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Meta Knight

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For fighter info, see Meta Knight (SSBB), Meta Knight (SSB4), and Meta Knight (SSBU).
Meta Knight
Meta Knight
KirbySymbol.svg

Official artwork of Meta Knight from Kirby Star Allies.

Universe Kirby
Debut Kirby's Adventure (1993)
Smash Bros. appearances Melee
Brawl
SSB4
Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
Species Unknown[1]
Gender Male
Place of origin Dream Land, Popstar
Created by Masahiro Sakurai
English voice actor Eric Newsome
Japanese voice actor Atsushi Kisaichi
Article on WiKirby Meta Knight

Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Knight) is a character from the Kirby series. Since debuting in Kirby's Adventure as a boss, Meta Knight has steadily transitioned into an anti-hero and friendly rival of Kirby,[1] as he willingly assists or directly allies with Kirby on a number of occasions for the greater good, while maintaining their rivalry.

After making a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a trophy, Meta Knight transitioned into a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and has remained as such since then.

Origin[edit]

Artwork of Meta Knight from Kirby Super Star, the basis of his trophy in Melee and playable appearance in Brawl.

Meta Knight is a mysterious character who has been depicted as both a hero and a villain, and more generally an anti-hero, in the Kirby series. He is sometimes cast as an antagonist to Kirby, but his intentions are not definitively evil. In certain instances, he sends his troops, the Meta-Knights, as enemies against the pink protagonist as a sort of training method. Titles such as Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and Kirby: Planet Robobot depict Meta Knight as a direct ally to Kirby, often assisting him in his journey.[1]

Meta Knight is a blue Kirby-like being cloaked in armor, with glowing yellow eyes visible underneath a silver mask. His primary weapon is a golden, pronged sword named Galaxia, which he wields with considerable skill.[1] He wears a cape that can turn into bat-like wings, which he uses to take flight. On certain occasions, he will cast off his cape, transforming into his wings. Meta Knight's mask breaks almost every time he is defeated, revealing a face very similar to Kirby's own. Upon defeat, Meta Knight immediately wraps himself within his cape and flees.

In battle, Meta Knight has a notable code of honor. He always provides a sword to Kirby in order to have an equal duel; in some games, such as Kirby Super Star and Kirby Star Allies, there may be certain circumstances that cause him to make the first move when Kirby takes too long to get the weapon. However, in contrast to his code of honor, Meta Knight is also occasionally shown to be forceful and arrogant. This is best demonstrated in the "Revenge of Meta Knight" mode of Kirby Super Star, where Meta Knight attempts to use his battleship, the Halberd, to take control of Dream Land and end its carefree lifestyle.

The Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime depicts Meta Knight as a veteran Star Warrior and an ostensible underling to King Dedede and Escargoon; in reality, he has his own higher motives, and only uses his relationship with Dedede as a means of accomplishing them. He often acts as a mentor to Kirby, providing cryptic advice and training him to become a Star Warrior in kind. This appearance is the basis of Meta Knight's personality in Smash. In Japanese, he is even voiced by the same actor, Atsushi Kisaichi.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Meta Knight only appears in this game as a collectible trophy, unlocked as one of the 250+ trophies that can be collected randomly during normal play, such as in the Trophy Lottery and throughout the various Single-player Regular Matches (though it will only be available to start appearing after the player has played over 200 VS mode matches). The trophy has a factual error: while his first appearance was in Kirby's Adventure released in May of 1993, the trophy claims that his first appearance was in Kirby Super Star, released in September of 1996.

Trophy[edit]

Meta-Knight's trophy in Melee
Meta-Knight
The mysterious head of the Meta-Knights, he wields his sword with dignity. He delivered his sword to Kirby and demanded single combat in a show of his knightly honor; his strict adherence to his code of ethics makes him a rarity in Dream Land. Sometimes he throws off his cape in battle. It occasionally transforms into wings.
NTSC
Kirby Super Star (9/96[sic])
PAL
Kirby's Fun Pak

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Meta Knight (SSBB)
Meta Knight as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Meta Knight makes an official appearance as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and he is available to play from the start. Almost all of his attacks involve his sword, Galaxia, and most of these attacks are extremely fast; for instance, his up air comes out in just two frames (1/30th of a second), referencing his swordsmanship in the Kirby franchise. Though his overall reach is average, the length of his sword relative to his small body gives him grossly disproportionate disjoints in all of his attacks, giving him excellent spacing options. In addition to fast attacks, Meta Knight is equipped with incredible recovery potential. Like Kirby, King Dedede, and Jigglypuff, he has multiple jumps, but, despite physically resembling Kirby, he doesn't puff himself up to fly. Instead, he transforms his cape into wings to propel himself upwards, and in addition, Meta Knight has the ability to glide using his cape wings. Furthermore, Meta Knight is equipped with very versatile special moves that not only improve his already stellar recovery but also heavily define his neutral and edgeguard game.

Meta Knight is widely considered to be the best character in Brawl due to him lacking disadvantageous match-ups (with one documented but heavily disputed even matchup against Pikachu) along with his overwhelming dominance in tournaments. Due to being considered "broken", Meta Knight had been banned since January 9, 2012 on the Unity Ruleset. However, after the disbandment of the Unity ruleset, prohibiting him is up to the Tournament Organizer.

Trophy[edit]

Meta Knight's trophy in Brawl
Meta Knight
NTSC The head of the Meta-Knights, and something of a rival to Kirby. He's quite an accomplished swordsman. Following his code of knightly ethics, he once delivered his sword to Kirby and demanded single combat. His giant cape transforms into wings, giving him the power of flight. He's shown his face briefly before, but his relationship to Kirby is still a mystery.
NES: Kirby's Adventure
SNES: Kirby Super Star
PAL The head of the Meta-Knights, and something of a rival to Kirby. He's quite an accomplished swordsman. Following his code of knightly ethics, he once delivered a sword to Kirby and demanded single combat. His giant cape transforms into wings, giving him the power of flight. He's shown his face briefly before, but his relationship to Kirby is still a mystery.
NES: Kirby's Adventure
SNES: Kirby's Fun Pak

Stickers[edit]

Name Game Effect Fighter(s)
Meta Knight Kirby: Squeak Squad AttackSlash+032EffectIcon(Slash).png Attack +32 Kirby Meta Knight King Dedede KirbyHeadSSBB.pngMetaKnightHeadSSBB.pngKingDededeHeadSSBB.png
Meta Knight Ball Kirby: Canvas Curse SpecialLaunchPower+008StickerIconLaunchPower.png +8 Kirby Meta Knight King Dedede KirbyHeadSSBB.pngMetaKnightHeadSSBB.pngKingDededeHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Meta Knight (Kirby Squeak Squad).png
Meta Knight
(Kirby Squeak Squad)
Brawl Sticker Meta Knight Ball (Kirby Canvas Curse).png
Meta Knight Ball
(Kirby Canvas Curse)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Meta Knight (SSB4)
Meta Knight as he appears in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Meta Knight was confirmed as a playable character on August 13th, 2014. He has been visually updated, with his gloves now sporting gauntlets, a detail seen in official artwork of Meta Knight in Kirby: Squeak Squad and Kirby Super Star Ultra.

Possibly due to his dominance in Brawl, Meta Knight has been significantly nerfed from Brawl to SSB4. Many of his attacks are slightly slower, and his range has been noticeably shortened, forcing him to take a more aggressive play style. His attacks no longer have transcendent priority. He has lost the ability to glide, toning down his recovery. Mach Tornado, a staple in Brawl, has less momentum and higher ending lag, removing his dominance in the neutral game. These changes have also left him more vulnerable to camping strategies.

Meta Knight is currently ranked 16th on the tier list, placing him in the B tier. Meta Knight still has numerous strengths, such as his combos from Brawl, and his deadly edge-guarding game. He has received several buffs to his KO moves as well, with his forward smash and back aerial now dealing more knockback, and Shuttle Loop deals more damage, has increased range and much higher knockback scaling. As a result, he has a powerful punishing ability. Most importantly, his air speed has been greatly increased, now being roughly average, whereas it was tied for the third slowest in Brawl. Even with the loss of many of his advantages, his strengths heavily outweigh his flaws; this has translated to his tournament status, in which he has secured strong representation and noteworthy results.

As a costume[edit]

Meta Knight Mask.

Meta Knight's mask is also available as headgear for all Mii Fighter types.

Trophies[edit]

Meta Knight's trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Meta Knight's trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Meta Knight
NTSCSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Kirby's mysterious rival, this masked swordsman appears in several Kirby games. His cape transforms into wings to grant him flight. In Smash Bros., his quick sword skills and aerial agility set him apart. He can jump up to five times in a row, and he has a special move to soar higher.
NTSCSuper Smash Bros. for Wii U Kirby's mysterious rival, this masked swordsman appears in several Kirby games. His cape transforms into wings to grant him flight. In Smash Bros., his quick sword skills and aerial agility set him apart. He can jump up to six times in a row, and he has a special move to soar higher.
NES: Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
PAL A mysterious masked swordsman from the Kirby series. His cape can turn into wings, which gives him the ability to fly. His swift swordplay and ability to stay in the air give him an edge in this game. He can combine five mid-air jumps with a special move to make recovering a cinch. If you use him, try to keep the battle airborne!
NES: Kirby's Adventure (12/1993)
SNES: Kirby's Fun Pak (01/1997)
Meta Knight (Alt.)'s trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Meta Knight (Alt.)'s trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Meta Knight (Alt.)
NTSC Meta Knight's Dimensional Cape lets you teleport, changing where you'll reappear with directional inputs and attacking by holding the button! His Mach Tornado special can draw in and attack multiple opponents. Rise by pressing the button repeatedly, and press left or right to move.
NES: Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
PAL Meta Knight's Dimensional Cape lets you teleport. After vanishing, you can move to reappear somewhere else. You can also keep holding the button to turn it into an attack! His Mach Tornado special can mix up multiple opponents in the fray. Press the button repeatedly to rise up, and move left and right to create extra havoc.
NES: Kirby's Adventure (12/1993)
SNES: Kirby's Fun Pak (01/1997)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Meta Knight (SSBU)
Meta Knight as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Meta Knight returns as a playable fighter, as with all previous characters, in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, now as an unlockable character. Meta Knight has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate, but has been nerfed overall, albeit significantly less so than in his transition from Brawl to Smash 4, his Mach Tornado now only hits once. He also received a new Final Smash in the form of Darkness Illusion.

As a costume[edit]

Meta Knight Mask in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Meta Knight's mask is once again available as headgear for Mii Fighters.

Spirit[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese メタナイト, Meta Knight
UK English Meta Knight
France French Meta Knight
Germany German Meta-Knight
Spain Spanish Meta Knight
Italy Italian Meta Knight
China Chinese (Simplified) 魅塔骑士, Meta Knight
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 魅塔騎士, Meta Knight
South Korea Korean 메타 나이트, Meta Knight
Netherlands Dutch Meta Knight
Russia Russian Метанайт
Portugal Portuguese Meta Knight

Trivia[edit]

  • Meta Knight was the first newcomer confirmed for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the last veteran starter confirmed for Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • Barring Kirby's cameo in Arcana, which was released prior to Kirby's Dream Land, Meta Knight is the only fighter from the Kirby series to debut on a home console.
  • Meta Knight's appearance slightly differs between the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series. Specifically, the ends of his visor slightly curve inward, the letter M is printed on his left pauldron, and his attire features purple sabatons that previously only appeared in his in-game design from Kirby's Avalanche, a dark purple cape with a bat insignia and a white ridged collar and, as of SSB4, silver gauntlets. Starting with Kirby: Planet Robobot, his appearance as of Super Smash Bros. 4 has been carried over into the Kirby games, although the gauntlets were shown in official artwork of the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS Kirby titles, and in Kirby Air Ride.
    • Meta Knight's sword is inspired by its appearance in the anime series. Prior to Brawl, the sword did not have a consistent design and was referred to with generic terms, such as "Master Sword". Its Brawl design, which first appeared in Kirby Air Ride, features four prongs as opposed to the anime's six. Along with the name "Galaxia", this design was incorporated into later games.
  • Regarding helpless animations, Meta Knight is the only fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series:
    • Whose entire special moveset renders him helpless.
    • To have two variations of his helpless animations, one being winged and the other being wingless.
  • Meta Knight is the only sword-wielding fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series who lacks both a projectile and a counterattack.
    • He is also the only fighter from the Kirby series to have the former trait.
  • Meta Knight is one of two Kirby characters to be voiced in the Japanese version of the series by the actor who played them in the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime, the other being Knuckle Joe. Both of them are also voiced by different actors in the English version of the series than they were in the anime.
    • As a possible callback to the anime's English dub, Meta Knight's English voice in Brawl features a slight Spanish accent, similar to Eric Stuart's portrayal of Meta Knight.
  • Meta Knight is one of two fighters that leave the victory screen in their victory animation, the other being Sephiroth.
  • Meta Knight is the first of only two fighters in the entire Super Smash Bros. series to have been ranked in SS tier, followed by Fox McCloud.
  • Meta Knight is the first fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series (and only fighter in Brawl) to have a different victory fanfare than other fighters from his universe.
  • Kirby's dark blue alternate costume in SSB4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is intended to resemble Meta Knight without his mask and other regalia, giving Kirby dark purple skin, purple feet, and entirely yellow eyes while also removing his cheek blush.
    • Prior to this costume, Meta Knight was actually depicted as having silver eyes behind his mask and pink cheeks. The mask, in particular, turned Meta Knight's eyes yellow while it was worn, and this trait was further reinforced in Brawl when Kirby, upon copying Meta Knight, sports green eyes while wearing the mask. However, all Kirby games following SSB4 now depict an unmasked Meta Knight with yellow eyes and a lack of cheek blush. According to the developers of Kirby: Planet Robobot, this was partially a result of palette limitations in sprite-based titles. Although they considered using the pre-SSB4 design, they decided that it did not look right on Meta Knight's 3D model.[2]
  • In an official poll held on Smabura-Ken (the game's official Japanese website) regarding characters for a potential sequel to the first game, Meta Knight placed 19th with 11 votes, tied with the Pokémon Lugia. Notably, he received less votes than Gooey among characters from the Kirby games.[3]

Notes[edit]

^ According to Official Nintendo Magazine, the considerable resemblance between Meta Knight (as well as Galacta Knight by extension) and Kirby implies that they are of the same species. However, this has not been officially confirmed nor denied within their home series.[4]

References[edit]