Air Riders are ninja-looking alien creatures appearing in the Fright to the Finish saga who ride on different Air Ride Machines. The Air Ride Machines they ride on are said to be the same Air Ride Machines that Nightmare stole from all over the universe - most notably from the Star Warriors that were all but outnumbered by his monster forces. Air Riders are also shown to be able to wield different weapons, and can even be stored inside Destrayers. The Air Riders also guard Nightmare's Fortress.
Four of the Air Riders attacked Kirby in the dream sent to him and Tiff by Kabu, where Kirby utilized four anime-exclusive abilities.
Types of Air Riders
Formula Rider was the first opponent Kirby faced. He and his crew attacked Kirby's Warp Star, and he pummeled the Warp Star and whacked Kirby around with his baton until he inhaled it and transformed into Baton Kirby. Kirby then used his Baton ability to take control of the Forumla Rider, spinning and sending him flying until he couldn't take it anymore, destroying him and afterwards taking his Formula Star.
Rocket Rider was the second opponent Kirby faced. He and his flamethrower damaged the Formula Star Kirby was riding on, but when he inhaled the nearby water, he turned into Water Kirby. Kirby's attacks proved futile, however, for Rocket Rider's Rocket Star gave him a boost away. He tried to use Hydro Fountain, but another flamethrower destroyed Kirby's Formula Star. A few clear shots with Hydro Fountain sent Rocket Rider flying and destroyed him, and Kirby took his Rocket Star.
Wing Rider was the third opponent Kirby faced. He and his golden flail destroyed the Rocket Star by causing it to run out of fuel, but Kirby inhaled his flail and became Iron Kirby. Wing Rider's attacks only got deflected back, and he eventually lost his flail. He tried to run over Kirby, but Kirby dodged him and turned into his iron golem form and rolled after him. Wing Rider attempted to avoid being rolled over but failed and was sent flying and destroyed, and Kirby took his Winged Star.
Shadow Rider (Devil Rider in Japan) was the fourth opponent Kirby faced. He continually chased Kirby on his with his exploding tops, but Kirby inhaled one and became Top Kirby. Kirby then used Hyper Top, slicing his Shadow Star into many pieces with it. Shadow Rider and the Shadow Star exploded as they fell towards the ground.
Interesting to note is that in the Japanese version, the letter painted on his forehead was a D, and in the English dub, it was an S.
Air Riders are small, gray, ninja-esque alien creatures with blue visors, dark blue-purple feet, and white gloves. They are shown to be able to carry batons, flamethrowers and missile launchers, gold maces, and endless supplies of green tops that explode not long after making contact with anything. The Air Riders are also shown to ride on different Air Ride Machines. The machines they have been shown to ride on are Formula Stars, Rocket Stars, Winged Stars, and Shadow Stars. The white letters painted on their foreheads that are found in the beginning of the names of the Air Ride Machines shows which Air Ride Machines they ride on. These machines also appeared in the GameCube game Kirby Air Ride as rideable vehicles.
- Despite being shown to be amazing flyers in the anime, the Formula Star and the Rocket Star can barely glide in Kirby Air Ride. However, it is likely that the machines were upgraded (if the player gains enough power-ups, vehicles less capable of flying can soar for significantly longer.)
- Wing Rider bears a slight resemblance to Mace Knight.