Head Slide is a special attack which King Dedede can perform in almost all of his appearances as a boss. It debuted in Kirby's Dream Land and involves the king running forward and then leaping at his opponent, crashing face-first into the floor and leaving a Drop Star ahead of him on impact. Although it is one of King Dedede's most iconic moves, he could not use the Head Slide as a playable character until Kirby Star Allies.
In all of its appearances, this move is characterized by King Dedede running forward, then crashing to the floor in one way or another, relying on his weight to deal a sturdy blow. In the earlier sprite-based games, this move looked like a disheveled slide, with King Dedede simply tripping during his battle, as he fell head-first without any anticipation. Starting with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, however, it is turned into a more deliberate-looking belly flop with a running start. When playing as King Dedede, this move can be used to quickly bust through barricades such as Containers and Star Blocks in a diagonal downward motion.
While Dedede himself does not gain any extra hitboxes for most versions of this move, it is inherently dangerous because Kirby cannot touch Dedede at any time during the fight without getting hurt. As such, the attack's main danger comes from Dedede's rapidly changing position, making it difficult to react to if Kirby is expecting a hammer swing instead. In later titles, this attack can be followed up with a second belly flop in a different direction, making it more unpredictable.
Despite his imposing appearance, King Dedede is still vulnerable to attack when using this move, and his slow recovery time after using it leaves him very vulnerable to a counterattack. Because it produces a Drop Star in its more recent appearances, accurately predicting the attack and reacting accordingly allows Kirby to score a solid hit.
Additionally, while not quite the same attack, King Dedede's dash attack in the Super Smash Bros. games (called Belly Flop) is based on the Head Slide attack. The primary difference is that the move is turned into a single strong hit rather than an invincible slide; it is the most powerful dash attack in the entire series, able to KO many foes at incredibly low damages. To accommodate for its strength, he gains a lengthy start-up animation where he leaps into the air and keeps the slow recovery time after the attack is complete. This leaves Dedede wide open to counterattacks if he misses.
King Dedede uses the Head Slide in the following games:
- Kirby's Dream Land
- Kirby's Adventure/Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
- Kirby's Dream Land 2
- Kirby Super Star / Kirby Super Star Ultra
- Kirby's Dream Land 3
- Kirby: Squeak Squad
- Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe (boss appearance only)
- Kirby Fighters Deluxe
- Kirby's Blowout Blast
- Kirby Star Allies
- Kirby Fighters 2
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
In addition, the following characters can also perform this move (as they are based on King Dedede):
Using Head Slide in Dedede Gogogo, from Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
Using Head Slide in Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Names in other languages
|French||Plat-ventre||Can be translated to "face down"|
|Portuguese||Peixinho||Literally translates to "little fish". Name of a diving move typically used in sports, mostly in volleyball, which looks similar to Dedede's attack.|