Monster of the Week: Kirby

He's an adorable little pink puffball -- and he's hungry.

Well, for those of us in the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and can I just say — where the hell did that come from? Where did the month of November go? I mean, besides imploding into a gaping maw of cosmic depression about the state of the world — that should account for, like, ten days, maybe eleven at most.

Okay, yeah. This has been a pretty shitty month for a lot of us. I’m not going to talk about that at length here, because I’m sure you’re hearing enough about it from literally everyplace else. That’s not to say I support sticking your head in the sand! But there’s a place for escapism, in moderation and in balance. For the moment, I’ll leave it to you to find that balance.


Without further ado, let’s move on to what the holiday season is really all about:

Stuffing your face.

And nobody’s better at it than this week’s monster.

By now anyone who has even a passing familiarity with Nintendo video games — the Super Smash Bros. series, for instance — will recognize this cute little pink puff. Debuting in 1992 with Kirby’s Dream Land, Kirby graduated from the Gameboy to become one of Nintendo’s most enduring and recognizable characters. He may not get as many solo titles as he did back in the 90s, but he’s been one of the core members of the Smash cast since the beginning.

Hey! Hold up a second, you might be thinking. Monster? How could you call that cute little guy a monster?

Well, for the purpose of this blog I write about two types of “monsters,” which I define as:

  1. A creature of some kind that is not a human, which may or may not have human levels of intelligence
  2. Someone capable of actions so heinous that they could be considered monstrous

I’m going to let you decide which category Kirby falls into.

And then I’m going to find those of you who picked number two and read your horrific, grimdark Kirby fanfiction. Please have popcorn ready.

Uh, for those of you who picked option one, congrats! I don’t know what the heck that little pink bubble is, but he’s sure not a human.

Outside of your weird grimdark headcanons, Kirby’s personality is generally upbeat, playful, and carefree. His adventures involve saving his homeland from corrupt kings or nightmarish forces of evil — the fail state tends to be something like “People are going to have bad dreams!”

It’s a pretty kid-friendly game series, and he’s a pretty standup (if sometimes naïve) hero.

The only monstrous thing about Kirby is his appetite.

Kirby’s defining trait is his ability to inhale just about anything that gets in his way. Sometimes that’s an obstacle, like a block. On rare occasions, it’s actual food. But most often, Kirby inhales his enemies.

Like some weird cross between a vacuum and a xerox machine, Kirby copies his opponents’ special powers when he eats them. From fire breathing to shooting lasers, zooming around as a jet plane, or even singing so badly that all the nearby enemies keel over dead, there are nearly as many options to choose from as there are enemies. This has opened the door for some fun and creative gameplay over the years. In Kirby 64, you can even mix and match different powers to create new ones. Kirby’s ability to copy others also makes him the most versatile option on Super Smash Bros’ roster of fighters.



How does so much food fit inside such a little puff?

Nintendo states that Kirby is about eight inches tall. He frequently inhales monsters that are as large as his entire body or larger. Newtonian physics can’t square this circle — or, in this case, puffball.

There’s only one possible explanation: it’s bigger on the inside.

Kirby’s mouth is clearly a portal to another dimension, one with enough room for the impossible amount of stuff he eats.

But that answer only leads to more questions: what happens when one Kirby swallows another Kirby? Can one infinite space contain a second infinity? Wouldn’t that mean the second infinity would have to be finite, and therefore not an infinity by definition, but if the first space is infinitely large and so therefore by definition it should

Do I contradict myself?

Very well, then I contradict myself; I am large, I contain multitudes.

And so does our little pink buddy. His abilities may make for fun video games, sure.

But for the Thanksgiving dinner table, an infinite stomach dimension is nothing short of priceless.

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