Aqua Star - Stage 5
Aqua Star - Stage 5 is the final stage of Aqua Star in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. This stage pits Kirby against Acro, who is battled underwater in two different phases; the first taking place in a large but unchanging arena, and the second taking place while moving up a vertical column. Clearing this stage allows Kirby to access the next level, Neo Star.
This battle takes place in two phases. The first has Kirby facing off against the killer whale in a static underwater chamber. Acro attacks by doing body slams and spitting out projectiles, including Fishbones and Gordos. Kirby can take advantage of both of these by inhaling the Recoil Stars and objects that Acro generates to hurt it.
Once Acro loses its first bar of stamina, the battle changes into an auto-scrolling battle going up. From here, Acro attacks from above and below, by doing charges and spitting Pedos at Kirby. Much like before, Kirby can retaliate by inhaling these and spitting them back, and can also make use of the aquatic enemies that are passed along the way. Once Acro is defeated in this phase, it falls down the chute and crashes, leaving Kirby to collect the last crystal shard of the level and proceed to Neo Star.
During the first phase, there are two distinct parts to the fight. The first involves Acro moving backward away from Kirby as the screen shifts either to the left or right. While this is happening, Acro will continuously spit out objects toward Kirby until one of the arena walls is reached. The objects Acro spits are randomized, but can either be a Bonehead which travels in a straight line, a Fishbone which swivels up and down as it moves forward, or a Gordo which falls to the floor and bounces. In the second part, Acro will perform one of two moves. It will either swim in a wide arc then move into the background, and then come back with a rising motion and slam into the ground from above, or it will perform a flip and a body slam directly into the ground. In the case of both impacts, rocks are flung out on both sides, which Kirby can inhale and spit at Acro to damage it, though the rocks only last a few seconds.
After the first phase, the floor of the arena crumbles, along with many background elements. Kirby will need to make his way upward as the screen scrolls into the area where the second phase takes place. Starting at this point, and continuing for the rest of the fight, Kirby will need to be mindful not to swim too close to the bottom of the screen, or he will fall into a void and immediately lose the fight.
In the second phase, Kirby must continually swim up as Acro attacks from below. Acro has two different methods of attack here; it can continuously fire Pedos upward as it moves back and forth, and it can pull back to do a big charge up the shaft before coming back down through the background to reset its position. Kirby can inhale the Pedos that Acro spits out, but this can be dangerous, since Kirby cannot move while inhaling. A safer option is to inhale one of the many aquatic enemies that are passed during the battle. These enemies appear at random either on the left or right side of the chute, and can be a Blowfish, a Flopper, or a Squibby.
- When collecting the Crystal Shard (or Maxim Tomato) from this stage, Kirby lets out a unique muffled "Hi!", due to being underwater.