Sorry for the lapse in posting last week, someone was playing Wonder Boy III incorrectly, and I had to play through the entire Switch remake to wash the bad taste out of my eyes and ears.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Releasing on the 3DS in 2016, this game is very much a direct sequel to Triple Deluxe, but instead of the Hypernova ability, Kirby has a mech! The Mech has different capabilities depending on the enemy it scans. Also, one of the new abilities is a big massive nod to Ness from EarthBound. It's a lot of fun, but that's not what we're here for.
The plot involves a massive spaceship called the Access Ark invading Dream Land and very quickly mechanising the planet, Dedede and Meta Knight attempt to fight back, but are promptly lasered. It falls to Kirby, who slept through the entire thing, to boot the mysterious invaders off of his planet.
OK, strap yourself in, this game goes places. Starting when you reach this boss:
This is Susie, she antagonises Kirby throughout the game by siccing bosses on him, but you do get to beat her up eventually.
Corporations? Evil? No! Anyway, you eventually meet said president.
Yeah, he has a company song about how great he is. Not very loretastic, but it's amusing, nonetheless. Still, Kirby wins because water is wet, forcing President Haltmann to take drastic measures and activate his company's latest project.
When will villains learn that making computers self-aware never ends well?
This is Star Dream, the final boss of this game. It's kinda nuts, because it's freaking massive, and Kirby has to scan the Halberd, Meta Knight's ship in order to fight it. One ridiculous pink paint job and lots of shooting later, it merges with the Access Ark, because of course it does.
It's just a massive sphere now!
Yeah, Kirby's fighting planets now. Seems about right, more constant shooting causes that outer shell to gradually break off.
I think this was the moment when I realised Kirby lore was proper legit
There's a lot to unpack here, but I'll get the special screen out of the way.
OK, so I'll just say it. The Haltmann Works Company has constructed their own Galactic Nova. You remember that thing from Super Star Ultra, right? And in case you're thinking "Ah, they just pulled that out of their behind for cool points", I'll redirect your attention to something @Dcubed mentioned.
Yeah, I never noticed it either until I posted the Super Star Ultra post. But specifically, he's referring to this.
Notice how it's "A Nova" and not "The Nova". They've been planning to have another one since the DS!
The implications of this are staggering! Are all Nova's manufactured? Who made the original? Are there even more out there? What the hell are they even for?
Of course, this doesn't get answered, Kirby's more of the "Explode first, never think about it ever" kind of guy. And that's what happens.
Finishing the game unlocks "Meta Knightmare Returns", a tweak of the standard Extra Mode where you run through the game as Meta Knight. Naturally, there are harder bosses with alternate special screens. One boss in particular, the Holo Defense API, which made Kirby fight holograms of previous bosses, has a particularly interesting screen when fighting the recreation of the Sphere Doomers from "Returns to Dream Land"
It's worth noting that Sphere Doomers were only ever encountered in what RtDL called "Another Dimension" considering that the only things that could get into that dimension were a big massive spaceship designed to do so, and Kirby, it raises massive question marks about Susie's past.
Speaking of Susie, here's her second screen!
Blimey! I don't think we've had a special screen that candid before. It's pretty obvious what has happened here, This accident sent Susie to Another Dimension somehow, and then she escaped. The thing is though, the rematch against President Haltmann reveals an interesting wrinkle to things.
With the information that Haltmann doesn't recognise Susie, it seems that a long time has passed since Susie's disappearance and her getting hired by the company. Why she didn't tell her dad is not really revealed.
Anyway, final boss! Meta Knight can't use the Halberd though (No idea), so he gets a different set of final bosses. A whole bunch of clones that Star Dream made on the side. Specifically, it cloned Dark Matter and Queen Sectonia.
Star Dream just happened to clone two different Dark Matters (If my theory about Sectonia is on the money, anyway)? Coincidence? Probably. Anyway, there's a true arena and you know the drill with those by now...
OH, COME ON! CLOSE THE BLOODY DOOR BEHIND YOU!
No wait, hang on, Galacta Knight is back. The game even refers to this boss as "Galacta Knight Returns". HAL know what they're doing.
I suppose more then one game without Galacta Knight is too much to ask. Nothing actually new in the special screen here, but there he is, again, and harder...
Man, the sooner we see the back of him, the better.
Now for the True Arena, an absolutely brutal boss rush, even by True Arena standards, that culminates in Star Dream Soul OS. Each of the three phases have alternate screens.
Well, that's bloody depressing, isn't it?
Safe to say that President Haltmann is very much the most tragic villain in the whole Kirby series. Which feels weird to type, but to summarise...
Susie gets sent to Another Dimension by a computer experiment gone wrong.
Haltmann discovers a deactivated Galactic Nova
His company reactivates it, and Haltmann wishes to see his daughter again.
His wish comes true, Susie escapes from Another Dimension, but Haltmann doesn't recgnise her, likely due to her aging.
Haltmann's soul gets absorbed by Star Dream when he sics it on Kirby, but eventually gets deleted by the time Kirby beats it up.
So despite my initial impression, Haltmann's company didn't actually make this second Nova, so we're still not sure where they came from.
That wraps up Planet Robobot. It's my favourite Kirby game for many reasons, one being that the lore is really kicking into high gear now. And it only gets madder from here.
Next time, we will be looking at Star Allies. It might be half the framerate, but trust me, the lore makes up for that.