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    King Dedede
    Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe - King Dedede.png
    He's usually so carefree, perhaps a teeny-tiny bit lazy... But when it matters most, our leader always does his royal duty. Long live King Dedede!
    ― Minion Waddle Dee about King DededeKirby and the Forgotten Land
    Gender: Male
    Type: Self-Proclaimed to Self-Made King,
    Friendly Rival,
    Dependable Ally
    Age: At least over 1000 years old
    Species: Penguin?
    Portrayed by:

    • Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and Super Smash Bros. series)
    • Shinya Kumazaki (Kirby series, since Kirby Super Star Ultra)

    • Kenichi Ogata (Kirby: Right Back at Ya!)
    • Ted Lewis (Kirby: Right Back at Ya!)

    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Kirby's Dream Land (1992; first appearance)
    I'll be the one to keep the peace!
    King DededeKirby Star Allies
    Make way for the king of Dream Land! I'm big and burly, just like my hammer. You won't get far without me...so I'm coming too!
    King DededeKirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
    Sing when you want to sing, dance when you want to dance! Everyday, have fun and enjoy life! That’s what it means to be a Great King!
    King DededeKing Dedede’s Great Escape Strategy (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    King Dedede is one of the main deuteragonists of the Kirby franchise, initially introduced as the first antagonist before quickly growing out of that role. He's the self-made king of Dream Land and a good friend of Kirby's, although he prefers to be seen as his "destined rival." He has been a major character in the series ever since the first game, Kirby's Dream Land, and despite debuting as a misguided buffoon, he has grown into one of Kirby's closest allies and a selfless hero in his own right, helping or straight up accompanying his former nemesis on many adventures.

    While he may "rule over" Dream Land, he doesn't exactly care to use his power for anything other than being pampered. He lives in his own castle (named Castle Dedede) atop Mt. Dedede with his massive following of Waddle Dees who serve him purely out of respect and admiration, and although he may not always show it, Dedede is appreciative and grateful of them, even being willing to risk his own life for their safety.

    Despite his lazy and carefree personality, Dedede is also an incredibly powerful and determined fighter who is always striving to become stronger, motivated by his rivalry with Kirby. For this reason, he will always be eager to participate in a friendly competition or a challenge (usually because it was issued by him to begin with).

    History of Dedede

    Classic Era (Kirby's Dream Land to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards)

    Surely King Dedede would never steal all the food in the kingdom and hoard it for himself... Why would he do such a vile deed?!
    King Dedede's pause screen description as a boss • Kirby Star Allies

    In his debut, Kirby's Dream Land (as well as its remakes as "Spring Breeze" in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra), King Dedede is established as the top fighter in Dream Land, and he has an arena in his castle where he is the champion and adored by his audience. However, his hubris lead him to believe that he could get away with stealing all the food in Dream Land and its Sparkling Stars. Thankfully, he was quickly thwarted by a pink ball of stars who recently flew in on the spring breeze, Kirby! That first defeat served as a humbling lesson for Dedede, and in the secret ending of the game's Extra Mode, Kirby is the one who tries to comfort him after his loss, despite the fact that it was Kirby who was responsible for Dedede's defeat.

    In the second game in the series, Kirby's Adventure, Dedede initially appears to be villain of the game once again, as he has stolen and shattered the sacred Star Rod from the Fountain of Dreams. However his intentions were not to cause mischief, but actually to prevent the true villain, Nightmare, from using it for his own malicious purposes. Kirby was not aware of that at the time, which led to him unknowingly freeing Nightmare after defeating Dedede again. Nightmare's appearance made both Kirby and Dedede panic, but it was Dedede who helped launch Kirby into battling Nightmare, and ultimately vanquishing him once and for all.

    From that point forward, Dedede would only fight Kirby when possessed and controlled against his will by evil forces (or self-defense in Squeak Squad's case), and would always return to his senses after being defeated by Kirby. Notably, in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, after Dedede is possessed and freed once more, he actually joins Kirby and his friends on their quest, despite initially seeming reluctant to do so. According to the Japanese website, his motivation for joining is because he was worried about the kids going on such a dangerous trip, and over the course of the adventure, he grows closer to them, having picnics and sitting on the beach with them, letting Kirby piggyback ride on him, helping Adeline escape from an erupting volcano, being sad to leave Ripple Star in the bad ending, and being concerned when Kirby falls over in the good ending. Regardless of which ending, Dedede would've grown attached to his new friends, but in both endings, he still tries to hide it. So, even in the early days of the series history, Dedede is shown to have a big heart and care for others, but seems to try to conceal his true feelings, likely because he wants to be seen as tough and aloof and fears that outwardly showing affection might make him look "softer." This is brought up in the Kirby Portal Personality Quiz, when you get King Dedede as the result.

    As a “King Dedede” type, your sense of responsibility is stronger than that of most people, and you firmly believe you can do anything as long as you try hard enough. Adding to that, being trusted by others often brings you great joy and gets you motivated. Since you also have determination, you’re good at putting together a team and acting as its leader. While you are thoughtful and considerate, you’re also the type to not directly show your emotions and affection to others. You might want to try expressing your honest feelings to another person some time.
    Kirby Personality Quiz when King Dedede is the result (translated by kaialone) • Kirby Portal

    Modern Era (Kirby Super Star Ultra and Onwards)

    This leads to Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King, where King Dedede challenges Kirby to a rematch, and pulls out all the stops in an attempt to defeat him, including the introduction of a new secret weapon and a new masked alter-ego. The match takes place in the same arena where Kirby and Dedede first fought, but this time in an electric cage, with the only spectator being Bandana Waddle Dee, who Dedede chose to spare from fighting Kirby. Dedede shows respect for Kirby as an equal, even giving him a hammer of his own so they can fight fair and square. The Great King said it himself: "Our grudge will be settled at last." And when Dedede ultimately loses once again, he doesn't throw a tantrum or demand another rematch, but instead humbly accepts his defeat, as he shamefully walks towards the setting sun, with his retinue of Waddle Dees in tow, choosing to stay by his side despite his losses, showing that they follow him not because of his self-imposed title, but because they genuinely respect and admire him as a person.

    This brings us to Kirby's Return to Dream Land, which marks the first time Dedede is member of the playable cast, being a hero alongside Kirby and friends willingly and happily from the very start of the game, and he has stayed as one of Kirby's closest friends since. The plot of Kirby: Triple Deluxe even entirely revolves around Kirby going out of his way to rescue the King after he was kidnapped by Taranza, with Dedede returning the favor by saving Kirby from the clutches of Queen Sectonia in the final act, being the only reason Kirby was able to succeed. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Dedede selflessly sacrifices himself for a single normal Waddle Dee after Kirby snaps him out of being mind-controlled again, showing just how much he's grown from the childish tyrant he was in the first game.

    He has gone from selfish to selfless. He has gone from a "Self-Proclaimed" King, to a Self-Made one. He's not a villain, or a frenemy, or an anti-hero, but a blatant unambiguous hero who has grown into his role as the rightful ruler of Dream Land, and until the rest of the world is able to recognize that, he's going to keep on hammering it home.

    Once a Great King becomes a great person, he’s gotta commit to the act and stay with it ‘till the very end!
    King DededeKing Dedede’s Great Escape Strategy (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    Macho of Dedede

    The king of Dream Land! This big dude is one tough cookie. With his trusty hammer, it’s aim once, WHAM once!
    King Dedede's pause screen description • Kirby's Return to Dream Land
    Dedede cracking the ground with a single punch.
    (Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe)

    According to the boss description of Dedede Clone in Kirby: Planet Robobot, King Dedede is considered to be one of the strongest beings on Planet Popstar, which is very credible considering the fact that pause screen descriptions in Kirby series are usually sources of important lore. In the Super Smash Bros. series' codec call easter eggs, Otacon from the Metal Gear series comments that with a single swing of his hammer, Dedede could potentially level an entire building. As his rival, Dedede should be comparable to Kirby, who can crack Planet Popstar in two in Kirby Super Star's Megaton Punch, send a meteor 9999 light years away with a swing of a baseball bat in Kirby Star Allies' Star Slam Heroes, and has been stated to wield infinite power in his pause description in Kirby: Planet Robobot. It should be addressed that an interview establishes that while non-canonical, extra content are there to show what Kirby characters are truly capable of outside the main story. With that in mind, in sub-games like The True Arena, Dededetour!, Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go! and The Ultimate Choice, Dedede is shown to be just as capable as Kirby when it comes to defeating powerful foes like Galacta Knight, Magolor Soul, Dark Meta Knight, Morpho Knight, and Void, all of which could threaten planets, stars, galaxies, and maybe even entire dimensions. Perhaps the reason Dedede gets possessed so often is because the villains of the series fear and desire his power.

    Also, much like Kirby, Dedede has many strange abilities and powers. He can hover by inflating himself just like a balloon, a technique he copied from Kirby, and according to his trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he had train extensively to do so. Another ability Dedede shares with his rival is the ability to inhale, but strangely enough, Dedede already had this move since the very first game despite having never met Kirby up to that point. Notably, ever since Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Dedede's inhale has gotten a significant upgrade and has been officially renamed to the ビッグバンすいこみ (Big Bang Inhale, Big Bang being the Japanese name of Hypernova) in the Japanese version. If taken literally, this means that Dedede could potentially inhale the same things Hypernova Kirby can without a Miracle Fruit. Among his other abilities, he can ignite his hammer for moves like the decisive Dedede Hammer Flip, or the Hammer Twirl in Dededetour!. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, he can cause icy spikes to erupt from the ground by hitting it hard enough (using a large pillar that he's strong enough to swing around). In Kirby's Pinball Land, Dedede can shoot lightning out of his hands. None of these elemental abilities are explained.

    Outside of his abilities, Dedede's masked alter ego, Masked Dedede, has been implied by Shinya Kumazaki to have connections to the final boss of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Dark Mind. It would explain why Taranza (who also has connections to the Dimension Mirror) was able to give it to Dedede in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, but it only makes the question of how Dedede got his hands on that power-amplifying mask in the first place even more of a mystery, and it wouldn't be the last, as Dedede would go on to have more masked battles as Waning Crescent Masked Dedede (with Waxing Crescent Masked Meta Knight) in Kirby Fighters 2, and Forgo Dedede in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, with the last-mentioned actually made to brainwash Dedede even further, as he was already seen to be brainwashed earlier in his first encounter with Kirby in that game. However, the fact that the Beast Pack felt the need to further cloud his mind, implies that Dedede was beginning to fight off being controlled. He can even be seen trying to take off the mask right before the battle with Forgo Dedede, meaning that Dedede's will is growing strong enough to start resisting being controlled, even if it's by a little bit.

    What Makes Him a Great King

    The Great King can lazily enjoy himself because Dream Land is at peace. Everyone in Dream Land doesn’t always respect him that much. Because it’s normal for everyone to be at peace. But when hard times arise, or if there’s trouble, King Dedede rises up to the forefront for everyone and protects them. When that happens, everyone finally realizes how strong King Dedede is. But when it becomes peaceful again, they forget. The times when King Dedede is lazy are the times when everyone in Dream Land is at their happiest. That’s why I have a lot of respect for the lazy King Dedede.
    ― Bandana Waddle Dee about King DededeKing Dedede’s Great Escape Strategy (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)
    1. A common misconception amongst those whose only exposure to the Kirby series is through Super Smash Bros. and Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, is that Dedede is the main antagonist of the series, but that interpretation of his character is demonstrably false and untrue.
      • Instead of looking mean and threatening, he's designed to appear round and cute (or "shaped like a friend" if you prefer). In fact, with his friendly appearance, RYB color scheme, and signature ✌️-sign, one with no prior knowledge of the Kirby series could easily mistake him for the main protagonist and mascot of his own series (similar to Mario and Sonic) at first glance.
      • After his antagonistic role in the first game, he never regressed back to his old ways and instead becoming more and more heroic, unlike Bowser, whose very rare alliances with the heroes are only temporary, and immediately returns to his old habits the moment his partnerships loses its purpose.
      • When looking at his actions in the first game, it can be argued that Dedede was never even evil to begin with. Sure, stealing all the food in Dream Land made him an antagonist, but it was moreso an act of shortsighted selfishness rather than outright cruelty, and upon learning the error of his ways, he started improving himself as soon as the second game, Kirby's Adventure.
    2. While he is usually fought as a boss, that doesn't make him a villain. In Kirby's Adventure for example, he only stole the Star Rod to prevent Nightmare from haunting all of Dream Land. Every Dedede battle after that has been either him being controlled by the true villain, a challenge with nothing at stake, or a weird old pseudo-remake/retelling of the first game that might not even be canon since they're usually spin-offs.
      • Dedede is often mistaken for an anti-hero, but he isn't, as his heroic deeds are not motivated by selfish, morally ambiguous, or unethical reasons, and he is purely altruistic in his intentions, no matter what excuses he tries to make.
    3. Planet Popstar's destined rivals!” That's how King Dedede usually describes this special relationship, so he was crestfallen when he arrived in the new world and couldn't find Kirby.
      Destined Rivals figure description • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
      Ever since officially ending their grudge once and for all in Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King, he is seen to be on friendly terms with Kirby, happily joining him on many adventures and even saving each other's lives. Many official artwork and books set in the games' world also depict him as one of Kirby's closest friends, and as previously said above, most of the battles he has with Kirby out of his own volition are just challenges and competitions.
      Dedede warmly waves to Kirby.
      (Kirby and the Forgotten Land)
      • Dedede's relationship with Kirby is actually pretty similar to that of a big brother's. He may tease, compete, and be a little jealous of him from time to time, but at the end of the day, he cares for the kid and has a lot in common with him (such as their optimistic carefree and gluttonous personalities). When Kirby tumbles down the stairs in the good ending of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Dedede is concerned for his safety, in the title screen of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Dedede will try to amuse Kirby with a silly face, and according to a figurine description in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Dedede was crestfallen without Kirby when he first arrived in the New World. It's adorable, and even kind of confirmed from the words of the series director himself!
        • In Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King, Dedede gives Kirby a hammer in order to have a fair match as equals (much like Meta Knight usually does). According to various pause descriptions for the Hammer ability, Kirby has kept that same hammer since then and inherited it, and in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Dedede even gives Kirby an upgrade for the Hammer ability. The fact that Dedede trusts Kirby with his hand-me-downs is extremely wholesome.
        • Another small, yet cute, detail showing Dedede's fondness for the kid, is the fact that he often calls Kirby "youngster", like some sort of nickname. Examples of this include the Kirby's Adventure manual, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, and the Official Kirby JP Twitter Dedede Directories.
      • Dedede is often described as Kirby's "frenemy," but much like the idea of him being a villain or an anti-hero, this is untrue. A frenemy dynamic is one where both parties equally enjoy antagonizing each other (in some cases, to the point where one of them gets jealous over the other spending more time with someone else), and will only join forces when they both share a common goal. This doesn't apply to Kirby and Dedede, since Kirby isn't the type to hold grudges or take pleasure in picking fights with anyone, and Dedede doesn't actively try to torment him every chance he gets, respectfully challenging and competing with him instead, with the intention of proving himself superior rather than causing Kirby misfortune.
    4. Jeez, that was awful! I can’t believe they were just—wandering around!” King Dedede sneezed and continued harshly. “They can't do anything without their leader, Bandana! Annoying!”
      “Oh, I agree,” Meta Knight murmured. King Dedede shot him a dirty look, but Meta Knight kept his gaze down and continued. “The Waddle Dees are weak, small, and have no redeeming qualities. They’re very different from my fine subordinates. It’s rather pitiful for you, I’ll lend you my men, sometime.”
      “...What?” King Dedede replied back, then became stern. “Idiot! You don’t understand! They're way more than they seem.”
      “Hm. How?”
      “They’re hard workers, diligent, have skilled hands, and, because everyone is on good terms, they’re always smiling and their teamwork is incredible. I don’t tolerate insults against my subordinates!” Meta Knight laughed gently.
      “I thought you’d say that.”
      “You should’ve just said it from the beginning. The reality is that you really value your subordinates, no matter how much you’re a terrible sourpuss about it.
      King Dedede revealing his appreciation for his Waddle Dees to Meta Knight • Kirby Fighters: The Destined Rivals!! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)
      Dedede being glad to see Kirby and his Waddle Dees safe and sound.
      (Kirby and the Forgotten Land)
      Unlike the abusive dictator Kirby: Right Back at Ya! makes him out to be, Dedede doesn't rule through cruelty and oppression, but through sheer charisma. His Waddle Dees follow him purely out of respect and admiration and will continue to stay by his side even when given the opportunity to abandon him, which can be seen in Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King. In turn, Dedede also cares for his minions just as much as they care for him, as stern as he may seem towards them at times, earning their aforementioned respect and admiration. Long live the king!
      • Dedede has been seen peacefully playing chess and gazing at the sky with his Waddle Dees in the intros of Kirby: Planet Robobot and Kirby Star Allies, respectively, showing that he appreciates their company aside from their service.
      • You can't be mean to my Waddle Dees! Only I can be mean to my Waddle Dees!
        King DededeKirby's Epic Yarn
        Dedede has also been shown to be very protective of his Waddle Dees. In Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King, when Kirby is nearing the final battle, Dedede considers sending Bandana Waddle Dee to fight him, but instead chooses to spare him, and even apologizes for even considering the option, knowing that his loyal servant would likely get harmed. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Dedede volunteers to hold of the Beast Pack, allowing Kirby to escort his Waddle Dees to safety. This isn't just an act of selflessness, but also one of self-sacrifice (of course, he does make it out alive).
    5. ...You’re safe?” Meta Knight responded to King Dedede’s words in a state of slight dismay.
      “Don't you remember?”
      “After those evil masks shattered and the tower began to collapse, I...” Meta Knight said, then stopped. “No, that much is fine. Anyway, the battle is over.”
      “...The result is that we lost.”
      Meta Knight nodded quietly.
      “...............I'm sorry,” King Dedede murmured softly.
      “What are you apologizing for?” Meta Knight asked with uncertainty.
      “For... for giving you that mask...”
      “You saved me.”
      Meta Knight’s words surprised King Dedede. “What?”
      “Thanks to you, I was able to continue fighting without exposing my true face.”
      “But because of that, both you and I... ”
      “It was the power of the masks that caused us to lose control. How mortifying.” Meta Knight laughed gently. “You protected my secret.”
      “...It wasn’t for you!”
      “I'm thanking you, King Dedede.”
      King Dedede felt complicated feelings, embarrassment and irritation. Meta Knight extended a hand to him. The Great King stared at it, dumbfounded, before taking it with a huff.
      King Dedede and Meta Knight in the aftermath of their battle with Kirby and Bandana Waddle Dee • Kirby Fighters: The Destined Rivals!! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)
      Dedede accepting Meta Knight's hand.
      (Kirby Fighters 2)
      Other than Kirby and his Waddle Dees, Dedede also has an interesting relationship with Meta Knight. They've been implied to be old friends, and them being "Sworn Partners" in Kirby Fighters 2 heavily parallels Kirby and Bandana Waddle Dee's relationship, leading some fans to speculate that Dedede and Meta Knight were once the old heroes of Dream Land when they were young, before Kirby came along. Their bond is so great, that they're able to pull off team attacks that combine their abilities, and they are also willing to bear the burden of darkness together through the Masks of Dark Bonds. They both also have a lot in common, just comparing Revenge of Meta Knight to Revenge of the King, and the fact that they're both the most prominent rivals of Kirby, who have tried time and time again to best him with new tricks and gimmicks, but to no avail, and have also both been kidnapped and brainwashed by invading forces of Dream Land on several occasions (although admittedly, that last bit happens to Dedede far more than it does to Meta Knight). Notably, besides their collaboration in Kirby Fighters 2, Dedede and Meta Knight have had various interactions in outside media, such as mangas, novels, and artworks, which have led many fans to ship them. In fact, this ship is so popular in the Kirby fandom that is has been dubbed "Metadede".
    6. In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Dedede gets to be one of the main playable characters who willingly and happily joins Kirby on his adventure. Going back to comparisons with Bowser, every time the Koopa King teams up with Mario and friends, it's only out of desperation, usually because he's been usurped by the new villain on the block, and even after he's joined your party, Bowser will continue to remind you that he's a villain at the end of the day. This isn't the case with Dedede. The reason they went on their adventure is purely because they wanted to help Magolor repair his ship, and Dedede didn't hesitate to go along with it or even ask for anything in return, because helping those in need is just what a good king does.
      • In the game's novelization (yes those exist, more about them at #16), Dedede is the first one to jump into action when seeing the Lor Starcutter crash onto Dream Land, fearing that whoever's onboard is injured, even arguing against Meta Knight when he suspects that it may be a trap, because, for better or for worse, Dedede's moral compass is stronger than his reasoning.
    7. The best part about Dedede's growth into a selfless and heroic king is that he still keeps his relatable flaws that make him who he is, even after he's become a good guy. He's still a bit of a buffoon, he's still a bit greedy, he still enjoys being lazy, he's still a huge glutton, and he will always dream of surpassing Kirby one day, but that doesn't make him any less of a good person, it just makes it even greater when he manages to set all of that aside for the greater good. He's not perfect, but his heart is in the right place, and that's what makes him perfect.
    8. To reflect his growth, his title has been changed from "Self-Proclaimed King" to "Self-Made King,". This shift in title suggests that he has earned the title through his own heroic actions and is worthy of respect and admiration.
    9. He has a lot of cool and iconic boss battles across the series' history, each with their own creative twist that makes every fight feel fresh, accompanied with countless amazing remixes of his iconic theme, while also evolving and adding onto his old moves, showing that Dedede is an athletic, strong, and capable fighter, and as most of his battles happen when he's being controlled against his will by a dark force, they can also show just how much of a beast Dedede can be when he is pushed beyond his limits and stops holding back.
      • Of course, you cannot bring up Dedede boss battles without mentioning the fan favorite Masked Dedede from Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King. It's been covered above in the History of Dedede section, but TL;DR, it was and still is, Dedede's definitive last stand against Kirby as his destined rival, and the king's masked alter-ego would have several reappearances and variations after its debut, such as Masked Dedede's Revenge in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Waning Crescent Masked Dedede & Waxing Crescent Masked Meta Knight in Kirby Fighters 2, and Forgo Dedede in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, to name a few.
    10. Dedede is always extremely overpowered and fun to play as whenever he's a playable character. Not only is he basically a permanent version of Kirby's Hammer ability, which is already one of the strongest abilities in the game, but he also has unique moves of his own, like his Head Slide and Super Dedede Jump, with the latter being especially powerful and useful against bosses, making Dedede perfect for clearing difficult boss rushes like The Arena, The True Arena, and The Ultimate Choice.
    11. The Kirby series is known to have absolutely amazing soundtracks, and whenever Dedede's theme is remixed again, it's bound to be praised. There's been many variations of Dedede's theme, which is to be expected as his long history as a boss, and all of them are great for their own reasons. Some of the most popular are "Dedede's Royal Payback" from Kirby: Triple Deluxe, "History of Dedede" from Kirby Fighters Deluxe, "Dededestroyer Z" from Kirby Battle Royale, and "Roar of Dedede" from Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
      • In the Kirby 30th Anniversary Music Fest, 3 of Dedede's themes were remixed into the "King Dedede Medley". What makes it so special from the other songs of that event, is that it was performed specially by the HAL Laboratory Dream Band, with Shinya Kumazaki doing Dedede's roars in person.
    12. This has already been covered in the Macho of Dedede section, but it really is impressive how he's constantly able to rival Kirby's strength and abilities, and it's truly inspiring how Dedede has manages to keep up with Kirby through hard work and determination. Kirby is powerful, but knowing his carefree nature, he presumably never had to train or work hard for his strength, and it's more likely already had this impossible strength and unorthodox abilities to begin with as it is natural for his species, unlike Dedede, who did have to train and work hard in order to become a worthy opponent for him.
    13. He's more intelligent than most give him credit for. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl's story mode Subspace Emissary, he planned ahead to counter Tabuu by creating special badges that restore his fellow fighters even after everyone has been turned into trophies, and it actually worked. As previously mentioned, Dedede plays chess with his Waddle Dees. In the official steampunk alternate universe, Kirby's Dreamy Gear, Dedede is an engineer, and while non-canon, the fact that this is considered a fitting role for him may explain the many mechs he's used and operated over the years.
      • While on the topic of Subspace, there is a scene where Dedede chooses to give up his own badge for Princess Peach/Zelda, giving us another example of his selflessness.
    14. Although Dedede has had moments of playing the comic relief, jokes are never made at the expense of his size. Dedede is prideful and confident in who he is, including his fatness, and the ability to not feel ashamed of your physical appearance is something that many others can aspire for themselves.
    15. There is a tragic and sympathetic side to Dedede's character in how he constantly tries and fails to surpass Kirby, despite making a genuine effort and showing significant growth in skill and power, even to the point of being considered one of the strongest lifeforms on Planet Popstar. No matter how much he trains, or how strong he becomes, or what new skills, techniques, abilities, weapons, mechs, or forms, he uses, it's never enough. His losses really weigh on him, as seen in the credits of Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King and Kirby Fighters 2, and in the post-game of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Minion Waddle Dee mentions that Dedede was upset that Kirby was saving the Waddle Dees while he was being controlled like a puppet. This suggests that Dedede may feel a sense of failure for not being able to save them himself, and further emphasizes how it seems that Kirby can achieve anything and everything Dedede can't while being regarded as a hero, while Dedede is almost always forced into the role of the antagonist against his will by forces out of his control, no matter how much he's grown as a character. However, his determination to never give up no matter what and keep trying despite all that is very inspiring, and does prove to be fruitful, because while he might not be able to prove himself better than Kirby yet, he's still a better and stronger person than he was the last time he tried, and he's going to keep on doing so.
      At any rate, I'm sure King Dedede will keep on challenging Kirby in the future. They're eternal rivals, after all. He won't give in until he manages to beat him!
      Shinya KumazakiKirby: Triple Deluxe Miiverse, post of Sept 22, 2015
      • His will is even growing strong enough to fight back being manipulated by the true villains, even if by a little bit. For example: Before the battle against "Forgo Dedede" begins, he can be seen trying to remove the mask that's controlling him, and the fact that the villains saw it necessary to give him a mask to cloud his mind even further implies that he was trying to fight the control prior as well.
    16. Despite how poorly Kirby: Right Back at Ya! does at faithfully adapting his character (further explanation below), its portrayal of him is undeniably enjoyed by many who grew up watching that version of him, and still has some good, albeit few, moments of growth in episodes like "Prediction Predicament" and "D'Preciation Day". And while the anime version of Dedede fails as an adaptation of his character, he does stand on his own as an eccentric and entertaining heel.
      • Among his antics in the show, by far the fan favorite would be in "Cartoon Buffoon", where Dedede attempts to create his own show, where he is the hero and Kirby is the villain. Many frames and quotes from the episode have become widespread memes, and the episode has even been fully reanimated by fans online, and arguably, none of this would have happened if it weren't for Dedede carrying the episode.
    17. If you're looking for media outside of the games that represents his character faithfully, there are official Japan-only Kirby novels, which can all be read (fan-translated) here. While the early novels' characterization of Dedede may be more similar to his anime incarnation, as he intentionally goes out of his way to cause trouble for Kirby, and the anime's design of his castle is on the cover of the first novel, later entries become more in-line with the games, especially the one based on Kirby's Return to Dream Land, which can be read here, as that one in particular has Shinya Kumazaki, the current Kirby series director, heavily contributing to it, even having his commentary included. Dedede even gets his own story where he stars as the main character, which can be read here.
    18. Other than the light novels, here's a list of some more examples of good Dedede characterization in outside media:
      • There are many different Kirby manga series, such as Morestsu Pupupu Hour! and KiraKira★Pupupu World (both of which, and more, are available scanned and fan-translated here), that represent Dedede's character well, and are good reads if you want to see him get into wacky misadventures with his friends.
        • Notably, the Pupupu Hero manga actually seems to merge some elements from the games and the anime together (Kirby says "poyo", but only as a verbal tic, Castle Dedede's design is taken from the anime, Meta Knight works for Dedede, ect.), and that includes Dedede starting out no better than his anime counterpart, but unlike the anime, Dedede still develops and redeems himself like he does in the games, kind of like showing what could have been if Dedede's few moments of compassion in the show actually went anywhere.
      • Dedede is also seen hanging out with Kirby and friends in the It's Kirby Time is a series of picture books, such as in Kirby's Tiny World and Kirby's Birthday.
      • These adorable official illustrations from the Official Japanese Kirby Twitter show Dedede secretly delivering gifts to Kirby (and presumably all the other the good boys and girls of Dream Land as well) on Christmas. There are more examples of the King's caring nature in these official illustrations, such as him protecting Lovely from the rain with a parasol, and him helping his friends make sweet treats, not for himself, but for others, in preparations for White Day.
      • The JP Kirby Twitter also has "Dedede Directories", where Dedede talks about various characters from different Kirby games over the years in chronological order. When talking about Ribbon, he fondly reminisces about the time he spent with his friends in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
      • Even in as early as 1995, way before Kirby's Return to Dream Land cemented Dedede's alignment as a hero, Dedede was revealed to be a good person in the end of the Mario Kirby Masterpiece Video.
    19. Since its release in 1992, Kirby has starred in over 10 platformer games, but there are over 20 titles in total if you include every game in the Kirby series!
      I wonder what everyone's favorite is. For me, it's difficult to choose one particular title, but if I really had to, I'd say...the original Kirby's Adventure! It makes me smile how King Dedede rises above his usual show-off, bad self and expresses his courage in one scene, just like in the new game.

      Shinya KumazakiKirby: Triple Deluxe Miiverse, post of Jul 31, 2014
      Shinya Kumazaki, the current series director and one responsible for its hidden stories and extended lore, has said many times that Kirby's Adventure is his favorite game in the series and helped change his perception of videogame storytelling (source). The reveal of Dedede actually having heroic intentions stuck with him and led to him becoming his favorite character. Kumazaki would go on to direct Kirby's Return to Dream Land, which would redefine the series in many ways going forward, and if it weren't for Dedede, the Kirby series would've likely fell into obscurity after Sakurai left, and while Sakurai left the series, it doesn't mean he does not like the direction the modern games are going, in fact, he is quite supportive!
    20. As he rarely ever gets dialogue in the games, Dedede conveys his personality through his mannerisms, and he is the most animated character in the series, with many charming in-game animations and quirky and comical expressions that make him such a lovable and endearing character. Several examples of his animations can be seen here.
    21. While his voice in the anime provided by Kenichi Otaga and Ted Lewis are definitely iconic, with the latter especially being the majority of the internet's favorite, his grunts and roars in the games, provided by Shinya Kumazaki, are great and fit his character by being making him sound like a goofy and adorable friend with a low voice, but also being able to convey his character through his roars in his boss battles. Dedede isn't a monster like Bowser, so it's less of an actual roar and more of a war cry. Dedede is prideful and wants people to be intimidated by his presence, but instead of sounding like a beast, he just sounds like some guy going "WRAHHH!!!" It's cute.
    22. If there's anything to take away from all of the points listed above, it's that King Dedede is an incredibly versatile and flexible character. He is both silly and comedic, and cool and inspiring at the same time. He has in-depth personality and is capable of evoking genuinely emotional moments, while also being able to get into light-hearted shenanigans without it feeling out-of-character or being "dumbed down", because that's just who Dedede is, and that makes him such an appealing character to so many people. It's no wonder he became such an iconic and beloved fan favorite character and one of the leading main characters of the series!

    Bad Qualities

    1. In the anime adaptation, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Dedede was portrayed as a cruel, sadistic, and abusive dictator who sees the suffering of others as the most amusing thing there is. Not only that, but he doesn't fight or compete directly at all, instead relying on monsters to "clobber that there Kirby", said monsters being provided by Nightmare Enterprises, a company owned by the entity Dedede literally tried to heroically stop in Kirby's Adventure. He's nothing but a big fat pathetic joke villain for the kids watching to point and laugh at whenever he's made a fool of, and as cartoons are far more easily accessible than video games (at least during the time the show was on air), this is the version of Dedede that is more commonly remembered, meaning that the anime's depiction of him is largely to blame for the character's undeserved reputation as a "villain". Nowhere is this fact made more apparent than the countless and extremely widespread memes of him.
      • While he might have been more caring in "Prediction Predicament" and "D'Preciation Day", he instantly regresses back into being a tyrant in the next episode to keep in line with the status quo. Him seeming redeemable in 2 episodes out of 100 doesn't come close to the growth he's gone through in the games, and is just wasted potential in comparison. Even in the final moments of the last episode in the series, he still whines about not being able to order monsters and cause mayhem anymore, showing that he hasn't learned a thing.
      • It should be clarified that while it's not wrong for people to prefer the anime's hammier villainous depiction of Dedede over his more heroic canonical counterpart, it cannot be denied that it's still far from the definitive portrayal of the character many people make him out to be. "Anime!Dedede" can be enjoyed on his own as a separate character from an "alternate universe", but it objectively fails as a faithful adaptation of the character, and conflating him with the game's canon heavily undermines the growth he's undergone in the games.
    2. His characterization was also done poorly in Kirby Battle Royale: he was hellbent on humiliating Kirby and rigged the entire tournament against him, instead of trying to succeed over him fair and square, like in Revenge of the King.
    3. The trope of him getting possessed for the sake of a boss fight has been done to death, and prevents him from being a playable character. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby: Star Allies, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land handle this trope really well by giving him heroic moments after he's freed, but him being controlled is starting to get old. Hopefully in the future, his character will develop further to the point of being able to resist being possessed, allowing him to adventure with Kirby more like he did in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
    4. Out of every character in the franchise, Dedede has had the most inconsistent design. While the variety can be nice, it's a bit strange when put next to Kirby and the rest of his friends, who've undergone far more minimal changes in design in comparison. Also, much like Sonic the Hedgehog, this causes people to argue over which design is the best.


    • King Dedede is currently voiced by Shinya Kumazaki, the current series director for Kirby, and in the Super Smash Bros series, King Dedede is voiced by Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of both the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series.
    • He or his likeness has appeared in every game in the series except Kirby & The Amazing Mirror. As such, he is the most recurring major character of the series besides Kirby and Waddle Dee.
    • While not confirmed, considering that Kirby himself was originally meant to be a placeholder, and that Dedede shares his ability to inhale and hover, it's possible that Dedede was originally intended to be the main protagonist of Kirby's Dream Land, but was repurposed into being the final boss when HAL chose to stick with the placeholder. More things support this theory, such as the fact that Dedede's cute, colorful, and rounded design and signature ✌️-sign is something you'd usually see from a platformer mascot rather than the main antagonist, that Kirby was originally going to be named "Popopo", which is similar to "Dedede", and that Dedede redeems himself so early into the series in Kirby's Adventure, likely because he was never intended to be the villain to begin with.
    • In a Miiverse post for a Kirby: Planet Robobot fanart challenge, Shinya Kumazaki has implied that Dedede has hair under his crown, and maybe we'll even get to see it for ourselves someday... someday.
    • Considering that Queen Sectonia has been surviving off of different hosts for at least 1000 years, only began to do so after she was corrupted by the Dimension Mirror, which must've been stolen after the events of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (as Dark Meta Knight's boss battle being titled "Dark Meta Knight's Revenge" means that this takes place after his first defeat), this implies that King Dedede, as well as Kirby, Meta Knight, and almost every other character in the series should be at least around 1000 years old, and therefore must be immortal.
    • Whenever Dedede isn't himself, he gives up his hammer for another weapon. As this is something he rarely does out of his own volition, it's a clever detail signaling that he's under someone else's control.
      • Masked Dedede's Revenge in Kirby: Triple Deluxe wields an axe.
      • The Dedede Clones in Kirby: Planet Robobot use a Tri-Dimensional Cannon.
      • Macho Dedede in Kirby Star Allies doesn't use a weapon at all.
      • In Dedede's first battle in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, he swings around a giant pillar.
    • In the games, there is plenty of wordplay involving Dedede's name.
      • Kirby: Triple Deluxe's title can be interpreted as 3D, and it also released on the 3DS. Dedede is heavily involved in the game's plot and has two entire Sub-Games dedicated entirely to himself. The Kirby: Triple Deluxe subgame Dedede's Drum Dash involves the king himself. Acronymized, it spells DDD. The Sub-Game, Dededetour, is a portmanteau of Dedede and detour.
      • In Kirby: Planet Robobot, Susie's Dedede Clone uses a Tri-Dimensional Cannon, 'Tri-Dimensional' also being another play on "3D" and "Dedede".
    • There are two main naming patterns for remixes of King Dedede's theme in recent games:
    • The Kirby Horoscope Collection line of merchandise has Dedede associated with Taurus, implying that he is one.


    Official Illustrations

    Screenshots and Scans


    Dedede Directories


    See Also

    Related Characters


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