Back in 2003, Kirby was already 12 years old. The character had become a well-established part of the Nintendo lineup. This was all thanks to Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the Kirby. For the 12th anniversary of the character, Sakurai took to Famitsu to write a feature on how the character came to be. Our friends at SourceGaming have translated the feature, which you can see a small snippet of below.
“I’ll make an action game where you utilize your enemies!” That was the idea I had in mind when I wrote up the project proposal that Kirby was born from. Then he was drawn in pixel art, animated on the NES, and given the power to inhale his foes and spit them back out. Being able to take multiple hits from enemies, yet dying immediately upon falling into a hole didn’t mix well in my mind, so I blew him up like a balloon, so that he could fly at any time. I was in charge of the planning, design, and most of the graphics. And so, the simple Game Boy game, Kirby’s Dream Land, was completed.