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Arena Showdown

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Arena Showdown
Various arrangements of "Arena Showdown".
Debut appearance Kirby Super Star (1996)
Last appearance Kirby Star Allies (2018)
Other appearance(s) Kirby Air Ride
Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Composer(s) Jun Ishikawa or Dan Miyakawa
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"Arena Showdown"[1] (also simply referred to as "The Arena"[2]) is a musical piece which first appeared in Kirby Super Star, playing in multiple battles of The Arena.


The showdown in The Arena.

"Arena Showdown" is a resolute theme in A Phrygian dominant and 4/4. It is characterized by a sharp rhythm with staccato and classical instrumentation similar to the "Mars" movement of Gustav Holst's The Planets suite, which is often associated with war, due to the Roman god of war bearing the same name. This rhythm appears prominently starting from the intro, which revolves around the tonic. The first section's melody is presented with a trumpet opening, starting with a rising fourth, followed by a slow ascent followed by a fall back to the original pitch; this phrase highlights the traits of its key. As the accompaniment remains unchanged for the second phrase, the melody comes in shorter sections and played by strings, as a new motif appears during the breaks. Consisting of rising major triads with a specific dotted rhythm, this motif bears resemblance with the analogous rising triad of "Green Greens". The two motifs continue to respond to each other before leading to a bright and climactic dominant conclusion in the form of a second section, with a change of instrumentation in the bassline and added harp arpeggios.

As the melody changes its direction and moves up, the accompaniment's pace is briefly slowed down to make room for the following pattern. The third section features a primarily descending harmonic A major variation of the initial motif played by a more quiet synth, while the rhythm of the accompaniment becomes largely syncopated. This rhythm, as well as the descending motion and use of intricate ornaments, brings the music close to flamenco, which can be associated with toreros, Spanish bullfighters who also perform on specialized arenas. The melody of the third section resolves in the peaceful melodic D major. The warlike character returns with the first section as the track loops.

Game appearances[edit]

Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra[edit]

"Arena Showdown" is the main battle theme in The Arena, and plays in every Mid-Boss and Boss battle that does not have a unique battle theme. In the Sound Test, the theme appears as track 64 in the original and track 83 in the remake.

In Helper to Hero (exclusive to Kirby Super Star Ultra), a different version of this theme plays, making use of a heavy electric guitar-like sample similar to the one used in "True Arena Showdown". It can be heard in the Sound Test as track 92.

Kirby Air Ride[edit]

The original version of the theme can be unlocked in Kirby Air Ride as an alternate theme in Sky Sands. In the Jukebox#Kirby Air Ride, it appears as track 14.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe[edit]

A remix of the theme is present in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and, like its original appearance, is the main battle theme in The Arena, playing in every battle that does not have a unique battle theme, and also appearing in the Jukebox as track 115.

Kirby Star Allies[edit]

The Kirby: Triple Deluxe arrangement of this track plays when viewing the "Super Ultra Battle!" Celebration Picture, and can be heard in the Jukebox as track 144.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 格闘王への道[2]
Kakutō-ō e no Michi
Koroshiamu no tatakai
The Road to Become a Fighting King
The Japanese name of The Arena. Later, this name would be given to the title screen theme of The Arena.
Literally "Colosseum Battle".
European French Arène[2] Arena
German The Arena[2] -
Italian The Arena[2] -
European Spanish The Arena[2] -