Revenge of Meta Knight has the second-largest story in Kirby Super Star and its remake (second to Milky Way Wishes). The sub-game has a unique mechanic: a time limit in which the player must gradually damage and destroy the Halberd in the allotted time. This game requires beating Dyna Blade to unlock.
The story of Revenge of Meta Knight is fairly straightforward. Using the Battleship Halberd, Meta Knight intends to take over Dream Land and "put an end to its lazy lifestyle." Kirby attempts to stop him by trying to land on the Halberd with the Warp Star. Kirby's first attempt to board fails, as he is thrown off by Heavy Lobster (after going behind the main engine) into Orange Ocean; he returns again on the Warp Star after defeating Twin Woods, but is shot down by the Combo Cannon. Later, Kirby returns on the back of Dyna Blade, who also gets shot down by Combo Cannon, but Kirby manages to get on board. He then proceeds to destroy Combo Cannon, preventing being thrown off again.
Kirby damages both wings (to 74% damage, according to Meta Knight's co-pilot), defeats Meta Knight in a duel, and destroys the Reactor allowing the Wheelie power sources to escape, which forces the Halberd to crash-land. Everyone except Meta Knight and Sailor Waddle Dee abandon the Halberd before it crashes. Meta Knight then attempts to prevent Kirby from leaving the ship by chasing him, using various attacks. By riding a WheelieHelper, Kirby makes a final leap, flying off the Halberd. The credits roll as Kirby and the Wheelie watch the Halberd crash into the Orange Ocean, and then ride away in the sunset. The game ends with a credit showing the Helpers and Copy Abilities in the game.
Face daunting timed challenges and overcome close scrapes!”
— Game Mode Explanation • Kirby Super Star Ultra
Revenge of Meta Knight is unique for several reasons. It is the only full Kirby adventure to have a strict time limit (other than when Kirby fights Nightmare for the first time in Kirby's Adventure and Real Dark Matter in Kirby's Dream Land 2). The standard game abilities are all in play, with the addition of Paint, which has the added bonus of blinding Heavy Lobster.
Revenge of Meta Knight can be considered difficult to navigate - the Halberd is soaring through the sky, meaning that Kirby is constantly buffeted by winds on certain outside levels. There also is no floor on many levels, meaning that Kirby must float (or fly, if he has Wing or Jet) through large parts of the sub-game.
As the Halberd crashes into Orange Ocean, there is a small shape flying away from the Halberd as it sinks into the ocean. This is Meta Knight escaping the destroyed Halberd. This is seen more clearly in the remake, but it appears before Kirby lands in that version, leading to the easy mistake of its identity being Kirby.
Originally, Captain Vul intended to lure Kirby behind the Main Engine to blow him away; he said "Release Heavy Lobster! Quickly! Quickly!". In the remake, Kirby surprised him by moving behind the main engine, and Vul releases Heavy Lobster to defend the Halberd against him - he shouted, "WHAAAAAAAT?! Throw the Heavy Lobster at 'im!".
The translation featured in Kirby Super Star Ultra is more faithful to the Japanese script. One example would be the exchange between Captain Vul and the crew while Kirby is under the ship ("You chickens!"). A more noticeable change would be Meta Knight's reaction to his crew's resolve in the final chapter; originally, he dryly stated that the crew should do whatever they please if they choose to perish and then mentally regretted his slip of the tongue, but the SNES translation completely changed this to encouragement. This was likely done so that the dialog would be more child-friendly for American standards, but in that case, it is unknown why the SNES translation then added the reference to imminent death right before the Meta Knight fight.
It should also be noted that there is no single Japanese script - the DS release slightly expanded the text to begin with, which necessitated a retranslation.
The final cutscene of Revenge of Meta Knight — the one in which Kirby drives his Wheelie into the sunset with Copy Ability credits — seems to be based on the ending of Lupin the Third Part II, a 1977-1980 Japanese animated series produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha based on the manga by Monkey Punch. In the anime, Fujiko Mine drives her motorcycle into the sunset while the credits roll. Both endings are also shown from a side view.
The ending in Kirby Super Star Ultra was redone using 3D models rather than the flat sprite version in Kirby Super Star. Though they are the same ending, the Lupin III reference was lost in the remake, as more original details were added and the flat Lupin III style was replaced. This could have been done because the anime is old and the reference would have gone unnoticed, or because the developers of Kirby Super Star Ultra did not know it was a reference to begin with.
In the original transcript of the SNES version, after Kirby destroys the left wing, Meta Knight tells his crew to increase the right wing power. In reality, increasing the right wing power would have caused the Halberd to become lopsided, considering the fact that the power is distributed unequally on both sides. Taking this into consideration, the Halberd likely would have started spiraling. This logic was fixed in the DS remake.
During the first attempt at escaping, should Kirby fall into a pit, he will be wearing his Copy Ability gear instead of his Wheelie Rider gear. The Copy Ability he will be wearing will be that of the ability he had on after defeating Meta Knight. Upon a second death, Kirby will not have his ability.
Revenge of Meta Knight is the only time in the Kirby series that Meta Knight takes on a fully malicious role against Kirby. In other games, when he is fought, it is either because he was being controlled or because he was trying to stop Kirby from unleashing a greater evil, which was Dark Nebula in Kirby: Squeak Squad and Nightmare in Kirby's Adventure/Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. The closest time Meta Knight has been a true antagonist in another game is Kirby's Avalanche, but he does not try to hurt Kirby, instead merely challenging him to a game of Avalanche.
In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! episode Escar-Gone, the ending theme, "My Friend and the Setting Sun", can be heard as Escargoon desperately searches for someone who remembers him. A rearrangement of the music can also be heard while fighting Meta Knight in Kirby Star Allies.