- This article is about the main game in Kirby Super Star and its remake. For the musical theme of the same name, see Gourmet Race (theme). For the game mode in Kirby's Dream Buffet, see Gourmet Grand Prix.
|“||Yes! A race with King Dedede! It's close, but keep snacking! Eat, eat, EAT for victory!||”|
— Description from Kirby Super Star Ultra
Gourmet Race is the third main game in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. This game pits Kirby against King Dedede in a friendly competition to see who can reach the finish line on a straightforward race course while grabbing and eating as much food as possible along the way. In Kirby Super Star, playing Gourmet Race is optional, but in Kirby Super Star Ultra, winning the Grand Prix is required in order to advance further in game progression. In Kirby Super Star Ultra only, Gourmet Race can also be played with a second player.
The Grand Prix game plays out exactly as it sounds: Kirby races King Dedede and eats food as he goes along his 2-D side-scrolling way. In the Kirby Super Star Ultra-exclusive multiplayer mode, the second player takes control of a yellow Kirby. The races take place over three courses: Pumpkin Grand, Corn Hall, and Onion Garden.
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. As such, if Kirby finds himself trailing behind the King, he can potentially make up the shortfall by grabbing as many of the food items on the sidelines as possible.
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. 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 hazards on the courses which can actually defeat Kirby, so Health 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.
Occasionally, obstacles in the form of Star Blocks will appear on the road. When King Dedede encounters blocks in his path, he will stop and use his hammer to clear them out. He does this rather slowly, which can be useful to Kirby if he wants to grab some extra food items or slip under the blocks using a Slide and get a larger lead.
- Main article: Pumpkin Grand
Pumpkin Grand is the shortest and most straightforward 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 Pumpkin Grand, 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!"
- Kirby Super Star Ultra Instruction manual (page 25): "There are two ways to play this game. In Grand Prix, you will race against King Dedede. Run through the course and collect food as quickly as you can. Your score is determined by the amount of food you gather and how many more times you reach goal lines before your opponent. In Time Attack, you will choose a course and race through it alone to try and get the best time possible"
- 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 Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land — as well as in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The music that plays in the intro cutscene was remixed and extended for the Japanese version of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime. This extended version would later be remixed in the Kirby's Return to Dream Land Sub-Game Scope Shot, during the round against Mecha Kawasaki. The theme has since become associated with Chef Kawasaki in general, being used during the fight against Twin Kawasaki on Extra Planet α in Kirby Star Allies.
- This game mode would serve as the basis for the Gourmet Go Go battle stage in Kirby Fighters 2.
Names in other languages
Gekitotsu! Gurume Rēsu
|Crash! Gourmet Race|
|French||Rallye Exquis||Exquisite Rally|
|German||Formel Mampf||Formula Munch|
|Italian||Gara dei Buongustai||Gourmet Race|
|Korean||대결! 음식 레이스
Daegyeol! Eumsik Reiseu
|Battle! Food Race|
|Spanish||Carrera gourmet||Gourmet race|
|Kirby Super Star Ultra Menu|
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