Kirby and the Forgotten Land was originally an easier game because the developers wanted to protect the plucky pink hero.
In a new developer interview (opens in new tab), Nintendo’s Kei Ninomiya revealed that his team had repeatedly suggested adding more baddies to various sections of Kirby’s latest outing. Even though it was developed for a general audience that would inevitably include kids and inexperienced folks, Nintendo insisted on giving Kirby a greater challenge, but the developers at HAL Laboratory continually resisted as they didn’t want to overwhelm the little fella.
“We kept suggesting that HAL Laboratory increase the number and placement of enemies, but new stages would still arrive with noticeable gaps in terms of enemy encounters,” said Ninomiya. “I made a point to ask them directly, ‘Why aren’t the stages more densely populated?’
“Their response was that it wouldn’t be fair to poor Kirby to surround him with an overwhelming number of opponents!”
Devs from HAL Laboratory, who were also taking part in the interview, corroborated the story. “They weren’t joking! Everyone on our development staff really loves Kirby, so no one wanted to torment him with an unfair situation,” said general director Shinya Kumazaki, adding that the developers also considered “people who aren’t skilled at 3D platformers.”
Ultimately, it sounds like Nintendo and HAL Laboratory settled on an agreeable compromise. Ninomiya went on to say that Nintendo continued to fight for a tougher Kirby game, and eventually the two companies “bridged the gap with one another.”
Our 4.5/5-star Kirby and the Forgotten Land review calls it “an unmissable adventure for long-time fans” and the perfect intro to the series for newcomers.
After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar’s west coast Staff Writer, I’m responsible for managing the site’s western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I’m too afraid to finish.