*cheerful music* Kirby! This pink puffball has been sucking his way through the denizens of Dream Land since 1992. He has his own games,
manga, tv series, and toys. It’s safe to say he’s one of
Nintendo’s most trusted mascots. But he should not be trusted. The problem with Kirby is that he is simultaneously
Nintendo’s simplest and most powerful creature. Those two realities cannot coexist. He is a life form with neither the ambition nor the intelligence to make decisions, and yet the world bends to his will. Although it appears that Kirby is just a vacuous pastel marshmallow, there must be some hidden wisdom that grants him the power he wields. There has to be. Kirby’s incongruity is terrifying, but that’s only because we are terrified of things we do not yet understand. And today, we are going to understand. “Scientia potentia est.”
Knowledge is Power. Humankind’s attempts to harness
the powers of the natural world come from intense research
and understanding of those powers. And yet Kirby is granted powers
well beyond his station. What powers, you ask? Allow me to show you. I have created two columns here: Simplicity, and Power. What Kirby is, versus What Kirby can do. By mapping the dichotomy of these two columns, we can peel back the facade of Kirby’s simplicity, and figure out what’s really going on. Because, again, this is not normal. Let’s begin with simplicity. Most people know Kirby as that cute little round guy, but is there more to him? According to official, canonical information: no. Does this sound like an apex predator? Even a bear enjoys a satisfying back-scratch. This sounds like the lowest form of life, someone who is stuck on the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He wakes up, eats his caloric intake
for the day, and falls asleep watching The Great British Bake Off. And yet, over here on the power column… The things Kirby eats are completely obliterated. Not just converted into something else, completely gone. Kirby only cares about eating and sleeping. And yet, he gains no energy nor pleasure from consuming these things. Instead, he just lets them disappear. Gone from this plane of existence. So… what the fuck. Kirby doesn’t speak a language beyond saying the words “Poyo,” and “Hi!” Kirby mostly communicates via
body language and grunts. Even toddlers are more communicative. By all accounts, he is either incapable of, or uninterested in, speaking language. And yet Kirby is an incredibly
skilled technician. We see Kirby piloting mechs, and if anime is to believed, and I believe anime, this can only be accomplished by gifted teens grappling with psychosexual ennui. He can effortlessly turn himself into a fighter jet, something that only the most skilled air force
engineers have mastered. How can he understand these complex mechanical processes, without having the language skill to read a textbook or the “I fucking love science” facebook page? Kirby’s origins are vague. Let me take a moment to move over to a different board so I can show you Kirby’s origin story. There’s NOTHING HERE. Very little is known about Kirby’s origin. He has no canonical species. He has no canonical age. Masahiro Sakurai, Kirby’s alleged creator, has stated he does not remember
how Kirby got his name. Kirby was originally a placeholder sprite, set to be replaced by something…. More! But no. Kirby survived. Kirby came from nothing. And Kirby is nothing. Or is he everything. Because Kirby can be anything. His copy ability gives him the powers and appearance
of any creature he consumes. But copy is a misnomer. He does not duplicate his enemies. He assimilates and replaces them. In Smash, he takes the power of his foes, and then the foe is released as a sign of respect. But in every other iteration of Kirby, the thing he consumes is destroyed in the process. Does he absorb their DNA? Does he absorb their memories? Is he the keeper of their souls? All of these abilities point to Kirby being intelligently
designed, which we know is not the case. Sakurai fucking woke up in a crop circle with the name “Kirby” carved into his arm. Kirby has no emotional intelligence. No relationships. In the anime, Kirby seems to harbor no ill will toward King Dedede or Escargoon, his main two antagonists. He faces baby birds and full battalions of soldiers with
the same vacant grin. He eats and destroys indiscriminately, but counts no one among his enemies. But those who count him among theirs… are cosmic horrors. Look at this
thing. Look at this thing! These celestial powers probably have wants and needs far beyond our human comprehension, and yet they trouble themselves with
the destruction of Kirby, a barely living kickball. What do they see in Kirby that scares them? What could scare this? And the final simple evidence, Kirby is shaped like a friend. This was the opening of Kirby’s Adventure.
Let me show you something. What did you notice? That’s right. For the entire time I was drawing this, I WASN’T INTERROGATING the true nature of Kirby. This quote is cute and simple and a blatant misdirection. It is a patronizing errand is meant to keep people like me from uncovering the truth. The truth that Kirby possesses infinite power. And that is a quote. Planet Robobot explicitly states that Kirby
possesses infinite power. Kirby can ride a star. Kirby can punch through a planet. Kirby is the only being in the entirety of the universe that survived the Galeem cataclysm. A circle survived. THIS SURVIVED. HOW? *deep breath* Now that we’ve addressed these two columns, it is time to bridge the gap. How can we reconcile the two canonical truths of Kirby: that he is both nothing and everything. How can this sentient garbage bag
accomplish so much? Let me tell you… I don’t know. I literally have no clue how this
dumb fucking orb can have so much power. I have worked my whole life researching and gaining knowledge, and this dipshit sphere sleeps all day
and has powers that gods fear. And that’s impossible. It should be impossible. There has to be an answer here and I don’t see it and that’s NOT FAIR. If knowledge is power, then power should be knowledge, and Kirby is everything and
he should know everything, and yet we know nothing! I can’t think in here. I’m going outside! How do I get outside? Kirby! The mystery of this florid Dream Landian has baffled me, but I’ve taken a few months,
and I’ve collected my thoughts, and I’m back in the studio to deliver my findings. Kirby’s incongruity is terrifying, but that’s only because we are terrified of things we do not yet understand. And today, for real, we are going to understand. If you’ll recall from our first exploration of the rosy nightmare, the problem with Kirby is that he is both incredibly simple and incredibly powerful. In the intervening five months, I’ve learned a few pieces of information that contradict a few of my points. First, Kirby can speak a language. There was a Drama CD released in Japan in 1994 where Kirby speaks full sentences. But in this, he says that a phone is “mysterious” and he doesn’t know how it works. And yet, he can pilot a mech. Two, Kirby’s name does in fact have
a backstory, even if Sakurai was too fuckin’ zooted to remember it. Kirby was named after John Kirby, a lawyer who passed away last year, who defended Nintendo’s right to copyright
Donkey Kong back in the ‘80s. But this doesn’t make the rest of Kirby’s
origin any less vague, and it doesn’t change the fact that a creature cannot possibly embody both of these truths. But that’s the problem. I’ve been thinking of Kirby as a creature. Consider, for a moment, Moby Dick. You might receive this book in your English class and say, “Hell yeah! A big ol’ whale? I can’t wait to see Ahab level up and hit that big boy right in his weak points. And sure, he puts his harpoon up in Moby D’s flanks, but spoiler alert! Ahab gets got, even though he’s been grinding for, like, years and Pale Whale’s just a dipshit
fish with a thing for sailor feet. And so you say this to Ms. Mahoney and she’s like, “Brian, don’t you get it? The whale is a metaphor for… something,” and then you write that on your final exam
and you pass the class. This is what I like to call
“The Bookman’s Bluff.” It’s when an author creates something,
and people are like, “Hey, that doesn’t make sense,” but then the author says, “Well, it does make sense if
you consider it’s actually a metaphor.” Here, I believe that Sakurai is pulling a
Bookman’s Bluff. Kirby, like Moby Dick, doesn’t make sense as a creature, but he will make sense as a metaphor. So what does Kirby symbolize? Let’s take a look at some common metaphors. Let’s start with the seven deadly sins since everyone and their mother is basing characters on them. Unfortunately, none of them really make sense for Kirby. Wrath, no way. Greed, he’s not in it for the money. I’m gonna skip over lust. You could make an argument for Gluttony because he eats a lot. Sloth, he sleeps a lot. And Envy, he’s
constantly copying other people. But he never does it with any malice. Kirby does these
things haphazardly, without any sense of what he’s doing. And then there’s Pride. Now, pride is the sin from which all other sins arise, and its punishment in hell is being
broken upon the wheel, but Kirby is a wheel, so that ain’t gonna work. But Kirby might symbolize someone else’s pride… The Hubris of Humanity. Think about it. Has humanity ever paused to consider that perhaps our endless consumption may not be a good move for the
world as a whole? Have we altered our course or simply continued to eat and sleep and copy others without any thought of the repercussions? In fact, perhaps we can go one step further.
Kirby is a metaphor for capitalism! Does our capitalist society assimilate and destroy? Absolutely! Technical and cultural appropriation are two of capitalism’s most trusted tools. When it comes to a lack of emotional intelligence, capitalism makes people willing to suck in
and obliterate anything, friend or foe, nation or natural wonder,
so long as it makes money. Is capitalism’s enemy a cosmic horror? What could be more cosmically horrifying to a capitalist
society than a guy called Marx. KIRBY IS A METAPHOR FOR CAPITALISM. Sure, capitalism can sometimes be more cruel in its intentions than Kirby can manage. That is… I’ll take that. Uh, also, it sure as hell feels like it could burn out at any second, so the infinite power thing: not 100% true. Um, and, very-it’s a-it’s hard to describe capitalism as being
shaped like a friend… and the whole eating and sleeping only is… it doesn’t really make sense ’cause we have a hyper fixation on productivity and that being tied to worth… so that doesn’t… This is not a very good metaphor, is it? In fact, most of these metaphors
are bullshit. Especially this one. I thought I could take five months
and pause and contemplate, and then I’d come back, and I’d have the perfect explanation for the dichotomy of Kirby, but nothing has changed. This horrifying bolus slips through my fingers again. Maybe I’m just not good at this… Jenna, can you… I need you to keep my papers and push pins
safe. I’m gonna go away for awhile… I’m gonna find Kirby. Jenna: Okay. Good luck bud. I went to the woods because I wished to front only the essential facts of Kirby. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, just as Kirby might suck a Waddle Dee
into his gullet. I’ve been at it for a while now. Judging by the length of my beard, I’ve
been living out here for 2, maybe 3 years? There are no pin boards in the forest. I don’t have three cameras to catch
my every side glance. They don’t teach you th… It’s just me. And nature, which has reduced me to my base instincts. I only care about finding food and shelter, eating and sleeping. I am become Kirby. I wish I could say this has given me a clear mind, but no, nature has broken me. I am confounded by it. And we are terrified of things we do not yet understand. Kirby is nature! …I thought, after spending
my first day out in the woods. Sure, nature’s origins are still murky, and what is evolution if not a really, really slow form of Kirby’s copy ability? *inhaling* And much like Kirby, Nature
is neither cruel nor kind: it doles out boons and punishments indiscriminately. For every delicious handful of berries, it also gives a completely unrelated bout of diarrhea. But it took me only a few days to realize that this was another dead end. Nature doesn’t destroy matter, or possess infinite power, and its enemy is not a cosmic horror, it’s us. I’m sorry for using so much paper. So I went back to the proverbial drawing board
and have been stuck there ever since. Nature is still terrifying to me. And it is certainly not shaped like a friend. How can Kirby live like this and stay so joyful? How can he only care about his base needs and conquer any enemies that come before him? I can’t conquer anything, not even the mystery of a character
from a children’s game. All I can do is tumble listlessly through the wood, like a star spat from Kirby’s maw. *waves crashing* I awake one morning upon the shore of a strange sea. I do not know where I am,
nor how I came to be here. The sea stretches endlessly in front of me, revealing the gentle, Kirby-like curve of the planet, and I finally understand. I was so focused on investigating the inner
machinations of this bulbous boy that I never asked why I was investigating. I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things to mean something, but Kirby didn’t need an explanation, I did. There is no bullet point or fan wiki entry. Kirby is not nature or a metaphor. Kirby doesn’t need a dark backstory
or a logical rationale. Kirby is just Kirby. As I stand here watching the waves lap against the sand miles away from civilization, I realize I’m not simply standing on the edge of the ocean, but the edge of the world. A world I’ve accepted without
knowing its hidden meaning. Perhaps there is no hidden meaning. Perhaps it’s better that way. Perhaps it’s time for me to go home. “First you draw a circle, then you dot the eyes. Add a great big smile, and presto, it’s Kirby.” Kirby is an extremely strong circle, and that’s all the explanation I need. Unfortunately, the same CANNOT BE SAID FOR DIDDY KONG. WHO GAVE HIM A GUN? DID HE BUILD THE JETPACK? THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE, HE’S A MONKEY, WHAT IS HE… *suit ripping* Ahhh yeah! This is satisfying. If you get in on this, you want to… Pat: Yeah. Brian: Roll… just put that in a bunch of dirt right now. I’m gonna roll around a little bit. *you hear a bunch of scrounging around* *shirt ripping* Brian: Ohhhh incredible! Pat: Are we gonna ride on the train like
this to Coney Island? Brian: Yeah maybe!