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Masahiro Sakurai Discovers That He Created Smash Bros. Damage Accrual System For Kirby's Dream Land

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Kirby's Dream Land Damage System

Today, Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai released yet another Grab Bag video on his YouTube channel, Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games, that spotlights some of his earliest days forging the pink puff's first adventure. In the 17-minute long "Development Secrets of the Original Kirby" video, Mr. Sakurai takes a deep dive into the production and release of 1992's Kirby's Dream Land for Game Boy.

While the video features plenty of previously known and new tidbits about the game, Sakurai discovered a shocking fact about Kirby's first title that he did not know before compiling his own Grab Bag feature. According to Mr. Sakurai, he had completely forgotten that his original idea for the damage accrual system that was later implemented into the gameplay of the Super Smash Bros. series came from the initial planning phase and design documents of Kirby's Dream Land.

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games Kirby's Dream Land Super Smash Bros damage system
Image: Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games

As can be seen in the screenshot above, Sakurai originally intended for the gameplay of Kirby's Dream Land to feature the same damage accrual system that was later used for Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. In the same execution as the crossover fighting game, when Kirby would take damage, it would have been easier for enemies to send him flying off-screen from the player's view.

The only differences between Sakurai's initial concept and what later became part of Super Smash Bros. is that Kirby would have still had a traditional health bar and the player had a way of defending themselves from being blasted off the screen. According to Sakurai's unearthed documents, being in Kirby's mouthful state or crouching could have helped lessen how far enemies could send the player flying as their health got lower.

While it's incredible to think that the damage system in Super Smash Bros. came from the first Kirby game ever, I think it's even more fascinating that Mr. Sakurai designed the same gameplay ideas twice without recognizing the connection! It truly shows how Sakurai experiments with so many ideas in his games as he constantly is jumping between new concepts and ideas.

To watch Mr. Sakurai's complete video on the development of Kirby's Dream Land, you can click the link right here! As per usual, when we learn more Kirby behind-the-scenes secrets and new information from Sakurai's videos, we will be sure to keep you all updated on our website and social pages!

1 comment

1 Comment

WOW! That's pretty crazy. I wonder what the Kirby series would be like if the damage was like smash.

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