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Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, like most Kirby games, is a pretty simple game to play. The game uses minimal controls, but does utilize the Control Pad over the Control Stick, which is uncommon for Nintendo 64 titles.


Gameplay of Kirby 64

The player controls Kirby on a linear 2D path within a 3D environment (known as 2.5D gameplay). The player can move Kirby left and right, as well as being able to jump, fly, and crouch. Kirby can inhale enemies to get certain abilities, like gaining a sword or being able to exhale ice, but unique to Kirby 64 is being able to merge two copy abilities into one. By throwing Kirby's current ability into another enemy with a copy ability, or into another fallen ability star, the two abilities will mix into something else, like gaining a flaming sword or being able to turn into a refrigerator.

The objective of the game is to collect as many Crystal Shards as possible, there are 72 total in the game. The more the player collects, the better the ending of the game will be. Each world has three or four stages, followed by a boss fight level. In each stage, there are three Crystal Shards to find, and the bosses at the end of the worlds will give up a Crystal Shard upon being defeated.


This is what is displayed on the HUD during gameplay:

  • Lives: The number on the left. The more lives Kirby has, the more he is able to keep coming back from death.
  • Health: The ovals on top. Kirby has six units of health.
  • Points: The grid on the bottom. Collecting Point Stars fills it up with yellow increments. By filling it up completely, Kirby gains an extra life. During boss battles, the grid fills with red increments to indicate the boss's life gauge.
  • Abilities: The icons on the right. The first icon on the left is the first ability the player picked up, with the second icon on the right being what it is combined with.

Health and Points[edit]

Kirby has six points of health that depletes when he takes damage. If he takes too much damage, falls in a pit, or other instant-death scenarios, Kirby will lose a life. Kirby can heal damage by finding Food items scattered through levels, and can gain a life by finding 1-Ups in levels, collecting the 1-Up in the end-of-level minigame, or by collecting enough Point Stars.


Kirby and Waddle Dee ride a minecart

Some bosses will turn into allies that will help Kirby on his adventure. After saving them from the influence of Dark Matter, they will return to normal and appear at specific points in levels. Waddle Dee joins after the first Pop Star level, Adeleine joins after the second Pop Star level, and King Dedede joins after the third Pop Star level.

  • Waddle Dee: When going down slopes, through a cave, or on water, Waddle Dee may show up with a sled, minecart, or a boat to help Kirby to his destination. Waddle Dee may also show up to break holes in walls to provide Kirby a way forward.
  • Adeleine: An artist with a magical paintbrush. Anything she draws, which usually ends up being Food, will come to life and help aid Kirby.
  • King Dedede: Putting aside his rivalry with Kirby for the adventure, King Dedede will help out by giving Kirby rides and using his hammer to break certain walls.