|Defeat enemies with powerful attacks by tapping the attack button at just the right time. Gain experience points as you go to level up!|
— Details menu
Kirby Quest takes place in chapters. In each chapter, Kirby is pitted against enemies in stages. To defeat these enemies, the player will have to make use of a meter which continuously moves up and down. Stopping this meter on a lit tile will allow Kirby to attack, with brighter tiles leading to stronger attacks. the player has 10 seconds to stop the meter or else Kirby will not be able to make a move. Defeating an enemy will yield experience points, which will add another Kirby to the team each time Kirby 'levels up', with the maximum being 10. Defeating enemies in less turns will reward Kirby with greater EXP.
The enemy will attack if the player misses on the meter. If the enemy is given an opportunity to attack, they can hurt one or more of the Kirbys, turning them blue and rendering them unable to fight. If all Kirbys become blue, the game is over. Kirbys can be healed by defeating certain foes, or performing some of the most powerful moves.
Each chapter consists of the following encounters:
- Stage 1 - Beanbon (40 HP)
- Stage 2 - Waddle Dee (80 HP)
- Stage 3 - Beanbon×2 (40 HP each)
- Stage 4 - Bugzzy (240 HP)
- Stage 5 - Big Beanbon (340 HP)
- Stage 6 - Oohroo×2 (250 HP each)
- Stage 7 - Chef Kawasaki (100 HP - Grants a Maxim Tomato when defeated; flees if missing any attack againt him.)
- Stage 8 - Colossal Beanbon (800 HP)
- Stage 9 - Waddle Doo (200 HP) & Waddle Dee×4 (80 HP each)
- Stage 10 (Final Battle) - King Dedede (2200 HP)
- Stage 11 - Waddle Dee (80 HP)
- Stage 12 - Stactus×2 (90 HP each)
- Stage 13 - Bonkers (300 HP)
- Stage 14 - Stactus×4 (90 HP each)
- Stage 15 - Waddle Doo (200 HP) & Waddle Dee×4 (80 HP each)
- Stage 16 - Grindarr×2 (500 HP each)
- Stage 17 - Max Flexer (330 HP - Grants a Maxim Tomato when defeated; flees if missing any attack againt him.)
- Stage 18 - Bombot×4 (120 HP each)
- Stage 19 - Capsule J2×4 (270 HP each)
- Stage 20 (Final Battle) - HR-D3 (2500 HP)
- Stage 21 - Squishy×2 (80 HP each)
- Stage 22 - Capsule J2 (270 HP)
- Stage 23 - Sweet Stuff (500 HP) & Flotzo (90 HP) & Squishy (80 HP)
- Stage 24 - Fufu×2 (150 HP each)
- Stage 25 - Big Beanbon×2 (340 HP each)
- Stage 26 - Mr. Frosty (480 HP) & Oohroo×2 (250 HP each)
- Stage 27 - Chef Shiitake (400 HP - Grants a Maxim Tomato when defeated; flees if missing any attack againt him.)
- Stage 28 - Meta-Knights (Axe 420 HP, Javelin 220 HP, Mace 500 HP, Trident 300 HP)
- Stage 29 - Blade Knight (720 HP) & Sword Knight (750 HP)
- Stage 30 (Final Battle) - Meta Knight (2600 HP)
- Stage 31 - Daroach (222 HP)
- Stage 32 - Beanbon×5 (40 HP each)
- Stage 33 - Sweet Stuff (500 HP) & Flotzo (90 HP) & Squishy (80 HP)
- Stage 34 - Bombot×5 (120 HP each)
- Stage 35 - King Dedede (2200 HP)
- Stage 36 - Bugzzy×3 (240 HP each)
- Stage 37 - Bonkers (300 HP) & Oohroo×2 (250 HP each)
- Stage 38 - Mr. Frosty (480 HP) & Fufu×2 (150 HP each)
- Stage 39 - Meta Knight (2600 HP) & Blade Knight (720 HP) & Sword Knight (750 HP)
- Stage 40 (Final Battle) - Dark Matter (Swordsman Form) (2000 HP), followed by Dark Matter (Real Form) (3000 HP)
A special stage exists in this chapter, against a giant Galaxia sword on its own, replacing Stage 39. To reach it, the player must hit only max power 'Excellent!' moves on stages 31-38. Galaxia has 2500 HP and when defeated, will fall into Kirby's hands. Missing any attack against Galaxia, however, will cause it to vanish and Kirby will lose this opportunity. Taken to the last boss stage, if the player hits an 'Excellent' attack, Kirby will use the Galaxia to deal 9999 damage.
- Several of Kirby's attacks reference other material in the Kirby series. This includes Dyna Blade, the Tankbot, Kabuki, and Megaton Punch.
- Max Flexer and Chef Shiitake - who make appearances in this Sub-Game - are both characters from Kirby: Right Back At Ya!.
- Escargoon may also appear during one of King Dedede's attacks.
- HR-D3's appearance in this sub-game precedes its appearance in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, making this its first appearance in a completed game.
- Kirby Quest was called 'Kirby Master' in Japanese, despite the confusion between that and the Kirby Master movies.
- Perfect scores for each Chapter are as follows:
- Chapter 1: 10000 EXP
- Chapter 2: 15000 EXP
- Chapter 3: 20000 EXP
- Chapter 4: 30000 EXP
- The title screen (and Japanese name) of Kirby Quest is a direct reference to a 1992 video game produced by HAL Laboratory called Arcana ('Card Master' in Japanese).
- One of Kirby's 'Excellent' attacks calls on a horde of 66 Gators to attack the enemies. This is a reference to the 1989/90 game Revenge of the 'Gator, also produced by HAL Laboratory (called 'Pinball: The Great 66-Alligator Parade' in Japanese).