Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
|Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, known as Hoshi no Kirby: Kagami no Daimeikyū (Japanese: 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 Hepburn: Hoshi no Kābī Kagami no Daimeikyū?, lit. “Kirby of the Stars: The Great Labyrinth of the Mirror”) in Japan, is a Kirby video game released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance. It is Kirby’s last game for the system and is the only Kirby title where Kirby’s nemesis King Dedede does not make an appearance. The game has been re-released in Europe for Club Nintendo members only. The game is notable for being extremely extensive for a Kirby game; the most intense of speedruns still take around 45 minutes to complete.|
There is a Mirror World that exists in the skies of Dream Land. It is a world where any wish reflected in the mirror will come true. However, one day it only copies evil minds, and rapidly changes into a world of evil. Meta Knight notices this, and flies up to save the Mirror World.
Meanwhile, Kirby is taking a walk when Dark Meta Knight appears. Before Kirby can react, Dark Meta Knight slices Kirby in four and Kirby becomes four different colored “Kirbys”. Kirby travels alone, but if his cell phone is working, he can call his friends and they will help him. They chase after the Dark Meta Knight and enter the Mirror World.
The two Meta Knights fight each other and the real Meta Knight is defeated. He is knocked into the mirror, which is then cut into eight fragments by Dark Meta Knight (which are then scattered across the Mirror World), so Kirby must save Meta Knight and the Mirror World. After collecting all eight mirror fragments, Kirby enters the Mirror World and battles Dark Meta Knight. After defeating him, a vortex appears and sucks Kirby in, who is given Meta Knight’s sword. Kirby fights 4 bosses before battling the Dark Mind. Upon defeat, the Mirror World is saved.
Unlike other Kirby games, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror features a maze layout, and is traversed in a style similar to Metroidvania games. The game map branches out in several directions and, providing Kirby has the proper power at his disposal, he is able to go anywhere in almost any order, excluding the final sequence. If the player gains access to all mirrors (excluding the one the player is collecting shards for), they will be able to access a new mirror full of Copy Pedestals for their use.
The player explores the worlds, solving puzzles, defeating enemies, and collecting items. Occasionally, a sub-boss will be encountered, at which point the screen will lock into place until the boss is defeated. Swallowing a sub-boss after defeat usually grants a rare or exclusive copy ability. Sub bosses are: Mr. Frosty (misspelled as “Mr. Flosty”): Ice ability. Bonkers: Hammer ability. Phan Phan: Throw ability. Batafire: Burning ability. Boxy: Magic ability. Master Hand: Smash Ability. Waddle Dee (Arena only): N/A. Bombar: Missile ability. Box Boxer: Fighter ability. At the end of worlds 2-9 is a boss which the player must defeat to place another shard in the broken mirror in the Mirror Room. Before each boss is an antechamber where there is no music, for dramatic effect. The player respawns there and there are usually items hidden around it for healing before the fight as well as copy pedestals. The player will also occasionally encounter “rest areas” of sorts, where the music reverts to the music from the Mirror Room. There is usually an item and a copy pedestal or two in these areas as well. Some rest areas are part of a system linking back to the Mirror Room, and can be connected via giant buttons that are usually in the room itself, but are occasionally somewhere else in the world.
The player can collect various items to improve in-game performance, such as extra health points and lives, food to replenish health, and batteries for the Cellphone. The game also features two other collectibles: music sheets, which act as a sound test mode once the music player item is found, and spray paint, which can be used to recolor the player’s Kirby. Both can be accessed from the main menu. There are also three minigames accessible from the menu, which support single player and multiplayer:
- A game in which the four Kirbys are seated around a covered platter. Once the lid is whisked away at a random time, the fastest person to press the A button and suck in the food on the platter is filled up more (measured by a gauge above each Kirby). The four apples on each platter can be distributed as 4 to one Kirby, 3 to one and 1 to another, etc. If a player hits A before the lid is taken off, they are eliminated for that round. Occasionally, there will be rotten fruit on the platter, and the Kirbys that eat it will be knocked out for the next round.
- A game in which the four Kirbys are challenged to break a rock as much as they can, in a similar style to a microgame from Kirby Super Star. There is a colored meter that fills and drains continuously, challenging the player to hit it while it is as full as it can be. Additionally, while the Kirbys are in the air, the player can attempt to line up two sets of crossshairs beneath Kirby and on the rock for added force. If a player is perfect, they will achieve 999 meters and a zoomed shot of the earth will be shown, with the stadium on the daytime side and an upside-down nighttime landscape.
- A game in which the Kirbys race over a water track that varies in length and complexity depending on the difficulty setting. For a speed boost, the player can jump off of ramps placed on the track. The strength of the boost and the grade awarded for the jump are determined by the player’s timing.
The game also features multiplayer, and the player can call other players or CPU-controlled Kirbys to the location with an in-game cell phone. The three other Kirbys are CPUs by default, but connecting to another GBA (which must also have an “Amazing Mirror” cartridge in it) allows for co-op multiplayer for enhanced teamwork and faster completion. There are several new powers in The Amazing Mirror, such as Cupid (called Angel in the Japanese version), which allows Kirby to fly around with wings and a halo and fire arrows; Missile, which turns Kirby into a missile that can be guided in any direction and will explode on contact with a wall or an enemy or when the B button is hit; and Smash, which gives Kirby the abilities he had in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Also, in this version, Kirby’s ability to inhale various things has more limits, as seen by his mouth expanding until he needs to exhale.
The game features 9 “worlds”, each with an alliterated name, excluding the final boss sequence.
- Rainbow Route – The hub world, a circular pathway that connects all the others together. The game begins in a small intro section of Rainbow Road inaccessible after completion. At the center and origin point of the circle is the “Mirror Room,” which can be accessed from several areas around the map. These can be activated by pressing large buttons, which will in turn display a connection that forms on the world map screen of the pause menu. The Mirror Room also contains the mirror which Kirby must reassemble to access the final boss. Another mirror can also be unlocked that gives Kirby instant access to most of the game’s copy abilities. The player can return to the Mirror Room at any time from any location using the Cellphone, though this does not consume battery life.
- Moonlight Mansion – A haunted house-themed level, the most straightforward world. The boss is a giant stationary stone being named “King Golem.” Attacks include dropping rocks on you, and spitting out golems, a rock type enemy. Also has a small beach-like area leading to Olive Ocean.
- Cabbage Cavern – The most maze-like and the largest world, with a subterranean theme. The boss is a giant mole, named Moley. He pops up and throws things at you.
- Mustard Mountain – A volcano-themed world that also features a windy, snowy section. The boss is a living thundercloud, Kracko. Attacks include raining lightning down and a spinning beam attack.
- Carrot Castle – A castle-themed level. The boss is a flying robot, Mega Titan, notable for its two-stage format, which consists of knocking off the armor and then destroying the head.
- Olive Ocean – A water-themed level that starts on the beach and continues into the deep ocean. The boss is a giant shark that goes by the name of “Gobbler”. Attacks include sending mini sharks at you and a charge attack.
- Peppermint Palace – Similar to Carrot Castle, but made of ice. Also has an outdoor section above the castle, featuring giant outcroppings of pure ice. The boss is a wizard (appropriately named “Wiz”). He launches things from his hat, most of which seem to be children’s toys.
- Radish Ruins – A Central American-styled subterranean ruin. The boss takes place in a grassy field and appears to be Meta Knight, though it is labeled “? ? ?”. Attacks include sword slash, jump attack, down slam, and up stab.
- Candy Constellation – A space station-themed level that includes blocks of water and a variety of switch-based puzzles. The bosses are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, both from Super Smash Bros. Melee. Attacks include punching, clapping with each other, and slamming on the ground.