|This legendary machine was born to battle. It consumes a great deal of Boost power during races and has no rivals to speak of.|
— Kirby Air Ride North American instruction booklet, page 35
The Hydra is a ridable machine in Kirby Air Ride. It is one of two extremely powerful legendary machines in the game, the other being the Dragoon. As a legendary machine, it can be used only in the main mode of City Trial if all three of its parts have been obtained by a single player, or after it has been unlocked for use in City Trial's Free Run mode. Like the Bulk Star, it has an unusual mechanic of using Boost power as fuel.
The Hydra is the largest machine in the game in terms of lateral width and apparent mass; however, several machines are taller than it. It is composed of a main body in the center, and two large engines, one floating at each of its sides. The main seating area for the rider is a pale green, mostly flat shape--the higher the machine's level of charge, the brighter this seat glows. Extending from the front of the seat is a long, green horn, or spine, and a similar one--albeit shorter and thicker--extends from the rear.
Each of the machine's engines are identical, mirrored versions of one another. Each resembles a massive, green horn with a metallic finish. Each of these horns is curved outwardly from the base jutting forward, exceeding the length of the base, with a spherical bulge at the rear, which juts out just behind the base. Each of these "horns" is lined with numerous large spikes. The bulges at the back each have a large yellow spot at the rear, which expel the machine's apparent means of propulsion. Like the seat, the spots grow brighter the higher the machine's charge. The propulsion appears as large, bright-yellow spheres of energy--perhaps electrical, or fire, based. If the machine is on the ground, glowing green circles shoot out, alongside the spheres.
While the machine is propelling forward along the ground, the screen will shake at a more violent rate with greater speed, and Kirby himself will appear barely able to hang on.
Kirby Air Ride
Like its fellow legendary machine, the Dragoon, the Hydra can normally be brought into existence only by assembling three different parts found throughout City Trial. These three parts are found only in red boxes in certain locations, as opposed to green or blue boxes. Some of the red boxes containing these parts may be found in spots where boxes are not normally found, such as in the middle of the dilapidated houses. In these spots, the red boxes are guaranteed to hold a machine part. These parts are comprised of the main body and the two engines. The parts are picked up by touching them, like all collectible items in the game, and each part collected appears in the player's heads-up-display. When the player takes damage, there is a chance he or she will drop one or more of the parts. The parts are able to appear in roughly half of all city trials.
When one player holds all three parts, a short cutscene of the machine assembling itself will play, and the rider's machine will be replaced with the Hydra. In addition, the city's music will change to the Legendary Machine theme until the Stadium segment of the trial begins.
Although the Hydra machine is extremely durable, it can still be destroyed like any other machine.
For the Hydra to move at all, the rider must fill up its charge gauge by Boosting in place. The machine does not Boost forward from this, but the Boost acquired acts as the machine's fuel, and will gradually deplete as it charges forward. It shares this mechanic with the Bulk Star, but the Hydra takes longer to charge fully, and its fuel lasts for a vastly greater period of time.
The Hydra's top speed of 124.86 mph is by far the highest in the game, which is also the game's speed cap, i.e. other machines can't accelerate over this speed even with Patches. It also has the highest weight, HP, offense and defense ratings in the game, often to the point where the Health Meter is too large to fit on the screen. On top of that, it has the second fastest acceleration (only to the Swerve Star), as well as above-average turning and gliding. However, it cannot Boost in the traditional sense, and its sheer speed can make it very difficult to control.
The machine's Boost takes over eight full seconds to fill, but can last for several minutes at a time under normal conditions. Despite this, its fuel will disappear if it has a sufficiently bad landing, or if Kirby gains the Wheel, Wing, or Sleep Abilities.
How to Unlock
This machine cannot be used in Air Ride mode.
In City Trial's main mode of play, the Hydra is bestowed upon any player who has assembled its three parts. Unlocking it in City Trial's Free Run mode, however, requires three different challenges to be completed on the checklist--each one representing one of the three different parts of the Hydra. Those challenges are as follows:
- Over the courses of Destruction Derby, the player should K.O. foes over 150 times.
- In City Trial's main mode, the player should destroy all of the dilapidated houses over the course of a single trial.
- Over the courses of Kirby Melee, the player should defeat over 1,500 common enemies.
Once unlocked in City Trial's Free Run, this machine can be selected in the menu, stored in the same basement with the other machines if not selected.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Unlike the Dragoon, the Hydra does not make an appearance as a usable item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It does, however, appear as an obtainable trophy.
The Hydra doesn't appear as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, however.
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