An Ability Star (also referred to as a Power Star) is a star-shaped object that holds the essence of a Copy Ability within it. Kirby can generate the object whenever he wants to discard his current ability, or when he is hit by a strong enough attack. Swallowing an ability star will yield the Copy Ability that it held. It can also instead be spat out as a Star Bullet if the ability is no longer desired.
Appearance and Properties
Ability Stars debuted in Kirby's Adventure, along with Copy Abilities themselves. When they appear, they bounce along the ground, in a similar manner to a Starman from the Super Mario series. They resemble Recoil Stars and Star Bullets, apart from their propensity to bounce about the place. If left for too long, or if it makes contact with an environmental hazard such as magma or Spikes. the Ability Star bursts and disappears. Kirby can inhale them and swallow them to gain back his ability, or spit them out as ammunition against his foes.
When in deep water, an Ability Star is basically irretrievable and will burst after a few seconds, unless Kirby has Kine to help him swallow it back up. However, in Kirby: Squeak Squad, Ability Stars will float upwards in the water, and are only irretrievably lost if they get caught under a solid object.
Exclusively in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Ability Stars have many more pointed facets, and come in specific colors determined by the ability it represents. Power Combo stars are larger, and can come in one or two colored varieties. Here, they do not bounce, and instead can be held and tossed by Kirby. Tossing a singular star at a compatible enemy will transform that enemy into a Power Combo star, which can then be swallowed for the ability. Miracle Matter can be damaged by Ability Stars which are the same type as its current form (including Power Combo stars as long as one of their copy abilities is the one it is using).
Starting with Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Ability Stars come in different colors and have the insignia of their designated Copy Ability inset. They can also be held and tossed like other items, and will not shatter when held. As such, one of Kirby's friends can hold an Ability Star for him while he does something else, then can retrieve it later.
Super Ability stars are larger than their standard counterparts, and do not bounce. They cannot be discarded at will by Kirby, but will always emerge in star form from a defeated super enemy. Unlike normal Ability Stars, Kirby simply has to touch one to activate the ability, and will always override Kirby's current ability in the process.
In Kirby Star Allies, if Kirby drops an elemental weapon's Ability Star, it will lose the element in a few seconds. Tossing a Friend Heart at an Ability Star will create the respective helper, and if it's an elemental weapon's Ability Star, the created helper will come with that element too. In The Ultimate Choice, Kirby can never lose his ability except playing as Normal Kirby (in which he can inhale). In some ability-exclusive rooms of Heroes in Another Dimension, Kirby can never lose his current ability as well.
- In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad, both the Master and Triple Star abilities bounce about like Ability Stars when discarded, but still resemble their respective held forms. Neither of them disintegrate either.
- When it first emerges from Daroach's body, Dark Nebula takes the form of an ability star, and after he does, he bounces away on his own accord.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, Kirby can discard his Copy Ability via a taunt, but no Ability Star is dropped. Instead, when he discards the ability, a star is generated and disintegrates almost-immediately.
- "If you take a hit from an enemy, though, you may lose your Power Star - and the copied power." -Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards European Manual, Page 16