Strawberries are a collectible item and scoring mechanic in Kirby's Dream Buffet, and serve as the primary metric by which the winner of any given event is decided. Strawberries can be found out in the open in all three of the game modes, and can also appear from certain enemies, Food Boxes, and other stage hazards, as well as being obtainable from other players in the Battle Royale mode and awarded as bonuses in the results screen. Collecting a certain number of strawberries causes Kirby to grow larger, which offers its own benefits and drawbacks, and the Kirby with the most overall by the end of an event is the winner. Afterward, strawberries collected are converted into points for the Gourmet Rank system.
There are many ways to collect strawberries in Kirby's Dream Buffet. The following are every known method:
- Found out in the open, either individually or in piles of five.
- Blueberries, Cherries, and Raspberries are worth one Strawberry each.
- Found from Food Boxes.
- Found at the end of the course as "Strawberry Mountains" in piles of 50, 20, and 10 (20, 10, and 10 in Single Race).
- Raining down from the sky after eating a Strawberry Mountain.
- Falling off of Strawberry Mountains as they are being eaten.
- Found in crates.
- Raining from the sky.
- Held by enemies.
- Appearing in various locations.
- Dropped from a strawberry basket.
- Stolen from rivals.
- Knocked out of Whispy Woods on the Whispy Stage Cake.
- Obtained from Food Boxes.
- Obtained from the Mix roulette.
- Most other methods as described above.
- Awarded for knocking a Waddle Dee Dummy into a teacup with a flag or into Whispy Woods.
- Stolen from other players by defeating them.
On the Results screen, strawberries are awarded in batches of 40 from bonuses when playing the Gourmet Grand Prix mode. For details on these bonuses, see the Gourmet Grand Prix page.
In addition to strawberries, other fruit such as cherries, raspberries, and blueberries can add to the "strawberry" total, and are found in Race courses. Collecting these may end up rewarding Kirby with a special bonus at the results screen. Strawberries can also be collected in the Free Rolling mode, but these do not add to the Gourmet Rank.
When Kirby eats a certain number of strawberries, he will increase in size. Increasing in size makes Kirby roll faster, bump his opponents more forcefully, and break boxes more quickly in the Minigame, but it also lowers the height of his jump, makes him easier to hit, makes it impossible to fit through smaller gaps, and makes it more difficult to hover. The tongs in the Battle Royale stages are also more likely to target Kirby the larger he is. The following are the size thresholds based on strawberry count:
- 60 (once Kirby hits this threshold, his weight will break the scale if he wins a game)
- 120 (once Kirby hits this threshold, he can no longer fit inside the small donut archways on certain courses)
- 500 (once Kirby reaches this threshold, he is no longer able to hover at all)
While Kirby does not increase further in size after 500 strawberries, he can continue collecting them until he caps off at 999.
Kirby's 31st Anniversary illustration from the Kirby JP Twitter, featuring a Dream Buffet-styled cake decked out with strawberries
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