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Play wild mini-races from a top-down perspective!
— Description • Kirby Air Ride

Top Ride is a racing mode in Kirby Air Ride. The races in this mode take place at a birds eye view, on small courses that fit on the screen. Unlike the other 2 modes, Top Ride only has 2 machines to choose from: Free Star and Steer Star, which do not appear in City Trial or Air Ride, and only Kirby and his alternate colors are playable. In this mode, there are a lot of power-ups that can cause mayhem with the enemy or the player himself/herself. For example, one lets Kirby throw bombs to explode foes and another releases smoke that confuses approaching rivals.

Smash Ride, a sub-game in Kirby: Squeak Squad, is somewhat similar to Top Ride.

Modes

KARG4

Top Ride's course selection screen

The game modes are the same as those in Air Ride:

  • Start Game takes players to the course selection screen, where they can choose a course and up to 4 players can join the race.
  • Free Run lets players choose between Time Attack, where they must complete a set amount of laps in the shortest time possible, and Free Run, where they can aim to achieve short individual lap times on any course.

Top Ride Machines

These are the machines the player can chose from, and only appear here. They are therefore not considered Air Ride Machines.

Courses

All seven courses in Top Ride are available from the start. Each course is also small enough to fit in its entirety on one screen, which means that there is no need for the screen to be split when there are 2 or more human players in a race.

Top Ride courses
GRASS SAND SKY
Grass Sand Sky
FIRE LIGHT WATER METAL ?
Fire Light Water Metal Random

Items

Items will randomly appear along each course during races, having a variety of effects that can help or hinder the player. Three of these items must first be unlocked by completing certain tasks in the Top Ride Checklist.

There is an option that allows players to decide how many items appear during the races, which includes the option to turn them off so that no items appear.

Mystery Item

Some additional item rules can be unlocked by completing certain tasks in the Top Ride Checklist. These include "Attack" items, which causes only offensive items to appear, and "Mystery," which causes all items to appear as bags with question marks on them until they are picked up.

This is a list of all the items that can appear. Most of these can be discarded by doing a Quick Spin, allowing the player to pick up a different item.

Name Image Description
Buzz Saw Buzz Saw Attaches a saw on each side of Kirby's machine. The saws push away and temporarily slow down any enemies they hit.
Kracko Orb Kracko Orb Kracko appears on the stage, electrocuting enemies. This item mostly tries to attack people in first or second place. The lightning will also damage the player that got the item if he or she gets too close.
Missile Missile Top Ride Launches a homing missile to the opponent in front of Kirby. It can be avoided by performing a Quick Spin.
Hammer Hammer Top Ride A Hammer swings around Kirby, hitting enemies. The hammer swings depending on how the player tilts the control stick.
Party Bomb Mine Top Ride Once the player sets it, the bomb becomes a small, hard-to-see trap. It blows up and spreads some confetti when a player touches it. It will detonate even if it is touched by the same player that set it.
Freeze Fan Freeze Fan Attaches a cooler to the front of Kirby's machine, which releases clouds of cold air that freeze opponents who get too close to them.
Big Cake Big Cake Turns the player into a huge Kirby, squashing foes that get in the way. Squashed foes become stunned. Unlike most other items, it can't be discarded through a Quick Spin.
Bomb Bomb Top Ride Allows the player to throw bombs that slow down opponents.
Smokescreen Smokescreen Allows the player to create a cloud of smoke that confuses opponents.
Drill Drill A drill appears in front of Kirby's machine, ramming opponents out of the way.
Invincible Candy Candy The player gains a boost of speed and becomes impervious to attacks.
Microphone Walky Releases a sound wave that covers a considerable portion of the course. Opponents who are hit become stunned.
Fire Fire Top Ride Lets the player's machine create a line of fire that burns opponents.
Battery Charge Up Allows Kirby's machine to boost at maximum speed regardless of charge time.
Spinner Spinner Causes Kirby's machine to spin whenever he boosts, causing opponents who are hit to lose control.
Sticky Tire Speed Down (Top Ride) Attaches a tire to Kirby's machine, reducing its speed. Can be passed on to another opponent by making that opponent touch the tire. It cannot be discarded by doing a Quick Spin.
Booster Speed Up (Top Ride) Increases Kirby's machine speed.
Party Ball Party Ball A party ball appears above the course and releases many items. It previously appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Who? Paint Who Paint Turns enemies invisible. During this time, affected players will not be able to use items, and the player marker (the arrow above the Kirby's head) will not display, so human players can get confused as to what Kirby they are controlling.

Must be unlocked by collecting a total of at least 500 items in Top Ride.

Chickie Chickie Stuns enemies and makes direction hard for them.

Must be unlocked by getting over 18 different types of items in Top Ride.

Lantern Lantern Causes the entire screen to go dark. However, a light will appear around the player who collected it.

Must be unlocked by taking 1st place without using items on all courses.

Checklist Tasks

Like the ones in Air Ride and City Trial, the Checklist in Top Ride has a total of 120 tasks. The following table lists every Checklist task that unlocks something (indicated in-game by being colored orange upon completion). There are 33 of these tasks.

General

There are 6 tasks that record progress from both Top Ride and Free Run, and can be completed while playing either mode.

Top Ride

There are 84 tasks that must be completed in Top Ride mode. Many are similar and some vary only in the course in which they must be completed.

Time tasks require the player to finish a race in under a given time. There are 7 of these tasks, one for each course.

No Item tasks require the player to finish a race without using items. For these tasks to count, items cannot be turned off when attempting them. There are 9 of these tasks.

No Boost tasks require the player to finish a race without boosting. There are 9 of these tasks.

1st Place tasks simply require the player to finish in first place a set amount of times on each course. There are 8 of these tasks.

Advantage tasks require the player to finish in first place with a certain time or lap advantage over the player in second place. There are 9 of these tasks.

CPU tasks require the player to finish in first place against level 5 CPUs. There are 7 of these tasks, one for each course.

Lap tasks require the player to race a certain amount of laps. There are 8 of these tasks.

Course tasks require the player to perform certain actions using features specific to each course. There are 15 of these tasks.

Item tasks require the use of items in order to complete them. There are 6 of these tasks.

Misc tasks can be completed on any course, and are not part of a large group of similar tasks. There are 6 of these tasks.

Free Run

There are 30 tasks that must be completed in Free Run mode.

Time Attack tasks simply require that the player finish under a certain time on each course. There are 15 of these tasks.

Free Run tasks require the player to finish a lap under a set amount of time on each course. There are 15 of these tasks.

Trivia

KAR Usiro Item

The unused item.

  • An unused item for Top Ride exists in the files of Kirby Air Ride, and can be accessed in the game's debug menu. It is called "UsiroYurerun," which translates as "Waver Behind." Physically, the item resembles a crystal on top of a support of some kind. The item distorts the appearance of the area directly behind the machine using the item. The item also produces two sound effects that aren't used otherwise. The original purpose of the item is unknown, but it is possible that it may have been used to confuse other players.