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Villain Overview
Our grudge will be settled at last!
~ King Dedede
I worked hard to put Dedede's Cake Royale together. It's my right to crush you in a one-on-one battle! There's NO way you're going to win, Kirby. You think you can take victory from ME?! Ha! I've got something special for you up my sleeve. Follow me, Kirby! Only ONE of us is a real winner. About time you see it's me.
~ Dedede showing his resentment of Kirby in Kirby Battle Royale.

King Dedede is the central antagonist of the Kirby series. He is an overweight blue anthropomorphic penguin who is the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land and the archenemy of the main protagonist Kirby, who often antagonizes the latter and his subjects out of greed, selfishness, or the desire to simply prove his superiority over his nemesis. Although starting out as the franchise's de-facto main antagonist, over the years, Dedede's villainy has slowly devolved, with many recent games portraying him as a neutral or anti-heroic character.

He appears as the main antagonist of the original game, "Spring Breeze" in Kirby Super Star, and "Revenge of the King" in Ultra, as well as in most spinoffs such as Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby's Pinball LandKirby's Dream CourseKirby's Super Star StackerKirby Fighters Deluxe, Kirby's Blowout Blast, and Kirby: Battle Royale. He appears as a supporting or major antagonist in other games in the series (though often not through his own volition).

In the main series, he is voiced by Shinya Kumazaki. In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and the Super Smash Bros. franchise, he is voiced by Masahiro Sakurai (who serves as the creator of both the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series).

Personality

The self-styled king of the amazingly peaceful Dream Land. He continually does things unbecoming a king, like stealing the kingdom's food supplies or all the stars from the sky. He's not all bad, though, and sometimes performs good deeds. While he and Kirby often battle, they've been known to compete good-naturedly at speed-eating contests and minigames.
~ King Dedede's trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

King Dedede himself is a very greedy, selfish, conniving and egotistical individual. He is notoriously self-serving and generally never sets out to help Kirby and his allies unless he sees no choice, with exceptions such as in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where he teams up with the former to collect Magolor's ship parts so that he can go home. Like most of the other inhabitants of Dream Land (with exceptions such as Meta Knight), Dedede is incredibly lazy as well and not very active most of the time. 

In spite of his malicious deeds, Dedede is not so much of an evil and oppressive tyrant as he is a plain old bully towards Kirby and his subjects. He thus does a lot of nasty things to the people around him, like stealing all of the food in Dream Land for himself and holding on to one of the Crystal Shards in Kirby 64 simply so that Kirby cannot have it. While he is the supposed king of Dream Land, he takes no interest in actually performing administrative functions and takes the role for granted, thus many people just go about their business without any thoughts towards his status. However, he is still willing to do what's right for the betterment of Dream Land, like trapping Nightmare in the Fountain of Dreams and helping stop other villains who threaten Popstar. But, due to his past tricks, Kirby is constantly suspicious and hesitant of Dedede, and usually misinterprets his actions. In some games, mostly recent ones, he decides to fight on Kirby's side out of his own volition rather than out of desperateness.

It would also seem that Dedede is extremely jealous and possessive of Kirby, something that led him to train to be able to inhale and float as Kirby does. He and Kirby often compete in ways other than just battling, such as various races and side games (Dedede may be one of the only characters in the series whose appetite can rival Kirby's). Their constant rivalry is rather one-sided on Dedede's part, as he constantly schemes up ways to outdo or beat Kirby, while the latter appears to have no interest in conflicting with him for no reason. This is displayed fully in Kirby's Battle Royale, where Dedede, out of sheer pettiness, outright refuses to allow Kirby to win his Cake Royale tournament and claims that he himself is the only one fit to win. He also has a liking for tricks and mischief, as seen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he pranks Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong by masquerading as King K. Rool, much to his own amusement, only to be swatted away by the real K. Rool immediately afterwards.

Powers and Abilities

King Dedede is quite strong, but also able to leap high into the air and run surprisingly fast despite his size. He can also puff himself up to float through the air and even perform a version of Kirby’s inhale attack, though he can’t gain copy abilities. Dedede fights mainly with his large hammer and while most of the time it is a standard hammer, it has occasionally had other built-in upgrades, such as a jet booster to amplify his strikes and built-in missile launchers and flamethrowers. Dedede also uses other physical attacks, like a powerful ground pound from out of the air and sliding on the floor. King Dedede is quite possibly the (physically) strongest Kirby characters, as in all games he's been playable in he always has the most power, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Snake's conversation with Colonel reveals he can level an entire building, and given that he is only at least a foot taller than Kirby (who's only 8 inches), this is a large incredible feat (though this may be because his hammer is mechanical in Brawl, and he's significantly larger and taller in Brawl).

Trivia

  • Dedede's robe has sported two different symbols on the back, him giving a peace sign or a hand giving a peace sign, though the latter has been more commonly used.
  • Dedede is one of the most recurring characters in the Kirby games, second to Kirby and Waddle Dee. He is present in every main installment with the exception of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror.
  • Though he is a boss in almost all of the games, Dedede hasn't been the main antagonist of any main game since Kirby’s Dream Land (although he has taken the role in spinoff titles such as Kirby Fighters Deluxe).
  • King Dedede’s name in the French versions of the games is Roi Dadidou, König Dedede, and sometimes König Nickerchen ("King Nap") in German, and Rey Dedede in Spanish.
  • Dedede’s species has never been outright stated, although he is widely regarded as a penguin.
  • His voice actor in the anime was Kenichi Ogata in the Japanese version and Ted Lewis in the 4Kids English dub, the latter of whom also did the voice of Giovanni in the Pokemon anime. In the Japanese version of the anime, Dedede has a habit of ending his sentences with “zoi”.
  • Dedede’s theme music is used as the theme for boss battles in Kirby Mass Attack.
    • His theme is also oddly used during Meta Knight's fight in Squeak Squad.
  • In a poll for which characters were to be included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Dedede came in first. He was originally going to be in the first Super Smash Bros., but was scrapped due to time constraints and memory limitations. He does, however, make a cameo appearance in the first game, flying through the background of the Dream Land stage.
  • On the Dream Land stage from the Super Smash Bros. series, King Dedede will always appear in the background unless he is participating in a battle. A glitch can occur on the stage in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS where he can appear in the background even if he is participating.
  • Early versions of King Dedede showed him not wearing gloves. This was later changed for him to wear tan gloves.
  • King Dedede once fought Wario in the popular internet show DEATH BATTLE and won.
  • Dedede represents the Deadly Sin of Greed & Envy.

See Also

King Dedede on the Heroes Wiki.

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