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'Shovel Knight' villain Specter Knight will be playable in next expansion

Indie developer Yacht Club Games has outlined the multiple expansions it has in store for its throwback platformer Shovel Knight, revealing that players will soon be able to experience the game’s campaign from the perspective of villainous character Specter Knight.

The studio also announced its plans for a physical PlayStation Vita release, following up on the retail launch of Shovel Knight for the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo 3DS.

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Yacht Club Games demonstrated the latest playable addition to Shovel Knight‘s cast in a recent Kickstarter update, detailing the many ways in which Specter Knight will challenge returning players. Unlike the game’s heroic star Shovel Knight, Specter Knight is able to cling to walls and climb vertical surfaces, recalling similar wall-crawling mechanics from classic 8-bit games like Ninja Gaiden and Sunsoft’s Batman.

Specter Knight also boasts a unique Dash Slash ability, allowing him to dive or ascend to slice nearby enemies. When mastered, the Dash Slash allows players to chain multiple attacks in a row while in midair, keeping them safe from grounded opponents. The Dash Slash also enables higher jumps — a necessity, given that Specter Knight has a lower default jump height than other playable characters.

Yacht Club Games is also working on a third Shovel Knight expansion featuring returning boss enemy King Knight. Like Shovel Knight‘s previous expansion, “Plague of Shadows,” both the Specter Knight and King Knight campaigns will be free to download for all players.

“Creating these updates simultaneously will allow us to plan more cohesively,” Yacht Club Games explains. “How levels change between the two characters, how much time is needed for new mechanics/systems, stories interweaving, and so on. Once we’re nearing completion on one set of updates, we’ll be switching our focus to a single campaign to make sure it’s polished for release.”

As Yacht Club Games focuses on its forthcoming expansions, PlayStation Vita owners will soon be able to pick up a boxed, physical version of Shovel Knight courtesy of publishing partner Fangamer. The physical Vita version of Shovel Knight is currently available for pre-order ahead of a planned October release.