Happy birthday, Kirby! Twenty-six years ago today, Kirby's Dream Land was released for the Game Boy in Japan. Nintendo and HAL Laboratory have released more than thirty games starring the perfect pink puffball since 1992, and our lives have been all the better because of it.
Kirby's been one of Nintendo's most beloved characters since his introduction. He's appeared in every Super Smash Bros. installment, had a game released on every Nintendo console since the Game Boy, and even starred in his own 100-episode anime, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
A lot about the Kirby in Kirby's Dream Land was different from the Kirby we know today. Nintendo still hadn't agreed on a color for Kirby, so a lot of artwork showed him as being chalk white. Most importantly, Kirby was not able to use his Copy abilities just yet. His Copy abilities would not be introduced until 1993's Kirby's Adventure, but Kirby could still use his trademark mouth-vacuum to suck up his enemies and spit them out at Mach 5. Kirby wasn't even meant to be the main character in the game, being simply a placeholder spite while HAL worked on the designs for the real main character. But Masahiro Sakurai fell in love with the little blob, and so did the rest of the world.
Kirby's most recent outing, Kirby Star Allies, became one of his most successful games yet, with extremely strong sales in its first month.