Boss Endurance

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Boss Endurance describes a number of game modes in the Kirby series, which are generally categorized as Sub-Games. It has appeared in several Kirby games under different names, starting with Kirby's Adventure. In these modes, Kirby (or occasionally another playable character) must face every boss he's encountered on his adventure with a single life. If he runs out of stamina, he must restart from the beginning. Some variants of Boss Endurance measure the time taken to complete the mode, and some provide the player with Copy Abilities, while others do not.

The Arena is a specific, recurring example of a Boss Endurance mode, which provides Kirby with a choice of every Copy Ability in the game, and generally pits him against foes in a randomized order.

Game Appearances[edit]

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Needs images from Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, and Kirby: Squeak Squad

Boss Endurance has appeared as a mode in the following games:

Kirby's Adventure / Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land[edit]

Referred to as V.S. BOSS! in Kirby's Adventure. The following bosses must be defeated in order:

  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Paint Roller
  3. Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright
  4. Kracko (includes Kracko Jr. chase-down)
  5. Heavy Mole (fully restores Kirby's stamina when defeated)
  6. Meta Knight
  7. King Dedede
  8. Nightmare (both phases)

In Kirby's Adventure, the ending and credits sequence will play unaltered after defeating Nightmare.

The Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land version has a timer like The Arena. Clearing this version of the mode will display an image of Kirby with a trophy, captioned "You're the Champion!", along with the clear time.

Kirby's Dream Land 2[edit]

Simply labeled BOSS in-game. The following bosses must be defeated in order:

  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Nruff and Nelly
  3. Sweet Stuff
  4. Ice Dragon
  5. Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright
  6. Kracko
  7. King Dedede
  8. Dark Matter (both phases)

Clearing this mode will play the standard credits sequence, capped off with a special illustration showing Kirby wielding the Rainbow Sword with his friends, captioned "EXCELLENT!!"

Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra[edit]

Title screen for The Arena in Kirby Super Star.
Main article: The Arena

In Kirby Super Star, The Arena appears for the first time, unlocked after clearing Milky Way Wishes. This allows Kirby a selection of every Copy Ability (besides limited-use abilities) and requires him to face all the opponents from the other sub-games in a randomized order (except for Marx, who is always faced last). In between rounds, Kirby is provided with a rest area which allows him two new Copy Abilities and a cache of Maxim Tomatoes. Beating The Arena unlocks the Sound Test.

The Arena consists of the following encounters.

Main article: Helper to Hero
Title screen for Helper to Hero in Kirby Super Star Ultra.

Kirby Super Star Ultra includes the original sub-game, and also introduces Helper to Hero, which is unlocked after clearing The Arena. It is very similar to the previous boss endurance, but features a Helper as the playable character, and a set order of bosses rather than being randomized. Several of the bosses use their more difficult forms from Milky Way Wishes, and some from The Arena are skipped. At the end, the Helper faces a new boss, Wham Bam Jewel.

Helper to Hero consists of the following encounters:

  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Mid-Boss All Stars 1:
    • Chef Kawasaki
    • Bonkers
    • Bugzzy
  3. Kracko (alt.)
  4. King Dedede
  5. Dyna Blade
  6. Fatty Whale (alt.)
  7. Chameleo Arm (alt.)
  8. Mid-Boss All Stars 2:
    • Poppy Bros. Sr.
    • Mr. Frosty
    • Iron Mam
    • Jukid
  9. Twin Woods (alt.)
  10. Heavy Lobster (alt.)
  11. Computer Virus (alt.)
  12. Meta Knight
  13. Wham Bam Rock (alt.) / Wham Bam Jewel
Main article: The True Arena
Title screen for The True Arena in Kirby Super Star Ultra.

Also in Kirby Super Star Ultra, clearing every main game unlocks The True Arena, which features tougher bosses from the new main games, primarily Revenge of the King. The Maxim Tomatoes in the rest area are replaced with standard tomatoes, and one of the Copy Abilities presented will always be Sleep. The final boss, Marx Soul, is also entirely new. The final four are always fought in a set order.

The True Arena consists of the following encounters:

Kirby's Dream Land 3[edit]

The Boss Butch menu in Kirby's Dream Land 3.

Referred to as Boss Butch in-game. The Boss Butch fights feature different backgrounds from the Story Mode. The following bosses must be defeated in order:

  1. Whispy Woods: takes place in autumn, with Whispy and all the other trees having orange leaves.
  2. Acro: takes place in the open air rather than a cave.
  3. Pon & Con: takes place in a volcanic cave with rising ashes.
  4. Ado: takes place at sunset, with pink clouds.
  5. King Dedede: takes place at sunset, with pink clouds and rising confetti.
  6. Dark Matter & Zero: the Hyper Zone now has a yellow sky with red and blue clouds. In the Virtual Console version, the clouds are orange and green instead.

Clearing Boss Butch is required for 100% completion in Kirby's Dream Land 3, and doing so unlocks a unique credits sequence with different illustrations. Holding L, R, and X after defeating Zero will skip the credits and instead display a special illustration: a victorious Kirby standing atop the defeated bosses with the caption "PERFECT!"

If Kirby is defeated, an illustration relating to the boss he lost to is displayed.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards[edit]

The Boss Battles menu in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

Referred to as Boss Butch (Japanese) / Boss Battles (English) in-game. The following bosses must be defeated in order:

  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Pix (including start-up sequence)
  3. Acro
  4. Magman
  5. HR-H & HR-E
  6. Miracle Matter

Defeating every boss without taking any damage will display a special "PERFECT!" screen, which shows Kirby wearing a costume made from parts of each boss.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror[edit]

This mode is unlocked once the game is 100% completed. It is not a formal Boss Endurance, however, as Copy Abilities are made available before the fight begins, and it has rest areas with recovery items (4 single-use Maxim Tomatoes) and two random Copy Abilities in-between battles, like The Arena. Enemies are fought in a random order (except Dark Meta Knight and Dark Mind at the end). Vitalities collected in Story Mode carry over to this mode.

Waddle Dee as a joke mid-boss, reminiscent of its and Bandana Waddle Dee's debut appearance in The Arena.

The Boss Endurance consists of the following encounters:

Master is given before Dark Mind. Dark Mind is fought in all three phases without the interludes, and the credits sequence is skipped. Clearing the mode displays an image of Kirby with a trophy, captioned "You're the Champion!"

Kirby: Squeak Squad[edit]

While technically referred to as a Boss Endurance, this mode is more similar to The Arena, in that Copy Abilities are made available in Bubbles before the endurance begins, and there are breaks in-between battles. Vitalities and Ability Scrolls collected from the Story Mode are effective in this mode as well.

The line-up of bosses are faced on a map screen similar to those of the main story mode stages. Each boss fight is preceded by a room leading to the battle. Before King Dedede, a Maxim Tomato bubble can be picked up to save later in the endurance.

The following bosses must be defeated in order:

  1. King Dedede
  2. Mrs. Moley
  3. Mecha-Kracko
  4. Yadogaine
  5. Bohboh
  6. Daroach
  7. Meta Knight
  8. Dark Daroach & Dark Nebula

Note that the Dark Nebula fight immediately follows the defeat of Dark Daroach, and includes the chase sequence from the story mode.

A unique peculiarity is that the player can obtain extra lives by mixing bubbles or getting lucky with the Magic ability, allowing Kirby to continue if he fails to defeat a boss, rather than having to fight all the bosses again.

Clearing the mode displays an illustration of a victorious Kirby standing atop the defeated bosses with the caption "CONGRATULATIONS!"

Kirby Mass Attack[edit]

Title screen for Survival Rush in Kirby Mass Attack.
Main article: Survival Rush

Survival Rush is a Sub-Game in Kirby Mass Attack, available in the Extras menu once all 186 Medals have been obtained, and Kirby has gone to speak to Daroach.

Survival Rush is a lot like The Arena in function. It pits the Kirbys against every significant Boss and Mid-Boss in the game. However, the way the battles are selected is unique to this Sub-Game. The Kirbys have a choice between one of three doors. Each door has a number on it, signifying how many Kirbys are required at minimum to enter. As such, if the Kirbys take too many losses, they may be barred from entering certain fights, and forced to end the run early. Each door has a specific list of encounters, but they are (mostly) randomly ordered.

In the lobby, the Kirbys have access to a healing ring and three Maxim Tomatoes, which they can use to replenish lost health or lost numbers if necessary. The game ends once the Kirbys are defeated, barred, or succeed in all 16 encounters.

The encounters are as follows:

Door 1 (at least one Kirby required):

Door 2 (at least three Kirbys required):

Door 3 (at least five Kirbys required):

Kirby's Return to Dream Land[edit]

Title screen for The Arena in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Main article: The Arena

The Arena returns in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, acting much the same as in Kirby Super Star, and unlocked after clearing the main game. All bosses are fought in a randomized order except for the final three.

The Arena consists of the following encounters:

Main article: The True Arena
Title screen for The True Arena in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.

The True Arena is also unlocked after clearing Extra Game and The Arena. This features the tougher EX bosses from Extra Game, along with a new boss, Galacta Knight. The final five are always fought in a set order.

The True Arena consists of the following encounters:

  • Whispy Woods EX
  • Mr. Dooter EX
  • Fatty Puffer EX
  • Goriath EX
  • Grand Doomer EX
  • Metal General EX
  • Landia EX
  • Four Sphere Doomers EX
  • Mid-Boss All Stars 1:
    • Gigant Edge EX
    • King Doo EX
    • Bonkers EX
  • Mid-Boss All Stars 2:
    • Kibble Blade EX
    • Moundo EX
    • Water Galboros EX
    • Dubior EX
  • Lor EX & Magolor
  • HR-D3
  • Galacta Knight
  • Magolor EX
  • Magolor Soul

Kirby: Triple Deluxe[edit]

Title screen for The Arena in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
Main article: The Arena

The Arena returns in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, unlocked after clearing Story Mode. The rest area between rounds now rewards Kirby with Keychains. All bosses are fought in a randomized order except for the final three.

The Arena consists of the following encounters:

Main article: The True Arena
Title screen for The True Arena in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

The True Arena is also unlocked after clearing Dededetour! and The Arena. This features the tougher DX bosses from Dededetour!, along with a new final boss. The final four are always fought in a set order.

The True Arena consists of the following encounters:

  • Flowery Woods DX
  • Paintra DX
  • Kracko DX
  • Coily Rattler DX
  • Pyribbit DX
  • Mid-Boss All Stars 1:
    • Grand Wheelie DX
    • Bonkers DX
    • Hornhead DX
  • Mid-Boss All Stars 2:
    • Mr. Frosty DX
    • Flame Galboros DX
    • Gigant Edge DX
    • Blocky DX
  • Queen Sectonia DX
  • Shadow Dedede
  • Dark Meta Knight's Revenge
  • Soul of Sectonia

Kirby: Planet Robobot[edit]

Main article: The Arena

The Arena returns once more in Kirby: Planet Robobot, unlocked after clearing Story Mode. Unlike in previous installments, all the bosses and mid-bosses are fought in a set order. The rest area between rounds rewards Kirby with Stickers. Rather than having a limited amount of healing items, an Assist Star is given after each round, with the contents being a Maxim Tomato after Clanky Woods, Mecha Knight, and President Haltmann, and a cherry after every other round.

The following bosses are fought in The Arena in this order:

  1. Clanky Woods
  2. Holo Defense API
  3. Susie
  4. Mid-Boss All Stars 1:
  5. Mecha Knight
  6. Dedede Clone and Dedede Clones & D3
  7. C.O.G.S.
  8. Mid-Boss All Stars 2:
  9. Mecha Knight+
  10. President Haltmann
  11. Star Dream
Title screen for The True Arena in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
Main article: The True Arena

The True Arena is also unlocked after clearing Meta Knightmare Returns and The Arena. This features the tougher 2.0 bosses from Meta Knightmare Returns, along with a new final boss. As before, Assist Stars are provided.

The following bosses are fought in The True Arena in this order:

  1. Clanky Woods 2.0
  2. Holo Defense API 2.0
  3. Susie 2.0
  4. Mid-Boss All Stars 1:
    • Kibble Blade 2.0
    • Blocky 2.0
    • King Doo 2.0
    • Dubior 2.0
  5. Stock Mecha Knight
  6. Dedede Clone 2.0 and Dedede Clones & D3 2.0
  7. C.O.G.S. and Core Kabula
  8. Mid-Boss All Stars 2:
    • Security Force 2.0
    • Miasmoros 2.0
    • Bonkers 2.0
    • Telepathos 2.0
  9. President Haltmann 2.0
  10. Dark Matter Clone and Sectonia Clone
  11. Galacta Knight Returns
  12. Star Dream Soul OS

Kirby Star Allies[edit]

Initial title screen for The Ultimate Choice.
Main article: The Ultimate Choice

Instead of having an Arena, Kirby Star Allies introduces a new Boss Endurance mode: The Ultimate Choice. This allows the player to choose their difficulty for tackling the mode, essentially acting as nine Arenas rolled into one. However, only the first five difficulties are available at first, and the other four must be unlocked through certain criteria. Additionally, all Copy Abilities (aside from limited-use ones, and including Normal Kirby) and Friends are available from a character select menu, making it similar to Helper to Hero; individual scores are saved for each ability and character.

The Ultimate Choice is unlocked upon clearing Story Mode. There were initially eight difficulty levels. Sweet Breeze, Mild Stroll, Zesty Expedition, Spicy Adventure, and Sizzling Threat are unlocked from the start and feature bosses from Story Mode; Fiery Showdown and Infernal Crisis are unlocked upon clearing Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go! and any of the first five difficulties, and feature bosses from Guest Star; Soul Melter is unlocked upon clearing either Fiery Showdown or Infernal Crisis, and features a unique final boss.

Version 4.0.0 adds Soul Melter EX, which is unlocked by clearing both Soul Melter and Heroes in Another Dimension. To select Soul Melter EX, the player should select Soul Melter and press ↑, A, and - together (the same command for Kirby's Dream Land's Extra Game). Soul Melter EX incorporates the bosses from Heroes in Another Dimension and a second unique final boss. Completing Soul Melter EX unlocks the Dream Button, which allows the player to switch between Kirby's modern look and his original look from the first game.

The following lists every difficulty in The Ultimate Choice, with information on the boss battles, how many healing items are given, and other factors:

Difficulty levels in The Ultimate Choice  
Difficulty Image Encounters Unlock Requirements Healing Items Picture Pieces Health percentage
Sweet Breeze KSA The Ultimate Choice Sweet Breeze select.jpg
  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Ambush Type A
    1. Bonkers
    2. Puppet Waddle Dee
    3. Mr. Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Meta Knight
Complete Story Mode. 3 100%
Mild Stroll KSA The Ultimate Choice Mild Stroll select.jpg
  1. Whispy Woods
  2. King Dedede
  3. Ambush Type B
    1. Chef Kawasaki
    2. Anger Masker ×2
    3. Vividria
    4. Bugzzy
  4. Pon & Con
  5. KrackoTwin Kracko
  6. Meta Knight
4
Zesty Expedition KSA The Ultimate Choice Zesty Expedition select.jpg
  1. Whispy Woods
  2. King Dedede
  3. Ambush Type B
    1. Chef Kawasaki
    2. Anger Masker ×2
    3. Vividria
    4. Bugzzy
  4. Meta Knight
  5. Pon & Con
  6. KrackoTwin Kracko
  7. Francisca
5
Spicy Adventure KSA The Ultimate Choice Spicy Adventure select.jpg
  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Ambush Type A
    1. Bonkers
    2. Puppet Waddle Dee
    3. Mr. Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Ambush Type B
    1. Chef Kawasaki
    2. Anger Masker ×2
    3. Vividria
    4. Bugzzy
  5. Meta Knight
  6. Pon & Con
  7. KrackoTwin Kracko
  8. Flamberge
6
Sizzling Threat KSA The Ultimate Choice Sizzling Threat select.jpg
  1. Whispy Woods
  2. Ambush Type A
    1. Bonkers
    2. Puppet Waddle Dee
    3. Mr. Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Ambush Type B
    1. Chef Kawasaki
    2. Anger Masker ×2
    3. Vividria
    4. Bugzzy
  5. Meta Knight
  6. Pon & Con
  7. KrackoTwin Kracko
  8. Zan Partizanne
  9. Hyness
7 80%
Fiery Showdown KSA The Ultimate Choice Fiery Showdown select.jpg
  1. Yggy Woods
  2. Ambush Type C
    1. Bonkers
    2. Blizzard Guard & Sizzle Guard
    3. Twin Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Ambush Type D
    1. Bugzzy
    2. Chef Kawasaki
    3. Floaty the Cell Core ×2
    4. Twin Vividria
  5. Meta Knight
  6. Goldon & Silvox
  7. KrackoTwin Kracko
  8. Francisca (2nd)
  9. Hyness
  10. Morpho Knight
Complete Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go! & any of the first 5 difficulty levels. 9
Infernal Crisis KSA The Ultimate Choice Infernal Crisis select.jpg
  1. Yggy Woods
  2. Ambush Type C
    1. Bonkers
    2. Blizzard Guard & Sizzle Guard
    3. Twin Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Ambush Type D
    1. Bugzzy
    2. Chef Kawasaki
    3. Floaty the Cell Core ×2
    4. Twin Vividria
  5. Meta Knight
  6. Goldon & Silvox
  7. KrackoTwin Kracko
  8. Francisca (2nd)
  9. Flamberge (2nd)
  10. Zan Partizanne (2nd)
  11. Hyness
  12. Morpho Knight
  13. Void Termina (Story Mode version; all but fifth phase)
11
Soul Melter KSA The Ultimate Choice Soul Melter select.jpg
  1. Yggy Woods
  2. Ambush Type C
    1. Bonkers
    2. Blizzard Guard & Sizzle Guard
    3. Twin Frosty
  3. King Dedede
  4. Ambush Type D
    1. Bugzzy
    2. Chef Kawasaki
    3. Floaty the Cell Core ×2
    4. Twin Vividria
  5. Meta Knight
  6. Goldon & Silvox
  7. KrackoTwin Kracko
  8. Francisca (2nd)
  9. Flamberge (2nd)
  10. Zan Partizanne (2nd)
  11. Hyness
  12. Morpho Knight
  13. Void Termina (Soul Melter version) → Void Soul
Complete Fiery Showdown or Infernal Crisis. 15 60%
Soul Melter EX KSA The Ultimate Choice Soul Melter EX select.jpg
  1. Parallel Woods
  2. Ambush Type E
    1. Mr. Frosty + Floaty the Cell Core ×2
    2. Anger Masker ×2
    3. Twin Bonkers
  3. Goldon & Silvox
  4. Parallel Twin KrackoParallel Big Kracko
  5. Ambush Type F
    1. Chef Kawasaki + Two Face ×4
    2. Vividria + Blizzard Guard & Sizzle Guard
    3. Twin Bugzzy
  6. Francisca
  7. Flamberge
  8. Zan Partizanne
  9. Parallel Meta Knight
  10. Parallel Dedede
  11. Corrupt Hyness
  12. The Three Mage-Sisters
  13. Morpho Knight EX
  14. Void Termina (True Destroyer of Worlds)Void (Astral Birth)
Complete Soul Melter & Heroes in Another Dimension.
(Requires Version 4.0.0 of the game)
25 100%

The Ultimate Choice's icon from the main menu turns red when Fiery Showdown and Infernal Crisis are unlocked, and then turns dark red when Soul Melter is unlocked.

Gallery[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

V.S. BOSS![edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ボスと たいけつする
Bosu to Taiketsu Suru
Boss Showdown
Japanese name in Kirby's Adventure.


Boss Battles[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ぼすぶっち
Bosu Butchi
Boss Butch
Japanese name in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.


Boss Endurance[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese きボスバトル
Kachinuki Bosu Batoru
Boss Battle Tournament
Japanese name in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Kirby: Planet Robobot.
Italian Resisti ai Boss Resist the Bosses