☆ Rocky (ロッキー) is a long-time regular enemy and Helper character for the Stone Ability in Dream Land games. As theirs names suggest, Rockies are living rocks, which means that they are slow moving, yet also have great endurance. Rocky is one of the more simply designed creatures of Kirby's world; basically just a craggy bolder with small, yellow feet, and generic eyes. Sometimes, his eyes are large and serious, or infrequently, just small, dimwit dots, but no matter what, they are the only facial feature Rocky possesses, so they always express what he is thinking. In games following the Super Star treatment, Rocky tends to wear a blue/white twisted hachimaki headband, which exemplifies his durability and strength (in Japan, this type is often worn by laborers who must work long and hard at a task). In the Mirror World, Giant Rockies are present, who are large, heavy variants that require a super-inhale. They wear yellow hardhats atop their bodies, and have chubby, angry faces. It's interesting to note, that regular Rocky's headband is similar to the one worn by Hammer Kirby in mainstream games, while Giant Rocky's helmet recalls the one that would have been used for Hammer Ability in the unreleased Kirby GCN.
☆☆ As an enemy, Rocky attacks by falling on the player from above-- either diving from a ledge, or using their rather surprising jumping skills to position themselves directly over Kirby. His is one of the rare Copy Abilities that functions exactly as how it was conceived, to this day. Stone Ability is as strong as one might expect, its weight allowing for steaks to be pounded for puzzle-solving ease. In addition, in many games, the power allows for invincibility when the player is transformed. Stone Ability's interesting transformation technique is one of the more enticing elements of recent Kirby games, that really shows you the attention to detail the developers take to make every Ability engaging. The Stone forms both Kirby and Rocky can take are varied, ranging from the common classic stone and star blocks, to the rare Animal Friends or HAL Labs gold brick. All very inspirational to a sculptor, such as myself. In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, a new move- the Stone Uppercut- was added to the Ability's pool as compromise to Stone's down-based attack pattern. Also in RtDL, a new Miniboss based on Rocky is introduced. Called "Moundo" he is a snow-capped mountain, with Rocky's body style, a mean face and even more Japanese fashion.
☆☆☆ Rocky is one of my all time favorite Helpers. Disregarding the highly limited Stone Ability, I like Rocky because of his higher than average HP, but especially for his great design- it is simple (even for Dream Land standards), and rooted in Japanese style. One may think that Rocky's headband is simply an accessory the designers gave him to make him seem tough, but I know the true origins behind the knotted cord~! Such ropes are known as Shimenawa <[link]
> made of straw, and used to indicate pure environments, ward off evil spirits, and in Rocky's case, to encase nature spirits within great ancient objects, such as trees and stones. Rocky is most likely based on the Iwakura- rocks worshiped in Shinto. A famous example are the "Wedded Rocks" off the coast of Ise. On a different note, there is one (possibly Japanese) reference with Rocky and Stone Ability that I have not yet grasped. So I ask, does anyone know what's the deal with that black bird that sits atop Rocky and Stone Kirby in their Ability Icons in Kirby Super Star and Ultra? A folktale, perhaps, but could just be depicting opposites...
Rocky © HAL Labs & Nintendo