A good day to you all and welcome to another issue of River City Retro. As I announced in my previous blog, this time we're talking about Kirby's Dream Land 2
for the Nintendo Game Boy. The first one in the series
is one of my all time favourite Game Boy games and its music is a true icon for the system. There might be a two in the title, but in fact this isn't a true sequel to Kirby's Dream Land.
That title goes to Kirby's Adventure
for the NES. That's the one that introduced the ability absorbing and exponentially increased the game's size. Kirby's Dream Land 2
is more like the sequel to Adventure
. The abilities are back but the way to use them has changed quite a bit. At first glance there are quite a bit less of them to be had. Once we take a closer look though, we find out that the abilities that are
in the game have actually become much more dynamic.
Dream Land 2
introduces three animal buddies for Kirby to ride. Traveling by land is Rick the hamster. We fly through the air with Coo the owl and finally conquer the seven seas riding in the mouth of Kine, the sunfish. Each of these animals have a dramatic impact on Kirby's abilities. Using cutter while riding Coo will give you access to Contra's spread gun. Kine will allow you to inhale under water or light hallways with the spark ability and so on.
Each of these ridable characters also come with their own themes. I'm personally kind of undecided on these. I mean, they are great themes for sure. They really radiate traveling by land, by sea and through the air respectively but you're going to be riding these animals a lot
. Some times I just want to hear the level themes instead. After all, Kirby's Dream Land 2
has some exquisite music. Fortunately for me, my favourite theme by far is Coo the owl
I'd love to hear a power metal version of this. That bassy rhythm would sound great on an electric guitar with a high vocal lead soaring over it. Anyway, let's take a look at my favourite levels.
Whispy Woods. He's a tree and... he freaking hates Kirby! I never really understood this. Why does Whispy hate Kirby so much? Has Kirby taken a dump in his forest or something? That can't be it... He should be happy to get the extra fertilization. Can't be that Kirby's always eating his apples either... He freaking launches those at the pink blob so they're obviously not so precious. When you think about it, Whispy doesn't even look all that mean. If anything, he has a surprised look on his face whenever Kirby shows up.
What's the feud between these two all about? I guess we'll never know but Kirby's not a tree hugger. He's a tree puncher and Whispy has his rightful place as one of the most recognizable characters in the series. For me King Dedede doesn't always need to be the final boss but Whispy should always be the first boss! I know he isn't always but he damn well should be!
Kracko is another one of Kirby's most iconic bosses. He's an even more interesting character than Whispy. I mean, what the hell is he? He's a flying eye that turns into a cloud when things get serious. I really wonder where the designers' inspiration came from when they dreamed him up. Could he be based on some kind of Japanese folklore that I'm not familiar with? If I ever get the chance to meet the creators of Kirby, Kracko is what I'll ask them about.
Cloudy Park level 2
As I said, King Dedede doesn't always need to be the final boss and this time he isn't. Not if you can collect all of the Rainbow Drops
at least. This time Dedede has been possessed by Dark Matter; an evil being that wants to turn Dream Land's rainbow islands into a dark world. In order to exorcise and face him, Kirby has to collect one rainbow drop in each world. They're always carefully hidden and can only be accessed when Kirby has a certain ability. This level implements an exceptionally well done puzzle where you require a very specific combination of abilities and animal friends to get the drop. Definitely my favourite level in the game.
If you finally do get all the drops and face Dark Matter, you're in for quite a ride. I breezed through most of the game but Dark Matter was another story. The guy's got two forms and even the first one alone will take several of your lives away. When you lose to his second form, you're taken right back to the start. That's right. You're not beating the game unless you beat both forms on one life. This might not be a NES game but Dark Matter definitely is NES hard.
All in all I think Kirby's Dream Land 2
is a great sequel to Kirby's Adventure.
Everyone who likes Kirby even just a little bit, should definitely check it out. The best Kirby game ever made however, wasn't released until a while later.
This has been Metallion and thank you for reading River City Retro.