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Challenge Stage

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Challenge Stage
KRtDL Sword Challenge screenshot.png
Screencap from the Sword Challenge, the first of the Challenge Stages.
Type(s) Ability Training - Time Attack
Levels 7 (also 7 EX versions)
Players 1
Appears in Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Comparable to New Challenge Stages, Challenge Mode, Treasure Road
Theme music

no music given

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This article is about the optional single-player challenge courses in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and should not be confused with Challenge Mode. For information on the stages featured in Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition, see New Challenge Stages.

The Challenge Stages are a series of seven distinct optional stages in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, with all but one requiring Kirby to clear an obstacle course using a specified Copy Ability and with a time limit in place. Each stage features a menagerie of enemies to defeat and Score Coins to collect, with a score calculated and medal awarded at the end based on how well Kirby performed in the stage. These courses can be found in both Main Mode and Extra Mode by visiting the Lor Starcutter at any point after clearing Cookie Country. They can be accessed by entering doors found in a room to the right of the main deck, though each stage also requires a specific number of Energy Spheres be collected before its door will unlock. Completing these stages is not required to finish the game, but they are required for 100% completion in both Main Mode and Extra Mode. Completing a stage will also give Kirby a reward which changes in value depending on what medal was earned.

These challenge stages served as the basis for the New Challenge Stages featured in Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition.


Each challenge stage is an obstacle course, taking place in a wooden toy-block environment. The goal is to make it through the course as quickly as possible, while collecting Score Coins and defeating enemies along the way. Each stage has Kirby using a specific Copy Ability (except the last one). Kirby cannot discard or otherwise lose the ability while playing the course, and he can keep his ability after finishing the course. To clear the course with a high score, Kirby is intended to utilize the specific attacks and/or movement options those abilities grant him in various ways to clear the obstacles more efficiently.

The stage is complete once Kirby makes it through the door at the end. It will end early if Kirby loses all his health, gets crushed, or falls into a bottomless pit along the way - or if the timer runs out. If Kirby is KO'd in these courses, he will not lose any extra lives. Various bonuses can be awarded based on how well Kirby performs in the stage, and a medal will then be given based on the final score. The medal ranges from bronze, to silver, to gold, and then to platinum, with platinum requiring a nearly flawless performance. Based on what medal was awarded, Kirby may be given additional rewards once he leaves the course, ranging from Point Stars to 1-Ups.

Each stage is also slightly altered in Extra Mode. Score Coins and enemies are placed in different areas, some moving parts go faster, and Kirby has less time to complete the Sword Challenge. In addition, Kirby's reduced health also applies here as well.


The score is calculated based on the following factors:

  • Each Score Coin collected adds to the score.
    • Silver coins are worth 100 points.
    • Gold coins are worth 1000 points.
    • Collecting every coin in the course rewards the Coins Complete bonus, worth an additional 1000 points.
  • Each enemy defeated is worth 50 points.
    • Defeating every enemy in the course rewards the All Foes Defeated bonus, worth an additional 1000 points.
    • Naturally, invincible enemies like Gordos are not counted toward this bonus.
  • Clearing the stage is worth 3000 points on its own.
  • Each second left on the clock at the end is worth 50 points. Points are also added for fractions of a second.
    • Completing the course with more than 30 seconds left awards the 30 Seconds Left bonus, worth an additional 1000 points.
  • The player loses 500 points each time Kirby is hit.
    • Completing the course without taking a hit awards the No Damage bonus, worth an additional 1000 points.

Once the final score is calculated, a medal is awarded. The minimum points required for each medal are different for each stage, and listed in the Levels table below.


The Challenge Stages in Kirby's Return to Dream Land are as follows. For more details on each stage, click the name to be taken to a separate page:

Challenge Stages
Challenge Energy Sphere Requirement Difficulty Level Stage Time Bronze Score Silver Score Gold Score Platinum Score
1 / 2 EX
2:30 / 2:00 EX
17650 / 21150 EX
25150 / 26650 EX
29650 / 32150 EX
2 / 3 EX
15100 / 19100 EX
20700 / 24700 EX
26200 / 30200 EX
3 / 4 EX
20200 / 23500 EX
27500 / 30800 EX
33000 / 36300 EX
4 / 5 EX
16300 / 19700 EX
20700 / 26100 EX
26500 / 31900 EX
5 / 6 EX
15200 / 18500 EX
22200 / 24500 EX
27700 / 30000 EX
6 / 7 EX
16150 / 17350 EX
23050 / 25150 EX
28550 / 30650 EX
7 / 8 EX
21250 / 25550 EX
38150 / 42650 EX
43600 / 48100 EX