The Kirby series was already making a name for itself, but its reputation as one of the most enjoyable and acclaimed series of all time was cemented with the release of Kirby Super Star in 1996. The multiplayer mode was a welcome addition and executed extremely well for the SNES console.
Couple this with the addictively fun gameplay, near-perfect mechanics of Kirby’s power absorption, and vibrant graphics, and it’s clear to see why Super Star was such a winner. The intricacies of the gameplay, such as strategies behind picking a power for Kirby and navigating the odd-level layouts, are areas of focus for the speedrunning community.
Naturally, there are a lot of glitches and strategies involved in a competitive score, as we’ll see in this article. We’re going to dive into an incredible Kirby Super Star speedrun by Yotta, and what makes it so great.
What Tricks Were Used in This Run?
To speedrun competitively in a category that permits glitches, exploiting these quirks is essential to reaching success. While there aren’t any particularly game-breaking glitches used in this run, a lot of counterintuitive mechanics are used to speed up the gameplay.
Here’s an overview of what tricks are used in a Kirby Super Star speedrun, as well as timestamps for where they’re used in this run.
This is where the mechanics are manipulated in order to obtain a specific power-up, usually Hammer, Plasma, Jet, or Wing. The roulette of abilities starts spinning when Kirby inhales two or more enemies simultaneously.
The tempo here is extremely fast, so players often rely on their own tempos instead of the in-game ones. Once they get used to the timing, they can precisely obtain their desired power-up.
Mini-Boss Quick Kill
By super jumping directly underneath the boss, Kirby can collide with an invisible hitbox that does extra damage. This can be used to instantly kill any mini-boss. An example can be seen at 1:13.
By timing the collection of the rainbow candy, Kirby can use this temporary invincibility state to his advantage, such as running over lava or spikes without receiving damage. This can be seen at 7:16.
Dyna Blade Strategy
The jet power-up is important here. First, Kirby hovers to the top of the stage, charges while turning in both directions, and then releases the charge while simultaneously picking up the star. This is incredibly difficult to pull off but shaves a lot of time off.
Seen frequently throughout the run, if Kirby times his jump correctly when leaving the water, he receives a speed boost. These add up to help reduce the overall time significantly.
During a certain section in the Revenge of Meta Knight level, by jumping on top of the elevators, Kirby gives himself a head start. You can see this at 15:03.
Activating Buttons Through Walls
Using the Plasma power-up, Kirby can hit buttons through walls. This saves time by not having to manually step on them, e.g. 18:16.
By pulling off 5 quick hits at the start of the fight, Marx skips his invincibility stage. By going directly to his final form, Kirby saves a lot of time. We can see this at 33:23.
What Makes This a Good Run?
Overall, Yotta pulled off all of these tricks flawlessly. There aren’t really many examples of him accidentally colliding with an enemy or a block. This is to be expected, as it’s a very competitive world-beating run.
It’s also notable that Yotta prefers to use the Wheelie Rider power-up over the commonly used Jet power-up. The speed is comparable and even slightly better.
It took around 2 years for the previous record to be beaten. Therefore, it looks like this record may stay for a while. Especially since it’s an improvement of a huge 45 seconds.
History of Kirby Super Star Speedruns
As with most platformers, virtually every Kirby title has been speedrun at some point or another. Records for Super Star began over 10 years ago, and there have been a lot of runs since then.
Times range from 2 and a half hours to Yotta’s amazing 33 minutes. Most runs fall into either the sub-50-minute range or just under the 40-minute range. On average, it takes around 2 years for a run to be beaten by a new record.
Yotta also holds the world record for the 100% category. This means he’s in first place in every category for Kirby Super Star. It’s not known if he speedruns any other titles, as there are no records online. However, you can check out his other Kirby videos on his YouTube or Twitch profile.
This run from Yotta is an amazing attempt. It will likely remain the world record for a little while longer since it was only released 2 months ago. As one of the most successful Kirby titles of all time, Kirby Super Star attracts a lot of speedrunners.
Not only because of its fun gameplay, but due to its many power-ups and strategies for getting through the levels. It feels like we’re approaching the limit of how fast the game can be completed. But time will tell if we see a sub-30-minute run in the future.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©slyellow/Shutterstock.com.