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The pink puffball's second outing on the Game Boy Advance, Kirby and The Amazing Mirror shifts from the standard linear platformer norm to a sprawling Metroidvania game with optional cooperative multiplayer.
The story begins with the Mirror World being taken over by Dark Mind, and Meta Knight going in to try and stop it. Meanwhile, as Kirby is walking he is attacked by a dark copy of Meta Knight from the Mirror World and split into four Kirbys of different colors. The four board a warp star and chase Dark Meta Knight into the Mirror World.
The game is essentially what you get if you throw the Metroidvania genre in a blender with The Legend of Zelda Four Swords and the Kirby franchise. The player must traverse a maze of nine interconnected areas, finding the maps for each, pressing buttons to connect them to the Hub Level, and defeating their bosses to collect the eight Mirror Shards to restore the Amazing Mirror, the path to the Final Boss. While you're doing that, the other three Kirbys are off on the adventure too, and you can call them by mobile phone at any time to help you fight enemies or solve puzzles which need an extra Kirby or two; the game also has a multiplayer mode which is pretty much the same thing except other players fill the roles of the other Kirbys.
Kirby and The Amazing Mirror is one of the ten Game Boy Advance games to be available to participants in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, due for limited rerelease to early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS for free on its eShop in December 2011.
Kirby and The Amazing Mirror contains examples of:
- All The Worlds Are A Battlefield: The Dark Mind (first form) battlefields borrow from several levels, namely Candy Constellation, Radish Ruins, Cabbage Cavern, and Peppermint Palace.
- Alternate Universe: The Mirror World.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the American boxart to the Japanese version (see above).
- Badass in Distress: Meta Knight goes off to stop Dark Mind, but as he enters the Amazing Mirror, Dark Meta Knight shatters the Mirror from the hub level side and seals Meta Knight in Dark Mind's dimension.
- Big Damn Heroes: This title turned the trope into a game mechanic - namely, the Kirbys never follow you, the only way to have them help you in both exploration and combat is to call them with your Kirby Phone. It becomes incredibly satisfying to call them for aid against bosses, with them literally coming out of nowhere... unless their Artificial Stupidity kicks in.
- Boss Rush: Unlockable after Hundred-Percent Completion.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase
- Dark Is Evil: Dark Meta Knight and Dark Mind.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Shadow Kirby
- Dual Boss: Master Hand and Crazy Hand.
- Duel Boss: Only the very final phase of Dark Mind, as in every other boss fight you can have the rest of the Kirbys backing you up.
- Granted, you can call the other Kirbys just before you deal the finishing blow to him in the fireball form battle, and then as many Warpstars appear as needed to chase down Dark Mind.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In King Golem's boss chamber, the stained glass windows in the background depict some of the other bosses you'll meet later in the game (assuming you haven't been Sequence Breaking, that is).
- Evil Knockoff: Dark Meta Knight, a duplicate created by Dark Mind that masquerades as the true Meta Knight for most of the game.
- Expy: This is one of the few games that Whispy Woods didn't show up in, but King Golem fights almost identically.
- Good All Along: Shadow Kirby
- Gotta Catch Them All / One Hundred Percent Completion: Collecting all of the treasures. You can tell when a room is fully completed when it glows on the map.
- Heart Container: Four in the game; like level map treasure rooms and rooms that connect to the hub (distinguished from treasure rooms by marking that they go to Level 1 (which the hub level is technically part of) or another level's room connecting to the same place), their treasure rooms are larger than most rooms.
- Infinity-1 Sword: The Smash ability; it's rare because the rare encounters with Master Hand, except for the one where he's joined by Crazy Hand, are the only opportunities to obtain the ability until the copy ability room is unlocked (which requires all doors connecting to the hub or doors connecting to such rooms to be unlocked, thus this method is only available late in the game without Sequence Breaking) since no plain mooks grant it, but as the Super Smash Bros moveset for Kirby it mimics has moves taken from the Stone and Hammer abilities, it's useful for both breaking silver blocks requiring certain abilities (and unlike other moves, regardless of angle needed to break the blocks) and pounding in wooden stakes, though another ability would be needed to light fuses. That, and, it's cool.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Master ability, which can be used if Kirby has Meta Knight's Master Sword, is fittingly named because it can't typically be lost accidentally (when Kirby loses it, it doesn't disappear) and can get past any obstacle in the game, including any obstacle that requires specific abilities (silver blocks, wooden stakes, and fuses). It's also quite powerful and flexible, having far more attacks available than the plain Sword ability. However, the only time it can be used before the credits are seen at least once is during the final boss battle, so its main use is either for easy access to missed treasures or for just screwing around post-game if the file has 100% completed.
- Jack of All Stats: The Smash and Master abilities are useful for getting around obstacles usually broken through with other abilities in addition to having a wide range of moves per ability. The Smash ability has the limitation that it can't light fuses, though the Master ability can.
- King Mook: King Golem
- Let's You and Him Fight: Subverted with Dark Meta Knight. The first time you fight him, he's masquerading as Meta Knight, and the fact that he doesn't throw you a sword is your first hint at his true identity.
- Mini Game Credits: The final shootdown against Dark Mind's eye form continues as the credits roll by, and a counter appears at the bottom of the screen to show you how many hits you've landed on him.
- Mirror Universe: The Mirror World, of course, or so it appears at first.
- Oddball in the Series: This is the only Kirby game to be a full Metroidvania instead of a straightforward Platform Game the series' main games are known for. It's also the only game in the entire series where King Dedede does not make an appearance, and Whispy Woods is absent as well, although King Golem has an almost identical boss fight.
- Palette Swap: The three other Kirbys, as well as Dark Meta Knight and Shadow Kirby.
- Also, you can collect spray paint cans in treasure chests, which can be used on the main menu to change your Kirby's color, including a black-and-white one that looks somewhat like a higher-resolution version of how Kirby looked in the first game.
- Sequential Boss: Dark Mind has quite a few short phases in his first form, broken up by small levels; then a second form that's very similar to Zero; then an Unexpected Shmup Level where you chase him to finish him off; then when you finally kill him you're allowed to keep pummeling him during the credits.
- Shout-Out: Master Hand appears as a miniboss in several places, and in combination with Crazy Hand is the boss of Candy Constellation. Additionally, one of Kirby's abilities in this game is the Smash ability, which gives Kirby his Super Smash Bros moveset, and is acquired by eating Master Hand.
- Unexpected Shmup Level: Dark Mind's final phase.
- Video Game Settings:
- Green Hill Zone / Hub Level: Area 1, Rainbow Route
- Big Boo's Haunt: Area 2, Moonlight Mansion
- Underground Level: Area 3, Cabbage Cavern
- Death Mountain: Area 4, Mustard Moutain
- Big Fancy Castle: Area 5, Carrot Castle
- Under the Sea: Area 6, Olive Ocean
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Area 7, Peppermint Palace
- Ruins for Ruins Sake / Temple of Doom: Area 8, Radish Ruins
- Space Zone: Area 9, Candy Constellation
- Warmup Boss: King Golem fills this role as an Expy of Whispy Woods.