A/N: Spoilers for the solution of the DL3-esque puzzles that are used in Adeleine and Ribbon's section of Heroes in Another Dimension.
If one looked up high while traversing around in Another Dimension, they would be able to see an indescribable sight, one which would be burned into their memory like an imprint from a searing hot iron poker.
It was impossible to put into words just how gorgeous the locale was… not even an image captured in full high-definition would be able to do justice to the actual place itself. Another Dimension was completely out of this world — it was an interplanetary nebular of swirls and bursts of colors, a constellation of bright stars stretching across the backdrop above. There was no way to capture its essence without physically seeing it with your own two eyes.
Truly, that was what one could call art.
Art, of course, being the favored pastime that the human girl who was trekking across the glowing yellow ground positively adored.
Adeleine jolted her head upon hearing the greeting, taking her eyes off of the exquisite sight above her and letting her gaze fall onto a small fairy with bubblegum-pink hair fluttering by her side. "Yes?" she finally remarked, acknowledging the fairy's usage of her 'Addie' nickname, "What is it, Ribbon?"
"Quit standing still and gawking at the scenery! I know Another Dimension seems remarkable as it's so vastly different from Ripple Star, but Kirby's counting on us now! We can't afford to be distracted at this critical time!" she chided, causing Adeleine to frown and pout.
"I know, Ribbon…" Adeleine sighed as she reluctantly trudged onward. "Ah, I just can't help but to feel a sense of awe swelling within me as I marvel at the scenic view around me. Really, can you honestly blame me? As an artist, it's like eye candy!" She bit her lip, excitement swelling as she marched forth. "Needless to say, I wish to capture this beauty in my canvas and immortalize it in paint forever!"
Being the cheeky fairy that she was, Ribbon rolled her eyes at Adeleine. "Sure you do," she teased, her voice fond and tender. It was all in jest, of course — the two girls were the best of friends.
That being said, the best of friends were the ones who teased and made fun of each other the most.
Needless to say, Adeleine brazenly stuck out her tongue in response. A childish reply, yes, but it perfectly fit the mood as both fairy and human started to laugh at the sheer absurdity of their argument.
Trekking behind the two girls, a decisively less amused Kirby pointedly rolled his eyes at the duo's combined antics, tapping his foot and crossing his arms at them both as a not-so-subtle hint to remind them of their priorities.
After a couple of seconds, they eventually got the message. It was no surprise that Kirby was chasing them to hurry. Time was of the essence. The opening of portals to Another Dimension at the Divine Terminus was a catastrophic emergency. Who knew what the so-called Jambastion Cult had done this time?
Despite her fervent wish to simply relax and sketch her surroundings, Adeleine knew in her heart that she had to settle this first. There would always be time later… hopefully.
With a melancholic sigh, Adeleine and Ribbon sheepishly looked away from each other and pressed on with their mission. That was, until they saw an unusual sight.
In a sea of glowing yellow, a large structure stuck out like a sore thumb, looming in the distance. "Wow!" Ribbon gasped, twirling in mid-air as she flew towards the metallic construction. "It looks like a whale!"
"It is a whale!" Adeleine said, gaping at the lifelike formation. It was made of multiple metallic blocks, and was carefully crafted right down to a spray of "water" made of blocks appearing out of its blowhole. Whoever had designed its anatomy was definitely good at their job.
"Why, you're absolutely right. Addie, it actually is a whale!" Ribbon exclaimed after peering closer. "That's pretty neat, I have to say," she nodded. "Random, but neat."
In stark contrast to the receptive reaction of both girls, Kirby appeared to glare balefully at the metallic whale. In a moment that spanned just a few seconds, his gaze was contrite, the puffball shaking his head as the corners of his mouth tugged upwards in amusement.
The abrupt change in the hero of Dream Land's reaction to the large whale did not go unnoticed by his two partners. Adeleine stepped towards her friend, using the back of her hand to spin the tip of her paint-splotched brush around so that the handle was now facing her front. Without missing a beat, she then proceeded to use said handle to nudge against the crown of Kirby's head.
"Hey, what's up, Kirby?" Adeleine prodded, cocking her head in befuddlement. "Why are you glowering at that thing so furiously? You're acting as though it physically offends you…"
However, in spite of his staunch and unusually harsh reaction to the whale, Kirby refused to elaborate any further as to why he was so averse to it. The puffball simply huffed at the metallic structure, sharply turning his head away as if he couldn't bear to look at it for a single second longer.
"Okay then…" Adeleine finally murmured, "don't know what that's all about, but okay."
Kirby simply glanced at the struggling duo with a nonchalant expression, a cheeky smirk on his face as he winked at the girls.
Adeleine suddenly had a bad feeling in her gut. Nevertheless, she plodded forward, even though she felt the air around her suddenly grow heavy.
But Kirby's profound reaction caused Adeleine to lose her already tenuous hold on her bravery. She began to fidget, rubbing her free hand against the hem of her skirt to shrug off her apprehensiveness.
Ribbon flitted close to her charge, a firm scowl on her face as the fairy massaged her friend's shoulders to soothe her. "Addie. There's nothing to be scared of," she demurred.
"Thanks, Ribbon," she sighed, shaking her head with a soft smile. "You're the best."
"I'll be right by your side, Addie. Go for it!"
And with that, Adeleine mustered up her inner courage and ran straight for the door with Ribbon in tow, squeezing her eyes tightly shut and blindly flailing her paintbrush in a wide arc all the way as she sprinted forward…
…only to find a similar looking whale made up of Star Blocks, lava blocks and Bomb Blocks waiting for her on the other end when she eventually opened her eyes. There was even an electrical outlet with a wire for good measure. Ribbon had let out a chuckle at that.
Kirby blithely strolled in a few seconds after the two girls. He simply took one look at his surroundings and let an amused snort escape him. The only words that he could gasp out before he fell into a flurry of laughter was, "Heart Star… *snicker* puzzle!"
Adeleine narrowed her eyes as Kirby eventually recovered and impishly furrowed his brow at the painter. Her good friend was being boisterous, which was a blatant red flag to Adeleine if she ever saw one. The only thing that would be more obvious was if Kirby got into a Robobot Armor and used it to set off a neon-lighted sign next to him that read, "I know something you don't, and it's going to be absolutely hilarious!"
Turning away from her snickering friend, the next thing that caught Adeleine's eye was a closed up alcove with a red treasure chest tucked snugly within, caged up and laying there in a taunting 'get-me-if-you-can' manner.
Well, that just gone and done it. This just screamed puzzle. At the very least, it wasn't a cryptic one.
Another Dimension, despite being relatively alien to Adeleine, still played by all the standard rules in Gamble Galaxy. It was all the same to her. The puzzle right here could be replicated in Neo Star, Shiver Star, or even Rock Star and she wouldn't even bat an eyelid.
"We need to make the blocks in this room match up with exact arrangement of the metallic whale that we saw one room earlier," Adeleine said, tapping her temple with her forefinger. Her red beret slid slightly backwards from the motion, revealing her raven-black bangs.
Ribbon chortled. "Whatever made you think that? The last two puzzles of a similar makeup that we solved earlier, perchance?" Despite her carefree tone, the sarcasm in her question was still clearly infused in her query.
"Yeah." No point in denying it. It was a rhetorical question, and all three of them knew it.
That being said, the two girls quickly got to work and attempted to solve the puzzle to the best of their ability.
"There! Finished!" Ribbon pumped her little fist in the air as she twirled around in a spiral formation, the action unintentionally extinguishing the glowing fire blocks.
However, the two girls were quickly disappointed when they saw that the door that led to their glorious prize remained stubbornly shut.
Kirby, for his part, was trying to stifle his giggles. When he finally managed to regain control of his shaking body, he pointed at the most left-hand region of the whale, where a destroyable star block was surrounded by multiple indestructible diamond blocks.
"Oh yeah!" Adeleine slapped her forehead in realization. "That block wasn't there in the statue that we saw in the previous room, was it?" Just as the painter prepared to destroy the block with a swipe of her paintbrush, a piercing cry stopped her short.
"No!" Ribbon shrilled, physically flying to Adeleine's front and halting her by raising her arms wide open. "We can't destroy this block, Addie! I swear it was there in the statue!"
Adeleine furrowed her brow. Ribbon's staunch denial immediately caused her to be confused, and now to her dismay she found that she was second-guessing herself. "Was not…" she attempted to insist, although the hesitation was there in her voice. Alas, her memory of the original picture was no longer as firm as she thought it was.
"I think we better check," Ribbon sighed, already flying for the door back to the initial room before anyone could say a thing to stop her.
As Adeleine followed through the door and headed back to the first room with the reference statue of the whale, she felt a tinge of pride go through her petite body. "See!" she declared triumphantly, sticking her tongue out at Ribbon unabashedly, "I was right! That area where the block is in the next room was not there in the original structure! We were supposed to break that star block!"
"Okay, okay…" Ribbon grumbled, folding her arms as she sat cross-legged in mid-air. For being so cheerful, the fairy really looked like she didn't want to admit defeat. "Let's get back."
When the entered the door, however, they were in for a shock.
"Hey! What the… everything's reset back to the way it was!"
Although Adeleine was the one who had said those words, the distraught expression on Ribbon's face made it clear that she had something similar on the tip of her tongue. It just so happened that her artist friend had beat the fairy to it.
Sure enough, after they exited out of the puzzle room, the puzzle itself had reset to its default position. All the broken blocks re-materialized, the Star Blocks respawned, and even the lava blocks were back on fire.
Everything was right back to square one. Any progress that they'd made earlier before exiting the room was wiped out.
Adeleine glanced around and saw Kirby standing by the incomplete whale with a smug expression on his face. She narrowed her eyes, folding her arms when she realized that he hadn't followed them back into the other room with Ribbon. "You knew that this would happen, didn't you?" she accused, clicking her tongue in annoyance.
Kirby nodded. Even if he hadn't explicitly confirmed it for her, the answer was obvious enough from his mannerisms. The puffball didn't keep his body language guarded closely enough and hence anyone with a smidget of common sense could see what he was thinking in his head.
If it had been any other situation, Adeleine's resulting pout at Kirby's confirmation would've been one for the picture books. The girl looked positively radiant, her form glowing and her figure accentuated by the soft yellow glow coming from the ground below her. She'd have looked even more beautiful, if only she wasn't so agitated that she had to restart the puzzle back from scratch.
Now knowing that the out-of-place star block was meant to go, she found herself hitting an impasse with the next true/false binary question. "So, those destroyable gray blocks that are surrounding the lava blocks," Adeleine pointed at the tail section of the whale. "Do we destroy them or leave them be?"
Ribbon pursed her lips, landing on the top of Adeleine's scarlet-red beret. "The more important question is whether we should extinguish the lava blocks… or leave them as it is?"
"I hate to say it, but I don't recall. We have to go back and check again… but that'll reset the puzzle and we'll be right back to square one. Gah, I don't wanna do it!" Adeleine whined. With an exhausted sigh, she gave her beret a firm tug as a signal for the impish fairy to get off her head.
At least Ribbon quickly got the message and instantly took to the skies, fluttering her wings as she gazed at the puzzle that was impeding their progress. "Do you want to risk it?" she asked.
It didn't work.
Seeing the doors not open, Adeleine kicked her feet against the ground in frustration. "Gragh!" she shouted.
Kirby simply chortled, small bouts of laughter accentuating his amusement. Sure, it was sort of mean to laugh at his fellow comrade's misfortune… but really, what could one do when they were faced with a golden opportunity like this?
"We missed something, huh?" Adeleine deadpanned, glaring daggers at the laughing puffball.
"Says you, but I think otherwise," Ribbon countered as she flew around the area in a flight path that resembled that of a lopsided circle. "We didn't miss the lava blocks, we missed the water sprout!"
Adeleine performed a double-take. "Water sprout?" she parroted, perplexed.
Ribbon let out a long-suffering sigh, shaking her head. "It had the water sprout up, Addie!" the fairy reaffirmed, crossing her arms while she sat down in the air. "I swear it did, cross my lucky ribbon!"
"Ah, this is ridiculous!" Adeleine grumbled, a frown adorning her facial features. "You can't expect me to remember that whale formation right down to the very pixel! I might be a visual person as an artist, but my memory isn't perfect, you know?"
Ribbon openly gaped at Adeleine's outburst. As Adeleine was a patient artist who've had to repeatedly correct many minor mistakes and flaws in her artwork to make her paintings the very best that they can be, vocally voicing her distress over this was a testament as to just how frustrated she was over the mundane repetition of this puzzle.
It was certainly noteworthy, given that repetition was something that she was already quite used to, and thus for the dainty girl to blow her top, she must be truly incensed.
Adeleine huffed when she caught sight of Ribbon's stunned face. "Come on, Ribbon," she murmured, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Can't a girl vent for once?"
As though that question was the inciting trigger, the floodgate of complaints began bursting forth from the diminutive fairy.
"Can we just abandon any and all notions of this menial task being fun?" Ribbon pouted in agreement, puffing her cheeks out in an admittedly cute manner as she whined in a high-pitched voice. "It's pure tedium! Backtracking because we can't agree on the finer details of a statue is nothing short of aggravation. It's unbearably frustrating, you hear?"
Adeleine kicked at the ground in annoyance, letting out a taut whisper of pain from the impact. "Yeah, that's not fair! Why must we get tormented like this!?" she asked, puffing her cheeks out in an equally cute manner as she turned back to the puzzle.
The multiple lava blocks just lay there, almost like they were actively taunting her. They dimly glowed from the heat until Adeleine ran forward and extinguished them with a swish of her paintbrush. Now they were nothing but fragile burnt-out husks, their pale gray form juxtaposed against the surrounding golden backdrop.
It didn't matter if she messed it up now. The puzzle would've had to be reset anyway since they'd failed it. Again.
"Ugh! I swear, I'll have a brain hemorrhage if this back-and-forth continues," Adeleine massaged her temple, before spinning around as she caught sight of something on the edge of her peripheral vision. "Look, Ribbon!" she said with a long-suffering sigh, gesturing to the side while rolling her eyes, "Even Kirby is laughing at our combined stupidity."
Adeleine had ever once heard Gooey make a comment saying that ignorance was bliss. But after she and Ribbon had to deal with this obnoxious puzzle, she was inclined to respectfully disagree.
"This is frankly ridiculous, Adeleine." Ribbon said her friend's full name for once, instantly catching the painter's undivided attention. "There are too many small details and tiny, minute differences that remembering all of them is a chore," Ribbon bemoaned, tugging on the crimson namesake tied to her pink hair before hovering down and meeting Adeleine's eye at level height.
"Can't you just, I dunno, maybe paint the original statue as a reference so we don't constantly contradict the source?"
Adeleine froze at Ribbon's suggestion, the corners of her mouth slowly tugging upwards. Ribbon also gasped after she finished speaking, realizing that what she had just said was actually completely valid, even if it was unintentionally so.
Whoever would have guessed? Sometimes the simplest, most concise plans were simultaneously the most effective of them all.
Heading back into the first room (and resetting the puzzle again, though she couldn't care less about it this time round), Adeleine sat down and got out her canvas, preparing to copy down the exact dimensions and features of the whale by capturing it into the piece of canvas to her front.
The brush sprang to life in her hand.
After she finished, Adeleine took a step and smiled delightfully as she admired her work. It wasn't long before she began to drag the canvas piece with her and headed back into the puzzle room, a vengeful smirk on her visage. With Ribbon in tow, she then proceeded to follow her reference picture of the original whale statue down to the letter.
She set off the electric wire with a painted Kracko, destroyed the lone Star Block with Ribbon's help, and got rid of the extra gray blocks surrounding the lava blocks.
After suffering countless failures for an inordinately long amount of time, hearing the success chime as the doors guarding the treasure chest slide open in unison was such a relief to the duo that they couldn't even say a snarky reply to their teammate to celebrate. All they could do was shoot each other a relieved look as Kirby marched forth and snatched the three Friend Hearts that were inside the chest.
The vindictive look on the puffball's face said it all. Really, he didn't even have to open his mouth to make his bemusement clear.
"You knew that this puzzle would be trouble, didn't you Kirby?" Adeleine let the accusation hang in the air, pouting as she shoved the canvas piece back into her green dress and began to drag her feet against the ground.
Kirby remained silent. Once again, he didn't need to say a thing, his body language giving away his thoughts on the matter. With a roguish grin, he strutted away, whistling a merry tune as he made for the exit.
"Ugh! The nerve! He could have at least warned us!" Adeleine ran her hands through her hair, ruffling stray strands of her black hair in anger, only stopping when Ribbon fluttered in front of her with a chirp, her wings fluttering rapidly.
"You know," Ribbon purred with a smile, "it looks to me like you managed to succeed in painting your picture of Another Dimension from an artist's perspective, Addie."
Adeleine perked up instantly, reaching into her coat and pulling out the portrait which she had drawn.
Sure enough, Ribbon was right on the mark.
Adeleine hadn't even realized it as she had unconsciously drawn the breathtaking backdrop of Another Dimension in with the whale (which was in the foreground of her picture). Her artist skills were so ingrained into her that even in the heat of the moment, she had instinctively sketched a view of the aurora and stars that surrounded the whale in her art piece, even though they weren't needed.
Perhaps it was her perfectionism at work, but those added details ended up making her work the closest thing to a piece of memorabilia that she could get from Another Dimension. The portrait was delectable, and in the words of the classy Taranza, he'd describe it as "a rather debonair portrait".
"Needless to say, I wish to capture this beauty in my canvas and immortalize it in paint forever!"
Her wistful words from earlier came rushing back to her.
Adeleine tittered, letting a proud smile show. Although the circumstances that had led to it were uncanny, it looked like she had managed to get her wish in the end. How poignant.
What could she say? As a passionate painter who breathed life into portraits, Adeleine could only concede that art was truly… something miraculous.
…a miracle of the stars.
Talk about schedule slip. This piece of was supposed to come out in January of 2019, and now it's already March. Apologies for not uploading too much Kirby recently, but I'd fallen ill and caught the flu twice in a single month. That, coupled with a busy work month, is a recipe for disaster…
Anyway, this fic is pretty much how things went between me and my younger brother for this puzzle. We have a bad memory and didn't cheat by using the Nintendo Switch's screen capture and referring to a screenshot of the whale for reference, so it basically went down to a whole bunch of back-and-forth backtracking and trial-and-error to ensure that we had it right just to get the Friend Hearts.
I'll get back to Terminal Paralysis soon, I promise. But until then, have this fic in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the release of the Wave 1 DLC Dream Friends in Kirby Star Allies (yeah, I missed the one-year anniversary of the actual game itself, ha).