The Kirby characters that never left Japan

Have you heard about Kirby’s long-running light novel series? It contains over 20 books, including novelizations of fan favorite games, original stories, and even a standalone version of Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. It probably doesn’t need to be said that these books are targeted towards children, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing classic Kirby characters to life with more depth than what we’ve seen in the games. Kirby even talks and it somehow works!

In order to flesh out the Kirby universe during the pink puffball’s story-driven adventures, these books introduce a number of new characters and locales not seen in any other Kirby media. With this article, we wanted to highlight a few of the interesting additions to the Kirby cast. Team up with the Animal Friends and Gooey once again to stop a new disciple of Queen Sectonia? Count us in.

Please note that the following names are not official translations.

Chief Kain (ケイン所長)

Appears in Kirby’s Dream Land: Adventures on Planet Robobot (星のカービィ:ロボボプラネットの大冒険!)

Chief Kain is the head of the research division at Haltmann Works Company as featured in Kirby: Planet Robobot. While many may not be familiar with the character, as he doesn’t appear in the game, you likely know his work. His department’s research and development are behind the Invader Armor featured in the game which Kirby can acquire and use as the Robobot Armor.

Chief Kain also likes to talk, which suits him well in his role as a foil for Susie and others to talk to. Their conversations often shed more light on what happens behind the scenes such as the creations of Mecha Knight and Dedede Clone by the Mother Computer. His eccentric personality and dislike of being pushed around by Susie also make for nice comedic relief.

Despite being a story we already know from the game, Chief Kain is actually good character to insert. It gives more depth to Haltmann Works Company as an organization and helps explain where some of their technology comes from. The character also shows that there are ways to naturally flesh out the stories of these games even though they don’t pursue a more story-driven direction. Another fun fact about Chief Kain is that Kirby gets the Doctor ability when absorbing him.

Ali (アリー)

Appears in Kirby’s Dream Land: King Dedede’s Great Escape (星のカービィ:デデデ大王の脱走大作戦!)

Ali is a new character from an all-new adventure on the all-new planet of Minore. Minore is a desert planet known for its festival where participants basically fast for one week before eating their fill of the planet’s most delicious meals. But all does not go well as King Dedede and Bandana Waddle Dee find themselves thrown in jail on charges of stealing food being stockpiled for the event.

This is where King Dedede and Waddle Dee meet Ali, who helps them as the three make their escape and go on the run trying to find the real culprit. Ali plays the confident thief archetype and that whole situation reminds me of Erik, a thief character from Dragon Quest XI. But there’s more to Ali than meets the eye as he’s suspiciously knowledgeable about the royal palace and how Minore operates.

To make a long story short, Ali is the exiled king of the planet who wasn’t able to fulfill his newfound responsibilities, leaving the previous year’s festival ending in disaster. Something funny about the character is how to the surprise of everyone else, he’s able to glean life lessons from King Dedede about how to not overwork and how to care for one’s people. Lessons that will serve him well as he returns to his place on the throne.

Ali is a fun character in a story that focuses on King Dedede. Through his character they are able to highlight what’s good about the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land without making any changes to his personality. King Dedede may be boastful and selfish, but when the chips are down, he fights for his people. Something we only get a glimpse of in games like Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

Pirika (ピリカ)

Appears in Kirby’s Dream Land: Rainbow Islands Rescue (星のカービィ:虹の島々を救え!)

Pirika is a traveling fairy that idolizes Queen Sectonia. During her travels she eventually finds Queen Sectonia’s castle and meets Taranza, who gives her a tour and tells her more about the queen. Despite her cute appearance, she then sets off to be the antagonist of this tale after learning of the Dreamstalk.

Her plan is a little complicated, but it basically involves using a Dreamstalk and clogging up the rain source for the Rainbow Islands to enhance her mind control abilities. The same abilities that got her kicked out of her village. She’s ultimately stopped by Gooey and realizes the error of her ways, but not before causing a big enough ruckus to bring together Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, Bandana Waddle Dee, Rick, Kine, Coo, and Gooey for an epic showdown.

Besides a reason to bring together fans of Kirby’s Dreamland 2 and Kirby: Triple Deluxe, it’s fun to see her pulling the strings behind the scenes for her schemes, even if her motivation isn’t that compelling. If your deeds bring Kirby back together with the Animal Friends, that’s good enough for me. It’s also fun to see Gooey get some time in the spotlight.

If these light novels have taught me anything, it’s that the world is ready for a Kirby RPG.