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Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe is a stand-alone Nintendo eShop software that is a sequel/successor to the Kirby: Triple Deluxesub-game, Dedede's Drum Dash. Like the original, Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe features King Dedede as the main character and has him bouncing on drums to the rhythm of a song. New songs are added, including secret levels to challenge the player.
Like the original, King Dedede bounces on drums, able to move right and left. The player can increase the height of his jumps by pressing A upon landing on a drum. Pressing A again after a high jump will result in a super jump. However, if Dedede lands on the edge of a drum, he will not bounce high and will scramble about. By pressing A at the peak of his jump, Dedede will perform a backbeat. If it is rated Good, Dedede will clap. If it is rated Great, he will beat on a tambourine. If Dedede hits a backbeat when he is positioned in front of a gong, he will hit the gong, causing Musical Coins to appear.
The main goal of Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe is to reach the end of each course while avoiding enemies and hazards while collecting as many Musical Coins as possible. Upon landing on the Goal Drum, Dedede will bounce high into the sky and receive a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal depending on his performance in each song.
Unlike Dedede's Drum Dash, the king will not lose instantly if he falls into a pit. He will, however, take damage and lose his combo, as well as some points. If the time runs out or Dedede runs out of health, he will lose. Dedede can recover lost HP by jumping through a ring containing a heart.
Bonuses are awarded if the player completes certain tasks before reaching the Goal Drum. These include:
Keychains from Kirby: Triple Deluxe can occasionally be seen in the backgrounds of stages. For the normal stages, only the keychain depicting Kirby from Kirby's Adventure can seen. However, in the harder versions of the stages, keychains of other characters, such as Dedede and the HAL Laboratory logo, will appear instead.
C-R-O-W-N-E-D (Reprise) was specifically designed in such a way that, if completed on the best route the staff has prepared, the player will end with 1:11 left on the timer. This is a reference to Kirby: Triple Deluxe's Japanese release date: January 11, 2014.
In C-R-O-W-N-E-D, "DDD" can be seen spelled out with Musical Coins. In C-R-O-W-N-E-D (Reprise), however, the coins instead spell "HAL". This is a reference to the HAL Laboratory development team.
The StreetPass Mii Plaza game Puzzle Swap contains a puzzle panel based on Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe together with Kirby Fighters Deluxe.
One of the original title ideas for this sub-game roughly translates to "Sorry, no Kirby! Dedede’s Drum Dash". This name was dropped and replaced with Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, a title that conveys the sub-game's upgrade over Dedede's Drum Dash.
Depending on which and how many trophies the player gets, the start screen of the game will showcase different cardboard figures with different animations and expressions. For example, if the player has one trophy, a cardboard Dedede will appear alone; if the player has two gold trophies, a cardboard Kirby will appear alongside Dedede; if the player successfully obtains two platinum trophies, a cardboard Taranza will appear alongside Kirby and Dedede.
Along with Kirby Fighters Deluxe, this is the first game in the Kirby series to be made exclusively available through a Nintendo eShop download. However, it could be said that both games had a sort of "physical release" in Japan, in the form of download voucher cards sold at retail that were specific to each game.