Blaster Master Wiki
BMZ ShovelKnight

More in-depth information on Shovel Knight can be found on the Shovel Knight Wiki.

Shovel Knight is the star of his own self-titled, Kickstarter-funded, retro platformer by Yacht Club Games and the last of four Extra Characters introduced to Blaster Master Zero with the Version 1.3 update. He was announced alongside Shantae, but was made available for purchase/download on August 3, 2017, a month after the update was released.

For the Nintendo 3DS and Switch release, he was made available for free for one month after release, then priced at USD $1.99 afterward. He and Shantae were released as paid add-ons alongside the Steam release.

Appearances & Synopses[]

Blaster Master Zero[]

As with all other Extra characters, no story cutscenes are given to explain Shovel Knight's appearance in the Underground, nor his acquisition of Sophia III (or Sophia Zero, should the player meet the requirements to access Area 9). As well, all in-game character dialogue is disabled, and the Receiver has no effect in the first eight areas.

Sophia III's primary palette becomes bright blue and its windshield is tinted yellow to match Shovel Knight's armor, but its performance is otherwise unchanged. Life Capsules are changed to apples (small) and roast chickens (large), Life Ups are changed to more exotic delicacies (with each Area's Life Up taking on the appearance of a different dish), and major item pickup sound effects are changed to natively synthesized versions of Shovel Knight item pickup chimes.

Jason's additional sub-weapons and the Energy Guard are (mostly) turned into dummy pickups, offering no benefit to Shovel Knight but counting towards the item completion rate. They are shaded in greyscale in the same manner as Jason's Life Ups/Energy Guard in Destroyer Mode.

Gameplay Changes[]

Much like Shantae, Shovel Knight eschews a Gun and high-tech subweapons in favor of his trusty Shovel Blade and an assortment of adventuring tools that are fueled by a mutual MP bar with a 100 MP capacity, refillable with Ammo or Gun Capsules (10 MP for small capsules and 40 MP for large capsules). In addition to being displayed normally via Blaster Master Zero's standard life and energy bars in the top-left corner, both life and MP are tracked dynamically for Shovel Knight in the Pilot section of the Weapon Select Screen, with Life being represented by a row of orbs and current MP being explicitly listed just below the Life indicator.

Not only is Shovel Knight immune to fall damage/fall death in side-scrolling mode, his jump height is doubled to rival the other Extra Characters' additional jump capabilities (and facilitate use of the Shovel Drop attack). As of the Version 1.4 update, he can also (mostly) freely use the "Call SOPHIA" button to rapidly retrieve his strange new steed.

BMZ Inti shovel03

a Vio in Area 1 takes it on the chin.

Shovel Blade[]


Shovel Knight's trademark polearm serves as his Shoot button attack in both gameplay modes. Its range is even shorter than Shantae's hair whip (1 block in either mode) and it has no rapid-fire capability, but each swing has the combined power of 4 Blaster shots (both side view and top view) and can even deflect enemy projectiles into Shovel Knight's facing direction for the same damage when timed properly. In side view, direct melee attacks, but not reflected projectiles, are inherently able to break blocks; once the Hyper Shot chip has been acquired, direct melee attacks gain the ability to damage armored enemies as well.

In top-down mode, deflected shots travel in a straight line, and swings are further capable of breaking cracked walls and destroying blue rocks in Area 4. In side-scrolling mode, deflected shots travel in an arc that covers about 3 blocks (before any additional distance from elevation dropoffs further out), and Shovel Knight may further perform the Shovel Drop by holding Down in the middle of a jump, assaulting enemies and their projectiles from above for melee damage and pogo-bouncing off them. Like standing melee attacks, Shovel Drop is able to destroy blocks and, with Hyper Shot, damage armored enemies such as Skeleton Boss.

Selecting Shovel Blade in the Weapon Select Screen will highlight Shovel Knight's shovel.


An upgrade to the Ultimate Shovel Blade is available at a campfire on the floating island in the upper reaches of Area 1's opening screen (where Gunvolt and Ekoro receive their last sub-weapons). This blade deals more damage to blocks than the starting Shovel Blade, destroying large blocks in one hit rather than the usual 3 hits.

While wielding Ultimate Shovel Blade, Shovel Knight gains the ability in top view to unleash a charged slash with double damage and greatly widened area of effect by holding the Shoot button for at least ~0.5 seconds and releasing. (Movement speed is greatly decreased while charging a slash in this manner.) In addition, (uncharged) Ultimate Shovel Blade attacks while Shovel Knight is at full health will launch a shockwave projectile along the ground which deals (uncharged) melee damage, allowing him to deal damage at range or rapidly wear down enemies in close quarters as long as he is able to maintain full health. However, this projectile has a 1-shot on-screen limit and is unable to destroy blocks or damage side view armored enemies.

In Boss Blaster Mode, Shovel Knight starts with the Ultimate Shovel Blade, but can only utilize its charged-slash function as full-health shockwave functionality is disabled in this mode.


All of Shovel Knight's sub-weapons, referred to as Relics, are available from the start of the game, but only in top-down mode. Selecting any relic in the Weapon Select Screen will highlight Shovel Knight's gauntlets.

Fishing Rod[]


A 5 MP sub-weapon with middling performance on a land tile; Shovel Knight simply drops his line to deal 1/4 Shovel Blade damage (1x Blaster damage) in the surrounding area (enemies still in the area when the line retracts can potentially be hit a second time). While facing a pool, however, he can use the Fishing Rod to pull up a variety of things after ~3 seconds by reeling in his line (as commanded by pressing any face button) within 1 second of the appearance of an exclamation bubble:

  • Recovery items
    • Small fish (1 Life)
    • Huge fish (4 Life)
    • Magic jar (100 MP)
  • Jason's Sub-weapons
  • Tadroll (Area 4 only)

Pools containing items can be found in areas 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 in EX Character Mode and in the lairs of Gurnahide and Venom Master in Boss Blaster Mode. Regardless of what kind of pool is used, the catch must land 2 tiles behind Shovel Knight (or hit a wall) before it becomes active or ready for collection (the catch is lost if it lands in another pool).

Within a Crabularva lair, the Fishing Rod may be used to pull a Crabularva out of its pool if the hook is lowered while the midboss is preparing to emerge. However, none of the pools in this lair will give items, even after both Crabularva are slain.

Throwing Anchor[]


A more-or-less direct replacement of Jason's Grenade Bombs, this 15 MP sub-weapon is lobbed in a high arc to come down roughly four blocks ahead of Shovel Knight after a two-second hang time. Up to two terrain-bypassing anchors can be in mid-air at a time, and each anchor deals 7/4 Shovel Blade damage (7x Blaster damage) and breaks blocks.

Phase Locket[]


The only sub-weapon in the game to grant temporary invincibility, this 20 MP sub-weapon turns Shovel Knight a ghastly, flickery gray for roughly four seconds, during which he is able to perform other actions normally. He may pass through enemies, projectiles, and hazardous terrain unimpeded and unseen while the Phase Locket is active; however, Phase Locket's effect does not nullify damage from falling into pools/pits or being slammed into a wall by Area 4's water surges.

For self-evident reasons, Phase Locket is unavailable in Blaster Battle Mode.

BMZ Inti shovel10

War Horn[]


Shovel Knight's main form of crowd control, this sub-weapon, which grants invincibility during its somewhat long casting animation, lets him deal a mighty blow for a cumbersome 50 MP, damaging enemies in a wide radius for 5/2 Shovel Blade damage (10x Blaster damage). War Horn also destroys both small and large blocks and blasts open cracked walls from either side, even if the cracked side is in an adjacent room; the wall-destroying property in particular allows Shovel Knight to quickly acquire the maps for areas 5, 7 and 8. (Jason's Remote Blast and Gunvolt's Luxcalibur are likewise able to break cracked walls from the wrong side.)


In addition to sub-weapons, Shovel Knight may equip different armors for passive bonuses in top-down mode. They have no effect in side-scrolling mode but will visibly change his sprite accordingly.

Regardless of which armor is equipped, Shovel Knight's armor will soften enemy blows in side view areas, allowing him to take only standard damage from these attacks (instead of the usual double damage taken by other pilots). However, the damage-reducing property of Shovel Knight's armor has no effect in top view dungeons.

Selecting any armor in the Weapon Select Screen will highlight Shovel Knight's entire body.

Stalwart Plate[]


Equipped by Shovel Knight at game start, it grants no special bonuses.

Ornate Plate[]


Obtained by defeating the Obliteration Lasers in Area 3 (where Jason would normally obtain the Flash Bomb sub-weapon), this armor turns Shovel Knight a glittering gold and illuminates dark areas. Unequipping this armor in the middle of a dark area is the only way to dim its lights without exiting and re-entering.

Blaster Master Mail[]


Obtained by defeating Remote Blaster in Area 6 (where Jason would normally obtain the Remote Blast subweapon), this armor gives Shovel Knight a green-trimmed red palette similar to Sophia III's default livery. While this armor is equipped and Shovel Knight has at least 10 MP to spare in top-down mode, each (uncharged) shovel swing will consume 10 MP to fire off four pellets in a 120-degree arc (none of the shots will shoot straight forward). They deal 1/4 Shovel Blade damage each (1x Blaster damage), but can destroy blocks and melt Area 6's ice and spike tiles.



  • Shovel Knight is the only EX Character to display copyright data on his Character Select screen because he's the only one not previously used/licensed by Inti Creates: Gunvolt and Ekoro come from other Inti game series, and Shantae was licensed to Inti for co-development of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.
  • Jason will reference (but not explicitly name) Shovel Knight when talking with Eve about the Impact Wave sub-weapon in Blaster Master Zero 2.

External Links[]

Shantae and Shovel Knight announced for Blaster Master Zero ver. 1.3 on Inti Creates Blog