Starting the game
After the title screen, you will be taken to the file selection. Here, you may choose one of the three save files, either for starting a new game or to load a previously saved game. Simply choose the save slot you want. On any used save file, there will be a LEVEL indicator as well as a percentage. The number to the right of the LEVEL indicates the latest world the user of the file is in so far, while the percentage records the overall completion of the save file. After clearing any stage, your game will automatically be saved to your designated save file, so simply choose the one you selected every time you load up the game again to continue your adventure.
Whenever you select a save file, you will be able to choose between START and OPTION. START obviously starts the main game, taking you straight to the overworld screen. OPTION will only show a quaver note most of the time. Choosing this note takes you to a simple option screen where you can choose between mono sound or stereo sound. As you clear levels, it becomes more of a Sound Test, where you can hear various background music and sound effects from the game.
Other than the Sound Test, there are three unlockable sub-games available after playing through the game. The M should be the first sub-game you unlock. In this sub-game, you must play through all of the minigames found in the each main level in random order, trying to get as many correct answers as possible. Clearing the M sub-game unlocks the J sub-game, Jumping. This sub-game is based off of the level end minigame of each stage, where you must jump at the right time to land on a particular space. Clearing the whole game unlocks the B sub-game, the Boss Butch. You must defeat every boss in a set order on only one life, without any healing items, Animal Friends or copy abilities. Clearing all sub-games unlocks the ? option, where you can view all of the cutscenes from the game.
To delete a previous save file, choose the ERASE tab at the bottom of all three save slots. Scroll to the file you want to erase while the tab is highlighted to completely erase all progress on that file. Erased data cannot be recovered, so think carefully before you do this.
During gameplay, there will be a small overlay at the bottom of the screen, which displays a variety of stats and other information. From left to right:
- Kirby's Ability: This square indicates the copy ability Kirby currently possesses. It will be blank when Kirby lacks an ability.
- Health Bar: The health bar represents how many hits Kirby and Gooey can take before losing a life. There are five squares of health when playing alone, with each square representing two units of health. Most attacks reduce one unit of health, so Kirby can effectively take up to 10 hits. Creating Gooey costs two units of health. When playing with Gooey, both characters have four squares of health.
- Star Counter: Small stars are often strewn throughout the level, and collecting them fills up your Star Counter. It takes five small stars to fill up one star on the counter, and there are a total of six stars on the counter, meaning you need 30 small stars total to fill up the counter. Once the counter is filled, you gain an extra life.
- Extra Lives: The number at the center of the Star Counter indicates how many extra lives you have. Filling up the Star Counter or collecting 1-Ups add to this number, while running out of health reduces it. Once you run out of lives, you will get a Game Over and the game resets.
- Boss Life Bar: The thin bar beneath the Star Counter is the life bar of the boss you're currently facing. It will only fill up when battling a mini-boss or a Level boss. Naturally, you must remove every bar to defeat the boss you're facing.
- Gooey's Ability: The rightmost square only becomes used during multiplayer play. Gooey can swallow enemies to gain their abilities just like Kirby, and the copy ability Gooey currently has is displayed here.
Press while in a level to pause. During the pause screen, you can choose to resume the game. If you've beaten the stage you're in previously, you can also opt to exit the stage immediately. Note that you cannot pause during a Heart Star minigame or while fighting a boss.
- Small Stars - These stars contribute to your total in the Star Counter. Collect 30 to get an extra life.
- Pep Brew - Bottles of energy drinks that restore one square (two units) of health when collected.
- Maxim Tomato - A useful food that restores all of your health when collected.
- 1-Up - Gives you an extra life.
- Heart Star - Collectibles that are granted by select characters at the end of each stage. Collecting all of them are required to fight the final boss.