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A Void in the Dark

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“No telling if it’s true, but according to the ancient scrolls, Void Termina may rise again in other forms depending on whether positive or negative energy is gathered. It seems this being of darkness will wander the galaxy until one day he is reborn into a new existence. When he returns, hopefully it will be as… a friend.”

– VS. Void Soul, Kirby Star Allies

Stars sparkled through the night sky, with nary a cloud to be seen or anything otherwise to disturb its beauty—and beneath its starry embrace, a large hill, with an equally large tree overlooking the town close by, sat peacefully on the humble planet of Twinkle Star. With the evergreen tree able to withstand any weather, and capable of providing a wide area of shade during the summer days, it was the perfect place to bask in the wind and simply… relax.

Relax, and enjoy the scenery for what it was.

It even gave a good view at the whole village—and when people were awake and about, it was certainly a sight to see.

With those factors, it stood no surprise that one young pink puffball found himself on this hill and under this tree, hands placed on the floor and eyes looking up toward the sky. There was an uncertain expression on his face, one that spoke of inexperience, of a person not knowing his purpose in life.

Here I am again, he thought with a frown. Up on this hill. Gazing up at the stars. Sitting here alone. Trying to find my own way in this world.

…I really need to stop doing this. This is what, the fifth day in a row I’ve woken up in the middle of the night like this…?

He tried to let his mind go blank again, to hopefully will himself to sleep, even if he wasn’t sleeping on his bed at that given moment—but it was no use. The thoughts that had long been plaguing his mind soon rose back up to the surface.

…what exactly am I here for?

There’s not a whole lot for me to do, if I’m being honest. Sure, all the villagers are nice, and I’m glad that they’ve helped me find my way around. It’s just that… I can’t shake the fact that’s something’s missing.

Something that I can’t put my finger on.

There’s… a destiny awaiting me, I’m sure of that; a destiny that involves the use of these ‘Copy Abilities’ I’ve been experimenting with lately. There’s a whole galaxy beyond this relatively tiny planet, and it’s calling out to me. Singing my name, drawing me to it.

A part of me wants to go answer it. But… that would mean leaving behind everything I’ve ever known—everyone I’ve ever known. Would—Would that be fair? To abandon everyone in search of something I may not even want in the end?

…what’s the right move for me to make?

And… is there really a point to my existence…?

He sat there for quite a while, solemnly contemplating these difficult questions. He hadn’t spoken to anyone about them; he felt as though they were personal, something he needed to figure out himself before he discussed it with anyone else. Several days had passed since, though, and he had about as many answers for them now as when they first arose. He wanted to find his own purpose, and truly come into his own—but he also didn’t want to leave Twinkle Star, the birthplace he had grown attached to.

It was a tricky conundrum to solve, to say the least.

“You seem troubled, Kirby.”

The aforementioned puffball blinked, and turned his head in the voice’s direction. Suddenly beside him was a person that could best be described as ‘ancient’; he wore a warm blue robe around his stout body (he was no more than one-and-a-half times Kirby’s height), and a rather thick beard covered the lower half of his face. He was most definitely wise.

“O-Oh!” Kirby said aloud. “E-Elder Popopo! I—I didn’t expect to see you out at this hour.”

Elder Popopo was a familiar face to Kirby; he was undoubtedly the sagest (and oldest) individual in the village, having advice for just about any inquiry the people – be them child or adult – turned to him for. In fact, he was essentially the puffball’s closest companion, having been the one to guide him into the world after his birth. He also had a habit of sneaking up behind him when he least expected it – and this time proved to be much the same.

The old man chuckled. “I would say the same to you,” he said, “but we both know you’ve been feeling troubled as of late.” He waddled over to his student of sorts and took a seat next to him. He seemed to be enjoying the view above quite a lot, from what Kirby could tell. “Tell me, young one,” he began to ask, without taking his eyes away from the sky, “what ails you on this fine night?”

Kirby was silent for a little as he struggled to verbalize his concerns. “…I don’t know what I’m doing here,” he finally admitted. “I—I like living here, don’t get me wrong; it’s just that… I kind of want to go beyond here, see what the wider Gamble Galaxy is like. There’s something more out there for me, I know that’s true enough—” It wasn’t like he hadn’t noticed the power sleeping deep within him, after all; a pond rippling slowly in the cool breeze and waiting to gusher out like a fountain—“but… is it really right for me to seek that?”

Elder Popopo hummed. “It is not a surprise to hear you say that, actually. Many younglings on Twinkle Star desire to seek out adventure beyond their home. In fact, I used to be like that myself!” He laughed heartily. “That is where most of my knowledge comes from. And I have seen plenty more who have taken that first step. So trust me—you are not an exception when it comes to this.”

“I guess not,” the puffball muttered, “but… you guys aren’t like me. You weren’t ‘created’ from outta nowhere, and you don’t have all these… weird special powers to deal with.” He raised a hand to his face. “I’m an outcast, in that regard. I mean—I was an amorphous blob my first few months living here. That’s definitely not normal.” He could remember what it was like, floating around, unable to say any word other than ‘poyo’… It was an experience that really stuck with him. “I… I don’t really know how to feel about it. Not at all.”

“A crisis of identity, I see.” The two sat there in silence for no small amount of time, the stars continuing to twinkle down upon them as they stared. Kirby shifted uncomfortably, unsure if he should say anything else – What more do I tell him? Will he even have an answer? – until eventually… “I know the cornerstone of all your questions, I would bet. You wish to identify the reasons behind your birth, correct?”

…he hit the nail right on the head. “Yeah,” he said, “I—I do. That’s what’s been burning away at me all this time. Like—why was I born?” His frown became even deeper. “I—I have to know that much. My heart won’t stop screaming that at me.”

“That inquiry is not easy to answer, but I will do my best in spite of that.” Elder Popopo leaned back as he continued to speak. “There is an old legend, dating before even I came into this realm.” Kirby perked up. He hadn’t heard about this before. “Somewhere in this galaxy, there is a large heart-shaped artifact, from which many replicas have been derived from. All of them, presumably, share the same trait: the power to concentrate energy, derived from emotions, into one place, and use it to create life.”

“Energy derived from emotions…” Something considering entered Kirby’s face when he heard that statement. The gears gradually began to turn in his head.

“Unfortunately… there are far too many tales of these relics being used for evil.” There was an almost sad expression on Elder Popopo’s visible features. “Many budding Dark Lords have been created as a result of these influxes of negative energy, for reasons I have never been able to decipher, thanks to the fact that their birthplaces remain utterly in ruin. And though these newly-born Dark Lords have fallen as fast as they were formed… their influence had led to a belief that negativity is all that those born from these hearts can manifest.

“This belief is fundamentally wrong,” the old man decreed. “Nothing is wholly bad on its own; it is the actions we take with them that defines their nature. And so, I set a goal for the majority of my life: to prove that good can come from where there was once only evil; from the universal matters of dark, dream, soul, and heart.”

“That’s a… really lofty goal to go for,” Kirby tentatively said—understatement of the century, really. “I’m not sure if I’d be able to do the same thing myself. I mean, I don’t even know what to do with myself half the time.”

“Don’t limit yourself to such a perspective,” Elder Popopo lightly chided. “Improbable things have occurred before to those that believed them impossible – again, you will be no exception to this rule. In time, you will see.” He stuck out his arm, and smiled warmly as a butterfly fluttered in and landed on the back of his hand. “I explored the outer reaches of the galaxy, to learn all I could about these mysterious artifacts, to see if I could craft a conduit that would draw in the energies I desired. After all, if concentrated negativity was what spawned all these Dark Lords… then what would concentrated positivity bring? If such a power could be harnessed in a beneficial manner… then I knew that a real miracle could arrive into this galaxy; that those much like you could do good in this realm.”

Kirby was truly engrossed in Elder Popopo’s tale now. “Wow…” he whispered. The nobility and determination of his mentor… both were indescribably amazing to hear for himself. To think, he would go so far merely to prove that there was a little bit of good in everybody… I wish I could be like that, someday. “And that’s where I come into the picture, right?”

“Correct, my young one. After many years of searching, I eventually returned to my hometown here, and I slowly began to set up the conditions that would lead to my experiment. I gathered all of the villagers in front of the heart I created, and together, we willed every ounce of our positive emotions into it, as much as we could muster. And at last, our child of the stars—you—came into being on Twinkle Star.” His smile, if possible, seemed to widen, the butterfly now spinning all around him. “In the years that have passed since that day, I have never regretted partaking in this quest. I am glad to have been there to see you grow, Kirby.” He turned his head to his companion. “There is no one else who I am prouder to call my son.”

“E-Elder Popopo…” Tears welled up in the corner of Kirby’s eyes. Such an admission, from the man he had grown to admire the most… it brought a little sunshine to clear up his cloudy sky.

And yet, even though a part of him was elated to hear it… it didn’t stop him from worrying about all his earlier thoughts.

“But… aren’t you worried that you might be wrong?” Kirby’s gaze faced the floor. “I—I don’t know if I could ever meet your expectations. Whatever lies beyond this planet, whatever’s waiting for me—it could be something extremely terrible. And at the same time, even though I know it means leaving behind all the friends I’ve made, I want to seek it out for myself. Do—Do you really believe I’ll be able to stay true to who I am now, if I go? Will everyone else accept the decisions I’ll make…?”

The old man’s response was simple: “Kirby, I have never been so sure of anything else in my entire life.” It was so blunt, the puffball found himself speechless. “Even though you were born using something that has been deemed undesirable, your purpose in life is what you make of it. You are a good person; there is nothing and no one that can ever change that. If you want to venture out to greener pastures, I won’t stop you—and neither will the village.” He took Kirby’s hand and stared right into his eyes. “Just know this: so long as you keep the memory of your friends—the memory of us—alive in your heart, and you never stop reaching out to those in need… you will be fine.”

“The memory of my friends, huh…” he repeated.




That word… it had always resonated strongly with his heart, more than anything else he had ever known. Not even food could compare to the warm sensation that erupted inside him whenever he thought about the idea of friendship. Somehow, at this time, at this given moment, it seemed to have an even greater effect than before.

Despite all the self-doubt and existential questions that was plaguing his mind… he smiled when he thought about the happy smiles of everyone around.

They’d cheer for him, no matter what scenario he could envision himself arriving at.

If he let that empower him, if he let their voices show him the way… then whatever was out there, it wouldn’t stand a chance against him.

He just had to believe.

He wasn’t a Dark Lord, or an evil bad guy, or whatever his ‘predecessors’ were; he was a child of the stars, and he’d do his best to live up to that title.

(Besides, there’d be friends in the future, too. And he’d always had a bit of a propensity for making friends in unexpected places. Who’s to say he couldn’t be a helping hand to them, like Twinkle Star had been for him?

After all, there was nothing wrong with having a lot of good friends.)

“…maybe you’re right,” Kirby finally said. “Thanks, Elder Popopo.” The inhabitants of Twinkle Star had shown him so much compassion; it definitely stood to reason that he could share it around the Gamble Galaxy as well. “I’ll—I’ll keep that in mind.”

“That’s all I ask, Kirby,” Elder Popopo replied. “Whatever you do, from here on out… I hope you’ll continue to stay the person that you are.”


March 16, 2018

Planet Pop Star’s no stranger to invasions and villains of all kinds, from the magical to the technological and everything in-between. At this point, it’s become a part of our identity. We’re the guys with a track record in killing over a dozen different Eldritch Abominations and dealing with things that by no means should come to close to being in the same dimension as us! Come on over for a visit, and you might even get possessed for a day! What a sweet deal, right? Don’t forget to kill a resurrected and corrupted Soul Boss on your way out!

I can understand how, from the outside looking in, everything here seems maddening. There are plenty of other planets in the galaxy, if not the multiverse, that only have to deal with one world-ending crisis in their population’s lifetime. And meanwhile, we have several of them, on a two-year basis at best, ranging in severity from ‘mildly annoying’ to ‘actually threatening all of existence’, all over the relatively small timespan of just twenty-five years. I get it, you’re probably asking by now, ‘Why would you ever choose to live here? Why wouldn’t you go, like, literally anywhere else?’

My answer’s simple: there’s a lot to like about Pop Star.

Just like there’s a lot to like about other places with similar situations to us. (I mean, it’s not as if the Mushroom Kingdom doesn’t have about as many insane shenanigans of their own.)

The peace and quiet that Dream Land is otherwise known for; the lush and colorful locales that live unfettered and untainted; the modest life enabled by this beautiful world… there’s a large variety of reasons I’ve made this place my home, not least of all being the friends who I’ve come to care for so dearly.

There’s Bandana Dee, one of my trusty companions, utterly loyal to both his friends and his Great King. He’s particularly proficient with a spear, and acts a lot like a second-in-command and advisor to Dedede. Nervousness is the name of the game for him, and he often worries too much for us whenever some sort of crisis rises up, be it big or small. However, he’ll stand firm to guard his brethren and his compatriots against any threat, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we remain as safe as possible.

Meta Knight’s a puffball like me, cute face and all. (Unsurprisingly, you’ll never see him admit it.) Unlike me, he doesn’t have the power to copy abilities; instead, he prides himself on being a noble swordsman. He’s arguably the greatest warrior in the whole galaxy, though even he can be prone to being caught off guard by Dream Land’s typical shenanigans. While he likes to stay aloof, he has admitted that he likes being around my (and Dee, and Dedede’s) company. We’ve both taught each other a lot of things, and as dual defenders of Dream Land, I think we’re perfect buddies.

And then there’s my best friend; the one person who I can say, without hyperbole, that I’d lay down my life for (though I’m not implying anyone else is any less near and dear to my heart): King Dedede, the righteous king of Dream Land. Skilled in swinging his hammer, and respectable in ruling his kingdom, he’s been my closest confidant, a guy who I’d trade the world for – and though our relationship may have started off rocky and entrenched in rivalry for close to fifteen years… I’m glad I managed to break through his stubborn defenses and helped him soar. With a casual smile and a booming voice, I can honestly say there’s nobody else I’d rather have by my side.

There’s countless others still on my list that I haven’t mentioned, but you get the idea by this point. Each of my friends are special in their own way, strong enough to part the seas with their personalities alone. They brighten up my already sunny sky simply by being there, and I know the feeling’s mutual for them.

I’ll put up with any number of deities and demons and devilish dangers for them, because I love this planet, and I love my friends.

And as the years have gone by, these facts have never changed: I’m sassy, I’m hungry, I’m all-around lively—but most of all, I’m the friendliest friend you’ll ever see. That’s what makes me, me – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve always known Pop Star was something special. I’ve traveled the Gamble Galaxy for several centuries, going wherever the spring breeze took me, and I’ve seen an abundant amount of civilizations and landscapes since the day I finally left Twinkle Star – and I gotta say, there’s no other planet that makes me feel the way this place does. There’s a distinct magic that covers the World of Miracles, and honestly, it’s like I was always meant to be here. This is what was meant to be, period.

And I’m happy. I’m happy with it. I’m happy being with everyone.

I’ve made several visits to Twinkle Star since I started my adventures, once per year at minimum; and though time may pass and new generations may arrive, they’ve always been delighted to see me whenever my Starship or Warp Star lands near the village I’m so fond of. They’ve always noted one thing, every time I discuss what I’ve been doing since my last visit: I look happy, talking about my home and recalling the fun times I’ve had with my friends, laughing and smiling and never letting the bad things get them down.

I suppose I’ve always been transparent, when it comes to that.

…there’s always been a couple lingering questions left in my mind though, creeping in and resurfacing in my thoughts whenever I least want it to. Two questions that have forever been unanswerable to me.

How come all those replica heart artifacts made only Dark Lords?

And… could that be related to the relative lack of puffballs around the galaxy?

Because Meta Knight, Dark Meta Knight, the Amazing Mirror brigade, Galacta Knight… they’re the only other puffballs I’ve ever seen! (Trust me, the Kirby Printer doesn’t count.) A full millennium of journeying, and I’ve only seen other members of my species crop up in the last twenty-five years.

I’ve never really told anyone about my origins, not even Meta Knight. They know on some level that I’m far older than I look, and I’m a heck of a lot stronger than someone like me really has the right to be, given that I’m the source of at least half of Pop Star’s coveted miracles – but aside from those suspicions, I’ve kept it all to myself.

Isn’t that ironic? The guy who’s always convincing his friends to confide their worries to him, who’s always trying to help out however he can, to make people’s lives just that little bit better… he can’t even bring himself to talk to people about his own hang-ups.

They say ignorance is bliss—and honestly… I don’t want any possible answers to wreck that serendipity. If I don’t know, then I won’t have an uncomfortable truth hanging over my head, and everything else will stay the same—me, my friends, my relationships… it’d be for the best if no one had to fear anything about it.

Elder Popopo reassured me long ago that I didn’t have anything to worry, that I was my own person through and through, in spite of whatever may come to disparage me of that fact. I’ve become way more confident (and sassy, and determined) since the day he told me that, sure, and I’m easily able to see now where he was coming from – but a part of me can’t help but worry.

…maybe I’m not as much as a good guy as I think I am.

But all of that’s been speculation on my part, thankfully. It’s been pretty peaceful over the last year-and-a-half since the Robobot crisis, and nothing of any real significance has happened aside from Dedede’s Cake Royale. Mario and Link and a bunch of other people had 2017 as an eventful year, and I’m proud to call myself the owner of a Nintendo Switch—which isn’t half-bad, all things considered—but otherwise, it was business as usual.

And then… a new crisis finally decided to kick in.

Pop Star
Dream Land – Green Gardens

I was asleep.

More accurately, I was taking a nice nap.

That shouldn’t be surprising.

Dream Land isn’t just called Dream Land because it looks like it’s straight out of a dream.

We consider sleep something of a treasure. I mean, we have a Fountain of Dreams that literally does nothing but give us happy images when we close our eyes. We’re a sleepy kingdom with a lazy lifestyle. That’s the way we work, and that’s the way I like it.

Finding good sleeping spots is a bit of a passion for all of us, too. In case you were curious, I was sitting beside one of the many donut-shaped constructs in the Green Gardens, having fallen asleep after admiring the wonderful scenery for quite a while. Hey, if you know where to look, then you can get yourself pretty comfortable! There’s nothing wrong in taking a nap whenever and wherever I want. ‘Sides, it’s not like there was a lot happening this morning.

I wasn’t dreaming of anything in particular currently; I was simply resting and relaxing, like anybody else would on this fine day. I laid there with a little smile on my face, content with the peace and serenity of where I was.

And then…

Something washed over me.

It was an… unusual something. It was simultaneously warm and sunny and friendly all at once – and the second it hit me, it immediately dissipated and shone all about my body, practically resonating with my very core. Something brimmed inside me right after, a newfound power of sorts – and it was with this feeling glowing around me that woke me up. I blinked several times in a row, a little flummoxed.

Huh. That was a thing. I’m no stranger to weird things happening while I sleep – the Robobot invasion literally happened as I was taking my usual nap next to a tree – but never stuff that affected me that directly.

Well, I’m feeling absolutely refreshed now, so—I guess I’ll take it as a plus! Maybe the stars decided to give me a little treat, or something.

I stretched my hands into the sky and let out a huge yawn. “Good afternoon, Dream Land!” I greeted the world. “Kirby’s up and ready to play!”

Crickets chirped and butterflies fluttered in the air, the good ‘ol spring breeze blowing in and making the grass lean back and forth. Green Greens, Prism Plains, Cookie Country, Friendly Field—it doesn’t matter where I go, the blossoming nature is always a treat to see here on Planet Pop Star.

I smiled. Man, it’s such a wonderful day! I thought. The skies are perfectly swirly, the sun’s perfectly… uh, sunny, and there’s no overgrown vines or roboticization spires in sight! (Thank goodness!) Maybe I’ll go and visit some of my friends today. Rick, Kine, and Coo, maybe? It’s been a while since I’ve last hung out with them…

Yep, today was just another perfect day, for both me and hopefully for my friends!

We’ve gone almost two years without any major threats hitting us – and if we’re lucky (pfft), we might get to go two-and-a-half; our grace period in-between the Lor Starcutter repair job and the sprouting of the Dreamstalk! Wouldn’t that be nice?


The familiar sound of waddling feet soon hit my ears. Multiple feet waddling, in fact. They came forth in rapid succession, like a marching band training to tread their route down a road. It must be Dedede’s guys, I thought. There are very few others around who can make such a distinctive sound. Wonder what they’re up to? My best friend was usually prone to sending out his servants to pick up a few things outside of his castle, so it comes as no shock that they’re roaming about.

I turned my head and raised my hand to wave at them – and promptly paused at what exactly they were doing. I observed the items held up above their heads, even more confused now.

Cherries, bananas, oranges, watermelons—

They were… stealing food?

“What the…?” I muttered aloud. “Th-That can’t be right… Why are they…?” I watched as they ran as fast as they could, a whole brigade of them walking a trail toward one singular location. They looked almost panicked, as if they didn’t want to do this deed—and they were forced to anyway. That raised my suspicions further; the only times I’ve ever seen Waddle Dees like that were the times where they were unwillingly working for a Villain of the Week. That can only mean…

My eyes followed their lead. Their destination: Mt. Dedede, standing tall off in the distance, with a sinister purple storm hovering over the castle on the top, swirling and spiraling and okay, what in the name of Galactic NOVA is going on!? Who the heck has invaded our place now!?

Is—Is Dedede okay!? He’s normally in his castle at a time like this!

Don’t tell me he’s gotten possessed again…!

I threw my hands into the air. “Oh great,” I groaned. “I have got to stop falling asleep whenever this type of stuff occurs!” What’s next, I go to bed in the Smash Mansion and when I wake up, everyone’s suddenly gone and I have to go rescue them!?

“Kirby!” I flipped around backward at the sound of a familiar voice—and there was Bandana Dee, running toward me with his spear in his hand. He panted as he stopped right in front of me, as distressed as I expected him to be. “I’m—I’m glad I—I managed to find you! Y-You’ve seen it too, r-right!?”

I knew instantly what he was referring to. “Kinda hard to miss when it sticks out like a sore thumb against the normally blue sky,” I replied, directing a hand in the direction of Castle Dedede. “Guess another invasion dealio’s hit us again, huh?”

Dee nodded frantically. “I—I can’t get in contact with G-Great King or Meta Knight, a-and I can’t get a signal from A-Adeleine and Ribbon, either! I don’t think th-things are as bad as the R-Robobot invasion, b-but—I really d-don’t like the looks of this…! I—I mean, there was that purple meteor shower just a moment ago…!”

Meteor shower? Immediately, I thought of the seventy-two Crystal Shards from so long ago – but somehow, I don’t think this was quite in the same vein as that. Could they be the cause of this…?

Well, either way – there’s only one thing to do! “Looks like we’ve got a lot on our hands this time ‘round!” I remarked. “I’m not certain on what it all means, but chances are we’re probably gonna be given some things a good beating!” I smiled rather cockily, getting up off the floor and jumping at the seams. A part of me’s missed this type of thing, I’ll admit, and I’m perfectly fine getting back into gear with this infernal crisis! “Whatever’s going on with Dedede and Meta Knight, I’m sure it won’t be in effect for long! So c’mon, Dee—you ready for another adventure?”

It didn’t take Dee long to answer. “O-Of course, Kirby!” he nodded. “I’d love to be with you again! T-Together, we’ll—we’ll be able to conquer a-anything!”

I smile turned into a grin. “That’s the spirit!” I said. “Let’s get a move on, then! Time’s a wastin’, and we’ve got a lot of work to do!” The two of us dashed off on the woodland trail and into the heart of the Green Gardens – but as I glanced up at the storm above Castle Dedede again, I found myself… offset, for some reason.

There was something oddly familiar about it; something eerily unsettling that I couldn’t quite articulate.

Unseen by Dee, I frowned. …it’s just me, I tried to convince myself. Just me. Whatever I’m feeling, it ain’t something I need to worry about.

L-Let’s hurry up and get this adventure started already!

That’s how our latest and greatest adventure began – with me and Dee journeying through Dream Land with Castle Dedede in our sights. It became quickly clear that this wasn’t going to be a typical tale though (pfft, like any of our adventures past 2010 have been a ‘typical’ tale in any way), when we discovered I had the power to physically befriend people with Friend Hearts – and even call our old Helpers back into action.

A lot of happy reunions were had, and we even made new allies along the way! And of course, all this experimentation segued into us figuring out elemental combos and friendship attacks – and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun tearing apart our hostile foes before now. We were a hilariously overpowered group of friends, and we absolutely loved it.

Speaking of reunions, Rick, Kine, Coo, and Gooey came along for the ride as Dream Friends, thanks to the power of the Dream Palaces! Oh, and Marx came back from the dead, too. No idea how – but if Magolor can do the same without the power of the Dream Rod on hand, then it’s alright! Later, we even managed to recruit Adeleine, Dark Meta Knight, and Daroach to our team, once we started fully traversing all of Pop Star – but that (in addition to the Dream Palaces) is a story for another time.

But as enjoyable as it was to have our expanded crew of Star Allies on this quest with me… there was always something hanging in the back of my mind: the mysterious purple hearts that came from the meteor shower Bandana Dee (and several of our Dream Friends) had witnessed earlier.

Castle Dedede – Lower Level Balcony

The hulking monstrosity that Dedede had become – and here I thought that one time Sonic showed me a beefed-up Knuckles was weird enough – had finally been defeated, after we had been brought two floors down from the throne room. He fell from the air and crashed face-first onto the floor, something purple soaring from his body and over our heads – not that I really cared at that moment.

I wiped some sweat from my forehead, rebalancing my Fighter headband and making sure it still fit. Let me tell you, that was one of the craziest fights of my life – though thankfully, not one of the toughest. I don’t even want to think about what Dedede would be like if he had his mirror counterpart’s strength – or NOVA forbid, his Deluxe Dedede Hammer. That’d be one heck of a nightmare to contend with…

“Okay! Okay,” Marx huffed, his cheeks inflated into a pout. The tips of his jester hat were noticeably floundering, really selling the impression that he was done with this crap. “Let us never do that again! We’re in agreement, right everybody?”

Everyone responded appropriately.

Me: “Yeah, yeah, give or take a True Arena.” Because there’s always a True Arena involved.

Dee nodded frantically, his hands waving in the air. “Y-Yeah! What Kirby said! …but h-hopefully, without the True Arena thing!”

Rick: “Perfectly acceptable idea, mate.”

Kine: “I’m getting dizzy from all the dodging… but, uh… sure?”

Coo: “Those muscles were an affront to all design – so yes! Yes, I agree!”

Gooey: “If that’s what you want, then that’s okay.” The little blob of Dark Matter started to drool happily. “Maybe we can borrow some of Dedede’s food to celebrate. He has lots of food today.”

That brought us back on track. We turned back toward Dedede, who was rapidly shrinking back to his original state, purple smoke rapidly being emitted out of him in the process. My feet moved on instinct, and it didn’t take me long before I was dashing toward my best friend, concern written all over my face. “Dedede!” Immediately, a Friend Heart materialized into my hands, and I threw it at him as hard as I could.

An eruption of pink light shone from the point of contact between the heart and Dedede (“Ooh, shiny,” Gooey dreamily remarked), practically blinding everyone in the room for a few brief seconds. I brought an arm up to shield my eyes – and then…

A groan came out from Dedede’s mouth as he properly drooped to the floor and lifted his head. “Oh, dear NOVA,” he mumbled, “the heck did I eat this morning…? I feel as if I got blasted in the face by a laser…”

…I probably shouldn’t tell him that’s exactly what happened.

His eyes drifted to me in confusion. “…Kirby? What are you doing here? Don’t tell me it’s dinner time already…” He brought his gaze to the rest of the room. “Actually, why are we here? Last thing I remember, I was hanging out on my balcony. And—” He turned his head back. “—why are there piles of food behind me? Are—Are they rotten??? Heck’s going on!?”

I bopped him on the head lightly. “I was saving you from being possessed again, dummy!” I grinned. “Seriously, you have got to find some help for that little problem of yours. I’m not always gonna be around to snap you out of it, y’know!”

Dedede beamed back at me. “Heh heh—maybe!” He got off the ground and stood on his own two feet, dusting off his robes – now that I’m paying attention, his clothes seem to have regenerated themselves when I wasn’t looking. Probably for the best; I wouldn’t want to explain why he needs to go get another kimono. “Well, that doesn’t matter now – I’m perfectly fine now, and I’m ready to go on another ‘venture with you! It’s been a while since I’ve properly kicked some good ‘ol bad guy butt!” He hoisted his hammer over his shoulder and laughed heartily.

There’s the Dedede I know and love so well. “Same here – on the ‘ready to go’ part, I mean,” I said. “It’s good to have you back, Dedede.”

“It’s good to be back, Kirby. It’s good to be back.”

“G-Great King!” Dee’s voice cut through our conversation. The little Waddle Dee slammed into his king, hugging him as tightly as he could (though his size meant that was not a whole lot of strength). He looked up to Dedede, eyes glistening with worry. “You’re—You’re alright, r-right!? I—I was so worried wh-when you wouldn’t pick up the phone…!”

“Hey, don’t cry now, Dee!” Dedede patted his assistant’s back softly. “I dunno exactly what happened to me, but it’s not like it’s a problem anymore! …for me, anyway.” He let Dee smother himself into his robes a while longer – and then he looked up at the crowd I had gathered. “‘Sides, I know our old friends wouldn’t let you wallow in sadness along the way. I can see Rick, Kine, Coo, Gooey…” He narrowed his eyes. “…wait, is that Marx? H-How even…?” I get the feeling Marx is going to be getting that reaction a lot.

“Yo, ‘Great King’!” Marx sniggered, something mocking at the edge of his voice. “Ya miss me? Man, you’re looking just as plump as always. Guess the years weren’t kind to you!”

Dedede just stared at Marx for a bit, face completely flummoxed, before he turned his head to me. I shrugged. “Long story, tell you later.” And I get the feeling I’m going to be saying that a lot.

“If you say so, Kirbs.”

“Hey, mates,” Rick suddenly spoke up. “Not to rain on you guys’ parade or anythin’, but… what are we gonna do with that thing over there?” He jabbed his thumb behind him… right where the crystalline heart that had brainwashed Dedede was, blazing and humming with this ominous violet aura. Slowly, it floated off the ground and hovered above us, our eyes uneasily watching it.

Dee whimpered and clung on to Dedede tighter. Dedede himself glared at the strange artifact, both hands hanging onto his hammer. The other Dream Friends all looked ready for a fight, if need be. And me? I was… unnerved. Extremely unnerved.

A memory flashed back. A memory of me, coming into existence from a large heart-shaped creation through a stream of positive energy. Except this heart wasn’t anything like that; it was swarming with darkness, to a level I hadn’t seen since Dark Matter, of all the things. And that wasn’t even the worst part about it. As it discharged a plume of purple smoke, I couldn’t help but notice something. It—It felt a lot like… like…


H-How could that be possible…?

Instead of empowering people with unbridled friendship and happiness, all it emanated was hatred and despair – to the point where it could give others these destructive power-ups, much in the same vein as the miracles I tend to make.

…That has to just be a coincidence. There’s no way I could be associated with something like that. Sure, Elder Popopo told me about how there were plenty of Dark Lords born from hearts of darkness, but this is on an unprecedented level. You can’t be telling me I’m related to this… right?

(But the seeds of doubt had been planted in my mind, and a feeling of dread began to settle in. Just… Just what exactly are we up against…?

What has the past twenty-five years meant, then…?)

Suddenly, the heart spun around and flew off into the sunset. I shook my head and yelled, “H-Hey! Get back here!” Don’t tell me this is what they’re all going to do! I whipped out my Warp Star and jumped onto it. “C’mon, guys! We have to go after it!”

Everyone nodded determinedly. Dedede and Dee joined me on the Warp Star, and we soon took off away from Castle Dedede, the rest of the Star Allies following after me with their own methods of flying. Wherever we’re headed next, it’ll surely bring us to the other hearts just like it – and hopefully, Meta Knight too! Whatever it is I’m feeling from it, I can’t afford to be distracted now…!

We continued on our journey to rid Pop Star of these crystal hearts, gathering an entourage of allies and Helpers along the way. Thanks to the fact that I could sense these pieces (likely because I had obtained the ability to summon Friend Hearts from a… good piece, I guess?), we were able to hunt them down across the planet, gradually making our way to Sacred Square where the last one was – and, coincidentally, where it had corrupted Meta Knight.

But once we had beaten the curse out of Meta Knight and gotten him reacquainted with everyone, the Fortress of Shadows—Jambastion—came crashing down by the will of the Jambandra Cult, and it was there where we found out what the purple hearts were: shards of the great Jamba Heart, a mysterious artifact that this sinister brigade wanted completed. And seeing how twisted these Jamba Heart shards were, it stood to reason that that was something we couldn’t let happen.

Our planetary trip turned into a galactic odyssey soon after, and we clashed several times with the Jambandra Cult on our quest to prevent their evil scheme from reaching its conclusion. We made it all the way to Jambandra Base, their ultimate stronghold, and charged in – but none of us could have predicted what would end up being revealed at the end of our quest.

None of us – myself included.

Jambandra Base
The Divine Terminus – Altar

At last, after a tough and lengthy clash, Zan Partizanne collapsed to the ground – and us thirteen Star Allies stood triumphant over her. “It’s over, Zan Partizanne!” I declared, spinning my blazing mallet in my hand. “You can’t beat us – not now, not ever!”

“H-How…” the downed Bringer of Shock hissed, barely able to lift her head from the place where she lay. “How can you be so strong…? No ordinary individuals should have been able to survive the things you have…! It’s—It’s impossible! Improbable! Unfeasible!”

“That’s the thing about us,” I grinned delightfully. “We don’t know what the meaning of ‘impossible’ is!”

“He’s right!” Adeleine affirmed. “You wouldn’t know a thing about we work, ‘cause we’re a tight-knit group of friends who never give up! And you? You’re all alone, trying to do everything by yourself!”

“You tell ‘em, Addie!” Ribbon cheered.

“You believed yourself to be infallible, when that is nowhere near accurate to the truth of the matter,” Meta Knight lectured. “You attempted to force your way into achieving your goals, to match our teamwork with sheer willpower – but without companions to empower your soul, you cannot hope to stand against us.” He pointed Galaxia right at her, a determined expression beneath his mask. “Surrender, and you may have a chance at redemption yet.”

“Make your choice quick,” Coo stated, “I’d like to get back to sleeping in my nest, thank you very much!”

“You… You…” Zan Partizanne looked as if she was ready to slip into unconsciousness at any second.

“So what’s it gonna be?” Dedede asked, an eyebrow raised at her struggling. “You gonna go quietly, or keep trying to resist? Lemme tell you something – there’s nothing we can’t accomplish so long as we’re together. And that includes stopping you guys’ plans to cause havoc.”

“In case you didn’t get it the first time ‘round, I’ll remind you,” I chimed in. “We’re the Star Allies, buddy! We’ve faced far worse foes than you – and we’re not gonna let the universe go kaput today, not by a long shot!” And you better believe it!

The Lightning General breathed heavily for several more seconds, before she turned her head to the peak of the altar. “Heeelp… L-Lord… Hy… ness…” Then, she slumped to the ground, unmoving.

We directed our attention there, too. I tightened my grip on hammer at the sight. Cradled in a Eldritch nest seemingly composed of these spiraling, crinkled petals—almost flesh-like, except without the flesh, and maybe a bit of a demonic twist to them—was a gigantic crystalline heart, from which several smaller ones were gathering into: the great Jamba Heart. It may have been incomplete, a big chunk of it missing and emitting veritable tons of negative energy, but that made it no less dangerous.

It was… It was every bit as terrifying as I had imagined. Its appearance, again, greatly resembled the artifact I had been born from, which was disturbing enough on its own – but it was in its aura of pure, unadulterated darkness that truly sickened me. It was like a mixture of all the diseases in the galaxy, left to fester unattended for thousands of years. This is the basis from which I was born…? I thought in disbelief, my grip slacking a little. J-Just what the heck does the Jambandra Cult want with it…?

The cloaked figure standing in front of it – Hyness – paused his ritualistic actions and cast a glance behind him. “Juh? What is this… interference?” He leisurely strolled down the stairs, his robes swaying back and forth, yellow eyes ominously staring from underneath his hood. We didn’t dare let our guards down here, His foot stumbled upon Zan Partizanne’s unconscious body.

“You…” he mumbled. “You seem to be in my way.” He promptly raised his arm and physically smacked her out of the way, which earned a grimace from me. Oof. She… She really didn’t deserve that.

Bandana Dee shook all over. “Th-That’s—That’s so cruel…” he whispered. “She—She looked so d-devoted to him…!”

Daroach glared, twirling his cane in his hand and looking ready to fire a blast of ice from it. “And he calls himself a leader,” he growled, an uncharacteristically steely tone entering his voice. “Despicable. I think somebody’s desires need to be stolen today.”

Hyness stopped before us, seemingly staring at nothing in particular. “Well then…” he said, speaking rather stiltedly, “it seems… we do not have enough energy… to revive our Dark Lord… Must we… allow ourselves… to fall… into oblivion?”

A brief silence played as we engaged in a tense standoff. And then…

“No.” He stood upright. “NO! No no no no no!” His voice got louder with each denial. “NONONONONONONONONO!!!” He raised his arms to the sky and dramatically shouted, “NOOOOO, I SAAAAY!!!”

What followed was—“We are the masters of a power driven to the far reaches of the universe, and we have but one desire!” he ranted, face and arms flailing all over the place as wildly as possible. “Can one such as you possibly fathom how dearly we have clung to this dream across the aeons? How could you! You couldn’t! Never ever ever! We who once faced those who were in such fear of our power that they sealed us away and banished us to the edge of the galaxy! US! As if THAT loveliness wasn’t enough, they tried to erase our very existence from history! RUDE! Only through our magic were we able to overcome their science and achieve great prosperity! We alone were responsible for stopping that repulsive nightmare of a galactic crisis—” Galactic what!? Science who!? “—yet this is how you repay us!

“This won’t stand! It won’t be forgiven! It won’t be forgotten! Never ever EVER! Those who called us mad, are you listening? You left us at the edge of the galaxy to be forgotten, then went along your merry way, probably living somewhere pretty and peaceful! But know this! Your future is a farce! You have none! We, masters of a matter most dark—” Say what again!? “—vow to be restored, as foretold in the book of legend, which everyone thought was just a fairy tale! It WASN’T! We have already obtained the vessel that contains our Dark Lord, and he will soon awaken and shower us in compassion!

“Look!” he abruptly cried, pointing at the Jamba Heart in the background. “The vessel of our Dark Lord is filling up even as we speak! Now the time for his greatness to enter our world has come! Welcome to a new history! A new age! The age of awesome! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARK LORD! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

“GRACE US, GLORIOUSLY DARK LOOOOOOORD!” he abruptly finished, his posture tilted, his arms hanging in the air.

Another beat filled the room as Hyness huffed heavily. My (and Dedede’s) jaws had dropped wide open at the information overload we had just received, and I’m pretty sure the other Star Allies around were much in the same vein. “…excuse me, did—did any of you peasants catch what this madman was babbling about?” Dark Meta Knight blankly asked. “Because I am not certain if what I heard was indeed the truth or not.”

“I heard something about a repulsive nightmare and a matter most dark,” Marx replied, similarly shocked into silence. “Trust me—it definitely wasn’t you.”

Even Gooey was frowning. “…I don’t like what this guy’s saying,” he mentioned.

As for me?

…I couldn’t believe what I had heard.

The Jambandra Cult were… something else entirely.

‘Repulsive nightmare of a galactic crisis’.

‘Masters of a matter most dark’.

‘As foretold in the book of legend’.

I’m not so dumb as to not know what those phrases mean in the wider conflict of my battles.

And that ‘Dark Lord’ of Hyness’s… it was spoken of with reverence, with power—and then I remembered how Elder Popopo had based his conduit off of a ‘large heart-shaped artifact’.

Could that… Could the Jamba Heart be…?

…it can’t be. It—It simply can’t be. Because—I could never—

I could never come from something like—like—

My friendships could never—

I… I don’t…

And yet…

With all of this evidence in front of me, I…

…I can’t deny it.

“Kirby!” I jumped at the sound of Dedede’s voice penetrating my thoughts. He put a hand on my metaphorical shoulder in concern. “You’re not spacing out on us now, right? Now’s not a good time to have a midlife crisis, I’d wager.”

I smiled uneasily. “D-Don’t worry,” I said. “It’s just—a lot to take in.” I turned back to Hyness. “…I’m not out of this game yet.”

The leader of the Jambandra Cult began hovering in the air, his head held high and staring down on us. “You see it now… don’t you?” he said. All of us got back into our standard combat positions; there wasn’t any way we were getting out of this one. He brought his arms up. “Anyone who interrupts our revival ceremony… We must kindly ask that they…


That wasn’t the end of it, though, not by a long shot.

Hyness was a fierce challenger, using a variety of magics that I’m sure neither Magolor nor Taranza know how to use—and that’s not even mentioning how he used his generals’ unconscious bodies against us. That’s a whole new level of callousness, right there. But unfortunately for him, he was still no match for us – and he was down and out before he managed to tire us all out.

By all accounts, it should have been a victory, and in a way, it was. But it was clear that Hyness would see his goal achieved, by any means necessary.

Not all of the Jamba Shards had been collected; and with us at their doorstep, there was no way that the Jambandra Cult would be able to complete the Jamba Heart in time. So Hyness made one last plea: he sacrificed himself and his servants in order to finish the job…

…and his prayers were heard.

The darkness brimming within the Jamba Heart expanded, growing stronger and larger and much more wild – and it shot off into the distance, away from the Jambandra Base. We chased after it with the Friend Star, transformed into the Star Allies Sparkler thanks to four mysterious Heart Spears – and it was there, on that ethereal cosmic battlefield of fate’s design, where we met our ultimate foe.

Gamble Galaxy
Celestial Arena

With a rainbow trail streaming behind me, and Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Bandana Dee riding it at my side, I flew the Star Allies Sparkler into the battlefield created presumably just for this situation. Our other Dream Friends, riding in separate Friend Stars, glided not too far away from us – and when we were united, we all stopped to glare at the amorphous glob that had once been the Jamba Heart as it descended into the middle of our arena.

Black-red spikes exploded in rapid succession, rising from the ground and gradually clumping together into a titanic amalgamation of pure darkness. Up and up it went, forming a huge wall that could block out the sun from just about any angle. My three longest and most faithful companions gazed at the transforming deity with little more than unflinching determination.

“Here we are, guys,” I said, “the final battle. The hardest of the hardcore – and I get the feeling this is gonna be one heck of a doozy.”

“If—If that’s the case,” Bandana Dee stammered, “th-then—b-bring it on! We—We can do this guys! I know we can!”

“Words well spoken,” Meta Knight praised. “Our lives have led us this far, and I refuse to see us backing down now.”

“We’ve got some payback to serve on this freak of nature, for all the crap the Jambandra Cult has caused in his name!” King Dedede declared with a wicked grin. “We’ve got the power of our friendship on our side, after all!”

“Then let’s get ready to party.” I didn’t smile, though; I kept on frowning, because I knew that . Everyone was confident in victory, sure – but that didn’t change the fact that this was gonna be a fight very personal for me.

A foot extended from the mass, followed by an arm and a hand, which soon clenched into a fist – and finally, the darkness disappeared and revealed our final boss in all of his glory. A humongous muscled titan stood before us, wearing a heart-shaped mask and decked out golden gauntlets and armor. Ornate violet symbols covered his gray skin, and two purple banners hung from his shoulders well complimented his bushy dark purple mane.

This was the infamous Dark Lord of Despair.

This was the feared Destroyer of Worlds.

This was the god even the Ancients dreaded.

This… was Void Termina.

I steeled my heart, and readied a Sparkler Starshot to fire. I can’t afford to hesitate now!

I… have to admit, I wasn’t exactly expecting Void Termina to come out looking the way he did.

Knowing what I know, I expected a more ‘natural’ evolution of… well, you know. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or horrified at what appeared in front of me instead – but hey, there was a gigantic Eldritch Abomination stomping around, trying to kill us all. There wasn’t anything more to it; it was just business as usual for us Star Allies.

…I do a pretty good job at lying to myself, sometimes.

The thirteen of us fought a long, grueling fight against the beast, lobbing Sparkler Comet after Sparkler Comet (or in our Dream Friends’ case, just normal Starshots) at each eyeball medallion on his body, dodging each of the crazy attacks he had to pull at us: punches, shockwaves, and slashes from his elemental swords—Ultra Swords, even. And when his mask dislodged itself from his face and opened up a Warp Hole to his insides… that was just another front for us to fight.

We dealt with Void Termina’s heart easily enough. I, uhh, won’t go too deep into it… but I will say that it made Dedede gag and nearly vomit. (And I honestly can’t blame him for that. Magolor Soul at least had looked normal-ish.)

Void Termina wasn’t down yet, however. Once we were out of him, he grew wings, took to the skies, and threw at us a whole new slew of horrifying attacks: swooping divebombs, elemental spears, double-edged axes—and the freaking Master Crown was summoned just to blast us away with laser beams. But we stayed tenacious and pushed onward past everything, bringing the Destroyer of Worlds down to our level and leaving him laying on the floor, mask once again off and forming a Warp Hole back inside him.

There was only one thing to do.

Void Termina

We fell, and we fell, and we fell – and my face became ever more worried as we plunged back into the core of Void Termina’s being.

I… I really don’t want to do this. I really, really don’t want to even see this.

…but here and now, with the whole galaxy in danger—I can’t avoid it.

Everything that I am, everything that’s always been—

…today, I’ll face it with my own two eyes.

“You seem troubled,” Meta Knight noted beside me. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. “Is… Is there something… personal about this battle that troubles you? You ordinarily carry yourself with a sassy, belligerent manner toward your foes – yet, I have seen not even the slightest trace of that since Void Termina emerged.”

“He’s right,” Dedede said, looking serious for once. “You—You know you can tell us anything, right? You don’t have to ruminate all by your lonesome. And it’s not like Void Termina’s got anything we can’t handle!”

“…I’m not so sure about that,” I said.

“Wh-What do you mean, Kirby?” Bandana Dee asked, confused. “V-Void Termina’s j-just another big b-bad guy, r-right? There’s n-nothing that can be worse than th-that!”

Oh, Dee… I wish I had your naiveté right now.

…not everything is as simple as it should be, sadly.

“…Kirby? H-How come you’re not answering…?”

I dodged the question. “…look alive, guys. We’re here.” I somersaulted a few times and finally landed on my feet, and I heard my friends do the same with a trio of fairly loud ‘plops’. The interior of Void Termina was the same as it was several minutes ago: purple, and with sticky vines weaving in and out of the background, resembling creepy bubblegum strung all over a room. Red-and-purple hexagonal tiles comprised the ground we had to work with, and even the walls, making this whole place resemble Dark Star a lot more than I want it to. But that wasn’t the standout thing in this makeshift arena. Oh no, not by a long shot.

Meta Knight, Dedede, and Dee looked about for a couple of moments, trying to find wherever Void Termina’s ‘core’ went – and we were soon alerted to that by a gleaming white light coming from above.

We glanced up.

We saw a sphere of concentrated negativity surging to us.

It roared, spraying purple liquid everywhere as three black circles churned around its surface.

And then finally, they moved to form a face.

A very familiar face.

…my face.

“Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh—” Dedede stammered, his jaw coming down in grandiose fashion. “Wh-WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT!? What!? WHAT!? WHAT!?”

Dee wasn’t faring any better; he was shaking his hands wildly, jumping up and down in a panic, sweat pouring down his forehead. Heck, even Meta Knight was taken aback. “What—What is this?” he muttered, his sword arm actually going limp. “It’s—you? Me? Us? I—I don’t?”

“Kirby, Kirby, Kirby!” Dee shouted. “Th-That thing… It has your face! It has your face! Wh-Why does it have your face!?”

I looked back at Void Termina, and I felt my face take on more conflicted features. I didn’t really know what to say.

What could I say to this?

I barely understood the whole thing by myself.

“…my own birth was a lot like Void Termina’s, you know,” I despondently revealed.

Further surprise appeared on Dedede and Dee’s faces. “A-ARE YOU KIDDING!?” Dedede bellowed. “Wh-Why!? How!? What even!?”

“It was… a long time ago. Over a millennium since, in fact. There was this guy—” Elder Popopo—“who was interested in the stories about the Jamba Heart. He—He wanted to see if there was a way to create a miracle from something akin to it, instead of… this.” I directed a hand toward Void Termina, who simply floated around as if he was coming to terms with his own sentience. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. Heck, I’d… I’d still be a small glob of energy if he and others hadn’t guided my way forward.”

“…incredible,” Meta Knight remarked.  “I had always known you were older and more mature than you acted, but I hadn’t expected you to remember that far. Not even I can recall my own birth like that…”

“It’s… something I’ve never really had to tell,” I replied, smiling ruefully. “It just doesn’t come up in normal conversation. For obvious reasons.”

Dee stared at me, speechless. “W-Wow…! Th-That’s—I d-don’t know what to say! K-Kirby, you… you’re…”

“…there’s a reason I am who I am,” I said, “why I’ve got so many variable powers; why I can so easily call upon the strength of all these artifacts we find. Ordinary people can’t do that – so why could I?” All those miracles I’ve created—with the Star Rod, Miracle Fruit, Robobot Armor, and all that jazz—trickled back into my mind. “Well… now I know why.”

I looked at the hexagonal floor as I continued my statements.

“…it’s because Void Termina’s the Destroyer of Worlds.

“It’s because Void Termina’s the progenitor of all puffballs.

“It’s because Void Termina, for all intents and purposes…

“…is me.”

…there. I finally admitted it.

I’m him. He’s me. That’s the truth.

…as much as I don’t want it to be.

“…that can’t be true,” Dedede exclaimed. “You, being anything close to—to that!? It’s unbelievable! C-C’mon—you’re just joking, r-right!?”

“What else can I say?” I asked. “I came out from the same type of heart that spawned Void Termina to begin with. The only difference between him and me is that I was born from positivity and love, rather than negativity and hate.” And that got me thinking: “I only came out the way I am because I was lucky enough to have people who really cared for me. But… Void Termina’s only like this because he never had any sort of love to begin with. If… If I was born to more undesirable people instead… could I have been just like him?

“…is it possible that I may be just like him now?”

…I’m not perfect. I know that. I’ve tried my best to be as good as I can be, but… in the end, it might not even matter. That sense of destiny I felt, all those centuries ago… is this what it’s all been leading up to?

Am… Am I doomed to be nothing more than another incarnation of destruction, like the Dark Lords that came before me?

Are my friendships nothing more than

(Has all I’ve done… been pointless after all?)

“…man, and here I thought it was us three who were supposed to be the mopey ones ‘round here.”

Huh? I wearily turned my gaze to Dedede. He didn’t look frightened, or angry, or betrayed. He was… smiling?

“C’mon, Kirbs—you’re not really gonna let this guy—” He lazily waved a hand in Void Termina’s direction—“determine who you are, are you?” There was something resolute in his eyes, akin to the expressions I tend to make. (I guess I’ve really rubbed on him.) “So what if you and Void Termina share more than a few similarities? You’re not him now—you’ve never been him, not by a long shot!”

He moved closer and slung a hand around me, a sympathetic smile on his lips. “If you were meant to be a villain at your core, then you wouldn’t be feeling so much worry—worry for you and us! That’s what it’s about, right? How we might take this ‘lil revelation; how it would affect us?” I blinked in surprise – he hit the nail right on the head. He knows me better than I thought… “You spent so much time lifting us up, wanting to get closer to us, and now you’re afraid it’s all just been you unconsciously manipulating us. Well, I can tell you: it’s nothing like that.

“Your relationships are genuine; your personality is genuine; you, as a hero, as a friend—are genuine,” he told me. “It’s not like I’m the arrogant, grudge-holding, unworthy king I used to be, remember? You helped me change, and I know that wasn’t due to anything else except your own goodwill. So cheer up!” He flashed a toothy, sincere grin. “You’re perfect as you are, and that’s something that’ll never change!”

“Pop Star would most definitely not be the paradise it is if it wasn’t for all your efforts,” Meta Knight interjected, using a factual tone. “You’ve saved it far more times than any of us can realistically count, and faced the worst demons the galaxy—no, the multiverse has had to offer. You have dived in, every time, without a second thought, all in service of protecting your home and your friends – and that is something I find most commendable.

“Kirby, you are the most noble person I know. I have seen no other individual as dedicated and as determined as you in my own long lifespan, and I am proud to be here standing by your side, as not just your fellow warrior—but as your friend and long-time ally.” The so-called ‘Strongest Warrior in the Galaxy’ gave me an unyielding nod. “You need not fear your own identity, in that light. For in our eyes… you are our hero of the stars. That… is a fact forever eternal.”

“I—I don’t q-quite understand everything th-that’s going on,” Dee admitted, “a-and it’s… k-kinda out there, really—b-but! I don’t need to, ‘cuz I know this truth in my heart!” He stood up proudly, his stance no longer shaking with fear. “You’re a good guy! You’re our savior who makes the impossible possible! You’re our friend! There’s—There’s no way you could ever turn into a bad guy, even if you think it might be possible! You’re just—just—too nice for it to ever happen!

“You’ve done so much for us, even when we had to fight against one another! You’ve given us—given me—a place to belong, in your world of happiness and sunshine! S-So—p-please, don’t feel so down!” The little assistant raised his spear to the sky, as to physically reaffirm his decision. “Me, Meta Knight, and Great King—we’d never abandon you, just like you would never abandon us! And so long as that stays true, th-then we’ll support you however we can! And—And I won’t stop for anything, for your sake!”

“You see?” Dedede slung his electrified hammer on his shoulder, beaming brightly at me. “We still believe in you, with all of our hearts. There’s not a soul in Dream Land that wouldn’t do the same in our shoes. If you need a helping hand… we’ll be there to lift you as high as we can go. After all—that’s what best friends do!”

Best friends…

‘Even though you were born using something that has been deemed undesirable, your purpose in life is what you make of it. You are a good person; there is nothing and no one that can ever change that. If you want to venture out to greener pastures, I won’t stop you—and neither will the village.

‘Just know this: so long as you keep the memory of your friends—the memory of us—alive in your heart, and you never stop reaching out to those in need… you will be fine.’


You know… I’ve almost forgotten why I’ve stayed on Pop Star for so long.

Meta Knight, King Dedede, Bandana Dee… they’re right. They’re all right.

Just because Void Termina’s a lot like me, doesn’t mean I’m him in turn.

It’s like Elder Popopo told me, so long ago: I’m my own person, with my own powers, with my own personality—with my own pals.

Nothing else has to matter, when it comes to that. All I need in my life is seeing all my friends, everyone I’ve come to know on Pop Star, smiling and laughing and living, throwing me up in the air in sheer joy.

The faces of all my allies come into my mind. Rick, Kine, Coo, Gooey, Chuchu, Nago, Pitch, Adeleine, Ribbon, Daroach, Magolor, Taranza—I’d say even Marx, Dark Meta Knight, and Susie count as people close to me now. Everyone would cheer for me—everyone is cheering for me—and they’ll keep doing so, even though there’s so many scenarios that they can envision me arriving at.

Their lights empower me with a power no villain can understand; their voices guide me through the darkness and back to the tasty treats and precious naptimes we love so much. As long as I’ve got them, as long as Dedede, Dee, and Meta Knight never stop having faith in in me—then there’s no enemy that can stand a chance against our combined might!

I believe—no, I know that to be reality!

I shook off my funk, determination filling me once more as I brought my sizzling hammer up. “…thanks, guys,” I said, showing my three closest companions my most heartfelt smile. “You… You really have a knack of knowing just what to say. I don’t know where I’d be without you guys.”

“We’re happy to do it any time!” Dedede replied. “Now… I think it’s time we put this Dark Lord in his place!”

“Y-Yeah!” Bandana Dee cheered. “N-No evil Eldritch Abominations allowed here!”

Meta Knight nodded. “For the sake of all of our friends, we shall finish this, here and now!”

The four of us prepped our own weapons – be it hammers, swords, spears, all of which being clad in some sort of element – and glared determinedly at Void Termina. The soulless creature, finally seeming to notice our presence (what was it even doing, anyway?), roared back, creating waves of unfriendly darkness to defend himself.

But I wasn’t scared. None of us were.

It’s been a long road, but the spring breeze has finally led us here. And there’s no way we can lose now, not after everything.

Hatred, obsession, jealousy, greed… Void Termina can throw anything he wants at me. I’ll face it head on, and find a miracle through all of it. Chaos can descend, but… I’ll be OK.

After all… the Star Allies have my back!

“Alright, now,” I stated. “Let’s go, Star Allies!”

Chapter Text

March 16, 2018

Location: (…Poyo poyo?)

A starship drifted through the Gamble Galaxy.

It was alone, in this never-ending expanse of black that spread out across forever-and-a-half.

One never knew what they might find here, in space—there could be asteroids, aerial contraptions… or even aliens.

It was like spinning a veritable roulette of randomness, all seemingly determined by coincidence and coincidence alone.

…but fate has a funny of way of showing its hand where you least expect it.

(All it took was one boldly sparkling star, with a miracle to spread right at his fingertips…)

The starship was nothing too spectacular; it was a spaceship themed after a star, with twinkling lights being emitted from its engines. A cockpit was situated in the middle of the star-like contraption, protected from space by a small, spherical glass dome. The ship was only really able to house a single, not particularly large creature – but that was enough for its purposes.

Unbeknownst to almost the entire galaxy, a little pink puffball slept cozily in the warm, blue, and certainly well-cushioned cockpit, snoring the nights away with no worries at all. There was nothing else to his existence; he just dozed and dozed as his ship flew aimlessly through the cosmos.

His dreams, however, were certainly not ‘nothing else’.

Because he was dreaming of a battle that seemed so far away, and yet, at the same time, seemed so close to him…

An amorphous ball of energy flew from the motionless, monstrous winged titan, and the discarded body dissipated from the celestial arena soon after. The ‘soul’—with a noticeably angry expression—bounced about the floor, before he shot off into the air. Facing his enemies, a singular eye opened up within a hole in his core, multiple petals orbited around his body. He roared, purple liquid spraying everywhere.

His four opponents—a regal penguin, a cute mouthless assistant, and a small armored knight, all led by a determined pink puffball—did nothing more than glare at him determinedly as they rode a stunningly starry vehicle, a rainbow stream of light trailing from it. They were soon joined by two other groups of heroes, riding their own winged Friend Stars into the fray, flying to both sides of their core members’ ship.

For several moments, a tense standoff occurred between these heroes and the disembodied soul. Thirteen pairs of eyes gazed into one large one, several hands clenching into fists as the silent battle continued.

A ball of energy, fashioned from pure negativity, began to gather from the soul’s eye.

The same thing happened with the heroes’ Star Allies Sparkler, the tips of the star-themed contraption charging up an attack empowered by the hearts its pilot was connected to.

And finally, when both parties had fully prepared their final strikes—

They fired.

The puffball tossed and turned in his slumber, looking rather uncomfortable with the events unfolding in his mind.

It was—it was something he had never seen before. Frightening; dangerous, even—but at the same time, it was… spectacular; magnificent. (Not that he quite knew what those words meant.)

Two fantastical beams—one formed of rainbow light and the power of friendship, the other composed of unadulterated darkness and an immense amount of hatred—clashed with each other as hard as they could. Both sides metaphorically gritted their teeth as they put their all into coming out on top. They couldn’t let up now; it was all or nothing!

Cries from the puffball’s companions rang out through the air, cheering him on to win against the threat—‘Void Termina’—as the rainbow beam repeatedly pushed back its counterpart back to its sender.

“Come on, Kirbs! You can do this! Go, go, go!”

“Don’t give up now, mate! Give ‘im a good corker!”

“Fight! Do not let this sinister scoundrel win!”

“Sh-Show him what we’re m-made of!”

“We’re almost there—keep at it, Kirby!”

Time and time again, Void Termina endeavored to fire back at his foes, desperately trying to survive and triumph through any means necessary – but the hero resisted at every turn, continuously bringing the center of impact to the disembodied soul’s form. It seemed as though victory was within his grasp; that this nightmare would be over at last.

And then—

Void Termina shook, and blasted as much malice as he could muster into his grand attack. It nearly eclipsed the puffball’s comparatively punier beam, inching closer and closer to ultimately eliminating the assembled friends in one fell swoop. Gasps and shrieks echoed from the heroes’ side.

The puffball shuddered, hugging himself from within his starship. He—He really didn’t like where this was going…!

“N-No! Kirby! You—Y-You have to—!”

“This cannot be! What is this…!?”

“Mmm… This looks bad… Is that bad?”

“Looks like he’s not out of this game yet… his twisted desires is more tenacious than I thought…!”

“A-Addie, what’s going on!? Sh-Shouldn’t Kirby be—!?”

“I—I don’t know, Ribbon! I just—don’t…!”

The puffball—Kirby—bit his lip and increased the intensity of his glare. This wouldn’t be it. He wouldn’t let it be the end. Not after everything; not while his friends stood beside him, accepted him and reassured him and still loved him for who he was! He refused to let Void Termina win, when they were at the end of the road!

For the sake of having a good lunch and a nap, all together, just like they always had before, now with all of his friends old and new…

He! Would! Win!

Kirby reeled back, letting his resolve strengthen from deep inside him—and then, fueled by nothing but sheer willpower, he recharged up his beam… and unleashed a massive torrential hailstorm of manifested friendship; he screamed with all of his might as his friends’ jaws collectively dropped, staring at awe at the display of their leader’s determination.

The puffball eased back in his seat, far more relaxed—in fact, he even giggled a little as a wave of happiness washed over his body. Now things were getting good!

Void Termina attempted to keep his pace going, but it was clear Kirby’s attack was overwhelming his already weakened self. Before too long, the gigantic blast of concentrated positivity crashed right into his face, and he let out a howl of anguish as it impacted at what felt like the speed of sound. The blast went right through him, leaving a penetrating afterimage of sorts which dealt to him even more damage – and soon enough, he was sent him back to his base form, no longer able to sustain his stronger phase.

Helplessly, he lifted his face to gaze into the face of his destroyer, who merely nodded in resolution. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a whole plethora of ghostly Helpers and Dream Friends was summoned from behind the Friend Stars and Star Allies Sparkler, their appearances shining bright amidst the horizon. They were a varied category of individuals; from a Birdon and a Simirror holding each other’s hands, to a NESP and a Rocky piggybacking off a Vividra, and even three who were only participating in spirit: a pointy-eared mage, a six-handed arachnid, and a sharp-looking secretary. All of them—be them actually there or holographic—gave equally determined glares toward the downed Void Termina.

“All together now, everyone!” Kirby shouted. “Star Allies, gooooooo!”

With that rallying cry, the squadron of disparate yet united friends flew off from their positions straight toward Void Termina, and the unfortunate abomination could only brace himself in horror as they pummeled him, one after the other, unrelenting in their endless assault. His soul having lost its stability, streaks of dazzlingly white light began to shine from every crevice in his form, a humongous explosion consuming all of him as the crew of friends escaped from the celestial arena…

And right then, with the image of the Star Allies’ harmony plastered strongly into his mind, the puffball awoke from his slumber. His eyes shot open, blinking rapidly as he came to terms with what he had foreseen. Wow, he internally breathed, I don’t know what that was… but it was awesome! In practice, his thought process was spoken more in Poyoese—that being the only language he knew how to speak—but one got the idea nevertheless.

He thought over the most important things of his dream: namely, the puffball that looked just like him. He didn’t understand why he could be there; all he’d ever known was floating through the empty void of space, his starship giving him nourishment along the way as he waited for something interesting to happen.

The him-that-wasn’t-actually-him seemed so confident, he vaguely noticed. He had power and experience, and he knew how to use it; and undoubtedly, he was assured in his purpose – and that wasn’t even talking about the companions that had joined him for that absolutely legendary finale. All of them had jumped in without hesitation, appearing out of nowhere, and he could feel the bonds they had to the him-that-was-so-much-cooler.

The way they had stood beside him, in the face of what kind of looked like himself (how many puffballs were there???)…

…it felt good, even though it technically wasn’t himself that was there.

“Poyo poyo poyo,” he said aloud—I kind of wish I knew what that felt like… because it wasn’t like he was going to experience anything similar to that while he was sitting around here, doing literally nothing except twiddle his thumbs and go back into hibernation.

“Po-poyo poyo poyo… poyo poyo?” Maybe—if I wish hard enough, then… I might have a chance… right? He closed his eyes and brought his hands together, sending a deep prayer out to whatever person could hear.

Several minutes passed as he laid there and concentrated. He mustered up every little bit of hope he had, the concept of failure and disappointment not entirely solidified in his still developing psyche—

(And surprisingly enough, something did answer.)

Just then, an alarm abruptly and intensely bounded into his ears, jolting him out of his focus in the blink of an eye. He looked down at his control panel, one of the screens loudly exclaiming ‘WARP’I didn’t know they could do that!and before he knew it, yellow panels sealed off the cockpit and prevented him from seeing anything.

Hey! he mentally complained. Wh-What’s going on!? Why is everything so noisy!?

The engines of the starship increased in volume outside his ship, and he felt his little vessel blast off at unprecedented speeds toward an unknown destination. His head spun around the enclosed area of his ship frantically, arms flailing about and panicked cries coming from his mouth—

—and then, as quickly as it began, the ship screeched to a halt. The puffball rubbed his eyes and gathered his composure as his cockpit reopened up, once more showing him the final frontier in all of his glory—but the sight before him made him gasp in awe.

Vibrant colors and galaxies—blue and orange and turquoise—greeted his eyes amidst a sea of asteroids and glimmering stars, a wonderful treat after the eons of blank skies he had to go through. He put his face to the glass and let a happy smile come to his face. It’s beautiful! It’s super beautiful!

He almost couldn’t believe it. Someone, somewhere, in the far off universe… they heard his cry! And now, he was finally going to get to actually live, for once!

A more subdued alert blared from his control panel, and he dropped back into his seat to take a look at it. There was an image of a planet displayed on the screen; this yellow, star-shaped satellite surrounded by two overlapping white rings. He stared at it, mesmerized, the simple icon causing a lot of indescribable feelings to manifest within him.

He… He wanted to go there.

He didn’t know why, but—he wanted to.

Something in his heart told him… he’d find true happiness there.

Maybe, he’d even get to some friends, for the first time in my life, just like the him-that-he-really-wanted-to-be.

He’d find his way forward to the future—and even if he didn’t exactly know what he’d find, or how long much longer it’d take for him to reach that state of bliss… there was no point spending too much time worrying!

There was only one thing to do!

There was a green button and a red button prominently presented at the bottom of the touch screen. He, uh, had issues comprehending their meaning, but… green was good. Green was happy. So doing the green thing would give him the happy! That was as logical as anything else!

He pushed the green button—and his starship soared off again, the spring breeze guiding it to a brand new adventure.

(Childs of the stars always did have a propensity to lift their worlds to greater heights.

Nobody knew it then, but this was the beginning of such a moment. Here and now, a world would be showered in serendipitous starlight—and a miracle would be granted to the galaxy, at long last.

But one mustn’t forget the circumstances that led to this formation. The influence of an elder hero of the stars… perhaps, it could go further than merely setting this one singular path into place.

And maybe, just maybe… flocks of a feather, together, could combine and set a course to the formation something even greater than ever before seen.

…wouldn’t that be nice?)