It seems like a number of concepts come in pairs. Good and evil, black and white, dogs and cats, etc. But some things seem to naturally come in threes: the Holy Trinity, the Triforce, Star Wars… the list goes on. Personally, I prefer the “three” concepts, as it allows for a sort of “tie breaker” vote, whereas the duos are allowed to be as selfish as possible. Granted, it’s not like we ever see the Holy Spirit siding with Jesus to score points or something, but the basic concept of a trinity allows for a greater understanding and balance than simply two warring factions.
So it seems only natural that a trinity rules Freudian Psychology as much as Dream Land.
Kirby, the round, pink creature that is best known for protecting Dream Land… is not much of a hero. Yes, he has a tendency to repel eldritch horrors and guarantee that Pop Star won’t be transformed into a mechanical hellscape, but he also has a propensity to… have other interests. Kirby once brought an unholy terror upon a gang of mice entirely because they stole a single piece of cake (Kirby’s cake, dammit). When transformed into a ball (twice!), Kirby summoned the powers of the gods themselves to… just kinda roll around. He’s cool with whatever direction is being drawn for him, just as long as there are more Maxim Tomatoes than lava pits. But steal all the food in Dream Land, and it’s curtains for you as one tough creampuff devours everything in his path to save his own stomach.
Kirby is heroic, sometimes, but almost as an afterthought. More than anything else, Kirby is an all-consuming black hole of craving. In other words, Kirby is a walking, grumbling example of Freud’s “Id”, the primal, desire-fueled part of the human psyche. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that “Id” is Latin for “it”, and Kirby is a featureless, seemingly sexless blob.
It takes what it wants. It consumes.
On the other side of the coin, we have the super-ego, the part of your brain that, like Superman, is dedicated to doing the right, societally mandated thing. The super-ego knows you could just lie about and do nothing all day, but, no, that is morally wrong, what you should do is go out and help humanity. How should you help the world? Well, the most obvious answer is to gather together a crew of likeminded individuals, get all your heads on straight, and then build and fly a gigantic airship with bat wings to force the rest of your people into a life free from idleness. Granted, that’s just one solution, but it’s the one Meta Knight chose, and he’s all about being Dream Land’s super-ego.
Also consider that Meta Knight is constantly seen wearing a mask, which is most obviously tied to Jung’s concept of the persona, a mask that is worn by an individual to more easily congregate with the rest of society. What dark secret hides beneath the mask of Meta Knight? It doesn’t matter, because that answer exists only for Meta Knight; for the rest of civilization, he is the super-ego, and nothing more.
The third point is ego. It’s easy to paint the ego as the simple “man in the middle” in the struggle between instinct and the appeasement of others, but it’s slightly more complicated than that. In short, the ego is responsible for sating the Id, but it also has a general eye on making sure that the Id is gratified in a way that grants long term happiness. In simple terms, the ego is the part of your brain that tells you to save some cake for later, you’ll appreciate it more when your
life meter tummy isn’t so full.
This fits King Dedede to a T, as he’s the character most likely to tell Kirby, “No, you’ve had enough, knock it off.” While King Dedede may seem to be a tyrannical monarch on the rare occasions he decides to steal all the food everywhere (which, yes, that wasn’t so great for his publicity), Dedede has also been responsible for a number of plans that were meant to eventually benefit his subjects (hey, everyone losing their dreams was just an unfortunate side effect). Kirby often has a hard time understanding Dedede’s methods, which makes perfect sense: the “it” can no more understand the ego than a baby understand why a parent has to work forty hours a week to earn that green papery stuff. Dedede might not be the best sovereign, but he looks out for his waddle dees, even if that does mean occasionally being possessed by incarnations of evil.
Now, a few of you may be Kirby aficionados, and you already see the flaw in this thinking. “Goggle Bob, you’re talking about a perfect trio of Kirby characters in the context of Kirby Triple Deluxe, a game that completely drops Meta Knight! Where is your Kirby trinity now!?” Well, I’m glad you brought that up, imaginary reader that talks exactly like me, because Kirby Triple Deluxe proves my point completely.
In the absence of Meta Knight, King Dedede proves himself to be the hero of Dream Land.
Alright, maybe he isn’t initially heroic. Dedede spends most of Triple Deluxe as a kidnapped princess. But! The reason he’s captured at all is because the invader du jour mistakenly identified Dedede as the savior of Dream Land. See? I’m not the only one that noticed his heroism.
And then, after Kirby has his fun, an entire game mode is given over to King Dedede. For the first time in the franchise’s decades-old history, Dedede is given a “real” story mode. Dedede had been playable in random ways throughout the years (as a “helper”, a ball, and a second player), but this was the first the big penguin (maybe?) got to shine all on his own. I think Meta Knight had already been granted the honor twice at that point.
And Dedede saves the world with aplomb. From a practical standpoint, he’s basically just a big Kirby with a hammer, but from a story perspective, he seems to actually have a goal, rather than Kirby’s usual unfocused rage/hunger. Dedede still has a weakness for tomatoes, but he also successfully repels Dark Meta Knight, a task Kirby evidently failed to complete a few years earlier. Kid probably fell asleep on some grassy hill and forgot all about that mirror threat, while Dedede gets the job done.
But in the end, that doesn’t matter at all, because Dream Land is in good hands no matter what.
Kirby is the most primal, selfish force on the planet, and he’s also the most likely idol of his little universe. Meta Knight is the unwavering force for justice, and he’s likely to use his blade to hone Kirby and defeat demons. And even Dedede, the king that alternates between selfish and selfless, has proven his mettle by saving the day all on his own. Dream Land is living in a dream, a dream where three wildly disparate heroes will always rise to the occasion.
So how’s that for dream analysis, Siggy?
FGC #154 Kirby Triple Deluxe
- System: 3DS… so no gifs for you.
- Number of players: Four? Like any good Kirby game, this one is chock full of easily ignored minigames, including one “smash alike” that involves linking up systems and battling it out in a Kirby battle royale. Loser has to buy lunch.
- Favorite Kirby Power: In honor of Dedede, I’m going with Hammer for this one. Granted, that’s been a favorite going all the way back to the NES days, but there’s still nothing more satisfying than spinning around like an idiot and hammering everything in your path. Jumping? Dashing? Who cares, it’s hammer time.
- Got the Rhythm? Dedede’s Drum Dash is a very weird proto-rhythm game that technically asks you to tap the A button to the beat of famous Kirby songs. However, it’s also a sort of obstacle course, so some times, it’s in your best interest to “miss” and take some low hops. It… goes against everything I believe in.
- Did you know? Meta Knight has at least two “evil twins”: Dark Meta Knight (defeated by Dedede in this adventure), and Galacta Knight, an ancient warrior that looks like a pointier, purpler Meta Knight. Both creatures only seem to ever pop up as optional or final bosses (or both), but it puts King Dedede’s complete lack of rivals to shame. This is what happens when you keep getting possessed, you dang penguin!
- Would I play again: If Kirby Planet Robobot didn’t exist, I’d go back to this 3DS Kirby experience. Now I never want to play a Kirby game without a mech ever again. Sorry, King, it’s time to fight your purple clones, now.
What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Sword of Mana for the Gameboy Advance. The ancient blade is hoisted once again into a bevy of evil to defeat
Ganondorf Dark Lord. Please look forward to it!