Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Kirby

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set to release in December. And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with KIRBY KIRBY KIRBY!

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest entry in Nintendo's ongoing premier platform fighter series. It's also slated to be the company's biggest release of the holiday season. After almost 20 years of battle between top characters of some of gaming's biggest franchises, Ultimate will bring together every single fighter from every Smash Bros. game to date (along with a few more) in one single game.

With so many characters to choose from, Shacknews is taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually, leading up to the game's big release on December 7. Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, including character damage and special move properties, these profiles should not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#15 - Ice Climbers
#31 - Snake
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#64 - Inkling

Today, we look back at one of the key members of the Super Smash Bros. roster..

Who is Kirby?

Hit the music!

Kirby is the pink puffball from Dream Land, one who is near and dear to the Super Smash Bros. series. After all, he was first created by series mastermind Masahiro Sakurai.

Hailing from Pop Star, Kirby stands out among the various Nintendo mascots. He's round, cheerful, playfully innocent, and he also has a bottomless appetite. He eats a lot, sucking in any food with a cartoon-like vacuum cleaner effect. He also swallows a lot of his enemies, using them to steal his powers. You won't see Mega Man doing that, will you?

Kirby isn't a traditional hardened warrior, but he won't hesitate to do battle with outside enemies like Nightmare and his rivals, like King Dedede. And contrary to the video above, King Dedede does not always sound like Foghorn Leghorn.

Kirby's Moves and Fighter Overview

With Sakurai having worked with Kirby both in his core series and in Smash Bros., it stands to reason that their movement should be similar. Kirby is among the floatiest fighters in the Smash, with the ability to jump multiple times. His jumps won't get a lot of distance, but his recovery is among the best in the series. Just be aware that he's also one of the lightest characters in the series, which means he can get bullied by bigger guys like Bowser, Donkey Kong, and, yes, King Dedede.

Here are Kirby's special moves:

  • Inhale/Swallow (Neutral B): This is Kirby's signature move. He can suck up any single opponent in front of him and either use the Down button to copy their powers or spit them into the distance or even into other foes. There's little way to counter this, so just accept that Kirby will copy your ability at some point. Once a power is copied, the Neutral B will then become a copy of that power.
  • Final Cutter (Up B): This move sees Kirby rise up with his sword and come crashing down with a powerful slash. With Kirby able to jump multiple times, Final Cutter isn't necessarily recommended as a recovery move, especially since there's no cancelling the downward slash. But as an offensive move, this is one of the better Up-Specials in the game. Even if it doesn't connect, ground impact will create a projectile that can connect with nearby foes.
  • Hammer (Side B): This is another reliably strong move, especially if Kirby can connect with the hammer's head. The Hammer can also be charged, giving it KO potential.
  • Stone (Down B): Here it is! If you've ever played against any casual player that's never touched a Smash Bros. game, this is their go-to move, without fail. That's because Stone is nigh-unbreakable. At higher percentages, it can KO. The only counter for it is to dodge it and then grab the downed Kirby. Cancelling Stone is tough, so don't get careless, otherwise Kirby will plummet straight off the stage.
  • Ultra Sword (Final Smash): Kirby's Final Smash returns from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He'll swing around his giant sword, trapping any opponents caught in its first hit. After a few more swings, Kirby will strike a finishing blow that often KOs.

Kirby's moves are mainly unchanged from past Smash Bros. games, but a handful of those moves come with some noteworthy improvements. The biggest change is that Inhale can now suck up certain projectiles, which can then be fired back at attackers as a star. Trying to use the copy function will dispose of the projectile and heal Kirby for a small percentage. And speaking of the copy ability, Ultimate introduces taunt cancelling, which means that if you Swallow an opponent, you can now get right back into the mix faster, instead of waiting out Kirby's taunt and watching helplessly as your opponents bash you.

Don't be afraid to mix it up with your opponents, either. Long-time Kirby followers will note that Kirby does a brief fireball morph with his dash attack. This is a returning feature from Super Smash Bros. Melee and makes it much safer for Kirby to try and kick off some up-close combos. As a bonus, the dash attack's momentum will no longer sling Kirby off the edge of the stage, meaning it's unlikely to backfire.

While casual players will likely still stand by Stone, the key to victory is knowing when to bring out Kirby's Hammer. Hammer can be fully charged, while allowing Kirby full freedom of movement. If an opponent is at a high percentage, try and catch them off-guard with a fully-charged Hammer. This will obviously be tougher in one-on-one scenarios, but in four-player free-for-alls, the Hammer can be king.

Esports Observations

Kelsy "Supergirl Kels" Medeiros is mainly known for in-your-face Sonic play, but she'll still play Kirby regularly as her backup main. She was among the pros most excited to see the pink puffball in action and she's put together a solid analysis video. Among the primary points is that Kirby is much faster this time around, with a quicker dash and boosted aerial speed. She also points out some noticeable buffs and nerfs to some of his Smash attacks.

Chris "Falln" Rugg is among the pros that has been impressed with Kirby's Ultimate layout. In addition to airing his thoughts on Twitter, Falln has gone hands-on with the character quite a bit, going all the way back to E3.

But months later, Falln is still slinging analysis about the puffy pink mascot. Here's his latest Kirby-piphony.

And if you're looking for combo potential, Kirby looks to have that, too. Even with some added lag to his Up-Tilt, the net result looks to turn out positive.

Lastly, let's check in with Samuel "Dabuz" Buzby, who has done some painstaking analysis on each of the Smash Bros. Ultimate characters so far. His analysis of Kirby appears favorable, as he notes the character's newfound potential to get right in the fray.

Days after this feature went live, Victoria "VikkiKitty" Perez got some valuable time with Kirby at DreamHack Montreal and noticed some new combo potential.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive in December on Nintendo Switch. Shacknews will continue looking into each of the game's characters from now through the big day, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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