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The information on this article will be expanded and changed upon the game's release.

Shovel Knight Dig is a platforming game developed by Nitrome and slated for release in 2021[1]. The player plays as Shovel Knight trying to get his loot back that has been stolen by Drill Knight[2]. The game will be released on Nintendo Switch[3] and Playstation 4[4].

Controls

Nintendo Switch

  • Y - Shovel slash[5].
  • Analog stick down/left/right + Y - Dig down/left/right (when standing on/next to dirt)[5]

Gameplay

In Shovel Knight Dig, the player traverses downwards through a cavern set across different environments that are divided up into levels[6][7]. Each level is made up of randomly selected pre-made level segments that are stitched together to create the level[6]. As the player advances through the cavern, they can encounter shops that sell positive enhancement items[7]. At the end of each level, the player is presented with the option of continuing on to the next level or playing a previously completed level[8].

If the player dies, they will lose all collected gems and power-ups and be taken back to outside the top of the cavern and have to restart their traversal through the cavern[9][10]. Upon re-entering, the player can regain half[8] their lost gems by touching flying bags scattered throughout the cavern[9].

Themes

All themes have dirt that Shovel Knight can dig through and are situated underground.

  • Mushroom Mines[7] - A previously collapsed underground mine that has been opened by Spore Knight's mushroom stents[11]. It is interspersed with mushroom-related game components. Spore Knight is fought here[7].
  • Garden - A garden situated inside an area with the architecture and design of a medieval castle[7][12].
  • Factory - A factory where various metallurgical processes take place[13].
  • Entomological Enclave[14] - Hive Knight is encountered here[14].

NPCs

  • Barrel mole - A mole on a barrel. Appears in the file sprites.zip that can be downloaded from the Shovel Knight Dig Presskit page and is listed in the NPC folder.

Shops

  • Horse - Operates a shop that sells power-ups located to the right of the hole leading into the cavern[7][15]. To talk to her, Shovel Knight has to enter and hit a bell[7]. In the PAX demo, the player cannot buy power-ups until they encounter the shop and have gems, which they can do upon initially beating Spore Knight[15].

The following shops can be accessed in rooms located at the side of each level and are usually denoted by a blue lamp, as seen in the PAX demos.

  • Chester[16] - Resides in an ornate treasure chest with blue colouring that opens when hit. He sells item-based upgrades and weapons[7].
  • Gastronomole[17] - Has a shop stall and sells food[7]. The food he sells varies based on the theme he is in[17].

Items

Utility items

These can be purchased from Chester.

  • Hungry charm[18] - Increases the chance of enemies dropping food and treasure chests having food. Costs 400 gems[18].
  • Looking glass[18] - The shop description for this item is "Looks for secrets and points them out." Costs 300 gems[18].

Food items

These can be purchased from Gastronomole[7].

  • Fortified roast[7] - Allows the player to sustain three hits without losing any health. Costs 160 gems[7].
  • Clean plate[7] - Gives the player an empty extra health bubble. Costs 200 gems[7].
  • Prodigious fungi[19] - Allows health bubbles to withstand three hits before being depleted as opposed to two[19]. It costs 600 gems[19] and is exclusive to Mushroom Mines[17].

The following food items restore the player's health. Prices are indicated in parenthesis and are denominated in gems.

Health bubbles restored Items
All Roasted chicken (500)[18]
2 Bi-tip steak (300)[19]
1 Mushroom (lactofermented) (80)[18], Coated apple (150)[19]
½ Buttered carrot (60)[7], Shiitake skewer (50)[18]

Upgrades

Upgrades positively effect the player and can be purchased from Chester, randomly obtained from the utility drill if the "?" option is selected[7], and given by non-playable characters[17].

  • Boot[7] - Unknown.
  • Blorbsbane flask[7] - Blorbs and Blazorbs will avoid the player[7].
  • Charm spell[7] - The shop description describes this upgrade as allowing the player to "Get better deals at shops" and also having another undisclosed effect. Costs 150 gems[7].
  • Catalyst[19] - Causes some rocks to become explosive. Costs 150 gems[19].
  • Magnet - Attracts nearby gems to the player[20]. Costs 150 gems[19].
  • Spin attack[21].
  • Reduced damage from spikes[21].

Permanent items and upgrades

These items and upgrades are not lost on death[6][22].

Interactive objects

  • Dirt - Can be dug through and stood on[13].
  • Destructible blocks - Can be walked on. They can be destroyed by Shovel Knight's Shovel Drop and may contain yellow gems[13].
  • Treasure chests - Contains gems[7].
  • Double-sided metal block - Has a spot for Shovel Knight to insert himself into. This spot also spins around[13].
  • Stone blocks - Can be destroyed by small drills and come in a 1x1 form.
  • Explosive triggers - When hit, they will blow up a line of blocks on a solid platform, revealing a path through it[13]. The blown up area may contain food or a bomb[23]. The triggers can be encountered in the form of:
    • A nail stuck into a platform[7] or stuck into the background[13].
    • A square metal block stuck into the wall[23].
    • A yellow button[23].
    • Wall deterioration[23].
  • Mushrooms - Bounce the player up. Encountered facing upwards, and in this position comes in small or large forms, and diagonally[7].
  • Spinning platforms - A set of spinning platforms that are attached to a beam in the background. When one is touched, it will move horizontally until it hits a wall or another platform if one of the platforms does not have another platform in front of it[24].

Weapons

  • Fire rod[23] - Shoots a fireball[13]. Can be purchased from Chester for 500 gems[23].
  • Blue slime - Can be thrown by Shovel Knight[13].
  • War Horn - Creates a loud sound that inflicts damage within a large circular area around the player[13]. Can be purchased from Chester for 650 gems[7].
  • Trowel[23] - Can be thrown and passes through dirt[23]. Can be purchased from Chester for 450 gems[23].

Pick-ups

  • Gems - Can be collected[13]. The following types of gems exist:
    • Green diamond-shaped gems[13]. Worth 1 gem[23].
    • Square gems that appear in either blue or yellow[13]. Blue are worth 5 gems while yellow are worth 10[23].
    • Red[19] and pink[25][24] diamonds. Worth 50 gems[23].
    • Pink jewel. Obtained after defeating Spore Knight and is worth 1000 gems. During the battle, it is seen in the background[20].
  • Gold gears - Three are placed in each level segment they appear in, and when all three are collected the player can access the utility drill at the end of the level[7].
    • The utility drill is located at the end of each level and gives the player the choice of a full health refill or a free upgrade if all gold gears are collected[7]. If all have not been collected, gems and food are sometimes given out[23].
  • Potion[13] - The reveal trailer shows one being dropped upon killing a flying beetle[13].
  • Food - Restores health[7] and can be encountered inside a plate with a dome lid, which has to be smashed to be opened. The following food can be encountered:
    • Carrot - Restores half a health bubble[7].
    • Apple - Restores a full health bubble[7].
    • Mutton - Restores health[18].
  • Jewel - In the PAX demo, it is obtained after defeating Spore Knight and is worth 1000 gems[7].

Enemies

Enemy Behaviour
Fly Shovel Knight Dig.png
Fly
Flies around. Can dig through dirt[13].
Boneclang Shovel Knight Dig.png
Boneclang[26]
Attacks with a sword slash. Can be killed with three slashes from Shovel Knight's shovel. Can be encountered stationary[13].
Walking mushroom Shovel Knight Dig.png
Walking mushroom
Is initially stationary and will walk towards the player when they are near[7]. Shovel Dropping on its mushroom cap will not harm it and instead bounce the player upward[18]. When killed it will drop its cap, which when hit by the player's shovel will bounce in the direction hit and bounce off platforms[7].
Flying beetle Shovel Knight Dig.png
Flying beetle
These enemies fly and can dig through dirt[13].
Spore creature Shovel Knight Dig.png
Spore creature
A stationary enemy that shoots several small spore-shaped projectiles that move through platforms. After firing them, they wait before firing again[13].
Blorb Shovel Knight Dig.png
Blorb[26]
Bounce towards the player[23].
Blazorb Shovel Knight Dig.png
Blazorb[12][27]
Behaviour unknown.
Pink blorb Shovel Knight Dig.png
Pink blorb
Hop towards the player[23].
Beeto Shovel Knight Dig.png
Beeto[26]
Walks horizontally[13].
Propeller rat Shovel Knight Dig.png  Propeller rat bomb Shovel Knight Dig.png
Propeller Rats[26]
Can fly[13]. Variants can be encountered holding bombs[12].
Floating mushroom Shovel Knight Dig.png
Floating mushroom
Can float in the air. When Shovel Knight touches one, it will turn him into small Shovel Knight[13].
Blitzsteed Shovel Knight Dig.png
Blitzsteed[26]
Moves horizontally and can drill through dirt with its drill[13].
Boneclang statue 2 SKD.png
Boneclang statue
Initially appears as a statue, but becomes alive when attacked[13].
Moler Shovel Knight Dig.png
Moler[12][26]
Behaviour unknown.
Mole thief Shovel Knight Dig.png
Mole thief[2]
Can steal unspecified objects[28].
Tadvolt Shovel Knight Dig.png
Tadvolt[12][26]
Behaviour unknown.
Crab Shovel Knight Dig.png
Crab[12]
Behaviour unknown. Can be encountered on platforms and clinging to the sides of platforms[12].
Charflounder SKD.png
Charflounder[26]
Jumps out of lava. Its head is impervious to Shovel Knight's Shovel Drop[24].
Armoured beetle SKD.png
Armoured beetle
Walks horizontally. Its armoured shell can be broken by Shovel Knight's Shovel Drop, revealing a red inner bulb that when hit again by the same attack kills it[24].
Birder SKD.png
Birder[26]
Moves diagonally and bounces off platforms[24].
Goldarmor SKD.png
Goldarmor[26]
Moves strategically, attacks with a sword slash, and can shield upwards[24].
  • Worm - Its body starts at a certain spot and extends as it moves[19]. It will home in on Shovel Knight[19] and can move through dirt[13]. Can be damaged by attacking its head[13]. Once killed, its body will break up but leave its skeleton behind at wherever it was located[13].
  • Dozedrake[12][26] - Behaviour unknown.

Bosses

  • Spore Knight[12] - Fought in Mushroom Mines[29].
  • Drill Knight[12]

Other characters

  • Hive Knight[14] - Another member of the Hexcavators and encountered in Entomological Enclave[14]. Accompanied by a Beeto called Fleck[14].
  • Shovel Knight Dig will also feature other characters from past Shovel Knight games[6].

Hazards

  • Spikes - Harm the player on contact[7]. A variant instantly kills the player regardless of how much health they have[15].
  • Spiked wheel - This hazard is always present in the level and follows Shovel Knight from afar, but can catch up with him if he progresses too slowly. It will instantly kill him on contact[19][21].
  • Small drills - Attached to platforms. Can harm the player[7], enemies and destroy dirt and stone blocks[13].
  • Big drills - Move horizontally and can destroy dirt, destructible blocks, and enemies[7].
  • Saws - Can destroy dirt. Can be encountered stationary or attached to a moving stake[13].
  • Bombs - Explode after a few seconds[23] and can kill enemies[18].
  • Drill blocks - Blocks with drills on them. They are initially stationary, but when the player becomes parallel with them, they will move forward. They come in 1x1 and 2x2 block sizes[7].
  • Mines - They are encountered embedded in dirt and will explode shortly after the player enters their proximity[7].
  • Rotating flames - Consists of four nozzles pointing in each direction that shoot a large line of fire that passes through dirt[24].

Obstacles

  • Gates - Will block Shovel Knight's exit from a room until all enemies are killed, then it will open[18].

Other

  • Bubbles - Occur in the underground garden area and can be empty or contain liquid[12].
  • Medium sized drills - Held on a horizontally moving belt and can be released from it by Shovel Knight's Shovel Drop, whereupon they will fall. Their drill can destroy destructible blocks[24].
  • Lava - In one video, lava can be seen located at the bottom of one room located in the factory area. It temporarily rises upward and Charflounders jump out of it[24].

PAX demo

A demo for Shovel Knight Dig was available at PAX West 2019 and PAX East 2020[30][31][32]. It covered three segments of Mushroom Mines and the Spore Knight boss battle[7].

Shovel_Knight_Dig_PAX_demo

Shovel Knight Dig PAX demo

Gameplay

Footage of the demo was captured by the following websites:

Spore Knight battle

Shovel Knight will drop into a room that can have the following configurations (all may not be listed) which always has a rock shaped like horns holding a pink jewel in the background[7]:

  • Largely flat room with moving platforms on either end[7].
  • Room with raised corners that has two upward-facing large mushrooms in the middle[23].
  • Completely flat room with interspersed mounds of dirt that can be dug in to[18].
  • A room with raised corners that has a platform placed above the middle of the room[19].
  • A largely flat room filled mostly with dirt[20].
  • A completely flat room with spikes at the sides, initially covered by 2x2 destructible blocks[33].

He will then converse with Spore Knight about her intentions before the battle begins[7]. There are two possible sets of dialogue, and they are listed here. The music during the battle also changes to a boss battle theme[7].

Spore Knight has ten health and her body can be damaged with shovel slashes, but her head cannot be damaged by Shovel Drops[7]. She starts off the battle jumping around, and upon being damaged or upon not being damaged for a short period of time, she will dig into the ground then jump up somewhere else and execute one of the following attacks[7]. She generally jumps up at the edges or middle of the main area with this digging attack and tries to do this away from the player[7]. She has the following attacks:

  • Jumping around in an arc. While doing this, she can, pass through large bouncy mushrooms[7].
  • Jump up and throw spores[34] around her out of her bag[18]. Prior to executing this attack, she may jump around[19].
  • Throwing her mushroom cap horizontally[7]. If she does not harm the player, she may jump around[20].
  • Creating a line of small upward-facing mushrooms that go across all surfaces and soon disappear, then jumping around in an arc and after some jumps trying to jump and move towards the player. The initial moving spell that creates the mushrooms can harm the player on contact[7].
  • Popping her mushroom cap off her head, which bounces diagonally around the room[23].

At some point during the battle, white spores will start falling[19]. They fall in waves and can be destroyed by shovel slashes[19]. Upon being defeated, the floor will explode and both knights will fall on to a path selection platform where Spore Knight will bounce around and fall down the left path to the next area (the right path is also possible[19]) and Shovel Knight will obtain the pink jewel shown in the background[7].

After this, the screen will turn black and read "SPORE KNIGHT DEFEATED! WELL DONE" and prompt the player to enter three letters to represent their name, which will be submitted to a leaderboard showing the players with the 10 highest gem scores[18].

Development

Development of Shovel Knight Dig started when Yacht Club Games contacted Nitrome about making a small arcade-like Shovel Knight game built around digging downwards[17][8]. Development of the game was primarily handled by Nitrome[17]. The game was announced on August 28th, 2019, during a video presentation given by Yacht Club Games[35]. The game had been worked on for more than a year at this point and was in early development[36]. At this stage, the story had not been completed[9]. Yacht Club announced during its Yacht Club Games Presents presentation on February 26th, 2020, that the game would be released in 2021[24]. By February 27th, 2020, Nitrome had finalized a list of themes and bosses that were going to appear in the game[17].

Announcements

55?cb=20120317190109 Incomplete section

This section is incomplete. You can help by adding the missing info.

  • February 10th, 2021 - Jon Annal on Twitter posts a short preview of the Spore Knight boss fight.

References

  1. Yacht Club Games on YouTube: Yacht Club Games Presents 2.26.20, 26 Feb 20, retrieved 13 Mar 20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Shovel Knight Dig Press Kit - Sprites.zip
  3. Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [1]: The only platform we've announced so far is Nintendo Switch, however, we hope to bring Dig to as many places as we can., 7 Apr 20, retrieved 10 Apr 20.
  4. Playstation blog: Shovel Knight Dig Announced for PS4, First Details, 28 Aug 19, retrieved 9 Apr 20.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Shacknews: Shovel Knight Dig: First hands-on preview from PAX West 2019, 1 Sept 19, retrieved 12 Apr 20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Yacht Club Games website: Shovel Knight Dig Press Kit, 28 Aug 19, retrieved 12 Apr 20.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 7.48 7.49 7.50 GameXplain on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig DIRECT FEED Demo Gameplay (Nintendo Switch), 21 Sept 19, retrieved 17 Mar 20.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Fanbyte: Why Yacht Club is Handing Shovel Knight Dig to Nitrome, 17 Sept 19, retrieved 16 Apr 20.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 USgamer: "We're Going to Make Shovel Knight Downwell:" Shovel Knight Dig Devs on Its Literal New Direction, 31 Aug 19, retrieved 11 Apr 20.
  10. 10.0 10.1 This can be seen in the PAX demo.
  11. Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [2], retrieved 26 May 21.
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 Shovel Knight Dig Press Kit - Screenshots.zip
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 13.20 13.21 13.22 13.23 13.24 13.25 13.26 13.27 13.28 Nitrome on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig Trailer, 11 Sept 2019, retrieved 15 Mar 20.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [3], 7 Apr 20, retrieved 14 Apr 20.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Nintendo Life: Hands On: Trust Us, You Guys Are Really Going To Dig Shovel Knight Dig, 4 Sept 19, retrieved 15 Apr 20.
  16. 16.0 16.1 As named in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 Wireframe magazine issue 33 → Shovel Knight Dig interview
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 Hardcore Gamer on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig Gameplay, 9 Sept 19, retrieved 18 Mar 20.
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 19.16 19.17 Nintendo World Report TV on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig - Switch Gameplay (PAX West 2019), 1 Sept 19, retrieved 27 Mar 20.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 GameSpot Gameplay on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig Gameplay - Mushroom Mines And Spore Knight Boss Fight, Aug 30 19, retrieved 30 Mar 20.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Tom's Guide: Shovel Knight Dig Shows No Mercy, 2 Sept 19, retrieved 13 Apr 20.
  22. 22.0 22.1 TheGamer: PAX East 2020: Shovel Knight Dig Feels Remarkably Similar To Shovel Knight, 29 Feb 20, retrieved 21 Apr 20.
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 23.15 23.16 23.17 23.18 Shacknews on YouTube: Shovel Knight Dig - Gameplay, 9 Sept 19, retrieved 18 Mar 20.
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 Yacht Club Games on YouTube: Yacht Club Games Presents 2.26.20, 26 Feb 20, retrieved 26 Feb 20.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Yacht Club Games on YouTube: Yacht Club Games Presents 8.28.19, 28 Aug 19, retrieved 21 Apr 20.
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 Some of the enemy names in this section are taken from the "Official Shovel Knight Enemy Names" and "Official Specter of Torment Enemy Names" blog posts by Yacht Club Games.
  27. Yacht Club website: Update Notes, ?, retrieved 18 Mar 20.
  28. Shovel Knight Dig Press Kit - Sprites.zip -> molethief_steal.png (shows an image of a mole thief opening its bag)
  29. Jon Annal on Twitter: [4], 10 Feb 21, retrieved 14 May 21.
  30. Yachut Club Games on Twitter: [5], 1 Sept 19, retrieved 19 Mar 20.
  31. Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [6]: NOBODY: How was the Pax East Shovel Knight Dig demo different from the Pax West one?

    Yacht Club Games: Same demo!'', 19 Mar 20, retrieved 19 Mar 20.
  32. Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [7], 26 Feb 20, retrieved 19 Mar 20.
  33. https://twitter.com/Jon_Annal/status/1359593107822678026
  34. Shovel Knight Dig Press Kit - Sprites.zip -> spore_knight_spores.png (an image of Spore Knight in the same position as when she does this attack)
  35. Yacht Club Games on YouTube: Yacht Club Games Presents 8.28.19, 28 Aug 19, retrieved 11 Apr 20.
  36. Yacht Club Games on Twitter: [8]: Shovel Knight Dig is still in early phases of development, it does not yet have final release platforms and versions., 2 Sept 19, retrieved 22 Apr 20.
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