The ancients are an enigmatic and long-lost civilization, said to be responsible for the creation of many powerful artifacts which recur throughout the Kirby series. They are referred to as such by Magolor, when he describes how he got the Lor Starcutter in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
According to Magolor, the ancients built the Lor Starcutter, as well as "clockwork stars that soar the cosmos" (presumably Galactic Nova and Star Dream) and "mysterious items that can bring dreams to life" (presumably the Star Rod, and possibly the Dream Rod). Given Magolor's reputation for lying, however, it is possible that this information is misleading. Likewise, Hyness says a great deal about what are almost certainly the ancients in his rant, but as his sanity is questionable, this information should also be taken with scrutiny.
Regardless, the existence of the ancients is corroborated by the in-game text, which states that Magolor stole the Lor Starcutter and the Master Crown from their "sacred resting places on Halcandra". This may also suggest that the Crown is linked to them in some way. Based on the power of these artifacts, as well as the implications given by Hyness's rant, it can be presumed that they were a highly advanced and scientific race.
Aside from what they left behind, not much else is known about the ancients. Their influence has been confirmed on several worlds, including Popstar, but it is unclear what may have happened to them, or what they looked like.
- As both Galactic Nova and Star Dream summon Galacta Knight from a stasis chamber, it is possible that Galacta Knight is connected to the ancients.
- The ruins of Rock Star were built by an ancient civilization, but whether they are related to the ancients or not is unknown.
- Japanese Kirby 64 page for Rock Star - https://www.nintendo.co.jp/n01/n64/software/nus_p_nk4j/horobi_s/index.html