On Twitter, modder and renderer @JC_Players_ has discovered unused idle animations in Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s code and has successfully restored some of them into the game.
As can be seen in the video below shared by JC_Players_, the modder has provided Kirby fans with a quick showcase of what the seemingly unfinished idle animations look like when in action.
Kirby Informer reached out to JC_Players_ through direct messages yesterday to get a more in-depth scoop on the modder's findings. Thankfully, JC_Players_ was nice enough to provide us with more information and a behind-the-scenes look for our story.
According to JC_Players_, Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s unused idle animations (referred to as "wait variations" in the game’s code) are named “WaitVariationStretch," "CliffWait,” “DanceAE,” “WaitVariationLookAround,” “WaitVariationLookAround2”, and “WaitVariationWaryAbout.” JC_Players_ told Kirby Informer that “WaitVariationLookAround2” was not included in his video due to it being very similar to its first variation, but he was able to get the animation working in-game.
Interestingly enough, the “DanceAE” idle seen in the video is an unused animation that was previously discovered in the code of 2018's Kirby Star Allies. Furthermore, JC_Players_ told Kirby Informer that other leftover animation data previously discovered in the code of Star Allies can still be found in Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
In regards to “WaitVariationLookAround” and its second unused iteration, a more refined version of these animations was used as an emote in the final release of Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe.
JC_Players_ also mentioned to Kirby Informer that his findings indicated that the surprised animation seen in the video could have potentially been mapped to the d-pad as an emote at some point in development.
If more unused animations from Kirby and the Forgotten Land are discovered and shared online by JC_Players_, we will be sure to keep you all updated on his findings. In the meantime, we recommend you follow him on Twitter to continue supporting his efforts!