Kirby Air Ride

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Game InfoBox
Kirby Air Ride.JPG
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Release date(s) North America October 13, 2003
Japan June 9, 2003
Europe February 20, 2004
Australia March 30, 2004
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Game Chronology
<-- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land Kirby & the Amazing Mirror -->
Guide/Walkthrough Link
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Kirby Air Ride is the only game, from the Kirby series, released for the Nintendo GameCube, and is the most recent spin-off game, as well as the only available Kirby racing game. Kirby Air Ride is a simplistic racing game, requiring only the A button, and the control stick, to fully operate the game. Other options can be used, such as the shoulder buttons, instead of the A button, for boosting, and rotating the camera around using the C stick.

The game features three modes, all which are different from one another. Multiple people can participate at a time (this game was the first Nintendo game to feature the use of LAN broadband adapter, enabling the players to possess their own screen while playing the game), playing as different color Kirby clones, as well as all other characters available.


Kirby Air Ride has three different modes. All vary in technique and gameplay, but use the same basic controls, when regarding vehicle control. All modes have a Free Run mode, and all modes have a unique checklist, which basically keeps track of objects that must be unlocked and objects that are unlocked.

Air Ride

Air Ride racing in Nebula Belt.

Air Ride is a mode that revolves solely on racing. Players must choose only the default Warp Star at the beginning of the game, but as they progress, they may also unlock more vehicles for use. Players can choose up to 8 tracks to race on, with an extra being secret. The player can copy different abilities from the varied enemies in the track, attack other rivals (with or without the abilities), and try to place 1st in the race. All courses, except for Fantasy Meadows, has 2 laps in default (in the case of Fantasy Meadows, 3), but the player can adjust the number of laps, as well as other options, using the game settings.

Top Ride

Kirbies racing in Grass

Top Ride is the simplest mode in the game, which, like Air Ride, revolves on racing. Races are played on an overhead view, with the default number of laps being, usually, 5. Tracks in this mode are considerably shorter and smaller than those in Air Ride, due to the overhead capability, and each consist of a simple elemental theme, such as Grass, Sand, Fire, Light, Water, and Metal. Copy Abilities cannot be used in this mode, but there are items that, after a while, fall on the course that can help or hinder the players. The game can also be tweaked using different settings.

City Trial

main page: City Trial
City Trial gameplay

The most extensive mode in the game, City Trial does not focus solely on racing, unlike Air Ride and Top Ride. Instead, players roam around in a sandbox-like environment city, collecting patches to power-up their machine, in order to compete in the Stadium with other opponents. The Stadium can differ from time to time, with the player adjusting on what Stadiums are going to appear, such as Single Race or Destruction Derby, or can randomize the choices. Players can abandon their vehicles in order to find a vehicle better suited to their needs. Events can happen from time to time, either hindering or helping players' progress.

Copy Abilities

Like most Kirby games, Copy Abilities are available for Kirby's use. However, unlike most other Kirby games, all copy abilities are only temporary or one use. They are obtained by eating certain enemies or, if in City Trial or in the Stadiums, Destruction Derby and Vs. King Dedede, collecting Copy Panels. There are a total of eleven copy abilities in the game.

Copy Ability Name Description
BombPanel.png Bomb A bomb appears on Kirby's hands. The farther the player holds A, the farther Kirby throws it. The explosion does small damage but covers a large radius that slowly increases in size until it disappears.
FirePanel.png Fire This ability allows Kirby to toss fire balls that stay on the ground. It damages any opponent that drives over the flames. The Fire ability also makes Kirby's body damaging to touch.
FreezePanel.png Freeze When Kirby obtains this ability, he is able to create a surrounding, short-ranged projectile of Ice that protects himself and freezes other enemies that touch it.
MikePanel.png Mike The Mike ability gets activated automatically when Kirby obtains it. Kirby sings and does slight damage to anyone over a huge range.
NeedlePanel.png Needle Not too different from the Freezing ability, the Needle ability allows Kirby to extend Needles that protect him and damage any opponent near the spikes. It can also damage when Kirby simply touches opponents without activating the ability.
PlasmaPanel.png Plasma Very much like in Kirby Super Star, Kirby can charge up his energy levels when the player wiggles the control stick back and forth. This ability lasts depending on how much the player uses it and how much power it uses up.
  • Level 1: Kirby punches several small beams
  • Level 2: Kirby punches more small beams
  • Level 3: Kirby shoots out three, straight moving sparks
  • Level 4: Kirby shoots out a single, homing spark
  • Level 5: Kirby kicks a huge, homing ball of electricity
SleepPanel.png Sleep The Sleep ability causes Kirby to sleep, which makes him lose control of his vehicle and makes other opponents fall asleep if they touch him. He can be woken up quicker if the player wiggles the control stick back and forth.
SwordPanel.png Sword The Sword ability lets Kirby automatically swing his sword at any nearby opponents.
TornadoPanel.png Tornado The Tornado ability grants Kirby a powered up quick spin that can be performed mid-air. When Kirby first gets this ability, any nearby opponent gets affected by the start-up attack.
WheelPanel.png Wheel This copy ability turns Kirby into a wheel. It is quite fast, touches the ground so it activates any switches on the ground, and damages any opponents that touch it.
WingPanel.png Wing When Kirby gets the Wing ability, he temporarily loses his vehicle and flies using the ability. His quick spin is slightly different than the regular quick spin; it sends opponents flying in the air. Opponents cannot draft him, but he cannot draft opponents either when he has this ability.



There are a total of sixteen ridable machines in Kirby Air Ride, not including the machines used in Top Ride mode. In Air Ride mode, all but the Warp Star must be unlocked, in order to be used. As for City Trial, players start out with the Compact Star, and must find the vehicle they want in the city, before they can use it. The vehicles may or may not be available at times, and they can appear in different spots in the city. Players can then hop off their current vehicle, and ride on another.

Machine Name Description Modes Available In
WarpstarKAR.JPG Warp Star The Warp Star is the most balanced machine in Kirby Air Ride. It is the default machine in Air Ride mode before the player unlocks anything. Just as with balanced machines, this machine has no major flaws or advantages. Air Ride, City Trial
CompactStarKAR.jpg Compact Star The Compact Star is a star that is exclusive to City Trial, and all of its modes. The Compact Star mainly has all around stats, but trades speed for control. It also has somewhat low HP compared to most other machines. This is also the default machine if players play the main game in City Trial. City Trial
TurboStarKAR.JPG Turbo Star The Turbo Star has great top speeds, but its handling takes time to get used to. It also does not have great battling capabilities, such as vitality and offense. This unusual machine also charges up very slowly when not in motion, but charges up quickly when stopping the motion. Air Ride, City Trial
FormulastarKAR.JPG Formula Star The Formula Star is a vehicle with very high top speeds, but poor handling and acceleration, which makes it a likely candidate for Drag Races only. It also has poor gliding, poor charging, and poor battling capabilities. Air Ride, City Trial
SlickKAR.JPG Slick Star The Slick Star is a speedy machine with above-average charging. But its one major drawback is its slippery, basically uncontrollable handling, which can take some time to get used to. All other stats are around average. Air Ride, City Trial
SwervestarKAR.JPG Swerve Star This machine cannot turn while moving, but can turn while charging or gliding, making it a unique machine. It also has excellent acceleration, boosting to its top speed instantly. It is about average everywhere else, except for gliding, being below average. Air Ride, City Trial
WagonstarKAR.JPG Wagon Star The Wagon Star cannot charge; stopping the vehicle merely halts the vehicle in a spot, without the gauge meter filling. To pay up for the lack of that ability, it has mostly above average stats and excellent HP. Air Ride, City Trial
BulkStarKAR.JPG Bulk Star This machine uses charge energy as fuel; when the charge gauge is empty, the vehicle is unable to move on its own. The Bulk Star is very heavy, with great battling capabilities, and can even go at very high top speeds if patched properly in City Trial. Air Ride, City Trial
ShadowKAR.JPG Shadow Star The Shadow Star has excellent offensive, acceleration, and gliding stats. However, it has low defenses, especially HP, making it easy for other machines to take it down. Air Ride, City Trial
WingStarKAR.JPG Winged Star The Winged Star is a fairly slow machine, but has a superb gliding ability. However, it performs poorly when it comes to battling other machines and is very light. All other stats are around average. Air Ride, City Trial
RocketStarKAR.JPG Rocket Star The Rocket Star has very poor top speed, but has a massive charge boost that sends it propelling at very high speeds. However, it charges relatively slowly, which is another drawback. All other stats are approximately average. Air Ride, City Trial
JetstarKAR.JPG Jet Star The Jet Star is an average machine, and well-rounded everywhere. However, it has a special gliding ability; whenever it hits the air, a burst of speed sends it propelling forwards, and when it makes a good landing, another burst of speed follows. Air Ride, City Trial
WheelieBikeKAR.JPG Wheelie Bike The Wheelie Bike always hits the ground with a single wheel, unlike the other machines based on stars. It has average stats mostly everywhere, but its major drawback is its lack of control and gliding. Due to it being on the ground, it automatically hits boosts without stopping. It also has relatively high top speeds. Air Ride, City Trial
WheelieScooterKAR.JPG Wheelie Scooter This machine has very low top speeds, but very high handling, charging, and acceleration stats. It also gains speed when it drives off ramps, drives over boosts, or drives over rails. However, it has very low battling capabilities. Air Ride, City Trial
RexWheelieKAR.JPG Rex Wheelie The Rex Wheelie has handling that takes time to get used to, but due to its large size and weight, it has superb battling capabilities. It does not have great gliding or acceleration either, but it has fairly high top speeds. Air Ride, City Trial
FlightWarpstarKAR.jpg Flight Warpstar Exclusive to Free Run mode in City Trial, the Flight Warpstar is merely a Warp Star with enhanced gliding capabilities. According to the bio in the instruction booklet, it states that the machine is good practice with gliding. City Trial, Free Run Only

Legendary Machines

Legendary machines only appear in City Trial Mode. In the main mode, they can only be found after assembling machine parts, found in certain red boxes scattered across the city. When all 3 parts are collected, the machine automatically forms, replacing the machine Kirby is riding on. In Free Run mode, once the player has unlocked all 3 parts for each machine, Kirby can use them whenever he wants.

Machine Name Description
KARDragoon T.png Dragoon This legendary machine is extremely speedy with very high acceleration. Its main advantage is its excellent gliding, where it can reach 80 miles per hour in the air. Due to its weight however, it is not easily controlled, and it has only average battle capabilities.
KAR HI-Dra.png Hydra This legendary machine has extreme battle stats, and it can withstand constant blows from other machines. However, it runs similarly to a Bulk Star; it uses charge energy as fuel. But unlike the Bulk Star, it takes a great deal of time to charge up. When fully charged, the Hydra can travel at speeds as fast as 124 miles per hour, and it slowly takes up charge fuel, so the Hydra does not need to be constantly charged.

Top Ride Machines

In Top Ride Mode, there are only two machines available that are exclusive for this mode. Other than their appearance, the two machines' only difference are their control options.

Machine Name Description
TopRideKAR.JPG Free Star The Free Star is a machine that turns in the direction the control pad is faced, no matter what direction it is facing. It is the default machine for use, unless the player switches which star he/she wants to use.
TopRideStarKARBlue.JPG Steer Star The Steer Star is a machine that turns only when the left and right directions get pushed on the control stick, like a normal star. The Steer Star is not automatically available when the player is just getting ready to play Top Ride, but the player can change his/her machine option.

Characters (not including enemies)

List of Available Kirby Colors




Solo Artwork

Ability Artwork


External Links