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Where Did Susie's Weekend Outfit Mask in Return to Dream Land Deluxe Come From?

In Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, players are able to trek through the main adventure and compete in sub-games at Merry Magoland while wearing one of 86 unlockable masks. Every mask is directly based on a character's previous appearance from the franchise, however, there is a single outlier that has left a lot of Kirby fans stumped online as to what exactly its origins are.

If you are a die-hard Kirby fan who has been confused by the inclusion of the Susie (Weekend Outfit) mask, you are certainly not alone! There are multiple masks based on characters from Kirby: Planet Robobot in Return to Dream Land Deluxe, but anyone who played through the original Nintendo 3DS game can tell you that Susie never wore multiple outfits during the Haltmann Corporation's invasion on Planet Popstar. So where exactly did this weekend outfit design of everyone's favorite robot secretary come from?

Susie's weekend outfit is not a secret character design stuffed away in the depths of Planet Robobot's code and it has never appeared in a piece of Kirby artwork released by HAL Laboratory to celebrate an occasion or holiday on the company's social pages. The Susie (Weekend Outfit) mask is an original design made for Return to Dream Land Deluxe alongside Interdimensional Magolor, Park-Staff Waddle Dee, and Manager Magolor. There is a possibility however that this Susie mask was inspired by several pieces of early concept art.

Before we take a look at the concept art, let's clear up some common misconceptions about this mask that have been going around.

Image: HAL Laboratory

In all of HAL Laboratory’s celebratory artwork featuring Susie, the character has always been depicted wearing a jūnihitoe (as can be seen in the example above) if she is not dressed in her regular outfit from Planet Robobot. A jūnihitoe is a complex 12-layer Japanese traditional formal court dress worn by noblewomen and ladies-in-waiting (a female personal assistant) of the Japanese Imperial Court. It is often considered to be an outfit that represents loveliness and is worn during important events such as enthronements and coronations.

Susie has only worn one other outfit in the Kirby games outside of her appearance in Planet Robobot and Star Allies, but this was not the same Susie that previously befriended Kirby. In Super Kirby Clash for Nintendo Switch, the player can face off against Parallel Susie, a version of Susie from Another Dimension who pilots Planet Robobot's Business Suit boss and dons a red and black getup with rose symbols. The outfit is just a different color scheme from her secretary outfit with some added cosmetics, but it is, at the very least, worth mentioning!

The only link Kirby fans can find between Susie's weekend outfit and prior artwork is in the concept art of Kirby: Planet Robobot Nintendo and HAL Laboratory published alongside interviews with the game's general director and Susie creator Shinya Kumazaki.

Susie's weekend outfit has the secretary wearing red glasses, a light magenta beret, and a red and green heart pin. While the heart pin does not appear in any of Susie's concept art, she can be seen wearing glasses and a beret in some of the early concept art. As can be seen in the compilation photo below, Susie once donned a large red beret that matched a business dress and she was given glasses that went over and under her hair.

Concept art from Nintendo's official Kirby: Planet Robobot website.

Perhaps the inclusion of Susie's weekend outfit mask is a thank you to Shinya Kumazaki, or maybe the game’s general director requested for the item to be added to Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe out of love for his creation. We probably will not learn for a while why Susie got a special costume in Return to Dream Land Deluxe, but knowing HAL Laboratory, the answer will eventually come to fruition in some way... And if we had to guess, that way is probably somehow tied to a new merchandise line.



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