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"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

King Dedede is a former antagonist and a current main protagonist in the Kirby series. He's the gluttonous and carefree self-made King of Dream Land and Kirby's most recurring rival. While he debuted as a villain, he has gradually shifted into one of the main protagonists of the series, and is almost always involved with the plot of whatever game he's in.

Why He's Dededelightful

  1. While it is often believed Dedede's change into being a hero is more recent, his growth out of his antagonist role actually happened as early as the second game in the series, Kirby's Adventure, where he tried to defend Dream Land from Nightmare.
  2. It can be told by his design that he wasn't meant to be a villain for the entire series, due to his rounder and even cuter look compared to the true final bosses in the series. In other words, one could say he's "shaped like a friend".
    • Becoming a hero has always been the vision for his character, and this is blatantly obvious is Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary (which was made by none other than the creator of the Kirby series, Sakurai-san himself).
  3. Dedede has also willingly helped Kirby in Kirby 64, and has many interactions in the cutscenes that show he's a caring friend.
  4. Some people consider him to be an "anti-hero", but that can't be true. Anti-heroes lack traits like a sense of morality and genuine heroism and do good for other, more self-serving reasons, which isn't the case for Dedede as he has grown to have a genuine sense of righteousness and responsibility.
  5. He's one of the friendliest, most trusting and generous rivals a character could have. Most of the battles he has with Kirby out of their volition post Kirby's Dream Land have only ever been challenges with just their egos at stake, and they both get along really well when not clashing. In a way, they are a lot like Sonic and Knuckles.
    • Towards the end of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary, there is a scene where Dedede is visibly happy to see Kirby, even going as far as to run up to hug him.
    • In Triple Deluxe, there is a scene that is parallel to this, but with the roles reversed.
    • According to the hammer description in Kirby Star Allies, Kirby has kept the hammer Dedede gave him in Revenge of the King and inherited it, and in Forgotten Land, he even gives Kirby an upgrade for the Hammer ability, which is literally his Forgo mask and dual hammers. More than gifts, those are hand-me-downs he trusts Kirby with.
    • It's also extremely wholesome to see Dedede going all Meta Knight on Kirby and giving him a hammer so they can fight as equals.
  6. While he's too prideful to admit it himself, he is very caring of others. In Kirby 64, he doesn't just join Kirby for the sake of being seen as a hero, but he also spends time with them as a friend, doing things like:
    • Having picnics and sitting on the beach with them;
    • Helping Adeline escape from an erupting volcano;
    • Being sad to leave Ripple Star in the bad ending;
    • And showing concern for Kirby falling over in the good ending.
  7. In Revenge of the King, he spares Bandana Dee from battling Kirby (who proceeds to fight Kirby anyway out of sheer respect), and most recently, in Forgotten Land, Dedede volunteers to hold off the Beast Pack while Kirby escorts the Waddle Dees to safety.
  8. His will is even growing strong enough to fight back being manipulated by the true villains, even if by a little bit. For example: Before the battle against "Forgo Dedede" begins, he can be seen trying to remove the mask that's controlling him.
  9. He is wonderfully animated with numerous cartoonish and goofy expressions that makes up his silly personality.
  10. While his chubby build might make some believe he's a big slouch, he's barely lazy at all and is, as a matter of fact, very active. A few examples that confirm this is the fact that he has a boxing ring in his castle and how he trained as hard as he could after his first loss to Kirby according to trophy descriptions in Smash Bros.
  11. According to in-game flavor text from Kirby Planet Robobot (Vs. Dedede Clone), Dedede is even considered one of the strongest beings on Planet Popstar. Given the context that the game's pause descriptions are actually from the perspective of Star Dream (as revealed in the pause description during the fourth phase of his fight), a hyperintelligent supercomputer, this is very impressive.
  12. According to the current Kirby director, Shinya Kumazaki, the reveal of Dedede being a good guy is what inspired him to be so hardworking and creative with the franchise and its lore.
  13. Despite his out-of-character villainy in Right Back at Ya (see LTDDDSQ#1 for more details), he still puts both Ted Lewis and Kenichi Ogata's talents to a phenomenal use. In Meta Knight's words: "King Dedede may be a despicable dictator, but you've got to admit he's got some funny schtick."
  14. Unlike Nintendo's other king bosses, Dedede has actually had an endearing arc that spans across multiple games, starting off as a somewhat arrogant, trouble-making, and full of himself jerk and becoming the selfless, courageous and helpful sovereign we know him as nowadays.

Less than Dededesired Qualities

  1. In the anime adaptation, Dedede was often represented as a cruel and abusive dictator who orders monsters to get the job done for him due to his incompetence. He even beats up his Waddle Dees for fun and goes as far as selling them without remorse for a quick buck.
    • While he might have been more caring in "Prediction Predicament" and "D'Preciation Day", he always returns back to his old habits the next episode as if it never happened.
      • 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. Fortunately, he reverts back to his original self in subsequent works.
  2. His characterization was also done poorly in Kirby Battle Royale, where 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.
  3. While his Smash Bros. Brawl iteration is as good as ever, his side special involves him hammering Waddle Dees (among other enemies of the franchise) towards his opponents, which is something anime Dedede would probably do.

Trivia

  • The symbol on the back of his robe is an over-simplified version of a ✌️-sign.
  • 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.
  • 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 Kirby and Smash.
  • The people at HAL really seem to enjoy making clever titles based on Dedede's name. Examples include:
    • Triple Deluxe's title can be interpreted as 3D, and it also released on the 3DS. 3D obviously being a play on the 3 'De's in Dedede's name, considering his importance in the story of Triple Deluxe.
    • One of the sub-games in Triple Deluxe is Dedede's Drum Dash. If you acronymize the title, you get "DDD".
    • In Planet Robobot, Susie's Dedede Clone uses a Tri-Dimensional Cannon, 'Tri-Dimensional' also being another play on "3D" and "Dedede".
  • Shinya Kumazaki has mentioned many times that Kirby's Adventure is his favorite game in the series and the one that changed his perception on how videogames of this type even work. The reveal of Dedede actually being a good guy stuck with him and led to becoming his favorite character.

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