With the recent release of the Plague Knight expansion Plague of Shadows, I have decided to look back on the wacky bunch of evil-doers that you face during Shovel Knight. This week on Boss Rush I will be looking at the many faces that make up the Order of No Quarter and pick out my personal favourites. In case you don’t know what Shovel Knight is by now (have you been under a rock?), it was a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign with an even more successful release back in June of last year. Being many people’s game of the year (mine included), the game grew a rabid fan base. The titular character even gained his own amiibo, releases on almost every system and even the creation of physical copies (not too bad for a indie darling about shovels). The game did well due to expertly crafted levels, a robust shovel bouncing mechanic, and of course, lovable bosses.
The story of Shovel Knight tells the tale of the titular character and his partner, Shield Knight. We quickly learn of how Shield Knight disappeared through mysterious circumstances one faithful adventure, leaving Shovel Knight to retire his gardening equipment. Years later, the evil enchantress begins her conquest across the realm, taking over the minds of Shovel Knights fellow knights, corrupting them for her evil schemes. This group of corrupted armour wearing goofballs are dubbed, the Order of No Quarter, and are a collection of seven bosses, each with their own original personality and gimmicks that come into how you beat them. Every member of this group is memorable in their own unique way, but I will be looking at my own personal favourites of the bunch. Lets start this party off right with the ruler of all, King Knight.
Starting things off right, the first boss we come across is the flamboyant and pompous monarch of land, King Knight. The reason I believe this beginners boss fight is truly memorable is due to the sheer amount of charm and personality King Knight throws at you. The dumb over the top opening dialogue (reminiscent of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Dracula speech) the various regal poses he struts and the ridiculous victory trumpets and confetti that scatter across the screen as he fights. Things didn’t go so well for him after all was done however, as he ends up losing his throne and generally becoming one of the least liked knights across the kingdom due to his cocky attitude and generally being a jerk. Things may change for the guy though, as he is one of the three knights who are receiving their own DLC campaigns. Sure he may have been the simplest and the easiest of the order, but he made a great first impression and got me excited for who I was to face next in my quest.
Without a doubt, Polar Knight was my favourite of the seven bosses you fought during your quest. For one, I think he had by far the best character design (I like big burly guys, what can I say?). As a
once close friend to Shovel Knight, Polar Knight is torn in his battle against his ally, giving him a stoic and brooding personality, just like the harsh climate he comes from. The fight is where Polar Knight shines through, as his battle is where the game decides to ramp up the difficulty. Polar Knight fights with a massive snow shovel, throwing huge clumps of frozen debris into the air, landing across the battlefield. These distractions mixed with his large hulking body running towards you makes the fight a significant challenge. While Polar Knight does feel remorse for the troubles he has caused, he remains the saddest out of all the endings, as he dwells back into the cold mountains, alone. This guy was my first pick for a DLC campaign, but sadly he wasn’t one of the lucky three to be chosen by the public. It would seem that this knight’s story ends on rather sombre note. Hopefully he shows up in a DLC campaign along the way, I would be sad for this to be the last we saw of him.
Last but most certainly not shortest, I mean least, is Tinker Knight. Tinker Knight is memorable to me solely for how creative, silly and dumb his boss fight was, which did I mention how dumb it is? As you can probably tell by my jokes and the image to the side, Tinker Knight is a little fellow, with a huge attitude. Due to this physical difference between him and the other knights, he had to find a way to use his brains and metal to create a way to be strong. When you finally get around to battling the little guy, you are stuck by not only how adorable he is, but by the fact his fight is literally just him flailing around throwing wrenches at you. Or is it? Well spoilers, you beat his first form, dropping you into a pit where you find him piloting a gigantic battle robot. This is where his real battle begins, and while its still a fairly easy fight, the fact that the littlest knight in the game became one of my top picks says something.
All the members of the Order of No Quarter are memorable in their own way, even their evil leader, the Enchantress gives enough sassy one liners to remain in my memories of the game. Shovel Knight and its many characters are one of the many reasons why this game was a colossal success, and without a doubt one of the best original IPs in recent memory. Lets hope the next two DLC campaigns for King Knight and Specter Knight add more fun memories to an already wonderful game.
Are you a fan of Shovel Knight? Let us know who was your favourite boss in the comments.