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Kirby’s next adventure is bringing all kinds of new ideas to his dreamy corner of Nintendo’s collection of characters. Just in time for the series’ 30th anniversary, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has impressed since its reveal. Whether it’s the intriguing world our pink puffball’s found himself in or the memetic supremacy of Mouthful Mode, everything shown so far has us excited. 

Just a few days ago, we were invited to get an early look at the Kirby and the Forgotten Land demo, coming to the eShop today! This gave us a preview of two stages and a boss fight, as well as some of Kirby’s new and returning abilities. Read on to discover everything we did. 



For the sake of time, cutscenes were skipped in the hands-off presentation. We did learn that this game has brought Kirby into a completely new world rather than some distant corner of Pop Star, or a forgotten corner of the series’ history. He’s not alone, though, as his buddy and co-op partner Bandana Dee plus a whole hoard of Waddle Dee are along for the ride. 

Forgotten Land will actually have two difficulties to choose from when you play. Our demo was completely in Wild Mode, which promises to be “a bit wilder and more challenging,” but with more Star Coins as rewards. The nostalgically named Spring Breeze Mode wasn’t shown, but it should be just that — a breezy time for beginners. 

Even Wild Mode seemed to be welcoming though, with it being more akin to a “normal” than “hard” from what I could tell in the earliest levels. There were still little tutorial videos in the bottom corner of the screen as progress was made to show certain techniques. They wouldn’t be so notable on their own, but having the blue checkerboard staging of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards’ tutorial area definitely made me smile.

The most striking thing about Forgotten Land has been its presentation. As Kirby washes ashore in this new area, he ends up trekking through a dense wooded area. It’s when that clears and you come upon the city that the game played its hand, pulling the camera back and putting its derelict skyscraper on full display. This is easily the prettiest Kirby game, for both what it’s showing and the overall style with which it does so. Whether it’s these staged displays or just weaving Warp Star through alleys, I can’t wait to see what it has to show me in the full game.



All that early adventuring through the Point of Arrival (the demo’s first stage) must’ve had Kirby starving. As pointed out by one of the Nintendo rep’s playing, Kirby’s a hungry feller. How could you not want to snack on an entire automobile? Our first Mouthful Mode was Car Mouth, and while it rolls around in turbo mode and smashes through blocks and enemies alike as shown in trailers, we did get to see one new aspect. If Bandana Dee is around, he’ll be clinging onto the back of the car and able to throw spears, like a dedicated turret system for your drive!

This first level ended with us meeting Elfilin, the teal buddy seemingly modeled after a chinchilla that appears core to Forgotten Land. We didn’t get much info on him, though based on the track record of past “friends” in recent Kirby games, it’s no wonder people are suspicious. It was noted that he’s a native of this new world and he’s helping Kirby rescue Waddle Dees because “their goals align.” Whether that’s some unknown use for the mouthless minions or just a common enemy remains to be seen… 



Ah, but yes, the poor Waddle Dees. They’ve all been captured by the game’s villains, the Beast Pack. You’ll be able to rescue them as you adventure through stages, as demonstrated when we arrived at the next stage — Downtown Grassland. Here we were introduced to Missions, something the Kirby series really hasn’t utilized in the past, that reward more freed Dees on their completion.

Naturally you’ll want to complete all of these, both for that tangible reward and the sense of “discovery” they lead you towards. The first we encountered was to make five tulips bloom throughout the stage. We didn’t know that was the mission going in, and only were introduced to it once we found that first flower. 



I enjoy this approach — of the missions being there but not stated plainly. Some were “obvious,” but seeing that prompt of a mission being stumbled upon shifts the focus of a stage. Instead of rushing for the goal or keeping an eye out for a specific object, you’re checking out pretty much everything you can throughout. Mouthful Mode plays into this especially well, with no less than three tucked away Waddle Dees requiring a specific Mouth.

Aside from Car Mouth, we got to see Vending Mouth and Cone Mouth in action. One unique aspect of Vending that came up was that Kirby might need to “reload” cans if he’s fired them all off and away. Cone came in handy for spiking down on concrete covered turtles (one of my favorite enemy designs so far, especially a building sized one) and unearthing other secrets.



One such secret was behind a previously unseen Mouthful Mode! Dome Mouth had Kirby open wide for what looked like a building-top water tank. He could then open that orb and find a hidden something inside. In this case we stumbled on a hidden Waddle Dee, who maybe doesn’t want to know he was just a layer of metal away from being swallowed…

A few quick notes on Mouthful Modes in general: while it may have seemed as such from trailers, the Nintendo spokesperson running the demo confirmed copy abilities can’t be used in tandem with Mouthful Mode. If Kirby acquires a Mouthful, it’ll take priority over his current copy ability. Thankfully, if you need to discard your Mouthful (Vending Mouth needs to be removed to climb a ladder, for example), you’ll still have your previous copy ability.

Speaking of copy abilities, we saw a few in action throughout the demo! Sword, Bomb, Cutter, and Ice were all present at various points. They were in their “base” forms, with none of the previously announced upgrades shown in action. We were told that you can upgrade stats on all these hats via Star Coins in Waddle Dee Town, which should be a joy for specialists and a worthy challenge for completionists. A still image did show Dragon Fire Kirby again, as well as what looked to be an upgrade to Bomb that had an autonomous tank-like explosive at its side.



Collectors take note as well — Kirby’s getting into toy collecting! You’ll be able to find capsules in stages, taking the form of little gachapon balls. Inside will be figures of characters and enemies. Some are just cuties to have, but others provide Kirby Lore in their descriptions. Kirby’s own figure, for example, detailed the background of how he’s ended up in this Forgotten Land. 

If you’re into real-life plastic hoarding, we did receive word that all amiibo will be compatible with the full game. They’ll provide food and Star Coins, with Kirby characters (and fellow HAL boi Qbby), giving more rewards when tapped. 



At the end of that stage we found a golden cage with three Waddle Dee — this game’s “Goal Door.” After a group Kirby Dance it would be back to Waddle Dee Town, as we did manage to rescue nine Dees, but for the demo we instead went to a boss fight against Beast Pack member Gorimando. This prime primate was wearing one of those golden cages around his neck, and wouldn’t keep his hands off Kirby!

A 3D Kirby boss fight is an interesting twist on the familiar, and while this “Strong Armed Beast”‘s grabs and spinning lariats didn’t seem too tricky I can see this as a spot where the game can get extra creative as well. One new aspect we did see was that Ice Kirby could actually freeze the boss after enough attacks hit, which could open the door for more unique copy-based strategies with others.



That fight was the end of the demo, and we did learn that data will not transfer to the full game. Instead, we earned two Present Codes that can be used in the full game for some extra Star Coins! These can be entered at the supremely named Waddle Dee-liveries and were CLEARDEMO and NEWADVENTURE.

The entire demo was also played in co-op for this preview. According to the presenter, Bandana Dee will not be available to play outside of this two player experience, and you’ll actually need to unlock co-op as you play through Forgotten Land. 

I’m assuming this would happen fairly early, and be tied to Waddle Dee Town in some way, but it wasn’t elaborated on. There was also no word on whether or not Bandana Dee’s moveset (the Spear copy ability) would be usable by Kirby. He did have at least one new technique though, in that while twirling his weapon like a helicopter it now rains down more spears!  



Even without playing it for myself, everything in this Kirby and the Forgotten Land demo has me more eager than ever for the final release. The mix of all-new ideas, gorgeous scenery, and trademark charm is blending into a series entry fans won’t want to miss and an excellent entry in the Nintendo Switch’s library.

You can download and try the demo yourself today, and pick up the full release when Kirby and the Forgotten Land arrives on March 25th!


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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.