Some people adventure for wealth. For others, the wealth is in the adventure. Either way, you can be successful if you bounce off your enemies' heads.
For the second episode of season four, a pair of courageous, experienced treasure hunters go head to head. The hosts will test decades of experience against versatility through magic, a cudgel of a walking cane against a shovel doubling as a sword, for though Scrooge McDuck and Shovel Knight have conquered many foes and triumphed over many obstacles, a new sort of reward awaits them should they succeed in a death battle.
To begin, Wizard and Boomstick give a rundown of Scrooge McDuck, born to a poor Scottish family in the mid 1800s. On his tenth birthday, Scrooge was brought to the former castle of the McDuck Clan, a remnant of the family's lost glory, and seeking to help them regain their splendor, took up a job as a shoeshine boy, earning him his first dime. However, the dime was American currency, completely worthless in Scotland; furious he had been swindled out of a fair pay, Scrooge vowed to make his own fortune, and to do so by living up to what would become his personal mantra; to earn it by "being tougher than the toughies and sharper than the sharpies," and as such, he then ventured to America to begin his journey to acquire wealth.
His fortune has reached the quadrillions in terms of value in the present, and Scrooge has made every cent fairly, with the help of his lust for money driving his body past any perceived limits. The son of Fergus McDuck regularly demonstrates impressive feats of physicality, such as outrunning cheetahs and pushing back a 2000-plus pound water buffalo, but more impressive still is his own durability. Scrooge has survived several otherwise fatal happenings, ranging from being blasted with cannons and winning fights against throngs of wild animals to even living through the experience of traveling to the center of the earth itself. As if that were not enough, he also puts such a physique to good use, having trained with Buffalo Bill in knife fighting, and even arming himself with a plethora of weapons; though his tried and true implement is his walking stick, which doubles as both a bludgeon and an impromptu pogo stick. Though his manor is armed with a number of cannons to protect burglars from pilfering his wealth, Scrooge also possesses a collection of ray guns that shoot through solid titanium or have more esoteric features, such as firearms that strip an object of their natural friction and inertia, rendering them unable to stop themselves from sliding about uncontrollably or having minimal impact against other material.
Over the course of his myriad adventures, little has kept the Scot duck from achieving his lifelong goal, little beyond himself; even at 150 years old, where his body is less adjusted, he still seeks treasures and riches, and furthermore, his obsession with wealth can consume him to the point of a one-track mind, focused on how to become richer and nothing else. Likewise, his family's infamous temper is made manifest within him; though not as problematic as is the case with his sister Hortense or his famous nephew Donald, Scrooge still is prone to flying into a fury should his wealth be threatened, which can be just as much a boon as it can be a hindrance depending on the circumstances. Even then, he has earned his fortune through his setbacks, and can rest assured that his childhood quest will continuously be fulfilled.
- Scrooge McDuck: (narrating an experience where he was cornered by a wolf while retrieving a sack of money) I don't know which was wilder in those days: the wolves or me. (the young Scrooge growls at the wolf, who slowly backs away)
With Scrooge given his fair study, the hosts then cover his newest opponent, Shovel Knight, champion of a land of fantasy alongside his love and partner, Shield Knight. The pair traveling the land were among the most famous adventurers until they encountered the Tower of Fate, where a cursed amulet took Shield Knight away from Shovel Knight. Distraught by the experience, Shovel Knight gave up the hero's life in pursuit of agriculture; and it would be only then that the villainous Enchantress and her followers of knights, the Order of No Quarter, beseieged the land, letting evil reign unchecked. Though Shovel Knight would have been content to let his retirement continue, the Tower of Fate re-emerged, and Shovel Knight took the opportunity to reunite with his love.
Fighting his way through the land would have been a much more formidable challenge for Shovel Knight were it not for his trademark weapon, the Shovel Blade, a sharpened shovel that lets him excavate and do battle. After letting the Shovel Smith works upon the tool, the Shovel Blade has since been upgraded to the point where its master can perform a downward lunge in midair, fire sparks of energy, and release a much more devastating blow after charging his attack. In addition, by traveling through the domains ruled over by the Order of No Quarter, Shovel Knight bears with him several relics, artifacts that require magic to operate, but grant much more versatility in his repertoire. These range from projectiles such as the Throwing Anchor, Flare Wand, and Chaos Sphere, to mobility options such as the Propeller Dagger and Mobile Gear, and even some defensive relics via the troupple chalices, filled with ichor that can render Shovel Knight invincible or even restore his health and magic to full capacity. His armor itself is little of a setback either, primarily the Dynamo Mail, which builds up energy for his Charge Handle attack with every hit and still offers valuable defensive properties.
During his trek to rescue Shield Knight, Shovel Knight has come across a number of obstacles, such as dodging cannonballs and magical fireballs, holding his breath underwater indefinitely, and most importantly, defeating the entirety of the Order of No Quarter, Enchantress included. Likewise, when characters from other realms, such as the Battletoads and Kratos arrive to challenge him, Shovel Knight is just as quick to answer the call. Though having gone through all of his experiences, Shovel Knight may not be the most intelligent among them, having only given up on finding Shield Knight for thinking she was dead without checking to verify. But when brought to the fore of action, Shovel Knight is there, ready to take his foes on.
- Shovel Knight: (bounces off Shield Knight to dive onto the Enchantress, defeating her)
Both combatants have had their moment to shine, and are prepped and ready to go. One advertisement for Blue Apron delivery service later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
A long winding pathway in Duckburg is where the battle to come opens, for on the trail is the adventurous Shovel Knight, defeater of the Order of No Quarter. His attention is rapt at the presence of a sapphire and following it, a chain of riches leading to McDuck Manor. Heartily skipping upon the premises, a hoard of treasures seemingly awaits him, which the knight is all too eager to indulge himself in. However, his timing is poor, for from the end of the hallway emerges Scrooge McDuck, the manor's owner and collector of the wealth he now catches Shovel Knight adorning himself with. His family temper taking control, he rushes at the knight, knocking him out the chest. Shovel Knight accepts this attack and the two foes clash, their unseeming weapons crossed and locked against one another.
Shovel Knight gains the clear lead early on, battering his anatid combatant with a flurry of shovel strikes. Scrooge soon recovers and retreats deeper into the manor, blocking the path and preventing Shovel Knight from following. But this proves to be little more than a minor setback to the follower of shovelry, taking hold of the Dust Knuckles and punching the blockade aside, where a lavish banquet table presides; at its end is none other than Scrooge, stomping and fussing at the knight. With a Drop Spark, the projectile travels across the table, knocking the duck into a wall. Though disoriented for a brief moment, seeing vases and trophies nestled atop their stands gives the quadrillionaire an idea.
The knight's focus is briefly thrown astray upon seeing the décor bundled in a pile between Scrooge, who, with his cane, bats a vase at Shovel Knight, though the Flare Wand bursts it. Trophies, busts, and more vases are soon launched at Shovel Knight, but his Shovel Drop gives the teal-armored hero protection, bouncing off the novelties and closing the distance on Scrooge. Barely rolling out the way of another drop, the duck calls upon his manor's defenses, a cannon bursting out from the floorboards, its sights aimed at Shovel Knight. The cannonball itself, however, does little damage to its intended target, who uses a Fishing Rod to catch the projectile and twirl it back to Scrooge, the cannon's weight knocking him through the floor.
Only thanks to his iconic money pit does Scrooge survive, gold and jewels breaking his fall. While he swims out the path of the falling cannon, Shovel Knight takes hold of a ladder adjacent to the pool, awestruck at the plethora of wealth filling it. The duo resume their conflict as Shovel Knight leaps upon the gold, a heated barrage of trading canes, shovels, and relics following in his wake. Scrooge attempts his trademark pogo stick bounce upon Shovel Knight, who shrugs it off, tosses away the wealthiest duck alive, and plows into him with the Dust Knuckles. As Scrooge regains footing, trying to catch his breath, he finds himself met by another onslaught of shovel strikes, beating him backward with the final one causing him to bleed.
By now Scrooge has had enough, as he takes out his more advanced equipment; his anti-inertia and neutra-friction rays at the ready. With a simultaneous blast does Shovel Knight get trapped, slipping in the gold and losing his trademark shovel as it slips skyward, ready for Scrooge to catch. A mighty leap into the air gives him the opening he needs as he positions himself dead above Shovel Knight, tearing through his armor and cleaving into his neck; with every bounce, the gash in the shovelry practitioner's neck grows wider before Scrooge tears Shovel Knight's head clean off, glaring furiously at his remains sinking into the treasure hoard.
While Shovel Knight's head finds itself atop a post, serving as a warning to other would-be thieves, his shovel is put to good use, as Scrooge uses it to stash away his wealth. Shovel Knight, the hosts admit, was outclassed in many a regard here; first and foremost being the decades of experience Scrooge had over him. While Scrooge has fought knights and magicians before, never has Shovel Knight come across a foe much like Scrooge himself. Likewise, even his feats of durability and speed far surpass anything Shovel Knight had to offer; using the latter as an example, Scrooge was once shown throwing a silver dollar across the whole of the 1300-foot-wide Potomac River, rowboating to the other side, and catching the coin, which they calculate he accomplished in slightly more than five seconds. In addition, there was little Shovel Knight could have to defend himself against the more exotic fare that Scrooge had on hand, and what he did have was hindered by his limited supply of magic. Though accomplished they may both be, Shovel Knight is much too underwhelming in comparison to what his foe has had offered to him.
- Boomstick: Looks like Shovel Knight dug his own grave.
Wiz: The winner is Scrooge McDuck!
Scrooge McDuck vs. Shovel Knight contains examples of:
- Continuity Nod:
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Despite being horrifically eclipsed in strength, speed, and durability to Scrooge, Shovel Knight manages to dominate almost all of the fight, giving Scrooge a huge beating while taking little to no damage from the duck... until Scrooge brings out his Anti-Inertia Ray and Neutra-Friction Ray.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Wiz's pronunciation of "troupple" goes against Shovel Knight lore (the Troupple acolyte says its proper pronunciation rhymes with "mouthful;" the way he pronounces it sounds similar to "trouble").
- Something Completely Different: This is the first (and so far only) fully 8 bit fight.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The jaunty, cheery Ducktales theme plays while Scrooge is busy ripping Shovel Knight's head off.
- Values Dissonance: Brought up briefly when the hosts discuss how Scrooge was taught "injun style" knife-fighting by Buffalo Bill.