Smash Bros.’ Sakurai Explains Kirby’s Role In World Of Light

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

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In his latest Famitsu column, Masahiro Sakurai explained the heavy involvement of Kirby in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s World of Light mode. Despite widespread consensus that the character is in the single player mode’s starring role for being a Sakurai creation, the director says the truth is more complicated than playing favorites.

As translated by Source Gaming, Kirby was ultimately chosen to lead World of Light based on practicality and was one of several possible choices. Among those candidates not chosen were Peach, Bayonetta, and Palutena. Kirby’s mode of transportation made him the most plausible one to escape being “eliminated” in the world-destroying opening cutscene.

All the fighters perish at once in “World of Light,” but there wouldn’t be much of a story if one of them didn’t survive. So why did I choose Kirby? “It must be because you created the Kirby series!” …I thought you might say that. But from a game design perspective, and based on process of elimination, Kirby was the obvious choice.

We needed a solid, convincing reason for why said character could outrun Galeem. All fighters possessing “normal” abilities were immediately disqualified. Given that its assault enveloped the ends of the galaxy, only a vehicle that could defy the laws of physics would work.

Besides in-story reasons, Kirby was also picked due to his ordained status as a “beginner-friendly character” for Super Smash Bros. newcomers.

As fans caught onto, the Japanese name for World of Light (Tomoshibi/Bika no Hoshi) happens to resemble the Japanese title for the Kirby series (Hoshi no Kabi) but backwards. Sakurai also said that was pure coincidence.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on Nintendo Switch in almost a week from this writing, December 7th. When players kick off their World of Light save, they’ll receive one advanced-level Spirit, the primary custom power-ups collected in the single player.

About Alex Irish

When he's not writing about games, Alex Irish is an illustrator and animation expert. His favorite gaming franchise is Pokémon, full-stop, but his favorite game of all time is Resident Evil 4. He attended the first-ever IGN House Party and is a five-time attendee of the Ottowa International Animation Festival.