Vroom! A discussion about a
rather unvaried ability that's also Kirby's fastest...
Wheel isn't too hard to understand, though it CAN be tough to
control. You tap the button, Kirby rolls up into tire form and
zooms full speed ahead, running over whatever is unfortunate
enough to get in his way. Very useful in making quick getaways
from enemies, and for
crashing through tough blocks and walls, but it has a moderate
downside. Wheel stops immediately if Kirby hits a wall, and
he's vulnerable to spikes. You also can't use Wheel
underwater, though it can ride across water.
Kirby's Adventure is
where Wheel originated, and believe you me, I wasn't so sure
about its usefulness at first. Running wildly through the area
wasn't my idea of fun, and Wheelie looked more like a 33"
record than a tire. That goes for Big Wheelie (mini-boss) and
Mini-Wheelie (Big Wheelie's projectiles) as well. Strangely,
Mini-Wheelie could explode. Of course, I thought they were
records, and didn't think they'd be useful to copy. So I stuck
with Needle. Of course, I eventually came to an impass. I had
no ability, and had run across some Wheelies. So I ate one and
swallowed. I got Wheel, and decided to try it out. I was blown
away by Kirby's speed, but learned that it has a price. Kirby
will break blocks below him while rolling, so doing something
to he "B Button Boogie" (of Mario games fame) with it was out
of the question (and Kirby's dash wasn't good for clearing
small gaps after a while, try it in 5-3 to see what I mean).
After experimenting, I found that Wheel would end if Kirby
tried to cruise across water, and that he'd go zooming ahead a
bit before the water pressure stopped him. He'd also revert to
normal if you tapped "B" again, dashing instead of walking no
less... and ready to curl up and roll out at the next tap of
"B" Fun stuff overall, but there was a problem. He could be
grabbed and thrown out of Wheel form. As such, I'd usually
hock it for a better power if I were near a miniboss... Fire,
Ice, Beam, ANYTHING. That's not to say Wheel was bad for that;
I'd even forego Tornado and Hi-Jump if there were a battle
with Bugzzy, Rolling Turtle, or Fire Lion ahead. For SOME
reason, Wheel was in the Orange Ocean Museum but the Arena in
Butter Building had a Big Wheelie... was THAT neccessary, HAL?
All the powers you could have placed in either spot. A Walky
in the Museum, Mr. Tick Tock in the Arena, or maybe Sir Pengy
in the Museum... we didn't need Wheel virtually for free
Kirby Super Star
really tricked out Wheel. Kirby gained his ability to cruise
over water in this game, and also could alter his speed...
though Wheel didn't seem so fast to begin with in this game,
and Kirby lost the auto-dash when he reverted to normal.
There's something called a "Park Trick" that I never figured
out about Wheel, but it
has another hidden trick I do have mastery of: The Close Call
Crash. Get REALLY close to a boss enemy (try it on the Combo
Cannon or Twin Woods), and roll at them at point-blank range.
You'll eath their HP like a poison as you curl up, ram them,
and immediately crash and revert... you'll be momentarily
invulnerable while reverting to normal, as Wheel Kirby still
rolls. Very useful, if a bit risky. Wheel Kirby also gained
his backwards red hat with this ability in Super Star, and his
"second" Wheel ability... Wheelie Rider.
Wheelie Rider was something to marvel at. Kirby would gain a
Wheelie helper that DID NOT look like a record... it looked
like a cool red motorcycle. And Kirby wore a spiffy helmet
while riding his Wheelie friend. Wheelie Rider was used for
Kirby's final escape in Revenge of Meta Knight, and was useful
for finding a few treasures in great Cave Offensive (one of
them was... a tire...). It could slide, climb, cruise water,
and any power ups collected while riding would automatically
heal both Kirby and Wheelie. Best of all, if the Wheelie
helper was human-controlled, Kirby gained one of his most
powerful abilities... the Wheelie Rider Shot. This shot star
bullets from the bike, which did damage comparable to the
exhaled star... 52/54 HP damage to enemies. Good for clearing
Sadly, Simply rolling into an enemy with Wheel did only 14
damage per hit, and 16 for Wheelie Rider.
Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland
did little more than include the hat, water cruise, and SLOW
DOWN the ability. Kirby wasn't as fast, and still lost his
auto-dash revert. However, the levels were smaller, so the
toned speed is a bit forgivable. Thankfully, he's invincible
to grabs and throws while in Wheel form.
Kirby appeared in Kirby
Air Ride, and if you look closely when you
activate Mix, or get hit just as you transform into
Wheel Kirby... so is his hat! Wheel Kirby temporarily
loses his machine to cruise the course as a tire,
rolling mercilessly over anything in his way, and
automatically making use of boost panels and trapdoors.
he gets it from Wheelie, who is in his helper form...
and the ability's mechanics (speed, turning) work much
like the Wheelie Bike... one could go so far as to say
the Wheelie Bike IS a friendly Wheelie... and so are its
"brothers", the Wheelie Scooter (which stops and turns
on a dime and leaves you nine cents change, jumps really
high, but has low speed unless on a boost panel or grind
rail), and Rex Wheelie (which turns REALLY wide, but is
very fast and sturdy, and hits pretty hard). Wheel isn't
that strong in power, and it also prevents stardrafting
(that is, taking the draft behind another racer to catch
up... trick was used in one of the animé episodes), but
THAT works both ways, so you're safe as well (which
means Kirby shouldn't have been drafted by the Mayor in
tha episode, he cheated!). Avoid getting Wheel (and to
the same extent, Wing) if you're racing on Hydra... the
transformations alter your Boost meter (you LOSE it with
Wing), and when the ability is lost, you must sit
through Hydra's lengthy charge time before you can move
again. You'll find Wheelies usually in open courses with
lots of straightaways and no drops... so try Checker
Knights, Machine Passage, or Sky Sands.
Microphone) are of limited use in the animé. Wheel Kirby
has appeared in only race-oriented episodes, and seems
to do little more than roll swiftly past the
competition... although he CAN jump, and can break
Dedede Limousines easily. Kirby needs only inhale a tire
to get this ability, and he goe into his cuteness-oozing
transformation sequence, and comes out as Wheel Kirby...
he'll get rolling by throwing the hat (which results
from a tire fusing with Kirby's head) into himself to
transform into a tire. Kirby was able to race five laps
before Dedede could move five inches, and then he broke
the limo... and lost the race anyway (Darn that Mayor
Blustergas!). The other episode hasn't aired in the dub
at the time of this writing, but Wheelie's in it...
evil, no less, but it looks like the HELPER Wheelie...
So far, it looks as if the
Kirby: The Large Labyrinth Mirror game has given Wheel
Kirby that jump he has in the animé. Nice touch. I rate Wheel
a 9/10 for being a great way to just get the level over
with, and for getting stardrafters off your back in Air
Ride... and for Wheelie Rider's abilities. Roll out!