Aqua Star

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Game(s) Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Boss(es) Acro
Theme Music

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All of Aqua Star's five stages have some sort of water element to them, as to be expected.

Aqua Star is the oceanic third level encountered by Kirby and his sidekick, Ribbon, during their mission to dispel Dark Matter from their realm in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Physically, the planet is encompassed in water, even the small inner core, an appearance backed up by the five water-logged stages that make up the topography of Aqua Star. With regions ranging from beaches to raging rivers, and from subterranean caves to islands. Kirby must navigate the aqueous landscape in order to make it to the lair of Acro, the killer whale-like boss of the level at the last stage.

Like in all levels of The Crystal Shards, the first four stages within Aqua Star hide three Crystal Shards, while the final stage rewards only one after the defeat of the boss. Nevertheless, all shards within one level need not to be collected before Kirby is granted access to the next; Kirby must simply complete the level.

Stage 1

Kirby navigates a water-logged cave within Stage 2.

The first stage is overall summer-themed, covered with palm trees and sunny skies. The first portion of the level has Kirby venturing through a waterfront landscape, inhabited by Floppers, Pompeys, Bobos, and Kapar, albeit others. This beach scene merges into a cavernous setting; Zebon, which are used to ascend a tall, vertical chasm within the cave, are abundant. Avoiding the Glom on the cave's upper level, Kirby makes his way deeper into the cavern, encountering foes such as Galbo and Yariko in the next expanse. At the level's halfway point, a large Tick waits to be defeated, and in the event Kirby does so, he is rewarded a Crystal Shard (or a Blue Star if he's bested the mini-boss previously). Adeleine paints Kirby a Maxim Tomato as he exits the cave and passes through one final highland section before the level ends.

Stage 2

The second stage is based on a slow-moving river, a system that physically carries though to the level's end. At its opening, Kirby has the opportunity to absorb Bomb and Stone copy abilities from foes, and encounters simple creatures such as Gordo, Bouncy, and Bronto Burts, as well. Like in the previous stage, the first section becomes a cavernous area, however, this time, more obstacles are present such as falling platforms, uneven ground, and enemies such as Propeller and Emp. The cave ends and opens out to a battle with a large Kany, on a Donkey Kong-like wooden arena. The river continues out of the cavern and back into the earlier forest-like setting, but now Kirby is able to ride the water with Waddle Dee all the way to the waterfall's end. Interestingly, to reach the Picnic, Kirby must walk back up the other side of the river, against the current, and against the rolling Splinter logs.

Kirby and Waddle Dee take to the crate for the ride of their life in Stage 2.

Stage 3

This stage places Kirby right on the beach, jumping over sandbars, and avoiding Shotzos, Mites, and Sandmen to get a chance to swim in the ocean's waters. The Bomb, Stone, and Cutter abilities are available in the first section, and Kirby will even enlist the aid of King Dedede to progress to a platform further than he can jump. Through unstable bridges, large rock towers, and other simple enemies, Kirby makes it down beneath the water into yet another cavernous area. A large Kapar within the cave holds a Crystal Shard, and provides passage to the rest of the stage when defeated. Further in the cave is a vertically-inclined, Splinter-infested labyrinth, of which Kirby must navigate to reach the Picnic, back on the beach.

Stage 4

Beach habitats are quite common on Aqua Star, especially in Stage 3.

The last non-boss stage of Aqua Star is entirely underwater, and the first section is a lengthy trench. In navigating the deep chasm, Kirby will encounter many Pedo and Squibby foes, not to mention Glunk enemies lined up at the trench's base. The adjacent area opens into an expansive sea, with coral and deep sea floor crevasses; falling boulders and Flopper enemies are abundant. The great sea becomes another deep chasm in which Kirby must ride the current upwards, towards the surface, and away from the many Glunk and Gordo that are positioned on rocks about the trench. Slipping out of the trench and into a thin undersea canal, Kirby simply floats along, passing the many foes that litter the passage to reach a large Blowfish mini-boss. After its defeat, one more waterlogged expanse, filled with falling rocks and Gordo enemies, and the Picnic lies in wait.

Stage 5

The final stage of Aqua Star is the battle with the killer whale-like boss, Acro.