|This article is about the boss in Kirby Mass Attack. For other uses, see Skull (disambiguation).|
|“||It's said that Necrodeus has imbued some greedy pig with his dark powers. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.”|
|— Daroach • Kirby Mass Attack|
Skullord is a massive, orange pig that lives inside a Volcano Valley's central volcano. He wears a giant skull over his face, covering everything but his snout and menacing orange eyes. His hands have two sharp digits. In addition to his skull, Skullord wears a crown made of bones with a humanoid skull built into the middle. He has spiked shoulders and fire burns behind his head.
Skullord's undead incarnation looks different. His skin, snout, and eyes are purple, though they appear tan and purple when seen inside the volcano. His bones and nails are tinted slightly purple.
Skullord appears as the boss of Volcano Valley, the fourth of the Popopo Islands. The Kirbys drop from a door onto a rising platform in a vertical shaft. Skullord's head emerges from the volcano's crater in the background, initiating the fight.
The battle occurs in two locations: The vertical area outside the volcano and the volcano's vent. The former portions are the most dangerous because of the terrain. Skullord attacks with projectiles; any projectile that strikes the platform beneath the Kirbys damages it, and two hits can strip away one layer. If all three layers are compromised, the heroes plummet into the pit below and are KO'd, causing an immediate game over. These sequences end when the Kirbys reach an autocannon that fires them into the volcano.
In the latter portions, the Kirbys crash into Skullord, pushing him down the vent and causing a massive hematoma to form on his scalp. They must then shoot themselves at the pig's injury three times, while the autocannon moves side to side and Skullord's head rocks back and forth. If they miss, they hit the boss's spiky crown, shoulders, or flames—this KOs one Kirby who cannot be recovered, and the others immediately return to the cannon. After three successful hits, the boss descends further and angrily chases the Kirbys out of the vent, causing them to appear back in the shaft via a door.
In his first phase, Skullord launches ten rocks from his snout. They drift left or right as they fall toward the platform, and they bounce the other direction if they bump into a wall. The player must flick the Kirbys at these incoming projectiles to break them; each crumbles in one hit. Any Kirbys pinned between a rock and the platform are KO'd. The volcanic portion is simple—the autocannon containing the Kirbys moves slowly and offers the player five seconds to fire before it automatically does. Skullord also rocks slowly, giving the player much time to line up each shot. The autocannon gradually speeds up with each shot taken.
In his second phase, Skullord launches 17 "lava bombs." These molten rocks are too hot to touch. With a squawk, two Birdees fly in and drop a giant, stone bowl for the heroes to use as a catcher. It prevents the Kirbys from jumping is more easily carried by a large group; a small group cannot dash while holding it. It is best if the lava bombs land on the bowl's center or inclines. Ones that hit the outer edge bounce upward and can potentially land on the platform. Skullord fires his projectiles in multiple rows of five, with occasional pairs being shot out simultaneously. The bombs are dumped out safely when the heroes enter the autocannon.
The volcanic sequence adds more to the previous one. The player must fire the Kirbys between horizontally-moving autocannons to reach Skullord below. They must shoot themselves diagonally left and then diagonally right, taking care not to misfire into the lethal spikes lining the left wall. The third cannon points straight down and is like the one from the first phase. After each successful strike, the player must redo the cannon sequence. The autocannons move faster each time. Three hits cause Skullord to chase the heroes away.
In his third phase, Skullord fires 18 more lava bombs in different patterns—these descend in groups, landing in rapid succession. Like before, Birdees provide the Kirbys with a bowl to catch them. After the 18th lava bomb, Skullord charges up and launches one vast boulder. The Kirbys automatically walk to the center of the platform to catch it. The boulder crushes the lava bombs and triggers a button-tapping sequence. If the player fails this, the Kirbys are KO'd and the platforms smashed. If they succeed, the boulder flies away and the Kirbys enter the autocannon.
The volcanic sequence is like the second one but with more autocannons that have different properties. The Kirbys must first fire diagonally right then diagonally left. The rest of the cannons below rotate in place rather than moving about. The player must then fire the Kirbys downward or diagonally right, then shoot into the final cannon in the center. This one rotates quickly without stopping and has a 10-second time limit before automatically firing. After hitting Skullord, the Kirbys must redo the sequence while contending with faster cannons. When the final blow struck, Skullord is defeated. The boss hits the floor, dazed. The Skullys patrolling the Popopo Islands burst, making it safe for the Kirbys to travel between them.
Skullord appears zombified in Stage 4 of Necro Nebula. The battle is unchanged with one exception: Because the player can enter the stage with one Kirby, the rocks in the first phase drop fruit to help the player amass a larger group. These fruits are always melons and Maxim Tomatoes. When the undead boss is defeated, the fourth flame on Necrodeus' altar ignites, bringing the player closer to the final boss.
Skullord appears as a collectible keychain.
Skullord's name is a portmanteau of the words skull, referencing the skull helmet he wears, and lord, indicating his powerful status.
|“||Don't underestimate the Skullord that rules this area. That pig has gotten too big for his britches. His lava bombs are too hot to handle. Catch them in the middle of that container. If you don't have the container, you'll have to smash 'em out of the sky directly. Don't let your guard down when he retreats into his volcano. Hop right into an autocannon to chase that piggy boss. Once there, aim another autocannon at him before it counts down to zero. You'll have to aim quickly...or else!”|
|— Daroach • Kirby Mass Attack|
- It is unknown what "dark powers" Necrodeus granted to Skullord. He may have been sustaining the Skullys patrolling the Popopo Islands, as they vanish once he is defeated.
- The enemy Buufuu resembles Skullord. It is unknown if the two characters are related.
- Skullord is the only standard boss in Kirby Mass Attack with a unique boss theme. It is titled "Piggy Enemy."
- Skullord cannot damage the Kirbys—rather, each move KOs its victim(s). This makes it impossible for the player to acquire silver stars on Volcano Valley's Boss Stage and Stage 4 of Necro Nebula.
- Skullord is one of the two bosses in Kirby Mass Attack who can KO all ten Kirbys in one hit, the other being Necrodeus.
- The skull on Skullord's crown has a nasal aperture when seen from a distance, but it is not present when viewed up close.
- There is no negative consequence for firing into the barren right wall of the volcano.
- During the third volcanic phase, three unusable cannons can be seen above the top autocannon for a split-second. It is unknown why these are here.
- Daroach's hint for defeating Skullord is factually incorrect. He advises that if the Kirbys do not have the Birdees' stone bowl, they must smash the lava bombs directly. This is a mistaken combination of the boss's first two phases. The Kirbys must break rocks directly, not lava bombs, and the Birdees always provide a bowl to contain the lava bombs.
- Skullord has a full set of unused sprites where his boney crown lacks the dangerous spikes that instantly KO the Kirbys if touched.
- Skullord's undead counterpart has orange flames outside the volcano but purple flames inside it.