Not many of Nintendo's big franchises skipped the GameCube, but Kirby is one of them. Sort of. Outside of the racing game Kirby Air Ride, the pink puffball didn't get his own mainline game. But Nintendo had intentions to give Kirby his own platformer on the purple lunchbox.
Known simply as Kirby for Nintendo GameCube, the title was announced in 2004 — a year after he'd finished racing on warp stars. The late Satoru Iwata revealed in an interview around the time that Kirby's Return to Dream Land launched that HAL Laboratory had been working on a new Kirby game since 2000, after Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards came out. You can read the interview, which covers three canned Kirby projects, over on Nintendo's website here.
Today, Twitter account @ObscureKirby has shared some newfound footage of the lost Kirby game. Uploaded onto YouTube by Foulowe56 — who also discovered some other footage from the game back in January — the 9-second clip shows off some typical Kirby power-ups along with some fancy camera angles and unusual-looking levels. The short footage is a little blurry, but it's a hell of a find.
The cancelled project looks to be a mix of 2.5D and 3D environments, similar to Kirby 64. One level looks like it's set in some ruins, another in space (it actually looks a little like the sky of Final Destination from Smash Bros. Melee), and something that looks like a waterway. There also seem to be enemies stacking up and helping Kirby out, which would later be used in Kirby Star Allies. It's a fascinating and important discovery, but also a sad one because this looks amazing.
What do you think of the footage? Let us know down below!
I wouldn't say it would be the first 3D outing, there's a lot of debug camera uses, it's more like Kirby 64 but on GameCube.
Those Plasma enemies were helping Kirby.... hmm. Maybe Star Allies took more from this game than we originally thought.
From this footage it also looked a lot more like Kirby 64 as well, what with the winding camera and 2.5D-ish level design. I really hope this game eventually gets fully leaked or something like that because man is it one of the most interesting cancelled games in Nintendo's history.
@LuigiBlood Yeah, you're right actually. Let me take that out and add something about the enemies too Thanks for mentioning this too @Fizza
Maybe this game became Kirby Return to Dreamland?
Wasn't it in E3 2005? Which would be 2 years after Air Ride.
It's weird for me to still wish this game existed, even though pretty much all the ideas from it have since been reused in later installments. Maybe it wouldn't have been that different from Return to Dream Land, which is actually my favorite Kirby game. But the GameCube era is when Nintendo was firing on all cylinders, so I can't help but feel we could've had another masterpiece on our hands. Ah, well--the Kirby franchise has been fortunate enough to not have a troubled history, so I shouldn't get too hung up over it.
Anyways, with E3 season upon us, I really hope we get more Kirby games for his anniversary. It sure seemed like Nintendo was teasing it. Fingers crossed.
@HammerGalladeBro I was digging around and WiKirby lists it as being announced in 2004, but rereading it (and the cited IGN article), E3 2005 may have been where it was shown off. I'll take out the mention of E3 since I think I conflated the two. Thanks for pointing that out! https://wikirby.com/wiki/Kirby_for_Nintendo_GameCube
Is this not simply Kirby's Return to Dreamland, prior to it being named as such?
I remember seeing footage of this way back when and no one has ever known what the hell I was talking about. I finally feel vindicated!
I waited years for this game and even tho it became RtDL which was good, I still wish we got this game back then. The Shifting camera, the helpers from Super Star, wheelie rider! Such a shame. I guess these ideas also just became Star Allies but still wish this had happened then. Plus Star Allies ended up unfinished (until dlc) and with a somewhat lacking main game compared to its previous titles. Oh well. It's nice to see what COULD have been back when I was so desperate for a new traditional console Kirby game. I remember that over 10 year drought and it was pretty brutal. Now we have Forgotten Land which is a dream come true.
I don't recall this game being announced tbh but speaking of Kirby Air Ride I was only playing that on my Gamecube last night. It still holds up really well in my opinion.
I know a lot of this game's ideas have been re-worked into Return to Dreamland and Star Allies (and other projects) but it still would have been cool to see the final product. It had a darker more epic tone. I wonder if Sakurai leaving HAL around that time had anything to do with this game's cancellation.
So wait, this is the second cancelled Kirby GCN? I think I've only seen footage from the other one before.
It's interesting to see more of this game, I wonder if there's still footage of that chibi Kirby 2D game that looked close to Return to Dreamland or that top-down one?
(note: profanity* in this article)
"The short footage is a little blurry, but it's a [*] find."
Removed - flaming/arguing
Shame this got canceled. This looked like a really interesting 2.5d game with shifting camera angles. Looks like a blend of Kirby Air Ride and Crystal Shard.
@Mario500 Won't somebody please think of the children?!
Well as someone who likes to consider themselves to be a reasonable adult myself, I for one find the use of the word to be offensive. In my opinion a reasonable adult would be considerate enough not to use language that could offend other people or make fun of them for finding it offensive. That's called having manners.
How's it offensive? Everyone in my life from family, friends, and co-workers has used the word hell for as long as I can remember. Some of them are also religious and straight up don't care. You're so overly religious and sensitive over a harmless made up word?
@AlanaHagues yeah certainly E3 2005, because of the Game Boy Micro logo
It doesn't matter if you understand it or not, the point is that some people do find it offensive. For the record, everyone I know finds it offensive. Just because the people in your life are fine with it doesn't mean everyone is.
Removed - disrespecting others
I remember being like 10 or 11 when the first trailer dropped…..the music alone made me so happy and made me want to save up for the game ….which my young self did…and I eagerly waited for this game with that money saved to the side waiting for the game to come ……. It slightly broke my heart that it never came out.
No one is trying to make it your problem though. The criticism was about the article, not you.
@link3710: Far as I know this is the first and only cancelled Kirby GCN. I also remember seeing the other footage of this game.
@Coolmusic I checked the Kirby wiki, there's actually 3 separate cancelled Kirby GCN titles.
I'm curious as to why it was cancelled. This looks like it would have been really good.
@link3710: Huh, how about that. You learn something new everyday.
On-topic I'm curious to how this game would have turned out and been received during the Gamecube era had it not been canned, but at the end of the day its good that most, if not all of the ideas got reused in later mainline installments.
@GinMiguel Almost feel like it looks too good to have been a Gamecube game. Does look more like a prototype for Dreamland.
It sort of depends on what you count as a "cancelled" game I guess. Really what happened was that there were three prototype iterations before they landed on Return to Dreamland. Two of those prototypes were indeed for GameCube, but I'm not sure it's fair to call them "cancelled" since they were really just part of RtDL's development.
Other than that there was also Roll-O-Rama, a follow up to Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, that was later changed to a generic non-kirby game before being scrapped altogether.
Tap here to load 31 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...