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The Kirby (星のカービィ) series is a fantasy video game series developed by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo, and produced by Nintendo. The gameplay of a majority of the games in the series consists mainly of action, platform and puzzle-solving elements. The series is known for its bright and artistic settings; simplistic gameplay; cute characters; upbeat, cheerful music; and the protagonist's in-game ability to inhale enemies, thereby gaining a characteristic ability from them. As of February 2010, the Kirby series includes a total of twenty games, and has sold over 30 million units worldwide.

All of the games in the Kirby series feature a pink spherical creature named Kirby as the main playable character and protagonist. Kirby frequently saves the world he resides in from various powerful antagonists, the most recurring one being King Dedede, the self-proclaimed ruler of Dream Land (a region of Pop Star). King Dedede has appeared in every Kirby game except for Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. Another major character of the series is the enigmatic Meta Knight, a chivalrous warrior who often assists Kirby, but, depending on his intentions, will fight against Kirby to get things as he desires.

The games' fantasy world of Pop Star includes many regions of different climates and terrains, which are home to many different creatures. Each game features uniquely-named areas, but all games feature typical locations such as fiery caverns, open meadows, water-filled or submerged areas, icy mountains, and similar nature-based places. Most games in the series also contain a castle, which more often than not belongs to King Dedede.

The main Kirby games feature a mixture of basic side-scrolling platform gameplay, unique puzzles, and a number of hidden items that either unlock more parts to the game or are simple incentives to collect, and are usually required to collect to achieve a 100% completion rate in the game. These elements have remained constant throughout most the series, with each game having its own unique twist to affect gameplay. There are also several unique "side" games in the series, which involve a variety of different gaming genres such as pinball, puzzle, racing, even a game based on motion-sensor technology. A number of these side games take advantage to Kirby's unique ball-like appearance.

Nearly every platform Kirby game involves traversing through a number of areas, each containing around one to six stages, and defeating the boss enemy of each area along the way. Kirby's signature method of dispatching enemies found in the stages is by using his ability of inhaling with extreme power, literally sucking the enemies into his mouth. If Kirby inhales and eats the correct enemy, he can acquire a special ability from them, which he can then use to attack further enemies. Each of these abilities are unique, such as breathing fire, wielding a sword, launching sparks in every direction, or attacking enemies with direct hand-to-hand combat.

In the platform games, several of the bosses have a special item, which must be taken from them by defeating them. These special items usually relate to the final boss of the game, most often used to create a special weapon required to defeat it. In some games, the special weapon is optional and can be used in the game regularly after defeating the final boss with it.

While a traditional Kirby game can be called a side-scrolling platform game, it cannot really be called a traditional platformer. One of the things that sets a Kirby game apart from most of them is Kirby's ability to inflate and fly for as long as he likes—however, in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, he can get tired after a while. Like a stereotypical platform game character, Kirby can also land on his enemies to attack them—though, unlike most of them, Kirby must fall from an appropriate altitude to do this.

Source: Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.or...
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