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Shovel Knight (universe)

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Shovel Knight (universe)
Developer(s) Yacht Club Games
Publisher(s) Yacht Club Games
Nintendo (Treasure Trove, JP)
Designer(s) Sean Velasco
Genre(s) Action, platform
Console/platform of origin Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U
First installment Shovel Knight (2014)
Latest installment Shovel Knight Dig (2022)
Article on Wikipedia Shovel Knight (universe)

The Shovel Knight universe (ショべルナイト, Shovel Knight) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters and properties that hail from the franchise spawned by the indie game created by Yacht Club Games.

Franchise description[edit]

The franchise started out as a passion project between a group of friends. Nick Wozniak specifically mentioned the game started out as "sort of as a joke conversation over lunch that kind of got too serious".[1] The name of the titular characters was "pretty much settled" almost immediately, with the only other option considered being Plummet Knight. The team decided crowd funding was the best plan to acquire funds for the game, and a Kickstarter campaign was announced March 17, 2013. By its closure on on April 13, the campaign reached $311,502 on a $75,000 goal. While the game was initially planned to release on September 2013, it was delayed several times and eventually released in June 2014. Serving as an homage to classic NES platformers, the original game, retroactively dubbed Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, stars the titular Shovel Knight in his adventures to the Tower of Fate to save Shield Knight from a cursed amulet, and defeat the Order of No Quarter in the process. The game received universal praise for its fun gameplay and attention to detail, and open the door for many other self publishers to fund their games through crowd funding. The game has since been ported to most major platforms, with content exclusive to those versions, including boss battles against God of War's Kratos on PlayStation consoles, and Rare's Battletoads on Xbox One and PC.

The game has since received several free updates. The first was Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, a standalone campaign where the player controls former enemy Plague Knight with new levels and mechanics like projectiles and magic resources. The second was Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, a prequel where the player controls former enemy Specter Knight with new levels and mechanics like wall running and aerial combat. The third and last was Shovel Knight: King of Cards, another prequel where the player controls former enemy King Knight with new levels and mechanics like combat enhancements and a full card game titled Joustus. The game was updated in 2017 to include all campaigns and was renamed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. The series also has its own officially licensed amiibo collection of all four different playable characters. A wide variety of crossover appearances, a spinoff fighting game titled Shovel Knight Showdown, and two spinoffs in collaboration with other developers: Shovel Knight Dig and Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon, have since followed in the original game's success.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The Shovel Knight universe made its debut in Ultimate, being represented by an Assist Trophy and some spirits.

Assist Trophy[edit]

  • Shovel Knight: Shovel Knight, the star of the original campaign and following spinoffs, appears as an Assist Trophy. He uses his shovel to dig the ground, sometimes pulling up items, and also hops around the stage on his shovel.


The following characters from the series are spirits.

Primary spirits[edit]

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Base Power Max Power Base Attack Max Attack Base Defense Max Defense Ability
SSBU spirit Shovel Knight.png
Shovel Knight
★★★ 2 2963 8933 1037 3126 1926 5807 No Effect
SSBU spirit King Knight.png
King Knight
1 1050 5255 396 1983 595 2975 Weight ↑
SSBU spirit Specter Knight.png
Specter Knight
★★ 2 1795 7206 1104 4432 691 2774 No Effect

Support spirits[edit]

No. Image Name Class Cost Ability
SSBU spirit Shield Knight.png
Shield Knight ★★ 2 Weapon Resist ↑
SSBU spirit Plague Knight.png
Plague Knight 1 Fire & Explosion Attack ↑

Games with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

The Shovel Knight universe has games represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 2 games. The latest game represented in this universe is Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, released on March 3, 2017.

Shovel Knight[edit]

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment[edit]

  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Specter Knight's spirit has his artwork sourced from this game.


  • Shovel Knight is the second indie franchise to be represented in Smash, following BIT.TRIP.
  • Link's down aerial attack, the downward thrust from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, served as the inspiration for Shovel Knight's Shovel Drop attack, which they both use in Smash.[2]
  • In the Assist Trophy category in Training Mode, Shovel Knight is listed as the last Assist Trophy in order, being placed with the 3rd-party Assist Trophies. However, in the Spirit Collection, all Shovel Knight spirits are grouped with the 1st-party series rather than the 3rd-party series, being placed between the Dillon's Rolling Western and Culdcept spirits. This is likely due to Nintendo publishing the initial Japanese releases for the game.[3]
  • All of the Shovel Knight spirits are playable characters within their home series. Shovel Knight was the first character; Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight later became playable in their own individual campaigns; and Shield Knight became playable in Shovel Knight Showdown.
  • Shovel Knight bosses are inspired by Mega Man II, which had 8 bosses before the main boss; all of the bosses are robots, like Mega Man, while Shovel Knight's bosses are all other Knights.[2]


External links[edit]