Categories: Video Games

Kirby: the origin story of the Nintendo mascot

Kirby officially turned thirty a few days ago, and on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary it seems only right to celebrate Nintendo’s most famous pink ball by retracing its history of its origins. For the thirtieth anniversary Kirby’s then, let’s find out how the character was created and why.

Kirby turns thirty: here’s his story

To better understand the origins of Kirby you must first understand what his name derives from, and no, vacuum cleaners have nothing to do with it, despite the different points in common between the rose creature and a machine that sucks everything up. On the contrary it all comes from a legal diatribewhich Nintendo had to deal with in 1982 and which it sees at the center of the story Donkey Kong.

At that time the big N was expanding into America, and right here the Universal Studios they filed a complaint with the company, given that according to them, the latter plagiarized the film King Kong for the creation of the Donkey Kong video game. Obviously, the Kyoto house doesn’t fit in and takes their studies to court to defend their cause.

It was the lawyer who defended Nintendo in this context Jhon Kirby, that thanks to an impeccable work and the fact that the American court had previously defined the story of King Kong as in the public domain, he managed to win the case brilliantly, putting Unviersal in the position of having to pay damages to Nintendo.

And it is precisely from this story that the name of the pink ball was born, given that Masahiro Sakurai, partly to celebrate the skill of the lawyer, he decided to baptize the protagonist of the next great Nintendo frachise with his name, that is Kirby, even if in reality the final choice took place a little by chance and for fun.

The advent of the franchise

Kirby’s original name was supposed to be Brilla Popopo, but the company felt that this name would make sense only for the Japanese audience, even with a certain foresight and in the end they fell back on Kirby mainly for its guttural musicality, which countered the appearance of the protagonist.

According to what was declared by Shigeru Miyamoto, the lawyer’s name actually came up during the search for Kirby’s final name, but it would actually be an inside joke, not least because John Kirby at the time was rewarded by the company with an enviable fee and a boat from the worth $ 30,000.

In 1992 the first Kirby game finally saw the light, grafting itself into the collective imagination connected to the great N. Since then the franchise has experienced great successes and finally it seems that Nintendo has decided to bring it back into vogue, rejuvenating it with Kirby and the Lost Land, which we hope is just the beginning of a new great saga.

Published by
Marco Dellapina

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