HAL Laboratory general director Shinya Kumazaki revealed in a recent interview with The Washington Post that the Kirby series has "no clear timeline" when it comes to the stories in each game. Yes, that's right - despite all the theories, there's apparently no particular order.
The main reason behind this according to Kumazaki is to "avoid being constrained" by past settings, and it also allows the team to prioritise the "optimal gameplay experience" for each entry. Here's the full exchange:
Q: Would you say there is a narrative thread that ties all the Kirby games together, similar in the way the “Zelda timeline” has become a concept over the years at Nintendo?
Kumazaki: There is no clear timeline for the game stories. This is to avoid being constrained by past settings, and so that we can easily take on new challenges and prioritize the optimal gameplay experience for each installment — even in a series with a long history.
However, we can't progress the story much if we have Kirby meet King Dedede for the first time in the opening of each game, so new installments inherit story elements that can be naturally accepted and easily understood by the players. For example, we use story elements that are effective at making each new game better, such as when the character Magolor repented his past actions and moved to Dream Land, or when Meta Knight got his revenge on Kirby.
I also pay attention to the details when writing the text for the story. This is because, if future installments are going to inherit these story elements, we need to first prepare detailed settings for each installment. However, the main focus of the Kirby series is action and gameplay, so we prepare the settings required to make these elements more appealing in each game.
So, there you have it - there's supposedly no complex timeline similar to The Legend of Zelda series. What are your own thoughts about this? How would you order the Kirby games? By release, or some other way? Tell us below.