby theme music that fans know and love, but the remaining four stages are where the best tunes can be found. I tended in my childhood to play Game Boy games with the sound lowered down (so as to avoid my parents noticing I was playing and, eventually, tell me to stop). Kirby was one of the rare games that was worth the risk of turning the volume up for.

I never figured out what Kirby actually is (he’s cute, that’s all that matters!), but his world was one that I loved coming back to over and over. Dream Land is a game that doesn’t take long to beat. Its brevity was part of the draw, though. Kirby’s games are typically not all that difficult to finish, but as a kid I found the stages challenging. It felt like a major victory to take down King Dedede at the end. Getting through the five stages to reach him offered the right volume for a kid my age.

Even as an adult, however, Dream Land feels like the perfect chunk of gameplay. Looking for something brief but engaging to play, I still often fire up the game and make my way to the summit of Mt. Dedede. I’ve never cared that Kirby games aren’t hard because that’s not the point. The point is that they’re fun, and difficulty level doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with how good of a time the player is having. We’ll definitely be talking more about Kirby hitting 30 more as we delve deeper into 2022, but in the meanwhile feel free to look at this history piece we did a while back if you’re curious about the series’ origin.

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