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Checkerboard Chase

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Checkerboard Chase
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase preview.png
Preview image for Checkerboard Chase in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Type(s) Battle - Elimination
Levels 4
Players 4
Appears in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Theme music

Clip of "Checkerboard Chase" from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

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Chase down your opponents! Get the drop on them to win!
— Mini-Game Menu caption

Checkerboard Chase is one of the Mini-Games available in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. One to four players choose from characters Kirby, Waddle Dee, Adeleine, or King Dedede and battle it out on a large checkerboard suspended in the air by making pieces of the board fall in an attempt to be the last one standing. Four players will always play, but those not controlled by humans will instead be controlled by the CPU.

Checkerboard Chase also appears in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, where Bandana Waddle Dee and Meta Knight take the place of Waddle Dee and Adeleine as possible contestants. Here, it can be accessed in Merry Magoland or the Lor Starcutter, though in the latter, 60 Energy Spheres are needed to unlock it.

How to play[edit]

Each contestant is placed randomly on an 8x8 board made of blocks in a checkerboard pattern. Using the directional controls moves the player character freely around the board, and pressing the appropriate button (A, 2, or B depending on game/control style) causes them to release a shock wave ahead that causes any blocks in its path to fall. The goal of the game is for one contestant to catch the others in their shock waves and cause them to fall off the stage. Once a contestant has fallen five times, they are out of the game, and with each elimination, the stage will shrink in size by one block in each direction. The last contestant who has any lives remaining is the winner.

Tutorial transcript (Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe)[edit]

  • Aim at your rivals and press A/B to attack. That will drop the line of floor blocks beneath them and cause them to fall!
  • As your rivals are eliminated, the stage will get smaller and smaller. Try to be the last one standing!


  • When a shock wave is released, the blocks fall in order from closest to furthest, with the furthest taking some time to fall.
  • Blocks that fall (apart from the ones that fall in an elimination case) will return after a few seconds.
  • Although the checkerboard is a grid, contestants are not locked to it, and can stand in-between blocks. However, this will not prevent a fall if the one block they are standing most prominently on falls.
  • After being knocked off, a respawning contestant comes back on a safety platform in a random position that disappears after a few seconds, or when that contestant steps off it. Before disappearing, this safety platform will persist even if there is no block beneath it.
  • It is possible to move around before the game starts, but no shock waves can be created until the timer begins.
  • It is not possible for a contestant to walk off an edge. They only fall if the block they are on falls.
  • The high-score kept for this game is based off the shortest time taken to eliminate all other contestants.
  • If two remaining contestants fall at the end of the game and lose all lives, whoever fell second is the winner.
  • Contestants cannot walk through each other, and instead act as solid obstacles.


There are four different levels in this game, representing each difficulty. In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, each difficulty must be completed sequentially to unlock the next, but in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, clearing Easy difficulty unlocks all of the others right away. Each is listed below, with notes of what can be expected in each one:

Levels of Checkerboard Chase  
Level High-Speed look Description Notes
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase Easy stage screenshot.png
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase High-Speed Easy stage screenshot.png The background is an island with a tall volcano in the middle, and the board is a brown and tan color scheme.
On High-Speed, the board has higher-contrast colors and the background is changed to an evening-look with a darker volcano.
CPUs in this level are very sluggish and shoot randomly with no real direction.
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase Normal stage screenshot.png
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase High-Speed Normal stage screenshot.png Same as before, but the board has a purple and indigo color scheme.
Same as before, but with a dark blue night-time look.
CPUs in this level are slow, but they generally aim for other contestants.
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase Hard stage screenshot.png
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase High-Speed Hard stage screenshot.png Same as before, but the board has a red and pink color scheme.
Same as before, but with a dark red look.
CPUs in this level move at a respectable pace and shoot at opponents often.
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase Intense stage screenshot.png
KRtDLD Checkerboard Chase High-Speed Intense stage screenshot.png The backdrop changes to a space theme, situated over Popstar. The blocks are a vaguely green metallic scheme that somewhat resembles a computer chip in design.
On High-Speed, the board and background have a more monochrome look with yellow accents.
CPUs in this level are fast, and often try to get close to opponents before throwing waves at them.

In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe only, there is an unlockable High-Speed mode, where everything is faster, including walking speed, the shockwaves, and the tiles' falling speed. The CPU difficulty is the same for each variant, but the board and background looks are further changed depending on difficulty. High-Speed mode is unlocked by clearing Intense! difficulty with at least one CPU rival present at least once.


In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, there are nine Missions for this Sub-Game. They are as follows:

  • Neo Checkerboard Chaser - Play Checkerboard Chase for the first time.
  • Drop 'Em Easily - Cause 5 or more rivals to fall in a single game in Easy difficulty while a CPU rival is present.
  • Adding Adeleine - Play while wearing the Adeleine dress-up mask.
  • One Fall, That's All - Win a game on Normal while only falling once or not at all while a CPU rival is present.
  • A Hard but Speedy Victory - Win within 1:00 on Hard difficulty while a CPU rival is present.
  • 50 Total Rivals Dropped - Cause a grand total of 50 or more rivals to fall.
  • 30 Seconds without an Intense Fall - After the game starts, last at least 30 seconds without falling on Intense! difficulty while a CPU rival is present.
  • Clear All Difficulties - Win on all difficulty settings while a CPU rival is present. (Easy / Normal / Hard / Intense!)
  • Crystal-Clear Checkerboard Chaser - Complete all other missions for Checkerboard Chase.

Once all 100 regular missions are completed, two final missions related to this Sub-Game are unlocked, as part of the "True Extra Missions" category:

  • Perfect Checkerboard Master - Win without falling even once while a CPU rival is present on the Intense! difficulty of Checkerboard Chase.
  • Fast & Perfect Checkerboard Master - Win without falling even once while a CPU rival is present on High-Speed Mode - Intense! in Checkerboard Chase.


  • Checkerboard Chase notably uses the same Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards results screen and music in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, being only one of two games with a unique results theme (the other being Ninja Dojo).
  • Bandana Waddle Dee and Waddle Dee are the only characters who hold their ranking on the results screen with their left appendage, with all other characters holding the number in their right appendage. Whether this is simply a reference or a direct confirmation that the two are the same is unknown.


Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards[edit]

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese おちおちファイト
Ochi Ochi Faito
Fall Fall Fight
Traditional Chinese 掉落掉落競爭
diào luò diào luò jìng zhēng
Fall-Fall Competition
Simplified Chinese 掉落掉落竞争
diào luò diào luò jìng zhēng
Dutch Afvalslag Fall off battle
French Chasse sur l'échiquier Hunt on the chessboard
German Schachbrett-Scharmützel Chessboard-Skirmish
Italian Sfida sulla scacchiera Challenge on the chessboard
Korean 체커보드 체스
chekeobodeu cheseu
Checkerboard Chess
Portuguese Caibuleiro From "cair" (to fall) and "tabuleiro" (gameboard).
Spanish Cacería en el tablero Hunt in the board