Shacknews' live E3 coverage started to wind down on Wednesday with something a little bit different. The fine folks at Yacht Club Games were invited into the Shacknews booth for a casual conversation about E3, game development, and some of the rockier moments the team experienced in bringing Shovel Knight to life.
As the time came to wrap things up, there was still one more question to ask. What's the current status of King Knight, the third and final Shovel Knight expansion?
Sean Velasco and Nick Wozniak were both happy to offer up the expansion's current status, so here's what we know so far.
King Knight's story will have a lighter tone
Shovel Knight was a tale of heroism. It was a gallant knight traveling across the world to save his kingdom, as well as avenge his fallen partner. Plague of Shadows told the tale of the dark alchemist Plague Knight, who wished to gain his heart's desire by collecting enough essences to create his ultimate concoction. Specter of Torment was the story of a fallen thief, forced into the servitude of a great evil. All of these stories were epic tales in their own right, so what does King Knight bring to the table?
Well, King Knight brings comic relief. Yacht Club notes that King Knight's story will carry a far lighter tone, compared to his predecessors, which will fall right in line with his character.
"It's more wacky, it's more lighthearted," said Sean Velasco. "The personality of King Knight, we really want it to come through."
Velasco and Wozniak noted that while Shovel Knight moves gallantly, Plague Knight moves sneakily, and Specter Knight moves swiftly, King Knight's movement will be a lot more "doofy." In fact, the first concept for his movement was revealed in a tweet back in June 2016.
We're creating two new Shovel Knight campaign updates! Specter is cool and King Knight rules. Here he is in action! pic.twitter.com/tkIwxcA2Xy— Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) June 2, 2016
King Knight = Wario
The King Knight concept might sound strange, given his defining character trait is that he's a narcissistic dandy that pretends to be royalty. He's arrogant, he's selfish, he's out for himself and his treasures. But the picture starts to get a little clearer when Velasco compares him to a far more familiar face in gaming.
"I feel like Wario is sort of similar," Velasco explained. "Wario's just like greedy, wants to make a billion dollars with his game company…"
In that vein, Velasco and Wozniak stopped short of calling King Knight a "hero." He's the campaign's main character, but there's no mistaking that this story will be all about him and his selfish goals. And like Wario, Yacht Club is aiming for enough levity to keep the story grounded and lighthearted, giving players just enough reason to root for this goofball.
This is the end of 'Shovel Knight' for a while
After almost five years, Yacht Club Games is ready to say goodbye to the Shovel Knight world for a while. While Nintendo subtly hinted at a sequel a while ago, Shovel Knight's creators are ready to move on from the world of shovelry first.
"Battle Mode will be the last thing that we do for Shovel Knight I," Wozniak said. "And then… I don't want to bury it, but…"
"Shovel Knight on ice for a little bit," Velasco added.
So look for King Knight to not only have his own central campaign that focuses on him, but look for it to also be a story that gives all of the Shovel Knight characters a fitting tribute and sendoff.
No release date has been issued just yet, but given that King Knight was in its early stages of development as Yacht Club was also working on Specter of Torment, don't expect the wait to be too much longer. The studio is actively working on the final campaign every day and is hopeful to release it soon.