Nintendo Legend Masahiro Sakurai Unveils the Secret Development of the Original Kirby

Published 04/27/2023, 12:50 PM EDT

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Masahiro Sakurai is back with a new video on game development. And this video is a 100 episodes milestone video. He has been regularly uploading videos in the past, helping out game developers. In the video, Sakurai has also promised fans that there will be plenty more videos to come in the future.

This video contains a presentation Sakurai did at the 2017 concert held in honor of Kirby’s 25th anniversary. Recently, he also talked about the golden-age consoles that first featured Kirby, Famicom, and NES. Furthermore, fans would be excited to know the hidden gems Sakurai has shared about the challenges of creating Kirby.

Masahiro Sakurai shares his experience developing Kirby


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First appearing in 1992, Kirby had unique powers to inhale enemies and spit them. The first ever game was developed by Sakurai when he was 19, and it had a short gameplay of around 20 minutes.


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Sakurai had memory limitations when he was creating the first title. He had to fit the whole game preferably in 512KB. And to reduce the size, he had to think of innovative ideas. One such trick was he built the enemy art in such a way that they could be reused. Waddle Dee and Waddle Doo both had similar designs with changes just in the face of both. Gordo was only half-drawn with Sakurai flipping the image back and forth to make it appear full.

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Although he reused enemy art, he wanted his bosses to appear big. Big bosses give beginner players a sense of achievement when they keep constantly hitting the enemy. Whispy Woods and Kracko were built keeping this in mind.

Secrets of movements in Kirby

Many enemies like Waddle Dee and Coner fell off the cliff if they kept walking straight. This was not a feature but a by-product of enemies not having collision set to the terrain. Sakurai coded the movement of enemies himself, and when applied with the background placed, they looked like they were moving on the ground and falling off.


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He also took inspiration from Kirby to add a feature in Smash Bros. In this game, if a player is knocked off-screen, they lose.

In conclusion, Sakurai shared that as Kirby was his first-ever game, he had made plenty of mistakes developing it. His advice to developers in a similar situation is “Embrace the mystery!”


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What are your thoughts on the development of Kirby? Let us know in the comment section below.


Written by:

Ajitesh Rawat


One take at a time

Ajitesh Rawat is an up-and-coming eSports writer at EssentiallySports. An avid gamer himself, Ajitesh grew up just like the majority of the gamers out there by simply falling in love with Need for Speed and Grand Theft Auto. He likes to dive into these vast imaginative worlds and experience the fun himself.
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Edited by:

Jito Tenson