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Long-lost Kirby GameCube platformer sighted

Nintendo’s mysterious cancelled Kirby GameCube platformer has been spotted in a (very brief) snippet of new gameplay footage.

The video, posted to YouTube by Foulowe59, shows a montage of gameplay footage apparently filmed on Nintendo’s showfloor booth at E3 2005.

It was there that the game was shown off in a demo reel, as part of various upcoming GameCube and Nintendo DS titles. Alas, as we now know, this Kirby never made it much further.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is now available via Nintendo Switch Online.

Little is known of this Kirby project, though it would be one of several begun and abandoned within Nintendo around this time.

Referred to now by fans as Kirby GCN, the game was officially announced, and had various screenshots released. Ultimately, however, it quietly slipped off of Nintendo’s release schedule.

Here’s that footage, which appears to show both side-scrolling and wider 3D areas, as well as a few copy abilities:

Kirby GCN footage from Nintendo’s E3 2005 showfloor booth.

More than a dozen copy abilities were allegedly due to be featured in the game – a few of which you can see in this new footage. Kirby GCN was also apparently set to feature a version of Kirby Super Star’s Helper system, with various familiar faces from the series popping up here as aides.

Kirby featured in a flurry of Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games around this time, though fans had to wait a while for a home console follow-up to 2003’s Kirby: Air Ride. Kirby finally returned – rather triumphantly – in the enjoyable 2010 platformer Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii.

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