Happy 25th Birthday Kirby

By Laura Kate Dale on at

This month marks 25 years since our cuddly pink friend Kirby appeared in the west. It's a bit weird to think that a sentient circle is basically over a quarter century old, and should be a proper adult with a job and everything but hey: videogames! It's a long time to have been kicking around, so we through we'd flick through the family photo album and remind ourselves of his road from mini-blob to fully-functioning suction engine.

1992 - Kirby's Dream Land

Born in 1992, Kirby was initially white rather than pink. He was still an adorable walking marshmallow who just wanted to make friends, and the characterisation has never really needed to go beyond that. He started life on the GameBoy, and the inspiration behind his game was a platformer that anyone could complete — counter to the trends of the day that saw games valued for their difficulty. Kirby will always be the Game Boy of my heart.

1996 - Kirby's Fun Pack

At five years old, Kirby was convinced he could be everything and anything. Flitting from job to job at high speed, Kirby's Fun Pack was a collection of 8 different games reflecting the fact he just wanted to do everything, all the time. It was cute, for sure, and would lead to some of his teen experiments years down the line.

2001 - Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

At age nine Kirby finally expanded into 3D, canonically confirming that he was a sphere and not a flat 2d disc. This is comforting because spheres are far more comfortable to cuddle. By this point Kirby's inhalation powers were also expanding, though they continued to spin off from the basic idea of absorbing enemy powers. He always knew where he wanted to go.

2005 - Kirby: Canvas Curse

Age 13, Kirby was getting a tad experimental and rebellious. He didn't want to run left-to-right sucking up enemies and using their powers against them anymore. He was growing up, and he wanted to try fitting in by having a gimmick. It's not uncommon among teens.

During this particular chapter in his life, Kirby wanted to go all-in on the fact he was a ball. He got himself trapped in a world of paint, relied on the help of interdimensional player characters to draw paths on the world for him to follow, and basically just rolled around for a while. Yes, Kirby's teenage years were basically spent lazing around and waiting for everyone else to do all the work. Thank god it was just a phase.

2011 - Kirby's Epic Yarn

Another attempt at finding himself saw Kirby get really into knitting at age 19. I think it was something about counterculture. At least Kirby understood that he didn't have to leave behind soft and cuddly pursuits, just adapt them. He kept the different forms gimmick, and just started shapeshifting with yarn like it weren't no thang.

In a way this phase saw Kirby return to his roots. He didn't want to make guiding him through life tough, he just wanted people to enjoy time spent with him. Kirby had realised that laid-back was cool, but lazy was not.

2016 - Kirby: Planet Robobot

In his most recent adventure, Kirby got obsessed with building robots. He must've been watching a lot of Evangellion in his early 20s, and concluded that building gundam model kits is a viable route into an engineering career. It happens. This entry also has a surprising undercurrent: it might look cute and cuddly, but actually involves a scientist losing his mind and forgetting his own daughter. Kirby's still colourful, but that's dark.

Happy 25th Kirby! Where will life take him next? We know he's heading on some sort of beautiful Switch adventure, with the briefest of hints dropped during a Nintendo Direct, but he may well be celebrating other birthdays before that lands. Whatever the future holds, though, you can't knock a circle that makes it to 25. Have a good one Kirby, and don't inhale that whole bottle of vodka at once.