Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

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Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
Developer HAL Laboratory
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Wii U)
Release date Game Boy Advance:
Japan October 25, 2002
USA December 2, 2002
Europe September 25, 2003
Australia 2003
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan April 30, 2014
Europe July 17, 2014
Australia July 17, 2014
USA October 30, 2014
Genre Platform
ESRB: - Everyone
PEGI: - Three years and older
CERO: - All ages
ACB: - General
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (2-4 players)
Wii U:
Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Game Pak
Wii U:
Wii Remote (Sideways)
Game Boy Advance:

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is a platforming game for the Game Boy Advance that is a remake of the Nintendo Entertainment System game, Kirby's Adventure. It was first released in 2002 in Japan and North America and then in 2003 in Europe and Australia.


For the most part, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land plays a lot like Kirby's Adventure. The goal is for Kirby to reach the end of each stage by walking and jumping over obstacles and defeating enemies. Instead of jumping, Kirby can indefinitely hover in the sky, but he cannot leave the screen from any direction except the bottom. Copy Abilities, which made their debut in the original Kirby's Adventure, also make a returning appearance: Kirby can inhale certain enemies to copy their signature ability.

The Copy Abilities have received some changes. Like Kirby Super Star, they have different hats to set them apart, such as Backdrop's hat using Fighter's cap, Throw's hat using Suplex's cap (minus the change in skin tone), and Freeze's cap being directly based on Kirby's ability gained from the Ice Climbers in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In addition, certain Copy Abilities have received a change in mechanics, such as Needle Kirby's spikes not retracting automatically, Wheel Kirby being able to drive on water, and Backdrop Kirby dashing to grab enemies instead of inhaling to grab them. Ball Kirby can bounce off the top of the screen, which is considered a wall. Spark is now a shield like in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and does not release fireworks around Kirby's body. Hi-Jump can now be performed in the air, and canceling the jump produces a split-second shield. Crash uses an explosion animation similar to the one from Kirby Super Star. Several of the abilities also behave slower, most noticeably Cutter, Fire, Hammer, Ice, and Laser.

The difficulty has been significantly decreased. Bosses are usually bigger, but they are also slower and more clumsy. For instance, Meta Knight in particular has lost all of his impulsive reflexes and rarely blocks, and the Fire Lion rarely attempts to bite There are generally more opportunities to obtain a 1-Up, and the Hammer / Throw block can be broken with more abilities like Burning. One of the mini bosses, the Rolling Turtle with the Throw ability, has been replaced with a less unpredictable elephant mini boss called Phan Phan.

The game introduces a multiplayer mode that allows for up to four players to play the main game cooperatively or compete in the Sub-Games. Each player controls a different colored Kirby, a concept which would later be further explored in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror.

Beating the main game unlocks Boss Endurance, where Kirby must attempt to defeat all eight bosses in a row without any health pick-ups or additional lives. Defeating the boss takes Kirby to the next boss fight. If the player achieves a 100% completion rating in the main game, they unlock Extra Mode, which plays like the main game except that Kirby has three vitality bars instead of six. Completing Extra Mode unlocks Meta Knightmare!, in which Kirby's rival, Meta Knight, plays through the main game. A few other notable differences with Meta Knightmare! is its lack of a save functionality and that Meta Knight is unable to use Copy Abilities but rather has to make use of various sword techniques. Like Extra Mode, Meta Knight has three vitality bars instead of six.


The game is divided into eight levels. The first seven each have their own hub where Kirby can access the different stages through doors. Clearing one stage unlocks the door to the next. The eighth level only consists of the final boss. At the end of every level is a boss, and defeating them unlocks the next level. The levels are accessed in the following order:

  1. Vegetable Valley
  2. Ice Cream Island
  3. Butter Building
  4. Grape Garden
  5. Yogurt Yard
  6. Orange Ocean
  7. Rainbow Resort
  8. Fountain of Dreams

The first seven levels have at least one of the following:

  • Museum - this area allows Kirby to copy abilities for free.
  • Colosseum - this area requires Kirby to fight a mini-boss. The reward is a M-Tomato and whatever ability his boss possessed.
  • Warp Star Room - this room allows Kirby to travel between levels quickly.
  • Sub-Game Room - this room allows Kirby to play one of the three default Sub-Games. Unlike other rooms, these will automatically barricade once played.


Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land has a few Sub-Games, which can be played in the main game for extra lives or from the main menu.

Quick Draw

Very simple. When the exclamation mark appears, hit A as fast as you can. If you do it fast enough, you win the round. This is the only mini-game to return from Kirby's Adventure, although its graphical design is styled after the Kirby Super Star Sub-Game Samurai Kirby.

Bomb Rally

You press the A button to serve a lit bomb, which serves as the ball in this game. There are three other Kirbies. Each Kirby hits the bomb to the previous or to the next Kirby. When it comes to you, you can hit it to the next Kirby, (Press A) or to the previous Kirby (Press A to change your direction, then hit the ball with A again). Failing to hit the bomb results in it exploding in your face. The object is to be the last Kirby standing.

Kirby's Air Grind

Race to the finish against three other Kirbies. You are all on Warp Stars. Hold A to stay on the track and avoid the black bars by releasing A (which slow you down (however, if you get off and back on the rail close enough to the rail you will get a boost). This mini game is similar to Kirby Air Ride.


The bosses are listed here, in the order you fight them (In both the game and the Boss Endurance sub-game):

1. Whispy Woods
A tree who spits wind and drops apples on your head. He stays still the whole battle.
2. Paint Roller
Draws enemies on his sketch pad, which come to life and attack you.
3. Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright
Mr. Bright is the moon, and uses a boomerang-type weapon to battle you. Mr. Shine is the sun, capable of shooting fireballs at you. Both bosses share the same health bar, each having only half of a bar. They alternate fighting with one in sky and one on the ground. When in the sky they assist each other by using an extremely powerful technique. Mr. Bright attacks with a barrage of stars which can be sucked up to give the Cutter ability, Mr. Shine sends a ray of sunlight which spawns two stars which give the Fire ability. You must defeat both to advance, after one dies the other fights and the defeated boss still uses his sky attack.
4. Kracko
A cloud with a huge eyeball in the middle and spikes around him. He can zap you with lightning, charge you, or shoot out Hi-Jump enemies at you.
5. Heavy Mole
A metal machine that digs and digs, frequently shooting out red and orange bullets. The red bullets contain the Sleep power, which makes you vulnerable to crush in between walls. The orange bullets, however, contain the Hammer power, enabling you to smack Heavy Mole with it and flatten the destructible environment.
6. Meta Knight
This masked knight is shrouded in mystery. He'll challenge you to a duel with swords. Beat him, and you may find that he's not so different from Kirby at all...
7. King Dedede
This immense penguin-like character tries to crush you with his hammer.
8. Nightmare
He appears in two forms, an orb and a wizard-like creature. The orb is a ball of nightmares shoots stars at you. It is purple, black, and blue with white stars on it. The later form shoots out stars, too. To hit him, wait until he opens up his cloak and shoot at the blurry, static-looking, white-glowing part of his body.


Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land uses colorful two-dimensional graphics, making it the first game in the series to use 32-bit graphics. The graphics of this game are unlike any previously-seen Kirby game. The pose often used for Kirby's inhaling ability has been altered to match the pose from the anime (or vice-versa), which debuted alongside Nightmare in Dream Land. The sprites from this game have been reused for Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Kirby Super Star Ultra. However, there has also been some criticism for the omission of certain materials that pushed the NES to its limit, and replaced by what is often considered lazy for the Game Boy Advance. For instance, the rotating towers in Butter Building were removed.


Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land has over 30 themes and over 270 sound effects, all of which can be accessed from the Sound Test menu. It features some new music tracks, such as the Meta-Knights battle now reusing the mini-boss theme from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. King Dedede's theme is used in the Level 7-2 tower, and his fight uses a variation of the Gourmet Race arrangement from Super Smash Bros. Melee. The mini-game music has been completely replaced. The pacing of the remixed music is also generally faster than usual, most noticeably in the first stage, boss fights, and Nightmare's chasing cutscene.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 星のカービィ 夢の泉デラックス
Hoshi no Kābī Yume no Izumi Derakkusu
Kirby of the Stars: The Fountain of Dreams Deluxe


  • If the player waits about 10-15 seconds on the title screen, they can view a cutscene that shows a backstory about why Kirby must go stop King Dedede and return the Star Rod. It also shows King Dedede bathing in the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Although the back of the game's box claims that characters from Kirby: Right Back at Ya! appear in the game, none of the characters exclusive to the anime appear in the game itself. This was likely only done to promote the anime, which was new at the time of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land's release.
  • In the last stage of Rainbow Resort, the enemies are no longer black and white as in Kirby's Adventure.