KSSU Cannon sprite This article contains information that does not coincide with the main series canon. (Similar)
Kirby's Duel Role is the 3rd episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. This episode is notable for Kirby's duel with Meta Knight and the first appearance of the Sword Copy Ability.


King Dedede orders Meta Knight to fight Kirby so that he can discover Kirby's weakness. However, Meta Knight has his own reasons for wanting to duel Kirby. Meanwhile Tiff and Tuff discover clues relating to Kirby's creation.


Episode Summary

KSSU Kirby run
Spoiler alert: The following section contains plot-specific details.(Skip Section)

The episode starts off when Tiff and Tuff try to warn Kirby about something; Melman interrupts, saying he has a letter for Kirby. Tiff opens the letter and realizes that it's from Meta Knight. The letter reads:

"Honorable Kirby,
As a fellow Star Warrior you are required to accept my challenge. I hereby request a battle with you."
MetaKnight in kirby anime

Meta Knight challenges Kirby.

Tokkori tells all the villagers in Cappy Town that Meta Knight wants to battle Kirby. Tiff and Tuff bring Kirby to Kabu Canyon and explain to him that they know why Meta Knight wants to challenge him. They saw him go to King Dedede's throne room. The King told Meta Knight to challenge Kirby to a duel. Meta Knight, knowing King Dedede's secret, asks him why he doesn't order a monster. King Dedede sheepishly attempts to feign any knowledge on this. Meta Knight says that he knows that the N.M.E. transporter is also located in the throne room. Enraged, King Dedede tells Meta Knight to fight Kirby or he will be accused of treason. Meta Knight accepts the king's orders. King Dedede asks of Meta Knight to find out Kirby's weakness. Tiff and Tuff tell Kirby to escape, but Meta Knight, along with Sword Knight and Blade Knight, appears and tells them that there is no way to escape, and said when Kirby came, he thought Kirby had come prepared. Then he tells Kirby, "Prepare for battle, and prepare to be defeated!" and pulls out his sword Galaxia. He begins slashing at Kirby with it. Tiff tells Kirby to use his suck up power. Kirby does, but it has no effect on Meta Knight. Meta Knight exclaims that Kirby is powerful but he cannot suck up large or heavy opponents. Tiff tells Meta Knight that he isn't large or heavy; he retorts by saying that he has other ways of defending himself.

Meta Knight tells Sword Knight to give Kirby a way to defend himself. Sword throws his sword to Kirby, which is both too big and heavy for Kirby to handle. Meta Knight and Kirby duel, but Kirby is easily walloped by Meta Knight. Meta Knight tells Kirby that the best offense is a good defense. Meta Knight once again pummels Kirby and throws him against the cliff, causing rocks to fall on him. It turns out King Dedede and Escargoon are watching him and find out Kirby's "weakness." They then leave to the castle, where Dedede says he has an idea.


Meta Knight demonstrating the Sword Beam.

Kirby gets up and continues to fight Meta Knight. Meta Knight then explains to Kirby to focus his energy on the sword. Meta Knight then jumps in the air and creates a giant Sword Beam that cuts through the ground, creating a huge crevice. He says that when energy is focused on the sword, releasing it will create the Sword Beam. He does yet another one, creating another huge crevice in the ground. Meta Knight explains to Kirby that the Sword Beam allows the user to use all their power in one concentrated attack. He tells Kirby to try and focus his energy. Kirby falls asleep, which turns out to be his way of focusing his energy. He tries attacking Kirby, who quickly wakes up. He then pushes him out of the way, saving him from a boulder that just fell. Blinded by dust, Meta Knight searches for Kirby who is carried away by Tiff, Tuff, and Fololo and Falala.



At the castle, Dedede orders Bugzzy, who the N.M.E. Sales Guy explains, is a swordsbug extraordinaire. Meanwhile, Meta Knight looks for Kirby in fear that Dedede has ordered a monster with a mastery in swordsmanship. Tiff and Tuff consult Kabu and asked if Meta Knight was here to talk to him. Kabu tells them that he came here to talk about the threat of the planet. He explains that Nightmare Enterprises created monsters that they sell to customers like King Dedede, but eNeMeE made one mistake: he created a monster that wouldn't obey him and he feared that it would destroy him. Tiff then deduces that the rogue monster must have been Kirby, and Tuff then states that this must have been why Nightmare Enterprises was more than willing to sell monsters to Dedede and then asks Kabu how he knows all this. Kabu explains to them that it was Meta Knight that told him this information.

Sword Kirby Anime

Sword Kirby


Kirby using Sword Beam.

King Dedede finds Kirby under the protection of Tiff, Tuff, and Fololo and Falala. They run away with Dedede chasing them, but Tiff trips on a rock and Kirby flies off the stretcher he was being carried on. King Dedede then gets Bugzzy to fight Kirby. Bugzzy tries slashing Kirby with his sword and smashing him with his club. Meta Knight asks why Dedede ordered a monster if he was going to battle Kirby. Escragoon laughs and tells him that they were only using him to find Kirby's weakness. Tiff tells Kirby to suck up Bugzzy, but he proves to be too big and heavy for Kirby to suck up. Tiff tells Kirby to suck up his sword instead, and he, with a little help from Meta Knight, manages to do so, transforming into Sword Kirby. Bugzzy, seeing Kirby's new form, brings out two large swords. Kirby enlarges his own sword to level the playing field. Both Kirby and Bugzzy enter in a small skirmish. Meta Knight reminds Kirby to focus his energy. Kirby then focuses his energy, causing him to fall asleep, fooling King Dedede and Escargoon, the latter encouraging Bugzzy to go finish him off. Bugzzy approaches Kirby and tries to attack him. Before he gets a chance, though, Kirby jumps up in the air and does the mighty Sword Beam. Bugzzy attempts to block it with his swords, but they break from the sharpness of the Sword Beam, which cleanly cleaves through the monster. After a suspenseful pause, Bugzzy splits in half. Electricity darts between the two halves before they explode, destroyed. An enraged King Dedede goes to destroy Kirby himself, but Meta Knight blocks the way. He says that he is reluctant to do what he is about to do, but he must. It turns out that he was referring to him kicking King Dedede's Tank, causing it to roll backward down a hill and crash. The episode ends with Tiff and Tuff turning towards Kabu, with Tiff saying that they will find out Kirby's secret one day, while Fololo and Falala carry him.

End of spoilers

Concept Artwork

Changes in the dub

  • This is one of the few episodes with profanity culturally appropriate for a Japanese children's show but inappropriate for the equivalent American audience. Tuff and King Dedede using profanity are removed. Here Comes the Son, Hour of the WolfWrath, War of the Woods, Snack Attack - Part II, A Half-Baked Battle, Crusade for the Blade, Fitness Fiend, Masher 2.0, and The School Scam are several other episodes with the same censorship.
  • When Escargoon falls out of Dedede's tank in the original, he calls out to him, telling Dedede not to leave him behind. In the dub, this scene was cut and replaced by Escargoon's offscreen voice declaring that he is OK.
  • When Escargoon confronts Dedede about leaving him behind as the latter is downloading Bugzzy in the original, he says "Why you..." before noticing what's happening. In the dub, he states "I landed on my..." before paying attention.
  • The scene where Meta Knight slaps Kirby at the beginning of their battle was removed from the dub.
  • Meta Knight informing Kirby he was not using a proper stance was replaced by Meta Knight announcing that the duel began, changing the tone of the battle.

Changes in the comic

  • The comic, while keeping Meta Knight's making clear he knew about Dedede's ordering monsters from NME, omits his explanation that he knows about the transporter in the back room. Likewise, it tones down Dedede's angry retort towards Meta Knight's pestering by avoiding explicitly mentioning the threat of charging him with treason.

Animation and continuity errors

  • When Kirby first sees Bugzzy, he appears gloveless. Throughout the rest of the episode, however, Bugzzy has a pair of cream-colored gloves on.
  • At one point while Dedede is talking to Meta Knight, the top of Meta Knight's head is blue-green.
  • During the scene where Dedede tells Meta Knight to get rid of Kirby, Escargoon turns his head. Just after he turns his head, Escargoon has two chins.

Comic Adaptation

The magazine Nintendo Power adapted this episode into a comic.


  • Though Bugzzy gives the Backdrop or Suplex ability in the games, he gives the Sword ability here. This is because Bugzzy was repurposed to wield a sword and a club, as opposed to being a wrestler.
  • This is the first episode to display Sword Kirby on the cover.
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