|Yes! A race with King Dedede! It's close, but keep snacking! Eat, eat, EAT for victory!|
— Super Star Ultra quote
Gourmet Race is the second main game in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. Winnning the Grand Prix is required in order to advance further in game progression. In Kirby Super Star Ultra only, Gourmet Race is also available for 2-Player gameplay.
The Grand Prix game plays out exactly as it sounds: Kirby races King Dedede and eats food as he goes along his 2-D sidescrolling way. In the Ultra-exclusive multiplayer mode, the yellow Kirby will join as the 2-Player. The races take place over three courses Pumpkin Grand, Corn Hall, and Onion Garden. With Kirby set to dash (press right twice rapidly) the game is very simple to win, hence the game's difficulty is only two stars.
Kirby or King Dedede gain one point for each piece of food picked up on the course, with Maxim Tomatoes being worth three points. Whoever reaches the finish line first gains a bonus 30 points, for a possible total of 90. The winner of the Grand Prix is the one who gets the most points after finishing all three courses, with the total score combined from the food and goal points of the courses. Overall, since there is so much food on the race tracks, it is ultimately more important to grab food than to reach the end first.
Alternatively, the Time Attack mode can be played as a time trial type game for a single course, with no competition other than previous best scores. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, Ghost Kirby replaces the star as the best record runner. In the Ultra-exclusive 2-Player mode, the yellow Kirby becomes the rival. No food appears in the time attack courses.
In Gourmet Race, Kirby is able to run much faster than he can in other game modes. As such, it is important for the sake of speed to stay on the ground and avoid spending time in the air whenever possible. There are no enemies or other harmful hazards on the courses, so Stamina is not a concern (Spikes exist in Onion Garden, but do not actually deal damage). One interesting detail exclusive to this game-mode is that if Kirby hits a piece of food using an Air Bullet or Star Bullet, he will collect it.
Generally speaking, King Dedede is faster in the air than Kirby, so Kirby will need to keep ahead if he wants to grab airborne food items. Despite his greedy nature, King Dedede is not interested in all of the food items on the course, but he will prioritize Maxim Tomatoes whenever they are in reach. Kirby and King Dedede cannot interact with each-other directly, and pass through each-other.
- Main article: Pumpkin Grand
Pumpkin Grand is the shortest and most straight forward course. This course is mostly an irregular surface beginning with sloped hills, but midway through Kirby will find holes, Star Blocks, and pillars that serve to block and slow him down. Sporadically throughout the course's path are several food items, most being worth one point each. A Maxim Tomato (worth three points) can be found within jumping reach on the goal post.
- Main article: Corn Hall
Corn Hall begins much like the Pumpkin Grand Course, but soon changes with a steep slope downhill to an underground section. This course consists of a moderate amount of turns, flights upwards, and vertical zig-zagging obstacles.
- Main article: Onion Garden
The Onion Garden is the most elaborate course. The race will often change directions and terrain. The course will have stretches of ground running, dropping down, floating upwards, and swimming. Additionally, this course offers Copy Abilities at the earliest section. Any (or none) can be chosen; Jet, Parasol, Ninja, Wing, and Wheel are offered. At some points, there are alternative paths to choose from.
"King Dedede challenged Kirby to see who's the hungriest gourmet! Who will reach the goal first? Speed up to eat, eat to win!"
- The music used during the Pumpkin Grand and Onion Garden courses has been reused and remixed several times throughout the Kirby series — notably as King Dedede's battle theme in Nightmare in Dream Land — as well as the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The music that plays in the intro cut-scene would later be used in the Kirby's Return to Dream Land Sub-Game Scope Shot during the round against Robo Kawasaki. The theme has since become associated with Chef Kawasaki in general, being used during a fight against him in Kirby Star Allies.
|Kirby Super Star Ultra Menu|
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