Hey, it’s a lot less confusing than the Zelda timeline(s)
Shovel Knight Dig is out this weekend, and right on time, Yacht Club Games has swooped in to give a bit of context to this spinoff. Well, prequel, actually!
Speaking to Nintendo Life, Yacht Club Games Marketing Manager Celia Schilling confirmed that Dig does indeed take place before the events of every game/DLC:
“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.”
Technically, it goes Shovel Knight Dig, then the Specter of Torment flashbacks, then King of Cards, then Specter of Torment, Shovel Knight Showdown, Plague of Shadows, Shovel of Hope (the core original release), then Pocket Dungeon is officially a sequel, and the last game in the series at present.
Schilling even goes into detail about the Hexcavators (the new crew/bad guy rogue’s gallery group), and why its leader (Drill Knight) wouldn’t want to join the Order of No Quarter: he’d see it as a downgrade. Also at this time, Specter Knight is still in his non-Order form of Donovan, and other characters are off doing other things before they meet up for the events of Shovel of Hope.
It’s great to see that after eight years and counting, Yacht Club cares enough about this series to dive into the minutiae of character-specific lore. It’s a big reason why I enjoyed Shovel Knight Dig so much, as that Hades approach to slowly uncovering more about the game world was so obviously present.