Nintendo’s wholesome little pink puffball continued his trend of success when the Game Boy title Kirby’s Dream Land 2 arrived 25 years ago. The game, which debuted in Japan on March 21, 1995 and in North America the following May, continued the titular character’s story from both Kirby’s Dream Land and Kirby’s Adventure.
The game followed Kirby as he fought against the villainous Dark Matter, who has stolen the Rainbow Bridges that connect the seven different Rainbow Islands and then possessed King Dedede in an attempt to take over Dream Land. Kirby travels throughout the different islands in order to track down the possessed Dedede, expel Dark Matter and defeat the villain.
Like the preceding games in the series, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 was a platforming side-scroller in which the player must make their way through each level, defeating enemies and avoiding other obstacles and traps along the way. Kirby also has the ability to absorb an enemy’s special ability by inhaling and swallowing them; he can also use his inhale ability to eat food or to take in other objects and spit them out as a projectile. The game also introduced three new allies that Kirby can use to help in his quest: Rick the hamster (who helps Kirby move quicker and won’t slide on icy surfaces), Coo the owl (who can fly through strong winds), and Kine the sunfish (who can swim quickly through water and go against currents).
Like other Game Boy titles at the time, the game was presented in greyscale. However, by using the Super Game Boy cartridge adapter for the Super NES console, colorful additions could be seen, such as a border featuring the new animal allies and limited color added to the in-game graphics. The ending also features a full-color scene, and various sound effects could also be heard throughout the game due to the more advanced sound chip on the SNES.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 was positively received upon release, with many commenting that the game continued the trend of fun platforming that the previous titles established. Nintendo had at one point intended to bring a full-color version to the Game Boy Color, to be called Kirby’s Dream Land 2 DX (similar to how The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX was produced), but this, along with a DX version of Metroid II: Return of Samus were both cancelled.