5-2, which is a very colorful sky level where Kirby's floating is put to good use. The abundance of Ice powers and health make it much more forgiving than the other levels on Shiver Star, and the placement of the shards are very straightforward this time around.
5-4, the factory, is very memorable thanks to the chilling music and being a case of Surprise Creepy.
Shiver Star appears to be Earth (note the continents and moon), but it's completely covered in ice. And there are (man-made) robots who live in a (man-made) factory, but humans are nowhere to be seen... Though of course, there is a much happier possibility that it's just the Earth during Winter season. This coupled with the fact there's a toy level strongly suggests it's Christmas time.
The state of matters at Ripple Star really drives home the need to stop Dark Matter. It's seen in the cinematic to be slowly being corroded, and indeed each stage looks worse and worse for wear. The horror comes in realizing that this is what Dark Matter plans to do with the rest of the universe.
Game Breaker: For the few useless powers and joke abilities, this game has a plethora of absolutely devastating powers that will allow you to mow through enemies and bosses with ease.
Cutter + Bomb gives Kirby explosive ninja star throwing power. It's extremely rapid fire and hits almost instantly. Most bosses go down very fast.
Burning + Burning basically turns Kirby into a comet that allows Kirby to soar for long distances, destroying everything in his path. He can also fly for much longer after Kirby has used his breath, allowing him to soar for great distances past whole levels. You can't control your flight as the comet, but that's rarely a concern.
Ice + Ice turns Kirby into an almost indestructible snowball. All enemies become absorbed in his path. The player doesn't even have to do anything most of the time. Just grab some popcorn and enjoy the mayhem.
Stone + Cutter turns Kirby into a stone form of one of his past companions. In stone form, Kirby is invincible, plowing through most enemies while at worst losing his stone skin if he hits a Gordo or other similar spiked item (without losing health or the power). Now, just mash B until you get Pitch (the small bird), who can fly almost indefinitely, and you'll pass through most levels easily. As a bonus, Kirby won't be affected by water currents in this stone form, which helps immensely in a certainwater level.
Burning + Cutter. In addition to looking really cool, this BFS can also be held up and thrown. Helps a lot when fighting Acro and HR-H/E.
Spark + Cutter gives you a double-endedlaser sword. What it lacks in the versatility of the fire sword, it makes up for in speed. Cutest Sith ever.
Not only does Spark + Stone look cool, but you can hit enemies from every angle if you let the rock bounce around on its electric cord. You can casually walk through some levels with this combo.
Stone + Needle. It allows you to fire a drill, that destroys every enemy in its path (except invincible ones). Also, you can plow through enemies while holding on to it, making you an unstoppable projectile of doom. Also, it button mashed while in the air, and if a direction (horizontal) is held down, you can float insane distances, because activating the drill stops you from falling. Platforming and fighting help all in one.
Spark + Spark surrounds Kirby with a forcefield that instantly zaps any enemy that touches it.
Burning + Bomb. Kirby jumps, spins, and shoots fireworks all around him. Usable three times before you have to land, and gets bigger with each use. You keep all of your momentum and mobility when attacking, making it great for moving through levels quickly.
Bomb + Bomb equals homing missiles.
The Bomb ability in of itself is damn effective. Covering a good distance if held, it's also easy to use close up, and thanks to the animation, is very easy to mash quickly with the B button. While not the most powerful, the practical use in almost any situation more than makes up for that.
In short, with experimentation, even newbie players will stumble upon at least one combo that makes the game a breeze. As a result, the biggest challenges are found in 100% Completion, where you are often required to use a particular ability — not necessarily an effective one — to find a Shard. Just a warning, though: Do not expect to use these for the Final Boss, Miracle Matter, who holds the distinction of being the only boss post-Dream Land where copy abilities are next to useless.
Guide Dang It: The one Crystal Shard at the end of level 3-3. You know the one: the one that's too high up to float to? The one where you have to use the Rock+Cutter ability to turn into Rick and use his wall-climbing ability? There's no way players could have figured that out without having played Kirby's Dreamland 2 or 3, and even then they'd have to assume it works the same way in this game as it did there. Especially bad, since the other Crystal Shards have a simple enough solution. Even That One Sidequest is fairly obvious to figure out.
The true final boss, 02. It is implied to be a reincarnated or reborn version of 0, the final boss of Kirby's Dream Land 3. Not only does it look like an unholy offspring of a fallen angel and a Boo from the Mario series, but it bleeds from its eye when you shoot it.
Adeleine when possessed by the Dark Matter, along with the suspenseful sting near the end of the cutscene "Art Attack".
Scarfy's transformed state. Especially considering that, in this game, all one has to do to get it to transform is look away from it. Much like Boos, but much, much scarier.
King Dedede, in his boss fight when he exposes the Dark Matter.
Stage 6-2's theme, Ripple Star Catacombs. Sure it's a bit creepy-sounding, but it doesn't sound so scary after you get used to it, right? Wrong. The simple chords won't let up, having to endure the same repetitive notes progressively assaults your ears until you're desperate to finish the level, if only to make it stop. This goes double for those playing for the first time, particularly for the target audience.
Stage 6-3's music. Jazz has never sounded so "oh God something is coming something bad is going to happen HURRY HURRY".
The bad ending, when you realize the Fairy Princess/Queen is glaring at you.
Said glare is accompanied by a Last Note Nightmare, made even more effective by the rest of the ending playing out as if everything was fine beforehand, giving no indication that you'd not completed the game before this point.
That One Boss: The semiFinal Boss, Miracle Matter for most, is strong for Final Boss standards. For aKirby game. Particularly his bomb form, which fills the screen with painful bubbles, and his spark form, which attacks with ricocheting, screen-wrapping lasers. The worst part - copy abilites are damn near useless against this guy. Fire sword, cute Sith, rock mace - you have at best two-in-seven chance of your given ability being functional, and are better off dodging, sucking, and spitting.
That One Sidequest: The Crystal Shard in level 4-2 that requires you to carry the Dynamite powerup all the way to the end of the level (because nothing in 4-2 itself will give you that particular combination, and you can damage yourself with it) is widely regarded as the most annoying (or close to it) Shard in the game to get.