Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows Instruction Manual

Plague of Shadows is a new adventure through the world of Shovel Knight starring Plague Knight, the alchemical master of disaster!

What is Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows?

Plague of Shadows is a new adventure through the world of Shovel Knight starring Plague Knight, the alchemical master of disaster! Many things are familiar, but many things are also different. Read this manual carefully; as a maniacal mastermind, you must leave nothing to chance!

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 villainy ran rampant, and in time, even the most stalwart heroes fell. In the absence of champions, The Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter swept into power.

Unbeknownst to everyone, the maniacal alchemist Plague Knight had plans of his own. He sought nothing less than to concoct a potion of unlimited power – a draft so fiendishly potent that nothing he desired would be out of his reach. Each Knight unknowingly guards a crucial ingredient. Now, the collection must begin…

Starting a Game as Plague Knight

To start Plague of Shadows, create a new profile and choose Plague Knight from the Character Select menu!


Control Pad


Press left and right and Plague Knight will run! He’s a bit slower and skids more than Shovel Knight.

Climb Ladders

If Plague Knight is standing in front of a ladder, press Up and he will climb up. If Plague Knight is near the top of a ladder, climb Down by pressing Down. Note: Plague Knight can Bomb Burst directly off of a ladder!

Talk / Examine

If a friendly person is near Plague Knight, press Up to talk to them.

A Button


Plague Knight jumps the same height no matter how long you hold the A button.

Double Jump

When Plague Knight is airborne, press A to jump again! You can change directions in the air.

B Button

Throw Bombs

Plague Knight can throw bombs with B. By default, he can throw three bombs at once! When airborne, throwing bombs slows Plague Knight down.

Bomb Burst

Hold B until Plague Knight flashes, then release! Plague Knight can explode up, left, or right. Plague Knight can’t be hurt during the beginning of the bomb bust, so use it to explode through enemies!

More Basic Moves

Use Arcana

When an Arcana is equipped, press Up and B at the same time. (Hint: Arcana uses your energy meter! Be careful not to blow out your magic by using it too much!)

Advanced Moves

Slow yourself down with bombs!

Bomb Burst out to a precarious ledge, then toss bombs to air brake. Master this to avoid falling off!

Jump, Burst, Jump

Instead of jumping twice in a row, Plague Knight can use his Bomb Burst, then jump afterward. This helps to get some distance and control back after Bomb Bursting.

Bomb Burst from Falling!

If you fall down a pit, you can use the Bomb Burst or your double jump to recover! Plague Knight gets knocked back farther than Shovel Knight, but he can save himself with a Bomb Burst, even when he just got damaged!

Alchemy Quick Select

Alchemy Quick Select lets you switch between Bomb parts and Arcana quickly! You can use tonics too!

Press and Hold R, then press the Control Pad up/down/left/right to choose your Bomb Cases, Fuses, Powders, and Burst Type!

When Holding R, press A to use a tonic.

Press and Hold L, then use the Control Pad to choose Arcana.

Know your Items!

Cipher Coin

Alchemists use Cipher Coins to fund and advance their research, so make sure to collect them all.

(Hint: After being collected, Cipher Coins are shown in the field as greyed-out. Collecting these won’t increase your coin count.)

Health Tonic

Plague Knight can quaff a health tonic to increase his Maximum Health by one bubble! However, if Plague Knight falls in battle, the tonic’s effect is lost. Make sure to keep lots on hand, just in case!

The Potionarium

A secret base of scientific study, The Potionarium is Plague Knight’s headquarters. Make sure to return often to get new gear!


An alchemical genius who is always creating new concoctions. Mona devises new bomb parts for Plague Knight. But upgrades aren’t cheap… you’ll need all the Cipher Coins you can grab to advance her research.


Everyone’s favorite equine scholar is looking for paper! Bring him some and he will reward you well.


Grab magic upgrades and health-extending tonics from this aloof potion lady.


It’s not clear where Oolong came from, but everyone certainly loves to hear his music! If only there were a way to make him remember more songs…

Mail Minion

An important package awaits Plague Knight. Better pick it up!

More Merchants

Some well-stocked merchants appear in the Armor Outpost. But how to get to them?


If you have any useless Relics, Chester will trade them to you for powerful Arcana for free!! If you don’t… he’s gonna charge you an arm and a leg. Search for relics when you’re out on the field!

Troupple Acolyte

An avid follower of the Troupple King, she’d just love to sell you a Troupple Chalice. But as a master of potions, what would you want with the Troupple King?

Building Bombs

Bombs are made up of powders, cases, and fuses. You have an unlimited supply- mix and match the combination that gives you the biggest boom!


Powders determine how the bomb’s explosion looks and acts. These also change how many bombs can be thrown out at once. Whether going for precision hits or big explosions, try finding a powder that matches your playstyle.

Black Powder

Causes a focused, powerful explosion. 3 bomb maximum.

Cascade Powder

Produces waves of fire in both directions. Good for creating a constant wall of attacks! 1 Bomb Maximum.

Cluster Powder

Rapidly forms several explosions. Perfect for alchemists who only need one good throw to hit their mark. 1 Bomb Maximum.

Component Powder

Keep throwing in bombs to make a bigger boom! 3 Bomb Maximum.

Sparkler Powder

Pulses damaging sparks, but the case is harmless. 2 Bomb Maximum.

Tracer Powder

Produces wall-climbing flames. Great for hitting around corners or chasing down bothersome enemies. 2 Bomb Maximum.


Casings control the path of the bombs you throw! Try adjusting your casings to deal with tricky enemies in hard to hit areas.

Bounce Casing

Bounces along the ground before exploding. When in doubt, this classic case is good for almost all situations.

Float Casing

Floats up and away when thrown. Useful when your other bombs are too weighed down by gravity.

Lob Casing

Arcs into the air before it comes crashing down. Use it for enemies high above you!

Orbit Casing

Spins around you and even pierces through walls! Set these up before launching yourself through an enemy.

Drop Casing

Drops bounding bombs at your feet. Useful for dropping blasts below you!

Whirl Casing

Boomerangs back and forth! Master this bomb for some stylish attacks.


A bomb blows up based on its fuse type. While not as flashy as powder or as cool as casings, the right fuse can make all the difference in your load out!

Standard Fuse

Blows up after a few moments.

Long Fuse

Blows up a long time after throwing.

Quick Fuse

Blows up almost immediately when thrown.

Remote Fuse

Set a bomb and also detonate a previously thrown bomb.

Impact Fuse

Explodes on contact.

Sentry Fuse

Hovers in place before seeking out targets.

Bomb Bursts

The bomb burst ability is an alchemist’s best friend, and a complete life saver. But it can be altered with several powerful upgrades!

Basic Burst

Explode all around you and launch through the air! This explosion hits all around you too!

Spin Burst

Cannonball through enemies and cut them all down!

Frost Burst

Launch through the air while dropping ice shards below.

Float Burst

Float slowly to the ground. Press down to fall again. Use this for careful platforming!

Bullet Burst

Fires a blast in front of you when launching.


As if bombs and bursts weren’t enough, Arcana can be used to give Plague Knight some extra special firepower!

Big Boom

A potent explosion with a far-reaching radius.

Smoke Bomb

Stand in the cloud to become invulnerable, even on spikes!

Bait Bomb

Toss into a sparkling pit and see what flies up!


An explosive platform that you can even create when airborne!

Fleet Flask

Explode into a frenzied dash!

Berserker’s Brew

Damage enemies on contact without getting knocked back!

Leech Liquid

Replenish your energy by damaging enemies.

Staff of Surging

Rise into the air with a surging attack!

Staff of Striking

Attack in succession with quick staff swipes.

Field Screen

Plague Knight’s main screen is a little different from Shovel Knight’s.


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

Cipher Coins

Your Cipher Coin count.

Arcana Icon / Power Meter

Your power bar for using Arcana. The bar refills slowly, giving you unlimited uses! However, if you use your power too fast, you will blow out and the power will refill very slowly! Be judicious!

Health Tonics

Your current Health Tonics. Don’t forget to drink them to extend your life bar!


Keep these to keep yourself alive! You can gain green life by drinking Health Tonics, but these will vanish if you fall in battle.

Sub Screen

Alchemy Tab

Choose your equipment and quaff Health Tonics from this screen! 


Choose and press the A Button to use a tonic. These fill you up one health and can also extend your health by one…until you fall in battle.


Mix and match your bombs! Choose Casing, Fuse, or Powder with A to bring up a sub menu that allows different options to be selected.


Choose a bomb burst! Press A to bring up the sub menu.


Choose an Arcana to use! Press A to bring up the sub menu.

Gear Tab

Here you can examine your collected equipment. Plague Knight has a keen sense for finding Cipher Coins. Consult this tab to see how many coins are left in the level!

Secret Tips

A.B.C. – Always Be Charging!

Shovel Knight has his Shovel Drop – Plague Knight has his Bomb Burst! Always, be charging a Bomb Burst by holding B; you will need it!

Take the Road Less Traveled

Plague Knight can fly through levels using his Bomb Burst and jumping abilities. He’s not a plodding ground lover like Shovel Knight! Think smart, and you can probably just explode over whatever obstacles you encounter!

Use All Your Health Tonics

Health Tonics can both extend your health and refill your health by one! Don’t be afraid to take a drink before tackling a tricky situation. You never know where a spare tonic might turn up!

Use a Tonic to Pick One Up!

You can only hold a limited number of Health Tonics in your pouch, and adding any more tonics will cause it to simply fall right out! Rather than let a good brew go to waste, drink from your current supply to make room for another and get extra health!

Save Yourself From A Pit!

Plague Knight can take to the sky as naturally as a bomb-equipped bird…but sometimes things might not go exactly as planned. There are a few ways to recover in a perilous plunge! Try to jump again in the air or calmly charge another Bomb Burst! There are also some Arcanas which can save you. Even at the very last second!

Slow Yourself Down With Bomb Throws!

A horizontal Bomb Burst is perfect for jetting high above the ground, but have you ever wanted to slow down to a stop? Try throwing bombs with B to slow down for a landing, or to get a few more targeted hits on an enemy! Even when your equipped Bomb Powder has reached its bomb limit, you can still press B to apply the brakes.