YMMV / Shovel Knight

  • 8.8: Gamespot gave it a 7 out of 10, despite listing no negative qualities about the game. After extensive pressure from commenters, the reviewer elaborated the game lacked longevity... despite not playing the New Game+ or co-op modes (not to mention at least three updates planned at the time that would allow players to replay the game as different Boss Knights). They then chose Shovel Knight as their game of the month.
  • Author's Saving Throw: There were quite a few who were disappointed that co-op was only going to be exclusive to the Wii U version of the game while a few Wii U fans were upset that said exclusive feature would require an Amiibo to activate, which given Amiibo stock issues in most retail stores in general compiled with the fact that it was the only 3rd Party Amiibo, made the figurine VERY difficult to find. In early 2017, when announcing the Switch version and the Treasure Trove edition, Yacht Club Games announced that co-op was going to come to all versions of the game (sans the 3DS and Vita), with the Amiibo requirement removed.
    • PC users lamented that their version didn't get a Bonus Boss or features specific to their version. After two years, the previously Xbox One-exclusive Battletoads were made available for PC in Oct 5, 2017.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • King Knight. Either hilarious with a fun design or the most boring and underdeveloped of the Order, with some people wishing someone else got third place in the "Dig The Vote" Ballot.
    • The Guest Fighters, on multiple levels. Some find them to be great inclusions (especially for Rare fans who see the Battletoads' inclusion as a Pet the Dog moment from Microsoft). Nintendo fans are upset that not only are they devoid of such a privilege, but that a previously Nintendo-only game now has nothing that puts it above its competitors in terms of content. Sony fans feel that Kratos' inclusion is wildly out of place compared to the rest of the game (not to mention people tired of seeing Kratos' Wolverine Publicity), and the developers' original idea of using Sir Daniel Fortesque would've been much better suited.
    • And with the addition of Shovel Knight as a bonus boss in Gunvolt 2, it made some wonder why the hero of that game hasn't been added to the PC/Nintendo versions (systems that have at least one gunvolt game).
    • Gall, some think he's charming due to his appearance, manner of speaking, and of course, the "Kiss of Death," while others hate him due to the Kiss of Death being all sorts of gross, and only serving the purpose of killing you.
  • Broken Base:
    • People are torn about the romantic bent of the main plot in the Plague of Shadows expansion. Some people find it very charming, and feel it does a lot to humanize the otherwise-rather stock characterization of Plague Knight, while others found it a cliche and anticlimactic way to take the story, especially since Plague Knight's "Dig The Vote" section mentioned that the player would learn about his past, which wasn't alluded to at all. Some just Take a Third Option and consider it an Excuse Plot, deciding to judge the game based on the new gameplay mechanics and not the story.
    • Another widely discussed addition from Plague of Shadows is the actual gameplay of Plague Knight himself. Some find his slow movement, complicated jumping mechanics and reliance on projectiles a pain, while others find his frantic yet fairly customizable skillset to be very entertaining to tinker with, adding more to the Shovel Knight formula.
    • The King of Cards expansion has a few reasons even though it's not out yet. It's another prequel to Shovel Knight's story, which means that any lingering questions players may have about the resolutions of the main campaign is unlikely. It's also Denser and Wackier than Specter of Torment and Plague of Shadows, which doesn't sit well with some people as those two were considered to have strong stories. And lastly, King Knight is already a Base-Breaking Character himself, so the fact he's definitely having his own expansion has continued to be a sore spot for the people angry he even got Promoted to Playable in the first place.
  • Breather Boss: Because King Knight and Specter Knight don't gain any new moves during their rematches, they're relatively simple compared to the other members of the Order.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The girl with the broccoli hair at the inn bar invites you to watch her dance. Completely pointless to the game, but well animated and amusing to watch nonetheless (and it's a fun Shout-Out to similar NPCs in the early Final Fantasy games).
    • The Troupple King's Dance is also pretty hilarious and thankfully optional after the first time he gives you an ichor.
    • If you wait long enough in Armor Outpost you'll find a NPC with the same armor of Shovel Knight walking around, except he has a fish head.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Before the game had come out, many had already figured out that The Enchantress was a possessed Shield Knight, due to the placement of her beauty mark, and the two being the only major female characters in the game advertised at that point. Given the general design of the game, this might have been deliberate.
  • Complete Monster: The Enchantress, in the Specter of Torment prequel campaign, blackmails Specter Knight into working for her; turns Reize Brainwashed and Crazy to replace an exposition Mook; forces the Order of No Quarter to work for her under threat of death; later on transforms Reize into an Eldritch Abomination phantom form in which he is clearly in great pain; and actively kills civilians and innocent people to depopulate a village. All she wishes for is to Take Over the World, starting with the Valley and expanding her rule, using the Order and her minions as tools in a machine, and in the main game using Shield Knight as a vessel. Pure, unadulterated evil, with no remorse ever shown for her vile actions, the Enchantress very much stands out compared to the rest of the lighthearted or even tragic villains in the game.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Due to his large frame and old-fashion diver design, Treasure Knight is frequently compared to the Big Daddies from BioShock. Specifically Subject Delta because of their arm weaponry and similar helmet designs.
    • In terms of their contrasting personalities and gameplay styles, many people are saying that Plague Knight is the Luigi to Shovel Knight's Mario.
    • Due to taking the form of his idealized self and critical behavior toward Plague Knight in what little dialogue it does get, The Plague Of Shadows/Corrupted Essence has been compared to the Shadows from Persona 4.
    • Let's see, he's going on an adventure for self-serving purposes, he has an affinity for gross things (in this case, rats) and an infatuation for treasure, and he navigates levels with a powerful shoulder dash. So in King of Cards, King Knight's basically turned into Wario.
  • Crazy Awesome: Plague Knight. Hyper, erratic, and psychotic, this guy will make you feel like an all-powerful psycho while playing as him in Plague of Shadows.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Butt Mode replaces certain words (specifically Shovel, Knight, Health and Magic) with the word butt. While already funny on its own, this means characters like Black Knight will say things like:
    Black Butt: Steel thy butt!
  • Demonic Spiders: The Green Propeller mooks (appropriately named Hover Meanies) introduced in Propeller Knight's stage. They LOVE to push you into Bottomless Pits every time they appear and these enemies are rather fast and difficult to deal with since you'll have to watch your footing while dealing with them. As if that's not enough, they might even push you back far enough that once you do kill them, you'll advance and find they've just respawned again. They will make you rage in the Tower of Fate.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Specter Knight, Plague Knight, and King Knight. Specter won the playable boss contest by a large margin, while the other two were popular enough to also get their own campaigns.
    • Among the bosses that didn't get campaigns, Treasure Knight is well-liked, due to his resemblance to the Big Daddies. Their Body Swap design is also the most popular of the various Swap designs, for how classy it is.
    • Everybody loves the Propeller Rats! The Clockwork Rats and Plague Rats later in the game are just as cute if a bit more threatening!
    • The Spinwulfs, the wolves on the Stranded Ship, became a huge hit. It helps that they have a cute design, howl, and have just as much trouble on the ice blocks as you do.
    • Gall, despite doing pretty much nothing plot important in Specter of Torment, is well-liked due to the "Kiss of Death" gag.
    • Reize, due to his Stupid Good tendencies and his role in Specter of Torment. Compared to his other roles, his presence in Shovel Knight is his most known.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • What would be dug into in the other Order Knights' campaigns?
    • The backstories of each knight tend to be ripe for Fanon interpretation.
    • Donovan and Luan's relationship prior to Specter of Torment has been a source of interest in the fandom.
  • Faux Symbolism: King Knight can stun Shovel Knight with one of his attacks which will make him kneel, what he does next? Bash him with his scepter. He's "Knighting" him.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Why one would use a shovel as weapon? Because not only it is a weapon, it is also useful to dig up treasure! It also helps to remind that Shovel Knight was previously an adventurer and, quite possibly, a treasure hunter.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Due to its Kickstarter origins, it isn't uncommon to find Shovel Knight backers also backing other video game kickstarters, such as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, Mighty No. 9, Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. These are the five more successful ones, as the Blue Burrower also finds his way onto other projects in some way, such as being an NPC in Yooka-Laylee where he's embarked on an adventure so large, he ended up in the wrong game.
    • With Freedom Planet fans, as its 16 bit little sister. Both are indie-developed Retraux games funded on Kickstarter that came out within a month of each other, are throwbacks to the golden age of platformers, and have detailed pixel art and excellent gameplay.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Remember that funny scene at the end of Plague of Shadows where Specter Knight gets mad when he finds his locket stolen by Plague Knight? It was the locket he used to resurrect Reize at the cost of his own life, Luan's gift to him before his demise, and the reason he's stuck as the Enchantress's eternal slave.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Phase Locket found in the Lich Yard. It's one of the first magic items you can acquire and grants two seconds of invincibility. Combine that with a low use cost and the fact that most enemies drop magic refills on death and you can cheese your way through otherwise difficult fights and puzzles. The cost was later increased to make it much less game breaking, especially if your magic hasn't been upgraded very far.
    • For Plague of Shadows, there's the Float Burst. It causes you to slowly float down after your burst. This not only makes platforming much easier, but it also can make some bosses much easier since you can float above them and keep throwing down bombs on them. Combined with the Vat, you can easily just fly over all the enemies in a room or kill them while they can't touch you at all.
    • Plague Knight's sheer variety of weapons and abilities means that you can build a strategy to shatter nearly any challenge in the game. Boss giving you trouble? Hide in a smoke bomb and spam cluster or cascade bombs! Running low on health? Get some distance and spam shot bursts or component bomb blasts while sipping leech liquid. With a little cleverness, you can break the game over your knee.
    • The Component Powder in Plague Knight's mode. It allows you to create bigger explosions every time you throw a bomb onto the same spot, with its biggest explosion releasing projectiles in a "+" pattern. This can be used to get enemies that are out of reach and can deal additional damage to bosses, if not at least hitting them if you miss. The best thing about this is that it unlocks early in the game after you beat King Knight and Specter Knight, provided you collected each and every cipher coin up to that point, and only costs about 4000 gold.
    • A large number of bosses and enemies that spend any extended amount of time on the ground can be easily trivialized with a combination of Bounce Casing, Sparkle Powder and Impact Fuse and repeatedly throwing the bombs at the enemy while jumping: the spark hits the enemies once and the explosion after that deals a second hit, allowing you to quickly shred their life to 0 in record time. The only largely grounded enemies that don't take additional damage from these bombs are Shovel Knight and Black Knight since they possess Knock Back and extended Mercy Invincibility.
    • The Custom Knight in the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game, unlocked with the Shovel Knight amiibo. Custom Knight quickly gains relics, health, and magic points just by leveling up (done by collecting gold), and also gets exclusive abilities like the Double Jump or Dash Boots or new relics like the Infinidagger or Lift Dagger. These new abilities and relics trivialize many of the game's platforming challenges since they greatly increase Shovel Knight's mobility. On the flipside, achievements are disabled for that save file if you decide to use them.
    • The Will Skull in Specter of Torment, which allows you to recover three Will for a fairly low Darkness cost, making it a very frequently used Curio among players. Coupled with the Cloak of Clemency (which prevents you from dying to spikes or pits, for the cost of Will and Darkness), this makes Specter Knight nigh-unkillable. Given that the New Game+ not only disables it, but renders it redundant (your Will and Darkness are merged, and steadily go down, forcing you to be more conservative and careful with Curios), somebody on the dev team probably caught on.
    • The Judgement Orb, also in Specter of Torment, which causes Specter Knight to charge for a second and leap to the nearest enemy. Used for platforming, this ability allows you to completely bypass certain hard platforming segments as it zips you to the enemy through any walls, spikes, or other hazards, and leaves you at your destination instead of returning to your starting position, and this also make it possible to save yourself from bottomless pits. Used for combat, it's even stronger, as it does as much damage as a charged slash without leaving you wide open or needing the specific cloak for it, and its homing makes it very potent for slow enemies or enemies with a low rotation. Upgraded by Legion it charges much faster and also makes you invincible while charging it. The only real balancing factor is that it's something of a darkness hog, and to get it to show up at Red you have to complete The Flying Machine, which is easily the most brutal platforming in the expansion, especially if you rush to try to get it early without other curios.
    • The Skeletal Sentry from, once again, Specter of Torment, which allows you to summon a Boneclang to shoot spread projectiles at your enemies, for not much Darkness. It's even more potent when upgraded, having more health, being able to shred grounded bosses to bits, even Polar Knight. The only real balancing factor is that bosses will prioritize getting rid of it, but by that point will have lost a lot of health for it to be an issue for you.
  • Genius Bonus: The Order of No Quarter's name might sound silly, but "No Quarter" is a real term; it basically means no mercy.
  • Genius Programming: The Plague of Shadows update brings about a fair amount of optimizations on the 3DS version, enough to decrease the filesize significantly, according to Yacht Club Games.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The Knight enemies. While not horribly difficult to handle on normal circumstances, they have more health than most enemies and are generally placed in segments that makes them either difficult to fight or avoid altogether without resorting to a relic. They descend into the Demonic Spiders territory quite easily on New Game+.
    • The Flying Knives in Clock Tower. They constantly spawn and fly across three screens. Their damage is minimal, but they also knock you back in rooms where a small knock back can drop you onto spikes or into a pit. The ladder in the auto-scrolling screen is particularly annoying as you have no time to try again if one knocks you back and usually three Flying Knives pass over it while you climb.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses:
    • Many players complained about Tinker Knight battle being too easy. Ironically, the complain wasn't about the first part who's Played for Laughs, but the second part with the Tinker Tank. Indeed, once you reach the head, you only have to spam the down hit on Tinker Knight and dodge shoulder missiles to win (you can even use the Phase Locket to dodge the mecha's charge and stay on the other shoulder).
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Plague Knight's comment about "might makes right" being the Order of No Quarter's motto became this once Specter of Torment was unveiled. The only reason the Order exists at all is because Specter Knight strong-armed the knights into joining it.
    • At the end of the Boss Rush in the original campaign Specter Knight tells Shovel Knight he has no chance of defeating the Enchantress. Before Specter of Torment this sounded a lot like him simply being confident in his master but afterwards his dismissively brooding remark is much sadder; Specter Knight already tried to defeat the Enchantress himself...and he failed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This is not the first time a hero wielding a shovel squared off against an evil king atop a castle to save his beloved.
    • Depending on the version you have, Shovel Knight can fight either one of two console-exclusive Guest Fighter Bonus Bosses: Kratos or the Battletoads. A year later, Shovel Knight becomes exactly that by being an Amiibo-exclusive boss in the sequel to Azure Striker Gunvolt.
    • Due to Polar Knight's That One Boss status, his line at the rematch introduction ("Pass the salt") suddenly becomes hilarious. Explanation 
    • Some fans of the game actually lamented that the extra campaigns for the game were added for free via updates, due to the quality of Plague of Shadows. In 2017, it was announced that all the campaigns would be turned into their own purchasable, standalone downloadable titles, unless you already owned the game before then.
    • Kratos, the Sony-exclusive boss, can only be fought in Shovel of Hope rather late in the game, around the time you can meet Polar Knight, a Viking-themed character. God of War (PS4) would transplant Kratos to Norse mythology.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Gall seems a bit too eager to practice his "Kiss of Death" on Specter Knight.
    • In the ending of Specter of Torment, the way Luan talks to Donovan about how he would want him to be part of his family combined with the fact that he says this after giving him the locket can be read like he's proposing to him.
  • Hype Backlash: With how many people praising the game as a great throwback to old NES games, it was only a matter of time before there were people who felt this way about the game.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Spectre Knight, as shown in Spectre of Torment. He's a greedy, obsessive thief who is partially responsible for freeing the Enchantress to possess Shield Knight, but he genuinely didn't know the amulet was cursed and he ends up being yanked around by the very demon he accidentally freed for the entire campaign.
    • Black Knight in general. Sure, he's a major dick to both Shovel Knight and Plague Knight, but it's only because he's afraid that they'll kill Shield Knight if they fight the Enchantress. Not to mention that he admits to lacking the courage to fight The Enchantress himself out of the fear of her magic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Due to the final campaign being called King of Cards, and features a card-based minigame, jokes about Yu-Gi-Oh! are relatively common.
    • SKATE OR DIEExplanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Specter of Torment, The Enchantress manipulates Specter Knight into joining the Order by threatening to turn Reize, who she'd already brainwashed, into her eighth Knight, unless Specter Knight gives up and joins her. It's clear she didn't even need Specter Knight anymore at that point; she just wanted to take everything away from him.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The little jingle that plays whenever Shovel Knight scrapes a chest empty or find a music sheet.
    • The *shing* sound made by Shield Knight when she's offering her help to attack The Enchantress or to protect you from her all-screen attack.
  • No Yay: Gall's "Kiss of Death". See Ho Yay above.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • A rather minor gripe all things considered, but On the Xbox and Playstation ports of the Plague of Shadows expansion, players need to pause the game and open the menu every single time they wish to change their bombs or abilities, which can grow extremely tiresome after awhile.
    • Using a cheat code locks the save file it is on out of any feats, including Butt Mode and relatively useless cheats such as changing the color of Shovel Knight's armor. While not that big of a concern, it can be seen as annoying and unneeded to prevent achievements when the player is likely just having some fun.
    • In the New Game+ of Specter of Torment, Darkness and Will are fused into one bar, but it naturally drains down, and using Curios still drains it. Combine that with less checkpoints and the Will Skull being outright deactivated, and life just got a whole lot harder.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Propeller/Specter Knight has a minor following despite only two real conversations shown between them.
    • Generally, any No Quarter ship applies to this due to knowing little to no details about their dynamic with one another.
    • Propeller Knight/Phantom Striker has no canonical backing or evidence whatsoever, but it's gaining a growing fandom.
  • Spiritual Licensee: To Mega Man and Super Mario Bros.. Given that Shovel Knight is an 8-bit love letter to those games, it's not surprising to see why.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Mona temporarily rejecting Plague Knight when she's led to believe he was manipulating her all along in Plague of Shadows. Made worse when the ending reveals that Plague Knight really did love her, and everything he did in the campaign was part of his desire to prove his worth to her.
    • The ending to Specter of Torment: While Specter Knight is able to free Reize from the Enchantress' control, he is forced to join the Order of No Quarter in Reize's stead and condemned to be the Enchantress' servant for eternity, helpless to watch as the Order begins its plans of conquest.
  • That One Achievement:
    • Perfect Platformer and Impossible, the first requires you not fall even once in a Bottomless Pit, the later not to die once. Thankfully the game doesn't record your deaths if you simply leave the stage to the world map.
    • Hurry Up! which requires the player to finish the game within 1h 30m, screw up a few times and you might as well restart the entire game again. Even returning to the map can become problematic since every time you do so the game will add few seconds to the total time which will accumulate if you restart one too many times. Some of the stress can be reduced with liberal abuse of the save game copy tool.
    • Dirt Poor. It requires you to get absolutely no gold during a run through a member of the Order of No Quarter which is harder than it sounds. You may inadvertently pick anything worth a single gold after breaking blocks of dirt or killing an enemy and there are several stages where getting this feat is impossible as there are gold worth gems right in places where you must pass.
    • True Shovelry. To earn it you must beat all levels not getting any relic at all, which means absolutely no recovery other than food, no cheesing out victories with Phase Locket and no sequence breaking with Propeller Dagger.
    • Penny Pincher is even worse. It requires you to spend no money at all. This means, in addition to the hardships from True Shovelry, you can't buy armor or shovel upgrades, and you can never have more than seven hearts of health. Luckily in New Game+, if you bought virtually everything in the original file, you can complete it again without these issues present.
  • That One Boss:
    • Specter Knight is one of the harder bosses in the game due to his fast movement, hard to avoid attacks and Interface Screw.
    • Plague Knight can easily become this on New Game+. Since you take double damage and he just doesn't stop throwing bombs it's quite likely that you'll either need full health and some Ichor of Renewal to beat him if you didn't learn his attack pattern or don't have reflexes to dodge his bombs.
    • Not only is Polar Knight able to block your bouncing move, move around quickly for a big dude, and is hard to hit, but he is one of 3 bosses who can insta-kill you (in his case, spikes). This makes him especially aggravating since he's one of the bosses who wasn't toned down to compensate in the Boss Rush. He is, however, easier to fight if you're playing as Plague Knight, since he can't trap you with the spikes (you can blast-jump AND use a rechargeable Smoke Bomb, which is basically a Phase Locket) and doesn't block your bombs. His incarnation in Specter of Torment is also rather hard to fight, due to the fact that one of Specter Knight's greatest advantages (his great air mobility) is negated due to how Polar Knight is largely unchanged (staying almost always planted on the ground), except for even more attacks that add spikes to the larger arena.
    • Regardless of who you play as, Propeller Knight can be a pain. Similar to Polar Knight, his (normal) boss battle has Instant Kill traps (in this case: Bottomless Pits). Even worse, he blows you around, and can even instant kill you by pushing you off the arena, since there's a 1-block gap between the edges of the screen and the edges of each edge of the arena. Oh, and also like Polar Knight, he can counter your pogo bounce, moves extremely fast, and stays high up most of the time so you need the Anchors to hit him. If you're playing as Plague Knight, hitting Propeller Knight at all is difficult due to having to deal with many bomb casings being worthless if he's flying. It's especially frustrating on a Minimalist Run necessary for an achievement, since you're stuck with the basic casing.
    • The Enchantress can One-hit KO you by virtue of bottomless pits, as the platform you fight her on is made of breakable blocks that either you or her can break. Granted, she also has an attack that restores some of the blocks.
    • Shovel Knight in Plague of Shadows. He can deflect your bombs, adapts to your strategy so you can't spam the same attacks, and technically has one and a half times as much health as the rest of the bosses. He's even worse in the Boss Rush where he's always the last boss. If you die to him there, you have to do the entire boss rush all over again!
    • Shield Knight in Specter of Torment. This boss will absolutely murder players that think they can throw attacks mindlessly to win and requires some patience and calm to hit the boss when they lower their guard.
    • Surprisingly, Tinker Knight in Specter of Torment. He's packing the mobile gear this time around, giving him greatly increased mobility and more attacks. He still calls in the Tinker tank when you beat him, only this time the arena constantly scrolls to the right, and he now fights independently of it by using the mobile gear to fly around out of striking range. The Tinker Tank moves erratically, frequently sending you to the ground where there is no way to hit Tinker Knight, and you must navigate around bottomless pits while he and his tank bombard you with attacks.
  • That One Level:
    • The Explodatorium, Plague Knight's stage, mostly in New Game+ mode. So many enemies in this stage can heavily damage Shovel Knight if unprepared, and the stage also contains one the most difficult knight variants - the green ones. Expect to heavily abuse the Phase Locket, and if you are trying for the no relic achievement, then good luck. In Plague of Shadows on New Game+, the first checkpoint isn't until after the miniboss halfway though the level, making a normally challenging level seem brutal.
    • Clockwork Tower, Tinker Knight's stage. The final segment of the stage will auto scroll upwards meaning it will constantly create Bottomless Pits, one mishap with the jump and it's back to the last checkpoint with a hit in your wallet.
    • Flying Machine, Propeller Knight's stage. Chock full of Bottomless Pits, has Demonic Spiders in several parts of the stage and wind physics that screw with your jumps in others. The level is much harder in Plague of Shadows due to Plague Knight's lower jumps and difficulty dealing with a majority of enemies in the stage.
    • Tower of Fate: Entrance. Difficult jumps? Check. Demonic Spiders? Check. Difficult boss? Check. This stage is regarded as one of the most difficult by players for a reason. Trying to finish it without relics is almost self flagellation.
    • Tower of Fate: Ascent. It has a segment where you must push a statue to create bridges all over a huge Bottomless Pit. The catch? Enemies positioned specifically to throw you off said statue and two green mooks from Propeller Knight's stage to downright blow you into the Bottomless Pit. It also has an auto scrolling section like Tinker Knight's stage, now with blocks moving around to crush you as well. It gets worse in New Game+, as the ONLY checkpoint in the level is the one right before the Boss Rush. Said boss rush is now even more difficult, as the you take double damage and full health turkeys come only after every OTHER fight. Though it so happens that the aforementioned statue section can actually be skipped entirely by getting the statue above the obstacles and just jumping above them (requires usage of the Propeller Dagger to clear some of the jumps, though).
    • For obvious reasons, Mysterious Area in the Xbox One version. It has you in modified versions of Wookie Hole and Turbo Tunnel, fighting Zitz and Rash in those areas respectively, and then fighting the whole Battletoads Team in a boss fight. The Wookie Hole is especially nasty as you undergo Checkpoint Starvation for the whole thing. Definitely hits the Nintendo Hard fans of Battletoads have been looking for.
    • For Plague of Shadows, The Iron Whale on New Game+. The first checkpoint isn't until after the angler fish miniboss, so you'll end up playing through a number of tricky platforming sections that will punish you if you abuse your charge jump too much. Combine that with the narrow platforms and relentlessly spawning mooks, and you're likely to just make it to the fight before being knocked off a platform into a bottomless pit. Getting past that wall leaves the rest of the level relatively easier, as long as you continue retrying.
    • Specter of Torment is already more difficult than the previous two campaigns, but Tower of Fate: Entrance takes it Up to Eleven, with numerous bottomless pits, crushers, and sections that require mastery of the Dash Slash. And then there's the rematch with the Black Knight. God help you if you're playing on New Game+.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Avoiding this trope is at least part of the reason that Shield Knight survives the ending of the game; the character wasn't developed well enough for the original plan to work.
    • One cannot help but feel at least a little miffed once they consider that each of the members of No Quarter might have Hidden Depths that could have been dug into in their proposed campaign. Polar Knight applies to this the most due to his implied relationship to Black Knight, and possibly Shield and Shovel Knight as well.
  • Unexpected Character: The Battletoads, who were previously exclusive only to Microsoft's consoles, were announced to be coming to all PC versions in October 2017.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Gall's "Kiss of Death", along with his design being rather androgynous, left people thinking he was female until Word of God clarified Gall was male.
  • Woolseyism: In the Japanese release, the Alchemy Coin was changed from a golden coin with Japanese text on it to a form of Japanese coin (one with a hole in the middle).
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