A Super Ability is a time-limited ability in Kirby's Return to Dream Land. There are five different super abilities available, all of them being more powerful than their regular Copy Ability counterparts, and they only last for about 2-3 minutes before expiring. Each ability causes Kirby to pulsate with purple tendrils of energy, as well as adding a glowing star marking the upgraded version of the Copy Ability's hat.
Super abilities can only be acquired by inhaling "Super" versions of regular enemies, which are characterized by a pulsing yellow aura, a glowing star on the forehead and slight differences in design. There are no Copy Essenses for super abilities.
- Super Blade Knight gives Ultra Sword
- Super Hot Head gives Monster Flame
- Super Waddle Doo gives Flare Beam
- Super Chilly gives Snow Bowl
- Super Bonkers gives Grand Hammer
Outside of boss fights and special mid-boss sequences, the primary goal of using the Super Abilities is to reveal interdimensional tunnels hidden within special terrain which can only be destroyed while having the super ability, before it expires. Despite their immense power, there are many limitations concerning super abilities.For one, if Kirby were to drop the Super ability star for any reason, it shatters instantly instead of bouncing about for a few seconds like regular ability stars. They are lost if Kirby goes through the final door or if he goes into an interdimensional tunnel or if the player cancels the level. It is also impossible to keep the super ability star within Kirby's mouth in an attempt to extend the time it lasts - Kirby swallows the super enemy the moment he inhales it. In multiplayer mode, only one Kirby can have a Super Ability at any time. Although the enemy giving the super ability spawns multiple times, any other Kirby who inhales one of them causes the first Kirby to lose his super ability.
Each Super Ability has a Copy Ability counterpart.
- Inspecting game files in the disc reveals an unused Super Cutter ability. It would most likely be obtained by inhaling a Super Sir Kibble. It was likely not included in the game due to its resemblance to Ultra Sword. A Super Spark ability icon can also be found, but it was also canned, likely in favor of Flare Beam.
- There is also a timer icon, implying that either an ability involving this timer was planned for the game and that this icon was the Super Ability version, or that this was an original Super Ability that involved time. However, along with the Super Cutter and Spark abilities, this was scrapped.
- Snow Bowl and Monster Flame are the only two Super Abilities that do not have the normal counterpart's name in them.
- Those two abilities are the only ones that do not have Kirby holding a weapon, as well (Ultra Sword - Sword; Grand Hammer - Hammer; Flare Beam - Magic Wand).
- Stage 3 of Dangerous Dinner demonstrates Ultra Sword's ability to defeat mid-bosses in one attack. It can be assumed that the other Super Abilities have such power as well.
- When Kirby transforms, he says, "Hiyah!!"
- Not only can Super Abilities destroy some landscape and defeat enemies, but they can also destroy the flowers and signs that are scattered around Dream Land.
- As all five of the Super Abilities are used to fight Magolor and Magolor EX, they could arguably be considered Final Weapons; if considered as such, Kirby's Return to Dream Land is the only Kirby game with more than one distinct final weapon, as Landia had previously served a similar role right before Magolor was confronted.
- Ultra Sword could be considered the most "important" of the Super Abilities, as it is featured on the international version's box art, it is the first Super Ability obtained in the game, it is the last Super Ability used in regular stages, and is used to deliver the final blow to both Grand Doomer and Magolor.
- A glitch involving Ultra Sword can be performed on Magolor: Two players need to be Kirby, and have the Ultra Sword ability. When one player uses it to finish Magolor off, the second player should also attack right afterwards. Magolor will try to block the first player's attack, but will be defeated by the second player's Ultra Sword. Strangely, the Kirbys then lose the ability to move, but Magolor revives himself and continues attacking. The Kirbys won't lose any health, and the console must be reset.
- Magolor's third form and Magolor Soul can attack Kirby using dark versions of the Super Abilities.
- Excluding boss battles, each Super Ability appears exactly three times.