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    King Dedede
    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)
    Kirby
    (franchise)


    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 DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (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 antagonist driven by his own selfish desires, 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 considered one of the strongest-life forms on Planet Popstar and 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

    Celebration Picture by Toshinao Aoki titled "The First Rival" from 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.

    Celebration Picture by H.M. (HAL Laboratory, Inc.) titled "Chasing Our Dreams" from Kirby Star Allies

    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.

    My name is King Dedede the Great! I was being controlled by some black thing, but getting beat up by that darn Kirby is so frustrating! Collecting crystals? I really don't wanna do that, but I'd be worried if those guys went on their own. Guess I got no choice, I'll help out, too!
    King Dedede's character bio (translated by Kaialone) • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Japanese website

    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)

    Celebration Picture by lack titled "Super Ultra Battle!" from Kirby Star Allies

    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.

    Celebration Picture by T.K. (HAL Laboratory, Inc.) titled "Friends' Getaway" from Kirby Star Allies

    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, who will fight alongside his friends to protect it no matter what, and until the rest of the world is able to recognize that and see him for the Great King he truly is, 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 DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (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 Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's codec call easter egg, Roy Campbell 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 akin to 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 Leongar felt the need to further cloud his mind, implies that Dedede was able to resist his brainwashing to some extent. 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. In fact, according to Shinya Kumazaki in an interview, Dedede has actually spent several months in the New World before Kirby arrived (likely due to the New World and Planet Popstar operating on different time-scales). Since it was said in the Destined Rivals' figurine description that Dedede felt lonely and crestfallen in the New World without his Waddle Dees and Kirby, it's not possible that he was brainwashed shortly after arriving, but instead only happened after months of being worn down by surviving on his own in a strange new world unfamiliar to him with no idea where his friends are, so while he may still have wound up controlled, the fact that he lasted as long as he did is very impressive.

    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 DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    1. A common misconception among 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 becomes 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 pseudo-remake/retelling of the first game that might not even be canon since they're usually spin-offs like Kirby's Blowout Blast.
      • 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 makes to poorly disguise the fact that he really does care.
    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

      They fight with each other, and although not always conventionally, they are basically good friends.
      Shinya Kumazaki about King Dedede and Kirby's relationship • Nintendo Dream interview (translated by Klu with scans provided by FalcoLau)

      Dedede warmly waves to Kirby.
      (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. And their friendly rivalry is a mutual one, as Kirby is always quick to accept Dedede's challenges without hesitation, and is also sometimes shown to playfully tease the King back in media outside the games.

      He and Dedede were having a wonderful time playing make-believe. They took turns swapping different masks and rolling on the floor with laughter at each other’s impressions.
      “'I’m Great King Dedede! And I’m the biggest EATER in Dream Land… when I’m not lazing around!’”
      “Hey, that’s rude! Let’s see how you like it then! 'I’m widdle bitty Kirby. And I’m so saaad because I can never beat King Dedede in anything!’”
      “Ah! How mean! I don’t sound like that at all!”
      King Dedede and Kirby teasing each other • Kirby: Come On Over to Merry Magoland! (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

      They are the only people to each other they genuinely see as rivals, not only because they've had the longest history with each other, but also because they're very similar people at their core. Both are optimistic and carefree gluttons who enjoy spending most of their days eating and napping, and will fight to uphold that peaceful lifestyle when it is threatened by an outside force. Both are incredibly powerful, but can also be rash and impulsive in their decisions at times. And finally, they're both able to attract a lot of people that genuinely admire them through their charisma (with Bandana Waddle Dee seeming a bit torn between the two). They are able to understand each other better than anyone else, and that's what makes their "destined rivalry" so special.
      • Kirby... I'll leave the rest... to you...
        King DededeKirby: Moretsu Pupupu Hour, "Invasion of the Shadow Army" (translated by Kirby Manga Translated)

        Dedede respects Kirby's strength and capabilities as a rival and treats him as an equal. Given he and Kirby have had the longest history with each other in the series, Dedede understands better than anyone else that Kirby can always be relied on to save the day. His knowing grin when Kirby goes Hypernova in the final battle against Flowered Sectonia in Kirby: Triple Deluxe says it all.
      • Listen, listen! I made a great discovery! If you have orange juice in your right hand and apple juice in your left hand and drink them both at the same time, it’s really delicious~!”
        “Haha, nice, Kirby. I’ve known that for a long time now. My latest big discovery was a fish cake on a rice cake and…”
        “…Hey!” Sword Knight called out to them with a loud voice. “Come on, snack time is over.”
        “Eh?”
        “No more! You guys keep eating all the time!”
        King Dedede replied, stroking his round tummy. “It’s not just eating. We’re preparing for a fight. If you’re hungry, fighting isn’t going to happen.”
        Kirby also spoke with a serious look. “Snacks give me strength! Snacks are my most important companion. I was deepening the bond with my companion!
        King Dedede bonding with Kirby over their shared love of food • Kirby: Meta Knight and the Knight of Yomi (translated by The Ultimate Ultimate Weapon)

        I'm stuffed! I don't think I can eat another bite!”
        “You're not thinking, Kirby! I'm stuffed too, but you gotta remember the hotel's got an all-you-can-eat snack-bar too! So I'm gonna cram in some more!”
        “I just remembered! Okay, I'm gonna run alllll the way to the hotel to empty out my stomach some!”
        “That's the spirit! I'll race ya, Kirby!
        King Dedede and Kirby bonding over their shared love of food • Kirby: Come On Over to Merry Magoland! (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

        Dedede acting silly for his friends.
        (Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe)
        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 Kirby's Return to Dream Land and its remake's title screen, Dedede will try to amuse Kirby with a silly face, in Kirby's Dream Collection's intro animation, Dedede launches Kirby by hitting him with his hammer, not as an attack, but because Kirby himself eagerly asked him to, like a Bros. Attack you'd see in the Mario & Luigi series, 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. His brother-like relationship with Kirby is adorable, and even kind of confirmed from the words of the series director himself! (He was specifically talking about Dedede in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but since Dedede has grown even softer around Kirby and friends since then, it still applies.)
        • 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. What's even more wholesome, is the fact that, in the original Japanese text even predating Revenge of the King, it is said that Dedede is the one who taught Kirby how to use the Hammer ability in the first place! This is further supported by Dedede and Hammer Kirby sharing a lot of the same moves in the games. This is also likely one of the reasons why Dedede takes great pride in his "destined rivalry" with Kirby, even though he always loses to him.
        • 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 out of pettiness or spite.
    4. 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!
      King Dedede about his Waddle Dees • Kirby Fighters: The Destined Rivals!! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

      The greatest part of the Great King, Ali thought.
      Was the part where he valued his subordinates.
      King Dedede was typically overbearing and tough on his subordinates, but he knew from the bottom of his heart that Bandana Waddle Dee was very important to him. That’s why Bandana Waddle Dee, no matter what selfish orders were imposed, really respected King Dedede.
      Ali thought of all of his subordinates around. He had thought they were just nagging, unpleasant adults. They got on his nerves and weren’t important to him at all.
      But, the subordinates didn’t value Ali little. The ladies of the court would yell at Ali when they were worried about his health. The diligently working officials lashed out. The prime minister targeted such weaknesses of the heart.
      The same mistake wouldn’t be made again. From now on, he would confide in his subordinates and join forces with Holi to cherish everyone’s words and actions.
      Just like King Dedede.

      Kirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (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 and takes great pride in them, as stern as he may seem towards them at times, earning their aforementioned respect and admiration.
      • 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

        As a Great King, you think I can let my subordinates feel scared!?
        King DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

        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?”
      “What?”
      “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.”
      “Hmph!”
      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.
      “...Hmph.
      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. Meta Knight was one of Dedede's friends who he entrusted a piece of the Star Rod to in Kirby's Adventure, 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. In many ways, they are opposite to each other. King Dedede wants to come across as tough and aloof the way Meta Knight does, but it's so obvious just how much he cares about others, like in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Meta Knight on the other hand, also cares deeply about those close to him, like his crew, but due to a lack of emotional communication skills, can come across as uncaring at times, contrasted with the more emotional Dedede. This can be seen when comparing dialogue in Revenge of Meta Knight to Revenge of the King. Throughout Revenge of Meta Knight, Meta Knight keeps a cool and level head while leading his crew as Kirby storms the Halberd, while in Revenge of the King, Dedede gets more and more panicked as Kirby advances, with Bandana Waddle Dee having to calm him down. But in Revenge of Meta Knight, when his ship and his ambitions are crashing and burning, Meta Knight wants his crew to leave so he can face Kirby and his shame alone. Meanwhile, his crew sees this failure as a collective one rather than solely Meta Knight's, and propose to try to defeat Kirby one more time as a team. Meta Knight, emotionally overwhelmed, unintentionally responds coldly, which he immediately regrets, but only apologizes internally.

      Meta Knight: “So... Now it's time for the rest of you to escape as well.”
      Axe Knight: “I will stay until the bitter end.”
      Mace Knight: “We should finish off Kirby then all escape together!”
      Meta Knight: “... ... ... ... ...You are all about to perish. Do as you please.” (...I'm sorry.)
      Meta Knight to his Meta-Knights • Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of Meta Knight

      Despite the way he responded, his crew does exactly that and fights Kirby anyway out of pure dedication to their leader. On the other hand, in Revenge of the King, as Kirby nears the final confrontation with Dedede after defeating all of his best minions, Dedede, desperate to buy some time, briefly considers sending out Bandana Waddle Dee to face Kirby, but instead chooses to spare him from this encounter, recognizing that Kirby is ultimately his own responsibility.

      Bandana Waddle Dee: “Great King! Kirby made it here! W-what do we do?!”
      King Dedede: (... We're done for... Only one option...) “...O-OK then, I guess it's your turn.”
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “B-but, Great King, I can't do it alone!”
      King Dedede: “...Fine, you can go. You've been spared.”
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “Don't go, King!”
      King Dedede: (...I'm sorry.)
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “Great King!”
      King Dedede sparing Bandana Waddle Dee from fighting Kirby • Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King

      But it is because of Dedede's compassion that Bandana Dee is inspired to fight Kirby and give it his best anyways, despite his lack of any fighting skills whatsoever (during the time) and initially not wanting to fight out of fear, unlike the Meta-Knights, who were already willing to die for their leader even without his explicit instruction. They both have strengths that the other would love to have, which is part of why they respect each other.
    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. It's not Dedede's ship, it's not Dedede's problem, and he's never met Magolor before in his life, but 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.
      • What about the crew? Are they alright?”
        Everyone returned their gazes to the ship. The craft had resembled a sail boat, but it was a wreck now, having lost most of its parts. Without its mast and wings, it resembled a stationary building more than any form of transportation.
        “Either way, we need to get in there and save them. There’s no way they came away from that without serious injuries. They’ll need treatment…”
        King Dedede was already moving toward the ship. Curiously, a door opened and a short ramp touched down just then, all without the slightest noise; it was as if the ship had understood what the king said and responded to him.
        Inside, they saw the interior was flooded with bright lights.
        “Look, it’s open!” said King Dedede, who was about to start up the ramp without a sliver of hesitation or doubt. Meta Knight stopped him.
        “Wait. This could be a trap. We should investigate carefully before going inside.”
        “What? We can’t waste time with that, we might already be too late!”
        “And what about the dangers of getting too close to that thing? Think about it. The way this ship appeared was too unnatural. And look at how the door opened just now. It’s like its trying to lure us inside.”
        “So what?! That’s no reason to leave any injured in there to their fate!
        King Dedede arguing with Meta Knight over whether or not to investigate the fallen Lor Starcutter • Kirby: Lor Starcutter and a Magician of Falsehood (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

        In the game's novelization, 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. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Those who are kings have gotta show their face to everyone with confidence, like me!
      King DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

      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.
    12. His Majesty is acting cool and aloof, like he always does, but... He's actually pretty upset that you were saving us while he was, uh, being controlled like a puppet. You should probably give him some space for a while. Sorryyy...
      ― Minion Waddle Dee about King DededeKirby and the Forgotten Land

      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. For example: According to Shinya Kumazaki in an interview, Dedede has actually spent several months in the New World before Kirby arrived (likely due to the New World and Planet Popstar operating on different time-scales). Since it was said in the Destined Rivals' figurine description that Dedede felt lonely and crestfallen in the New World without his Waddle Dees and Kirby, it's not possible that he was brainwashed shortly after arriving, but instead only happened after months of being worn down by surviving on his own in a strange new world unfamiliar to him with no idea where his friends are, so while he may still have wound up controlled, the fact that he lasted as long as he did is very impressive. And even after he succumbed, a part of him inside is still fighting it, like before the battle against "Forgo Dedede" begins, he can be seen trying to remove the mask that's controlling him, and according to Phantom Forgo Dedede's figurine description, the mask was given to the already-controlled Dedede to cloud his mind even further. The fact that Leongar saw it necessary implies that Dedede was trying to fight the control prior as well.
    13. 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 unexpectedly acting nice 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.
      • Most of the credit for Anime!Dedede's fame goes to the boisterous voicing from Ted Lewis' fun and campy line delivery in the 4Kids dub, with his sassy mannerisms, overreactive fits of anger, shameless egotism, and iconic contagious wheezing laughter, and Kenichi Ogata's voice also being iconic for Japanese fans, ZOI!
      • 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 portrayed as the hero and Kirby is portrayed as 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.
        • There is a story in the Hoshi no Kirby: Kyou mo Manmaru Nikki! manga series "King Dedede: Star of a Hit Manga?", that is very similar to "Cartoon Buffoon", where Dedede and his friends attempt to create a manga where he is the star.
    14. There are official Japan-only Kirby novels, which can all be read (fan-translated) here. While Dedede is still often portrayed as a rude and arrogant brute, it's still certainty a step up from his anime portrayal, as his soft side for Kirby is more consistent and he actually gets to go and fight alongside Kirby as an ally on his adventures. Most of the quotes on this page that serve as good examples of Dedede's personality and dynamics with other characters come from these novels. Dedede even gets his own story where he stars as the main character, which can be read here.
    15. If you're looking for media outside of the games that characterize Dedede well, here are a few recommendations:
      • 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.
        • The Manpuku Pupupu Fantasy manga series' version of Dedede is a big departure from the games, but doesn't portray him as a villain. Instead, here he seems to be just as young as Kirby and his friendship with Kirby is more straightforward.
      • 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.
    16. King Dedede in particular is a character that was very influenced by the worldview. — Of all the main characters, King Dedede changed the most! It is King Dedede’s destiny, since he is a character with more details than Kirby, so each time he is designed, we make adjustments to him to bring out the worldview of that particular work.
      Shinya Kumazaki about King Dedede's redesign in Kirby and the Forgotten LandNintendo Dream interview (translated by Gigi)

      King Dedede’s form changes every time in order to highlight the individuality of each work. For example, “Triple Deluxe” featured many scenes in which King Dedede was active, both as a playable character and as an enemy. Therefore, he has a bit of a stylish look. On the other hand, in “Star Allies”, he appears as a Dream Friend, so he has a slightly more comical and goofy position than the other characters. The design emphasizes King Dedede’s inherent uniqueness in a comical way. For “Forgotten Land”, we sought a new form for King Dedede while keeping it in line with the image of the Beast Pack.
      Shinya Kumazaki about King Dedede's various redesigns • Nintendo Dream interview (translated by Gigi)

      King Dedede has had the most redesigns out of any character in the Kirby series, and all of them have their unique quirks that give the character a lot of variety, ranging from gentle giant to lovable scrunkly. For example, while he is most known for his design in the Super Smash Bros. series for his comical expressions, his 64 and 3DS designs make him appear cool and stoic, and his design in Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe make him appear cuddlier and friendlier to better represent the fact that he is not the villain many people believe him to be.
    17. 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. But this isn't to say his entire personality is being loud, goofy, and over-the-top, in fact, part of what makes his extreme reactions work is that they juxtapose how relaxed he usually he is. Outside of his countless flashy competitions with Kirby, Dedede also enjoys calm activities, like having tea, playing chess, and, of course, napping.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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

      I have been playing video games in general since I was a child, and of course I played the first Kirby game Kirby’s Dream Land, but at the time I had the impression that it was a game for a much younger generation. But it was “Kirby’s Adventure” on the NES that overturned that. When the true boss appeared at the end of the game, and there was the twist that “King Dedede actually had no bad intentions”, and I saw the expression in the ending “You can now sleep in peace”, I thought, “I’ve been had!” I’m sorry I thought it was for children (laughs). With such memories in mind, I consider the climax of “Kirby” games, which I now create, to be very important. The introduction of the game starts off light, but we want to make it deep enough so that those who are absorbed in the game and play it thoroughly will not feel unsatisfactory. Perhaps some of the expressions that appear in the climax of the game may be a little difficult for young children, but I am sure that children who play the game and stick through will grow up by playing it. And then they will feel like they are overstretching themselves thinking “I’m sort of a grown-up!”, and after some time passes, and they’ve actually grown up, they will look at it again and get impressed and think, “So that’s what that was all about!” Kirby games are designed to be relatively easy to complete, so it’s likely that one of them will be the first game they will ever complete in their lives, and we hope that it will remain in their hearts for a lifetime.
      Shinya KumazakiKirby 25th Anniversary Orchestra interview (translated by Gigi)

      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. 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, as he is still on good terms with the people of HAL Laboratory (including Kumazaki), and has shown his support for the release of new games, showing that he knows that the series he created is in good hands.
    23. 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's an absolute weakling who doesn't fight or compete with Kirby 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. And the unflattering qualities don't end there, in the anime, Dedede is completely incompetent, to the point of being unable to read ("A Novel Approach"), solve 1 + 1 ("eNeMeE Elementary"), and literally being brainless (this is not hyperbole. In the episode "Teacher's Threat", it is shown through an x-ray that this version of Dedede literally has no brain), unlike in the games, where he is shown to play chess in his pastime, operate mechs he presumably made himself, and come up with plans to foil Nightmare and Tabuu, being actually successful in the latter. 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.
        • Because these versions of Kirby and Dedede can't compete with each other on equal footing, their mutual "destined rivalry" isn't present in the show, with Dedede being in a one-sided arch-enemy relationship instead.
        • While he might have been more caring in "Prediction Predicament" and "D'Preciation Day", he instantly regresses into being a tyrant in the next episode to keep in line with the status quo. His acts of seeming redeemable in 2 episodes out of 100 don'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.
        • Even when looking at Anime Dedede in a vacuum, making no comparisons to the games, he's still pretty flawed. As previously mentioned, in the show, Dedede is characterized as a foolish tyrant who enjoys tormenting others, but in "Prediction Predicament", he seems genuinely oblivious to the fact that he and the things he does are bad, implying that his actions are driven by childish impulse and not intentional malice, despite there being countless episodes in the show showing otherwise. So he's not exactly a humorously black-hearted heel who revels in his villainy like Jack Horner from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, but he isn't exactly a lovable "pathetic villain" who eventually redeems himself like Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb either, thus making him a clownish villain in the long run.
        • It must be clarified that while it's not wrong for people to prefer the anime's hammier villainous depiction of Dedede over his more heroic 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 continuity, 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.
      • 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. Unlike Anime Dedede, this take on Dedede lacks any form of charm and likability to back it up, which is inexcusable because Dedede as a character, is meant to be entertaining and enjoyable.
      • While Dedede's characterization in the novels was praised earlier, it's not flawless. The early novels' characterization of Dedede shares many of the same flaws as 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 even on the cover of the first novel. Although later entries had become more in line with the games, he still acted too much of a foolish jerk, to the point where it seems his friends only put up with him begrudgingly, and he doesn't get enough moments of kindness to justify being part of the team. Dedede may be egotistical, competitive, and occasionally rude when he loses his temper, but he isn't the type to casually insult others all the time, and he also isn't some idiot who isn't capable of ever making a good decision either.
    2. The trope of him getting possessed for the sake of a boss fight has become a bit too stale and predictable, and it 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 well by giving him heroic moments after he's freed, but being controlled to be evil was 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.

    Trivia

    • This is the longest page on this wiki, as well as the longest page for any character in general.
    • 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.
      • While on the subject of Dedede's voices, his voice in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, by Ted Lewis, is a parody of 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush's voice.
    • 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.
    • Although he is mostly known and referred to as a penguin, earlier in the series' history, Dedede's "beak" more closely resembled a duck's bill, and he has also once been referred to as an eagle in the 134th volume of Nintendo Power. As many descriptions of Kirby's animal friends hint at them not truly being the species they appear to be (ex: "Along the way, meet Rick, Kine, and Coo, who look like a hamster, a fish, and an owl, respectively." from Nintendo Switch Online's description of Kirby's Dream Land 2), it's likely the same applies to Dedede. After all, Planet Popstar is an alien planet.
    • 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.
    • Concept art for a cancelled Kirby game originally planned for the GameCube shows what is likely a prototype of his Masked Dedede Hammer.
    • 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:
    • King Dedede was the "Osaka Station Master", the icon for the Osaka fair of Japan's Kirby Pupupu Train merchandise event during June 15-25, 2018. Additionally, various promotional artwork and merchandise for Kirby Pupupu Train, show that Dedede has starred in his own movie in-universe, and unlike his anime counterpart's failed attempt at a cartoon pilot, "Dedede: The Movie" is the "No. 1 Movie!!!" in Dream Land.
    • The Kirby Horoscope Collection line of merchandise has Dedede associated with Taurus, implying that he is one.
    • King Dedede was popular enough to participate in both the SiIvaGunner: King for a Day Tournament and the SiIvaGunner: King for Another Day Tournament, placing 4th and 17th in both tournaments respectively. Dedede was also featured as a combatant in the popular, yet controversial, web-series, DEATH BATTLE!, where he faced off against Wario from the Mario series and won.
    • Though not to the degree of characters like the Onceler or Sans Undertale, King Dedede can be considered a "fandom sexyman" (hubba hubba).

    Quotes

    • My name is King Dedede the Great! I was being controlled by some black thing, but getting beat up by that darn Kirby is so frustrating! Collecting crystals? I really don’t wanna do that, but I’d be worried if those guys went on their own. Guess I got no choice, I’ll help out, too!
      King Dedede's character bio (translated by Kaialone) • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Japanese website

    • (It's time for my secret weapon...)
      Now you pay, Kirby!
      You made it here... Now, arm yourself!
      Our grudge will be settled at last...
      Meet my powerful secret weapon...
      The brand-new Dedede Hammer!
      King Dedede before battling Kirby as Masked Dedede • Kirby Super Star's Revenge of the King

    • 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

    • You’re a real rotten guy, you know that?” King Dedede said with a moody face. “You monster, while pretending to be Meta Knight, you rampaged through Dream Land. You should have left us alone. As Dream Land’s ruler, I’m going to make you pay, be prepared…
      King Dedede confronting a villainous impostor of Meta Knight • Kirby: Meta Knight and the Knight of Yomi (translated by The Ultimate Ultimate Weapon)

    • 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 DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

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

    • Those who are kings have gotta show their face to everyone with confidence, like me!
      King DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • As a Great King, you think I can let my subordinates feel scared!?
      King DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • Bandana Waddle Dee: “Great King! Kirby made it here! W-what do we do?!”
      King Dedede: (... We're done for... Only one option...) “...O-OK then, I guess it's your turn.”
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “B-but, Great King, I can't do it alone!”
      King Dedede: “...Fine, you can go. You've been spared.”
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “Don't go, King!”
      King Dedede: (...I'm sorry.)
      Bandana Waddle Dee: “Great King!”
      King Dedede sparing Bandana Waddle Dee from fighting Kirby • Kirby Super Star Ultra's Revenge of the King

    • Listen, listen! I made a great discovery! If you have orange juice in your right hand and apple juice in your left hand and drink them both at the same time, it’s really delicious~!”
      “Haha, nice, Kirby. I’ve known that for a long time now. My latest big discovery was a fish cake on a rice cake and…”
      “…Hey!” Sword Knight called out to them with a loud voice. “Come on, snack time is over.”
      “Eh?”
      “No more! You guys keep eating all the time!”
      King Dedede replied, stroking his round tummy. “It’s not just eating. We’re preparing for a fight. If you’re hungry, fighting isn’t going to happen.”
      Kirby also spoke with a serious look. “Snacks give me strength! Snacks are my most important companion. I was deepening the bond with my companion!
      King Dedede bonding with Kirby over their shared love of food • Kirby: Meta Knight and the Knight of Yomi (translated by The Ultimate Ultimate Weapon)

    • 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.”
      “...What?”
      “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)

    • What’s the hold up, Meta Knight!” King Dedede shouted. “Why don’tcha leave it to the King!” King Dedede raised his hammer and jumped at Kirby. Bandana Waddle Dee landed in front of him.
      “Your opponent is me, Great King!”
      “You lil’ pest. Get outta here, Waddle Dee!”
      “Eeeeeeeei!” Bandana Waddle Dee didn’t flinch. He thrust his spear out with all his might.
      “Gwuaagh!? Why you little … WADDLE DEE!” A smile came to King Dedede’s face as he adjusted his grip on his hammer. “You’ve gotten so strong, before I knew it!
      King Dedede expressing pride towards how far Bandana Waddle Dee has come • Kirby Fighters: The Destined Rivals!! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • ...You’re safe?” Meta Knight responded to King Dedede’s words in a state of slight dismay.
      “Don't you remember?”
      “What?”
      “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.”
      “Hmph!”
      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.
      “...Hmph.
      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)

    • “Even if it’s tough, we’ve gotta try!” King Dedede stepped forward with a thump. Everyone took a breath, overwhelmed by his sheer determination. “The people of Minore have been waiting for this festival! There are tons of travelers who came from other stars, just like us! Are we gonna let all their anticipation be for nothing!? I will recover the stolen food, absolutely, without a doubt! And then, I’ll make sure the square gets their hell of a feast!”
      “Great King …!” Bandana Waddle Dee was deeply moved. His eyes filled with tears.
      The king breathed in roughly and continued, “THAT OVERSIZED SPICY DELUXE STEAK IS MINE! THERE’S NO WAY I’M GOING BACK TO DREAM LAND UNTIL I HAVE IT—!”
      “… Great King …” Bandana Waddle Dee’s tears slunk back into his eyes. Meta Knight turned away in dismay and Ali bit back his laughter. The only one who raised his voice, as if he was impressed, was Kirby.
      “As expected, King Dedede! No matter how hard things get, we can’t forget about what’s important—the feast! You’ve got my re–spect!” Kirby lept at him. King Dedede swung Kirby around and laughed proudly. “Well yeah! Who do you think I am!? Once a Great King becomes a great person, he’s gotta commit to the act and stay with it ‘till the very end!”
      “Me too! I want to commit to it ‘till the very end too! Let’s feast with everyone until our stomachs burst! Hohh—!”
      “Hohh—!” the two voiced together.
      “Good grief. When it comes to food, you two are like good friends …” Meta Knight said.
      King Dedede and Kirby bonding over their shared love of food • Kirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • What about the crew? Are they alright?”
      Everyone returned their gazes to the ship. The craft had resembled a sail boat, but it was a wreck now, having lost most of its parts. Without its mast and wings, it resembled a stationary building more than any form of transportation.
      “Either way, we need to get in there and save them. There’s no way they came away from that without serious injuries. They’ll need treatment…”
      King Dedede was already moving toward the ship. Curiously, a door opened and a short ramp touched down just then, all without the slightest noise; it was as if the ship had understood what the king said and responded to him.
      Inside, they saw the interior was flooded with bright lights.
      “Look, it’s open!” said King Dedede, who was about to start up the ramp without a sliver of hesitation or doubt. Meta Knight stopped him.
      “Wait. This could be a trap. We should investigate carefully before going inside.”
      “What? We can’t waste time with that, we might already be too late!”
      “And what about the dangers of getting too close to that thing? Think about it. The way this ship appeared was too unnatural. And look at how the door opened just now. It’s like its trying to lure us inside.”
      “So what?! That’s no reason to leave any injured in there to their fate!
      King Dedede arguing with Meta Knight over whether or not to investigate the fallen Lor Starcutter • Kirby: Lor Starcutter and a Magician of Falsehood (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

    • Hey, what kind of things do they have to eat on Halcandra?”
      “…Err, to eat?”
      “Halcandra’s this super amazing place, right? So they’ve got to have super amazing food! Super amazing meat, super amazing fish, super amazing desserts…!”
      “I…um…” Magolor seemed suddenly desperate to escape this line of questioning, but Kirby’s fantasies only grew.
      “I bet you’ve got towers of hamburgers taller than the highest mountains, right?! And every river is full of sushi?! And syrup rains from the sky, drenching all the fruit in the field with juicy sweetness until the the whole planet is one big bowl of fruit punch! Right…?!”
      “Uh…wha…?” Magolor froze, having not the slightest idea how to respond.
      King Dedede raised his voice in challenge to Kirby. “Kirby, that’s ridiculous!”
      He quickly rebuffed the other’s food fantasies. “Halcandra can make ships capable of crossing over into entirely different universes! You really think they have hamburger towers and fields of fruit punch?!”
      “R-right, yes…!” Magolor looked up at King Dedede in relief.
      The king’s voice grew louder as he raised a clenched fist. “Why would they need hamburger towers when the earth itself is made of meat?! And spicy steak sauce flows from active volcanoes like lava! Every eruption is the start of a planet-wide steak festival!”
      “Really?! That’s the best! Aww, I can’t wait to go to Halcandra!”
      Kirby and King Dedede began to dance and cheer enthusiastically. A dumbfounded Magolor finally found his voice. “I-I’m…not sure…the place is going to live up to your expectations…”
      “Forget about them, Magolor.” Meta Knight responded coolly. “You’ll never escape the subject of food as long as you’re around Kirby and King Dedede. The only thing to do is ignore it.”
      “Oh-kay…
      King Dedede and Kirby bonding over their shared love of food • Kirby: Lor Starcutter and a Magician of Falsehood (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

    • He and Dedede were having a wonderful time playing make-believe. They took turns swapping different masks and rolling on the floor with laughter at each other’s impressions.
      “'I’m Great King Dedede! And I’m the biggest EATER in Dream Land… when I’m not lazing around!’”
      “Hey, that’s rude! Let’s see how you like it then! 'I’m widdle bitty Kirby. And I’m so saaad because I can never beat King Dedede in anything!’”
      “Ah! How mean! I don’t sound like that at all!”
      King Dedede and Kirby teasing each other • Kirby: Come On Over to Merry Magoland! (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

    • I'm stuffed! I don't think I can eat another bite!”
      “You're not thinking, Kirby! I'm stuffed too, but you gotta remember the hotel's got an all-you-can-eat snack-bar too! So I'm gonna cram in some more!”
      “I just remembered! Okay, I'm gonna run alllll the way to the hotel to empty out my stomach some!”
      “That's the spirit! I'll race ya, Kirby!
      King Dedede and Kirby bonding over their shared love of food • Kirby: Come On Over to Merry Magoland! (translated by The Starcutter and the Lying Wizard)

    • 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

    • 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 DededeKirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • Every day, take a nap whenever I please, sing when I want to sing, and dance when I want to dance! Everyday, have fun and smile! For me to smile, everyone all throughout the country has to smile. I’ll stop shutting myself up in the royal palace, go out under the sun, and look around with my own eyes. Is everyone smiling? Are you all eating delicious food ‘till you’re content? Are you singing and falling asleep whenever you please? I’ll sleep soundly when I want to sleep as well, and play to the fullest when I want to play. I’ll keep my power in reserve, so that, when it comes down to it, I can protect everyone with all my might. I want to be a king like that. What made me feel this way, was you. Thank you, King Dedede.
      ― Ali expressing how King Dedede inspires him • Kirby: King Dedede's Great Escape Mission! (translated by deafeninggardenerpanda)

    • 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

    • 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

    • They fight with each other, and although not always conventionally, they are basically good friends.
      Shinya Kumazaki about King Dedede and Kirby's relationship • Nintendo Dream interview (translated by Klu with scans provided by FalcoLau)

    Gallery

    Notable Fan Works

    See Also

    • Kirby, the Great King's Destined Rival
      • He's a youngster who came to Dream Land alongside the spring breeze, and a glutton who'll suck up anything. With his special Copy Abilities, he becomes able to use his opponents' powers, but when it comes to his singing... That's one thing he can't improve.
        Sometimes he changes shape, splits up, or rolls around for some reason, he really is a strange fella!

        ― A non-canon, in-character King Dedede describing Kirby as an entry in The Great Dedede-Directory (translated by Kaialone) • Official Kirby JP twitter, post of Jul 10, 2019

    • Meta Knight, the Great King's Sworn Partner
      • The masked swordfighter - that's right, it's "Meta Knight"! He's been appearing since Kirby's Adventure.
        I guess even I gotta admit that his speed and sword skills are nothing to sneeze at.
        He's apparently battled Kirby countless times, always sticking to sword duels. Though, the first to kick Kirby's butt will be ME, of course!

        ― A non-canon, in-character King Dedede describing Meta Knight as an entry in The Great Dedede-Directory (translated by Kaialone) • Official Kirby JP twitter, post of Aug 14, 2019

    • Bandana Waddle Dee, the Great King's Loyal Subject
      • This guy is the representative of Waddle Dees, "Bandana Waddle Dee"!
        His trademark is his blue bandana. In Super Star Ultra, he fought hard to defeat Kirby when he got into my castle!
        After Kirby's Return to Dream Land, it seems that he often cooperates with Kirby... Don't forget about me!

        ― A non-canon, in-character King Dedede describing Bandana Waddle Dee as an entry in The Great Dedede-Directory (translated by Kaialone) • Official Kirby JP twitter, post of Oct 27, 2021

    • Donkey Kong
      • Both Dedede and DK are big and burly powerhouses, who are friendly rivals to the main heroes, and though they both may seem childish and foolish at times, they are reliable heroes in their own right. Although they both hold the title of "king" (DK is often called the "king of the jungle", and in both the Donkey Kong Country TV series and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, he is the heir to the throne of his island), they're too carefree to do any actual ruling. Donkey Kong's appearance in Mario vs. Donkey Kong parallels Dedede's first appearance in Kirby's Dream Land, where DK is the antagonist who stole toys purely out of childish selfishness, but later reconciled with Mario after being comforted by him after his defeat. In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Donkey Kong is a showboating fighter who, while bitter about being defeated by Mario in front of an audience, grows to enjoy teaming up with him, which is very similar to Dedede's relationship with Kirby early in the series. They're both looked up to by their little buddies, Bandana Waddle Dee and Diddy Kong. They both will choose to save others over themselves when it comes down to it, such as when Dedede sacrificed himself for Princess Peach/Zelda in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode, and one of his Waddle Dees in and Kirby in the Forgotten Land, and when DK punched Diddy to safety in Subspace Emissary. Though often seen as dim-witted, Donkey Kong has been shown to be capable using machinery against Mario in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, much like how Dedede has used mechanized hammers and piloted robots bearing his likeness against Kirby, in fact, DK even has robots minions made in his image in said series. Despite their strength, both have also been made "damsels in distress," such as the time Dedede got kidnapped by Taranza in Kirby: Triple Deluxe and the times DK has been kidnapped by King K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. Both also have a reputation for being memed, because of the goofy comical expressions they make and their animated adaptations (Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and the Donkey Kong Country TV series). And finally, they both starred in spin-off rhythm games about drums (Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe and the Donkey Konga series).
    • Knuckles the Echidna
      • Both Dedede and Knuckles debuted as misguided antagonists, before becoming allies to the main heroes and forming a close bond with them, though still butting heads and competing on occasion as friendly rivals (Knuckles has even fought Sonic in a fighting ring a few times, much like how Dedede has done with Kirby). They both also have incredible physical strength and are capable of flight through different and equally absurd methods despite being based off of flightless animals (Dedede hovering like Kirby and Knuckles gliding with his dreadlocks). They both are versatile characters, capable of being comedic knuckleheads and also being taken seriously as tough fighters. Though they may be prideful and stubborn, they both have hearts of gold and care deeply about their friends. They both have a strong sense of responsibility, but usually don't do much as things are usually very peaceful on their home up high (Mt. Dedede and Angel Island), however, when trouble arises, they will always be there to help protect their friends and save the world, and won't hesitate to put others before themselves, such as when Dedede stayed behind to hold off the Beast Pack to buy time for Kirby and the Waddle Dees to escape in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and when Knuckles stayed behind to hold off the Zombots (and in the process get infected himself) to buy time for Sonic to go Super in the "Metal Virus Saga" of the IDW comics. Though they both see themselves as "the main hero" and talk as if they could do better than their rivals, they still hold a ton of respect for their them and will put their faith in them when it comes down to it. They both have a history of being manipulated by the true villains, albeit in different ways as Knuckles has been tricked by Eggman multiple times, while Dedede is always forced against his will via possession or brainwashing, however Dedede was once tricked by Magolor in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. They both shattered and scattered a sacred ancient power to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands (the Star Rod and the Master Emerald). Both have been rescued by their respective rivals after being held captive, such as the time Kirby freed Dedede from Taranza in Kirby: Triple Deluxe and the time Sonic freed Knuckles from his Cyber Cage in Sonic Frontiers. They and their friends both make an iconic team of four that are considered the main faces of the franchise (Kirby, Bandana Waddle Dee, and Meta Knight for Dedede, and Sonic, Tails, and Amy for Knuckles). They both have become widely popular memes, thanks to animated adaptations that make them seem less intelligent and capable than they actually are in canon (Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Sonic Boom), with the running gag of Boom!Knuckles having overexaggerated tall tales that paint him as the powerful intelligent and handsome hero that everyone admires being comparable to how Anime!Dedede tries to make himself look like the hero in "Cartoon Buffoon". And finally, while trivial in comparison to the other similarities, like Dedede, Knuckles plays the drums.

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