|In this match, players battle by attacking one another's[sic] machines. Machines with high-level offensive power, defensive power, and durability will have an advantage.|
— Kirby Air Ride North American instruction booklet, page 30
Destruction Derby is a Stadium mode in Kirby Air Ride, having a chance to appear at the end of City Trial on default settings. It tasks the racers to fight each-other in constrained arenas with assorted items.
In Destruction Derby, the goal is to KO as many rivals as possible within a 1 minute, 30 second time limit. This is done by ramming them, Quick Spining into them, or using an item on them. When KO'd, a racer will respawn with their vehicle after a few seconds. Naturally, racers will have kept the vehicle they chose and patched from City Trial, so the one with greater offensive capability will have the greater advantage.
Once time is up, the racer who caused the most KOs is the winner.
There are five distinct stages in Destruction Derby, with some requiring certain Checklist objectives met before they are unlocked. They are as follows:
Stage 1 takes place in a rectangular arena on a metal grid backed by stone formations similar to those at Celestial Valley. In the arena are two large stones, which can be busted to reveal holes that lead to a bottomless pit. Falling into this pit will result in being returned to the arena with minimal HP left.
Stage 2 takes place in a donut-shaped arena in a magmatic setting. The path widens in a couple places, giving a little room for open fighting, but most combat will take place while the racers ride around the loop.
Stage 3 takes place in a wide and flat arena in a space setting. Pressing certain switches on the floor will cause some platforms to rise, making the arena more complicated.
This stage is initially locked. To unlock it, the player must score 10 KOs or higher in Stage 2.
Stage 4 takes place in a fenced-off area of the city, between the skyscrapers. Contestants will have to weave around the buildings as they attack each-other.
This stage is initially locked. To unlock it, the player must score 5 KOs or higher in Stage 3.
Stage 5 takes place in a bordered area of the city, inside the area with the dilapidated houses. The houses can be busted up to make the arena more open. Unique to this stage is that Offense and Defense patches drop, allowing racers to further augment their machines during combat.
This stage is initially locked. To unlock it, the player must score 10 KOs or higher in Stage 4.
- The North American instruction booklet mislabels Destruction Derby as Kirby Melee when describing it on page 30.