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Should Kirby Be Eating That?: An Investigation | Fandom

Should Kirby Be Eating That?: An Investigation

Kevin Wright
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

Over the years, notorious vore balloon Kirby has had his fill of enemies, and I do mean that literally. In case you’ve forgotten, Kirby copies his opponents’ abilities¡ªnot through photographic reflexes or technological replication ¨¤ la Mega Man, but by completely devouring them.

The franchise has yet to explore this consumption compulsion in much detail, and gameplay footage from Kirby’s upcoming outing, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, raises far more questions than it answers. The newly minted ¡°Mouthful Mode¡± sees Kirby devouring some of his most unusual victims to date, leading to some serious concerns about the extent of his increasingly Lovecraftian abilities.

But (to paraphrase Ian Malcolm) while we spend our time asking whether Kirby could, theoretically, absorb anything from bacterial colonies to entire worlds with his insatiable cosmic appetite, perhaps the more pressing question is whether he should. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to address that age-old question: Should Kirby be eating that?

The Criteria

This is a question with no simple answer, one for which a consistent utilitarian calculus must be applied. In an effort to quantify it, I’ve developed a few key criteria to apply to each individual instance of Kirby-snacking:

  1. Abilities Acquired (A): This is the payoff, the entire reason for Kirby’s ruthless predation. A powerful enough copy ability can make nearly any other consideration moot in comparison. Abilities can be situationally useful, so versatility is important in this calculation. (Note: For the purposes of this exercise, it must be assumed that Kirby will be using his powers for good. In practice, this is a dangerous assumption. Under no circumstances should one ever consider Kirby incorruptible; entire civilizations have fallen for less.)
  2. Difficulty of Consumption (D): This metric isn’t always easy to quantify, given that Kirby¡¯s ability to swallow stuff is always getting a zany upgrade. In general, difficulty increases proportionally with size, toughness, and the presence of hazardous materials. If an object is too difficult to consume, the ability may not be worth the effort.
  3. Cost to Society (S): Eating something removes it from the world. In some cases, such a loss is negligible; in others, the loss of a nonrenewable resource can have serious ramifications for society. Kirby¡¯s supposed to be saving Dreamland¡ªdooming it to starvation or worse would kind of defeat the purpose.

In each case, these variables can be plugged into the equation for the Kirby Quotient (original concept do not steal):

A higher K-score indicates a greater likelihood that Kirby should indeed be eating that. A lower one, where the difficulty and cost far outweigh the ability score, means Kirby might want to take a long, hard look at what he¡¯s about to eat, and maybe go with the cauliflower rice instead.

Grading Scale

K = 4-5 ¡ª Kirby should be eating this at every opportunity
K = 2-4 ¡ª Kirby should be eating this fairly often
K = 1-2 ¡ª Kirby can take it or leave it
K = 0.1-0.9 ¡ª Kirby should not be eating this!!!

With our metrics set, let¡¯s go through a few of Kirby¡¯s favorite morsels and rate each criterion from 0 to 5 in an effort to build a solid dietary regimen for our favorite friend-shaped vacuum.

Squeaker

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 1
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 1

Squeakers are basically the mice of Dream Land. They¡¯re cute and cuddly with almost nothing in the way of destructive capabilities, so they¡¯re more of a nuisance than anything, and eating them could be considered a form of pest extermination. That said, while Kirby can technically suck them up, they offer no copy abilities at all. Squeakers hit the lowest scores all across the board.

Verdict: While it¡¯s probably fine to eat them, Kirby¡¯s efforts are better spent elsewhere.

Waddle Dee

Ability: 3
Difficulty: 3
Cost to Society: 5
K-Score: 0.2

Waddle Dees are the main denizens of Dream Land, analogous to the humans of our world. Like any group of people, they¡¯re far from being a monolith. Many are happy to help Kirby on his quests, while others sell their services to villains like King Dedede. They possess and yield a wide array of abilities depending on how they¡¯re outfitted, so they get an average ability and difficulty score. But while killing them in self-defense might sometimes be necessary, eating them feels a lot more like a war crime. I mean, from a Dreamlander perspective, a Waddle Dee is literally just a guy. Despite how much their powers vary, are any of them really worth it?

Verdict: Skip the military tribunal and go for something less people-y, Kirbs.

Hot Head

Ability: 4
Difficulty: 4
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 1

Eating these little Alolan Q*berts grants Kirby the Fire ability, a solid buff with plenty of applications. Hot Heads are also quite destructive in nature, so eating them removes a substantial fire hazard¡ªyou¡¯re welcome, society! The only problem is that eating them has to hurt. Even Kirby can¡¯t enjoy having an open flame in his mouth.

Verdict: Eh, it¡¯s up to Kirby if he¡¯s willing to feel the burn. Although he¡¯d probably do really well on Hot Ones, if they can book him.

Parasol

Ability: 5
Difficulty: 1
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 5

Let¡¯s get this out of the way: parasols are not very nutritious, nor do they look very appetizing. Nobody sees a parasol and thinks, ¡°Now there¡¯s a tasty treat!¡± But that¡¯s where the cons begin and end. Parasol is an incredibly versatile ability in all its iterations, whether it¡¯s slowing Kirby¡¯s descent, protecting him from overhead threats, or being paired with the Ability Scroll for massive offensive capabilities. It can be yanked from at least ten different enemies throughout the games, which even include sentient parasols. That¡¯s minimal cost to society for an enormous return on investment.

Verdict: The Dream Land equivalent of a superfood. Kirby should definitely be eating this!

Bomber

Ability: 5
Difficulty: 5
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 1

Bombers are little bombs with feet. That¡¯s it. That¡¯s all they are. They offer the Crash ability, which has a devastating attack move¡ªpretty nifty. Size-wise, Bombers seem swallowable, but my god the risk involved with eating an active explosive! That said, cleaning these up is a major plus for society¡ªunattended explosives are incredibly hazardous (fragile ones even more so)¡ªand the fact that they wander around makes them unbelievably dangerous to innocent passersby.

Verdict: These are basically walking landmines. Kirby should eat them if he can get away with it, but don¡¯t get too hooked on the rush. We all saw how The Hurt Locker ended.

Cool Spook

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 1
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 1

Cool Spooks are ghosts, so in a way, they¡¯ve already been removed from society, meaning the only members of society who stand to lose from their immortal souls being eaten are the loved ones they¡¯ve left behind¡ªa small price to pay, relatively speaking. They¡¯re very easy to eat, but they offer a famously middling boon: in the only game in which they appear, their Light ability is able to illuminate a grand total of two of the game¡¯s rooms. Versatility is key in our rating system, and this is easily the least versatile skill around.

Verdict: Empty calories. Okay to eat but barely worth the already meager effort.

UFO

Ability: 4
Difficulty: 3
Cost to Society: 5
K-Score: 0.27

UFOs grant the UFO ability. (Fancy that.) They¡¯re hard to find but not necessarily to contend with once they¡¯re found, earning them a medium difficulty score. Their copy ability makes Kirby much more agile and gives him a whole arsenal of attacks¡ªsolid ability score! But none of them hold a candle to the UFO¡¯s high social cost. These spacecraft might contain members of an alien race, and eating them could mean jeopardizing Dream Land¡¯s opportunity at diplomacy with them. On top of that, we have no idea what kind of interstellar diseases they might carry. There are just too many unknowns at play for this to be a safe bet.

Verdict: Absolutely do not eat these until the CDC releases guidelines on them.

Master Hand

Ability: 5
Difficulty: 5
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 1

Master Hand is a hyperdimensional menace whose only goal seems to be to make the greatest fighters of the multiverse throw Bob-ombs at each other. Unequivocally awesome as that sounds, it has a negative impact on every reality imaginable, so crossing him off comes at no cost to society. Master Hand no kiddie-mitten; he puts up a tough fight, so there¡¯s a lot of risk involved. Still, Kirby gets some pretty killer moves out of the deal.

Verdict: This one can go either way, but as a rule, we encourage anyone with the ability to save the multiverse to consider doing so.

A Gigantic Cake

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 4
Cost to Society: 2
K-Score: 0.125

Look at this cake. This is an enormous goddamn cake. It¡¯s not exactly an enemy, since it can¡¯t fight back, but, I mean, just look at it. It¡¯s way too much cake! There are plenty of other people who¡¯d love some cake, too. Leave some for them! It¡¯s not like you¡¯re going to get cake powers from it. What would that even look like? On second thought, no need to answer that. Nothing could be worth the arterial clogging.

Verdict: Stick with a slice for breakfast like the rest of us.

Land Barbar

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 5
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 0.2

Okay, this is just a gigantic eel. Why are you eating that? It doesn¡¯t give you any abilities?! Kirby, this is unnecessary.

Verdict: Just go around it, man.

Now that we¡¯ve gone through some of Kirby¡¯s classic foes, it¡¯s time to set our eyes on the future. We don¡¯t know a ton about the new offerings in Kirby¡¯s next adventure, but we can make educated guesses about what¡¯s to come with the new Mouthful Mode based on the footage released in the latest Nintendo Direct. Prepare for deliciousness!

Adorable Foxes

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 2
Cost to Society: 5
K-Score: 0.1

WHAT. OH MY GOD. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? No. This is a very bad thing. Not everything has to be eaten, Kirby!

Verdict: KIRBY SHOULD NOT BE EATING THAT.

Vending Machine

Ability: 1
Difficulty: 3
Cost to Society: 4
K-Score: 0.08

The removal of any source of Diet Dr. Pepper is a loss no civilized society should be forced to endure. Already this seems a needlessly cruel gesture on Kirby¡¯s part. It also looks pretty hard to eat¡ªKirby¡¯s really having to unhinge that non-jaw of his. So what kind of amazing gift does Kirby get from all this effort? Oh. It just¡­ it shoots cans. Well, that sucks.

Verdict: I know the machine ate your dollar, Kirby, but this isn¡¯t the way to get you that Dasani. Please, just have tap water instead.

Traffic Cone

Ability: 2
Difficulty: 2
Cost to Society: 3
K-Score: 0.3

They put that there for a reason! This is inconsiderate of road workers and it¡¯s a misdemeanor.

Verdict: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me¡­

Water Balloon

Ability: 5
Difficulty: 1
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 5

Now we¡¯re talking! This is very much a fair use of Kirby¡¯s powers. Not only that, he¡¯s staying well hydrated for once! This is perhaps the only uncontroversial one on here.

Verdict: Kirby should absolutely be eating (er, drinking) that.

Light Bulb

Ability: 4
Difficulty: 2
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 2

Not gonna lie, this one looks like it would be painful if your digestive system isn¡¯t made of tungsten¡ªbut it¡¯s a hell of a lot more versatile than Light. It¡¯s probably also more energy-efficient than real bulbs, so society wins.

Verdict: Based on what we know, it¡¯s okay for Kirby to be eating that, if he really, really wants to.

A Whole-Ass Car

Ability: 3
Difficulty: 5
Cost to Society: 1
K-Score: 0.6

Absolutely not. That is a whole-ass car. It¡¯s too big for you, Kirby. Sure, it lets you move at fast speeds, but you could also just learn to drive.

Verdict: Get your learner¡¯s permit instead. I promise it¡¯s easier than this.

Scissor Lift

Ability: 2
Difficulty: 5
Cost to Society: 2
K-Score: 0.2

You¡¯ve got to be kidding me.

Verdict: What the hell.

Conclusions

Based on these finely-tuned metrics and rigorous methodology, it¡¯s clear Kirby¡¯s eating a lot of stuff he probably shouldn¡¯t be. As a recommendation, Kirby should try cleaner eating, focusing on high ability score food like the Parasol and the Lightbulb, while cutting out empty carbs and anything that places him in breach of the Geneva Conventions.

More study will need to be done on Kirby¡¯s food regimen once Kirby and the Forgotten Land drops on March 25th, but judging from previous trends, Kirby will probably be eating a few things he should and a whole bunch of things he shouldn¡¯t.?And you know what? Maybe that¡¯s okay. If you disagree, well, you try telling him to give keto a go, see how he takes it. Just stay out of sucking range.

Kevin Wright
Freelance writer by day and sleeper by night. Thoughts contain mostly high fantasy, open-world survival games, and movie musicals. Sidon stan. The world needs more queer genre fiction and by golly I'm gonna give it to 'em!