Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-01-15 13:03 JST)
A new character named Elfilin appeared in the latest Kirby and the Forgotten Land trailer and looks to be a cute and fluffy companion on Kirby’s upcoming adventure.
But instead of welcoming Elfilin with open arms, for some reason, fans are predicting that Elfilin will betray Kirby in the game’s final act. At first glance, Elfilin looks like a sweet little creature, so why are fans so suspicious? How things have played out in past Kirby titles may likely lead us to the answer (spoilers for previous Kirby titles to follow).
Kirby has a long history of being betrayed by trusted companions. The series first shocked fans in 1996 with Kirby Super Star and the Milky Way Wishes mode within it. Milkey Way Wishes features a jester looking character name Marx. Kirby, who is looking to put an end to some trouble on Popstar, is taught by Marx about a wish granting comet and encourages Kirby to set off on a journey.
After some twists and turns, Kirby summons the comet and is finally able to make a wish. That is until Marx appears and steals the wish for himself. The development of having a character that helped you at the beginning of the adventure actually be the last boss shocked players at the time.
Then there’s the partner character Magolor from Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. Magolor’s spaceship crash lands on Popstar leaving Magolor stranded and unable to return home. The game sees Kirby adventuring around the planet looking for the scattered pieces of Magolor’s ship and depicts Kirby and Magolor steadily becoming closer and closer friends.
But things suddenly change in the back half of the game’s story. Magolor’s ship has been repaired and he can return home. Now, Magolor asks Kirby to defeat a dragon that is threatening his planet. Kirby easily does so, but something is off about Magolor. He steals a hidden treasure from the defeated dragon and set off to become the ruler of the galaxy. Kirby was once again manipulated by the true villain. And with Kirby and Magolor’s exchanges having been so delicately depicted, it made the betrayal an even bigger shock.
Since then, if a new game features what looks to be a new companion character, fans consider the possibility of that character becoming a traitor in the game’s final moments. Even when Kirby and the Rainbow Curse released in 2015, fans predicted Elline, the fairy and new partner character of that game, would turn out to be a villain in the end (but she didn’t).
It’s this long history that has fans suspicious of Elfilin in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Besides it being almost a gag at this point, fans are already digging for the truth behind who’s side Elfilin is actually on. For example, at the 1:13 mark of the recently released trailer, there’s a cage with a paper mache Elfilin inside. According to analysis from fans, there’s a piece of paper that says “CAUTION” hanging near the cage. Some are also suggesting that Elfilin’s name could be rooted in words like “effigy” or “efilism.”
If you look at Elfilin’s ear, you’ll likely notice a chunk of it is missing. In the real world, stray cats with similar cuts to their ears can mean they’ve been spayed or neutered, and there are examples of rats used for experiments having tags pierced to their ears. With the world of Kirby and the Forgotten Land having a modern-day motif, some fans are suspicious that there’s some sort of secret being hidden from us.
At first, the Kirby series was known for being light on story and world building. But in more recent titles, there have been elements hidden in games that reveal a darker side of the seemingly always cheerful Popstar. Fans suspect that this game will contain subtle hints at a darker setting as well.
Furthermore, according to the official Nintendo website in the United Kingdom, the game has a rating of PEGI 7 for “violence” and “fear.” Previous titles have received the “violence” content warning, but “fear” is rare for the series. This may lead to more excitement, and perhaps apprehension, towards Elfilin as the release draws near.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is scheduled to launch for the Nintendo Switch on March 25.