King Dedede/Kirby Air Ride
- This article is about King Dedede as he appears as selectable character in Kirby Air Ride. For King Dedede in general as he appears in the series as a whole, see King Dedede.
King Dedede is a selectable character in the Air Ride mode of Kirby Air Ride. Despite not being a "machine," King Dedede nonetheless appears on the screen while one selects a machine for Kirby to ride, and replaces Kirby if selected. He shares this trait with the sole other unlockable character in the game, Meta Knight. Unlike Meta Knight, however, he also brings in his own unique machine to use.
King Dedede's size dwarfs that of other racers and machines, due in part to his large bulk and height, but also the size of his machine. He rides an unmistakably unique variation of the Wheelie Bike: the Wheelie Bike Dedede Custom. In comparison, this bike is slightly larger, has a darker hue, and sports six exhaust pipes rather than four, but otherwise, is completely identical.
Like Kirby, King Dedede will have a palette swap if the player selects a different color. However, his color scheme will not directly correspond with Kirby's. For instance, the default Kirby pink gives King Dedede his most recognizable red-jacket and yellow-accessories scheme. When red is selected, his jacket becomes green and his accessories orange. When green is selected, his jacket and accessories both become varying shades of pink. However, he follows the norm with the yellow, blue, brown, purple, and white color schemes.
The Wheelie Bike Dedede Custom acts in a very similar way to the standard Wheelie Bike ridden by Kirby. As such, the vehicle's most standout features are shared with all other bikes--Wheelie Bike, Rex Wheelie, and Wheelie Scooter. Since it relies on a wheel to propel itself, it does not float above the ground as stars do. This renders it more susceptible to ground hazards such as the magma in Magma Flows or the snow in Frozen Hillside, decelerating and messing with its handling more than it would stars. However, it also gains the aid of Boost Panels and activates switches without the need to touch the ground with a charge. As with all bikes, it does not glide in the typical sense, but instead jumps. That is, it gains a sudden increase of speed when going airborne, but cannot steer or alter its trajectory to the point almost all stars can.
King Dedede, like the Wheelie Bike, has mostly average and balanced statistics. However, his HP, weight, offense, and top speed are all slightly higher than the Wheelie Bike, while his acceleration, turning, and jumping capability are all slightly lower than the Wheelie Bike.
His notable characteristic as a racer is the inability to inhale or copy enemies, unlike Kirby. Despite this, he wields a hammer throughout all of races, which he seems to pull out of nowhere whenever it is used. The weapon functions in a similar way to Kirby's Sword ability, or Meta Knight's Galaxia, in that it automatically activates whenever a target draws close enough. When the circumstances are right, Dedede whips out his mallet, and pummels the nearest foe with a single heavy strike. This is mainly different from executing sword strikes, in that it requires the target to be slightly closer, and has a much lower rate of fire, but dishes out much more damage with every individual hit. This weapon enables him to easily defeat common enemies to accelerate himself, as well as assault and slow his opponents, all without even needing to tap the charge button to slow him down.
How to Unlock
While King Dedede does not appear as a playable character in the main mode of City Trial, he can be unlocked for use in Free Run. To unlock him, the player must enter the Vs. King Dedede Stadium, and K.O. the king in under sixty seconds.