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Kirby's first and only adventure on the Nintendo Entertainment System was released by Nintendo in 1993 and was also the final Nintendo-produced game released for the aging system. The game maximized the NES's abilities and introduced new abilities to the Kirby universe. This was the first Kirby game to include a map screen, but more importantly this game was the first time Kirby was able to inhale and copy the abilities of his enemies. In addition to his usual bag of tricks (walking, sliding, jumping, floating, etc.) Kirby can swallow most (but not all) baddies and take on the ability to imitate their attacks. The abilities Kirby can absorb are...

  • Back Drop - Kirby grabs his enemies and flings them behind him.
  • Ball - Kirby rolls up and bounces all over the baddies.
  • Beam - Electric beams shoot from Kirby's hands.
  • Crash - Causes all enemies on the screen to take damage as Kirby goes ballistic.
  • Cutter - A boomerang slicer cuts down the baddies.
  • Fire - Kirby spews fire at his enemies. This can also be used to light fuses.
  • Fireball - Kirby rockets forward as a living fireball. This can also be used to light fuses.
  • Freeze - The opposite of the Fire ability, this causes Kirby to blow frozen air.
  • Hammer - A giant mallet is a deadly weapon in Kirby's hands.
  • High Jump - Allows Kirby to leap over obstacles in a single bound.
  • Ice - Kirby goes sub-zero and freezes anything that touches him.
  • Laser - Kirby shoots a powerful laser that can bounce off certain surfaces.
  • Light - Kirby can light up a darkened room to find secret doors with this skill.
  • Microphone - Screaming loudly into the mic causes enemies to explode.
  • Mix - Inhaling two different enemies at once allows Kirby to choose between the two powers.
  • Needle - Kirby goes pointy as sharp spikes protrude from his body.
  • Parasol - An umbrella shields Kirby from overhead dangers and allows him to float to the ground.
  • Sleep - More of a hinderance that a power, Sleep puts Kirby to sleep.
  • Spark - Electric sparks shoot from Kirby's body.
  • Star Rod - Kirby earns this skill by acquiring the game's most powerful weapon.
  • Stone - Kirby turns into solid stone, crushing his enemies from above.
  • Sword - A powerful sword is dangerous when Kirby wields it. This weapon is also used by the Meta Knight.
  • Throw - Kirby tosses his enemies around with ease with this power.
  • Tornado - Kirby goes into a whirlwind and takes out the baddies.
  • UFO - Kirby becomes a flyin' UFO with laser capabilities.
  • Wheel - Kirby flattens the enemies when he drives over them with this skill.

The game is divided into seven worlds each with up to six levels plus bonus rooms. After Kirby completes one level the next opens automatically. Bonus rooms appear either when Kirby completes a given level or when he trips the secret switch hidden in different levels. Hitting the switch also refills Kirby's health meter. At the end of each world is a boss level where Kirby faces off against the usual gallery of villains, such as Whispy Woods or Kracko, until he ultimately comes to King Dedede who has taken the Star Rod. Beating him will reveal the final evil in the game.

Fortunately the cartridge allows you to save up to three games and also keeps track of your progress percentage. Completing the game with 100% clear accesses a different ending and unlocks Extra Mode, a more difficult version of the game. Beating Extra Mode with 100% clear unlocks the Sound Test.

The game was quite popular in its day, although it never reached the success it probably could have attained had it been released earlier in the NES's life cycle. By 1993 a lot of Kirby's audience had moved on to the Super NES and had lost interest in the old 8-bit library of games. As a result of it being a newer NES game in the grand scheme of things, it's fairly easy to find in the usual used game shopping places for a fair price. In 2002 Nintendo ported the game and enhanced it slightly for the Game Boy Advance title Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. Despite the colorful makeover and new bonus levels, the core of the game remains overall the same. Whether you play the game in the old format or the new, give Kirby's Adventure a try. You won't be disappointed.

Playing the game
Playing the GBA version

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