As a series that fluctuates on the amount of stages it gets in each Super Smash Bros. and has never had more than two in a single game, it’s inevitable that there will be plenty of Kirby games that will miss out on getting a stage. However, with both stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U being from games that have already had stages, it’s clear that some Kirby games have missed out simply due to mixed priorities. Here I will talk about some of the most notably unrepresented Kirby games that are yet to have a stage in Smash.
Kirby Air Ride was the final Kirby game Sakurai directed and is the sole Kirby game of the Nintendo GameCube. Not only is it a fan-favourite of the series, but it’s influence on the Smash series continues to this day. The design of Brawl‘s menu, the entire idea of Challenges and the 3DS version’s Smash Run mode are all a part of Air Ride‘s continued legacy. The game also has a presence in the series through several songs and the Dragoon item. But despite all this Air Ride itself has never been the focus of a stage. There may have not been enough time for one in Brawl, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U would have been a great opportunity to include it. Its exclusion is especially strange given that a different Kirby game Sakurai directed was given a stage in each previous instalment. Given Sakurai’s clear fondness for it, there’s certainly a chance this title could eventually appear as a stage one day.
The Dark Matter Trilogy is what fans collectively refer to the three Kirby games directed by Shinichi Shimomura, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, which all feature the villainous Dark Matter and its master Zero as the antagonists. As one of the few Kirby games with a recurring arc villain and being direct sequels to the original Kirby’s Dream Land, these games as a whole are extremely notable to Kirby‘s pre-Smash history and are popular with the fans, particularly Crystal Shards. While Sakurai did not work on these games, he did acknowledge them in Melee with trophies of Gooey and Rick, and even voiced King Dedede in Kirby 64, but never have any of them appeared as stages, only getting a couple of nods through some visual elements and music. As an important chapter in Kirby‘s history, the rather minimal presence of the Dark Matter games is quite unfortunate.
Post-Sakurai Kirby games make up a larger portion of the Kirby franchise than the games Sakurai worked on do, with plenty of beloved and experimental games released long after Kirby Air Ride. From Kirby & The Amazing Mirror‘s non-linear interconnected levels to Canvas Curse‘s touchscreen-based gameplay, there’s plenty of unique and interesting Kirby games from its later years. But after Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U‘s choice of new Kirby stages, an uncomfortable trend had become apparent; that Sakurai seems to be only interested in adding stages from Kirby games he directed. This wasn’t really a problem in earlier games since previously unrepresented games were receiving stages each time, but around the time of the latest instalment there was several new Kirby games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land and Kirby: Triple Deluxe that were all ripe for the picking, yet all three of them were skipped over for games that had already had stages in past games. An Epic Yarn stage was allegedly planned for Smash Wii U, but this did not end up panning out. Hopefully this trend of ignoring newer Kirby games will end in the next Smash Bros. game.
Predicting the Future
Now that we’ve talked about statistics and missing games, as with previous analysis I will proceed to make my predictions for what Kirby stages we could see in the next Super Smash Bros. game. Unlike pretty much every other series in Smash, Kirby does not go for having a stage from its most recent games each time, instead having all of its stages come from games Sakurai has directed. It also doesn’t always go for early levels/worlds, with Fountain of Dreams being from the last world in Kirby’s Adventure and both Super Star stages being from sub-games that have to be unlocked first. Also add in the factor of Kirby frequently having stages from games that have already had them before and you get a somewhat uneven idea of what games to expect to see new stages from, either being a new unrepresented game or one that has had stages before, but either way a game directed by Sakurai.
– A Kirby Air Ride stage
Sakurai’s last Kirby game and a cult classic of the GameCube, Kirby Air Ride continues to live on in future Kirby games and in the Super Smash Bros. series, through items, songs and even influencing some of the later games’ menu designs and some of the modes. Sakurai clearly still thinks about Air Ride, so it seems like with all these continued references to it that a stage based on it is only a matter of time. There is two possible ways an Air Ride stage could be done; either a stage taking place on one of the tracks in a similar vein to the F-Zero and Mario Kart stages in the series, or alternatively a stage based on the popular City Trial mode, which Smash Run is inspired by.
– A Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land stage
A remake of Kirby’s Adventure for the Game Boy Advance, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land was the second-last Kirby game Sakurai directed. With each Smash Bros. game adding new stages from Sakurai’s Kirby games in the order they were made, if Sakurai wanted to continue that trend then Nightmare in Dream Land would be next in line. While it is a remake rather than a fully-original game, it is built from the ground-up rather than a being a simple remaster, so it is fair to consider it an unrepresented Kirby game. It’s also worth noting that Kirby’s Adventure is the only Kirby game represented in Smash to have never had a second stage, so if Sakurai ever wanted to revisit the game for a new stage idea, he might choose to have it resemble the remake instead. For possible locations, both Ice Cream Island and Butter Building have received multiple remixes in Smash, so one of those areas might be chosen.
– Another Kirby Super Star stage
Kirby Super Star is pretty unusual in that is one of the few games to have multiple stages post-Melee. The last original main-line Kirby game Sakurai directed, part of why it may have gotten a new stage again in Smash Wii U after already getting one in Brawl could be due to how it is a compilation of many sub-games that featured different rules and mechanics, so having just one stage wouldn’t be able to do the game full justice. With so many sub-games left untouched, Sakurai may want to include another one as a stage in the next game.
– A stage from a Kirby game Sakurai didn’t direct
The lack of any new Kirby game stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U led to some criticism of Sakurai’s choices involving favouritism for games he made. While Sakurai has addressed these allegations in his Famitsu column, explaining that a Kirby’s Epic Yarn stage was originally planned, some are still rather unhappy about how things turned out. As Sakurai is clearly aware of this criticism, maybe he will decide to placate fans’ complaints and add a stage from a Kirby game that was made after he left HAL Laboratories. He could choose to do what he does for most other series and give Kirby a stage from a recent title, which at the moment would be Kirby: Planet Robobot. Alternatively, he could choose a stage from an older Kirby game like Crystal Shards or The Amazing Mirror, or even carry out his original plan of adding an Epic Yarn stage. There’s plenty of games to choose from, and any of them would surely please the fanbase if they received some acknowledgement.
And on the last note we conclude my analysis of Kirby stages in the Super Smash Bros. series. Kirby doesn’t have as many stages as some of the other larger series in Smash, but the ones that it does have are interesting and full of details. For a series with such a rich history though, it is a little lacking in the amount of games represented, especially with half the stages in the series being from already-represented games, but maybe the next Super Smash Bros. game will remedy that. This will be my final stage analysis for now, and I hope you all enjoyed reading this one and the others I have done. All there is left to do now is wait for the next game to be announced and see what new stages are revealed. Farewell!
Be sure to check out MagcargoMan on his Twitter page!
Latest posts by Source Gaming Team (see all)
- Sakurai Tells More Details About Smash Ultimate’s Development - December 12, 2018
- SG Choice: Assist Trophies - October 22, 2018
- Straight from the Source: Goichi Suda on Travis Strikes Again and Crossovers - October 18, 2018