Kirby's Adventure Thoughts.
Kirby's Adventure is a game I can't help but find myself riveted by.
It's joyful, silly, absurdist style mixes and mashes so well together that you suddenly find yourself in a world removed, a world different, a world far more lighthearted than the one we actually find ourselves in.
It's beautiful even as it's flawed. It's pure even as it's a knock-off of Super Mario Bros. It's something altogether unique and special, even as it's neither one of those things, not really at least.
Kirby's Adventure is a game I just constantly find myself wanting to play, a time machine to an experience I have no real nostalgia for, yet it remains something I am unmistakably nostalgic about. The music wafts through each stage and second of the game, lifting you up higher and higher on this cloud of whimsey and dreams. Kirby's Adventure is not the game for a cynic, not the game for those who dare not dream.
The game drips and oozes cheesy, some may even argue bad 90'sness. Unoriginal, shallow, and not as clever as the games it mimics, those people miss the point, it was never about that with Kirby. It's lighthearted, doesn't take itself too seriously
Kirby's Adventure is a game all about instilling a mood, a feeling within you. I can't help but think that even back in 1993 when the game released there was something nostalgic and special in it's existence. It came out at the very tail end of the NES life, long after the SNES had already come out. Yet, here came Kirby striding across the stage with something to say, with one last statement for the NES to offer up to the world.
The seven main stages of Kirby's Adventure float by like a storybook, the entire experience tugs on the stings and cords of childhood. Bright colors fill it all, the game doesn't really challenge you for much of it's experience. It's a world of silly, fantastical creatures and goofy not threatening baddies. Nothing wrong happens in the world of Kirby, not really.
It's about the mood, it's about that feeling of looking out your window at 3 o'clock on a Tuesday in spring and just savoring that moment, it's nothing, it's fleeting, it's meaningless but of course, it's not really. Then you snap back and play a game for the next three hours. It's plowing ahead through Vegetable Valley, Ice Cream Island, and Grape Garden, it's joy that's what it is, but it's happy sad. This isn't 1993 or 2001 or any other date in your youth. You've grown, you're older now, they say wiser, I suppose that's true too.
Yet, that window remains. That image of looking out on that meaningless Tuesday in the midst of spring remains. You've got school in the morning, some homework assignment that will never get done lays somewhere around you. Your siblings are gone, your parents aren't home from work yet. It's just you, just your friends, just this moment looking out the window for a nanosecond, when this was everything in your world. Then you were back to playing the game, back to trading bad jokes, half truths, and bullshit rumors with your friends.
It's this false memory that Kirby's Adventure plays into so well. Kirby wasn't and never will be as good a game as Mario. It will never match Bioshock or Zelda. Mechanically, from a gameplay perspective the game is merely good, hardly remarkable, hardly anything special.
I never played Kirby's Adventure as a kid, yet at the same time, of course I did. Because it's not the game, it's the experience, it's the feelings, it's the memories. It's the window on the bottom floor of a seemingly random house in a farm town in the bottom of Missouri. It's the Tuesday at 3 o'clock in spring, when I looked up for just a second. That's what Kirby's Adventure does so well, those memories, those feelings are what it cares about, are what it's after.
And so I looked away, back to the TV in front of me here in 2017, and I played.
It was a Tuesday in spring when I beat Kirby's Adventure, it was 3 o'clock. Outside the sun danced off the glass of the window.