Knuckle Joe is an enemy appearing in five Kirby games as of now. He is, however, a recurring and semi-important character in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!.
Their helper forms are childish, elf-like fighters with spiky yellow hair wearing blue clothing and a modified headband. Their regular enemy counterparts look exactly the same, but are recolored (except for Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where Knuckle Joe looks exactly like his Kirby Super Star helper form).
Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra
Knuckle Joes are an uncommon enemy in this game, appearing as the only regular enemy in the game that gives the Fighter ability. They attack with various, fast-paced, martial-art moves. As a Helper, Knuckle Joe can use all of the same techniques as Fighter Kirby can, except for the Judo Throw. A red Knuckle Joe plays in Helper to Hero.
Kirby's Super Star Stacker
Knuckle Joe fights Kirby over a star piece in this game. He first beats up Kirby and his friends before the match begins. After being defeated, he is carted off in bandages by Waddle Dee, an earlier enemy faced in the game.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
In this game, Knuckle Joe behaves like he does in Kirby Super Star, and is a very uncommon enemy, only appearing in a few levels. Like in Kirby Super Star, Knuckle Joe gives the Fighter ability.
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition
Knuckle Joe appears in the New Challenge Stages in Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition as well. He appears in the Fighter Combat Chamber.
In Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Knuckle Joe is often the source for obtaining Fighter in the anime as most Fighter Kirby ability appearances are in episodes featuring him.
Joe's first appearance saw him looking for the Star Warrior who killed his father. He originally appeared as a ghost-like form, but turned into a Joe with a purple coloration, somewhat resembling his enemy coloration. King Dedede convinced him that Kirby had done the deed and he challenged Kirby to a duel. Kirby didn't fight and was promptly turned into a punching bag. When Joe went for the finishing blow, Meta Knight intervened and told him the truth: Meta Knight challenged and killed his father when he was captured by eNeMeE and turned into a monster. He wasn't completely evil - the love of his son, Joe himself, stopped him from being completely evil. All Joe wanted was revenge, however, and attacked Kirby again. Kirby inhaled his attack and turned into Fighter Kirby. Fighter Kirby used the same attacks he did. Eventually, Joe got so angry, he turned into a monster - a spiked ball similar to Togezo. Kirby changed into Needle Kirby after he swallowed another one of Joe's attacks and used his ability to defeat him.
In his second appearance, he looks like the Kirby Super Star Helper. Here he is a Monster Manager for Nightmare Enterprises. He sent out an innumerable amount of small monsters to Dream Land. Kirby inhaled them all, which exhausted him. Joe released Masher onto Dream Land to deliver the final blow to an already exhausted Kirby. Eventually Kirby and Knuckle Joe team up and beat it. It turns out that Joe is now a Monster Hunter, and that he was after Masher for a while.
In Joe's third appearance he fights against a powered-up version of Masher, Masher 2.0, alongside Kirby. In his fourth and final appearance in the anime, Joe aids Kirby with his attack against eNeMeE.
In the anime, Joe has a tendency to wipe his "nose." Kirby often mimics this, both normally and in Fighter form, despite the fact that neither Kirby nor Knuckle Joe actually has a nose.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
Knuckle Joe appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as both an Assist Trophy and a regular collectible trophy. In this role he attacks opponents by using a Vulcan Jab, followed by either a Smash Punch or a Rising Break after being summoned—with both attacks being noted by him shouting their names upon using them. The last two attacks mentioned are basically to instantly KO enemies who happen to be in his way, which more than likely will connect as his fast-paced Vulcan Jab allows little to no time to escape. Knuckle Joe may occasionally fall off the stage and self-destruct without managing to do any damage at all if there are no enemies in close-enough vicinity.
Appearance-wise, this Knuckle Joe wears a blue jumpsuit, which is identical to Kirby Super Star's Helper version. He also has a very high-pitched voice.
Knuckle Joe returns as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A martial artist known for amazing attacks like the Vulcan Jab. With his bandana, he looks and fights the part of a Muay Thai boxer. When Kirby copies Knuckle Joe, he gains the fighting techniques of a hand-to-hand-combat expert. Knuckle Joe also engages in friendly block-breaking competitions with Kirby. His other famous techniques are the Smash Punch and Rising Break.
- Kirby Super Star (1996)
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U
A martial-arts master, Knuckle Joe can be inhaled by Kirby and his FIghter ability copied. If you summon him, he'll leap toward the enemy nearest you and unsleash his powerful Vulcan Jab attack. He'll then finish off his target with a devastating Smash Punch or Rising Break.
When Kirby copies this expert in all martial arts, he becomes a pro at hand-to-hand combat. Release Knuckle Joe in this game, and he'll jump towards the enemy nearest to you and unleash his mighty Vulcan Jab, the finish them off with a devastating Smash Punch or RIsing Break!
- Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land (10/2011)
- Knuckle Joe's appearance in Helper to Hero is the same as it is in Megaton Punch: Blonde hair, like a Helper, but red clothing, like an enemy.
- Mike from Drawn to Life has a hairstyle similar to Knuckle Joe's, and when the player rescues him, he starts wiping his nose over and over. This is pure coincidence, however.
- Along with his father, Knuckle Joe is the only humanoid character with visible ears in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!.