Exclusive: When Is ‘Shovel Knight Dig’ Set? Here is the official Shovel Knight timeline

Shovel Knight Excavation
Image: Yacht Club Games / Nintendo Life

Since Shovel Knight’s initial release in 2014, Yacht Club Games’ 2D adventure title has become a true franchise thanks to the inclusion of spin-off titles Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon and Shovel Knight Dig. The latter is the latest release in the franchise and is already available on the Switch eShop; Be sure to check out our full review for all of our thoughts on the roguelite platformer.

Of course, in addition to the three downloadable story campaigns for Shovel Knight, the introduction of Shovel Knight Dig means that the overall narrative and lore of the franchise has been significantly expanded as well. It begs the question: when does Shovel Knight Dig take place and what is the complete timeline of Shovel Knight?

Well, we spoke to Yacht Club Game Marketing Manager Celia Schilling to get some much-needed answers. We delve into the aforementioned Shovel Knight timeline, the Hexcavators and Order of No Quarter, and the stories of the Mole Knight and Tinker Knight.


Nintendo Life: Since Specter of Torment was also a prequel to Shovel of Hope, where exactly does Shovel Knight Dig fit in?

Celia Schilling, Marketing Manager, Yacht Club: Story-wise, Shovel Knight Dig is the first game in the Shovel Knight series. That makes it a prequel that takes place even before Specter of Torment! You may remember the opening line from the first Shovel Knight game: “Long ago, the lands were untamed and roamed by legendary adventurers.” Well, Dig takes you back to those old days, when Shovel Knight and Shield Knight were searching together, fighting bad guys and looking for treasure. We hope fans are interested in playing the events leading up to the original saga.

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Official Shovel Knight Timeline
Image: Yacht Club Games

Beyond the obvious fact that they are new creations for this game, is there any canon reason why the new knights weren’t in the All-out Order?

The first is Drill Knight, the leader of the Hexcavators: as a notorious criminal mastermind, he’d likely view the Order’s job as an entry-level position. Also…once he formed Dig’s team, I’m pretty sure he learned that joining a bigger team means a smaller split of the riches.

As for Scrap Knight, Hive Knight, and Spore Knight, they likely have their reasons for not joining the Order later on, reasons you’ll find out by playing Dig! Anyway, I don’t think the Enchantress appreciates all the junk, maggots, and fungal stents infesting the Tower of Fate.

And vice versa, is there a reason the other members of the No Quarter Order wouldn’t join the Hexcavators?

Hmmm, a canon reason? They don’t know each other yet! Specter Knight is still Donovan! So, he’s doing thief things together with Luan in the land of the living. Treasure Knight is busy being a pirate. King Knight is still taking advantage of his mother’s house eating cakes etc. Maybe you’ll even learn more on Dig…

As developers, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove already featured the story of Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight. When creating Shovel Knight Dig, we wanted to highlight a few other members of the Order! From there, it was a process of elimination. Propeller Knight flies through the sky, so it doesn’t make sense for him to be underground. Maybe Polar Knight would be too hot under the ground… and so on. We chose Mole Knight in particular because we thought it was really fun to change his outfit for a different item. His internal name was “Aqua Mole Knight” for a long time. Maybe in the next game he will have an electric or grass suit! As for Tinker Knight, the little tech fiend fits the bill perfectly. All heists need brains behind the force! We’re sure we’ll be featuring more of our colorful cast of characters at some point in the future. Who do you think would be fun to see next?

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How will this game delve into the stories of Mole Knight and Tinker Knight, since they are both Hexcavators at this point?

Shovel Knight Dig gave us the opportunity to get to know who Tinker Knight and Mole Knight are as characters. Tinker Knight signed with the Hexcavators as an engineer! The little intriguer found interest in the interesting problems he had to solve under the ground. Mole Knight, on the other hand, joined the team after being wowed by Drill Knight’s tunnel-drilling prowess. We don’t want to spoil too much, so you’ll have to play the game to find out more about the deep interpersonal dynamics of the Hexcavators!


Many thanks to Celia Schilling for taking the time to chat with us. Shovel Knight Dig is available now on the Nintendo Switch eShop for the price of $24.99 / £22.49.


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