Shovel Knight Dig
Image: Nintendo Life / Yacht Club Games

Since the initial launch of Shovel Knight back in 2014, Yacht Club Games' 2D adventure title has since blossomed into a bonafide franchise thanks to the inclusion of spin-off titles Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon and Shovel Knight Dig. The latter is the latest release from the franchise and is available now on the Switch eShop; be sure to check out our full review for all 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 for the franchise has also expanded significantly. It begs the question: when does Shovel Knight Dig take place, and what is the full Shovel Knight timeline?

Well, we spoke with Yacht Club Game's 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 histories of Mole Knight and Tinker Knight.

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

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 might remember the intro line from the first Shovel Knight game - “Long ago, the lands were untamed, and roamed by legendary adventurers.” Well, Dig takes you back to these good ‘ol days, when Shovel Knight and Shield Knight quested together, fighting baddies and seeking treasure! We hope fans will be interested to play the events leading up to the original saga.

Shovel Knight Official Timeline
Image: Yacht Club Games

Beyond the obvious fact that they're new creations for this game, is there a canon reason why the new knights weren't in the Order of No Quarter?

First up is Drill Knight, the leader of the Hexcavators - as a famous criminal mastermind, he’d likely see the Order job as an entry-level position. Besides… once he formed the team for Dig, I am pretty sure he learned that joining a larger 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 up with the Order later on down the line - reasons you’ll discover by playing Dig! Regardless, I do not think the Enchantress would appreciate all the trash, grubs, and shroom stents infesting the Tower of Fate.

And vice versa, is there a reason why the other members of the Order of No Quarter did not join the Hexcavators?

Hmmm, a canon reason? They haven’t met yet! Specter Knight is still Donovan! So, he’s off doing thieving stuff alongside Luan in the land of the living. Treasure Knight is busy being a pirate. King Knight is still freeloading at his mom’s house eating pies, etc. Maybe you’ll even learn more in Dig…

As devs, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove already featured Plague Knight, Specter Knight and King Knight’s story. When creating Shovel Knight Dig, we wanted to highlight some other members of the Order! From there, it was a process of elimination. Propeller Knight flies around in the sky so it doesn’t make sense for him to be underground. Maybe Polar Knight would be too toasty beneath the earth… and so on. We picked Mole Knight in particular because we thought it was really funny to change his outfit to a different element. His internal name was “Aqua Mole Knight” for the longest time. Maybe in the next game, he’ll have an electric or grass-themed suit! As for Tinker Knight, the tiny tech fiend fit right in. All heists need brains behind the brawn! We’re sure we’ll feature more of our colorful cast of characters at some point in the future. Who do you think it would be fun to see next?

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

Shovel Knight Dig gave us the opportunity to lean into who Tinker Knight and Mole Knight are as characters. Tinker Knight signed on with the Hexcavators as an engineer! The little schemer found interest in their interesting problems to solve beneath the earth. Mole Knight, on the other hand, linked up with the team after he became captivated by Drill Knight’s tunneling 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!

Thanks so much to Celia Schilling for taking the time chat with us. Shovel Knight Dig is out now on the Nintendo Switch eShop for the price of $24.99 / £22.49.