|“||In order to stop the serious fighting between the sun and the moon, you will need to visit many planets and summon a comet. This game has slightly different rules concerning Copy Abilities, so pay close attention.”|
|— Instruction manual description • Kirby Super Star Ultra|
Milky Way Wishes is the largest of the nine games in Kirby Super Star and its remake. The game uses Copy Essence Deluxe - statues similar to ones inside Museums and Copy Pedestals that Kirby must touch before acquiring that ability. Inhaling enemies, regardless of whether or not they give Kirby a special ability begets a "no good" for Kirby, except for limited used abilities. This is the longest and arguably most challenging of the Kirby Super Star games - beating it unlocks the Arena, which contains all bosses from Kirby Super Star.
Kirby's home planet, Pop Star is orbited by the sun and moon, who do not appear to be Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright as they do not have legs or any facial features and are just the sun and moon of Popstar. Suddenly, the two begin fighting over Popstar, plunging Kirby's home planet into chaos. A small jester-like being named Marx tells Kirby that the only way to stop the fight between the two is to gather the power of the Dream Fountains from nearby planets and use them to summon Nova, a clock-like robotic "comet" that can grant wishes, and wish for the fighting to stop.
After gathering all this power and summoning Nova, Kirby goes on to make his wish. Before he can do this, however, Marx shows up and then makes his own selfish wish: Take complete control of Pop Star. When this happened, he transformed into a fearsome monster. It turns out that he actually forced the sun and moon to fight each other, and tricked Kirby into doing his dirty work for him, and this was all part of his plan to conquer Pop Star. Nova is obliged to grant Marx's wish, forcing Kirby to destroy Nova. Afterward, Nova began looming towards Pop Star, leaving Kirby alone in space. The power Kirby gathered, however, came together to create a spacecraft for him to chase after them with.Nova was suddenly stopped by the sun and moon, giving Kirby the chance to enter Nova. After Kirby destroys its core, Nova is wounded, infuriating Marx who then attempts to attack Kirby. Kirby then lands on an unknown, purple planet and fights Marx. Kirby defeats Marx, sending Marx flying away and into the remains of Nova, seemingly destroying them both in the process, restoring peace to Popstar. Kirby then goes back to Pop Star while riding a Warp Star and the sun and moon are seen dancing together.
Before the final boss of The True Arena (which is only in Kirby Super Star Ultra), it is revealed that Marx came back to life using Nova's energy after crashing on him, turning into a more powerful Marx Soul. Kirby fights and defeats him, supposedly destroying him for good.
In Meta Knightmare Ultra (which is also only exclusive to Kirby Super Star Ultra), after completing this level, Meta Knight summons Nova and wishes to fight the greatest warrior in the galaxy. Nova grants his wish and tells Meta Knight this warrior was sealed away long ago because of fear of his power, and that he would summon this great warrior once again. Meta Knight then fights Galacta Knight, the strongest and final boss in Meta Knightmare Ultra, and the second to last boss in The True Arena, where the player fights him as Kirby.
Milky Way Wishes is the first and only game to feature Copy Essence Deluxe in place of the usual means of Copy Ability acquisition. While this did fix the classic Kirby problem of not having the right power-up at the right time, it meant that the player initially had to travel powerless unless they, by having prior knowledge or otherwise, visits the planet ??? first, and acquires the Copy Essence before visiting the traditional Grass-themed starting world, Floria.
The premises for finding the Deluxe Essences are similar to finding Treasure chests in The Great Cave Offensive. Most of them are accessible enough, and there is a counter at the bottom-right of the screen indicating how many unactivated Essences yet remain on each planet, which helps in locating the remaining Essences. To fully complete Milky Way Wishes at 100%, the player needs to find all 19 Deluxe Essences.
In this game, all of the enemies and mid-bosses are given an alternate color palette. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, bosses also have an alternate color palette, except for Computer Virus, which is most likely due to fact that it has changed its set of bosses. The alternate palettes are later used in Helper to Hero.
Milky Way Wishes is the only Kirby Super Star game to be played largely in outer space. This would be done again, although on a smaller scale, in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but since then, Kirby's adventures have taken place largely on Pop Star. It is the only game to use a free cursor - that is, Kirby can be moved on the map anywhere the player chooses to move him.