Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set to be released for Nintendo Switch on March 25th, 2022. It’s going to be the first mainline Kirby game since Kirby Star Allies in 2018. But even more exciting than that is it’s set to be the first 3D platformer in the series. It’s going to bring Kirby into whole new dimension.
The game has two trailers at present. One was released alongside the game’s announcement in September of 2021, and the other came out in January 2022. The game is already available for digital pre-order. So with the game’s release sneaking up, it’s a good time to review everything that has been revealed about Kirby and the Forgotten Land so far.
Kirby’s New Partner Elfilin
Kirby has plenty of fun and cute allies he meets on his adventures. Forgotten Lands seems poised to introduce a brand new ally. Elfilin is a small rodent-like creature with butterfly wings that Kirby meets in the Forgotten Land. Fans can see them float behind Kirby in the trailer.
Elfilin seems to be helping Kirby locate the captured Waddle Dees in the game. Players are unsure about Elfilin though. Kirby has a history of meeting cute friends who turn out to be villains. Elfilin is almost comically adorable, so who knows if that’s a facade. It might be worth keeping an eye on them when the game releases.
Waddle Dee Town Hub World
Kirby will be spending his time rescuing captured Waddle Dees. But these Waddle Dees aren’t just a standard collectable though. After they’re freed they go back to the Waddle Dee Town, which appears to be a hub. Kirby can hang out here between levels, so it seems anyway.
Freeing Waddle Dees also seems like it might controbute to a greater goal, as various areas of Waddle Dee Town have to be unlocked to access them. This could be done with star currency or maybe even by freeing Waddle Dees. It looks like these fun little guys will have greater prominence this time around.
New Copy Abilities
Kirby’s a bizarre little blob. There’s plenty of interesting facts and abilities from Kirby, and his copy ability is probably his most well-known. Kirby can swallow his enemies and take their abilities for his own. These are his copy abilities, and there’s two new ones on their way.
The first is Drill Kirby, which is obtained from the new enemy Digu. This allows Kirby to burrow underground, finding secrets and collapsing ground around enemies. The second is Ranger Kirby, which has become an online sensation. This ability from Bernard gives Kirby a blunderbuss he can use for ranged attacks.
New Boss Battles
Kirby’s contemporaries at Nintendo like Super Mario have tough boss battles. And Kirby can certainly hit just as hard with his boss fights. There are three new bosses revealed for the game so far, although one reminds players of a familiar face.
This would be Tropic Woods, a tree boss that is similar to Kirby mainstay tree boss Whispy Woods. Alongside them is a giant gorilla boss called Gorimondo. It’s similar to some bosses from past games, but is much bigger. There is also a giant pangolin-type creature that is likely a boss as well.
Meta Knight Rematch
But there aren’t just new bosses. At least one boss is a returning rival for Kirby; the mysterious swordsman Meta Knight. Meta Knight has been a sometimes ally of Kirby, but it appears this time he will be opposing Kirby once again. He usually has good reasons for fighting Kirby, so perhaps Meta Knight knows something Kirby doesn’t.
Meta Knight usually has quite difficult boss fights as well. It’ll be interesting to see how his sword beams, cyclones, and flight translate to a 3D duel. He’s a chivalrous sort though; he always throws a sword for Kirby to use before he fights. So Kirby will be doing 3D battle as a true sword fight.
Returning Copy Abilities
In addition to the two new abilities, ten copy abilities are returning. It’s possible even more or on the way, but these are the ones seen in trailers and screenshots. These are mostly expected abilities, but the 3D space is sure to change how they work. Needle, for example, appears to function much differently now.
These ten abilities are Sword, Bomb, Needle, Crash, Sleep, Tornado, Fire, Ice, Cutter, and Hammer. Most of the weapon abilities are expected, but Bomb doesn’t always show up so it’s nice to see it. While fire and ice are no-brainers, Tornado is comparatively rarer. And finally, while Sleep is usually useless, it did receive a moveset in Kirby Battle Royale that it could use here.
Bandana Waddle Dee Co-Op
Console Kirby games are built around multiplayer. The main gimmick of Kirby Star Allies was all the friends Kirby could take on his adventures. So of course, Kirby’s first 3D platformer is no exception. Fan-favorite side character Bandana Waddle Dee will appear as the co-op character.
Bandana Waddle Dee has become a pretty prominent character in the Kirby series lately. He formed a quartet with Kirby, Meta Knight, and King Dedede. This isn’t even his first playable appearance, which was in Kirby’s Return to Dreamland on the Wii. He’s become so popular he’s even been a popular request as a new fighter in Super Smash Bros. DLC.
Plenty of NPCs
Waddle Dees appear to be a big focal point of the new game. Not only do players collect them in the hub world and team up with one, but the town features NPC Waddle Dees that can be spoken to. Given that there seems to be a variety of mini-games to play in the town, this makes sense. But there are also plenty of NPC Dees to chat up for flavor.
One NPC who is given a lot of spotlight in the trailer is Wise Waddle Dee. This character connects to the internet in order to share statistics about players around the world. But there is another role these NPCs could serve. In a previous game, the lore was delivered via pause screen; something that could now be easily done through NPCs in town.
Years of Development
According to rumors and leakers, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has been in development for five years. This isn’t too surprising, as while there has been one spin-off game release, the last major title was Star Allies four years ago. Fans had long suspected that Hal Laboratories was taking their time on a new Kirby game. This claim just confirms what fans thought.
The series has been experimenting with 3D for years. The sub-game Kirby 3D Rumble and its standalone sequel Kirby’s Blowout Blast both took steps to incorporate Kirby’s gameplay into 3D Maps. Another 3DS game, Kirby Battle Royale, also took a 3D perspective with the series. The earliest of those games were in 2016, so hopefully all this time practicing will pay off and create an excellent modern 3D platformer.
Perhaps the most shocking and exciting thing about Kirby and the Forgotten Land is right there in the title. The “Forgotten Land” is a land of the past that Kirby mysteriously washes up on one day and fights the Beast Pack, a group of monsters who’ve been imprisoning Waddle Dees. Right away there are plenty of questions about why Kirby is here, where this place is, and who the Beast Pack are. Kirby lore enthusiasts also recall that post-apocalyptic Earth cities have appeared in the series before.
The setting of cities mixed with nature offers plenty of opportunities for environmental storytelling. It has plenty of places to explore and find hidden secrets, which will hopefully be a priority in this 3D adventure. The new villains and their plans are exciting but still different and strange. All in all, Kirby feels like a real alien in this world. He doesn’t feel like he belongs in these overgrown cities, which gives him a lot of opportunities to grow.
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