Kirby Star Allies director on the name, selecting new / returning Copy Abilities, Pon & Con’s return, more
ND: Which aspects of this title’s sub-games do you want people to notice?
Kumazaki: They don’t need detailed rule explanations, and you can instantly start and stop playing. We aimed to create sub-games with Kirby-like, nostalgic tastes. Recently the mode for sub-games has become like its own game, and it’s good that it can be played in a different way from the main game, but this time we tried going back to the roots and have them fit the sub-game role. Even so, we tried putting in features that fit the Nintendo Switch to the best of our ability, and the controls will feel natural when you shake it while playing.
Also, while I’m saying this for the whole game, we also had a fixation on HD Rumble. Especially on the impacts of breaking a meteorite (in Star Slam Heroes); you can enjoy a mysterious sensation of rocks coming apart in your hands.
ND: Regarding the new Copy Abilities, please tell us what kind of concepts were proposed.
Kumazaki: We had many reasons when choosing new abilities, but the biggest ones are those that Kirby had never done before, and new actions we want people to enjoy.
Specifically for the Festival one, we implemented it as an anniversary-limited (at least for now!) festive ability specifically made to liven up the 25th anniversary, where you can enjoy dancing with friends. As for other abilities like the Staff, Spider, and Artist, you can enjoy a new way of controlling Kirby and friends that no other abilities had. As each of them has its own appeal that you can even make an action game of its own, and it’s also fun to use any move, we made these new Copy Abilities fitting of a new Kirby.
ND: If you have any basis on selecting returning Copy Abilities (Clean, Yo-Yo, Cook, etc.), please do tell us.
Kumazaki: Recently a Copy Ability poll had been held (in your magazine), but unfortunately we had already finished selecting them before it even began. However, when we tried taking a look at it, I think we have chosen quite a lot of abilities that have been desired.
For the selection, basically we’re thinking about the game’s overall balance, but this game is more special when compared to the usual titles. We also considered how they would become Friend Helpers, and it was also influenced by how this title is supposed to mark the 25th anniversary, like bringing back long-time Copy Abilities from Kirby Super Star or bringing ones from Kirby 3; the latter of which, if you think normally, would be far away from the Helper system.
It troubled us every time, but when we were creating the game while keeping the balance, the schedule would only allow up to 20 types as a maximum. In this game we wanted to answer expectations on adding as many things as possible, so we created it by working on various parts. As a result, we were able to implement the highest amount in the series, which connects to a variety of gameplay.
ND: What things did you have on mind when turning Pon & Con, who last appeared in Kirby 3, into 3D?
Kumazaki: First of all, among the many boss characters, we were wondering if there were any characters that many fans would not expect to return… but when we look at them particularly, they look just like a simple tanuki and fox (laughs).
Their designs this time were handled by the design director Riki Fuhrmann. With his design, even such a tanuki and fox can be reborn into something softer and livelier. While extending the good points of pixel graphics, features that are possible in a new game have been added as well. In a good sense, Fuhrmann isn’t fixated too much on past game settings, so he refined them with his unique design sense. Although they were adjusted while keeping the character identities as an important point, I think they have been refined well as a result.
This time they are appearing while donning armor, but when you beat them that armor will come off, so you’ll be able to meet the usually cute Pon & Con. Don’t forget to check them out after they are defeated too.
ND: What kind of relation do Francisca and Flamberge from the Jambastion Mages have?
Kumazaki: I’d like to keep it a mystery for the time being. However, while the two of them have totally different personalities, it looks like they get along well. Although they are comrades, perhaps their bond could be a bit deeper than just that.
This is going more into the development aspect, but we needed more work to create multiple HD models of bosses. While they have some common points, we tried changing their elements and actions to the best that we can, and thus we were able to produce these bosses as accents on the scenario. These bosses are born from the establishments of both efficiency and game design.
Massive thanks to BlackKite for helping with this translation!
Thanks for making it to the end of this post! If you use any of this translation, please be sure to source Nintendo Everything. Do not copy its full contents.