|“||There are two ways to play this game. In Grand Prix, you will race against King Dedede. Run through the course and collect food as quickly as you can. Your score is determined by the amount of food you gather and how many more times you reach goal lines before your opponent. In Time Attack, you will choose a course and race through it alone to try and get the best time possible.”|
|— Instruction manual description • Kirby Super Star Ultra|
Kirby is seen floating up a steep mountainside (referred to as Gourmet World in Kirby Super Star but unnamed in Kirby Super Star Ultra) in search of food. He manages to reach the top, but when Kirby is still panting from the effort, King Dedede steps out and issues a challenge to Kirby. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, King Dedede taunts Kirby by munching on food in front of him instead.
The goal is to play as Kirby, go through the three courses, eat more food than King Dedede, and finish first. There are no enemies to fight, and Kirby cannot lose a life even though there are Spikes in some parts. There is a time trial mode, where players race to beat their own records in one of the three courses. The previous best time is represented as a ghost that takes the same path as the player took. In its incarnation in Kirby Super Star Ultra, player two can join the race as Yellow Kirby.
Kirby gets one point for every unit of food he eats, and three points for every Maxim Tomato, which are less common and harder to get to. By reaching the finish line first, Kirby gets a bonus of 30 additional points, giving a possible maximum bonus of 90 points if Kirby wins all three stages.
Kirby runs faster than usual in Gourmet Race, and is faster than King Dedede on the ground. However, since he just exhausted himself floating up the mountain, his floating, Slide attack, and jumping skills are slower and much less effective, and King Dedede is faster than him in the air.
In the last course, Onion Garden, Kirby can use a Copy Ability from a Copy Essence. The five pedestals from left to right are Jet, Parasol, Ninja, Wing, and finally, Wheel. One can also choose to do a time trial run of one of the three courses.
In Kirby Super Star Ultra
"King Dedede challenged Kirby to see who's the hungriest gourmet! Who will reach the goal first? Speed to eat, eat to win!"
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|Theme - Gourmet Race|
- The fact that there are three courses could be a reference to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or a three course meal.
- In the remake, a Ghost Kirby cameo from Kirby: Squeak Squad can be seen.
- It is possible to destroy food in this game (using Kirby's air puff or otherwise), although this isn't possible elsewhere. Doing so will credit the food to the player.
- The music for Gourmet Race is one of the most recurring themes, with it being remixed many times throughout the Kirby series.
- A remix of the music is used for Stage 2 of Sand Canyon and Stage 4 of Cloudy Park in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
- A remix of the music is used for the 100-Yard Hop sub-game in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
- A remix of the music is used for the Paint Panic sub-game in Kirby: Canvas Curse.
- A remix of the music is used for Castle Dedede in Kirby's Epic Yarn.
- A remix of the music is used for Dededetour in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
- A remix of the music is used for the extra stage of Gigabyte Grounds in Kirby: Planet Robobot (which is reused from Paint Panic's music in Kirby: Canvas Curse).
- An orchestral remix of this theme is used as the theme for the Fountain of Dreams in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. This is coincidental because King Dedede appears in both areas. However, the version of this theme is based on the arrangement from Super Smash Bros. Melee. This particular music would also be reused as the alternate track for the Nebula Belt racecourse in Kirby Air Ride (with slight modifications) and remixed in Kirby: Triple Deluxe as the music that plays during the Hypernova section of Stage 8 of Royal Road.
- In Kirby Super Star Ultra, Kracko can be seen in the left-hand corner of the map on the touch screen.
- Despite his size, King Dedede can fit in spaces that are one Star Block wide while floating vertically. This can be seen the clearest when playing at Onion Garden, once Kirby gets to the gray bricks.
- Cart Run, a sub-game in Kirby: Canvas Curse, is similar to Gourmet Race, except Kirby and King Dedede are in carts, and Kirby is moved by moving the generator.
- An extended remix of the music that plays during the intro of Gourmet Race was used during the battle against Mecha Kawasaki, a chef resembling Chef Kawasaki who appears in the Scope Shot sub-game of Kirby's Return to Dream Land.