(NOTE - All sprites that are mentioned in the story are something that I will try and recreate the sprites.)
Have you ever owned a game that you loved so much, it would be considered one of the best games of all time?
Now...have you ever played your favorite game more than once? Going from the beginning to the end, going through each and every level, finding every secret, and collecting everything to get your save file to 100%?
If you were to play through your favorite game multiple times, everything that you go through should end the same way. You know where to find everything. Secrets, upgrades, and treasures.
Would you believe that with just one play through, all of that could change?
Kirby: Squeak Squad, known in Europe as Kirby: Mouse Attack and in Japan as Kirby of the Stars: Calling on the Dorotche Gang, Developed by Flagship and Natsume and published by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory for the Nintendo DS.
I'll admit, it's not my favorite game to ever exist when you compare it to new games that are released to this day. Although I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't my favorite game from the Kirby franchise. Don't get me wrong. I love every single Kirby game. Either it be a main game such as "Kirby: Super Star" or a side game such as "Kirby: Air Ride." There was something about "Kirby: Squeak Squad" that really caught my attention the most. The fact that it was the first Kirby game that I've owned and my favorite Kirby game in general, I was bound to play it over and over again until the file I was playing on was 100% completed.
It was around 12:00 A.M. when this event happened. I was watching my TV, trying to find channels that would interest me. Any cartoon being aired during this time would be improbable, so I was out of luck. There was nothing to do on my computer, either. Even if there was, my PC was unable to be used as it was updating its software and would take a while to finish.
Now I lay on my bed, beginning to get bored. As I try to get some sleep, I turn to my side to see my Nintendo DSi, laying on top of a bunch of paper, books, and drawing supplies to the side of my head.
I sat up, picking up my Light Blue portable handheld. As I looked closer at it, I was remembering the fun and addictive DS games that I've played on it. Memories of games such as "New Super Mario Bros", "Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum /HeartGold/SoulSilver/Black/White/Black2/White2", "Sonic Rush", "Drawn to Life" and "Mario Kart DS.".
"I almost forgot that I had this thing! I barely play on this thing nowadays, though..."
It was true. It was rare that I played on my DSi ever since the 3DS was released. It was no lie that the 3DS was way superior than the DSi. The games on the 3DS had better graphics, It could play virtual console content, and it could still play normal DS games along with it's 3DS games. I stood up and went to my dresser. I opened the top drawer, witnessing my collection of DS games. I dug through the drawer, trying to find a game that I wanted to play or not. Due to my boredom, anything would work for me at this point.
"No...nope...n-...wait...what's this one?"
It was a black DS case with nothing on it. It was just blank. I flipped the case over to see if there was anything on the other side. To my surprise, there was a ripped piece of paper that had the words "Kirby Squeak Squad" written on it.
"...Oh, THIS case. I know what I'm going to be playing, but I really need to change the cover to this case sometime later."
I knew why the case was like that. It's nothing exciting, though. When I got this for my 7th birthday, it never came with a case to go with the cartridge. It was just inside of a small container. So I got a black, blank DS case and slipped a ripped piece of paper, saying "Kirby Squeak Squad" inside of it to remember what game it was. After taking the cartridge out of the case, I stared at the cartridge for a bit to observe the art on it.
"I remember this game now. So charming, addictive, and fun...".
The game was so simple and yet, it was amazing. Without hesitating for even a second, I jumped on my bed, landing on my bottom, and inserted the cartridge in to my DSi. Hearing the classic DS startup sound, along with the ding that was heard whenever the small "I" showed up next to the DS logo, I pressed A and entered the DSi menu.
I took a quick scan through some of the other things that were on my DSi. A smile grew on my face as I saw things such as "Nintendo DSi Camera", "Nintendo DSi Sound", "Nintendo DSi Shop", and much more.
After exploring my DSi, I was now excited to play one of my favorite DS games of all time. I selected the Game Card slot with "Kirby: Squeak Squad" inserted and pressed the A button.
Once the game loaded up, it felt so refreshing returning to the game after a while. Even listening to the music on the title screen made me instantly remember how the entire melody went. I indeed did 100% the game multiple times, meaning that I got all spray paints (My favorite one being Yellow), all of the pieces to the secret map, and even unlocked Ghost Kirby.
Once I loaded up my file, I decided to do Boss Endurance mode to test how well my skills were after not playing the game for so long. The "Boss Endurance" screen popped up, with Dark Nebula in the center. Next to him were Meta Knight, Mrs. Moley, Daroach, Bohboh, and Kind Dedede.
Appearing in the overworld map, I pressed A on the first level. I spawned in the Transformation Hall and glanced over the options of abilities I could use in battle. Kirby had an interesting ability in this game. He could carry things such as treasures, health items, and abilities.
I took these transformation abilities in order. Fighter, Sword, Tornado, and Cutter. I know I had 5 slots, but I decided to save one slot open for a good reason. Though it had been a while since I played Boss Endurance mode, I knew that there would always be a Max Tomato that dropped from the ceiling when you entered the first room. I remember this clearly because that item helped me more times than once.
Finishing with the Transformation Hall, I went back to the overworld and entered the stage of King Dedede. As I entered the lair of King Dedede, I noticed something off.
"Wait...Wasn't the room supposed to spawn a Max Tomato?"
There was no Max Tomato for me to pickup. The room was empty. I was left with nothing to heal myself with and an empty item slot on the bottom of my DSi screen. This was a terrible start as I now had no healing item to help me in the future.
I could've reset the game right then and there, but I wasn't going to let some item spawn glitch get in the way of my game. Instead, I thought of this as a challenge brought to me by sheer luck. I pressed on, not letting a glitch stand in my way.
Looking back at it now...this was much more than a glitch.
As I entered King Dedede's arena, I was met face to face with King Dedede...but horribly glitched, Blue, and out of proportion. In an instant, I paused the game and just stared at the screen in shock.
"W-What the heck?!" I muttered to myself,.Leaving the game paused, I set the DSi down next to me on my bed.
After taking some time to think about this, I decided to resume the game and fight whatever that "thing" was. I decided to use my Sword transformation to fight him, but there really wasn't anything different with him. The only thing that was different about him was that whenever he slammed his stretched, corrupted hammer on the ground, the star projectiles that come out that I could inhale to do damage to him instead damaged me if I touched them. Luckily, it only happened twice, and it barely did much damage to me.
After only a few slashes of the sword, he was defeated, but not without the game doing something strange first. When his health reached zero, instead of the background turning red and him falling to the floor, the entire bottom and top screen flashed the color Blue for a second. When the screen came back, The explosion sound effect played, but King Dedede had disappeared. The screen then flashed Blue again, and took me back to the overworld map.
Another that was a thing that worried me was that it took way less hits to defeat him than usual. I do know that King Dedede was one of the easiest bosses in the game, but even he shouldn't have been defeated that quick.
I could move on to the 2nd boss. Then again, I was scared that my file was corrupted somehow. So, I did what anyone would've done. I restarted my game to watch if that would fix it.
After restarting the game, my file was still there, but Boss Endurance was still the same. No Max Tomato, King Dedede was still a jumble of stretched pixels, and the screen still flashed Blue when I defeated him. This time, I took no damage this time, so I had a better chance. I moved on to the next boss.
Mrs. Moley was next in Boss Endurance, and she was glitched with the color of Green. I knew that my game was pretty much corrupted at this point, but the glitch only effected the bosses for some odd reason. Similar to King Dedede, Mrs. Moley had some differences in her fight. She threw the trash at me twice as fast which made it harder for me to dodge. She also never dug into her hole and appeared in the background. She just simply swapped between going Left and Right. Luckily, none of the trash hit me and I was able to defeat her. The screen, similar to what happened with King Dedede, flashed Green. Her broken sprite had fully disappeared as the explosion sound was heard, and the game took me to the overworld map.
Entering the next stage, I had to fight the boss which I personally hated the most in my time playing through this game. Mecha Kracko. The start of the fight was weird. Instead of Daroach calling Mecha Kracko down from the sky, it was Dark Daroach instead. There was something new to his sprite, but I didn't get enough time to see it as he only appeared for a second before summoning the glitched mess that was Mecha Kracko. Mecha Kracko looked like a glitched, squeezed sprite in the color of Red and was way faster than normal. This fight was not easy at all. The first thing he did was remove the ground. He wasn't even in his second phase yet. The only way I could defeat him efficiently was with the Tornado transformation due to its fast mobility, good damage, and the capability to stay in the air to avoid falling in the void. Instead of doing what it normally did, all it did was bounce around everywhere after it had removed the ground. If I didn't use that Tornado transformation, there would be no way I would've won that fight.
After dealing the final blow to him, the screen flashed Red, and did something that I didn't expect. After the screen flashed Red, Mecha Kracko started to shake violently in the center of the screen. A thing to note while this happened was that Kirby fell down to the bottom of the screen while he was still spinning in his tornado. It was as if he was getting down to safety. Mecha Kracko shook faster and faster until the screen flashed Red again, and returned me to the overworld map.
The next boss was the one who chases you down from the Left side of the screen, Yadogaine. Dark Daroach had replaced Daroach again during the first moment of the fight. I noticed that something on his Purple hat was Yellow, but that's all I could recognize before he flew off. Yadogiane just...appeared. He didn't crawl in from the Left side of the screen. He just spawned in without warning. He was a huge, massive, stretched glitch of the color Yellow. The thing about this boss fight was that the stage itself wasn't moving to the Right, and Yadogaine was just standing still, not even throwing rocks at me.
"Shoot...This could seriously be bad for my progress...Well, it's too late to turn back now. I mean, I've already defeated four of these...things. Plus, I doubt restarting it again would fix it.".
As easy as the boss was, I was able to beat him. When his health reached zero, the screen flashed Yellow, and he dashed to the Right of the stage without the stage itself going Right and following him. Luckily, him dashing to the Right didn't hit me.. He must've exploded outside of the screen as the screen flashed Yellow and returned me to the overworld map. Luck was on my side as I still didn't take any damage.
Next was the fire-owl boss, Bohboh. It was good that I had the Tornado transformation equipped, so I could hit enemies in the air easier. Before anything happened, a small cutscene played before I had to fight him. The small sprite of Bohboh was in the background. He was flying next to what I assumed to be the small sprite of Dark Daroach. Dark Daroach made a gesture, and Bohboh flew in the air as Dark Daroach disappeared once again. The corrupted Bohboh descended to the top right of the screen. The glitched color it had was fitting. It was stretched, large and Orange. It could dash at me at insane speeds. For some reason though, I didn't take any damage from his attack. It's just like he fazed right through me. It also only took way less hits to defeat him as well. I knew that the game was breaking more and more.
As I defeated him, the screen flashed Orange and he flew up in to the air and appeared in the background again. Dark Daroach appeared infront of him and held the Triple Star scepter in the air. As one of the stars was about to hit Bohboh, the screen flashed Orange again and returned me to the overworld. Dark Daroach was losing his patience.
Now, I had to fight the main villain of the game. Daroach. His glitch color was Brown, and he looked a couple of pixels bigger than before, even if he was a glitch for that matter. All he did was teleport to either each corner or the center of the room and spam the move where he throws the bomb at you. The game was getting definitely getting more broken when this boss fight happened. Every time he threw a bomb at me, it went through Kirby and exploded as it landed on the ground. Every single time a bomb exploded, the theme "Troubling Situation" that was used for the Daroach, Mrs. Moley, and Yadogaine boss fights restarted. I'd be lucky enough to hear more than 6 seconds of the song before it loops. The tornado transformation proved to be very useful as I was able to fly over to where he teleported and could hit him with ease.
Dealing the last blow, the screen flashed Brown this time, and Daroach...got replaced with a Waddle Dee. I didn't understand it. Charging at the Waddle Dee as a tornado, The screen flashed Brown right as I hit him, and the Kirby 1-Up sound effect repeated a handful of times until the game me to the overworld map.
After beating Daroach, I now had to fight Meta Knight who was probably one of my favorite Kirby characters. Something shocked me as I walked in. I expected to see another jumble of pixels. This time, however, I didn't. He did look like Meta Knight, but he definitely wasn't the same. Meta Knight looked like a more dark, menacing version of himself. He wasn't corrupted, stretched, or anything broken, but he looked like a remade sprite that looked more evil and sinister than before. It gave me vibes of Galacta Knight. He was wielding a Crimson blade and was moving at lightning speed. I actually got worried as I was actually taking damage. About 40% of my health was gone when I finally managed to defeat him using my Fighter transformation.
Once I delivered the final blow, a short but interesting cutscene played. Instead of his mask breaking off and Meta Knight disappearing, small particles flew everywhere as a major crack formed vertically through the center of his mask. He then jumped away from Kirby and disappeared in to thin air.
"...Wasn't the mask supposed to fully shatter instead of simply cracking?"
I already had many questions, but I knew that now was not the best time to be asking them. Now was the time to face the creature that I assumed was the mastermind behind all of this. Dark Daroach.
Barely anything was different to him except for the one thing. I finally found out what was on his Purple hat. It was the sphere of a Yellow Kirby, being covered by a Red X. It's even worse that the spray paint of my Kirby was Yellow. I was his target, and he wanted me executed. I was in the same room with him, and I was in his line of sight. Before anything happened, the only thing he did was point at me for a couple of seconds. There was only one option at this point. Fight.
I'd be lying if this boss fight was easy. Even though I switched to the Cutter transformation to make ranged attacks on him which did work to my advantage, It didn't make the fight any easier. His attacks were stronger and more constant, His movements were faster, and he had a new move. When he teleported to the center of the screen, his body multiplied and each clone would be floating in each corner of the screen. Three of them would be fake and one of them would be real. Luckily, it was easy to recognize which one was real. The real Dark Daroach always had the Yellow Kirby on his hat. The clones still had Kirby on their hats, but they were the different colors of the spray paints. From Pink, Lavender, Citrus, Emerald, and more. It's possible that the clones could have 18 different colors of Kirby (Not including Yellow for all 19). Every time he got hit, he scratched the part of his hat where the marking of the Yellow Kirby was. His scratching seemingly got faster whenever his health got more low. After a long, tough fight, I was able to beat him with barely enough health to spare. Then, he did something creepy.
He didn't fall to the ground and drop the Triple Start scepter. The game didn't even take me to the final boss in Boss Endurance, Dark Nebula. He kept scratching his head faster and faster. He kept scratching until he exploded. The explosion sound effect was getting louder as it was getting bigger. It soon filled the entire room, and the screen faded to pure White, then faded to pitch Black.
The screen then faded back in, and my Yellow Kirby was standing at the beginning of the Transformation Hall, but the whole room was darker shade than normal. My Cutter transformation was gone and there wasn't even any transformations that I could take. It was empty. No music. No items. Nothing. Just pure silence.
I had no choice but to walk to the right. I walked slower than natural, so it took longer than usual to reach the end. After what felt like a couple of minutes, I reached the end of the hall and saw something interesting. The dark Meta Knight I defeated before was standing where the Triple Star scepter was. Of course, the Triple Star scepter was absent. He then turned around and noticed me. He instantly dashed at me at full speed. Luckily, I was able to low sweep him. He tripped over Kirby, fell on his face, and his mask fully shattered. The screen slowly faded White and faded back to normal. His identity behind the mask was revealed.
It was a colorless Kirby with big, White eyes and no expression. He just stared at me with his pure, White eyes. The colorless Kirby walked up to my Yellow Kirby and did something...really unexpected. He ended up...hugging him. Then, he abruptly vanished, fading out of existence. The screen then faded to Black as my Yellow Kirby sprite walked off to the Left of the screen...
The game stayed on a Black screen. No matter what I did, I couldn't do anything else but either restart the game or turn the DSi off.
This made no sense in my head. Why was my game acting like this? Also, why was it only the bosses? I played through Boss Endurance and the whole game plenty of times before, but that has never happened to me in my life. That colorless Kirby was evil with the mask on, but when the mask got shattered and destroyed...he just hugged my Yellow Kirby and disappeared?
I had several questions to ask myself on what just happened...
Was the mask controlling him?
Why were the boss colors glitched differently each time?
Why were there glitched bosses in the first place?
Why did the colorless Kirby hug me?
Why did the Dark Daroach know what color Kirby I was playing as?
How did I never encounter this before after the years and months I've spent with this game?
But the two most important questions were the ones that took the most time to think about...
How and Why?
I need some time to think about this. But just so you know, I still have the game with me. Luckily, it's still playable and somehow still seems compatible. If anyone would like to ask me any questions on the following events that I've experienced, then feel free to do so.
But for now, I need to do something very important...
By the time I was done, My clock had said 1:27 A.M. I felt super drowsy, but confused at the same time about what the heck just happened. So, I decided to try and figure this out in the morning.
I think the number of questions that I had roaming inside of my head must've been messing with me. The dream that I had was really strange.
Dreams can sometimes be related to what you recently did or remembered doing, or they can make no sense at all. Logic really doesn't exist within dreams.
I was in that same dark Transformation Room from the end of that Squeak Squad cartridge, but it was in a first person perspective. I then walked down the misty hallway, which in my dream took me ages to do. Have you ever tried to run in a dream, but you ended up moving as slow as a snail? That's how it felt for me. At the end of the corridor, however, I actually saw that strange colorless Kirby. He was there, floating in the air...but his feet somehow managed to lie flat.
He then did something unbelievable.
"...I̷̴m̵̕p͘͢r̵į̴̸s̵͝o͏̧͠n̢͘e̕͠d̛ forever...Locked inside of a c͜͢͞a̢̕ģe͜ one can never leave..."
When he said the words "Imprisoned" and "Cage", his voice sounded distorted and corrupted. All I could do was stand there, staring right at his large, White, soulless eyes. I couldn't speak, move, or blink, even if I tried to.
He then faded out of existence, and I stood there for a couple of seconds in total silence. I turned around to where I was met with a bright light at the end of the hallway. I walked towards it and woke up in a flash.
I checked my "Kirby: Squeak Squad" file immediately after I had woken up to see if anything in the game had changed. There were a couple of glitched enemies, but the textures corrected and fixed themselves. There wasn't a huge change of game play. Most of the day, all I was doing was thinking about the colorless Kirby I in my dream and in the game and was trying to find a meaning to the dream I had. If the rest of the glitched monsters wanted to kill me, why didn't he finish me off?
Was it that mask he was wearing? Did I presumably free his soul from that mask because some background force was forcing him to do this?
As of this current time, That's the only explanation that I could think of.
What controlled the mask and caused that colorless Kirby to do...all of this?
That question makes me confused even to this day. There's only one thing that I know for a fact. He's free, and I think the games acting normal again.
When I did Boss Endurance mode again to see if it was the same, I knew it was normal as I entered the room before King Dedede.
The Max Tomato appeared in the center of the room.