Several months ago, I was rummaging through my bedroom closet, trying to help my brother find some of his stuff he may have lost in there. We had shared a bedroom for my entire life, and he was going to move to my sister's old room now that she had moved out. I found a few of his things, including a copy of Kirby's Dreamland 3 (we have had an SNES since I was two and most of the games have long since been scattered about the house). My brother had lost interest in Kirby a couple years ago, so the game was pretty much mine. I walked over to the corner where the TV, SNES, and the various other Nintendo systems we have were kept. I popped in the cartridge and turned on the system.

I was greeted with the intro of the game, Kirby and his animal friends watching as a black comet reached their planet and became a large, black cloud that stared ominously down at them with a single dark red eye. Soon, the title screen appeared with Kirby smiling and surrounded by his animal friends underneath the bright yellow logo of the game. I saw my brother had a save file, and deleted it remembering that he disliked Kirby. I started my own game and played through the first area, grass land. The it was a nice, upbeat, and cheery game that almost looked like it was drawn out of crayon. Being the kind of person who likes to fully complete games, I completed all the challenges in the levels and obtained the heart-stars from the friendly characters. I entered the fight with Whispy Woods and beat him. When I went to the second area, Ripple Field, the game started to glitch a lot. The intro for the area did not even play, and the game would freeze frequently. In the third level, enemies that Kirby attempted to inhale would simply disappear. Instead of filling his mouth and making him all plump, they just weren't there anymore. Not being able to inhale enemies, it was impossible to defeat the mini bosses and I soon got bored with trying. Wondering if the game had in some way been tampered with, I asked my brother if he bought the game used, but he said he bought it brand new from the store.

A week or so later, when I was very bored, I blew off the cartridge and out of the system and turned it on. There was no improvement since last time. I blew on it again (and I think I even put it near the fan), and Kirby could once again inhale. However, enemies gave random abilities instead of their normal ones. But I really could care less, glad of something to do. I once again defeated the boss of the area, Acro, and proceeded to Sand Canyon, the next area. Again the game did not display the cute short animation it was supposed to, and the glitching 

continued. It froze less after I had blown on it, which I was happy about. But I could tell that the music was wrong. It didn't fit the friendly style of the game. I looked up the original music, and found that this had been changed. Portions of the songs had either been, sped up, slowed down, or reversed. Many notes were missing and some had been added. With each level, the mutilated music became worse. It was the same song in every level, but it kept fading between high pitch and low pitch. In the sixth and final level of the area, the music was accompanied by a loud screeching sound that steadily increased in volume. Eventually, I turned the TV volume down to 10 so that I would not go deaf.

I beat the level, and entered the boss stage, labeled "Pon Con." When I entered the stage, the music was still playing as I expected, but I was confused to find the boss stage with King Dedede that was supposed to come at the end of the game (I had seen my brother beat it once before). I fought him, and he fell to the ground. I knew what was coming, but it still creeped me out a bit. King Dedede rose limply into the air, manipulated by... something. When he attacked, his stomach opened up to reveal a mouth with sharp, black teeth. It started chomping and trying to ram Kirby. After the attack ended, the mouth disappeared and was replaced with an eye and fired black projectiles at Kirby. I beat the boss level, and went again to the next area, Cloudy Park. The music was gone this time. The game and gone completely silent, and no sound played at all. The game began to display glitched sprites for all the enemies, which were all mashups of other sprites from the game. Most of the enemies also seemed to have a piece of the possessed King Dedede sprite in them. As I completed the level, instead of entering the goal game, the level went on. It contained about a hundred rooms that were obviously rooms from previous levels, but flipped vertically and with reversed colors. There was no indication of any end to the level, and the game seemed to be constantly adding rooms. There were no enemies, no items, no music. Oddly, there were a few of the animal friends in some rooms, but it took me a while to realize what they were since they used the possessed King Dedede sprite with the large eye in his stomach. I Pressed X to see if I could ride one, and I could. As Kirby rode the animal, The eye was replaced with the mouth and black teeth, which chomped slowly.


King Dedede's mouth sprite

Finally, I entered some rooms that were normal. The enemies didn't walk, but floated across the screen. I tried to inhale one, and immediately died and heard the little tune that went with it. I went back to the map screen, and for some reason I appeared to have beaten the level. The next one was open, so I entered it. It played normally, with all the correct sprites but the enemies still moved weird. At the end of the level, I was again greeted with one hundred or so short, corrupted rooms. I played through all the levels in Cloudy park, and the boss was King Dedede again. This time the battle started with his possessed form, and had no sound. After the fight ended, I moved on to the next area. I played through all of the levels just like I had in the last world, and entered the boss stage. King Dedede was there like he was supposed to be, and the battle started with possessed Dedede. After he was defeated, his health meter refilled and his body began to shake violently. The eye appeared and shot projectiles then immediately changed to the mouth. The graphics began glitching, and the colors reversed and returned to normal. The screen began to glitch horribly with flashing textures and Kirby was killed instantly. Upon re-entering the boss stage, the game cut straight to the battle with Dark Matter, the main antagonist of the game and what had been possessing King Dedede. The battle played out normally, and I soon defeated him with not too much trouble. My brother had died and rage quit at this point when he played the game, so I had no idea what was coming next. Dark Matter turned into his second form, Zero. It was a huge white sphere that took up a large portion of the screen with a dark red eye in the center. It attack by ramming Kirby and opening slits in its skin and spurting blood. I died several times, but was eventually able to lower its health to 0. After this happened, I jumped as his eye tore itself out of his body and began flying in circles, leaving behind a trail of red blood. It took only a few hits to defeat, then the screen glitched once more and the credits rolled. At the end, I could have sworn that a line of text read "well done" with my name under it. Since then, the game has never glitched again. I played through it again a week later, and Zero was mysteriously absent from the game. 

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