Another quickie here...there isn't much to say about this one. The next one will be bountiful with information. I guarantee it.
That's the game's opening introduction.
....I've always loved singing it.
Vegetable Valley is where Kirby's search for the shards of the Star Rod begins. And..wow, that's a name that brings back memories.
But enough of that. In an earlier post, I presented the contrast between the platforming mechanics of Super Mario and Kirby. That's a point I would like to touch upon once again.
I mentioned that Super Mario games felt longer due to their forced style of replayability. What's interesting about this is that Vegetable Valley hosts four levels in its domain. That's as much as every world in Super Mario Bros.
I think a map would be essential here. Observe.
...or rather NOT. Apparently Blogger has some picture size restrictions. Check out 'em out at the following links.
World 1-1 (can't make this any bigger)
You might notice that Vegetable Valley has three separate screens, as opposed to 1-1's singular scrolling screen. Interestingly enough, combined together it's just about as long as 1-1. I'd say this was probably done so that the transitions between the different sections of the stage (for example, heading through a hill and suddenly falling down a waterfall) wouldn't appear suddenly and allow for smoother progress. I think it works.
And that's not even mentioning the other big difference, but we'll get to that in a moment. On with the show.
You land unceremoniously onto the first stage. Enter the door, and...
Viola. What you'd typically expect of a locale in Dream Land.
So, who DARES to oppose Kirby in his quest?
The Waddle Dee, otherwise known as the ideal residents of Dream Land. They are often seen wandering around its premises. In an interesting twist, while most of them don't outright attack you, Kirby has the power to pop 'em.
....the biggest guilty pleasure I have about this series. I mean, seriously! They don't make any attempt to harm you! It's heartbreaking. But I JUST CAN'T STOP SLAUGHTERING THEM.
I plan to write about them one day.
Bronto Burts are assholes. They fly in swarms and often divebomb in your direction during pivotal moments . They do not wield any powers for Kirby to steal, but it is so satisfying to blow them up.
The Waddle Doo. Similar to the Waddle Dees, except for the big eye and the ability to FIRE A BEAM. I smell a power, and once Kirby swallows one....
Beam Kirby!!! Tremble in fear, Waddle Dee!
There are other powers Kirby can gain around this period. Some of these include...
Fire Kirby: Can be obtained via the piggish Hot Heads. Self-explanatory, Kirby can breath fire and singe enemies to a crisp. It's got a nice range, so you shouldn't have any problem using it. Also useful for lighting fuses!
Needle Kirby: Kirby produces a plethora of spikes on top of his head. This is a rare ability, so you don't use it much, but it's used very well in the screenshot above. See that screenshot? That part of the stage is designed so that the Waddle Dees will fall right onto your needles! Clever.
Other then that, it's not too useful. Personally, I don't like the stationary moves (which include this, Spark, and Stone). Also, not much range.
Sword Kirby: Kirby wields a sword! This is a unique ability in this its one of the very few powers that has more then one attack command. In Sword's case, you can perform a swinging arc!
While versatility of powers eventually becomes a staple in the franchise, Sword is one of the earliest examples of this. That's probably why it's one of my favorite powers in the game. Also, it's just so dang cool!
And that's about it, for now. These are some of the more standard abilities, so I'm planning to be much more in-depth about the more interesting ones. Actually, there are quite a few in the next one!
So what happens when you clear a level? Well, remember the "world hubs" I discussed in my Super Mario Galaxy 2 review? It's actually really similar to that. Let's revisit one of the previous screenshots for a bit.
What's with the brown border with the stars? Well, they're set to disappear gradually when you beat a level. When that happens, Kirby plants a flag down and it disintegrates to reveal the next stage. Eventually, it's gone completely and the result is this:
Wow! So you can revisit any level whenever you like. Fun stuff. Four levels total, hmm.
So what's with the other doors, then? Well, the one in the sky leads to the museum, a recurring location that displays an enemy with an ability.
Here's a Sword Knight museum.
....after I swallow the baddie, I like to put Kirby on display.
The other one is a minigame called Crane Kirby. Even today, it's still tough. You control a crane and attempt to pick up a Kirby doll an extra life. It's more difficult then it looks...you have to be very precise. Plus, the crane moves extra fast.
So, what are the shenanigans that go on in the valley?
We bounce in little cinematic cutscenes with Kirby's Warp Star! They are to Kirby as Warp Pipes are to Mario. Braawwwwwwwwuuuaawwwwwwwww.....
We dodge cannon fire! And...hopping mushrooms named Cappies.
Cappies aren't the problem. Those cannons, also known as Shotzos, can get you when you least expect it.
AND SPEAKING OF WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
There is also many a sea creature to evade, none the least of which is the frog in the upper right corner. Apparently, his official name is Sir Slippy. That is a dirty lie, for his real name is Devil Frog. Maybe it's just me, but for the past eight years of my life this amphi-no, servant of Satan himself has always managed to find a way to screw me over, whether it's doing a sneak attack on me, randomly taking a giant leap and ramming into me, or making me lose an essential power in the water by cornering me. See, if you have a power and you get hit, it turns into a star and you have to chase it and swallow it before it disappears.
That doesn't happen if you're in the water. Once you lose it there, it's gone.
I blame Devil Frog for all my life's problems, and so should you.
We also fight two minibosses, in the form of...
Poppy Bros. Senior, an innocent gremlin who is the ringleader of the Poppy Bros. and likes to throw bombs at you.
Mr. Frosty, who is some sort of bipedal walrus who chucks ice cubes at you.
THE FOREST LEVEL!!! I LOVE THE FOREST LEVEL!!!!
WHY? THE MUSIC.
You know, I actually made lyrics to this when I was ten.
Yeah, lyrics. It's about a policeman who teams up with a falsely accused individual and they both search for the real criminal in the forest.
Does this have anything to do with the context of Kirby? Absolutely not. But you know who also does this sort of thing? My dad.
Even at such a young age, the seeds of influence had begun to sprout.
So after you beat the valley's four levels, the boss door opens up.
Whispy Woods, otherwise known as the easiest boss in existence. All he does is blow air gusts and toss apples at you.
You can beat him in under twenty seconds with the right ability, or even beat him at his own game by swallowing the apples and tossing 'em right back at him.
So once that pushover is done with, Kirby grabs a segment of the Star Rod and does his special dance. Dunnan dunna dododo dadadada ddee dun!
You can watch the entirety of Vegetable Valley here. See if you can spot anything I mentioned!
Wow, that was bigger then I thought it would be.
Sooo...I have Epic Yarn.
All I'll say is this: Everything I said about it at E3, I take it all back. Expect my impressions very soon.
And my cold's finally lightening up! Yay!