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Kirby Star Allies facts for kids

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Kirby Star Allies
Kirby and other characters crowd around the words "Kirby Star Allies", printed in a stylised logo at the top of the image
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Shinya Kumazaki
  • Tadashi Kamitake
  • Hitoshi Yamagami
Designer(s) Kenichiro Kita
Programmer(s) Keita Tanifuji
  • Hirokazu Ando
  • Jun Ishikawa
  • Yuuta Ogasawara
Series Kirby
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch
Release date(s) 16 March 2018
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Kirby Star Allies is a 2018 platform video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. The twelfth mainline installment in the Kirby series, the player controls Kirby in his quest to prevent a priest named Hyness from reviving a dark force to destroy the universe. Kirby must complete each level by jumping, inhaling enemies, and using his array of abilities to progress.

Development of the game began during the 25th anniversary of the Kirby series. The developers later added additional content for the game for the sake of adding more references from past games in the franchise. The game also features more emphasis on higher definition graphics by making the screen more spread out.

Star Allies initially received mixed reviews, with praise directed towards the game's graphics, mechanics and soundtrack, and criticism directed toward its lack of depth and low level of difficulty. General reception was later re-evaluated as positive after free additional content was later added, being praised for adding a new layer of difficulty. The game has sold 3.98 million copies as of December 31, 2021, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch.


Kirby Star Allies Gameplay
Kirby (left) throwing a Friend Heart at an approaching Sir Kibble - an enemy that grants the Cutter ability.

Kirby Star Allies is a 2.5D platform game played from a side-on perspective. Players control the series' titular protagonist Kirby who can be accompanied by up to three companions. Kirby can throw hearts at enemies to turn them into allies. The game can be played alone with the game's AI controlling companions or cooperatively with other players controlling companions. When Kirby has companions, new special attacks become available which allow Kirby to combine his abilities with those of his allies', a feature not seen since Kirby: Squeak Squad. The elemental fusions last for as long as the power is held or until a new element is introduced over it, while some of the combinations are single-use moves that bear more of a resemblance to the combinations found in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. When Kirby has three allies, they can perform "Friend Actions" on specific stages, like "Friend Train" and "Friend Star." Players start with a certain number of lives and can earn more lives by getting extra lives or by collecting 100 stars. Kirby will lose a life if he falls into a bottomless pit or his health bar is depleted. The game ends when the player runs out of lives, although the player can continue the game from the most recent save point by selecting "Continue".

The game also introduces the "Dream Friend" system, which allows the player to call upon characters from past Kirby games as special allies with expanded movesets. Bandana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, and Meta Knight can all be unlocked as Dream Friends through progression in Story Mode. Additional Dream Friends have been added via software updates.


On the Jambandra space station far away from Kirby's home planet Popstar, a dark crystal heart explodes due to an imperfection in a mysterious ritual, sending its numerous fragments, Jamba Hearts, hurtling into deep space. Many characters, including King Dedede and Meta Knight, are possessed while investigating the hearts that land on the planet. A heart hits Kirby, but it instead gives him the ability to befriend enemies by throwing hearts. Kirby notices many Waddle Dees bringing food to Castle Dedede and decides to investigate. After Kirby defeats Meta Knight and King Dedede and frees them from the Jamba Heart's influence, a large fortress known as Jambastion lands on Popstar. After defeating three generals of ice, fire, and electricity, Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne, respectively, Kirby and his friends fly to the far reaches of space.

Kirby and his friends connect a path to Jambandra Base and breach its defensive barrier. They battle Zan once again before meeting Hyness, an evil cleric who is planning to restore a dark force, Void Termina, to full power using the Jamba Hearts. After being defeated, Hyness sacrifices the generals and himself to subsequently revive Void Termina. Kirby and his friends use a Friend Pedestal to summon the Friend Star but it transforms into the Star Allies Sparkler via the power of the four Heart Spears that were stuck in the prison of Void Termina. After overcoming its humanoid body, also regurgitating Hyness, Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne in the process, and defeating its bird form, it is revealed that its true form is a purplish pink cluster with three dark eye-like spots that can arrange themselves to resemble Kirby's face. Kirby then destroys Void Termina with the Star Allies Sparkler, summoning friends in the process. The Sparkler is destroyed by the resulting explosion, but Kirby uses a Warp Star to return himself and his friends safely home.

Development and release

Kirby Star Allies was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. The game is thought to be based upon the first incarnation of the cancelled Kirby game for the GameCube, the trailer for which shows Kirby making multiple helpers, akin to the fundamental element of Star Allies. Development of the game began during the 25th anniversary of the Kirby franchise. The game was initially teased under the tentative title Kirby during E3 2017. In September 2017, the game's official title was announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation. The game was released for the Nintendo Switch game console on 16 March 2018. On 3 March 2018, a free demo of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop showcasing two of the game's stages.

HAL Laboratory developer Shinya Kumazaki went over the world map concept, and the ability of creating more open, higher resolution imagery with the Nintendo Switch console. They swayed to making the screen more spread out in contrast to Kirby, as they could make Kirby smaller but still retain shape, while being able to present more of the background at one time. The more extended background helped the player from getting lost, as they could see more on screen at one time.

The idea for the downloadable content was to help give attention to past Kirby games, and the series as a whole. The developers, rather than focus on an existing narrative, wanted to create a new experience for the characters. Kumazaki noted how if they were to rather focus on an intricate story, it would ruin the fun of the adventure. When discussing the lack of other popular characters from the franchise, he said that there were certain characters he wanted to appear, such as Galacta Knight from Kirby Super Star Ultra. They created a development rule, where they would only select one character from each game to represent the main series.

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