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Meta Knight (also referred to as Meta-Knight) is a recurring character in the Kirby series, who first appeared in Kirby's Adventure. He is a mysterious figure, and his backstory is not clearly shown in any games. The installments he appears in usually feature him as a boss, though there are instances where he and Kirby team up. Though most of his schemes originate from arguably good intentions, the way he tries to accomplish his goals are often very extreme. Meta Knight is also the leader of a band of warriors, known simply as the Meta-Knights, and his base of operations appears to be a giant warship, named Halberd.
Kirby's Adventure/Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
Meta Knight makes his first appearance in Kirby's Adventure, later reappearing in its remake, Nightmare in Dream Land. During the game, he is one of King Dedede's friends, who guard the seven pieces of the Star Rod in order to seal away Nightmare. He can be seen in several instances before Kirby gets the chance to fight him, though. Meta Knight appears in several levels, where he taunts Kirby, before he summons his minions, the Meta Knights, to fight Kirby. In the boss stage of Orange Ocean, Meta Knight himself decides to challenge Kirby to a duel, throwing a Sword that Kirby must pick up, to get the sword ability. Kirby must make full use of the Sword ability here in order to succeed. He also appears as a playable character in the Meta Knightmare sub-game of Nightmare in Dream Land. He, as always, uses his sword instead of copy abilities. Interestingly, Meta Knight faces himself in Orange Ocean, instead of being replaced by another character to be the boss for the level.
It is notable that Meta Knight's body hue appears to be black in this game, as opposed to his usual blue color.
Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra
Meta Knight reappears as an antagonist in the game Kirby Super Star, and its remake, where he has an entire sub-game dedicated to him, called Revenge of Meta Knight. The central point of this game is the warship Halberd, which Meta Knight utilizes to conquer Dream Land; in order to end the inhabitants' lazy lifestyles. After having been seen during numerous cutscenes, Meta Knight finally engages Kirby in a duel, reminiscent of their duel in Kirby's Adventure. Kirby manages to defeat him, though, and the Halberd is short of being destroyed. While Kirby tries to escape from the descending warship on a Wheelie, Meta Knight makes one last effort to stop Kirby by attacking him in anger. This fails however, and the Halberd plummets into the ocean.
Exclusively in Kirby Super Star Ultra is a game mode called Meta Knightmare Ultra, where rather than playing Kirby, Meta Knight is played through a run-through of the stages of Spring Breeze, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight, and Milky Way Wishes.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Meta Knight appears in the Kirby anime, Kirby: Right Back at Ya! as a main character. Near the beginning of the series, Meta Knight acts somewhat mysterious. He seems to sometimes help King Dedede, but also at the same time help Kirby. Later in the series, his mentor role of Kirby becomes much more defined. Most of the time, Meta Knight does not outright help Kirby, but sometimes gives him tips about how to defeat whatever opponent he is facing. In the rare occasions where he does fight Kirby, it is for training purposes. Meta Knight also has a hispanic accent, possibly because he slightly resembles Zorro. In the series, Meta Knight is said to be a Star Warrior, a protector of the galaxy against Nightmare Enterprises. However, all of the Star Warriors ended up being killed, leaving Meta Knight as the last one, training Kirby to become one too. Due to this, Meta Knight displays very skilled swordwork. He is also very stealthy, being able to appear at scenes without people noticing until he speaks up. He wields the same sword from his games, but it has been given a name: Galaxia. Galaxia is a legendary sword, and only those who are destined to wield it can (the only ones being Meta Knight and Kirby). When Meta Knight first encounters Galaxia, it is being guarded by a fierce demon beast. His partner resorts to sacrificing herself, but gets the sword to Meta Knight. It should be noted that Meta Knight's eyes change color according to his mood. If he is happy or calm, they are blue. If he is thoughtful, they are green. If he is angry, they are red. If he is amused, they are pink.
Kirby Air Ride
Meta Knight makes a relatively minor appearance in Kirby Air Ride as an unlockable character who can be selected as a machine in the game's Air Ride mode. Unlike Kirby, he cannot inhale enemies, nor copy their abilities, and cannot boost. However, he effectively always has the Sword and Wing abilities, gaining all their benefits, and drawbacks at all times.
Aside from his role as a playable character, Meta Knight makes a momentary appearance confronting Kirby during the game's opening sequence.
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
Meta Knight appears again in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, where he has a very large role in the story, arguably more so than any other game. In the intro, he is seen flying into the Mirror World after sensing danger in there. However, once he reaches the Mirror World, he encounters an evil version of himself, Dark Meta Knight. They briefly have a duel, but Dark Meta Knight ends up triumphing, and throws Meta Knight into a giant mirror, leading him into Dark Meta Knight's world. He then slashes the mirror into several fragments, which then get scattered across the Mirror World, and change his , so that he appears exactly like Meta Knight. When Kirby and his clones reach the penultimate level, they appear to encounter Meta Knight (who is commonly found as the boss of penultimate levels in other Kirby games), and defeat him. However, when his mask falls off, it reveals a dark version of Meta Knight's true form (regularly a blue Kirby). Later in the game, when Kirby and his clones find all the mirror shards, and enter the mirror, they again see Meta Knight, ready to battle. However, the real Meta Knight emerges, and reveals the other to be a dark version. Kirby and his clones battle, and eventually defeat, Dark Meta Knight, then get sucked into a portal, which Meta Knight then proceeds to throw his sword into before it disappears. When the Kirbies approach Dark Mind, the final boss of the game, they find Galaxia plunged into the ground nearby. Touching it grants the user the Master ability, the most powerful in the game. Unlike other final battle abilities in the Kirby series, however, it is not necessary. After Dark Mind is defeated, Meta Knight is seen flying back home with the other Kirbies. On his way, he drops Galaxia (or possibly a copy of it) down into the Mirror World so that its inhabitants can use it in times of need. Meta Knight also appears, possibly uncanonically, when Kirby gets the Magic ability. There is a slight chance that Kirby will land on Galaxia, which then summons Meta Knight to destroy all the enemies in the room. However, because Meta Knight is trapped in the mirror throughout the entire game, it is possible that this is a copy or a clone.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
While not formally appearing during the game, Meta Knight can be an unlockable Character Ball. He is the fastest and bounciest character, but also with the lowest health, only having three "bars". He, like Waddle Dee and King Dedede, can use only the dash attack, instead of Copy Abilities, in a similar way to how he was playable in Nightmare in Dream Land. When he collides with a stunned enemy or while dashing, a sword sound effect is heard.
Kirby: Squeak Squad
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Meta Knight makes a surprise appearance, taking the treasure chest Kirby got from defeating Daroach. Kirby can only reach the level he is found in by finding the five Star Seals. He is fought as the boss of the Secret Sea, with many moves from previous games with more attacks on his arsenal, such as unleashing a fire blast. After he is defeated, his mask once again falls off, revealing his face underneath. It is later revealed he took the treasure chest to prevent Dark Nebula, the lord of the underworld and final boss of the game, from being released.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Meta Knight becomes a playable character. He is one of only three characters to possess wings, and therefore the ability to glide, the others being Charizard and Pit. He is among the fastest characters in the game. Only Sonic, Fox and Captain Falcon are faster. In the Subspace Emissary, Meta Knight is found with many partners, including Lucario, the Ice Climbers, and Snake. Here, he attempts to get his ship, the Halberd, back from the Subspace army. Meta Knight's Final Smash is Galaxia Darkness. To perform this attack, he swings his cape. If he fails to hit an opponent with his cape, the attack will fail. However, if he does manage to capture someone under his cloak, the entire arena will be shrouded in darkness, and Meta Knight will attempt to attack all enemies within range, and not just the one he struck with his cape. Other moves he has include Mach Tornado, Drill Rush, Shuttle Loop, and Dimensional Cape. For the first time ever, Meta Knight is voiced, being given a very deep one. When he enters a stage, he uses a similar dimensional cloak technique that he does in the various Kirby games to escape battle. Meta Knight is considered the best character in the game due to his perfect matchups.
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Meta Knight once again appears, this time in Kirby's Epic Yarn. He isn't seen until late in the game, where he is found on the battleship Halberd, wondering why Dream Land is starting to look like Patch Land. Yin-Yarn suddenly appears, and sucks up Meta Knight with his sock. He is not seen after that until he is revealed to be the boss of Space Land, under Yin-Yarn's control. His fighting style is similar to his previous appearances, attacking with various sword techniques and using tornadoes. None of any of the four swords he wields are Galaxia, but the final sword (the red one) seems to be an equivalent. Later, after he is defeated, Yin-Yarn's spell is broken. Meta Knight then returns home to Dream Land via Prince Fluff's sock, along with Kirby, Fluff, and King Dedede. Also, during the final boss, after Yin-Yarn is turned into Mecha Yin-Yarn, Meta Knight flies in and drops a Metamortex, turning Kirby into the Tankbot to fight Mecha Yin-Yarn.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Meta Knight appears as a playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, along with Kirby, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee. He is seen in the introductory cut scene reading a book in the grass under a knoll, while King Dedede and Waddle Dee chase Kirby, carrying a piece of cake. A mysterious ship, the Lor Starcutter exits a wormhole, and crashes, leading to the four of them investigating. Upon entering the ship, they meet an alien, Magolor, who apparently needs help finding its missing ship parts. Kirby volunteers to help, and the rest, including Meta Knight, assist Kirby in finding the ship parts.
After they find the ship parts, Magolor brings the four to his homeworld Halcandra, where he requests that Landia be defeated; however, after Landia is defeated Magolor is revealed to be evil and escapes to the Another Dimension. In a cut scene depicting this event, Meta Knight is shown using his skills with his sword to attempt to fend off Magolor's attacks while pursuing him, but eventually falls to the battlefield to fight him instead.
Gameplay-wise, Meta Knight uses his sword to fight. His fighting style is almost identical to Sword Kirby's abilities, and appears to be similar to his techniques in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Meta Knight also uses his wings to fly similar in fashion to Wing Kirby.
Meta Knight appears as a blue, roundish creature, with a physique similar to that of Kirby. His most prominent feature is a heavy silver mask, which makes his eyes glow a bright yellow. He also wears purple shoes, metal shoulder base plates, and a purple cape, which he can transform into two large bat wings. He is often seen wielding his trademark sword, the Galaxia. The Galaxia has no spikes on the sides in some games, while in others it does. During rare occasions when Meta Knight drops his mask, he looks strikingly similar to Kirby, albeit his body is blue, and his facial features are white.
Meta Knight is what can be described as a passionate swordsman, and a well-intended extremist. He features a quite combative personality, and is constantly striving to be the best sword fighter in Dream Land. This is shown in Kirby Super Star Ultra, where he wishes to best Galacta Knight, the strongest fighter of the universe. He also seems to despise laziness, as shown in Kirby Super Star. Meta Knight is very well known for following a stern warrior codex, and when he challenges someone, he is usually looking for a fair and equal match. Whenever Kirby has to fight him for different reasons, he provides him with a sword for protection, and insists that Kirby uses it. Meta Knight also has a habit to conceal his face for unknown reasons. Whenever his mask breaks during a fight, he hides his face in his cape, and instantly leaves the battle field.