|This special machine has two speeds: fast and stopped! It can change directions only during a boost, but it can accelerate to its top speed instantly.|
— Kirby Air Ride North American instruction booklet, page 32
The Swerve Star is a rideable machine in Kirby Air Ride. Its standout characteristic is the need to stop and charge or glide in order to turn.
The main body of the Swerve Star is a small, four-sided pyramid which has been inverted to point downwards, with the rider sitting upon the base. The pyramid is mostly composed of large golden bricks, with the seams between the bricks being a bright neon-green. Floating at both the left, and right, sides of the base is a pair of smaller, and more elongated, pyramids, which are not composed of bricks; each of the four being a single golden unit. Each pair of hovering pyramids has a green base facing the base of its opposite, with one pointing straight upwards and the other pointing down. Between the two bases is a small sphere, which glows green-white. All four of these floating pyramids rotate clockwise, and spin at a greater speed, the faster the machine is moving. The glowing spheres become a dull green when the machine is stopped, but glow brighter at higher speeds, or when the machine is holding a large charge, ready to be loosed. The glowing spheres seem to be the machine's method of propulsion, as white trails expel out from them, in the opposite direction of the machine's velocity, while the machine is in motion.
The Swerve Star is one of the more unusual machines in the game, as it is completely unable to turn under normal circumstances--it can only turn of its own accord while gliding or charging. In addition, it comes to a dead stop as soon as it begins charging, and does not begin moving again until the charge is unleashed. After the charge is unleashed, or after the machine otherwise accelerates from a stop, it instantly moves to its top speed of 31.18 mph. As such, the machine cruises at that speed, then abruptly stops to aim its new trajectory, then begins to cruise once more until it must turn again--hence the flavor text, "Cruise! Stop! Cruise! Stop!"
Aside from its inability to effectively turn, most of the Swerve Star's statistics are average or above average. In particular, its top speed is very high, and it also has the highest acceleration of all machines. Despite its apparent inability to turn, the ability to stop, precisely aim one's trajectory, and then start in that direction, gives it an unparalleled level of control. The combination of these factors make it excellent for racing in Air Ride mode, as well as precisely navigating the city of City Trial, and even allow it to excel in almost all Stadiums, barring only High Jump and Air Glider. It does, however, have some flaws when attempting to use certain Copy Abilities which only activate when charging--such as Fire or Freeze--as these require the machine to come to a complete stop to use them. In addition, though it can instantaneously accelerate to its top speed, the Swerve Star will also decelerate just as quickly from higher speeds afforded by boosts, meaning this machine gains very little benefit from boost pads and the like.
The Swerve Star is considered by many players to be to be the best all-around accessible machine in the game, due to its pristine level control, along with perfect acceleration, and relatively high top speed. Because of the high regard it holds, however, this machine is occasionally banned from use in competitive environments.
How to Unlock
In City Trial, this machine can occasionally be found randomly throughout the city and be mounted like most other machines. It is always available in City Trial's Free Run as well, stored in the same basement with the other machines if not selected.
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