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Kirby creator coded the original game with a trackball instead of a keyboard

Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai reportedly said he used a Twin Famicom console to develop the game, and had to rely on a trackball to punch in code via a sort of on-screen keyboard.

Sora Ltd. founder Masahiro Sakurai appeared onstage at a recent Kirby music performance in Tokyo, which is maybe not a huge surprise given that he created the original 1992 game Kirby's Dreamland while working at HAL Laboratory.

What was surprising (as Ars Technica points out) was the story he told about developing the game, which was reported via the Japanese game blog Game Watch and translated into English by the folks at Source Gaming. Sakurai reportedly said he used a Twin Famicom console to develop the game, and had to rely on a trackball (see photo) to punch in code on an on-screen keyboard since there was no physical keyboard.

"It's like using a lunchbox to make lunch," Sakurai said at one point, going on to recall that he initially planned to have the protagonist of Kirby's Dreamland go flying off the screen when the player lost a life. However, that feature didn't make it into the final game.

This sounds conspicuously like the way player characters are killed in Super Smash Bros., which Sakurai also created; he reportedly acknowledged the similarity onstage but said it wasn't due to any conscious decision on his part.

You can and should read more of Sakurai's translated comments over on Source Gaming, as stories (in English) about the development of Kirby's Dreamland and the way devs worked at HAL Laboratory in the late '80s/early '90s are still relatively rare.

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