United by the Crystal Shards
Time for a New Quest!
(Uploaded on April 5, 2020)
Summary: While watching a meteor shower, Kirby unexpectedly stumbles onto a fairy in need—and with that, a new journey begins.
Notes: This fic is set during the events of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards—specifically, it is a lite novelization of several scenes from the game's first world, Pop Star. Expect references to Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3, as they are also part of the Dark Matter Trilogy.
Dream Land – Lookout Point
Shooting stars twinkled down across the night sky, illuminated by the light of the crescent moon.
And bearing witness to this sight, was a familiar pink puffball lying in the middle of a designated lookout point. The fence marking the boundaries was wide enough that the area could theoretically fit a crew of at least sixteen, though he seemed perfectly content with being alone for the moment.
"It's beautiful," he breathed, hands strung out by his sides. "Like a—serenade for the soul! I've missed seeing stuff like this."
It was another fine spring night in Dream Land, and Kirby was spending the time watching a meteor shower pass overhead. He had stumbled upon this vantage point while taking an after-midnight trek, and he was never more happier that he had laid down to take a rest here.
Sure, he didn't have any of his friends with him, on account of how short notice the meteor shower was. If it wasn't for that, he probably would've gone to get the Animal Buddies to observe this event.
But this was okay, too! Sometimes, you just need a moment to think by yourself – and what better way to do that under such a gorgeous sky?
"I can even count all the shooting stars! One, two, three—man, there's a lot of 'em today!" He stretched his hands up high, smiling at the sight. "Now I wish I had a camera. It'd be great to capture this moment for eterni—"
And then something hit him from behind.
Kirby's eyes widened in surprise. Hey, what the—!?
He yelped as he hit the ground unceremoniously, limbs flailing about in the air. Fortunately, it didn't take him very long to recover; he was on his feet again in no time.
He blinked as he turned left and right, confusion written all over his face. "I… huh? What was that…?" To the side, he noticed a new figure lying on the grass—a little pink-haired fairy, wearing a red dress and a red ribbon atop her head. Something was being held under in her hand, something small and shiny.
She's… new, his mind blankly supplied. She—She just fell outta the sky, like… Gooey.
His first instinct was to approach her and see what was up—but that was interrupted by something else smacking into his back, though much smaller in mass than the fairy. He whirled around—There's more!?—and spotted a blue-purple crystal on the floor.
He strode over to it, eyes swapping between the crystal and Pop Star's newest visitor. "She's holding one of these things herself," he realized. He picked it up – and became startled by the aura emanating from it. "It… feels a little like the Rainbow Drops—and the Heart Stars! That—That can't be a coincidence…!"
"Why…?" Zero asked slowly, red blood dripping from his eye. "Why do I feel such pain? What is this energy coursing through me?"
Kirby flew about, swinging the Love-Love Stick at the Dark Matter entity. "Still, you can't tell what this is?" he retorted. "It's the power of positive emotions—a power that can beat the power of emptiness any day!"
"…impossible." The massive eyeball reeled back and sent globs of crimson toward the duo facing him. "Such constructs are worthless, in my eyes. I see not why they need exist. Traitor—why would you ally yourself with such ideals…?"
"It's because I can make friends with them," Gooey replied. "I can eat with them, I can be happy with them. It's good."
"I pity you, Zero," Kirby said. "I really do. All you've ever known is despair—and you've got no one else to tell you otherwise. That's why we'll win," he glared determinedly at him—"because… we're not alone! And so long as we're not alone, the light of hope will always shine in our hearts!"
"I…" Zero was speechless. There was strength in the puffball's words—a strength that gave him the power to fight here.
It was… It was…
…it was like nothing he'd ever seen before.
"I don't understand. I don't understand this at all…"
…it wasn't that long ago that Pop Star had gone through its last planetary crisis.
So there could no mistaking what this artifact represented, in the context of what he knew.
Something's not right… Could—Could this be…?
A groan brought his attention back on the grounded fairy. She was picking herself off the floor, looking quite out of it. "Awawawawawa… Your Majesty… Please don't blame me for eating all the ice cream…"
That's… not what I expected to hear from her, I'll admit.
Does she like food, too?
She shook her head. "Her—Her Majesty! She sent me to—I, I was trying—the Great Crystal!" Her head frantically glanced about, sheer panic on her features. "Where is it!? Those dark things, they attacked Ripple Star, but they couldn't have gotten that too please don't let it be true she entrusted me with it I can't have—I can't have—"
Then her gaze fell upon the lone crystal resting by her feet. Her heart dropped.
"I… I can't have failed…"
She picked up the tiny gem and sighed.
"They've… They've won," she said hoarsely. "Without the Great Crystal, there's… no way I can save my home from them. Wha—What am I supposed to do now…?"
Kirby didn't entirely know what the fairy's plight was yet, but he'd have to be heartless not to feel for the poor girl.
I can't just leave her in misery like that. I may not know her, but I can tell: she definitely needs a friend!
The puffball picked up the other crystal and walked over to her. "Hey! Fairy lady!"
"Huh…?" She perked her head up to see Kirby's smiling face, welcoming her warmly to Dream Land.
"You seem to be in a bit of a rut," he noted. "Is there anything wrong?"
The fairy backed away from the hero, fear popping up on her face—having been through quite the harrowing experience, it was understandable that she'd act so hesitantly. "S-S-Stay away!" she stammered. "I—I—! I have this C-Crystal Shard, and I'm—I'm sure I can figure out s-something with it!"
"Hey, hey, there's no need to be like that!" Kirby replied, holding his hands up in the air. "C'mon, you can tell me what's on your mind! I promise I won't bite!"
She looked hesitant to accept his offer, but eventually, she relented.
She slouched. "It's just… my planet was invaded by these creatures of darkness, so my queen sent me to escape with the Great Crystal—the relic that keeps our world full of positivity. I made it out before it was too late, but… they managed to catch up to me anyway." She held out her little fragment as tears welled up in her eyes. "The Crystal Shards are everywhere now, and—I have no idea where I'm supposed to start! I can't do this by myself…!"
Kirby frowned – he had his suspicions earlier, but now they had been virtually confirmed.
'Creatures of darkness'…?
…she has to be referring to Dark Matter.
And, well… wasn't that just an unsettling thing to discover.
Dark Matter was a nebulous topic at best.
Few knew if there was even a consciousness inside of its pitch-black mass. Even fewer could understand its goals, its motivations—or the nature of its very existence.
All they knew was that it was dangerous… and that when faced with it, it was best to run.
Run, run, run for their lives—and never, ever look back.
(It was a better fate than being held captive inside their own brains.)
Five years ago, a single Dark Matter Blade descended from the skies. Two-and-a-half years ago, Zero did the same thing, only he was accompanied by an armada of Dark Matter entities. As best as Kirby could tell, they wanted to engulf Pop Star in eternal darkness – which was to be achieved by spreading their influence everywhere.
Naturally, Kirby and Gooey fought back.
Kirby was a puffball, holding infinite power in the shape of a friend. Gooey was a blob of Dark Matter, carefree and oblivious but still a kindhearted person. Together with the Animal Buddies, they acted as a light in the deepest darkness, the proof that anyone could be a friend if they just try. They refused to fall, despite everything they were up against—
—and Dark Matter and Zero couldn't comprehend it. To them, it was impossible that such fortitude could be conceived.
In the end, that was why they fell.
Their inability to experience positive emotions gave them a weakness, which was only amplified by Pop Star's resident artifacts. Using the power of the Rainbow Drops and Heart Stars for each respective villain, the heroes repulsed them from Pop Star twice – and that, as they say, should've been that.
Except, as it turned out… no. No, it wasn't.
Somehow, they're even more persistent than Dedede is, Kirby mused. It's not enough that they tried to reduce Dream Land to nothingness… now they want to do the same to the rest of the galaxy!
Too bad for them… I refuse to let them do that!
He smiled at the fairy and held up the Crystal Shard he had found. "Don't worry, fairy lady! If you can't do this alone, then I'll have to help you out!"
The pink-haired girl lifted her head, hope daring to bloom in her eyes. "R-Really…? You'd be willing to do that for me…?"
"Of course! I'm a friend, after all! Just show me where to go, and that's where I'll head!"
It was a testament to how sincere Kirby was that Ms. Interplanetary Visitor believed him, just like that. That smile of his couldn't be wrong—and so, she made her decision.
"Okay!" she nodded. "If you say we can do this, then we'll do this. Together!"
Kirby closed his eyes and beamed. "That's the spirit!"
The two Crystal Shards glowed with a white light. They were drawn closer and closer to each other, until finally they fused into a single, slightly larger Crystal.
The puffball hopped up and down in happiness. "So—hiiiiiiiii~! I'm Kirby," he introduced himself—"Kirby of the Stars! And you?"
"My name's Ribbon," the fairy replied. "Ribbon of Ripple Star! It's nice to meet you, Kirby!"
"Nice to meet you too, Ribbon," Kirby said. "So, where are we gonna go first? Green Greens? Vegetable Valley? My house?"
"Umm…" Ribbon looked out into the horizon, taking notice of the meteor shower occurring above. She pointed a finger at the sky "I think we gotta go where those Crystal Shards are falling! Look, can you see them?"
Kirby followed her gaze, and sure enough, he could see gems of a blue-purple light being interspersed with the actual shooting stars. Some were further away than others, but nevertheless they provided a clear route to take.
"Then that-a-way we go! C'mon, I'll race ya there!" He took off in a flash, racing in the direction of the rising sun. Surprisingly, it hadn't taken that long for the sky to brighten up and the clouds to come a-knocking—which was fine by Kirby, honestly! It wouldn't do to begin an adventure in the dark of night! he laughed internally.
"Wait up, Kirby!" Ribbon shouted, flying as fast as she could after her new friend. Despite how dire her circumstances were, she couldn't help but have a bright smile of her own reaching toward her cheeks. "Don't leave me behind already!"
And so, Kirby's latest adventure began in an ever-so-classic way: the good puffball making a friend and setting out with them in tow. What awaited him on this journey to confront Dark Matter a third time? Would he be joined by even more companions as he shot off into the stars?
In any case… this was sure to be an interesting tale to tell.
I've been wanting to write about the events of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for quite some time now. And hey, having another Make a Friend prequel fic isn't the worst thing in the world!
I was going to do a lite novelization of all of the game's cutscenes past the pre-title screen intro, but knowing me, that'd end up taking literally forever to finish. So I decided to dial things back a bit: instead of the whole game, I'm doing just the first world. I think it works out well enough—I mean, I still get to have copious amounts of fluffy friendship! Who doesn't like that?
I've always enjoyed writing Kirby getting to befriend people in this 'verse – and this one's no exception. (It helps that Ribbon's one of my favorite characters to pen.) Now, I don't ship Kirby and Ribbon by any means – I headcanon Kirby as more of a friendship guy than a romance guy – but that doesn't mean I don't think they're cute together as companions.
Speaking of companions… another reason I'm doing this fic is to serve as an introduction to the bonds between the Crystal Shards crew. Since they're good friends by the time In Times of Crisis rolls around, I figure it's a good idea to establish their origins here – I can't seem to stop writing about them, after all. (Not to mention, I have a few running character arcs to follow up on…)
Well, that's all for now – tune in next time for Bandana Dee's stellar introduction!