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Meta Knight

Debut: Kirby's Adventure

Voiced by: Eric Newsome (Super Smash Bros., English), Atsushi Kisaichi (Super Smash Bros., Japanese), anonymous HAL Laboratory staff member (Kirby's Return to Dream Land onwards)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/krtdld_meta_knight.png

A masked swordsman that travels Dream Land searching for worthy opponents to hone his strength. He follows his own personal code of honor, a rarity among the residents of Dream Land, and commands his own army from his flying battleship the Halberd. His cape can transform into bat wings allowing him to fly, and he wields the legendary blade Galaxia with incredible skill and speed. While his morality is highly ambiguous, he generally seems to be an Anti-Hero, and while he resembles Kirby without the mask, his exact relationship with Kirby remains a mystery.

This page is for tropes that apply to his counterpart from the games. For tropes that apply to his anime and light novel counterparts, go to the character pages for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Kirby (Light Novel).


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  • 24-Hour Armor: He's never seen without his armor/mask. If it breaks, he retreats.
  • Actually a Doombot: The first encounter with him and King Dedede in Kirby Fighters 2 turns out to be a pair of Waddle Dees in disguise.
  • Ambiguously Related: Removing his mask reveals he look enough like Kirby to suggest they're the same species. What, if any, significance this has is unknown. Similarly, Galacta Knight and Morpho Knight appear even more similar to Meta Knight than they do to Kirby.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The "Meta Knightmare" series are sub-games dedicated to playing the whole game in Time Trial as Meta Knight who wishes to become stronger by undergoing the same challenges Kirby went through. The very first is a sub-game of Nightmare in Dream Land where he fights everyone including himself; he has lower health than Kirby but can run much faster. The second is Meta Knightmare Ultra (sub-game of Super Star Ultra) where he plays in the first 5 sub-games (not including Gourmet Race) as he journeys to become stronger and find a worthy opponent. The third, Meta Knightmare Returns (sub-game of Planet Robobot) is a non-canon What If? scenario where he fends off the Haltmann Works Company's invasion while Kirby takes a nap, and fights stronger enemies and bosses along the way.
  • Anti-Hero: He does a surprising amount of morally questionable things for such an adorable looking guy, but he does mean well most of the time and never really tries anything legitimately evil without some relatively benevolent end goal to it.
  • Art Evolution:
    • In Kirby's Adventure, Meta Knight has a black body with a purple mask. Kirby's Avalanche changed it to the familiar navy and silver, which stuck with Super Star.
    • The design of Meta Knight's armor was highly variable in earlier games; in his sprites, he usually has silver shoulder plates, while in the anime and other official artwork they're a duller blue. In his sprites, his cape has a silver collar, but in the anime and official artwork it's cyan. It wasn't until Super Smash Bros. Brawl that the color scheme was finally standardized (duller blue shoulder plates with the silver collar). Official artwork also occasionally showed armored gauntlets and sabatons that weren't consistently depicted in-game until Smash 4.
    • In earlier games, Meta Knight's eyes were white under his mask due to technical limitations preventing his eyes from being colored yellow. Smash 4 depicted them as yellow in Kirby's Meta Knight-based alternate costume, which were then adopted in the main series from Planet Robobot onwards.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Despite Meta Knight's legacy as one of the most recognizable characters in the series, he wasn't very prevalent in the series' early days. In particular, he was nowhere to be found in the games directed by Shinichi Shimomura. However, following his significant role in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Meta Knight becomes a much more prominent character.
    • In the original versions of Super Star and Adventure, Meta Knight had a fairly simple role as the antagonist. In their remakes, however, he is the playable character of his own titular modes, Meta Knightmare and Meta Knightmare Ultra respectively.
  • Badass Adorable: Meta Knight's a Waddling Head with the same cute face as Kirby. It's made extra adorable by the fact that he tries to hide said face with his mask, acting extremely shy and either fleeing or frantically covering his face whenever it gets broken... but don't let any of that distract you from the fact that he's known as one of the strongest beings on Pop Star for very, very good reason.
  • Badass Bookworm: If Kirby's Return to Dream Land is of any indication, as he's seen reading a book during the game's introductory cutscene.
  • Badass in Distress: In The Amazing Mirror, he goes off to quell the threat of Dark Mind and his forces, but is trapped inside the mirror instead when Dark Meta Knight defeats him and shatters the mirror so he can't escape; restoring the mirror frees him.
  • Baritone of Strength: Courtesy of Eric Newsome, his voice can occasionally be portrayed as damn deep, which greatly reflects his strength and skill as a Master Swordsman, but clashes heavily with his cute Kirby-like body.
    • This is especially notable in Super Smash Bros., where he has arguably the deepest voice out of anyone else in the entire roster, which includes the likes of Snake, Wolf, Ganondorf, and Sephiroth.
  • Bash Brothers: With King Dedede in Fighters 2. This is played to a lesser extent in other games where Meta Knight respects Dedede's power and occasional willingness to do what must be done for his people to fight under or alongside the King as needed.
  • Beam Spam: Meta Knight uses a Sword Beam-based variation of this as a ranged attack in the second phase of his Forgotten Land boss battle. Meta Knight flies up and rapidly swings his sword in mid-air, launching a fast, focused barrage of crescent-shaped beams in Kirby's direction. He can also do a ground-based variation that fires off only three beams that are slower, but are wider and have more range.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Usually happens to him whenever he is possessed or brainwashed like King Dedede such as in Epic Yarn where Kirby needs to destroy all his swords in order to defeat him.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain of the Revenge Of Meta Knight mode in Super Star, where he sends out his crew of Meta-Knights to pilot the Halberd and conquer Dream Land so he can end its lazy lifestyle.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and King Dedede team up to take down Kirby in the story mode of Kirby Fighters 2.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Every once in a while he'll show up to save Kirby or assist him in a pinch.
    • In Amazing Mirror he gives Kirby his "Master" Sword so he can fight Dark Mind with it.
    • In Epic Yarn, he flies in to provide Kirby and Prince Fluff with a Metamortex in the final battle against Mega Yin-Yarn, letting them bring him down with the Tankbot.
    • In Planet Robobot he shows up with the Halberd to help Kirby combat Star Dream and is implied to have helped rescue the pink puffball from getting stranded in outer space.
  • Black Knight: Enigmatic and almost never seen without his armor, though it's dark blue, purple, and grey, rather than black.
  • Blade Spam: One of his sword attacks. Star Allies gives his boss version a new one named Upper Calibur: after slashing the enemy upward with a rising slash, he proceeds to Teleport Spam around the enemy as he slashes them from multiple angles.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Downplayed for his debut, but eventually played straight in later games. He's a being who's a darkened shade of blue, whose morality, philosophy, standards, and overall personality is drastically different than Kirby's; such as wanting to forcefully change the lifestyle of Dream Land in Kirby Super Star. Fortunately for him, he's grown past that concept ever since Kirby defeated him in battle, and started to become one of the most heroic characters who is a powerful and useful ally to Kirby whenever the situation calls for it.
  • Blush Stickers: In older games, he had these under his mask, just like Kirby, but from Planet Robobot onwards, they're absent.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Given the chance to wish for anything, Meta Knight's wish is to fight the galaxy's strongest warrior. He does with Nova (who he rebuilds for that purpose) as well as with Star Dream (which more or less reads his mind to grant his silent wish to please him/test him).
    • If an opportunity for fighting and/or training presents itself, Meta Knight will always take it. In Kirby Battle Royale, he joins the tournament purely to test his strength, expressing disappointment with the Kirby copies and states that he knows he will get a worthy battle from Kirby. In Forgotten Land, his capsule description remarks that while he stayed to protect Waddle Dee Town from the Beast Pack, "a swordsman never ignores a chance to train."
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: For many years, he did not have a consistent character or battle theme. While the music for his boss battle in "Revenge of Meta Knight" was used a few times since then, he often ended up sharing King Dedede's battle theme in some later appearances. Planet Robobot eventually established "My Friend and the Sunset", the credits for "Revenge of Meta Knight", as his character theme, with Star Allies and Forgotten Land both using a Boss Remix of the theme for his battles.
  • Boss Subtitles: "The Lone Swordsman, Meta Knight" in Kirby Star Allies, which is reused in Forgotten Land.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • In Epic Yarn Yin-Yarn ambushes, traps and brainwashes him with a special Button Sword he forces on him, then sends him to fight Kirby, who frees Meta Knight of the wizard's control by removing said sword.
    • In Planet Robobot, he is rebuilt into the obedient villainous cyborg Mecha Knight. How does Kirby get him back to normal? Knocking off his mask, of course.
    • Also in Star Allies courtesy of the Jamba Heart. After you Beat the Curse Out of Him, you can add him to your team by either throwing a Friend Heart at him or later at the Dream Palace.
    • Forgotten Land provides the first subversion; Fecto Forgo attempted to possess him, but his own strength of will completely expelled them out of himself. His fight with Kirby in the Colosseum is considered training for him as he takes up the duty of guardian of the Waddle Dee Town for most of the game. This does, however, lead to the creation of his Phantom counterpart in The Ultimate Cup Z.
  • Breakout Character: Originally he was just a boss in Kirby's Adventure, but he was so popular that not only has he been one of the main recurring bosses in the series, but also Promoted to Playable in some games.
  • Cape Wings: Most often his cape shapeshifts into his wings, although in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, he takes off his cape to reveal his wings.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his second major appearance — Revenge of Meta Knight — he comes off as far more hostile than his mysterious ally/rival characterization in later games. It helps that he's working to subjugate Dream Land to put it under a better leadership; he presumably just stops doing so after his defeat at Kirby's hands.
  • Char Clone: Lacks the usual color scheme, but embodies most of the other traits.
  • The Comically Serious: Whenever he's playable, he can be subjected to the same slapstick that happens to Kirby, and he'll shrug them all off like it's everyday business.
  • Cool Airship: The Halberd. It has Meta Knight's mask in the front.
  • Cool Mask: He's nearly always seen wearing a mask that covers his face.
  • Cool Sword: Galaxia, his golden serrated sword that can fire energy beams. He also had a sword called Master in Amazing Mirror, which he gives to Kirby as the 11th-Hour Superpower and then leaves in the Mirror World. Master could be Galaxia, before its proper name was decided upon, as it is the same color, though it lacks Galaxia's jagged edgesnote . He also keeps his basic sword from Kirby's Adventure as a backup in case he loses Galaxia such as during his Colosseum battle in Kirby and the Forgotten Land if Kirby manages to knock it away and steal it, but this doesn't hinder his abilities at all.
  • Counter-Attack: He gains a Smash Bros. style counter move in Star Allies following the 4.0 update.
  • Crazy-Prepared: An Easter Egg in Forgotten Land reveals that he keeps his old sword from Kirby's Adventure on hand in case he somehow loses Galaxia.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Mecha Knight has a single robotic eye stuck in the middle of his mask. It can shoot Eye Beams.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In Super Smash Bros., his Final Smash is called "Galaxia Darkness", but Meta Knight is not evil and does not even take up an antagonistic role in the Subspace Emissary. He's also generally this in the games; gloomier than most things in Popstar, but he will try to save it from any kind of threat coming at him.
  • Dashing Hispanic: His voice and mannerisms are suggestive of this. Especially after Kirby Right Back At Ya and Super Smash Bros. Brawl gave him a voice. His fighting style and code of honor also invoke this.
  • Death or Glory Attack: In Forgotten Land, his Upper Calibur attack can deal a massive amount of damage to Kirby, but it can be dodged. If Kirby has the Sword ability, he can instead enter a Blade Lock and should Kirby succeed, it'll end up with Meta Knight stunned for a while and disarmed of Galaxia, and Kirby can inhale it to gain the Meta Knight Sword ability.
  • Defeat by Modesty: A rare non-sexual example. Meta Knight can't keep fighting once his mask is broken, apparently since he's embarrassed that he looks so similar to Kirby.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: His request when he is granted one wish? To have a duel with the greatest warrior the universe has ever known. And he wins!
  • Demonic Possession: In Star Allies, Meta Knight tries to defend Dream Land from the falling Jamba Heart meteors but ultimately gets corrupted by one in the process.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • He's just one of the possible keychains and Circus Kirby's balloon creations in Triple Deluxe.
    • Like King Dedede, he only appears as a sculpture and a drawing (in Elline's diary) in Rainbow Curse, as well as being an amiibo costume.
    • In Forgotten Land, he mostly stays out of the plot, instead acting as Waddle Dee Town's guardian off-screen, and his battles are relegated to the optional arena as friendly matches.
  • Deuteragonist: Gets upgraded to this status in Planet Robobot. He is shot down by the Access Ark during their invasion at the beginning of the game, and then gets Reforged into a Minion by Susie to serve as her bodyguard shortly after and appears as a recurring boss under the new name Mecha Knight. He also arrives to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment after Star Dream takes off to terminate all life by allowing Kirby to merge his last Robobot Armor with the Halberd, and is even implied to have returned Kirby safely to Popstar during the ending. He also gets his own extra mode, where he fights off the Haltmann forces on his own, and at the end faces off against clones of Dark Matter and Queen Sectonia, and finally, the returning Galacta Knight.
    • He's also this in Amazing Mirror. Sensing trouble in the Mirror World, Meta Knight sets out to stop it only to be trapped in the mirror by his Evil Twin, Dark Meta Knight, and it becomes Kirby's mission to fix the mirror and save him. He then appears to expose Dark Meta Knight to Kirby before their second battle, and throws his sword into the portal that Kirby gets sucked up into before the true final battle with Dark Mind.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: In Star Allies, after he Turns Red, he can manipulate giant rocks to fall onto the arena in stacks. He then proceeds to Sword Plant through the rocks. Destroying the rocks before he could do so will have his sword stuck on the ground after he descends. He keeps this attack in Forgotten Land.
  • Don't Look At Me: During his time as a willing antagonist, the only thing that could make Meta Knight back off and flee from Kirby was breaking his mask, exposing his face that looks like a blue-skinned yellow-eyed Palette Swap of the little guy, seemingly disliking people seeing him in such a non-threatening form.
  • The Dragon: To King Dedede in Kirby's Adventure: after a cameo in the first level, his Meta-Knights fight in parallel of Dedede's army in the four following ones, then he fights Kirby as the boss of the penultimate level.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: In this same game, Meta Knight seems to know that Kirby can defeat Dedede, but also to think he could not defeat Nightmare afterwards: his alliance with Dedede is less motivated by actually protecting the Fountain of Dreams than giving Kirby the strength to defeat the actual menace on Dream Land.
  • Dramatic Unmask: When he's beaten, it tends to break his mask, dramatically revealing that he looks identical to Kirby. Of course, it's a Late-Arrival Spoiler to anyone who has seen this in a previous game.
  • Dual Boss: He and King Dedede fight alongside each other in Kirby Fighters 2, complete with team attacks that they perform together.
  • Duel Boss: Most of the time, he hands Kirby a sword to battle him with, facing him on equal footing. If he doesn't hand Kirby a sword, it's probably a sign that something is very wrong.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In Adventure Meta Knight has a simple red cape, a black body, round hands and a purple mask, and lacks his shoulder armor. Kirby's Avalanche marks the debut of his more recognizable design; the silver mask, black shoulder armor, blue body and purple feet. Later on, Super Star gives him his trademark collared cape, and Smash Bros. series gives more details to his armor, including the "M" sigil on his shoulder armor, armored gauntlets, and purple sabatons covering his feet.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • In Kirby's Adventure he works under King Dedede. The anime runs with this interpretation, but besides that and Kirby's Avalanche (which is dubiously canon), him being a subordinate of King Dedede is never brought up again, and when they work together, it's more as equals. Their history together is at least acknowledged in Kirby Fighters 2, where they're referred to collectively as "The King and His Knight".
    • Kirby Super Star, while introducing his classic look and iconic battleship, also has Meta Knight play the straight villain role by attempting to conquer Dream Land. He would never be this antagonistic again, with his other fights either being misunderstandings, the result of him being brainwashed, or simply low-stakes fights that have more to do with honor than anything else. It's suggested that this is partially due his repressed narcissism, and partially due to a benevolent motive of protecting Dream Land, both aspects that remain consistent traits of his character.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: His subordinates are called the Meta-Knights.
  • Evil Counterpart: Two of them: Dark Meta Knight and Galacta Knight, though no one is sure if Galacta is actually evil or not.
  • Evil Knockoff: In Meta Knightmare Returns, he faces off against a mass-production version of Mecha Knight, called Stock Mecha Knight.

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  • Fair-Play Villain: He's not evil, but he'll give you a sword before you fight him in a boss battle.
  • Famed In-Story: Later games show Meta Knight as being highly famous in Dream Land with quite a number of fans amongst the residents, who gush about how cool, strong and mysterious he is. In Kirby Battle Royale, the Waddle Dees get very excited upon hearing Meta Knight entering the tournament, with some even hoping he'll thrash Kirby. In 'Kirby and the Forgotten Land, having heard of Meta Knight's efforts in keeping Waddle Dee Town safe, Elfilin also starts gushing about the masked warrior.
  • A Father to His Men: In Revenge of Meta Knight, where he tells his crew to abandon the Halberd so they'll be safe. When Axe and Mace refuse, he acts like he doesn't care, but then he apologizes under his breath for forcing them into such a situation.
  • Fatal Flaw: He's willing to fight to the bitter end no matter what... except when his mask comes off. Once it does, he'll immediately retreat until he can hide his face again. Seems one of Popstar's greatest warriors suffers from self-image issues.
  • Fingerless Hands: It's not immediately obvious because of his gloves, but — presumably — being a member of Kirby's species, he has no fingers; as shown in Kirby's Super Star Stacker.
  • Glass Cannon: In his playable appearances, Meta Knight tends to fill this role. He is faster and more agile than Kirby, his sword can be used to break tough blocks that Kirby needs Hammer for, and he can even single-handedly tear through obstacles that only the Robobot Armor can destroy. However, he often has far less health (sometimes down to half) of Kirby or Dedede.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: As opposed to King Dedede's red eyes when possessed or brainwashed, Meta Knight usually has purple eyes when brainwashed, such as in Epic Yarn and the second phase of his boss fight in Star Allies.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Maintains a pair of sinister and evil-looking draconic wings that gives off an antagonistic vibe. However, he's actually a lot more good-hearted than his initial appearance lets on.
  • Heal Thyself: He can heal himself to full in Meta Knightmare Ultra and Returns by spending some Meta Points.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He'll offer you a sword to fight him in one game and be playable in the next.
  • Hero Antagonist: In at least two games:
    • Adventure has him going with Dedede's scheme of breaking the Star Rod. He also secretly helps Kirby in-between.
    • In Squeak Squad, he steals Kirby's chest (supposedly containing his cake) with good intentions, as it actually contains Dark Nebula. This leads to Kirby chasing after him and then fighting him for said chest.
  • Heroic Willpower: According to Phantom Meta Knight's figure, Meta Knight managed to resist Fecto Forgo's control just through sheer force of will.
  • Hidden Depths:
  • Human Resources: In Revenge of Meta Knight, the Meta-Knights use Wheelies to power the Halberd. After Kirby's activities lead to the Halberd's destruction, a Wheelie comes to help Kirby escape the plummeting craft, in spite of Meta Knight's protest.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: He's the most recognizable character in the series after Kirby and King Dedede. Pretty impressive since he didn't debut in Kirby's Dream Land, but the later installment Kirby's Adventure.
  • Immune to Mind Control: In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Phantom Meta Knight's figure description mentions that he was able to overcome Fecto Forgo's influence through sheer force of will, thus preventing him from being recruited into the Beast Pack like Dedede was. As a result, Phantom Meta Knight is also outside of Forgo Dreams' control. However, his willpower only makes him resistant rather than outright immune, as the Jamba Heart and Yin-Yarn were successfully able to possess him, while Susie was able to control him by converting him into a cyborg in Planet Robobot. Also, like all other friends, Void and Morpho Knight are able to take control of him if he's a friend during their respective boss battles (though the latter is suggested to be distorting his senses and perception rather than actively controlling him).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite the fact that Meta Knight is cold and stubborn towards Kirby, he does care about him, and he always helps him when necessary.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Inverted; Meta Knight appeals to older players in this adorable, beginner-focused series through his cool design and mature personality. In the Super Smash Bros. games, he fits right in with the cast of Fire Emblem as seen when he teams up with Marth and Ike, and nobody bats an eyelid at his cartoony design or diminutive stature. And there's also his voice, which is one of the deepest in any Nintendo franchise.
  • The Killjoy: His response to the relatively happy and peaceful Dream Land is to declare war on it with a giant battleship in order to end what he views as the people's lazy lifestyle. Even after that, he is known for keeping to himself.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He becomes this in the "Revenge of Meta Knight" segment of Kirby Super Star. Not only is the game much, much harder than normal thanks to the time limit, but the graphics of the Halberd stages are extremely dark and moody, more akin to Final Fantasy VI than anything Kirby related.
  • Lazy Artist: Prior to the 3D games, his sword is rendered in gameplay as a normal straight sword and not the jagged one it's always seen as in the artworks. In the 3D games Galaxia is rendered more accurately. Forgotten Land makes it so that these are two completely different and distinct swords in an easter egg.
  • The Leader: Of the Meta-Knights. He becomes the Rebel Leader during Revenge of Meta Knight.
  • Left-Handed Mirror: Oddly enough, character art of him in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror depicts him as left-handed. In all other games, he's right-handed. It can be because mirrors reflect things. While he was in the mirror world, it changed which hand he uses.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Meta Knight has no relation to the Beast Pack at all, and only fights Kirby in the spirit of good-natured competition. This also makes him an Optional Boss.
  • Magic Knight: He already exhibited the ability to generate fire from his sword and create cyclones with either his sword or wings, but the eventual reveal in Star Allies that he also has Mind over Matter powers officially confirms that he possesses a high level of magical prowess to compliment his Master Swordsman skills. Forgotten Land elaborates on this more with Meta Knight being able to still use all of his usual superpowers even when separated from Galaxia and forced to use his old sword as backup, showing that his magical prowess comes entirely from himself rather than just from wielding a particular sword.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Always wears his famous circular mask that reveals no features but his glowing yellow eyes, and is a skilled and fearsome warrior. While Meta Knight's alignments for his first few outings were... questionable, to say the least, it's highly inverted nowadays given that he's a lot more heroic than his sinister appearance lets on.
  • Mana Meter: In Meta Knightmare Ultra and Returns, the Meta Points act like this for his Special Skills. It is filled by defeating foes, or by collecting them when they're floating in the wild.
  • Mask Power: Not usually, but in Kirby Fighters 2 his regular mask breaks at the end of story mode's final chapter, causing Dedede to hand him a "Mask of Dark Bonds" that increases his and Dedede's power.
  • Master Swordsman: He's completely dedicated to the purity of combat and swordsmanship and often seeks out opportunity to further hone his skills and increase his strength. Given his fierce fighting skills both in the Kirby games and the Super Smash Bros. series, it's safe to say that he's definitely earned the title.
  • Me's a Crowd: The influence of the Jamba Heart in Star Allies gives Meta Knight the ability to clone himself into up to four duplicates, and he maintains said power in Forgotten Land. Well before then though, he also used said power during his boss battle in the Strato Patrol EOS sub-game from Kirby Mass Attack.
  • Mind over Matter: In Star Allies, Meta Knight uses telekinesis his boss fight to rip several giant boulders out of the earth, and hurl them down at Kirby and friends. In Forgotten Land, he uses a similar attack, but appears to be lifting the rocks with wind instead.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He's a major Blood Knight constantly seeking stronger opponents to fight, and he has a bit of a vain streak that's exhibited through his Faceship the Halberd and the Egocentric Team Naming of the Meta-Knights, but even at his worst he was an Anti-Villain with Well-Intentioned Extremist goals, while following his Heel–Face Turn he tries to focus his fight-happy tendencies into keeping Popstar safe from major threats. That said, when the right opportunity arises he'll go back to picking fights with increasingly stronger enemies, as demonstrated by his personal extra modes in various games, and that vain streak was still prominent enough for him to get Brainwashed and Crazy by the Jamba Heart.
  • Mysterious Past: A major facet of Meta Knight's character is that his past and his possible relationship to Kirby is frequently teased but never elaborated on.
  • Mythology Gag: In Forgotten Land, if Kirby disarms Meta Knight of (and then steals) the Galaxia during their boss fight, he'll pull out his old sword from Kirby's Adventure and use that instead.
  • Narcissist: It's not explicitly stated often, but it's shown that he's a very subtle example with the pause screen Flavor Text of his boss fight in Star Allies stating that deep down he has a vain streak, which the Jamba Heart corrupting him enhanced. Mei Ling in Solid Snake's codec call in Super Smash Bros. Brawl also brings up the possibility of him being a little narcissistic in response to Snake questioning why the Halberd has the design of his mask on the front. Not to mention the time he decided he was the only one suited to rule Dream Land and end its lazy lifestyle.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted in the original Super Star, where he explicitly tells Kirby "Prepare to Die!" before his fight. Played straight in the remake, where it was changed to "Kirby! Come meet your doom!".
  • Not So Above It All: For all his aloof demeanor, he's not above dancing right alongside Kirby when they clear a stage together.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Three in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. First, Elfilin mentions that he defends Waddle Dee Town from the Beast Pack while Kirby's away. Second, one of the figure descriptions notes that he fought thirty duels with Gorimondo and won every single one. And third, Phantom Meta Knight's figure description reveals that he managed to resist Fecto Forgo's attempt to brainwash him through sheer force of will.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He doesn't give Kirby a sword for their fight in Squeak Squad; however, Kirby can still get the Sword ability in the previous room. But given that he knew what was lurking inside the chest, he had a very good reason for this.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Kirby and the Forgotten Land Perfect Support Guide names one of his attacks as "Knight Vampire Crescent". While this could just refer to his bat wings, Super Star Ultra and Planet Robobot both have him replenish his energy by defeating enemies.
  • People Puppets: Gets controlled by Yin-Yarn using four colored swords with possessing properties and made to fight Kirby and Prince Fluff in Epic Yarn. Meta Knight can be seen trying to resist it in between each phase of the battle — evidenced by his eyes flickering rapidly between yellow and purple — and snaps out of it once all the swords are pulled away from him and destroyed.
  • Playing with Fire: Has a fiery attack in Squeak Squad, involving him swinging his sword to launch a homing crescent of flame. He also gets one in Epic Yarn with the purple and red swords; holding them up to transform the blade into a tall pillar of flames, then bringing it down for a long-range burning slash.
  • Pre-Final Boss: In Kirby's Avalanche, he's the enemy that is faced in Stage 12. All that's left after him is Stage 13 and the Final Boss, King Dedede.
  • Purple Is Powerful: When he Turns Red in Star Allies, his eyes turn purple and a malevolent purple aura surrounds him.
  • Rage Helm: His mask makes it look like he's glaring, but thankfully, it's not indicative of what he (usually) acts like.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The Kirby Café menu reveals that he surprisingly enjoys eating rather indulgent sweets... when no one is looking, that is.
  • Recurring Boss Template: When he doesn't appear as a boss (and/or he gets playable), some other boss might appear mimicking him: Dark Meta Knight, Galacta Knight, Metal General (and later Security Force), Mecha Knight and all its variations, Morpho Knight, Parallel Meta Knight, and Phantom Meta Knight.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he wears the Mask of Dark Bonds in Fighters 2.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kirby's red; it's even reflected in their colors. Kirby is the younger, cheerful, innocent and (at times) impulsive one, while Meta Knight is the (presumably) older, colder and more serious one.
  • Ret-Canon:
    • Meta Knight's sword, Galaxia, was given its name from the anime; the jagged design also comes from there. Amazing Mirror, in 2004 (2 years after the anime aired), uses the name "Master" as his sword, although his official artwork and the in-game logo shows the jagged design; his artwork for Super Star Ultra and the design for Meta Points' meter also used said design (although the sword in gameplay still looks smooth). Epic Yarn onward uses both the Galaxia name and design.
    • Return to Dream Land has him gain the Shuttle Loop, a no-grapple-needed version of the Wing Kirby attack that he first had in Smash Bros. series. Planet Robobot also gives him the Galaxia Darkness, his original Final Smash.
    • Meta Knight's wings being a transformation of his cape was an idea introduced in the Smash Bros. series; first stated in his Melee trophy description, and stated again and showcased in Brawl, before being showcased in Planet Robobot. Prior to that, his wings would only be seen when he threw his cape off.
  • The Reveal:
    • Beating him in Kirby's Adventure, and most games thereafter, implies that he's another member of Kirby's species, though nothing conclusive has been said thus far.
    • The final chase sequence in Revenge of Meta Knight has him throw off his cape and sprout a pair of wings from his back, revealing that he can fly. This is kept secret throughout the game and treated as a major reveal when it happens, but has since become a well-known aspect of his character.
  • The Rival: To Kirby, at least from his point of view. In Kirby Super Star Ultra Meta Knight gets his own rival in the form of Galacta Knight, who is a more legitimate example thanks to his similar Blood Knight personality.

    S-Z 
  • Self-Duplication: In Star Allies, due to the Jamba Heart's influence, Meta Knight can split into 2-4 copies of himself after he Turns Red. He can also do it when fought as a boss in the Strato Patrol EOS mini-game in Kirby Mass Attack.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Galaxia officially is designed like this, although the game may not always show it in such a form.
  • Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes: Meta Knight wears a face mask that covers his face. Only his eyes glow underneath. Under the mask, he looks like Kirby.
  • Shadow Archetype: He's a spherical creature just like Kirby who can master swords, but Meta Knight represents Kirby if he went to the extreme to do what's right and save the day. In essence, he's the Shadow to Kirby's Sonic.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In Battle Royale, one of his unlockable costumes gives him an opera-like mask, a white top hat and a Classy Cane. It's a reference to both his appearance at the Kirby Café and how he was drawn by Elline in her Secret Diary.
  • Shock and Awe: Sometimes uses electricity-based attacks, such as in Epic Yarn.
  • Shoulders of Doom: His shoulder armor is pretty cool, especially in the later versions where it has his logo on it. Mecha Knight has an oversized pair that can shoot missiles.
  • Silent Snarker: Tends to become this when adjacent to the light-hearted antics of the other heroes. For example, his reactions to the other characters' idle animations on the title screen of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and in the intro cutscene of the same game, you can see him bemusedly watching Dedede and Bandana Waddle Dee chasing Kirby (for the cake he's carrying) from a distance while reading a book.
  • Sphere of Power: Mecha Knight can emit a spherical aura around him that damages Kirby whenever he comes near. He's still vulnerable to long-ranged attacks, though, and he moves slower and leaves stars as he moves.
  • Spin Attack: As a boss he has an attack where he spins around in midair, creating a tornado around himself while slowly falling down, trying to strike Kirby from above. In a variant, he can also do a vertical slash spin attack, both as a boss and playable character.
  • Stab the Sky: His Up Thrust move where he directly stabs up. It's exclusive to him, i.e. Kirby cannot use it (except when he's wielding the "Master").
  • Stealth Mentor: In Kirby's Adventure, at least. In the original, he's the one who supplies Kirby with the Invincible Lollipops, yet he periodically throws his soldiers, the Meta-Knights, at him and eventually fights Kirby himself. There's no other explanation for these actions except to be secretly training Kirby to become stronger.
  • The Stoic: Unlike his friends, Meta Knight doesn't engage in light-hearted or silly antics and maintains a calm, no-nonsense attitude to most situations, with the majority of humor involving him being of The Comically Serious type. That said, there are a few times that he gets Not So Stoic, like whenever his mask breaks.
  • Super-Speed: In Kirby Super Star Ultra, he's able to fly through the galaxy about as fast as Kirby's warp star, which can fly faster than light. In Meta Knightmare Ultra and Meta Knightmare Returns one of his skills is 'Meta Quick', which temporarily boosts his speed—and he's already considerably quicker than Kirby.
  • Super-Strength: Meta Knight isn't shy when it comes to strength either. His attacks generally hit hard and in Meta Knightmare Returns in Kirby: Planet Robobot, he can use Galaxia to cleave through giant wooden beams, steel chains and other metal obstacles that Kirby cannot without his Robobot Armor and an appropriate ability. His skills "Mach Tornado" (at least in Super Star), "Meta Knightmares" and "Galaxia Darkness" are significantly powerful against foes, with the former two quite able to take out mini-bosses in one go and even Star Dream recognises that Meta Knight "possesses incredible power" and is "mighty indeed." Additionally, if you manage to disarm Meta Knight of Galaxia in Forgotten Land, he will fetch out his old sword from Kirby's Adventure and hits every bit as hard, showing his immense power doesn't come from wielding a fabled blade.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Role-wise, he's this to King Dedede in Planet Robobot. Both are Kirby's rivals/allies who get themselves captured and subdued by the main villains (specifically, their Dragons), are brainwashed to fight Kirby with special masks to keep them under the villains' control, are upgraded into stronger forms after being defeated the first time with special new abilities, are freed by having their masks destroyed just before the Big Bad makes their presence, and arrive to Kirby's aid to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment just when it looks like the Final Boss is about to win. They then get their own sub-game in the form of a tougher version of the main game, but with stronger bosses, and ends with them becoming the new leader of the main villain's army (it's only implied in Dedede's case, but Star Dream makes it clear that defeating President Haltmann causes him to become the new admin).
  • Sweet Tooth: Keeps a jar of candy in his room in the anime, and all of the menu items at the Kirby Café that are themed after him are sweet-based.
  • Sword Beam: He has a crescent sword beam attack in many of his fights; in Star Allies he spams it more. He can also do it when he's playable, mimicking Kirby. In a variant, his Galaxia Darkness skill (in Planet Robobot) has him do a quick slash that launches a beam that hits to the both sides of him.
  • Sword Fight: Will almost always throw Kirby a sword before their duels. That is, when he's his normal self.
    • In Kirby Super Star (and its remake), he'll attack you if you don't take the sword for 30 seconds, justifiably so because the ship they're in is about to crash into the sea. You can also "trick" him if you don't want to use the sword, by making a helper (or discarding your power and let your helper take it), then take the sword, then lose the Sword ability and turn your helper back into an ability-producing item.
    • In Meta Knightmare Returns, the fight between him and Stock Mecha Knight becomes this by definition. Also, in the end, all of Star Dream's constructs/summons are swordsmen in some way or another; the program used for it is even called "Sword_Master.EXE".
    • In Kirby Star Allies, this is his intention. Waiting a few seconds or attacking the platform he's stood on will cause him to leap to the arena and kick the sword away. You can also carefully time your sword swings against Meta Knight's and, if you're lucky, it'll interrupt his attacks.
  • Sword Plant: One of his moves, used both as a boss and playable character. In Squeak Squad he can do this to discharge electricity around him while in Super Star (Ultra) he does this for either his ground wave attack or his giant tornado attack. Also used in Kirby: Planet Robobot to disconnect Kirby's Robobot Armor off the Halberd for the final phase against Star Dream.
  • Sword Sparks: Meta Knight's sword Galaxia can be used to light fuses or even charge up batteries and plugs, as evidenced in Meta Knightmare Returns.
  • Tail Slap: Mecha Knight+ can grow a long mechanical tail after he Turns Red and then attack with it. He can even do a Spam Attack with it. Stock Mecha Knight also has one.
  • Teleport Cloak: He retreats by wrapping himself in this cape and flying straight up, Mega Man style!
  • Three-Strike Combo: One of his moves as a boss is a three slash attack with his sword. In his playable 3D appearances he can also do the same, though he then subverts it by adding a Blade Spam right after the third attack.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Just like King Dedede, he always brings something new to the table. In the first game, all he could do was swing his sword at Kirby and guard. By the time we see him again Super Star, he's learned to make giant tornadoes from his sword and even surround himself in one. Come Star Allies, and he's learned to fight with the earth around him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: His motives were somewhat ambiguous in Kirby's Adventure, but his actions in Revenge of Meta Knight were outright malicious, right down to directly threatening Kirby's life. It's toned down somewhat in Ultra, and following games proceeded to invert this and instead have him become more supportive towards Kirby. Star Allies implies this is due to Meta Knight having a streak of narcissism which he's learned to supress.
    Meta Knight: (Kirby Super Star) Kirby, this is it! Prepare to die!
    Meta Knight: (Ultra) This is the end. Kirby! Come meet your doom!
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Following that one bout of getting a jerkassery boost in Revenge of Meta Knight, he turned around and noticeably became more of a genuine ally to Kirby and Popstar as the games progress, though still tending to act on his own, often getting brainwashed in the process. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is where his growing niceness and supportiveness really becomes notable, with him willingly staying in Waddle Dee Town to protect the residents, trusting Kirby to save their friends without him.
  • Tornado Move: He has two moves like this: Mach Tornado, where he spins in a tornado in midair while slowly descending, trying to hit Kirby, and Tornado Slash, where he charges energy in his sword and then summons a tall tornado that moves forward, covering most of the screen. Both are combined into one "Mach Tornado" skill in Meta Knightmare Ultra.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Meta Knight, despite being so serious, is surprisingly fond of coffee and chocolate. He's also got a real sweet tooth, with his favourite desserts being parfait and affogato.
  • Trauma Button: If the intro screen animations in Star Allies are to be believed, what happened to him in Planet Robobot makes him very uncomfortable around Susie.
  • True Companions: His Star Allies description reveals he feels this way about the other three heroes; even though he acts cold and stoic, he still appreciates the company and greatly values their friendship.
  • The Unfought: In Kirby Air Ride. Whereas Dedede is unlocked in a battle, you unlock Meta Knight by staying airborne for thirty minutes or more in the Air Ride mode.
  • Unknown Rival: His rivalry with Kirby borders on this, Meta Knight is shown to be eager to best the pink puffball to prove his strength, yet Kirby never really goes out of his way to fight or challenge Meta Knight treating him as a simple friend when not having his hand forced.
  • Unmanly Secret: Possibly the reason why he usually keeps his adorable face hidden behind a mask at all times. The Kirby Café menu also suggests that he tries very hard to keep it a secret when he indulges his Sweet Tooth, describing him "sneaking" a chocolate cake out of his cloak and hurriedly eating affogato in the early morning.
  • Unreveal Angle: Strangely, despite his face showing showing up several times in previous games (albeit briefly), Kirby Fighters 2 keeps his face concealed after his mask falls off in the True Final Boss fight. A more humorous example occurs earlier in the game; when Dedede throws Meta Knight a Maxim Tomato, he turns away from the camera so that we can't see how he eats it with his mask on.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: In Planet Robobot, he is captured by the Haltmann Works Company and converted into a cyborg soldier known as Mecha Knight, who Susie controls to do her bidding.
  • Video Game Flight: He can fly around the stages with his wings. Due to being based on Wing Kirby, he flies faster than normal Kirby.
  • Vigilante Man: Whenever something threatens Dream Land, he's usually the first to try and stop it, even if he doesn't always succeed (see Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and Planet Robobot). This even applies to his villainous role in Revenge of Meta Knight, as his actions stemmed from the belief that Dream Land's lazy lifestyle would result in its downfall. His Kirby and the Forgotten Land figure mentions that his initial priority upon landing in the new world was to find a way back to Popstar, but after seeing the danger Waddle Dee Town was in, he decided to stay put and guard the town from the Beast Pack, showing that this behavior extends outside of Dream Land.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: The closest he's had to a villainous portrayal (Revenge of Meta Knight) had him act to take over Dream Land thinking it would be better under his rule. More heroic portrayals have him acting ahead of Kirby, only to come off as a foe due to a lack of communication. His fully heroic moments come when he is reacting as much as Kirby.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Even though he's only ever been a true villain Revenge of Meta Knight, this is usually how he reacts after his mask breaks (with the sole exception of Fighters 2, where he wears the Mask of Dark Bonds as a backup mask in the final battle), wrapping himself up in his cape and leaping off-screen, Mega Man-style!
  • Vocal Dissonance: Despite being a round, tiny Waddling Head of the same species as Kirby, all his voiced appearances give him a manly Baritone of Strength in the English versions, which only adds to his appeal; in the Japanese version he doesn't quite sounds as manly but still has a voice that you wouldn't expect a Kirby-faced character to have.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: He's often among the hardest bosses in the games he's fought in; including Amazing Mirror, as Dark Meta Knight fights exactly like he does there. It's particularly noticeable in Boss Rushes such as "The Arena" and "Helper To Hero".
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Especially in Revenge of Meta Knight. He thinks that the Dream Landers are lazy and/or unorganized and he feels that it'll become a better place if he ruled it.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Whenever he gets playable, he'll be able to solve all the puzzles in the game with just his sword, while Kirby would often need the more appropriate powers, one at a time. When Kirby acquires it (in form of "Master") in Amazing Mirror, Kirby can do the same.
  • The Worf Effect: In Amazing Mirror, The Subspace Emissary, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Kirby: Planet Robobot, he has been defeated and/or compromised before the events of the game by the Monster of the Week.
  • Worthy Opponent: He almost always refuses to fight you until you pick up the sword he offers.
    • The first time he breaks this pattern is in Revenge of Meta Knight, and then, he'll wait 30 seconds before jumping into the fray. Which is reasonable, since by that point the Halberd is falling towards the ocean.
    • In Squeak Squad — while he doesn't hand you the sword, there is one in the room you're in before you fight him. Additionally, the stars his attacks leave give you the Sword ability if you swallow them... for some reason. It should also be noted that he probably doesn't hand you one because he is trying to prevent Kirby from releasing Dark Nebula.
    • This is also how you can suspect that the Meta Knight you fought in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is an evil copy; he doesn't hand you a sword before the fight.
    • In Star Allies, you can skip getting the sword by flying up to Meta Knight's perch and landing on it (or, like in Super Star, just wait for half a minute), causing it to collapse. This annoys Meta Knight enough to kick the sword away and fight you anyway.
    • Whenever he's brainwashed to attack Kirby, such as in Planet Robobot, he also won't give Kirby a sword. The only exception is in Star Allies, which is because this particular type of brainwashing exaggerated his vain streak, meaning he was desperate to prove that he is stronger than Kirby. Even then, he’ll eventually kick it offscreen if you take too long to grab it.
    • His reason for joining the tournament in Kirby Battle Royale is to have a battle against one of these. He finds the Kirby clones rather pathetic and trusts that only the original Kirby can give him the battle he desires (which he does).
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Meta Knight's glowing yellow eyes are notably the only features that you can see through his mask, and thanks to things like his speed and the teleportation/flight granted by his Dimensional Cape, he's quite adept at pulling off particularly fast and stealthy moves. For the sake of Honor Before Reason, though, he'll usually first reveal himself to his opponent before going on the attack.

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