King Dedede
King Dedede, as he appears in Kirby Super Star
Game series Kirby series
First game Kirby's Dream Land (1992)
Created by Masahiro Sakurai
Designed by Masahiro Sakurai
Voiced by (English) Ted Lewis (voice actor)
Voiced by (Japanese) Kenichi Ogata

King Dedede (デデデ大王 Dedede Daiō?) (also spelled King DeDeDe and King De De De) is the main antagonist of the Kirby franchise and Kirby's arch-nemesis. His name is commonly pronounced "Deh Deh Deh" (as in "Deck") in Japan, and "Dee Dee Dee" (as in "Deed") in English.


King Dedede is not super evil, but he causes many problems for the inhabitants of Dream Land through curiosity and mischief, such as stealing their food (he needs to survive some how) or living in a castle on top of the Fountain Of Dreams (which he found). His more heinous actions are more often due to possession by more sinister entity of Dark Matter, along with the rest of the usual franchise enemies. Despite this, he and Kirby have teamed up on occasions with the purpose of taking down a greater common foe.

King Dedede is a large, cute, blue, and shaped somewhat like a penguin (although he is never referred to as a penguin in the games or anime). He dresses in red royal finery, with his personal emblem (a picture of himself performing the V Sign, or, in the latest games, just the hand alone performing the sign) embossed on the back of his robe. He also wears yellow gloves, and usually wields a large hammer as an offensive weapon. He has many of the same abilities as Kirby himself does, such as being able to inhale objects and spit them back out with tremendous force, and following Kirby's Dream Land, the ability to suck in air and fly.

Video games[]

Kirby Adventure Games[]

  • Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy, 1992) — In one of the few adventure games where he is the true final boss of the game, Dedede has stolen all of the food in Dream Land and hoards it all for himself in a castle on top of Mt. Dedede. In addition he stole five magical stars, called "Sparkling Stars", which the citizens of Dream Land used to collect food. [1] In this game, Dedede's abilities consisted of simply swinging his hammer or trying to crush Kirby underneath his body. Kirby could defeat him by inhaling stars created by these attacks and exhaling them back at him. [2]
  • Kirby's Adventure (NES, 1993) — The story for this game begins with King Dedede destroying the Starrod (the source of all dreams) and giving the pieces to his allies; supposedly to keep the citizens of Dream Land from dreaming.[3] However, upon defeating him at the Dream Spring near the end of the game, it is revealed that Dedede had actually broken the treasure in order to keep an evil nightmare from torturing the people. This is one of the first games to show King Dedede's hidden good side, a theme which become common in future games. His moveset in Adventure is basically the same as it was in Dream Land, except he had a new ability to puff up his body and float like Kirby; but only for a short time.[4] He also appeared in two of the game's minigames; "Egg Catcher" and "Quick Draw".[5]
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy, 1995) — This is the first of Kirby's games where King Dedede is not mentioned directly in the story. Nevertheless, he still appears as the game's semifinal boss. When Kirby faces off against him, Dedede appears to be fighting in his sleep. However if the player gathers the seven Rainbow Drops before defeating him, it is revealed that he is actually being possessed by a spirit-like entity known as Dark Matter; the game's true final boss.[6] Dedede's moves are much the same as they were in the original Dream Land, except for the ability to fly into fits of rage and make his attacks even more powerful and explosive than norm.[7]
  • Kirby Super Star (SNES, 1996) — King Dedede appears in three of the games presented in the collection of games in Super Star, not counting the "Arena" game where he is included with the rest of the game's bosses for a rematch. The first game, named "Spring Breeze", is a remake of Kirby's Dream Land and shares the same story.[8] His moveset is identical to the one from Kirby's Adventure, but he has a much larger stage.[9] His second appearance is in the game called "Gourmet Race", in which Kirby must race against him while collecting food scattered in the area.[10] He also appears in the minigame entitled "Samurai Kirby".[11]
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES, 1997) — Similar to the story in Dream Land 2, King Dedede was possessed by Dark Matter and is once again forced to fight against Kirby. Unlike the previous time this happened, however, Dark Matter now has the ability to not only control Dedede, but also somewhat change his shape; morphing Dedede's belly into large toothy mouths or energy-shooting eyes to attack. Dark Matter can be forced out of the King's body by collecting all of the "heart stars".[12]
Kirby 64 Beta Screenshots

Beta screenshots from "Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards" portraying King Dedede as a playable character early in the game's production.

  • Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble (Game Boy Color, 2001) — The story in this game is practically the same as the SNES game Kirby's Dream Course; Dedede has stolen all of the stars from the sky for himself and Kirby needs to fight him to get them back.[13] Currently this is the only adventure genre game besides Kirby's Dream Land to star Dedede as the true final boss.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64, 2002) — This is the first game where Dedede plays the role of one of the protagonists; albeit a reluctant one. He helps Kirby in certain areas by carrying him on his back while smashing down barriers with his hammer.[14] Before he joins the party, however, Kirby must first defeat him in a short battle in the third level of the game; a fight that is extremely similar to the fight against Dedede in Dream Land 3. Additionally King Dedede is an available character in the game's three minigames. Images of the game's beta show that Dedede was originally a playable character all throughout the game; as was Adeline and Waddle Dee.[15]
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (GBA, 2002) — Nightmare was a remake of the NES game Kirby's Adventure, in which he played the same role. The only difference between the two is a change in Dedede's size and speed.
  • Kirby Canvas Curse (DS, 2005) — King Dedede himself did not technically appear in Canvas Curse as a boss, however one of the paintings which Drawcia brought to life to fight Kirby was a replica of him. The Dedede painting raced against Kirby in a minigame similar to "Gourmet Race" from Super Star, only with the two of them racing in mine carts instead of on foot.[16] The actual Dedede, however, appeared in the game as an unlockable playable character. He was the largest of all the playable characters and had the unique ability to sink in water instead of float.[17]
  • Kirby Squeak Squad (DS, 2007) — In the story for this game, King Dedede is the first person Kirby suspects of villainy when his slice of strawberry cake is stolen.[18] However once Dedede is defeated, it is revealed that he is not only not responsible, but also a victim of burglarism just like Kirby. He appears as the very first boss in the game and is identical to his appearance in Nightmare in Dream Land, with the exception of a new ability to summon Waddle Dees.[19]

Kirby Puzzle/Arcade Games[]

  • Kirby's Pinball Land (Game Boy, 1993) — Although he appears as in an animation on the game's title screen, it is never actually necessary for the player to face Dedede in this game; since like traditional pinball games the point is to obtain the highest score possible and not to get to the game's nonexistent "end." Nevertheless, it is possible to fight him if the player can defeat all three of the other bosses in the game first. Defeating him will show the player a short animation showing all the enemies from the game before returning Kirby to the main level select board.[20][21]
  • Kirby's Avalanche (SNES, 1995) — King Dedede appears as the final and hardest opponent in this Puyo Puyo clone game. Defeating him earns Kirby the "Dream Land Cup".[22][23]
  • Kirby's Dream Course (SNES, 1995) — In this game, Dedede has stolen all the stars in the skies of Dream Land for himself. King Dedede is the one and only boss in the game, fought at the very end. However in this game, Dedede not only fights Kirby himself, but also with the aid of a giant robot designed in his own image. The giant mech also releases tiny robotic versions of Dedede as well.[24]
  • Kirby's Block Ball (Game Boy, 1996) — King Dedede appears as a hidden final boss in this game, which can only be unlocked by beating the border line in every world. His moves are very different from usual here; he attacks using bombs and missiles and doesn't use his signature hammer at all.[25]
  • Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy, 1997) — Dedede appears as this game to antagonize Kirby during the Round Clear game. Kirby has to reduce his Hit Points to zero in order to move on to the next stage.[26][27] Additionally there was a Super Nintendo version of the game released in 1998 (only in Japan) which featured Dedede as the final boss in a short story mode.[28][29]
  • Kirby Air Ride (GameCube, 2003) — King Dedede once again appears as a hidden playable character. This time he races about on top of a sinister looking wheelie bike and will automatically smack any opponent which he can get close enough to with his hammer.[citation needed]

Non-Kirby Game Appearances[]

  • Picross Volume 3 (SNES, 1999) — King Dedede's picture appears in level 4 as puzzle K.[30]

  • Super Smash Bros. (N64, 1999) — King Dedede occasionally appears floating in the background of the "Dream Land" stage. This is also true in Super Smash Bros. Melee where the stage can be unlocked as a "Classic" stage.[citation needed]
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube, 2001) — A trophy of King Dedede can be obtained in the game. The trophy itself looks identical to his appearance in Kirby Super Star, right down to the image that appears on the back of his robe. The description of his trophy reads:
    • "Dedede's the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land. While he says he's king, Dedede performs no administrative functions and the citizens of Dream Land continue to live as they always have. He's able to suck in air and fly like Kirby does, but only as a result of the vigorous training he undertook after being bested by Kirby."[31]
Kirby's Dream Land
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii, 2008) — King Dedede appeared in Brawl as a playable character. He is a heavyweight like Donkey Kong and Bowser and wields his signature hammer; which now has some mechanical properties, such as a rocket-like motor which can charge up to give his attack a huge boost of power for one of his Special moves, Jet Hammer. He also has the ability to fling his minions, such as Waddle Dees, Waddle Doos, and Gordos, with his Waddle Dee Toss move. He also has the Super Inhale as his Special Move, and he uses his Super Dedede Jump to leap high into the air and come crashing down, summoning stars. His Final Smash, a super-powered attack that is unique for all of the games characters, is called Waddle Dee Army in which he summons a large amount of his minions at once which all flood the screen and take out foes; most of them being Waddle Dees with a few Gordos and Waddle Doos mixed into the crowd.[32] He also uses his mallet for its standard purpose of slamming foes, and he has the ability to use several midair multi-jumps, inflating to float for a brief time.


In the anime series Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (known as "Hoshi no Kaabii" or "Kirby of the Stars" in Japan), King Dedede, accompanied by his equally bumbling lackey, Escargoon (originally "Escargon" or sometimes "Dr. Escargon" in Japan), is presented as the illegitimate and incompetent ruler of Dream Land, with a castle atop a hill overlooking Cappy Town ("Pupupu Land" in Japan). He is very ill-tempered and rude, taking pleasure in only the destruction of Kirby and his citizens. Dedede's main cause of inconvenience for the citizens of Dream Land is his constant purchasing of monsters from Nightmare Enterprises to enforce his laws, create chaos, or to destroy Kirby, whom he feels is a threat to his popularity and authority. He is often seen broke or in debt to Nightmare Enterprises by an enormous amount of money. King Dedede is voiced by Kenichi Ogata in the original Japanese version and by Ed Paul in the English dub, the later using an accent similar to Foghorn Leghorn.

One thing that is notable about King Dedede in the anime is his several attempts to "civilize" Dream Land, such as building factories or schools or even trying to establish tourism or improve the country's food culture. However, because he creates these institutions with only greedy intentions, they are often portrayed as evil or malevolent; thus introducing many narrative conflicts to the series, such as Man vs. Nature or Man vs. Society.



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