Topic: Mezzo and the Crystal Shards
1-1: The Dark Shadow
It's a pleasant day on Ripple Star.
The sun is shining, everyone is cheerful. Ribbon and her fellow fairies are having a good time.
Until a dark shadow falls over the land...
The queen is distraught, and she gives Ribbon an important task.
As she leaves the planet, three globs of Dark Matter pursue her.
She tries to hold on...
But the crystal is shattered, and she falls to a mysterious star-shaped planet.
So begins the story of Kirby and the Crystal Shards.
Welcome to my next LP. Kirby 64 was my introduction to the Kirby franchise, though in retrospect it's pretty different from other Kirby games. As the name suggests, it is the only Kirby game on the Nintendo 64. It's the third of the "Dark Matter trilogy", the first two being Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3. So why play this one? It's cute, it's simple, and you don't really need anything from the other two to enjoy it.
Let's get started. Unlike most N64 games, you're required to use the D-pad for this one rather than the analog stick.
There's a tutorial on how to use Kirby's copy ability, which I will be skipping since I can explain it along the way.
Here's our hero, relaxing as he watches crystals fall from the sky.
Well, until Ribbon crashes straight into him.
Another shard lands near Kirby.
They bring them together and they combine into one.
But there are still many more to find...
A new day dawns as Kirby's quest begins.
The first area is Kirby's home planet, Pop Star.
And the map screen is cutely drawn with crayon. The diamonds represent crystal shards hidden in this level. We want to collect them all eventually, but I may have to come back for some later on.
Time to get going.
And welcome to Kirby 64. This is a 2.5D platformer, unlike most N64 games. Kirby can jump, inhale, and fly by puffing himself up.
If you are at all familiar with Kirby, you know that his signature ability is copying the abilities of any enemy he eats.
Swallowing this fiery guy grants a burning dash.
To get rid of an ability, you press L or R to hold it above Kirby's head, then you can throw it in any direction. The spiky enemy up ahead grants the needle ability. If you hit him with the fire ability...
Fire + Needle turns Kirby into a bow that launches flaming arrows. There are 7 base abilities, and each can be combined with any other including itself. I'll make sure to show off all the different combos at least once.
The longer you hold the B button, the farther the arrow flies when you release it.
And they leave persistent fires when they touch down on the ground. It's a little finicky to use, but can be quite helpful once you get the hang of it.
As is typical for most platform games, enemies deal damage when you touch them. What's unique here is that you also damage the enemy when that happens, which is usually helpful but can be trouble if you wanted an ability from that one. Thankfully they respawn if you walk a little bit away.
Here's the first crystal shard, right in the open.
Then we come to this little log cabin. The Maxim Tomato right by the door is a full health restore.
Inside we meet the first midboss. All midbosses in this game are just larger versions of standard enemies. This gray thing is called an N-Z, and it doesn't actually do anything but stand there and stare at you.
A few fire arrows roasted it. If you don't have an ability, you have to damage it by inhaling its minions and spitting them back at it.
After leaving the cabin, I decided to drop the fire bow and get a new ability. Sir Kibble grants the Cutter ability, which lets Kirby throw a piece of himself as a boomerang. That's kind of weird.
The little guy in the Santa hat is a Poppy Bro, and he attacks by throwing bombs. He's got a new ability for us too, allowing a new combo.
Bomb + Cutter lets Kirby throw shuriken bombs. They fly so fast they're nearly invisible...
Then embed themselves in the nearest enemy and explode.
The black rock in the middle of the river hides a shard, but can only be destroyed by a specific ability, specifically a Bomb one. This is noted by its color. There are many more obstacles like this, and most lead to hidden crystal shards.
When picking a shard up, Ribbon flies in to grab it.
There's another Maxim Tomato waiting at the end of this area.
This guy is a Waddle Dee. Usually there are many of them, but this game has only the one.
He's checking out the shiny crystal, not aware that he's being watched.
Uh, okay then.
This boss fight is really easy. All Waddle Dee will do is run at you and trip.
If you came here without an ability, you have to inhale the stars that appear when he falls to damage him.
Of course, since we have shuriken bombs at the ready, that's nothing to worry about.
A few hits and he's down.
He drops the third shard as he falls.
With the Dark Matter gone, Waddle Dee is back to normal.
He decides to tag along.
The end of each level is punctuated by a bonus game. Here you have to time two A presses. The first decides which direction Kirby jumps in, the second how far. Anything you land on you get to keep.
I got an enemy info card!
We haven't seen this guy yet, but we will in the next level. The card also notes that it gives the Stone ability. There's something to look forward to for next time.