A 1UP (also spelled as 1-Up or as other variations; it is also called an extra life) is an item that appears in almost every Kirby game (and is also a common item in most video games). It gives Kirby an extra life when collected and gives the player an extra chance to beat the game. If Kirby loses a life, his life count goes down by 1, and, most of the time, he must restart the room from the beginning; losing all of them results in a game over, and he must start the stage over again. As these items can be very useful, they are usually hidden, or in places that may cost a life to get to. They may also be rewarded to the player for doing well at a sub-game or completing a specific task in the game.
The existence of 1UPs to characters has since been verified in Kirby Super Star and its remake, where (had the player gone into the correct room) Mace Knight has been revealed to have hoarded them (and a lot of food) within the Halberd, to which Captain Vul then comments upon (although in Kirby Super Star, Mace Knight only mentions tomatoes).
As this is the first game in the series, the 1UP debuts in this game. 1UPs can be found in hidden locations throughout the game. Kirby starts with three lives, however, by using the configuration mode, the player can make it so that Kirby starts with as few as one life, and as many as nine.
At the start of the game, Kirby has three lives. Extra lives can be gained by filling the 'EXTRA' letters on the Pinball Land selection screen, scoring extremely well in some sub-games, or hitting rare 1UP icons in some Pinball Lands.
Once Kirby loses all of his vitality bars, he will have to use one of his chances to try again. If you use up all of Kirby's chances, the game will end.”
— The number of chances Kirby has left. • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet
When Kirby runs out of chances, the GAME OVER screen will appear followed by the CONTINUE screen. To continue the game, use the +Control Pad to select CONTINUE then press the START Button to begin play. If you want to end the game, select END and you will return back to the title screen.”
— Continue • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet
This will increase the number of extra lives Kirby has remaining.”
1UPs spin 360 degrees in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Despite the fact that 1UPs were ported directly from this game to Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the 1UPs in Kirby: Triple Deluxe do not spin. This is also the case with Maxim Tomatoes.
This is also the case in Kirby: Planet Robobot, though this is because it was ported directly from Kirby: Triple Deluxe.