____________
                /             \    ________       _______  ______  ___  _____
              /                \  /        \     / ___/ / / / __ \/ _ \/ ___/
            /                   \|          |   (__  ) /_/ / /_/ /  __/ /
          /                      |          |  /____/\__,_/ .___/\___/_/     __
        /                        |          |     _______/_/___  ____ ______/ /_
       /            __     __     \________/     / ___/ __ `__ \/ __ `/ ___/ __ \
      /            |  |   |  |       \          (__  ) / / / / / /_/ (__  ) / / /
     |             |##|   |##|        |        /______/ /_/ /_/\__,_/____/_/ /_/
     |              VV     VV         |           / /_  _________  _____
     |                                |          / __ \/ ___/ __ \/ ___/
     |       //-\\            //-\\   |         / /_/ / /  / /_/ (__  )
  ___|___    \\-//            \\-//   |        /_.___/_/   \____/____(_)
 /       \            _____           |           ____ ___  ___  / /__  ___
|         |          |     |          |          / __ `__ \/ _ \/ / _ \/ _ \
|         |   ____    \___/           /         / / / / / /  __/ /  __/  __/
|         |  /    \                  /         /_/ /_/ /_/\___/_/\___/\___/
 \_______/  /      \               /
          \|        |       _____/_____
           |        |      /            \
           |        |     |              |    FAQ and ugly ASCII art by Brickroad
           |        |_____|              |    brickroad@mailcircuit.com
            \      /       \            /     last updated: 9/13/2002
             \____/          \_________/

=================================================================================================
 Kirby For Dummies
=================================================================================================
View this document with a monospaced font with word wrap turned off so all the formatting shows
up correctly.

Copy the Kirby next to each section and paste it into your browser's find tool (Ctrl+F on IE and
Netscape) to jump directly to that section.  No, they don't look at all like Kirby.  Forgive me.

 <(^.^)>    I. Disclaimer
 <(^.^<)   II. Why a Kirby FAQ?
 (>^.^)>  III. Strengths and Weaknesses
 (>^.^<)   IV. Kirby's Arsenal
 <(-.-)>    V. Strategies: Fighting With Kirby
 <(o.o)>   VI. Strategies: Bonus Stages
 (>o.o<)  VII. Trainspotter's Guide
 <(~.~)> VIII. Credits and Contact Information

=================================================================================================
 <(^.^)>   I. Disclaimer
=================================================================================================
This FAQ was written entirely by me, mostly through personal experience of beating on my friends
in Super Smash Bros. Melee.  To be perfectly honest, I don't use Kirby as often as some other
characters, mainly because he was my character of choice in the original Smash Bros. and everyone
got sick of seeing me use him.  Even so, I pull him out once in a while in Melee, and decided
that I'd share all the wisdom about the little pink guy that I can.

I'm in no way affiliated with Nintendo or any such thing, nor do I have their permission to be
writing FAQs about their games.  This FAQ is copyrighted to me, natch, but if you seriously
want to steal this for your website and call it yours, I suppose there's nothing I can do to
stop you.  It's not my fault you have an alarming lack of integrity.

Though, if you'd rather be civil about it and e-mail me at brickroad@mailcircuit.com and ask
politely to post this FAQ, unaltered and in its entirety, and promise to keep it updated so I
don't constantly get outdated questions, I'll be hard-pressed to say no.  What can I tell you?
I'm a great big softie.

=================================================================================================
 <(^.^<) II. Why a Kirby FAQ?
=================================================================================================
Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of the most fun games in the universe.  There are a huge variety
of characters and playing styles to keep you busy, and tons of neat little doodads to collect
to feed your ego.  And if you have friends, there's lots of different multiplayer options to
sate anyone's tastes.

So why Kirby, specifically?  Because he's Kirby!  Kirby is a great character no matter what your
skill level with the game.  Beginners can rely on his arsenal of cheap moves and his awesome
recovery.  Masters can use his wide array of aerial moves and his wicked throws to batter their
foes into oblivion.  And everyone can use his sickeningly obnoxious taunt to grate on the nerves
of their opponents.

Besides, Kirby is an awkward kind of character.  His moves insist on him being close-range with
his foe, but his build is light, signifying he should stay as far away as possible.  The hardest
part about learning to utilize Kirby's potential is racking up a lot of damage close-range
without being knocked out yourself.

Rest assured this guide is written by a Kirby master.  I'm virtually untouchable in the original
with the little puffball, and my friends always groan when I pick him off the roster in Melee.
The information herein will get you started, but it is also important that you develop your own
playing style.  For that reason, I'm not going to go into intense specifics on combos, stage
strategies, or situational tactics.  Besides, if you've read this FAQ, there's a chance that
your friends have too.  And what good are the tips and tricks listed here if your buddies know
what to expect?

It's been brought to my attention on several occasions that a typical SSBM character FAQ
includes a walkthrough for the 1P modes (Adventure, Classic, and All-Star).  I admit that I did
consider this at one time, but could not think of anything to add that would be Kirby-specific.
I've browsed around through many of the character FAQs, of varying degrees of quality, and
have decided that such a walkthrough would not be very beneficial.  By using the strategies
outlined in this FAQ, and training yourself, and developing your own fighting style, you will
be able to clear the 1P modes with ease as Kirby or any other character.

Also, I've noticed that many of the character FAQs include strategies for fighting specific
characters.  However, I find that a section like this won't likely be very helpful either.  For
one thing, I'm limited on the number of human opponents I can challenge.  The handful of
friends I play SSBM with on occasion, and the frequency at which we play, nets me practice
against maybe ten of the twenty-five characters available.  And I'm not playing Kirby that
entire time, either.  Notwithstanding that, it's entirely possible to play the same character
two different ways.  Fox, for example, can be played as a defensive brawler, a hit-and-run
specialist, or an item-hogging sniper very effectively.  It would be irresponsible of me to
pretend I had a foolproof strategy against every character with every possible playing style
when that's a fairly impossible goal.  Again, use the strategies and guidelines listed in this
FAQ to build your own playing style, learn Kirby's strengths and weaknesses, and you will be
successful in any melee challenge.

In short, please do not e-mail me requesting a walkthrough for 1P mode, or character-specific
fighting tips.  Such requests will be ignored.  I have chosen to utilize the space in this
guide more relevantly, with universal tips and strategies, which in the end will do a lot more
to improve your game than would a step-by-step analysis of every character that would be
wholly inaccurate.

---------------
Updates History
---------------
9/13/2002 - Fleshed out the gameplay section with general strategies concerning items, stages,
and moves.  Also added a complete Kirby game list, in case you'd like to check him out in
some non-fighting game environments.  As for my quest to unlock everything, I'm now down just
a single trophy.  And since it's one I can't possibly get anyway (at least until I finally
break down and buy Pikmin) I technically have them all.  Ph33r m3.  Also, the number of e-mails
I get about this FAQ is slowing to a dull roar...  I'll take that as an indication that the
FAQ covers practically everything it can, and doesn't need much else added to it.  Maybe it's
time to think about my next SSBM character FAQ...

8/28/2002 - Added a minor change to the Race to the Finish minigame strategy.  Use Stone
instead of just pressing down to shave a few seconds off of the long vertical shafts in the
labyrinth.  Careful though; if you don't come out of your Stone quick enough you might actually
end up costing yourself time.

4/16/2002 - Refined the Home Run Contest and Target Test strategies.  My scores are a bit more
respectable now, but I'm certain I can file them down even lower.  I've noticed that by
concentrating so hard on Kirby, the scores for all the other characters are ridiculously lousy.
Even Falco (who, by the way, is my character of choice) has a measly showing.  I might have to
work on that.  Also, I finally unlocked the Sound Test, so I now have "official" titles for
the songs in the Trainspotter's section.  And only seven trophies away from the full set!
Huzzah!

2/13/2002 - AlienHotBoy711@aol.com writes in about the Meta-Knight trophy.  Apparently, in Kirby
Super Star, he gets fed up if you don't grab the sword quickly enough and attacks you
regardless of what you're equipped with.  I double checked, then spent most of the afternoon
playing Kirby Super Star.  Note to self: Meta-Knight is easier to beat with the Cutter.

2/8/2002 - After several nights of work, the Kirby FAQ is completed to my satisfaction.  Every
ounce of knowledge that I could possibly share with the general public about the adorable little
volleyball has been poured into this FAQ.  So without the help of you, the enlightened reader,
and your additions to what is already a fairly comprehensive FAQ, there's no room for it to
grow.  Will the Kirby FAQ ever get another update?  It is a mystery.

=================================================================================================
 (>^.^)> III. Strengths and Weaknesses
=================================================================================================
Like all characters in Melee, Kirby has his pros and cons.  And there are also minor differences
between Kirby now and Kirby back in the original version of the game.  So whether you're new to
Smash Bros. or a veteran of the original, it's important to know the strong points and weak
points of your character before jumping into the fray.

First, here are the changes in Kirby's game in Melee, as compared to his game previously:

-------------------------------------------------|-------------------------------------------
 Original                                        | Melee
-------------------------------------------------|-------------------------------------------
 Lightweight, but hit very hard.                 | Still lightweight, but hits light as well.
 Dashing move was a short-range lunge.           | Dashing move is a long-range fireball.
 No aerial clear-out move.                       | Aerial hammer spin clears out nicely.
 Final Cutter could score a four-hit combo.      | Cutter hits to fast to be a useful combo.
 Could steal Ness' PK Fire and Link's Boomerang. | Steals Ness' PK Flash and Link's Bow.
 All smashes got insane distance.                | Smashes get considerably less distance.
 Nonogonal (depending on the angle) shaped.      | Round as a ball from any angle.
-------------------------------------------------|-------------------------------------------

As you can see, Kirby has definately been watered down and made less cheap in Melee.  As a
result, though, your pals won't know what hit them when you learn to knock them out with Kirby
regardless.  Like the other twenty-four characters in Melee, though, Kirby has pros you can
exploit and cons you have to watch out for.

----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pro | Kirby is a small character that can move around quickly.  Of course, this means...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Con | ...that he's very light, and therefore gets knocked very far away at relatively low damage.
    | But even so, that can be remedied since...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pro | ...Kirby simply has the best recovery in the game.  He gets six jumps, plus the Final
    | Cutter, which gets amazing height in itself.  No matter which direction he gets blasted in,
    | there's a good chance you can make it back on.  Unless you're being edge guarded, in which
    | case you have to remember that...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Con | ...the little puffball has low priority overall.  What this means is that he can easily
    | be knocked out of a lot of his moves.  You've got to really get the drop on your opponent
    | since there's a good chance he'll be able to hit you before you're done.  And pairing that
    | with the fact that...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Con | ...Kirby has a very low reach, it makes him a horrible close-range hand-to-hand combatant.
    | Not to mention...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Con | ...Kirby has no projectile moves.  So while getting up-close and personal isn't an option,
    | neither is staying back and firing attacks.  Unless, of course, you...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pro | ...steal a projectile from someone else.  Kirby can swipe anyone's neutral B move by
    | sucking them in.  This gives him indirect access to Link's Bow, Samus' Blaster, Mario's
    | Fireballs, and twenty-one other different attacks.  This means...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pro | ...that with practice, you'll always be able to keep your opponents on their toes by using
    | different skills every time they turn around.  And if you want to drop the move you have
    | and steal another, you can always use...
----|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pro | ...Kirby's loud, obnoxious taunt.  Hiii-iiii-iiii!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So in general, play Kirby as a hit-and-run specialist.  Wait for your foe to goof up, then slay
them with a combo.  But don't slip up yourself, because one good hit could very well be the end
of you.

=================================================================================================
 (>^.^<)  IV. Kirby's Arsenal
=================================================================================================
This is a master list of all Kirby's moves.  I'll try to go as in-depth as I can with this,
though I admit I'm biased towards some moves and I probably don't utilize others as much as I
should.  Feel free to experiment with these and find which ones work best for you.  And don't
overuse ANY of them!  You'd be surprised how quickly your friends will catch on to you using
the same move, and all of Kirby's moves can be EASILY countered!

These moves are all tested against Bowser in Training Mode at a 1.0 damage ratio, except for the
list of stolen moves, which necessity demanded I utilize versus the owner of the skill.  Keep
in mind that the more you use a move, the less and less damage it will do.  Yet another reason
not to overuse any given move!

-----------------
Jab (A on ground)
-----------------
A quick jab that deals 1-3% damage.  It doesn't have any knockback potential, and you have to be
pretty close in for it to connect.  Needless to say, you don't be using this very often in an
actual melee.

-------------------------------------
Jab Flurry (A continuously on ground)
-------------------------------------
Strictly a newbie move.  Kirby unleashes a flurry of aformentioned jabs, each one dealing about
1-2% damage.  At lower percentages, you might be able to score 15% damage total if your foe
holds still and lets you beat on him.  Higher up, they'll get knocked out of range after 6-7%.
If this move had better priority, you might be able to pin people against a wall with it.

-------------------------------------
Quick Kick (A + Right/Left on ground)
-------------------------------------
Press A while holding the stick left or right and Kirby will execute a quick little twirling
kick.  This kick deals 8-11% damage, and gets a tad bit of knockback.  At low percentages, you
might be able to string two of these together.  If you can manage to pin your foe against a wall,
you might be able to score four or five hits before they break away.  Don't count on experienced
players to fall for this, though.

--------------------------------
Overhead Kick (A + Up on ground)
--------------------------------
Press A while holding up (not tapping up, mind you) and Kirby kicks overhead.  This kick deals
about 4-6% damage, and will actually get some decent vertical (slightly forward) distance at
higher percentages.  If your foe doesn't break out of it, it could be used as a juggle.  Again,
don't expect smart players to fall for it.

-----------------------------
Low Kick (A + Down on ground)
-----------------------------
A decent ducking maneuver that scores 8-10% damage and gets enough horizontal knockback to give
you some breathing space for a moment.  Since Kirby gets so low to the ground while ducking, it's
possible that you can duck out of harm's way right next to a violent opponent and whack him
in the ankle as a defiant defensive maneuver.

--------------------------
Fireball (A while dashing)
--------------------------
Kirby engulfs himself in flames and launches forward, igniting any poor sap standing in the way.
Your opponents are stunned by the flames for a moment and thrown a short distance into the air,
while in the meantime the move will carry you a fair enough distance away to make a getaway from
any retaliation.  The flames do somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-10% damage, and actually
gets fair priority over some characters.  Be careful with this one next to the pit, though!

-----------
Swallow (B)
-----------
Swallow engulfs a nearby character and holds them in Kirby's mouth.  This doesn't do any damage,
and the character automatically breaks free in a few moments if you don't do anything.  It will,
however, cause characters to abort certain moves.  With an opponent in his mouth, Kirby walks
slower and can only jump once.  There are a few things you can do at this point.  Press A and
Kirby will spit the opponent out as a star, causing 9-10% damage to the spat opponent and 19-20%
to anyone the star hits.  Press B or down, however, and Kirby will assume that character's
special B attack.  Stealing an opponent's power deals about 5-7% damage to them.  Kirby can
steal 25 different powers this way, but obviously nothing happens if you Swallow another Kirby.
Here's a brief breakdown of the powers Kirby can steal:
   Dr. Mario's Megavitamin - A projectile that fires at a very low arc and bounces around for
      a while.  Deals 7-8% damage.
   Mario's Fireball - A projectile that is fired at a higher are than the Megavitamin, but still
      somewhat low.  It, too, bounces, and causes a split second of fire stun in addition to 5-6%
      damage.
   Luigi's Fireball - A green projectile that is identical to Mario's Fireball, except it flies
      straight forward.
   Bowser's Flame Breath - A nasty continous stream of flame that continues as long as the
      button is held down.  It will last about nine seconds, and can cause upwards of 50-60%
      damage if you manage to pin someone against a wall with it!  This can be a tricky move to
      escape from, even when used against a pro.  After the flame has died completely down,
      you'll have to wait a while before you can use it at maximum efficiency again.
   Peach's Toad - A quick move that will cause Kirby to counterattack if he's attacked while
      using it.  The counterattack deals about 8-10% damage, but does not defend against being
      thrown.
   Yoshi's Egg Lay - Kirby spits out his tongue and turns the opponent into an egg.  This causes
      about 6-7% damage and stuns the opponent for a few moments, allowing you to beat on them
      with impunity.  Try comboing this with a Jab Flurry or, alternatively, aiming the Egg Lay
      so the opponent falls into a pit for an instant kill.
   DK's Giant Punch - A super-powerful punch that is easily one of the best moves Kirby can
      steal.  Press B to start charging up, and press it again to let the punch fly!  A totally
      uncharged punch (tap B twice in a row) cooks up about 10-12% damage.  A fully charged punch
      will do 25-28%, causing a high damage opponent serious pain.  You can save the punch at any
      level of charge by pressing R, L, Z, or left or right and resume charging whenever you
      want.  You'll know Kirby is fully charged by the plumes of smoke coming out of his head.
   Capt. Falcon's Falcon Punch - A super powerful fiery punch that deals 25-27% damage and gets
      insane distance.  However, it causes about two seconds of pre-lag, which leaves Kirby wide
      open for nearly any attack, causing him to abort his punch.  This does make a great edge
      guard if you can time it, though.
   Ganondorf's Warlock Punch - Nearly identical to the Falcon Punch, except this one deals about
      27-30% damage.  Again, try it as an edge guard!
   Falco's Blaster - A quick red laser that causes about 2-3% damage and gets minimal knockback.
      Press B repeatedly for rapid-fire.  Since the shot goes totally straight, it's easy to line
      up a shot to steal someone's second or third jump, making it a great way to edge guard or
      steal KOs in time melees.  Kirby fires the laser faster while in the air.
   Fox's Blaster - Nearly identical to Falco's Blaster, except it doesn't get any knockback at
      all and can be fired much, much faster.  Fuse this with a few short hops to send a flurry
      of nearly un-dodgable laser fire at a foe while he's making his way back to the stage!
   Ness' PK Flash - Kirby shoots a green firework into the air, which explodes shortly overhead.
      This causes about 10-12% damage.  It can be charged up, too; if the firework goes into
      the air and falls all the way to the ground, it causes a huge explosion worth about 30%
      damage and gets fairly good knockback.  Keep in mind that as the firework is coming down,
      it will not pass through platforms.  Kirby falls slower if he uses this move in mid-air.
   Ice Climbers' Ice Shot - Hits an ice block along the ground for 4-5% damage.  This move
      honestly isn't all that great without a partner to do it with, which Kirby doesn't have.
      Since he doesn't have the benefit of Nana, this is the only B move that is less powerful
      when not used by it's original owner.
   Samus' Charge Shot - This move works the same way as DK's Punch, except that it's long-range!
      A totally unpowered shot is only worth 2-3% damage, but a fully powered one is good for
      22-24% and gets awesome knockback.  This is simply one of the best moves in the game to
      steal.  Grab it, charge it, save it, and let 'er rip when your opponent least expects it!
   Zelda's Nayru's Love - Kirby engulfs himself in a blue crystal, dealing 10-12% damage and
      scoring respectable horizontal knockback.  It also reflects projectiles back at their
      users.  Takes practice to learn, but it's an invaluable asset once you master it.
   Sheik's Needle Storm - Another chargable projectile, though it charges differently.
      It charges as long as you hold B, and then gets fired once you release it.  One needle is
      worth 2-3% damage and gets pitiful knockback, but a fully charged attack is good for 15-17%
      damage.  Like the other charge moves, you can save your charge by pressing R, L, or Z at
      any time while charging.  In the air, Kirby fires the needles at a downward angle.  This
      is a very quick move that will make your opponent abort his current move.
   Link's Bow - This move charges just like Sheik's Needle, but the charge cannot be saved.
      Uncharged, it fires at a very low downward trajectory and deals 3-5% damage.  Fully
      charged, however, it will cause a good 14-16% damage and fly full screen at a more or less
      straight shot.  It doesn't get any knockback, but it's great to steal jumps and pick away
      damage from long distance.
   Young Link's Bow - Almost identical to Link's Bow, except it doesn't fly as far.  The arrows
      catch fire, though, momentarily catching your foe in fire stun.  Uncharged, the arrows
      deal 6-7% damage.  At full strength they deal 10-12% damage.
   Pichu's Thunder Jolt - Fires a ball of lightning that will hit the platform and climb around
      it for a few moments.  This is great to nab people hanging on a ledge.  It scores 6-10%
      damage, but beware; Kirby suffers 1% damage every time he uses it, as well.
   Pikachu's Thunder Jolt - The same as Pichu's attack, except this one doesn't damage Kirby.
   Jigglypuff's Roll - Kirby rolls up and fires off at an opponent.  The only way to abort this
      attack once it's started is to change directions by using the control stick.  It has to
      be charged; just tapping B will cause Kirby to harmlessly push an opponent forward a few
      inches.  Fully charged, though, it's a good 18-19% damage and incredible knockback.
      This one is very dangerous to use near pits, though!
   Mewtwo's Shadow Ball - This is very similar to Samus' Charge Shot, except it's slower and
      moves in a wavy pattern.  Uncharged, it deals 4-5% damage and gets a good second's worth
      of shadow stun.  At full power, it's a cool 21-23% damage, plus shadow stun, plus a fair
      bit of knockback.  This is a great edge guarding move.
   Mr. Game & Watch's Sausage Flip - Kirby flips little sausages out of a little pan in a short
      arc.  The pan itself hits for a good 8-9% damage and causes a second's worth of fire stun,
      as well as downward knockback; the perfect close-range edge guard.  The sausages are a good
      2-3% damage a piece, and are great for stealing jumps.
   Marth's Shield Breaker - Another close-range charge move, except you can't save this one.
      A simple it is worth 7% damage and enough knockback to earn you some breather room.  Fully
      charged (and it takes a good four seconds to charge) is worth 25% damage and enough
      knockback to kill a moderately damaged foe.  Fully charged, you'll also break an enemy's
      shield.
   Roy's Flare Blade - Very similar to Marth's Shield Breaker.  Uncharged it deals 5-6% damage,
      but totally charged up it's a whopping 45% damage and enough knockback to slaughter
      even a foe with minor damage!  Kirby will take 10% damage from this attack, as well, and it
      takes a very long time to charge.  Like Falcon's Punch, time it right and it's a
      righteous edge guard!

---------------------
Final Cutter (B + Up)
---------------------
Kirby brandishes a bad looking sword and leaps high into the air, coming down again and sending a
shockwave along the ground.  The initial strike deals 7-8% damage, the second (mid-air) deals
another 7-8%, and the shockwave deals 5-6%.  If you catch an opponent in the first strike, it's
a good bet you'll catch them in all three.  There is some horizontal knockback if you hit
someone with the shockwave on the ground, but done over a pit it's one of Kirby's best spikes.
Of course, it's a suicide spike, but those are useful sometimes.

----------------
Stone (B + Down)
----------------
Kirby transforms into a heavy object (a brick, a spiked ball, a 100 ton weight, a large rock, or
a thwomp) and falls to the ground at alarming force.  Dropping down on an opponent is a cool
16-18% damage, plus upward diagnol knockback, making this an excellent clearout move.  If a bunch
of guys are duking it out, just float non-chalantly above them and rock down on the fray from
above.  Kirby is invulnerable while in stone form, but it only lasts a few moments, and he can
be grabbed out of it.  You can cancel the Stone in mid-air by pressing B again.  It's worthwhile
to note that Kirby will slide down inclines while in Stone form, so be careful using this move
above inclines that are aimed at a pit.

---------------------------------
Hammer (B + Right/Left on ground)
---------------------------------
Kirby swings a large, star-studded hammer, dealing a good 15-16% damage to an opponent.  This
gets fairly good knockback at higher percentages, so get close to the sides of a stage and use it
as a smash.  Take notice of the pre-lag though, and make sure you're in the clear before
swinging.

-------------------------------------------
Spinning Air Hammer (B + Right/Left in air)
-------------------------------------------
Kirby swings the hammer around him in mid-air, dealing between 10% and 15% damage to anyone
lucky enough to be caught in the attack.  Kirby gains a slight amount of height just before using
this move, so be sure to line it up correctly for maximum connection.  Knockback is minimal, if
any, even at high percentages, so be prepared to follow this up with another move to give you
some breathing room.

-----------------------
Lunge Kick (Side Smash)
-----------------------
This move kicks an enemy straight ahead of Kirby.  It dishes out a keen 15% damage, and places
you in the perfect position to hit them with it again.  Several quick Lunge Kicks right in a row
is an excellent way to make the percentage rise early in the fight on a careless foe.  A fully
charged Lunge Kick does 17-18% damage and gets more knockback, making it a useful smash move
on foes at high percentage.

------------------------
Break Dance (Down Smash)
------------------------
Kirby break dances on the ground, hitting foes on either side of him for about 13-14% damage.
This is good to clean house if too many opponents are nagging you at once, and gets almost purly
horizontal knockback.  This is one of Kirby's best edge guarders, but you've got to practice with
it beforehand to get your timing and range right.  A charged Break Dance will deal 15-17% damage
and enough knockback to make a character's recovery hopeless if they've already used up their
second jump.

--------------------
Flip Kick (Up Smash)
--------------------
Kirby does a backflip, kicking overhead as he does.  This move earns 12-13% damage and gets
forward diagnol knockback, so use it to get an enemy out of your face or to send him skyward to
set up an aerial combo.  Charge up the Flip Kick for 15-16% damage.

---------------------
Spin Cycle (A in air)
---------------------
Kirby spins around in mid-air, dealing 6-8% damage to anyone who gets hit.  The knockback is
negligable, and it's fairly obvious Kirby has better aerial moves to rely on.

---------------------------------------
Aerial Triple Kick (A + Forward in air)
---------------------------------------
A great in-your-face mid-air move.  Kirby kicks three times rapid fire in front of him, earning
a respectable 10-12% damage (if you connect with all three hits) and decent forward knockback.
I like to follow this up with a Final Cutter, but use whatever works best for you.

-------------------------------
Back Kick (A + Backward in air)
-------------------------------
Kirby kicks behind him.  This is a fast, powerful kick worth 13-14% damage and enough horizontal
knockback to keep yourself safe from anyone trying to get the drop on you from behind.

--------------------------------
Aerial Flip Kick (A + Up in air)
--------------------------------
Kirby performs a mid-air jump and flip kicks overhead.  This scores 10-11% damage and knocks the
opponent forward.  I don't use this one very often, but it's useful to use on foes standing on
platforms above you.

----------------------------
Drill Kick (A + Down in air)
----------------------------
Kirby does a downward Drill Kick, knocking the enemy downward.  At maximum connection, you can
deal 8-10% damage with this move.  If it connects all the way to the ground, it will knock the
opponent away from Kirby, but over a pit it knocks them straight down.  So use your first and
second jump to get out over to a foe trying to recover, Drill Kick them, then use your next
two jumps and a Final Cutter to get back to the stage yourself.  Kirby's best spike.

------------------------------
Cartwheel (L/R/Z + Left/Right)
------------------------------
Kirby's fast, efficient roll.  Learn this, love this.  This is the one move you should abuse with
all impunity.  Never let your opponent know where you're going to be next!

-------------------
Grab (Z or L/R + A)
-------------------
Kirby's Grab is very short range, but it's lightning quick, making it easy to use while dashing
past an opponent.  I like to roll around and grab people while they're still senselessly
attacking where I was a second ago.  Once you've got an opponent where you want them, feel free
to serve up one of the following attacks:
   Slap (A or Z): Kirby slaps his opponent causing a measly 2-3% damage.  If you're lucky, you'll
      be able to pull two of these off before your foe breaks your hold.  Don't bother with this;
      use Kirby's awesome throws instead!
   Suplex (Up): Kirby does a fantastic leap, carrying his opponent with him, then comes crashing
      to the ground, causing momentary fire stun as well as 10-12% damage.  Knockback is
      vertical, but not really noticable until higher percentages.
   Flipping Bodyslam (Forward): Kirby does a flip forward, bodyslamming his opponent.  This one
      does about 8-10% damage.  At high percentages, this throws the opponent forward at a high
      arc; a great move if you need some distance.  Near a ledge, you can also use this as a
      suicide spike.
   Back Bodyslam (Backward): Kirby falls backwards, throwing his opponent into the ground
      behind him.  It's actually almost identical to the Flipping Bodyslam, except it knocks the
      opponent in the opposite direction.  Near a ledge, you can also use this as a suicide
      spike.
   Tap Dance (Down): Kirby throws his foe on the ground and dances on him for a while.  This
      scores about 7-9% damage, but doesn't get any knockback worth noting.

----------------------------------
Ledge Kick (A while holding ledge)
----------------------------------
Kirby flip kicks up onto the ledge, dealing 6-7% damage and slight knockback to anyone standing
there.  Keep in mind that sometimes Kirby can be knocked out of this move, and it doesn't have
very good range.

-----------------------------
Hiii-iiii-iiii! (Up on D-Pad)
-----------------------------
Kirby's loud, obnoxious taunt.  Use this whenever you score a kill, foil an opponent's masterful
combo, or you just want to annoy someone.  Using Kirby's taunt will cause him to abandon any
stolen abilities he has, though.

=================================================================================================
 <(-.-)>    V. Strategies: Fighting With Kirby
=================================================================================================
Prepare to get knocked around.  A lot.  When Kirby gets hit, he gets hit far.  Kind of like the
volleyball he resembles.  What follows are a few helpful pointers about Kirby's game.

--------------
Training Alone
--------------
If you don't have any friends, or it isn't convenient to practice with them, or you want to get
a few hours of playtime in so you can surprise them later, you'll have to train by yourself.
Don't use Training Mode for this.  Beating up on a stationary (or moving) target may be fun, but
it isn't very useful except for FAQ-writing purposes.

Even if you're an aboslute Melee virgin, I suggest playing against three random CPU characters
on level 4 AI.  Go into Vs. Mode (just regular Melee will do) and click the little "N/A" button
until each one says CPU.  Commit yourself to fighting whomever pops up, and make sure you set
the stage selection to random as well.  This way, you get a taste of every character on every
stage.

At first, set the game to Stock battles (five is a good number) and practice avoiding people.
Don't bother fighting back yet.  If you're the last person alive, you win.  Keep this up,
progressively upping the AI, until you can more or less win every match.  This doesn't mean you
can fight, it just means you can survive.  Notice this is easier on large stages than small ones.

Set the AI to level 4 again, and change rules to Time (2 or 3 minutes is good).  Now you have to
get into the fray in order to win; KO as many foes as you can without being KOed yourself.
Again, up the computer AI until you can win most of the time.  Before you know it, you'll be
whooping three level 9 CPUs with ease.

Also challenge yourself on the various one-player modes.  Try beating all three modes on Normal
mode without continuing.  Then try it without dying.

Keep in mind though, that while this will give you a good idea of how to use Kirby, it will not
do you any good against human players.  Human players are so much different than CPU players.
They don't commit suicide as often.  They use items more efficiently.  They tend to use the
layout of the stage to their advantage, rather than getting tripped up on it.

You can continue your training by setting the CPU to teams against you, but there's really no
point.  To improve your game beyond this point, you should really play against your friends.
Beating the game on Very Hard without losing a stock is a great feat, but when you go up against
a human player it's a whole different ballgame.

------------------------
Maximizing Your Recovery
------------------------
A great deal (much larger than some other characters, anyway) of utilizing Kirby is making the
best of his awesome recovery.  Because of his jumps and his Spinning Air Hammer, he can easily
come back from all but the farthest horizontal reaches of any stages.  And because of his Final
Cutter, he can easily grab the ledge from almost the bottom of any pit.

However, if you're up against a talented human player, you're probably being edge guarded.  This
is something CPU players don't do (or, if they do, they don't do it very well), so you'll have to
improvise if you're inexperienced.  Remember, Kirby has low priority in almost all his moves,
so if you try to plow your way through an edge guard you'll probably be unsuccessful.

Sometimes you can tell an opponent is waiting for you.  If you see them charging a smash (glowing
yellow) or a special move (especially something like Roy's Flare Blade or DK's Punch) you can be
pretty sure that just coming back to the stage isn't going to save you.  As a general rule, if
you can get to a higher or lower platform than your edge guarder, do so.  Stone onto it if you
can (since Kirby is invulnerable while in his Stone move), but be sure to retreat once you're
out of immediate danger.  It only takes a second or two for an opponent to jump onto a high
ledge and grab you.

Stone is a pretty good comeback move, but don't overuse it.  People will learn quickly to
sidestep Kirby as he comes down and grab him (which Stone is not immune to).  It works well
against CPU players, though.  It's entirely possible to Stone in mid-air, un-Stone, then Stone
again right before you connect to throw your opponent out of his timing.

A tricky move I've used on more than one occassion is to float just to the side of the edge,
Stone past my opponent, un-Stone underneath him and then quickly grab the ledge with Final
Cutter.  With luck, your opponent will have mis-timed his edge guard and be vulnerable long
enough for you to capitalize with a Ledge Kick.

On that note, grabbing the ledge with Final Cutter is one of the best things you can teach
yourself.  From the ledge, you have a split second of advantage over anyone nearby with the Ledge
Kick.  Novice players will expect you to jump on the ledge directly, and advanced players will
most likely shield and roll out of the way (prime target for a Lunge Kick).

-------------
Edge Guarding
-------------
Knocking your opponent off isn't enough.  Often, you'll have to plant yourself on the edge and
make sure they don't come back.  One of Kirby's best edge guards is the Break Dance.  Time it so
Kirby will release a fully charged Break Dance just as his opponent comes into range and you've
got yourself an instant KO.

One of the most useful edge guarding techniques is to steal jumps.  If you hit an enemy with a
long-range attack just after they use their second jump, they'll lose it without gaining any
height.  This doesn't work with their third jump - each time they take damage they'll be given
another chance to use it.  Still, for characters with little or no third jump recovery (such as
Yoshi, Ness, Popo, and Jigglypuff) this is an instant KO.  Of course, Kirby doesn't have a
projectile; he'll have to steal someone else's.  My favorites are Link's (or Young Link's) Bow,
Luigi's Fireball, and Falco's Blaster.  Fox's Blaster doesn't work as well since it doesn't get
any stun (and therefore doesn't steal a jump).  Mewtwo and Samus' stolen abilities are simply
terrific for this purpose.

Kirby also has the benefit of being able to attack a knocked-off character in mid-air outside
the stage.  Knock someone off, then follow them.  Once out there, you'll likely be able to hit
them with one of Kirby's aerial moves and still get back to the level.  This works well with the
Drill Kick, as detailed below under the Spikes section.

None of Kirby's special moves are very good for straight edge guarding, though a Hammer is a
pretty hard hit if you can time it right (and you win priority).  Stick to smashes and stolen
moves and you should be alright.

If the opponent manages to land on a ledge above or below you, not all is lost.  Line up a Final
Cutter back towards the pit or an Aerial Flip Kick to hit whomever is above you.  Underneath, you
can often drop through the platform you're on and nail them with a Stone or a Drill Kick.  Either
way, you'll quickly be able to smash them back out into the pit for another chance at successful
edge guarding.

-------
Spiking
-------
Spikes are aerial moves that knock the opponent straight downward.  When performed over a pit,
these are fatal even at low damage.  For most people (like Falco and Yoshi), spiking is a very
advanced move, since it can be tricky to get back to the stage after a successful spike.  For
Kirby, this is no problem.

Kirby's best spike, hands down, is the Drill Kick.  With no ground underneath, it will score one
or two hits and then send your foe downward.  You'll probably go with him for a second or two
(using down in the air makes you drop faster, after all), but not so far as to have no hope of
recovering.  As a rule, don't chase anyone further than two jumps out - that's already further
than most characters can get back from.  Jump out twice, Drill Kick, then use your other jumps
and a Final Cutter if you need it to get back.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

The downward slice of the Final Cutter is a spike as well, though it's most likely a suicide.
However, it does cause your opponent to die a split second before you, so if he's down to his
last stock or you've only got two seconds left on the clock it's definately a worthwhile move.
If you can manage to set up a Final Cutter standing on the very edge to someone over they pit,
they'll get knocked out of bounds while Kirby is still standing on solid ground.  This only
happens once in a blue moon, however.  Frusteratingly, you'll sometimes hit the opponent with
the shockwaves and knock them outward instead.  Boo.

-------
Evasion
-------
A large part of playing Kirby is running away.  This may seem cowardly, but them's the breaks.
Getting far away from an opponent is easy for Kirby - just use his six jumps to float to the
other side of the screen.  Doing it quickly is the hard part.  Kirby's jumps are numerous, but
they're also slow, and it's easy to knock him out of them.

I find that using the Cartwheel is a good way to get away from a foe, since it's quick and puts
you in a prime position to grab them and throw them away from you.  When someone's in your face,
either roll towards them and grab them from behind, or roll away from them and see if you can't
hit them with a Fireball.

Keep in mind, though, that you can't win a match just by running from your opponent.  Well, not
unless it's a stock match and there are other guys for them to beat on.  Evade only long enough
to catch your breath, then dive back into the fight.

------------
Clearing Out
------------
While getting gangbanged (that is, three or more opponents fighting in very close quartess), it's
important to know how to clear your opponents away.  By far the best move for this is the Break
Dance, since it gets moderate range and good knockback on both sides of Kirby.  Problem is it's
a bit slow, and in a heated melee can be kind of hard to pull off.

If you're on the edge of a fray, the Final Cutter is nice to score multiple hits on multiple
opponents.  You've got to be kind of sneaky with this one; roll away from the fight and quickly
unleash a Cutter to send your opponents away from you.  Alternatively, you could wait until your
friends busy themselves by beating on each other, float above them, and Stone.  Problem with this
is, after you've done it often enough, they'll start expecting it.  It'll be in the back of their
mind all the time: "Where's Kirby?"  Then they'll look up and know you're coming.  But it's good
once in a while to score quite a bit of damage on everyone at once and break up the fight.

Also, try out a Suplex.  In heated combat, quickly grab somone and slam up on the stick.  You'll
damage the person you've grabbed, of course, plus send everyone else reeling.

Finally, a Drill Kick works to clean house, but it's a bit too tricky to rely on.  It basically
entails doing a very short vertical jump and immediately executing a Drill Kick, which will beat
everyone around for a second and send them outwards.  Of course, if you manage this over a pit
you've just gotten yourself a few free KOs.  And while we're wishing for stuff, I want a Ferari.

-----------------------
You Don't Have to Steal
-----------------------
If you're in a multi-man melee with three other folks, you've got an advantage they don't -
access to a library of moves.  However, think twice before you grab the first move that comes
your way, or you might regret it later.

For one thing, spitting an enemy out instead of swallowing him deals more damage, and creates
the possibility of you spitting him out into another enemy.  Spitting Bowser into someone
creates a world of hurt, whereas stealing his somewhat lackluster Fire Breath wouldn't have
been so hot.  Spitting one enemy into another puts them BOTH in prime position to smack with a
Lunge Kick or some other move, as well, if you're quick.

Also, you should know your enemies and what moves they have.  As a Kirby player, you're not
only responsible for your own moves, but all 25 potential neutral B moves that you COULD steal
and add to your arsenal.  If you're in a match against Roy, Samus, and Ice Climbers, you should
probably make Samus your initial priority - she has the best move.  Roy's Flame Blade is too
slow, and the Climbers' dinky little Ice Shot is not even worth mentioning.  However, if you
were up against Falco instead of Roy in the same fight, you might want to rethink your
strategy.  Even Samus' massive projectile is useless against Falco's Reflector.  Just as your
moves have strengths and weaknesses, so do all of the moves you can steal.

As for my favorite stolen moves, I favor projectiles over melee attacks, since Kirby has no
innate projectiles of his own.  The best projectiles to steal are probably Samus', Link's
(either of 'em), Mewtwo's, or Pikachu's (but NOT Pichu's).  Sheik, the Mario Bros., and
Game & Watch all have projectiles too, but they aren't as reliable.

I'm going to take a quick aside to promote the Star Fox Blasters.  I'm biased, of course (Fox
and Falco are my favorite characters to use), but even given that they're still great weapons.
They're quick, for one, which is great.  Both only get a couple of points of damage per hit,
but are so fast that you can rack up a nice chunk of hurt on an approaching enemy.  Falco's
gets knockback, and Fox's doesn't, but both can be fired rapidly in mid-air.  Think you could
get lucky dodging a volley of blaster fire coming at you from multiple levels?  Neither will
your opponent be able to.  Falco's is simply the best projectile in the game for stealing
jumps, and Fox's is the best for solid level machinegunning.  So don't underestimate these
two "crappy" projectiles - when used correctly, they can't be beat.

Oh, but the snaking lightning of the 'chus can be used to knock people off the ledge.  I don't
recommend taking Pichu's move though, since it will cause you to sustain damage.  And, I guess
it's worth mentioning, Game & Watch's move is a short-range projectile as well as a fairly
good melee attack.

If no projectiles are around, stick with stuff you can pull out fast.  Shy away from anything
with a pre-lag charge.  Swallowing Ganondorf, Roy, or even Bowser is a mortal sin.  Kirby can't
afford to stand still waiting to pull off a move.  Zelda offers up a great defensive move,
Marth and DK both have great offensive moves, and Jigglypuff gives you the capability to really
throw your opponents for a loop.  (Ness' is good too, if you can teach yourself to work it; I
never really bothered with it.)

The most important thing about Kirby's Swallow move is that it's a PART of his game, not his
ENTIRE game.  Just because you stole someone's move doesn't mean you're obligated to use it.
Know what you have and know how to use it, then use it if you need it.  In other words, use
the skills you take to enhance your game...  don't try and twist your game to fit the skills you
take.

-------------------
Be Picky With Items
-------------------
Kirby's not very quick, so he doesn't have the luxury of, say, Pikachu, who can run around
grabbing every item that hits the arena.  Yes, you've got six jumps, but by the time you've
crossed the arena over a well-heated fray to grab that Lip's Stick, you may put yourself in
needless danger.  Thus, items are a smaller part of Kirby's game than many other characters.

However, there are some items that Kirby's great with.  The Beam Sword and Parasol are both
excellent, since they help remedy Kirby's pitiful reach.  The Home Run Bat is good too, but a
bit slow...  I generally line up a shot and throw it instead.  Anything that gives Kirby the
benefit of a projectile, especially in a match where he can't conveniently steal one, is a
godsend.  Such things include the Ray Gun, Star Rod, and (to a lesser extent) the Super Scope.

Practice aiming and throwing items.  Beam Swords, Home Run Bats, Shells, Freezies, Pokeballs,
Capsules, Fire Flowers and Screw Attacks are all extraordinary one-time projectiles, providing
you hit.  They're all great for stealing jumps and edge guarding.  Remember to smash the stick
to throw the item with more force, and get more bang for your buck.

Kirby does have a benefit some folks may not consider: he spends a lot less time on solid
ground than most people.  Thus, hazard items are easier to avoid for him.  Litter the arena
with Red Shells, Flippers and Motion Sensor Bombs.  DON'T PICK UP BOB-OMBS.  Let them wander
around instead.  They're more a danger to the opposition than they are to you.

One item I grab as Kirby that I generally ignore with other characters is the Bunny Hood.  That
extra speed makes a world of difference, and the added height to Kirby's jumps makes him
almost impossible to reach.  The extra speed turns previously useless attacks into combo-worthy
death machines.

Kirby also has another great advantage: Stone.  Stone can be used to instantly open Crates,
Barrels, Capsules and Eggs.  No need to pick them up and break them, or attack them and risk
getting blown up.  If the coast is clear, a single Stone will bust open any carrier and put
Kirby right on top of any goodies that pop out.  If the carrier does turn out to be packed with
explosives, no biggie; Kirby's immune to the blast in Stone form.  Any opposition standing
around, however, is not...

There are a few items you should always risk your neck for.  Starmen are essential - grab them
mainly so your enemies can't.  Heart Containers should be grabbed for the same reason,
especially if you've already invested a great deal in fighting a given opponent.  Finally,
always ALWAYS try to capitalize on any Pokeballs.  Pokemon are extremely dangerous, but you're
immune to them if you're the one who threw the ball down (generally).  (Wait until you get
caught in a Ho-oh or Unown onslaught, THEN you'll believe me for sure.)

-----------------
Learn Your Stages
-----------------
Stage layout is very important in SSBM.  Kirby tends to do better on dynamic stages like Big
Blue or Brinstar Depths than some other characters, simply because he's so much more
manueverable in the air.  This generally goes without saying, but if you're given the choice,
always pick a stage that you can use to your advantage.

For example, if you find yourself often relying on Kirby's Drill Kick to spike people, you're
going to be at a disadvantage on Onett or Icicle Mountain where there's no pit to spike people
into.  However, a savvy player will know that you CAN spike people into passing cars in the
former, and that a well-placed Break Dance will send people off the narrow sides in the latter.

Some of Kirby's best levels are those with constantly changing terrain, such as Mute City,
Rainbow Cruise, Brinstar Depths, Poke Floats, and Big Blue.  This is simply because it's easier
to guide him to ledges than other characters.  Kirby also likes stages with deep, narrow pits;
places he can Drill Kick someone down into and then Final Cutter out of with relative ease.
Such stages include Mushroom Kingdom, Mushroom Kingdom II, and Fourside.  Also good are stages
with lots of little tiny platforms, wide enough for one or two characters and not much else.
Those are prime grounds to give a direct aerial assault.  Such places as Kongo Jungle, Mute
City, Hyrule Temple, and Kongo Jungle 64 fit that description fairly nicely.

Stages often also come with hazards you can use to your advantage.  Kirby can Cartwheel back
and forth fairly easily between the falling tools in Flat Zone, for example, or can spit
someone right onto the high-speed track in Big Blue.  Because Kirby's got great air mobility,
he can hover dangerously close to such hazards without actually getting into them.  If you time
a series of jumps across the arena directly overhead of a stream of Birdo's eggs, for example,
anyone below you will either have to jump up into the line of fire to get you, or sit and wait
until you decide to come down to them.  CPU players never use the stages to their advantage,
but you can, and so can your human opponents.

So even if you don't like a stage, try to get used to it.  Know what platforms appear where, and
when.  Gauge the direction of the knockback on your moves and use that to send people reeling
into the stage hazards.  It'll make your life a lot easier.

-------
Suicide
-------
Sometimes it's worth it to commit suicide - especially to deprive opponents of a point in Time
Melee.  And if you're going to go out, you might as well go out in style.  Kirby's got several
neat ways to snuff himself out and take someone with him.

First, use the Final Cutter on someone in mid-air, like mentioned above.  They die a split second
before you do, so if that's their last stock, you won't die at all.  Sweet!

Next, both of Kirby's side throws can be used on a ledge to suicide.  Just get very close to the
edge, grab someone (they have to be on the inside), then use the Back Bodyslam to dive headlong
into the pit while still holding your unlucky victim.  The Flipping Bodyslam can be used the
same way, though it's harder - you have to grab someone while you're on the edge and they're over
the pit in front of you.  Either way, both Kirby and his prey will die simultaineously.

The most humorous is to use Swallow over a pit.  Swallow will hold an opponent in Kirby's mouth
for a moment, so you can Swallow them in mid-air and drop into the hole while they mindlessly
smash buttons to get free.  The best part of this is that there is a glimmer of hope you'll
survive - if they do manage to break free, it's usually too late for them, while Kirby on the
other hand can still hop-hop-hop-Final Cutter his way back to safety.  Try swallowing someone
close to an edge, spitting them out underneath the stage, then Final Cutter back up and use a
taunt.  I got slapped once when I did this.

It goes without saying, but don't over-use suicide moves.  Even in Time Melee, it's to your
advantage to stay alive as long as possible.  Wait until you're at a very high percentage and
then unleash your self-destructive fury.

-------------------------
Normals Are Specials Too!
-------------------------
One of the biggest fallacies associated with SSBM is that each character only has four special
moves.  This is not true!  Each character has an entirely unique arsenal, and Kirby is no
exception.  You have five standing attacks, three smashes, a dashing attack, five aerial
attacks, a ledge attack, and four throws in addition to your four specials.  You should try
them all to see which ones you like.  The Fireball, Lunge Kick, Drill Kick, and Suplex are
all as unique to Kirby as is his Stone or Final Cutter (and are useful in more situations, too.)

I suggest spending a good bit of time playing in the Single Button mode.  Since this eliminates
your specials, you're forced to practice with only your normal moves.  You may honestly be
surprised at how much you end up liking certain normal moves.  I rarely use the Hammer, myself,
even though it's a good hit and gets fair damage.  Instead, I use the Break Dance a lot more
often.

I honestly cannot stress this enough, especially if you're a beginner.  There's more to Kirby,
and all the characters for that matter, than swallowing people and crushing them with Stone.
The CPU certainly doesn't rely solely on its specials, and the sooner you break yourself of
that habit, the sooner you'll see your game improve dramatically.

------------------------
Master Hand / Crazy Hand
------------------------
Once you get up into the Hard and Very Hard levels of Classic 1P Mode, the final bosses will
give Kirby worlds of trouble.  Since he's light, the hands will smack him out very far, and
often at an awkward downward angle that even Kirby will have trouble getting back from.  And
since he's small, his shield will shatter if he overuses it.  And since he's devoid of a
projectile, he can't even sit back and peg the hands for damage.  So what's a puffball to do?

When just fighting Master Hand, be aware of his attack pattern.  The hand always takes a break
after each attack.  This break is NEVER long enough for Kirby to recover AND attack, however.
If Kirby sustained damage and was knocked away, do NOT go on the offensive this break.  Only
if you manage to evade the Hand's attack and get off unscathed should you counterattack.  This
is not a melee; it is an endurance match.  You don't have to worry about knocking the Hand away.
You just have to dwindle its life down.

Kirby has the best defensive move in the game: Stone.  Only one of Master Hand's moves can
get through Stone (his grabbing attack), and only a few outlast it.  Learn to time your Stone
move so that the transformation ends just as the Hand's attack connects (remember, you don't
get the invulnerability until the transformation is completely done), and come out of it
directly after you're in the clear.  This will work for almost everything Master Hand can
throw at you, keeping in mind that several of its attacks involve swooping in at you from the
side, then again from the background (just Stone before each attack for these moves).

There are several exceptions.  First is the Master Hand's bullet move.  The lower his HP is,
the more bullets he'll shoot at you.  You know he's going for this move because the Hand forms
the shape of a gun.  Kirby's Stone lasts long enough to absorb two bullets, but not the third.
The trick to dodging this is to jump up four times and then Final Cutter.  The Hand will follow
you up, but by the time it starts firing you'll already be moving back down to the ground.  It
takes practice, but the evasion is fairly easy.  The other is the Hand's grabbing move.  You
know he's going for this because he'll hover in place and move towards you slowly.  Just
Cartwheel backwards until he attempts to grab you, and fails, and you'll be fine.

In between attacks, the best move I find to damage Master Hand is the Spinning Air Hammer.  You
can pull one off easily in each break the Hand takes, and have enough time to get back to the
middle of the platform where you're safe for the time being.  Just be sure you don't get cocky
and try to squeeze too many in at once.

When Crazy Hand appears, the game changes.  Now you don't have the breather space you once did.
And the two Hands often stradle their attacks so that while one's giving you a break, the
other's coming for you.  The best thing to do now is to finish off Master Hand quickly (since
he's at less HP).  I generally like to do this with Stone, because it does a good deal of
damage and puts me in a position of invulnerability in case Crazy Hand wants to get kinky.

The cool thing about Crazy Hand is that he's got a few moves that Master Hand doesn't, that
are harmless to you unless you walk into them.  They both take place in the middle of the arena,
so if you steer clear you'll be fine.  Either he'll float over to the middle and drop a ton of
bombs, or he'll lay down in the middle and start flopping around like a dead fish.  During
either of these attack modes, you can focus your Stones or Spinning Air Hammers on Master Hand
with relative peace.

The move to pray for is the finger laser technique.  When a Hand is shooting lasers across the
arena, you can stand directly under them and be perfectlty safe.  You can get a bunch of
Spinning Air Hammers (or whatever else you want to throw in) in while they're doing this, PLUS
the regular break time afterwards.

Once Master Hand is dealt with, retreat back to your cautious style.  Stone during his attacks,
and attack him during his breaks.  Either hand alone is relatively easy to take down...  it's
when you get both at once that they're a pain.  Just keep in mind that Crazy Hand has those
two extra mid-arena moves, and you should be ready for anything.  Like all things in this game,
practice makes perfect.

---------
Mix it Up
---------
This is more of a general tip than a Kirby-specific one, but mix things up a bit.  Throw things
at your opponent that they won't expect.  Play offensively one moment, then defensively the next.
Throw items instead of using them to batter your foe.  Steal special moves and switch them often.
Shield, roll, and throw in different directions to set up different combos.  The best way to
defeat your opponent is to never let them know exactly what you're doing.  Whatever you did to
beat them last game, don't do it this time.  Kirby is blessed with being a different character
depending on your play style.  Use different play styles (or mix and match them) and Kirby
effectively becomes one of the most versitile players in the game.

=================================================================================================
 <(o.o)>   VI. Strategies: Bonus Stages
=================================================================================================
Part of mastering a character is mastering his bonus stages.  This is a quick walkthrough for
each of the bonus areas using Kirby.  Anyone with strategies to improve upon these is welcome
to let me know!

----------------------------
Break the Targets (00:20:35)
----------------------------
Start off with a very short hop forward.  Use a Spinning Air Hammer when Kirby's right on top
of the first target, and he'll bust it and land on the plateau to the right.  (1)

Jump over the pit and start another Spinning Air Hammer as you come in contact with the wall.
Kirby will just barely have enough reach to break the second target.  (2)

Stone into the pit just to your left to break two more.  (3 & 4)

Come out of your Stone (just press B again in mid-air) before you hit the wooden bridge and
jump left towards the target in the narrow shaft.  Use a Final Cutter to break it.  (5)

From here, jump upwards to the right.  Use five jumps.  This will put you in Final Cutter
range of the next ledge.  Kirby should also break the next target with his upswing.  (6)

From here, jump up into the shaft where you see the two targets in little niches on either side;
use a Spinning Air Hammer in between them to nail them both.  (7 & 8)

Now drop down and Spin Cycle the target down and to your right.  Make sure you land directly
on top of the target, NOT to the right of it.  (9)

Quickly hop back down to the left, to where the wooden bridge is, but this time go underneath
the stage to the right where the last target sits.  Nail it with the upswing of a Final Cutter.

Using this strategy, my current best time is 00:20:35, which is over two impressive seconds
better than my previous score of 00:22:18.

-----------------------------
Home Run Contest (1219.8 ft.)
-----------------------------
The trick to this game with any character is to use moves that deal lots of damage, but don't
have a whole lot of knockback.  You have ten seconds to rack up as much damage as you possibly
can, then at the last possible moment you have to smash the Sandbag with the bat to knock it
as far as you can off the pedistal.

After tinkering around a bit, I learned that while SSBM registers damage from every attack that
lands, it only registers knockback for the most RECENT attack that lands.  Here's what this
means: hit the Sandbag with whatever you want...  as long as you hit it with something that
keeps it still directly afterwards, you'll be in good shape.

My previous strategy basically had Kirby (who, by the way, is a very poor character for this
whole Home Run Nonsense) squeezing in five Spinning Air Hammers on the Sandbag, then smashing
it with the bat.  This is kind of a sketchy strategy, since the Air Hammer has a tendancy to
throw the Sandbag off sometimes, but I managed to pull off a modest 90% damage and 1116.5 feet.

Pick up the bat and jump OVER the Sandbag.  The second before Kirby lands, execute a Spinning
Air Hammer facing left.  Optimized, this will do 20% damage.  You should have about 8 seconds
left on the clock.

Immediatly afterwards, jump over the Sandbag again.  At the peak of Kirby's jump, throw the
bat upwards (up + Z).  Land, wait a split second, then do a short hop and use a Spinning Air
Hammer.  The bat should hit the Sandbag while Kirby is doing the Hammer thing; this means the
damage is registered for both bat AND Hammer, but the Sandbag will more or less stay put.  The
Sandbag should be in the mid-50's now, and the announcer should be starting to count down with
five.

Here's where it gets really tricky.  Grab the bat in mid-air (give it time to bounce once) or
else it will disappear.  You can do this by tapping Z while in contact with the bat while
jumping.  The second after you have it, throw it upwards again, and do another Spinning Air
Hammer after you land.  You should top out at about 94% damage with a second left to spare.

Grab the bat in midair again, face the Sandbag, and give it all you've got.  Remember that
hitting an object with the very tip of the bat will send it farther than hitting it up close!

For my efforts (and trust me, I had to retry an enormously frusterating amount of times!) I
managed to better my score by over a hundred feet, now capping off at 1219.8.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multi-Man Melee   10-Man  (00:10:18)   100-Man  (03:51:50)   3-Minute  (124 KOs)
               15-Minute   (568 KOs)   Endless   (284 KOs)      Cruel    (8 KOs)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Multi-Man Melee is built to be super cheap, which is precisely what Kirby is good at.  Every
Mult-Man Melee (except Cruel Melee, of course) can be easily won by standing at the extreme
edge of the bottom platform, facing the center, and using Final Cutter.  This will instantly KO
anyone in range of the cutter (which has an amazing vertical range), plus the shockwave will
extend to about the middle of the main platform, slaughtering any wire frame caught in its path.

There are a few complications, though.  Sometimes, for example, a wireframe will be able to
sneak in behind you.  When this happens, quickly use a Break Dance so you can smash it away
without turning around.  Also, you'll notice that sometimes Kirby will accidentially hit a bomb
with his Cutter while he's in range of the explosion, effectively blowing him out of the arena.
There's really nothing you can do about this.

And even more rare, a wireframe will stand on the platform above you and kick you out of your
Cutter.  Don't be daunted - Kirby can just use his Cutter again in midair and get the offending
wireframe on the return flight.

Once in a while you'll note that a stubborn wireframe will be sitting on a far ledge and won't
come towards you.  And since there are times that no new wireframes will respawn until the old
ones are dead, you might have to leave your perch once in a while.  If so, it's usually better
just to use an Aerial Flip Kick to kill the wireframe, then dash to the nearest edge before more
wireframes respawn.

A note about items: only grab items that literally fall right into your lap, and even then only
grab the ones that will function without your help.  Going out of your way to get an item, even
a useful one, is generally a bad idea in Multi-Man Melee.  Here's a list of useful ones:
   Hammer: I've never seen a Hammer in Multi-Man Melee, but if by some fluke of luck you should
      find one, you'd be able to give your thumb a rest for a moment at least.
   Green Shell: It's of no use to you.  Throw it away before a wireframe has a chance to hit
      it towards you, or you might accidentially KO yourself.
   Red Shell: A great item!  Ideally, throw it so it lands on the second-level platform opposite
      you.  This will automatically KO any wireframes that hit it, coming or going, including
      the ones that respawn on that platform.  If one of these gets kicks along the bottom
      platform, you're in trouble.  Your best bet is to float upwards and Stone it as it comes
      underneath you, hopefully smashing it off the screen.
   Poké Ball: Throw it so it lands on the bottom level on the opposite ledge.  Any closer to you
      and the Pokémon will probably end up killing a wireframe (or more) that your Cutter would
      have nabbed anyway, and you want to maximize those KOs.
   Motion Sensor Bomb: Throw it opposite you, so it'll kill a wireframe out of range of your
      Cutter.
   Cloaking Device: You won't be at the usual disadvantage since you're staying in one place
      anyway, and you'll be safe from damage while invisible.

Here are some individual stage strategies:
   10-Man Melee: Using the above strategy, you should be able to win this in under 15 seconds,
      easily.  My record: 00:10:18.
   100-Man Melee: A bit tougher, since the wireframes slowly gain in strength the more you kill.
      Also, the very last one is not susceptable to an instant kill like the rest of them -
      you'll have to fight it the hard way (not to mention at a higher health).  My record:
      03:51:50
   3-Minute Melee: Another easy round.   My record: 124 KOs.
   15-Minute Melee: Your thumb might get tired doing so many Final Cutters in a row, but that's
      more or less what you'll have to do to win this grueling death match.  My record: 534 KOs.
   Endless Melee: The wireframes are a bit tougher here than in the other rounds; while they're
      just as light as in the other matches, the AI is beefed up a bit.  You'll have to roll back
      and forth between the two edges more often here.  Also, I suggest grabbing any Poké Balls
      that materialize.  Wireframes will use items against you here, and you really don't want
      your day ruined by an angry Pokémon.  My record: 248 KOs.
   Cruel Melee: It goes without saying, but the above strategy will not work on this round.
      In fact, nothing other than pure Melee mastery and a bit of luck will get you anywhere
      here.  Prepare to spend a lot of time being knocked around - even 5 KOs is a hell of a feat
      in this bout.  Your best bet is to try and Stone all five wireframes at once.  If you can
      do that, you'll have just barely enough time to roll out of their way before they
      retaliate.  Just be sure you hit all five wireframes every time you Stone, or you're in
      big trouble.  Recovering in the Cruel Melee is almost impossible, since once you're off
      the stage long enough all five of them will probably go right to that ledge and wait for
      a moment to knock you back off.  So when you come back, position yourself underneath the
      edge and Final Cutter so you grab the ledge.  Hopefully, your recovery move will knock them
      all away and give you time to get to your feet.  My record: 8 KOs.

-----------------
Snag the Trophies
-----------------
As luck would have it, both of Kirby's good moves in this round are done best facing away from
the center.  This makes it very easy for him to run out, hit the trophy into the goal, and then
run right to the next one.  Use Kirby's Back Kick to hit a trophy that is far away from the
goal, and use his Spin Cycle for one closer in.  If a trophy is level with the ground, face it
and do a Flip Kick to knock it back upwards, then Spin Cycle.

------------------
Race to the Finish
------------------
Tailor made for Kirby.  This one's tough to practice, since you have to go through six rounds of
combat and two bonus stages to get to it.  But it's also worth five coins for the Lottery done
completely, so listen up.

Start off by running right as fast as you can.  Kirby's run isn't all that fast, but it'll have
to do.  Pass the first door.  Coming up on the second door, just jump to the ledge overhead and
then over to the right.  Dodge the platforms as you fall down the next shaft; they only waste
time.

As soon as you land, run right.  Jump to the red platform above you as soon as it comes into
view.  Climb the next shaft by jumping ledge to ledge.  You're now underneath a red arrow.  Run
to the right, fall (don't jump) into the next shaft, using one of your mid-air jumps to get into
the passageway once you're level with the door on the left.  Continue right.

This is the three-way junction.  The top way is full of spiked walls, the middle is full of lava,
and the bottom is full of wide gaps.  It goes without saying, but Kirby ought to go the bottom
route.  Hold down as you fall through the long shaft, so Kirby will fall faster.

<originalprankzter666@hotmail.com> "...i found that turning into a rock is really faster,
 despite transforming. Make sure you turn back to normal _just_ before you hit the ground or
 the transformation takes longer."
I thought this too, originally, but keep in mind that you're not trying to break a record in
this minigame.  As long as you get to the end, you're successful.  If you hit the ground
before transforming back, you could really blow your chances.  Of course, if you're already
fairly good you might want to switch to this Stone method to shave a second or so off your
time.  Anyway...

Run right, through a long hallway (careful not to touch the door here!) and start jumping at the
very edge to get through the wide pit.  Use the four topmost platforms as resting spots; Kirby
gets a lot of jumps, but none of them get too much horizontal distance.

Now you're in the home stretch!  Dodge the door on the leftmost side and dash to the right as
hard as you can.  Be careful not to hit the spikes in the small room halfway through this part,
since doing so this late in the game is almost guaranteed to ruin your shot at those five coins.

It takes about six seconds to get from the second-to-last door (the one at the beginning of the
home stretch) to get to the very last door.  So if you get to the second-to-last and the five
second countdown has already begun, just go into it instead.  It's better to take the four coins
and accept defeat rather than get cocky and go for five that you have no shot at.

-------------------------------------
Event 16: Kirby's Air-raid (00:23:40)
-------------------------------------
You'll have to use Kirby for this event, which is why it's included here.  The object is to grab
the Warp Stars as fast as you can to KO all ten yellow Kirbies.  Attacks of any kind will not
harm them, but Warp Stars spell an instant KO.  You'll be fighting on the Corneria stage, which
is actually a very good level to aim Warp Stars on.  You only have 38 seconds to KO all ten.

In order to maximize each star, aim for as many Kirbies as possible.  They sort of come out in
clumps at first, if you see two groups walking towards each other, don't just get one of them -
wait a few seconds until the two groups pass each other so you can slaughter the whole gang at
once.  Try the event a few times to get the timing of Warp Stars down, and learn how long to aim
to go where.

Don't spend too much time chasing down every star - only use the ones you need.  You might need
to use on of those out-of-the-way stars later, after all!  My current record is 00:23:40.

=================================================================================================
 (>o.o<)  VII. Trainspotter's Guide
=================================================================================================
Super Smash Bros. Melee is, of course, a mish-mash of many other Nintendo games.  And for the
sake of completion, here is a list of all the stuff that originated in the Kirby games.

------
Stages
------
   Fountain of Dreams - The Fountain of Dreams was an intregal part of Kirby's Adventure on NES,
      which is by far one of the most popular Kirby games.  Kirby travelled through six worlds
      fighting King Dedede's minions before he challenged the king himself in front of the
      fabled fountain, only to find out that Dedede wasn't really a villain after all.
   Green Greens - Whispy Woods is a Kirby staple - he's a boss in just about every Kirby game
      in existence.  This stage is also littered with yellow star blocks and bomb blocks, which
      were obstacles in Kirby's Adventure on NES.
   Dream Land - This secret stage is not only remniscient of levels in many Kirby games (since it
      features Whispy Woods), but was also Kirby's home level in the original Super Smash Bros.
   All-Star Area - Between battles in the 1-player All-Star mode, players are dropped into a
      neutral area that is very similar to the scene in between battles in the arena of Kirby
      Super Star on SNES - right down to the three energy refills in the center and the portrait
      of the next opponent.

-----
Music
-----
   [11] Fountain of Dreams - A beautiful orchestrated rendition of the Gourmet Race from Kirby
      Super Star plays on the Fountain of Dreams stage.
   [12] Green Greens - This orchestrated version of the music used in many stages in Grape
      Garden in Kirby's Adventure is heard on the Green Greens stage.
   [29] Dream Land 64 - This version of the Gourmet Race song, played on the classic Dream
      Land stage, is much closer to the original SNES version than the orchestrated one.
   [43] Kirby's Victory - The tune which plays when Kirby wins a match is the same tune that
      plays after he defeats a boss in Kirby's Adventure.  The dance is very similar, as well.
   [60] All-Star Intro - In between All-Star matches, you hear a remix of the original tune that
      played in the save rooms in the Great Cave Offensive from Kirby Super Star.

-----
Items
-----
   Food - The Gourmet Race in Kirby Super Star was a race between Kirby and King Dedede too see
      who could eat the most hamburgers, ice cream, etc.  In Melee, Food restores a minimal
      amount of health.
   Maxim Tomato - Kirby's favorite food.  In his games, the Maxim Tomato restores his health
      completely.  In Melee, it's a bit weaker, able to restore 50% damage.
   Warp Star - In Kirby's Adventure, Kirby used Warp Stars in some levels to fly to different
      areas of stages.  They are shaped kind of like Kirby's homeworld, Pop Star.
   Star Rod - In Kirby's Adventure, Kirby had to collect the seven pieces of the Star Rod and
      return it to the Fountain of Dreams.  A similar thing happened in Paper Mario, but that's
      most likely a different Star Rod.
   Parasol - After eating a Parasol Waddle Dee, Kirby was able to use this in his games to float
      around casually or violently pummel his enemies.  In Melee, Peach has one of these built
      into her arsenal.

--------
Trophies
--------
This list is incomplete, most likely, because I haven't yet received all of the trophies.  I
honestly don't even know how many there are.
   Kirby - Of course, all three Kirby trophies originated from the cream puff's benchmark series.
   Ball Kirby - Not only does Kirby transform into a ball after eating certain enemies in
      Kirby's Adventure, but this is also the form he takes on in any game in which he portrays
      a pinball.
   Fire Kirby - This is the result of Kirby eating a fire-breathing enemy.  Note the stylish
      headdress!
   Fighter Kirby - The restult of Kirby stealing the Fighter ability in Kirby Super Star.  Kirby
      is frowning here, and that means that he means business.
   Kirby Hat - The five Kirby Hat trophies depict what Kirby looks like wearing the hats of his
      opponents in Melee after sucking them in.
   King Dedede - Dedede has always been Kirby's lukewarm nemesis, but in several of the games the
      fat penguin decides to help the little guy instead.
   Waddle Dee - This harmless little creature appears in every Kirby game; sometimes for good,
      other times for ill.
   Gooey - Kirby's right-hand man in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
   Rick - A hamster friend of Kirby's.
   Meta-Knight - Melee says he originated in Kirby Super Star, but he was actually a boss in
      Kirby's Adventure, as well.  Meta-Knight is a villain who always refuses to fight Kirby
      unless he's weilding a sword.
      <AlienHotBoy711@aol.com> "...there's a glitch in Kirby Super Star where when you fight
       him. If you don't pick up the sword in the ground. He just gets impatient and fights you
       anyway."
      Indeed there is!  And while this information isn't really relevant to a Smash Bros. FAQ,
      Meta-Knight is much easier to defeat with the Yo-Yo or Cutter skill.
   Whispy Woods - This living tree is a boss in almost every Kirby game.  He blows wind from his
      giant mouth and causes apples to rain down from his leaves.
   Maxim Tomato - Kirby's favorite food that restores all his energy.
   Star Rod - Kirby had to rescue the Star Rod from King Dedede in Kirby's Adventure.
   Warp Star - Kirby's main form of transportation throughout the series!
   Parasol - Kirby used this to beat up on bad guys in some of his games, after eating a Parasol
      Waddle Dee.
   Fountain of Dreams - The home of the Star Rod.

----------------
Kirby's Costumes
----------------
Not from Kirby games, obviously, but I'm including them just for the sake of completion.  Kirby
actually looks pretty cool in some of these get-ups; you should see them all at least once.
   Regular Kirby - The classic pink Kirby we all know and love.
   Yellow Kirby - Just like when he takes the Spark power in Kirby's Adventure.
   Ice Blue Kirby - Just like when he takes the Ice power in Kirby's Adventure.  Also, Kirby's
      color when he joins the Blue Team.
   Red Kirby - Kirby's color when he joins the Red Team.
   Green Kirby - Kirby's color when he joins the Green Team.
   Monocrhome Kirby - Just like in his good old Game Boy days.
   Mario Hat - Swallow Mario.
   Gorilla Suit - Swallow DK.
   Green Hood - Swallow Link or Young Link.
   Yoshi Mask - Swallow Yoshi.
   Samus' Helmet - Swallow Samus.
   Pikachu Mask - Swallow Pikachu.
   Fox Ears - Swallow Fox.
   Backwards Baseball Cap - Swallow Ness.
   Racing Helmet - Swallow Capt. Falcon.
   Gerudo Hair - Swallow Ganondorf.
   Dragon Horns - Swallow Bowser.
   Eskimo Hood - Swallow an Ice Climber (either one will work).
   Crown - Swallow Peach.
   Regal Headdress - Swallow Zelda.
   Ninja Wrap - Swallow Sheik.
   Jeri Curl - Swallow Jigglypuff.
   Alien Horns - Swallow Mewtwo.
   Blue Hair & Sword - Swallow Marth.
   Luigi Hat - Swallow Luigi.
   Sealth Suit - Swallow Mr. Game & Watch.
   Red Hair & Sword - Swallow Roy.
   Beak - Swallow Falco.
   Pichu Mask - Swallow Pichu.
   Doctor Headgear - Swallow Dr. Mario.  I'm sure there's a proper name for the light/mirror
      thing that he wears, but I don't know it.  If you do, e-mail me.

-------------
Kirby's Games
-------------
And finally, here's a complete (to my knowledge) list of the games Kirby has starred in, up to
and including Smash Bros. Melee.  While he's best known for his swallow-stylings in colorful
platform games, Kirby has also become almost synonymous with puzzle games...  Breakout clones,
Tetris clones, pinball games...  it's all here.  Quite a versitile chap, yeah?  For gobs of
information on all these games, I suggest checking out Kirby's Rainbow Resort, at
http://www.classicgaming.com/kirby.
   1992 - Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
   1993 - Kirby's Adventure (NES)
          Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy)
          Kirby's Pinball Land (Game Boy)
   1994 - Kirby's Dream Course (SNES)
   1995 - Kirby's Avalanche (SNES)
   1996 - Kirby's Block Ball (Game Boy)
          Kirby Super Star (SNES)
   1997 - Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
          Kirby's Star Stacker (Game Boy)
   1998 - Kirby's Super Star Stacker (Super Famicon; Japanese Release)
   1999 - Super Smash Bros. (N64)
   2000 - Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64)
   2001 - Kirby Tilt'n'Tumble (Game Boy Color)
          Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

=================================================================================================
 <(~.~)> VIII. Credits and Contact Information
=================================================================================================
AlienHotBoy711@aol.com - Wrote in concerning a minor oversight about the Meta-Knight trophy.
originalprankzter666@hotmail.com - Wrote in with another method of shaving your time down in
   the Race to the Finish minigame.

To add something of your own, send an e-mail to brickroad@mailcircuit.com with the title heading
"Kirby FAQ" so I know what you're talking about.  If it covers information I don't, I will add
the information, credit you, and thank you personally.

I'll respond to gameplay questions only if they pertain directly to playing Kirby or fighting
against him.  If you ask me a question that this FAQ doesn't cover, chances are I'll respond and
then adding the information, crediting you for indirectly adding to the FAQ.  But ask me
something that the FAQ does cover, and I'll probably just tell you to read harder.

I do use various instant message programs, but please don't ask me how to contact me via these
programs.  I've already got enough people I don't talk to via AIM and the like.  Thanks.