|This article is about the group of warriors debuting in Kirby's Adventure. For the leader, see Meta Knight.|
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|Reason: Make "Meta-Knights" and "Meta Knight Corps" separate pages, similarly to Star Warrior and Galaxy Soldier|
The Meta-Knights are a group of warriors led by Meta Knight and are featured in several games in the Kirby series. For the most part, the Meta-Knights are incredibly loyal to their master and would do anything to protect him.
While the NTSC and PAL versions of the game loosely refer to the entire group of knights as the Meta-Knights, in Japan, there is a slight difference in what exactly "Meta-Knights" refers to. The term メタナイツ (Metanaitsu), meaning "Meta-Knights" refers to Axe Knight, Javelin Knight, Trident Knight, and Mace Knight - the four main combat-oriented members of the group who fought Kirby as early as in Kirby's Adventure.
The larger organization itself, which only features in Revenge of Meta Knight is called (Metanaito gundan), meaning "Meta Knight's Corps" from Meta Knight's trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This broader categorization includes personnel on the Halberd from Meta Knight at the top, Captain Vul, Sailor Waddle Dee, Axe Knight, and Mace Knight, right down to regular enemies defending the ship, and Wheelies powering it in the Reactor.
The known members of this band of warriors are:
- Meta Knight (leader/founder)
The original Meta-Knights (Axe Knight, Javelin Knight, Mace Knight, and Trident Knight) first appeared as Room Guarding Mid-Bosses in Kirby's Adventure alongside their chivalrous master. Each of the knights are masters of their own specific weapon. Not much information was given about them except for their likenesses and alliance with Meta Knight, and they were given minimal to no characterization. Kirby encounters them for their first time in the second level, Ice Cream Island, and then fights them once per level up until the last level (Rainbow Resort).
While Meta Knight apparently has legions of warriors serving under him, judging by the following games, these four are his main foot-soldiers.
In the remake, the normal boss music does not play, instead, a remix of the mid-boss theme from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is played.
The Meta-Knights are fought in:
- Ice Cream Island, Stage 3
- Butter Building, Stage 4
- Grape Garden, Stage 5
- Yogurt Yard, Stage 4
- Orange Ocean, Stage 6
In Kirby Super Star, the Meta-Knights, more specfically Axe Knight, Trident Knight, and Mace Knight, were seen hiding out in Marshmellow Castle during the events of Dyna Blade and fought Kirby. All of them later re-accompanied their master on a full-on assault of Dream Land with their powerful warship—the Halberd. But their plan ended early when the ship was taken down and crashed down below into Orange Ocean, thanks to Kirby. The group or warriors seemingly disbanded after the destruction of the Halberd, as they haven't appeared since then, nor did they appear when the Halberd flew again during the events of Kirby: Squeak Squad. The Meta-Knights seem to be unable to survive in water; in Milky Way Wishes in Super Star and its remake, in the area where the Copy Essence Deluxe for Sword is found on Aquarius, the Meta-Knights are seen guarding the door to the area, and when Kirby attacks them, the knockback usually gets them in the water, and they explode inside it. This was also hinted when the Halberd was crash-landing in the Secret Sea -- the Meta-Knights survived the explosions of the Halberd, but had to escape due to the fact that they were crash landing in water.
The Halberd is controlled by Meta Knight himself, the four aforementioned knights, Captain Vul, and a sailor hat-wearing Waddle Dee. After the Halberd is destroyed, Waddle Dee and the other four knights seemingly stay loyal, and vow to stay with Meta Knight to the end. Captain Vul on the other hand, was first to evacuate the Halberd prior to the crash, so it can be assumed that he distanced himself from Meta Knight almost immediately afterward.
Originally, Mace Knight and Axe Knight were Meta Knight's loyal sidekicks, since they refused to leave him when the ship was going down. They stayed with Meta Knight to fight Kirby one last time. In the anime, they were replaced by Sword Knight and Blade Knight.
Kirby Super Star Ultra also introduces two more members of his crew. In Meta Knightmare Ultra, Meta Knight can call upon Sword Knight and Blade Knight to help aid him in his galactic conquest. Although they were already prominent enemies in the series, they were never closely associated with him. They also serve under Meta Knight in the anime, almost always by his side. They are believed to be either apprentices or body guards in this appearance.
In the ending credits for Meta Knightmare Ultra only Captain Vul, Sailor Waddle Dee, and Axe Knight makes a brief cameo in a snapshot with Meta Knight, in the interior of the Halberd.
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They finally appear in an original game as part of the Kirby Quest and Strato Patrol EOS sub-games. The four knights will attack Kirby before he can advance inside the Halberd to defeat Meta Knight. The order is Javelin Knight, Mace Knight, Trident Knight, and Axe Knight. Their attacks are also more effective, powerful and can cover long distances.
Although not seen on-screen, The Meta-Knights worked hard to rebuild the Halberd after it crash-landed beneath the Access Ark and after Meta Knight was abducted by the Haltmann Works Company. In Meta Knightmare Returns, Meta Knight can call upon the original four Meta-Knights from Kirby's Adventure to perform his strongest special attack, Meta Knightmares, in which they slash through any and all enemies on screen with their respective weapon. They also appear celebrating in the sub-game's ending.
Swords are used by Sword and Blade Knights. Fortunately, these swords are standard issue (unlike their leader's). Among some swordsmen, these swords can release a beam called Sword Beam, but only if fired by full health or energy focus.
Flails are only used by Mace Knights. Like the Yo-Yo ability, it also swings like a handed boomerang.
Axes are used by Axe Knights. They are of the twin-bladed variant, and can be thrown further than the maces can be swung.
Javelins are used by Javelin Knights, even though they are not normally knight weapons. They fly similarly to Cupid's arrows.
Tridents, also not a weapon normally used by knights, are used by Trident Knights. They are either thrown at or jetted into their enemy (a feature only seen in Kirby Super Star and its remake). In Kirby's Adventure, tridents inflict electrical damage upon contact, but in their other appearances, they are non-elemental.
Battleship Halberd is the warship of the Meta-Knights. Staying features are the laser of the Combo Cannon, the bat-like wings, and Meta Knight's mask. In early versions, the underside of the Halberd is like a ship, a color red glider, but not in the remake of Super Star, which is a long cannon and several cannons. Also, it has many Tri-Cannons mounted on the rear bottom and lower sides.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
The Meta-Knights Axe Knight, Mace Knight, Trident Knight, and Javelin Knight appear as a single primary Ace-class neutral spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate which can be obtained by fighting a stamina battle against a team of Meta Knights wielding Killing Edges where more Meta Knights will appear during battle. When their spirit is equipped, it increases the amount of sword damage the equipped fighter will deal.
- The Meta-Knights are the only mid-bosses not to appear in The Arena.
- Meta-Knights are more durable than most enemies, which may be due to either being trained for battle, or wearing armor.
- All but two of the games the Meta-Knights appeared in had remakes. The exceptions are Kirby Mass Attack and Kirby: Planet Robobot.