Game Center CX Season 11 – Back to Contents
Suckin’ Like Mad! "Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari"
For once, a Famicom game that’s not from the ’80s! And it’s also one of the most celebrated games on the system: Kirby’s Adventure, the bigger, bolder sequel to the original Kirby’s Dream Land on Game Boy. It’s not a terribly hard game for most, but it can be lengthy, and regardless, there are tricky bosses in the latter half that may or may throw Arino for a loop.
The game begins, and Arino sees there are already two save files that are pretty much done with the game — clearly the work of the AD(s). Rather than make this the shortest episode ever, he goes ahead and starts a new game. The fun begins at Level 1, Vegetable Valley. Arino grasps the controls, including Kirby’s ability to inhale and spit out enemies. But it takes a few minutes for Arino to discover Kirby’s "copy" powers where the little pink guy swallows the enemy and absorbs their power, usually in the form of a special weapon. In this case, Arino gets the Spark ability, though he really just plays with it.
At any rate, Arino eventually finishes stage 1, and opens up stage 2, as well as a bonus room that leads to a "crane game." He tries to pick up a large Kirby doll to get some extra lives, and does after two tries! Well, that’s better luck than he usually has at real-life crane games. Arino continues to stage 2, where he grabs a Warp Star that shuttles him through most of the stage, and also grabs a sword at the end. Unfortunately, when he gets to stage 3, he mistakenly drops into a pit and dies. But he still gets through, and goes onward to stage 4.
After blowing through stage 4 thanks to the invincibility powers of a magic lollipop, Arino opens up the final stage; the boss room. Too bad he only has one bit of health left. Regardless, he goes on to face the giant tree Wispy Woods. He wasn’t expecting Wispy to blow a bunch of gusts of air, though, so he gets hit and dies. Back to stage 4, then, where Arino tries to find a new enemy power that might work best. He sticks with the Sword, then goes back to face Wispy (again with one health bar!).
This time, Arino goes right up to Wispy and repeatedly strikes him with the sword. Wispy has no space to retaliate, so he’s defeated in seconds.
Level 2 starts, and Arino does OK, using the impressive Tornado power to get through the first stage. On the second stage, he’s blocked by a huge wall with a "bomb" block at the bottom, but tornado spins aren’t doing anything. Eventually, Arino discovers Kirby’s slide move, which hits the bomb block and clears the path.
Arino blazes through the rest of the stages, and meets the next big boss, Paint Roller, who paints enemies on canvases that are sent after Kirby/Arino, then tries to roll into him. Using the Laser power, Arino repeatedly blasts Paint Roller, and gets close to death, but it’s Paint Roller that falls. Level 2 is clear!
Arino blazes through stages again in Level 3, but a miniboss in stage 5 finishes him off for once. On the second try, he nails it, and continues on. Level 3 has a couple more stages than the last ones, so it’s a bit of a longer climb up to the boss this time.
The boss — or bosses, rather — are Mr. Bright and Mr. Shine, a sun and a moon who jump and fly and shoot beams at Arino from above. He’s destroyed early on, but on the next try, he grabs Mr. Shine’s Cutter ability and uses it against Mr. Bright. Once Bright is down, it’s time to finish off Mr. Shine. Once again, the Cutter is highly useful, and before you know it, Arino’s defeated both of them.
Level 4 doesn’t start off well. There’s a lack of platforms in the first stage, and Arino soon falls to his death — his last death, in fact, because he now gets a Game Over. But… he can at least continue immediately after, so that’s quite nice. He’s back in the game in a jiff.
In one stage, Arino finds a long fuse leading to a cannon. He lights the fuse and hops in the cannon, but then jumps out at the last second out of fear. But then he realizes it may have been good after all. Indeed; it would have shot him up to the sky where he could grab a 1-Up. Oh well!
On the final stage of level 4, Arino must face the cloud monster Kracko. But Kracko chases him up a series of platforms before the fight begins, and the monster isn’t too fair. Arino gets repeatedly hit and eventually dies before the actual boss fight even starts. Rinse and repeat. Arino just keeps flying up to escape, but Kracko keeps hitting him. But then, Arino decides to take each platform up one at a time. It works: Kracko is fooled and barely moves, and by floating up then stopping for a moment at each platform, Arino makes it to the top safely, where the boss fight begins.
Unfortunately, Kracko is even more ferocious once he’s ready to duel. He crashes into Arino multiple times, killing him just as often. But after Arino learns to swallow the enemies that Kracko releases, then sput them back at the nasty cloud, that clinches it. Level 5 awaits!
Stage 5-1 starts with a long drop, then stops at a castle-like structure made of blocks that Arino can swallow, but also fall to his death if he gets rid of too many. An exit door is hidden here somewhere, but it takes several tries before Arino finds it.
Fast forward to the level 5 boss, Heavy Mole. This burrowing robot tries to get away from Kirby as it creates a tunnel underground. Arino must swallow its projectiles then toss them back. Heavy Mole does get kind of erratic at points, though, which throws Arino off. But after a few deaths, he finally nails enough shots to destroy Mole and continue to level 6.
Again, level 6 is generally a cakewalk for Arino. The key point is the boss fight, against Kirby series favorite Metaknight. But even that isn’t so bad, since Arino has a sword, and just keeps slashing at Metaknight until his mask is sliced in half, and he’s forced to retreat. The light at the end of the tunnel grows ever larger!
Stage 7-2 is a gauntlet of minibosses, but Arino does well staying alive while walloping the same thugs that have been trying to kill him for hours now. That is until he gets closer to the top of the tower o’ bosses, where a tiger enemy loves to leap up, grab Arino, then tackle him, taking off a lot of his health. After dying and going all the way back up the tower, Arino defeats the miniboss and continues up.
A Warp Star takes him to the exit, and then he fights on through 7-3 and 7-4. In 7-5 he finds another cannon, and he’s determined not to miss it this time, but the fuse is too short to make it to the cannon after he lights it, so he eventually gives up.
After continuing through level 7-6 (styled after the Game Boy Kirby game), Arino finally makes it to the boss room to face the mischievous King Dedede. Dedede isn’t very weak, but Arino keeps him at a distance by spamming Cutter shots. It takes a while, but eventually Arino destroys Dedede and watches Kirby take the Star Rod to the Fountain of Dreams. But Dedede tries to stop him, and when Kirby does return the rod, he unleashes a greater evil.
The final boss fight begins in a shoot-em-up style stage. Unfortunately, it takes several tries to defeat the big ball of evil, due to its confusing beam patterns, but when Arino has one life left, he finally destroys the thing!
But that’s not enough! The scene fades into a fight against the true form of the boss, Nightmare! Arino has one bit of health left and is on his last life — can he do it? Nope; Nightmare crashes right into him.
Luckily, by continuing, the game takes Arino right back to the same fight. This time, he’s ready, and just keeps slinging star shots at Nightmare. Eventually, the shots start connecting, and Arino whittles down the boss’ health until Nightmare is finally defeated. The ending screen rolls, and Arino celebrates.
And then, two people step into frame and congratulate Arino on clearing the game. He says thanks. But wait, who the hell are they?! They are, of course, the new ADs; a young man and woman, who we’re sure to see more of in future episodes.
This week’s TamaGe takes place in Koutou, where Arino is to visit a tiny shop called Ohkawa Shoten.
Outside the place are two tiny videogame cabinets, each one remarkably cheap at 10 yen a game. The one on the left is Metal Slug X, appearing for the billionth time on TamaGe, and is apparently the game of choice for any mom-and-pop corner shop in Japan. Arino gets a quick game in, but then moves to the adjacent game, Ultra Toukon Densetsu, a beat-em-up with chibified Ultraman characters.
Then it’s time to check out the interior. Arino checks out the snacks, and the shop’s selection of old "card seals;" sticker sets that you pull from a bundle and see what you got. Just another staple of Japanese candy shops.
But what Ohkawa Shoten is known for is their monjayaki (a pan-fried dish similar to teppanyaki or okonomiyaki), so Arino sits with AP Nakayama to try it out. The old woman who runs the place prepares it on a giant teppan, and the two men partake in the fried goodness. A simple but satisfying visit.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Strategy Guides
This time, pearls of wisdom are delivered to us via a hintbook for Solomon’s Key.