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Meta Knight

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Meta Knight
Kirby character
Meta knight art.png
Meta Knight in Kirby: Planet Robobot
First game Kirby's Adventure (1993)
Created by Masahiro Sakurai
Voiced by (English) Eric Stuart (anime)
Eric Newsome (Super Smash Bros. series)
Voiced by (Japanese) Atsushi Kisaichi

Meta Knight (Japanese: メタナイト Hepburn: Meta Naito?) is a fictional character in Nintendo's Kirby video game series created by Masahiro Sakurai and developed by HAL Laboratory. He first appeared in the 1993 video game Kirby's Adventure as a nameless character remaining there until the game Kirby's Avalanche. The character also appears in several Kirby comic books, in the 2001 anime series, and in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Meta Knight is a mysterious but honorable knight; due to this attitude he has played a "friend or foe" role in the Kirby series, which led video game critics to debate his nature and allegiances. He has received mainly positive critical reception since his introduction; his development within the series, from a nameless character to one of Kirby's main enemies, was praised, and he has been described as a "cool" character by reviewers.

Characteristics[edit]

Meta Knight is an enigmatic, yet honorable swordsman who follows a chivalric code;[1] this is exemplified when he gives Kirby a sword with which to fight.[2] In keeping with his penchant of offering Kirby a sword with which to duel, Meta Knight himself wields a sacred, golden sword called Galaxia (ギャラクシア Gyarakushia?).[3] He is always seen wearing a silver mask; beneath it he looks identical to Kirby,[4] with a dark blue body[3] (black in his debut[5]) and white eyes,[6] which appear yellow with his mask on (and with his mask off in Kirby: Planet Robobot). He also sports a navy blue mantle (red in his debut) called the Dimensional Cape (ディメンションマント Dimenshon Manto?),[3] which can change into a pair of wings[7] and allows him to teleport. However, these wings appear directly attached to his body in Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby: Planet Robobot.[8] Much like a knight, Meta Knight's design has become more armored since his debut; he has sported a pair of pauldrons since Kirby's Avalanche, gauntlets on his mitten-like gloves since Kirby: Squeak Squad, and sabatons since Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is usually described as Kirby's rival and occasional mentor,[1][9] as well as an anti-hero.[10] Despite occasionally being portrayed as a villain, he has benign intentions,[11] will often fight alongside or assist Kirby when necessary for his survival or for the sake of the world.[2] This attitude has led to debate about his allegiances.[12][13]

Appearances[edit]

In the Kirby video game series[edit]

Meta Knight first appeared in the NES game Kirby's Adventure[14] as an ally of King Dedede and boss of the Orange Ocean level, where he fights Kirby to stop him from taking a piece of the Star Rod and keep it out of Nightmare's hands.[5] He is the main antagonist of the Revenge of Meta Knight mode in Kirby Super Star,[15] in which he tries to take over Dream Land to end the inhabitants' lazy lifestyle using his signature airship, the Battleship Halberd (戦艦ハルバード Senkan Harubādo?).[16] Meta Knight is a playable character in special mode Meta Knightmare of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land.[2] In Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, Dark Meta Knight—an evil, Mirror World counterpart of Meta Knight—splits Kirby into four, differently colored copies of himself by shattering a mirror after trapping Meta Knight in the Mirror World.[17] After Kirby defeats Dark Meta Knight, Meta Knight himself helps Kirby defeat Dark Mind, the true main antagonist. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, he appears as a boss[18] who tries to keep the chest containing Dark Nebula out of Kirby's hands.[19] In Kirby Super Star Ultra, he appears as a playable character in the Meta Knightmare Ultra mode.[2][20] Meta Knight also appears in Kirby's Return to Dream Land as one of the four playable protagonists, alongside Kirby, King Dedede and Bandana Waddle Dee,[21] and as a playable character in multi-player mode.[10] After only making cameos in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Meta Knight made an active return to the series in Kirby: Planet Robobot. In addition to partaking in the game's story mode, he is the playable character of the Meta Knightmare Returns mode.[22]

Meta Knight also appears in several spin-off games in the series. He makes brief appearances in Kirby's Pinball Land[23] and Kirby's Avalanche. In the latter, his name was revealed for the first time,[2] where he is the penultimate challenger.[24] He is an unlockable character in Kirby Air Ride and Kirby: Canvas Curse.[25][26] Meta Knight is a boss in Kirby's Epic Yarn[13] and appears as a boss in two sub-games in Kirby Mass Attack.[27] Though he is absent from Kirby and the Rainbow Curse's story mode, Meta Knight appears as a collectible figurine. The game is also compatible with the Meta Knight Amiibo, which Kirby can use for a temporary increase in attack power.[28]

Other appearances[edit]

Meta Knight has made several appearances outside of the Kirby video game series, including the 1994–2006 manga Hoshi no Kirby: Dedede de Pupupu na Monogatari written by Hirokazu Hikawa and published by Shogakukan in CoroCoro Comic.[29][30][31] He also appears in the ongoing Enterbrain's Hoshi no Kirby: Kirby to Dedede no Pupupu Nikki manga written by Noboru Matsuyama and published in Famitsu DS+Wii (originally called Famitsu DS+Cube+Advance),[32] and in the Asami Taniguchi manga Hoshi no Kirby: Moretsu Pupupuawā! published in Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic, where he is a main character.[33] He is also featured in the 2012 Yuki Kawakami manga by Shogakukan, Hoshi no Kirby: Pack to Daibaku Show.[34] In the 2001–2003 anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya! he is a main character. In the series he is the last surviving member of the Galaxy Soldier Army, made up of "Star Warriors", and acts as a mentor to Kirby.[35]

He also appears in three Super Smash Bros. series games; in Melee, he is a trophy,[36] and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he is a playable character.[37] However, Meta Knight was removed from professional gaming competitions in the United States and Canada due to being considered too powerful.[38] On August 13, 2014, Nintendo confirmed that Meta Knight would be returning as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U; the game's director, Masahiro Sakurai, assured some changes to re-add Meta Knight.[39]

Reception[edit]

IGN described Meta Knight as "one of the most enigmatic characters" in the series,[12] naming him one of their ten favorite sword-wielding characters in the video games and adding that although he was once "a mere villain" in the series, "his devilishly cool appearance set him apart from the rest".[40] GamesRadar ranked Meta Knight twelfth on its list of "Most Misunderstood Videogame Villains", saying that he is "the standard good-guy folderol [...], except that Meta Knight is invariably the bad guy"; it said of the Meta Knight-versus-Kirby battles that "[i]t's like if Batman picked a fight with a morbidly obese shut-in, and you were supposed to root for the shut-in."[11] It listed him on "The Top 7 Unlikeliest Badasses in Gaming" list, saying "Thanks to his brooding, serious attitude and his lavish taste in imposing capes, Meta Knight has created a beautiful illusion of something incredibly threatening, despite being a spherical bundle of delight."[41] He is the 18th-best Nintendo character of all time, according to GameDaily;[42] that also placed him third on their list of Nintendo characters which deserve their own game.[43] Complex stated that he developed from "a nameless villain" in Kirby's Adventure into "Kirby's rival" and stating that his popularity has surpassed that of King Dedede, ranking Meta Knight eighth on its list of "25 Video Game Characters That Deserve a Spinoff".[2] Similarly, he was placed sixth on WhatCulture's list of "10 Video Game Characters That Deserve Their Own Spin-Off Game".[44]

His inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl was praised; he was listed in the top five characters of Bozon (ranked second), Peer (ranked fourth), and Richard George (ranked first) from IGN, with all three highlighting his speed and Bozon saying he is "the best single-player Brawler".[45] Jesse Schedeen from the same site said that "Meta Knight is a true powerhouse of the SSBB cast",[40] and UGO Networks called Meta Knight "[t]he most dangerous sword-wielding, helmet-wearing, sentient balloon you're ever likely to meet".[37] Also, WhatCulture ranked him as the 6th greatest character in beat'em up games, saying "he's a brilliant character skills-wise, even if he may be totally unfair in the grand scheme of things."[46] However, the balance among the Brawl characters was impaired, with Meta Knight "standing tall above the rest".[47]

References[edit]

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