An easily overlooked ability helped me clinch it
The more I sink into Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the more I love it — and it already left a strong impression after the first few worlds. I’m nearing 100%, and I can’t stop now. If you’re working toward that goal and haven’t quite been able to survive the Ultimate Cup Z in the colosseum, I’ve got a small tip that might make all the difference; it did for me!
Like prior Kirby games, it’s relatively smooth sailing on your first run through the main story — but the post-game “boss rush” content isn’t afraid to push back hard.
I really respect that duality, as it makes Kirby feel approachable yet deep. I also think Kirby and the Forgotten Land, specifically, will put a magnifying glass on the series’ longstanding design principles. If you’ve kept up with games like Planet Robobot and Star Allies and survived their fiercest challenges, you know the drill. But this Switch title is going wide.
Case in point, without even realizing it until it was too late, I went through basically all of the main quest without dodging. Flash forward to the post-game, and I’m now in a place where I use this move constantly — dodging is so ridiculously powerful as a way to avoid damage and also dish it back out with last-second “perfect dodge” counter-attacks.
You might be thinking, “Wait, that’s the tip??? Just dodging? I already knew that!”
I’m saving the real tip for below the spoiler gate, but I was curious if anyone else accidentally overlooked Kirby’s dodge for way too long. Just in case you’re reading this article and you haven’t picked up on it yet, you can dodge by holding one of the triggers (I personally find the L button most comfortable) and then tapping the left analog stick in your preferred direction. There’s a very generous window in which Kirby won’t take damage while escaping, and if you wait to dodge until just before a hit would land, you’ll get some slow-mo — and a chance to counter-attack. Try it out! Punish ’em.
Okay, so, Ultimate Cup Z — it makes the Ultimate Cup seem like a cakewalk!
It’s a back-to-back boss rush featuring 12 battles against phantom versions of Kirby and the Forgotten Land‘s beastly baddies, and there are minimal healing items between bouts, so you have to avoid death by a thousand cuts. The multi-phase true final boss is a doozy.
If you’re at this point, you’ve finished the main story, gotten through the remixed levels in the post-game Isolated Isles: Forgo Dreams realm, and survived the boss fight against Morpho Knight. Let’s just take a moment to process that gosh, this game goes places.
My best bet for finishing Ultimate Cup Z the first time was a multi-pronged approach.
Give yourself the best odds against this boss rush
- Make sure you have the Deep Sleep ability ready to go at Waddle Dee’s Weapon Shop. You can find the blueprint in the Burning, Churning Power Plant level, then use Deep Sleep whenever you need it back at the town. It can give you an attack or speed boost, but the most useful perk for colosseum purposes is a second HP bar.
- Get some extra breathing room with a Maxim Tomato to-go order from the Waddle Dee Café, and save it for an emergency. If you need a quick 100 coin top-up, I’d recommend the fishing mini-game (unless you’re bad at it, which, fair enough).
- The go-to weapon for Ultimate Cup Z is the Morpho Knight Sword, especially its upgraded form (a costly fee of 2,500 Star Coins and 5 Rare Stones). Not only does the sword hit hard, and have an even better dodge, but it also slightly heals Kirby after landing a string of strikes. This can add up and give you more room to recover from mistakes while you’re still perfecting phantom bosses’ alternate movesets.
- If you already knew all of these pointers, here’s an overlooked tip that helped me beat Ultimate Cup Z: the Morpho Knight Sword has a ranged homing attack. While holding a trigger (again, I prefer using the L button), also hold down the B button and let go — Kirby will be circled by phantoms, then they’ll chase after the boss. In fights like Phantom Forgo Dedede, Phantom Sillydillo, and the final phase of Chaos Elfilis, this ability is a godsend. You can whittle them down from a safe distance.
- Generally, it’s smart to play it safe until you’re confident. Instead of trying to go HAM on a boss 100% of the time, learn their attacks, then punish them with a perfect-dodge follow-up. It’s a balance, and it pays to know exactly when to go all-in.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first time I got through Ultimate Cup Z in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I had just one HP left — and so did Chaos Elfilis. Without Morpho Knight Sword’s homing attack, I wouldn’t have made it. Talk about a sigh of relief.
If you’re struggling, you can get there too. I had my doubts, but the closer I got, the more determined I became. Now I can beat this arena without sweating bullets, which I never would’ve expected given how badly my first attempts went. Practice paid off.
Now that I’m just trying to unlock the final dozen or so capsule figures (and Morpho Knight Kirby is honestly OP), I’m finding the colosseum to be an oddly relaxing grind. It’s been a blast learning all of the boss attacks and figuring out how to shave seconds off the clock.
All around, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a game of the year contender — they did it!