Many riffs from KSS' theme appear in several endgame tracks, including the ever-present Milky Way Wishes fanfare.
The sudden SHMUP level before the final boss is reminiscent of the Nova sequence from Milky Way Wishes.
As mentioned below, Magolor's final form is referred to as Magolor Soul in Extra Mode, a nod to Drawcia and Marx. In addition, Magolor's first form is reminiscent of Nightmare, and Magolor Soul's mouth forms a large eye similar to Dark Matter and Zero. His second form in normal mode has one too, although it's a lot less noticeable, only visible in certain attacks.
Magolor's battle music also contains a couple of Call Backs to previous bosses. His first form has a loose variation of Dark Matter's theme from Dream Land 3, while Magolor Soul's music is reminiscent of Nightmare's, and around the 1:50 mark contains the triumphant fanfare from Milky Way Wishes.
There are some Recurring Riffs that are heard in the credits. The Milky Way Wishes ending theme and the trailer music for the cancelled Kirby GCN can be heard in it near the end, and are sprinkled throughout the song.
The song that plays on the map screen for Dangerous Dinner starts as a remix of Miracle Matter's theme.
Both the Arena and True Arena return from KSS and KSSU respectively.
In Extra Mode, the credits are adorned with small images of Kirby in various jobs, identically to Milky Way Wishes' end credits.
Level 5 of Nutty Noon is a miniboss tower like the one in Kirby's Adventure, including the secret harder route hidden behind a barred door. Dedede's theme plays in the background like the one in the Nightmare in Dreamland remake. It also has elements from the miniboss tower from Kirby's Dreamland 3, where you must copy the miniboss's power in order to get the next Plot Coupon.
The end of level goal game is based of the one in Kirby's Adventure.
Collectible stars for extra lives return from the Dark Matter trilogy, although they require one hundred of them now.
The Item Challenge and the secret HAL rooms hit you with a medley of various versions of Green Greens.
As you traverse the last few resting areas in the True Arena—BAM! Kirby's Dream Land 3's Iceberg theme out of nowhere!
HR-D3 is modeled after the version of Robo Mecha Dedede in the original Kirby GCN.
HR-D3 did appear as the final boss of Chapter 2 of the Kirby Quest sub-game in Kirby Mass Attack, though in that game it had King Dedede's insignia on its chestplate and generally resembles him; in this game it does not.
HR-D3's name is also a reference to HR-E/HR-H, the boss of Shiver Star in Kirby 64.
One of the Grand Doomer's last few attacks when you first fight him vaguely resemble an attack found in the final battle against Drawcia Soul in Kirby's Canvas Curse.
Fatty Puffer's name references Fatty Whale, a similarly large aquatic boss from Kirby Super Star (although Puffer is based on a fish and Whale on, obviously, a mammal).
Whispy Woods EX is purple-themed, like his "Revenge" form in Kirby Super Star Ultra and several attacks of his are the same (the poisoned apples and tornado spitting). Also, as a very obscure retro callback to the original Kirby's Dream Land game, his pointy nose does damage if you touch it which was an Early Installment Weirdness thing he had.
If Kirby jumps into an enemy from directly below them, the enemy will be hurt, similarly to Kirby's Dreamland 3 and Kirby 64.
If Mike Kirby's last attack is charged up, he yells "DISCO!"*
Or "TESTO!" depending on who you ask
in an incredibly deep voice, similarly to Mike Kirby's last attack in Super Star.
Stone form cameos in this game include Wham Bam Rock, Marx, and the mask, wings, and sword of Galacta Knight next to Meta Knight's. Marx briefly appears in person on the 100% screen, and Galacta Knight is one of the two Bonus Bosses.
Most of the bosses make nods to something in the series.
Whispy Woods: ...Well, what do you think? Whispy Woods EX references Whispy's Revenge in Super Star Ultra, though.