What is Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment?

Specter of Torment is a prequel to Shovel Knight- an adventure starring Specter Knight, the shadowy scythe-spinner! If you’ve played Shovel knight, forget all you’ve known- this is a new adventure with different challenges and nonstop action! Take heed and pay close attention; to become the reaper, you must study his moves carefully.

If you want to read about a different game or feature, go to the main Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove manuals page.

The Legend Begins!

Long ago, the lands were untamed, and roamed by legendary adventurers! But although the land is peaceful… for some, freedom is a far gone memory. Specter Knight, servant to the Enchantress, has been given a harrowing task.
He must recruit a group of knights and form an invincible order!
With each member gathered, a treasured keepsake grows in power… an artifact that can restore his humanity, but only when his task is complete. Now, he leaves the confines of the Tower of Fate. It’s time for the reaper to pursue his quarry.

Starting a Game as Specter Knight

To start as Specter Knight, create a new profile and choose Specter Knight from the character select menu.


Control Pad


Press left or right and Specter Knight will run!

Climb Ladders

If Specter Knight is standing in front of a ladder, press Up and he will climb up. If Specter Knight is near the top of a ladder, climb Down by pressing Down. Note: Specter Knight can attack from a ladder! Just press B.

Talk / Examine

If a friendly entity is near Specter Knight, press Up to talk to them.

A Button


Specter Knight can’t jump very high, but he has a lot of other ways to reach high places!

Tip: Hold the A button to make Specter Knight jump as high and as far as possible!

B Button


Specter Knight can swing his scythe with B. He can attack very quickly if you press the B button rapidly.

Tip: Staying grounded and slashing is the best way to rack up damage!

Dash Slash

The slash reticule was invaluable.

When airborne and near a target, a gash will appear over the target. Press B to do a Dash Slash! Specter Knight will speed toward the target with an attack! Use the Dash Slash to get up to high places and defeat enemies. It’s Specter Knight’s most important move to master.

Tip: If you are above a target, Specter Knight will Dash Slash downward. If you are below the target, Specter Knight will Dash Slash upward! Look at the gash to see which way you will go!

C Button

Use Curio

When a Curio is equipped, press C to use it!

Tip: Curios use your Darkness meter. Make sure you have sufficient Darkness.

More Basic Moves

Wall Climb

When airborne, move Specter Knight toward a wall. He will climb the wall for a short distance before flipping off of the wall automatically!

Tip: Not all surfaces can be scaled. Be sure to survey the area around you before making a leap!

If Specter Knight gets to the top of a wall, he will automatically flip up to the adjacent surface.

Tip 1: You don’t need to hold any buttons or directions to make Specter Knight climb! Once he is attached to the wall, you can relax for a moment.

Tip 2: However, if you want to cancel your wall climb, just press down. Specter Knight will release from the wall and begin to fall.

Wall Jump

If you press A while climbing, Specter Knight will jump off of the wall! You can use this move to jump from wall to wall.

Advanced Moves

Save yourself from a pit!

If you slip off the edge, move toward the wall to climb it and save yourself!

Chain Dash Slashes!

You can remain airborne by Dash Slashing enemies or objects multiple times in a row!

Know your Items!

Red Skulls

Red Skulls are strewn throughout each stage. Collect them and return them to Red, who will exchange them for powerful Curios!

Tip: You can check your Red Skull count for each stage on the Gear Screen.

Darkness Jars

These purple jars contain concentrated Darkness. Grab them to continue using Curios!

Wisp Chests

There’s a wisp chest hidden in each stage. Find it to permanently increase your Will or Darkness!

The Tower of Fate

This evil tower is the nexus of the Enchantress’ plotting, and Specter Knight’s home base. Make sure to work closely with your partners in evil!

Dark Acolyte

A loyal but gullible minion of the Enchantress, the Dark Acolyte can send you to any stage through the Magic Mirror. He can even give you information about the boss you’re trying to recruit. All you need to do is ask!



A romantic skeleton, Red is looking for the red skull of his lost love. He need Specter Knight’s help finding red skulls! In life, he was a Curio hunter, so he has many curios to trade. Red grants you access to a new Curio for each stage you complete.



Whatever this abomination is, it seems to like money. Pay him well, and he can change Specter Knight’s cloak, giving him frightening new powers!



Who is this mysterious, lumpy entity? Pay Legion to upgrade your Curios, and he can make them more powerful than ever!



If you ever miss a Wisp Chest during your visit to a stage, Missy can give you the contents immediately… for a price.



This solitary suit of armor offers a game of his own design. Try his game, won’t you? It would be a nice respite from the humdrum of eternity.

Cryptic Curios

Specter Knight can command a virtual reliquary of powerful Curios. They use your Darkness meter, so make sure keep up your supply by defeating enemies and collecting Darkness Jars.


Throwing Sickle

A simple and straightforward attack that launches a boomeranging blade. Watch out because it’s blocked by walls!

Upgraded version

The sickle passes through obstacles and enemies and recovers any gold it touches!

Spider Scythe


Throw a scythe which climbs along walls and over obstacles. It’s thrown downward at a 45 degree angle.

Upgraded version

The Spider Scythe vastly increases in size and recovers gold as it travels along!

Dread Talon


Unleash a powerful close range strike. Great for tough enemies like Goldarmor, but a little difficult to use!

Upgraded version

You cannot be interrupted when the readying the Dread Talon. It also emits a projectile that increases its attack range!

Bounding Soul


Free a lost soul which reflects off of surfaces. It bounces around the room at 45 degree angles.

Upgraded version

The souls cut through enemies and recover gold. You can also send out more souls at once!

Shadow Mirror


Cast a reflection and attack from a distance. The shadow image consumes some darkness with every scythe swing.

Upgraded version

The reflection extends even farther and can pick up items and gold!

Will Skull


Consume a spirit to regain some Will. Invaluable sustenance will be yours! However, if you take damage while using it, Specter Knight will drop the skull and not heal.

Upgraded version

Yields even more Will per skull!

Barrier Lantern


Create a shield which blocks projectiles to charge up. The shield lasts indefinitely, but if you take damage, the shield dissipates. Press C again to shoot the barrier in the direction you are facing!

Upgraded version

The lantern’s barrier becomes more powerful when fully charged.

Hover Plume


Float for a short time. Specter Knight doesn’t travel far, but this curio can be invaluable when you need a little extra distance, or to save yourself from a pit.

Upgraded version

Grants invincibility while floating. Now you can hover right past enemies!

Judgement Rush


Grasp this jewel to rush at the nearest enemy and strike. This attack can send Specter Knight across pits and through walls!

Upgraded version

Activates even faster and grants invincibility before rushing, making this an even safer way to cross long distances and get right up in the enemy’s face!

Chronos Coin


Slows down everything around you for a set period of time. Simply walk past enemies and hazards!

Upgraded version

Slows down time for even longer!

Skeletal Sentry


Summon a skeleton sniper! The skeleton aims in your direction, so you can guide his shots. Best of all, you can detonate him with C, turning him into a bomb!

Upgraded version

The Skeletal Sentry fires even more projectiles and has more health when upgraded.


A weapon from a different time. Use them to Scatter spikes in front of unsuspecting foes. If enemies run into the Caltrops, they will take damage!

Field Screen

Specter Knight has a plethora of macabre details at his disposal.


Your current amount of money. Gold is used to buy things, so search for treasure everywhere!

Red Skulls

Your current Red Skull count. Return these to Red for Curios! Your total skulls collected can be found in the Gear Tab of the Sub Screen.

Curio Icon

Your currently equipped Curio is displayed here.

Darkness Meter

Your power meter for using Curios. You receive Darkness by defeating enemies and finding Darkness Jars, so make sure to keep a healthy supply. You can permanently upgrade your maximum Darkness by finding Wisp Chests or buying upgrades from Missy.


The energy that powers Specter Knight’s undeath. Keep your Will up if you want to stay ‘alive’ to scythe another day! You can permanently upgrade your maximum Will by finding Wisp Chests or buying upgrades from Missy.

Boss Health

The health of the current stage’s boss.

Sub Screens

Curios Tab

Choose your Curios on this tab. You can also read some information about them, including their Darkness costs.

Gear Tab

Here you can examine your collected equipment. Consult this tab to see how many Will and Darkness upgrades you’ve collected, and your Red Skulls too!

Secret Tips

Watch your Dash Slash Gash!

The gash that appears over Dash Slash targets indicates the direction that Specter Knight will Dash. Pay close attention and get a good feel for it!

Use your Standing Slash!

Specter Knight can attack much more quickly when he is standing on the ground. Instead of Dash Slashing enemies repeatedly, stand your ground and hit them repeatedly!

Keep Calm and Grab a Wall!

If you slip and begin falling, try not to panic and attack wildly. Instead, grab a nearby wall and climb out. Stay calm under pressure!

Know Where You’ll Go!

Your dash slash will recoil off of tougher enemies, but the fatal blow will cut right through! Always think about where you’ll end up before committing to a Dash Slash.

Be Curious about Curios!

Curios are powerful and useful! If you are having trouble with a part of the game, maybe there is a Curio that can make that part easier. Enemies emit Darkness when damaged, so make sure you take care of this bountiful magic supply!