Kirby and the Unlikely Brotherhood
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii U
Genre(s) 2.5D Platformer
February 2017 (all regions)
Single Player/Multiplayer
Media Included Wii U Disc

Kirby and the Unlikely Brotherhood is a 2.5D platforming game released in all regions on February 2017 exclusively for the Wii U. It is the 13th traditional Kirby platformer ever released (not counting remakes), the first and only traditional Kirby game on the Wii U, and the first traditional entry to be released on a console since 2011's Kirby's Return to Dream Land. It is also the second-to-last first-party Nintendo game released on the Wii U, just a month behind Zelda U.

The game was released to critical acclaim, with praise being directed at its presentation, variety of playable characters, and the revival of gameplay mechanics not seen in the series in several years, though some slight criticism was aimed at its shallow difficulty. Nonetheless, the game was a hit and though its sales were hampered somewhat by the upcoming NX, it still managed to sell a grand total of 50 million copies, becoming the best-selling Wii U game and thus beating the record set by Mario Kart 8.


The game's story is told through CGI cutscenes and voice-acting, and takes place some time after Kirby: Planet Robobot.

On a peaceful day in Dream Land, Kirby is seen playing golf in his backyard with Keeby and Gooey, when the trio suddenly sees some of the land in the distance becoming ravaged. Seeing the Halberd flying in the distance as well, Kirby suspects that Meta Knight is the culprit and sets out to stop him, alongside Keeby and Gooey. The player is responsible for guiding Kirby towards the battleship, before the rest of the story unfolds. Upon stowing away on the ship, the trio fights Meta Knight to a standstill, where he explains that he is innocent, and was trying to ward off the invaders that came from an ominous black portal, which he points to. Suddenly, countless blobs of Dark Matter begin to fly out of the void and scatter in random directions, wreaking havoc all over Dream Land and possessing various inhabitants. A particularly large blob of Dark Matter flies right above the heroes' heads and is seen entering the Dimension Mirror located high above Planet Popstar, thus wreaking havoc in the Mirror World as well. While they're distracted, Dark Meta Knight suddenly emerges from the mirror, furious at what has happened in his world, and immediately makes a beeline for the real Meta Knight, who manages to hold him off. While the two clash swords together, the massive void produces a large red eye and becomes sentient, before extending a massive tentacle of Dark Matter that hits Meta Knight square in the face, shattering his mask and sword and spreading the fragments across the entire planet. With the warrior stunned, a final punch is enough to send him reeling off of his ship. Kirby summons a Warp Star and flies after him to save his life, while Gooey latches onto it with his tongue and Keeby simply flies alongside them. Meanwhile, Dark Meta Knight decides to return home, due to his mission being resolved, before Dark Matter envelops him.

Back on the ground, Kirby manages to save the now unmasked Meta Knight and the four land on a tropical island. After the latter regains consciousness, the two manage to finally get a good look at each other's faces, where they're both shocked at the resemblance. With a sigh, Meta Knight realizes that he has no choice but to tell the truth, and confesses that he is Kirby's older brother, who had sworn to protect him after their parents had been killed at the hands of Nightmare. He also reveals that the reason why he fought Kirby so many times was solely to test his strength and abilities. After the big reveal, Rick, Coo, and Kine appear, warning Kirby about the recent tragedy, to which Kirby replies that he was already aware of. With all of his Animal Friends (including some newcomers) reunited, and three partners, Kirby vows to not only put a stop to the chaos in both dimensions, but to also help his brother reclaim and repair his mask and sword. While doing that, Kirby and co. travel across various regions that happen to be areas where Kirby and Meta Knight used to frolic in their younger years, and even butt heads with other familiar characters, such as King Dedede. Upon de-possessing Dream Land, the gang uses the Gems of Light that they collected on their journey in order to break the barrier that Dark Matter had placed between their world and the Mirror World. After traversing five more worlds within the other dimension, the group finally defeats Dark Meta Knight (who had repeatedly attacked them throughout the game), Shadow Dedede, and Shadow Kirby (the latter regains his composure and joins their party), and when they arrive to confront Dark Matter, he is revealed to be partially mechanized. He states that while he was plotting to try taking over Planet Popstar one last time, Susie (an antagonist from Planet Robobot) had appeared and attempted to control him in an attempt to exact revenge on Kirby, but was destroyed in the process. The group pummels all five of his forms, and (only if they have all the Gems of Light) ultimately banish him from both dimensions. With peace established between Kirby and Meta Knight, the two are now on better terms, though Meta Knight admits that he still prefers his current lifestyle and will continue to test Kirby in the future, but not before asking if he can join the golf game he was playing earlier.


Kirby and the Unlikely Brotherhood is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer in the vein of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and Kirby: Planet Robobot, with all basic moves from those games remaining intact. However, this game does away with the main gimmicks of those games and brings back old fan-favorites from older games, including Helpers and Animal Friends. Kirby can once again copy the abilities of his enemies, and his head-butt and slide-attacks are still present, as well as his Water Gun. Returning to the game is the ability for 4-player Co-Op, using the game's 4+ playable characters (detailed below), complete with the cooperative moves from Return to Dream Land, alongside the Helper-system from Kirby Super Star. Since almost every character can copy abilities this time, each player can create up to three helpers to aid them in combat and puzzle-solving. Another feature that returns is the ability to collect stars (from Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards) that grant an extra life if 30 are nabbed.

Playable Characters:

The game includes a total of six playable characters (seven if one counts the two forms of Meta Knight), who all play mostly similarly to each other, though not without some unique abilities and differences in stats. All of these characters can be played in the Story Mode, The Arena, and The True Arena.

Character: Unique Abilities:
Kirby Kirby's stats are all average, and his skillset is exactly the same as it was in Planet Robobot. However, he is the only character in the game who can use Spray Paint (see below). He's also the only character who can be controlled during the introductory stage and the fight with Meta Knight.
Meta Knight Kirby's long-lost brother who has decided to team up with him. He runs faster than Kirby, and (due to lack of experience) has the weakest inhale, preventing him from sucking up enemies/objects larger than he is. His mask and sword are reassembled at the game's halfway point, allowing the player to use him in his normal form, in which he reverts to his playstyle from Return to Dream Land, but at the cost of his Helper-summoning ability. It is also worth noting that no matter what form Meta Knight is in, he still uses his bat-wings to fly.
Gooey After 20 years of absence, Gooey makes his comeback! He is the slowest character in the game, but he deals more damage with his Copy Abilities than anyone else. Since he uses his tongue to eat foes and not his suction, he can only inhale one enemy at a time and can eat enemies underwater (making him unable to use the Water Gun).
Keeby Keeby is the fastest runner in the game, and his standard Inhale is replaced with the Super Inhale (making him the only character who can use this move by default). However, he takes double the damage, essentially making him the glass-cannon of the team.
Shadow Kirby Kirby's döppelganger from the Mirror World, who is unlocked after the boss fight with him. Much like Nabbit in New Super Luigi U, he cannot take damage (save for bottomless pits or getting crushed between walls), and will only flinch when hit. He also can't use Animal Friends, and can only use one attack with each Copy Ability. Additionally, Shadow Kirby can't float indefinitely, but can inhale underwater.
Bandana Waddle Dee He briefly appears to save the heroes from King Dedede's last-ditch attack during the fight with him, and is the one to deal the final blow that brings him back to his senses after Dark Matter possesses him once again. Aside from his minor role in the story, Bandana Dee gets his time in the spotlight during the Fear The Spear mode of the game (a mode where only he is playable), in which he plays identically to how he does in Return to Dream Land. He can also be played in Story Mode, The Arena, and The True Arena once this mode has been completed. He is the only character who can't create Helpers under any circumstances.

Animal Friends:

After not being seen since Kirby's Dream Land 3 (save for cameos), Kirby has finally decided to reunite with his furry buddies, who all function similarly to how they did in that game. Each partner has its own abilities that can help the characters traverse the environment, and they can even make use of the various Copy Abilities found in the game (though once again, they can only use one move from each power). They are once again found in special rooms located within the levels, where for the first time, multiple characters can use them at once. When used, the animals will inherit the stats of the character using them.

Animal Friend: Strengths: Weaknesses:
Rick the Hamster Better traction on ice; Can climb walls; Slightly increased running speed of his rider; Can kill enemies by jumping on them. Can't inhale; Can't float.
Coo the Owl Can fly against strong winds; Allows the characters to inhale in mid-air without falling and fly while their mouths are full. Characters must land in order to swallow foes.
Kine the Fish Can inhale underwater; Can swim against strong currents; Can kill enemies by jumping on them; Faster swimming speed. Can't float.
Nago the Cat Can jump three times; Can kill enemies by jumping on them; Can't jump indefinitely; Is hydrophobic.
Pitch the Bird Can transform, creating amusing yet powerful attacks from Copy Abilities; Can fly. Can't fly against wind; Characters can't inhale in mid-air.
ChuChu the Octopus Can cling to ceilings. Weighs the characters down (except for Meta Knight) when they try to fly; Can't inhale.
Blotchy the Bloodhound (New) Automatically uses his scent to show the player hidden collectibles; Can burrow through soft ground. Can float, but not quite as fast; Can't inhale.
Lester the Iguana (New) Can walk across hazardous terrain; Can use his tongue to pull the player up to ledges. Can't inhale; Can't float.
Beaker the Porpoise (New) Can jump much higher when he exits the water, allowing the player to reach higher-up goodies and ledges; Can use echolocation to navigate dark areas. Can't float; Slower movement on land.

Copy Abilities:

Like in most Kirby games, Kirby and friends can make use of the powers they steal from enemies they ingest. Like in Kirby Super Star, the player can utilize multiple attacks with each Copy Ability, though when using an Animal Friend or playing as Shadow Kirby, only one move can be used per ability. Also like in Super Star, the player can turn obtained Copy Abilities into Helpers to aid them in combat and puzzle-solving, and each player can summon up to three at a time, allowing for a total of up to 16 characters on screen at once (unless Bandana Waddle Dee and/or 'Masked' Meta Knight are being used), though to compensate, all Helpers run at 30 FPS while the players run at 60 FPS in order to prevent slow-down. As previously noted, each Animal Friend can use one move from each ability, though for the sake of brevity, the moves they gain will not be listed on this page, and will be left to the imagination of the readers.

Copy Ability: Uses:
Fire Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to shoot forwards as a fireball. Can also light fuses and break ice-blocks.
Ice Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to breathe ice.
Cutter Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to toss boomerangs straight in front of him.
Parasol Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to swat foes in front of him with his umbrella.
Clean The player can use brooms, mops, vacuums, and cleaning chemicals to defeat enemies; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to sweep in front of him with a broom.
Spark Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to surround himself with electricity.
Needle Performs exactly as it does in Return to Dream Land; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to become a spiked ball.
Stone Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to turn into a rock and fall on top of enemies.
Sword Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to perform a single slash with his sword.
Fighter Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to perform a damaging slide-kick that ends with a rising uppercut.
Bomb Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to toss a bomb at his enemies.
Hammer Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to swing his hammer.
Poison Performs exactly as it does in Planet Robobot; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to exhale a cloud of toxic gas that damages enemies.
Spear Performs exactly as it does in Return to Dream Land; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to thrust his spear in front of himself.
Mike Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; unlike the other abilities in the game, this power-up behaves the same regardless of the character or animal being used.
Crash Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; see description for Mike.
Cook Performs exactly as it does in Super Star; see description for Mike.
Whip Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to crack his whip straight ahead of him.
Leaf Performs exactly as it does in Triple Deluxe; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to send out a leaf that homes in on enemies.
Smash Bros. Performs exactly as it does in Planet Robobot; is the only Copy Ability that can't be used by Shadow Kirby. Unlike in previous games, the power-up is much more common and can now be gained from new enemies that resemble Smash Balls.
Dance (New) The player can attack enemies with dance-moves, including splits, spins, moonwalks, and James Brown-esque shuffling; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to moonwalk, plowing through any foes in his path.
Light (New) The player can attack enemies with various attacks involving concentrated light, which light up dark areas (though the effects don't last as long as when Kine's Spark ability is used); when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to send out a ball of concentrated light.
Butcher (New) The player attacks with meat (whacking with a turkey leg, slapping with a bratwurst, tossing meatballs, grabbing foes with a line of rope-sausage, etc.), and can also attack with various butcher knives; when used by Shadow Kirby, it simply allows him to toss a random cut of meat at enemies.

Spray Paint:

A feature in the game that is exclusive to Kirby himself. Returning from Kirby and the Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad, is the ability to spray him with different cans of paint to change his color; however, unlike those games, Kirby can now gain new abilities depending on the color he chooses, which are detailed below. In order to unlock the various colors of paint, the player must find them hidden within the game's levels, where they can be used from that point on with no need for refills, though the effects will only last for a single level. Due to the default colors of some of the other playable characters, Black and Yellow are unavailable colors.

Color: Effects:
Red Doubles Kirby's health meter.
Orange Allows Kirby to take five extra hits before he begins losing health.
Green Lets Kirby perform the Super Inhale.
Blue Doubles the power of Kirby's Water Gun.
White Doubles the power of Kirby's Air Bullet.
Brown Boosts the power of Kirby's slide-kick, enabling it to actually kill enemies instead of stunning them.
Purple Allows Kirby to slowly glide down to the ground after using his Air Bullet instead of falling straight down, allowing him greater horizontal movement in the air in the process.

Gameplay Modes:

  • Story Mode: The main campaign is completed in this mode, complete with all the gameplay features mentioned above. All characters except for Bandana Waddle Dee are playable here.
  • Fear the Spear!: We've had "Dededetour", we've had "Meta Knightmare", and now it's Bandana Dee's time to shine! A second playthrough of the game that functions similarly to the aforementioned modes, though now the player is stuck as Bandana Dee. Levels are conjoined, warp holes can be found to speed up the player's progress, and bosses are harder. Unlike in the previous modes, however, Bandana Dee can make use of the game's main gimmick (Animal Friends), and there are no exclusive bosses. This is the only mode in the game that cannot be played with more than one player.
  • The Arena: A gauntlet that includes rehashes of all the bosses from Story Mode. At the end, the player is ranked based on the time it took them to complete it.
  • The True Arena: An even harder gauntlet, consisting of all bosses from Fear the Spear! Unlike previous incarnations, there is no secret final boss.
  • Kirby Fighters: Returning from Triple Deluxe. Unlike in that game, the players can now use every character that is used in the main story mode instead of only Kirbies.
  • Minigame Mode: Includes all minigames from Kirby Super Star (Ultra), and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land.
  • Kirby Air Ride II: An expanded remake of Kirby Air Ride, featuring more tracks, and all characters and Copy Abilities from the main game.





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