Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror

The Kirby games hold a special place for me, and none more so that Kirby and the Amazing Mirror.

The story begins with Kirby being attacked by a dark, shadowy Meta Knight who then flies off in the direction of the mirror world above Kirby's home in Dreamland. The slice from the sword doesn't seem to hurt Kirby, though, but splits him into four differently colored Kirbies. Unfazed, they call in a Warp Star and set off in pursuit.


Once you've selected which of three files you want to play on, you're taken to the main menu, where you have access to the start game option, the sub-games menu, the collection menu, and the erase a file option.

The sub-games menu contains three small sub-games you can play either against the AI or with others over a link cable

The collection menu holds all of the important items you collect over your adventure such as Heart Containers, the music player and music scores, spray-paints for changing the color of the Kirby you're playing as, and maps.


Starting the game on a new file finishes up the story from earlier: the Kirbies reach the mirror world and continue to pursue Dark Meta Knight, who runs away again. He reaches the mirror hub where he encounters the true Meta Knight, and the two begin to fight. Meta Knight is knocked into the large mirror in the center of the hub and falls inside.

Dark Meta Knight slices the mirror into eight pieces and scatters them across the world. He then runs and disappears into another nearby mirror, closely followed by a shadowy Kirby. This is where the game really starts.


Kirby and the Amazing Mirror plays a bit differently than other Kirby games. Rather than just traveling from the start of the level to the end with a little bit of exploration, this game takes a more Metroidvania-type approach.

Each separate area has a series of sub-areas within them accessed through the mirrors found within them. Some lead deeper into the same area, some lead to bosses or a little mini-game that leads you back to the mirror hub, and some lead to other areas altogether.

Exploration is required to find everything and reach 100% completion. Items are hidden in chest throughout the world, with smaller chests holding items like music scores and spray-paint, and bigger ones containing more important items like maps.

Certain abilities are often needed to access certain areas. The Rock and Hammer abilities can pound pegs into the ground, and Burning's flame tackle can break through metal blocks.

Some blocks can only be moved through Kirby's inhaling abilities, but some are to big to move all on your own. That's where an important new feature of this game comes into play.


If you reach some obstacle you just can't get past on your own or need help with a particularly tough enemy, you can call in the other Kirbies for help with a quick press of the 'R' button. You can only do this a few times without collecting batteries to recharge your phone. The number of times left is represented by the three bars beside the phone in the upper-left corner, with three bars left meaning you can call for help three more times. Pressing and holding the 'L' button returns you to the mirror world hub.

After the other Kirbies come in, for a very short time you can move close to them and cause the Kirbies to kiss, which makes helpful items like 1-ups and health-restoring items appear. Moving close to the others and getting them to kiss shortly after collecting these or other helpful items will share their effects with everyone kissed.

The other Kirbies act on their own once summoned, but will loosely follow you around, attack boss enemies, and help you with obstacles. It's entirely possible to 100% the game on your own, but the AI isn't the greatest. If you have the original game and a link cable I'd suggest playing with others over relying on the AI for help.


Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is a very fun game. It was my very first Kirby game, and I think I'll always have a soft spot for it. I love exploring the different environments without having to return to an over-world to select different levels. It makes it feel more like its own little world to me.

If you haven't played it before, it's one I'd highly suggest trying out. If you don't have access to an original copy, it can also be purchased on the WiiU's virtual console. The way you progress differs from other Kirby games, but that doesn't take away from the sense of fun or exploration and remains one of my favorite Kirby games to this day.


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