The Kirby series is celebrating its 30th anniversary today, April 27, 2022. In celebration, game director Masahiro Sakurai shared a story about the development of the first Kirby game, Kirby’s Dream Land.
Kirby’s Dream Land released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1992. Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo, the game featured simple mechanics that would continue to appear in later titles. Its main playable character, Kirby, would also become one of Nintendo’s most popular mascots. Masahiro Sakurai served as the director of Kirby’s Dream Land.
In a Tweet celebrating the series’ 30th anniversary, Sakurai discussed one iconic aspect of the Kirby franchise: Kirby’s victory dance.
— 桜井 政博 / Masahiro Sakurai (@Sora_Sakurai) April 26, 2022
During development, Sakurai was in charge of animating Kirby’s signature dance. However, when he asked the sound designer how many frames were in the victory dance theme song, the sound designer was unable to give him an answer. Therefore, Sakurai copied the theme song onto a cassette tape and listened to it repeatedly while animating the dance. Additionally, when asked why several Kirbys spawn seemingly out of nowhere during the dance, Sakurai simply answered that it was “more fun that way.”
As part of the Kirby 30th anniversary, Japanese brand Takarajima is releasing limited-edition palm-sized lights, plushes, and other merchandise.
The latest game in the Kirby series, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, is available on Nintendo Switch.