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February 10, 2014

What Is King Dedede's Alignment?

Am I the only one who thinks he looks like a Muppet? Oh,
a Dedede animatronic! This should be so cool!
So, while I was researching stuff about Kirby (with the second part of my review of Kirby's Epic Yarn coming this Friday), I looked at the history of the Kirby games, from the humble NES beginnings up to now. Wow, the series really is about three major recurring characters, after all: Kirby, Meta Knight... and King Dedede. Huh, no wonder those three were in Brawl!

However, I also noticed something very odd about King Dedede. We all love the penguin, don't we? Matthew Taranto uses him the most in his web comic, maybe even more than Kirby. He's just an enjoyable character, with his mannerisms, his personality... his alignment...

Yeah, now that I think of it, King Dedede is a rather strange character when it comes to which side he's on. Is he a good guy? A bad guy? What? That's a question: What the Hell is Dedede's alignment?

First things first, King Dedede began alongside with Kirby in the very first Kirby game on the Game Boy, where he was the main villain. He went around and stole all the food in Dream Land, as well as the item needed to harvest it. Needless to say, Kirby met him and defeated him in a great fight. After that point, Dedede stayed as a villain for a bit of time. He was still the heavy guy, the one wielding a hammer. The greedy penguin. You knew he was up to no good.

Then, as the franchise grew, Dedede's position as major boss changed. Kirby was facing more powerful villains, ones that were obviously more dangerous than our penguin. Heck, by the time of the Super Nintendo system, Kirby was fighting demons, such as Zero. I think I already mentioned how Dream Land was a happy place that hid some truly creepy monsters... Well, that's basically it. As the enemies grew in power, so did Kirby, and King Dedede couldn't quite follow.

What does he do, then? Well... When danger struck Dream Land for the (wait... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...) sixth time, with mysterious Crystal Shards being found everywhere, Dedede found himself working with Kirby against the new villain... which was none other than Zero's new form, Zero².

As time went on, more dangerous or more cunning enemies took the villain's spot in many games, causing Dedede to be relegated as a minor boss or as an ally. Does that make him a good guy? Not necessarily. Usually, when he's seen doing his own things, he's usually plotting an attack or commanding his Waddle Dees around his castle (like he does in Kirby's Epic Yarn before being attacked by- Oops, I'm not there yet!). That, or he falls prey to the game's main villain.

This is quite a contrast with the anime, Kirby of the Stars, where he's the main villain for most of the series. Every episode has him paying to receive some sort of abominable creature to sent at Kirby to destroy him...

If anything, I'd dare say that King Dedede is now a "friendly enemy". Whenever he can, he'll try his dirty tactics, but when a more powerful enemy comes around, he'll often try to help. He'll be on Kirby's side when needed, but he'll be an enemy in most other cases. In a way, King Dedede kind of reminds me of Wario, what with the greed and the dirty tactics; but he also reminds me of Bowser, what with helping the heroes when they need it against a stronger villain. I think it's used to his advantage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode, the Subspace Emissary, where he plays the bad guy card for a while by stealing the trophies of some heroes... only to later stick brooches on them, which will revive the "trophied" characters, thus giving the Super Smash Bros. world the only team of resistance after Tabuu's powerful wave. It sure helps that both the Kirby series and the Super Smash Bros. series were made by Masahiro Sakurai. (One could argue that it's the reason why the three Kirby characters seem to be more important than the others in this Adventure Mode, but... I'll get there in due time.)

And Brawl showed us that not only was he a gluttonous greedy penguin, but he was also narcissistic.

"Draw me like one of your Fr-Ah, forget it."

Seriously, only a narcissist would lie down that way!