By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on January 17, 2020
Well, here we are, ladies and gentlemen; safely back at our Big Red HQ at the start of a brand new year of time travelling adventures! I almost wouldn't be here at all, seeing as how Dennis, in an attempt to save me from what can only be described as being the result of my own folly, got a bit carried away... And although I appreciate his concern for my well-being, I can't quite figure out why he would invoke Escape Procedure Zeta Protocol Zylon when, clearly, Protocol Epsilon would have been more than sufficient to save me. I expect he just wanted to know what would happen.
Well, what happened is that I was sucked into a space survival suit and launched into outer space. I shot up like a rocket, till to my dismay I found that half way up I realized there was no more going down. So there I was, hurtling through the void of space towards Jupiter. I was frantically trying to come up with a way to get back home, because I didn't fancy actually making it to the aforementioned planet. And not just because the damn thing is made of gas and is cold enough to freeze your nuts off, but mostly due to the fact that I might have broken a few heart's (in one case actually all three of her hearts) on a number of Jupiter's moons, and trust me when I say that Hell hath no fury than a bunch of alien women scorned!
Luckily, I passed Mars on my way and that saved me. Now, I didn't actually land on Mars, because. well. basically for the same reason I didn't want to go to Jupiter. No, I used the Ultra Hex Anti-Mag Grappling Device of my Tight Red Spacesuit and made a slingshot movement around the Red planet, which sent me back to Earth. There were a few hairy moments along the way, such as the re-entry of Earth's atmosphere but, on the whole, it was quite a neat trip. And, speaking of trips, it's about time we went on ours, isn't it? So, strap yourselves in and we'll blast off towards 1993 in search of one of gaming history's most round and pink hero: Kirby!
In 1993, HAL laboratories released Kirby's Adventure as a sequel to their very first Kirby game ever, Kirby's Dream Land, which was released for the Nintendo Gameboy the year before. Because of the Gameboy's limited video capacity, Kirby's Adventure was actually the very first time that people got to see what Kirby looked like in color, so the world was introduced to the pink version of the puffy protector of Dream Land. As the game starts, Dream Land's Fountain of Dreams is corrupted by something called the Nightmare. Seeing as how this fountain provides peaceful sleep to all of Dream Land's residents, its corruption is a serious problem and there's only one hero who can solve this problem and restore peace and tranquility to Dream Land...
Yes! It's Kirby to the rescue. Like in Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby can walk jump crouch and suck up enemies, spitting them out again as star shaped projectiles at other enemies or breakable blocks. He can also still inhale air and inflate himself this way, enabling him to fly. By releasing the inhaled air, Kirby interrupts his flight and create a puff of air that can be also used in pretty much the same way as inhaled enemies. Unlike Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure granted the players an additional power, the now-iconic copy ability! After inhaling an enemy, Kirby could swallow it and take the enemy's power for himself. This opened up a whole range of additional gameplay mechanics that made Adventure instantly better than Dream Land ever was.
Plus, because the NES hardware was much more powerful and much more familiar to the developers, HAL laboratory managed to cram a lot more stuff into just one game than before, like mini games during which players could try and get their pink hands on some much needed additional lives, or battle a mini-boss in order to get its special ability. Also, all but two worlds featured a museum, in which one or two enemies are on display. Now, don't worry, these enemies are immobile and cannot harm Kirby. He can, however, choose to inhale them and gain their power. So whenever Kirby is in the hub of one of these six worlds, he could easily go to the museum and select a power to start the next level with without the hassle of having to search for that specific ability in the level itself.
One could argue that Kirby's Adventure and not Kirby's Dream Land is the start of a much beloved video game franchise. Dream Land was much more aimed at novice gamers, while Adventure could also challenge the more seasoned among us. Plus, while having a Gameboy back in the day was really cool, the games on the NES were prettier and usually more fun to play. Now, I'm not saying that there were no good games on the Nintendo Gameboy, but, as far as I'm concerned, the NES truly takes home the proverbial bacon in that contest! SO, however you look at it, Kirby's Adventure is an iconic title that spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, helping Kirby get through the years and survive up till today!
And, speaking of surviving; I'm glad to say that our maiden voyage for 2020 has come to a successful end, without any technical mishaps or horribly disfiguring accidents. I'm off to see where Dennis is at the moment. Seeing as how I just barely made it back in time for this journey, I didn't have the chance to say hello to him and to thank him for saving me. And although he might have been a bit overzealous, I'm sure he meant well. So, here's to safe returns, ladies and gentlepeople; until next time, when Dennis will be at the helm of our Big Red Timemachine and will take you on another cool journey through time!