The loveable pink puff, Kirby, is once again playable on Nintendo Switch through the Expansion Pass, but this time, it’s an early version of Kirby from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The game was released in 2000 after Kirby’s inclusion in the 1999 release Super Smash Bros, and was rereleased for the Wii in 2008 and Wii U Virtual Console in 2015. Kirby’s quest is to gather the crystal shards, aiding Ribbon, as Kirby fights back against Dark Matter.
Below, you will find complete controls for Kirby 64. Gameplay tips will follow, focused on beginners and the first few levels.
Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards Nintendo Switch controls
- Move: D-Pad← and D-Pad→
- Duck: D-Pad↓
- Jump: A or D-Pad↑ (hit multiple times for mid-air jumps)
- Inhale and Spit Out Enemy or Item: B
- Swallow Enemy or Item: D-Pad↓ (once inhaled)
- Use Inhaled Ability: B
- Expel Inhaled Ability: L, R, X, Y, Right Stick
- Pause Menu: +
- Suspend Menu: –
Below will be some gameplay tips. They are geared toward beginners of both Kirby 64 and Kirby games in general as there are very similar mechanics throughout the series.
1. Experiment with different inhaled abilities
To gain different abilities for Kirby, you must inhale an enemy with a special attack using B and D-Pad↓. If you want to have a enhanced ability that uses two different inhaled enemies’ abilities, then it’s a bit more tricky. First, inhale an enemy. Then, hit L, R, X, Y, or the Right Stick to bring out the ability (looking like a sea anemone almost), then toss it at the enemy whose ability you also want. If it hits, a more detailed item will be there for Kirby. From there, inhale the combined eight-point star.
There are many different combinations within the game. There are seven base abilities, and when combined with each other, that makes 49 different combined abilities. That’s a lot to work with, and you’ll find that some are best for close-range combat while others are better at ranged combat.
It’s recommended to find a combo that best fits your playstyle.
2. Pay attention to stage select to track your crystal shards
There are seven levels in Kirby 64, with each having a number of stages. Each level is actually a different planet you’ll venture to in your quest to recover the crystal shards. They are Pop Star, Rock Star, Aqua Star, Neo Star, Shiver Star, Ripple Star, and Dark Star. However, Dark Star is only available if you collect every shard in the game to reveal the true ending.
There’s an easy way to keep track of your crystal shards. On the stage select screen, each stage will have a number of outlined diamonds, indicating how many crystals are in each level. The fourth stage above on Pop Star only has one crystal shard, for example. Recovered crystal shards will be filled in on the stage select screen. If you have two diamonds filled in for a stage, but there’s a third that’s outlined, that means you missed one shard. Replay levels to find and retrieve missing shards.
If you finish the game without retrieving all of the crystal shards, you will then receive the “bad” ending, similar to Star Fox 64.
3. Spam your four suspend points to game the system
There is no traditional save option in Kirby 64, so it’s best to use the four suspend point slots to your advantage. To create a suspend point, hit – (minus or dash or hyphen) to bring up the pictured screen. You have four slots (per game in the Expansion Pass) which can be used to save at any time. This allows for quickly loading the suspend point and picking up literally where you left off rather than relying on the in-game mechanism.
If you’re about to enter a battle with a room guard – basically mid-bosses – suspend before you enter the battle. This way, in case you don’t do so well, you can load the suspend point and use what you learned about the boss’ habits for a better battle.
The same applies for boss battles at the end of each level, particularly since each boss attacks differently. In your first battle with Waddle Dee after he’s possessed by Dark Matter, you simply need to jump over a charging Waddle Dee. He’ll crash into the side of the screen and expel one or two stars. Inhale and shoot them back at Waddle Dee to damage him. Simple, right?
The second boss, the artist Adeleine, is a bit different. After Dark Matter possesses her, she paints enemies that come to life, such as Dark Matter’s eye (pictured). The first few are easy enough to beat, but you’ll have to inhale and shoot back objects that are dropped for the last few enemies that are drawn to life. With Dark Matter’s eye, be wary of how low it can get so that you don’t jump into it, suffering damage.
The third boss battle with King Dedede is rather simple (Adeleine’s may be more difficult, honestly). Particularly if you have a ranged attack like the bombs above, King Dedede may not even be able to attack you, instead suffering massive damage. Just avoid him as he leaps around and batter him with attacks; he’ll fall soon enough.
Still, suspend points can ease your stress a bit as you play. While some might view this tactic as cheap, it’s really just making use of what’s available to you.
There you have it, your complete controls guide with tips for Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass. Remember to experiment with different ability combinations and maybe most importantly, use the suspend points to better your outlook in-game!