After finishing Kirby Triple Deluxe, I came to the realization that not all powers, at least in Triple Deluxe, are made equally. Sure, that's always been the case but now more than ever do I see the Fighter power being nerfed and the Archer power being insanely flexible to serve a variety of uses. Kirby has never been about difficulty
but rather whimsical charm, colorful design, and of course, creative powers. If anything, we enjoy Kirby to see what sort of crazy powers he can copy then use to decimate the unsuspecting local fauna. While not a definitive list acknowledging all of Kirby's titles and powers, these are some of my favorite powers across several console generations' worth of Kirby games.
Sword (literally every Kirby game ever)
Starting the list is one of Kirby's most classic powers and the de facto workhorse for simple hack 'n' slash damage. You can never go wrong with the sword with its easy-to-use grounded slash and aerial spinning slash. Over the years, the sword has gained new moves, becoming more sophisticated, and yet it's still as easy as ever to simple walk up to fools and chop them to pieces.
Sword is notable for always being present during a Kirby games' recurring boss fight: the duel with Metaknight. This chivalrous on-again, off-again anti-hero always presents Kirby with a sword to use for honorable, one-on-one combat. Hell, you even get the chance to play as Metaknight in some games and of course, you'll be using a permanent, enhanced sword power.
Mirror (Kirby Superstar)
Mirror looks like a palette swap of Beam but Mirror is potentially more useful in application. In Superstar, Mirror allows not only for constant DPS with its primary mirror wave attack, but projectile reflection with the same attack. Mirror also changes Kirby's dash to be a sort of graceful, floaty skid across the floor, which is mostly cosmetic but fits with another attack you may have spammed a lot, the dash attack. Splitting Kirby into two images forwards and backwards of his trajectory, it does decent damage, has good range, and it unaffected by stage geography, letting you attack through walls!
It's a shame Mirror was only in Superstar and that your copy partner was so ugly. But great balance in both offense and defense, you can't go wrong with Mirror. Unless you read further along for my absolute favorite Superstar power.
Rick the hamster + Stone = Balancing Boulder (Kirby's Dreamland 2)
Stone has always been a double-edged sword type of weapon. The ability to crush foes under the weight of a massive rock has always yielded results known scientifically as totally rad. But leaving your rock form while enemies or bosses were standing around was problematic. Enter Rick the hamster, Kirby's first animal friend. By using rock together with Rick, you evolve the base form stone to its next form: a boulder.
By turning Rick into a huge, circular rock, Kirby can continue to move by balancing on Rick while you steamroll everything in your path like some nightmare out of Wile E. Coyote. True to the stone ability, you fall like a rock off of high places because, well, you're a rock. Also, Kirby isn't a rock, so flying and leaping enemies can attack Kirby like, "Fuck this rock crap. I'm hitting the weakest link!"
Course, you can leave rock mode and just jump and start the whole process, complete with a crushing pressure that your enemies will surely either go to a doctor or a morgue for.
Bomb + Cutter = Exploding Ninja Stars (Kirby 64)
Kirby 64 makes all the sense in the world. Combine fire and ice and you become a melting ice cube! While mixing bomb with cutter gets you deadly, explosive ninja stars. Wait, huh? Ok, nevermind, that's pretty fucking sweet.
And it's not just a matter of simply throwing these babies and having them explode mere seconds after sticking to a target. Kirby has been a ninja in at least two separate games so he's capable of throwing these things so fast, they pretty much disappear from sight until they stop in their target.
I like a lot of bomb-based power combos in Kirby 64 but this one takes the cake for sheer speed and range. Also, they're fucking ninja stars.
Nago the cat + Cleaning = Cleaning Cloth
Those little broom guys have always been, literally, a powerless enemy. You couldn't copy anything useful from them. Then in Dreamland 3, you can finally copy their amazing ability to sweep floors and clean stuff! It was truly a turning point for the series. *Editor's note: no, it was not.
In Dreamland 3, a new friend in the form of Nago the cat joined Kirby's land based Aquaman antics, showing his gratitude to Kirby's friendship by holding him beneath his paws like a ball. Swallow an agent of cleaning and Nago will flatten Kirby into a towel that he rides and cleans like something out of an anime. You know, that trope where Japanese teenagers gain character and experience by laying down a towel and pushing it along a wooden floor to clean. These same teenagers probably kicked themselves when mops or Swifters were introduced to temple cleaning closets the world over but that's neither here nor now.
The Cleaning Cloth solves three problems at once: it gives you forward locomotion, it destroys enemies in your path, and leaves behind a clean sheen free of the blood and entrails of your foes you just vanquished.
Suplex (Kirby Superstar)
This power, only available by kicking Bugzy's ass in single combat (or two-on-one if you bring a friend), is absolutely my favorite power from Superstar. Though limited in use against boss enemies, Suplex sends Kirby hurtling forward, eager to grab any hapless enemy stupid enough to think things will turn out differently then before.
After latching onto Kirby's victim, you can proceed to slam them in any of four directions, so long as you also jam afterwards. Every time I decided to slam and jam, I usually used the backwards Big Suplex or the forwards Pile Drive but you can't go wrong with the Torrent Lariat or Back Breaker. I mean, Waddle Dees have backs to be broken, right?
Even against bosses, this power has its use by slam jamming debris from the boss into them, doing as much damage as a normal redirection attack. So if you wanna slam, copy Suplex. If you wanna jam, copy Suplex. Slam, jam, thank you ma'am, get on the floor and jam. Hey DJ, turn it up. Etc. Etc.
Beam (Several Kirby games)
Beam is another staple power that's been around like Sword. It takes the simple concept of energy projection, which aims to destroy everything in its path, and puts a cute hat on it. Think Scott Summers if he wasn't such a perpetual dick. I mean, no matter what alternate reality it is, Scott is always a dick. What is this? A universal constant?
Beam has come a long way from simply having Kirby wave his hand down and seeing sparks come out. In Superstar, Beam gained a ton of new moves like many attacks. Most notable was the charge blast, ramping its damage up considerably. The dash attack was underwhelming at first but became much more powerful in its most recent iteration in Triple Deluxe. But my favorite application was the dashing, jumping attack, where Kirby sprays the ground with a barrage of energy spheres.
Beam is like good old fashion vanilla. Simple but effective tactics. And what more do you want? Anyone can become a wrestler I suppose. Can you shoot energy beams out of your fingertips? If yes, please record yourself on YouTube and title it, "Not a fraud. THE REAL THING! BEAM FINGERS!"
Ninja (Kirby Superstar, Kirby Triple Deluxe)
The Ninja power was introduced in Superstar and proved to be a a complex but rewarding power. It has a great mix of effective ranges, from tickling enemies from afar with throwing kunai, to close range slice and dice using dashing strikethroughs and slashing shock waves. It even has a divekick, which everyone knows is a game breaking power.
The ability to attack from far from safety and to attack up close with much stronger attacks allows Kirby to either push his luck or keep on surviving. He even explodes after taking damage, providing a defensive measure with the ability.
Ninja changes slightly in Triple Deluxe compared to Superstar but retains much of its flexibility. Kunai from afar and this time, a sword for close range with significantly more range to his melee attacks. Triple Deluxe adds two new area of effect attacks but arguably the biggest change was to its defensive measure: instead of exploding automatically, after taking damage, Kirby can pre-empt damage by guarding at the last second to perform the classic kawarimi technique where ninjas swap their position with a mundane log to misdirect attacks. When Kirby does this, he's effectively invincible while the log holds his position for a finite amount of time until he reappears.
Archer (Kirby Triple Deluxe)
Easily the most flexible and easiest to use ability in Triple Deluxe is the bow and arrow he uses for his Archer ability. Kirby is capable of charging and shooting high powered arrows and can hit virtually any spot on screen by positioning himself and aiming up or down as he charges. The ability to charge and aim lets Archer snipe enemies, mid-bosses, and world bosses regardless of the situation.
The Archer also has two other notable moves. By running and jumping, Kirby can unleash a quick barrage of three arrows downwards to throw down very respectable, mobile damage from the air. Like a similar move from the Beam power, it also hikes Kirby upwards a bit, able to keep him aloft shooting downwards for an extended amount of time. Kirby can also utilize camouflage and allows almost all attacks to pass through him harmlessly. He can even shoot sneak attack arrows from his hiding spot. Kirby can't phase through all attacks though, particularly attacks where a large boss rams Kirby with their size but it's useful to avoid complicated pattern attacks. Kirby even has a CQC option by dashing and attacking, slashing twice with an arrow. It has an elongated animation, leaving Kirby vulnerable but it's great in a pinch.
Fire + Spark = Match Spark
aka the Human Torch
We all know that despite Kirby looking all cute, he is actually a badass. He can do it all after all, assuming he consumes his enemies. Here's a real power to really drive home your strength to your foes though. You think you're hard? Trying lighting yourself on fire and running into people to set them
We're not talking Human Torch stuff exactly. Human Torch is ok with being on fire because that's his special power. Kirby's special power isn't exactly to set himself on fire but just careful fire manipulation. So the kid gloves come off and he decides, "Fuck you're couch. I'm lighting myself on fire and taking you with me!"
After generating enough static electricity with towel, he sparks into a regular California brush fire, running around like a mad man, obstacles and monsters be damned. Get in his way? You can't hurt him! He's already burning his flesh off just to hurt you.
You think he gives a damn son?
There are tons of powers I decided to leave off the list from Kirby 64's Triple Missile's, to the classic Cutter, to even a redundant Copy power which produces a partner that can copy powers like Kirby but these are some of my favorites from my many years of playing Kirby games. What are some of your favorite Kirby games and why?