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Kirby
The logo for Kirby.
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory & Nintendo
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Year introducedApril 27, 1992
Genre(s)Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Sports
Websitehttp://www.kirbykirbykirby.com/

Kirby of the Stars (星のカービィ Hoshi no Kābī?) is a series of video games by HAL Laboratory and other Nintendo developers. It was created by Masahiro Sakurai, and stars the pink blob creature Kirby.

Although his capabilities change from game to game, Kirby's signature ability is the ability to copy the abilities of defeated opponents, ala Mega Man. This ability was introduced in Kirby's Adventure, and has since been a recurring element of the series. Another notable trait Kirby has is his capacity to fly for unlimited periods of time. For this among other reasons, many Kirby games are considered easier than other platformers.

The Kirby series can be divided into roughly two parts. On one hand, there are platformers such as the Dream Land series, where Kirby runs and jumps like genre mainstays such as Mario and Sonic. On the other hand, Kirby also stars in a number of spinoff games in a variety of genres, from 1993's Kirby's Pinball Land to the more recent Kirby Mass Attack.

One of the more notable aspects of the Kirby series is its right aesthetics. Friends and foes alike are often cute, blob-like creatures, who disappear in clouds of stars or simply fall off the screen upon being defeated. Pop Star, the land where much of the series takes place, is full of bright and colorful locales, including tropical paradises, food-themed levels, and surreal places such as the Fountain of Dreams. That said, some of the game's bosses are notorious for being significantly darker than the rest of the games they're found in.

Another notable aspect of the Kirby series is how late the games often appear in a platform's lifespan. This is in contrast to other Nintendo series such as Pilotwings, which have only ever debuted alongside a system. For instance, Kirby's Adventure was released on the NES well over two years after the SNES came out. Kirby's Dream Land 3 would be the last first party SNES game released in North America, coming out about a year after the N64. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, despite being Kirby's debut on the platform, came out four years after the N64. Likewise, the first Kirby game for the Wii came out four years after the Wii's debut, but was only the first of three Kirby games for the system. The final game of the trio, Kirby's Dream Collection, is Nintendo's last notable game for the Wii. And on the Nintendo DS, Kirby Mass Attack came out months after the Nintendo 3DS.

In general, the Kirby series has been a major success, though not to the same degree as some other Nintendo franchises such as Mario or Zelda. Fourteen games in the series have sold over a million copies, with one, the original Kirby's Dream Land, selling over five million over the Game Boy's lifetime. Games in the Kirby series have also been critical hits, though none of the entries has ever received universal acclaim upon release. Ironically, many of the best received Kirby games are those that deviate from the formula, such as Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby: Canvas Curse.