She granted me new life...
So that I may take yours!

Specter Knight (formely called Donovan) is one of eight Knights of the Order of No Quarter who serves the Enchantress and keeps watch over the Lich Yard.

Specter Knight also serves as the protagonist of Specter of Torment where he must recruit knights for the Enchantress to regain his life back.

Official BioEdit

In life, Specter Knight was a cruel and cunning warrior. And although his blood is now icy cold, he is no less formidable as a phantasm. The most begrudgingly loyal knight of the Order, Specter Knight follows the Enchantress only because she is capable of magically extending his undeath. Clutching a grim Scythe in his shriveled claws, Specter Knight commands his weapon with uncommon cunning... and his next target is Shovel Knight.
  • Pros: Tattered crimson cloak, supernatural scythe, immortality
  • Cons: Overly sentimental, tries too hard to act cool


Specter Knight is a thoroughly cruel Knight, showing sheer coldness towards his enemies, as well as being somewhat sarcastic. He has a tendency to hiss at people when he is angry or annoyed.

When about to face Shovel Knight, he taunts him with the memory of Shield Knight by insisting she is dead. Whilst many of his comrades acknowledge Shovel Knight's strength to some extent after the Battle Royale, Specter Knight instead affirms his faith in The Enchantress and assures Shovel Knight that he cannot succeed. He may do this because he fears what may happen to him should The Enchantress die, as her powers are what keep him "alive".

Before battling Plague Knight, he is quick to mock him for his cowardice, being the only one able to reduce Plague Knight to stunned silence.

As shown in Specter of Torment, Donovan's loyalty to The Enchantress is actually incredibly forced, despite her being the one who resurrected him in the first place. In reality, Specter Knight hates The Enchantress and deeply resents her treatment of him, only serving her because he is forced to, as he had relinquished his free will to her.

At the start of Specter of Torment, he only agreed to serve her as part of a deal so she can restore him back to life. This is enforced by the Keepsake Locket, which The Enchantress granted the power to reverse death, but only when 8 knights swear their loyalty to her, thus Donovan is forced on a quest to gather them for her.

After discovering that The Enchantress is actually Shield Knight, he also shows how angry he can be, and proceeded to attempt to slay her, knowing he would never be restored to life if he succeeded. He does not believe that there is anything left of Shield Knight in the Enchantress, and that attempting to return her to normal is a pointless endeavor, nor does he care to try due to his deep-seated hatred of her. His sarcastic remarks about Shield Knight being dead to Shovel Knight may stem from this.

Though his loyalty to The Enchantress is forced, his loyalty to his late-friend Luan is genuine. He swore to protect Luan's son, Reize, at all costs, even at his own life. He honors this oath so far, that he took Reize's place as the 8th knight of the Order of No Quarter, relinquishing his own free will to The Enchantress, and then used the locket's power that could have restored his humanity to save Reize from The Enchantress's power.

While he can be genuinely ruthless and cold, his heart is not as dead as he is. He still feels incredibly guilty over having a hand in the death of Luan.



I never knew you as a coward, Luan! We'll leave once we have our prize!
Luan was Specter Knight's friend in life and longtime partners in crime. Luan considered Donovan part of his family, and even handed his treasured keepsake locket to him.


Luan... I would lay down my life to save his. I promise.
Luan's son, whom Donovan swore to protect if anything would happen to Luan. As Specter Knight, Donovan still honors his promise and tries his best to protect Reize.

Shield KnightEdit

It was
all along!! She took
! The Amulet! Luan! She stole my very life away! This ends tonight!
Specter Knight holds a grudge against Shield Knight, as it was her interference that prevented Luan and him from obtaining the magical amulet inside the Tower of Fate. Donovan's fight with Shield Knight caused the ceiling of the chamber where the amulet was to collapse, resulting in Luan's death. After Specter Knight discovers that Shield Knight is the Enchantress, he becomes even more fueled by rage, blaming her for the death of his friend and his state as a serving wraith.

Black KnightEdit

You cannot stop the Enchantress, but as her eighth knight, you could roam the Valley as you wish... even find the one you seek.
He was the very first Knight that Specter Knight attempted to recruit, under the orders of The Enchantress, and the one that reveals to Specter Knight that she is actually Shield Knight possessed. Specter Knight and Black Knight show a mutual respect for each other's abilities. He is one of the few characters to only refer to Specter Knight as Donovan.

King Knight Edit

No. Please! It can't be... Oh, anyone but you...
Specter Knight has a hatred towards King Knight due to him being a "fool" and "a child, in the guise of a monarch". Every dialogue exchange between them has King Knight taunting on Specter Knight, calling him names such as "loyal lapdog" or "mangy beggar", showing their rivalry and antipathy for each other.


Shovel of Hope/Plague of ShadowsEdit

Specter Knight utilizes the lighting of the stage and the Boneclangs found earlier in the stage to bolster his defenses, using darkness to hinder his opponent's sight.


  • Judgment Rush
    • Specter Knight raises his scythe briefly before charging. Upon reaching the player's location, he unleashes a powerful slash, similar to Shovel Knight's Charge Slash, then slowly drifts back to the side of the arena. This attack is easily avoided by jumping and Shovel Dropping on his head.
  • Scythe Toss
    • Specter Knight moves to one of the four corners of the arena and tosses his scythe toward any corner of the arena in an arcing trajectory. While the scythe is spinning, he will teleport to whichever corner of the arena his scythe is heading toward (unless its trajectory is set to return to him).
  • Raise Dead
    • Specter Knight will raise his fist into the air and summon three Brittle Boneclangs, one on each platform and one on the ground. Given their fragility, they serve more as a distraction than a serious threat, although they can drop jars.
  • Purge
    • Specter Knight raises his fist and absorbs all present Boneclangs, restoring a bit of his health for each one.
  • Scythe Slash
    • This is a close range attack. Specter Knight holds his scythe behind him and floats into close range to attack.
  • Lightning Strike
    • Specter Knight raises his fist, shrouding the stage in darkness and making his attacks difficult to see. Occasionally lightning flashes, giving the player a brief view of what's happening. This will only occur after the player have reduced Specter Knight's health to three full circles or less.

One of the easier ways to defeat Specter Knight is to use a combination of the Phase Locket and the Shovel Blade. The Phase Locket can be used to easily avoid Specter Knight's Scythe Charge and Scythe Toss attacks which can be difficult to dodge. If you have the Ornate Plate, you can see where you are, despite the darkness.

King of CardsEdit

Specter Knight faces King Knight twice in King of Cards, using his ninja-like form seen in Specter of Torment. His first appearance is in Spectral Ravine, where he tries to give King Knight advice on how to become a champion of Joustus, but becomes aggravated by King Knight's arrogant personality and decides to fight the gilded goon instead. During this battle, Specter Knight runs and jumps around the room, sometimes using his Curios to attack. He'll often shoot Bounding Souls and Spider Scythe, and will sometimes jump into the air to use Dread Talon. On rare occasions, he'll use Judgement Rush but the attack can be interrupted.

Later, Specter Knight appears as an Encounter Boss blocking the way to King Birder's stage, King's Roost. Here he uses his Curios much more often, and breaks out the Throwing Sickle and Skeletal Sentry in addition to the ones he used in his first battle. However, once his health is reduced to three full health bubbles, Specter Knight channels his power and transforms into his reaper-like form from Shovel of Hope and fights exactly as he did in the aforementioned campaign.

Similarly to Plague Knight in Plague of Shadows, in Specter of Torment Specter Knight receives a new sprite set that makes him smaller (almost the same size as Shovel Knight) and with unique animations for walking, jumping and climbing, among others. His design has been slightly tweaked, as his cloak no longer covers the majority of his body, allowing players to see his armor.

Specter Knight's gameplay is fast and melee oriented, using his Scythe's Slashes as his primary way of attack. He can also perform an attack called Dash Slash against enemies and certain objects while airborne; a gash will appear on the target, and if the attack he attacks in that moment, Specter Knight will fly through the target with a scythe attack. He can Dash Slash downward/upwards if he is above/below his target, respectively; it is also possible to perform Chain Dash Slashes by hitting opponents/objects multiple times.

Much like Plague Knight, Specter Knight has a very short jumping height. This is balanced by his ability to use Chain Dashes, and he can also climb walls and perform wall-jumps, granting him high mobility. He also has the ability to break dirt blocks by simply jumping off of them, but he completely falls though sand blocks due to this ability.

Specter Knight has access to Relics of his own, called Curios, which require Darkness (the equivalent of Magic) to be used. Darkness, unlike Plague Knight's Power, does not refills over time, but can be replenished collecting Darkness Jars, which drop from opponents and some breakable objects. Unlike both Shovel Knight and Plague Knight, Curios can be upgraded for 4000 gold apiece by visiting Legion in the Tower of Fate.

In addition, in order to unlock Curios, Specter Knight must collect Red Skulls, which are scattered on each stage, in a similar way to Cipher Coins in Plague of Shadows. These Red Skulls can be turned in to Red, who will lead Specter Knight to a small dungeon in the Tower of Fate, where the player must pass a small gauntlet using the Curio they bought before they can leave.

Specter Knight can also equip different kinds of Cloaks, similar to Shovel Knight's Armors and Plague Knight's Cloaks. These can be bought from Manny in the Tower of Fate.


Specter Knight is first seen at the end of the Lich Yard. Here, he taunts Shovel Knight with the "death" of Shield Knight and informs him about the power of The Enchantress. Then they both fight, with Shovel Knight being victorious.

Later, he is seen with the other knights of Order of No Quarter at the end of Tower of Fate: Ascent. Here, he and the other knights are having a feast when Shovel Knight drops in the middle of it. Unlike others, Specter Knight isn't suprised. He and the other knights then attack Shovel Knight one by one, but all of them are defeated. Shovel Knight then can either leave them hanging on the wall or help them up. If he helps Specter Knight up, he informs him that his defeat is not relevant since The Enchantress cannot be defeated.

Lastly, he is seen in the credits back at the Lich Yard. Here, he is playing a new game which Mona invented while Grandma Swamp and Super Skeleton watch him.

Specter Knight is first seen at the end of the Lich Yard. Here, he taunts Plague Knight about his cowardice and foolishness. Then they both fight, with Plague Knight being victorious.

Later, he is seen with the rest of the knights of Order of No Quarter at the end of Tower of Fate: Ascent. Here, he and the rest of the knights are having a feast when Plague Knight drops in the middle of it. Before they can properly react, Shovel Knight drops in too but knocks himself out. When King Knight complains that his essence was stolen by Plague Knight, Specter Knight informs him that he has some left, but it's weakened. Then the knights attack Plague Knight but he defeats them all. Shovel Knight wakes up and attacks him too, but is also defeated. When Plague Knight is celebrating, Shovel Knight gets up and attacks him from behind, sending him down the wall like the other knights. He then leaves them hanging there, while Plague Knight also leaves.

Lastly, he is seen in the credits back at the Lich Yard. Here, he is seen looking through a chest looking for the locket Plague Knight took from him. He can't find it and destroys the chest in frustration.

Specter Knight is first seen at the end of Spectral Ravine of the Pridemoor Kingdom. Here, he encounters King Knight and informs him that his quest for the Joustus Crown has not gone unnoticed by his master. King Knight doesn't listen and insults him instead. Specter Knight then attacks him in anger, but is defeated by him. After the fight, he gives him a deck of Joustus cards. King Knight is still insulting him, so he leaves in anger.

Later, he is seen in front of the King's Roost of the Birder Kingdom. Here, he is talking to two cloaked figures. He informs them about King Knight's process but is uncomfortable with both of the figures. The figures reprimand him and then leave, while King Knight arrives. King Knight insults Specter Knight again, so Specter Knight once again attacks him in anger, but he is defeated again. After the fight, he tells King Knight to choose his allies wisely before leaving.

He is then seen at the table of the Glidewing. Here, he can be challenged to a Joustus match, even though he calls the game childish and that he knows more about it then others. King Knight challenged him and defeated him.

Lastly, he is seen in the credits at the spires of the Tower of Fate. Here, he reminisces with his locket. He then gets up and destroys the wall behind him, allowing him to go upstairs. Unbeknownst to him, he was watched by Missy, Dark Acolyte and small black creatures, which later form Manny/Legion. Also, due to lights in the background, it's revealed that he already recruited Mole Knight, Tinker Knight and Polar Knight into the Order of No Quarter.

Joustus DeckEdit

RedCardSpecterKnight RedCardLuan RedCardReize RedCardBoneclang
Specter Knight Luan Reize Boneclang
RedCardBoneclang RedCardSuperSkeleton RedCardSuperSkeleton RedCardGoldarmor
Boneclang Super Skeleton Super Skeleton Goldarmor
RedCardTadvolt RedCardTadvolt RedCardTadvolt RedCardTadvolt
Tadvolt Tadvolt Tadvolt Tadvolt
RedCardBoneclangHoncho RedCardBoneclangHoncho RedCardSumoGoldarmor RedCardSumoGoldarmor
Boneclang Honcho Boneclang Honcho Sumo Goldarmor Sumo Goldarmor



Before the fight :"Specter Knight: This is no place for the living, mortal. You shall be summoned when it is your time. And everyone has a time, as we saw with your beloved Shield Knight."
"Shovel Knight:
I won't believe such talk from phantoms! Your very existence is a vile deception!
"Specter Knight:
Heh heh heh
... The Enchantress is just full of surprises. She granted me new life...
So that I may take yours!

Before the fight :"Specter Knight: So, reaper meets reaper. But you are no kindred spirit. What have you come to harvest, foolish alchemist?"
"Plague Knight: Hahaha! If only you could see me yawning under this mask!
Ooooooh, spooky ghost!
Whee hee haa haaaa!
"Specter Knight:
A mask indeed. As befits a hollow, blustering fool. You hide only from yourself!
"Plague Knight: ..."
"Specter Knight: How tragic that you shall never emerge from cowardice! For here... your story must end."

Before the battle in Plains: Spectral Ravine :"Specter Knight: Your quest to become King of Cards has not... Gone unnoticed."
"King Knight: Ah, word has reached the slums, has it? Am I to travel with an entourage of mangy beggars, now?"
"Specter Knight: Hssss... You shall remain silent, and heed my words well. You stand no chance unless you--"
"King Knight: Out of my way, you reeking husk! I won't humor panhandlers on my path to the Joustus Crown!"
"Specter Knight: ... A child, in the guise of a monarch. I will teach you respect, and
the true meaning of fear!
After the fight: :"Specter Knight:
You are impudent, but quick on your feet... Interesting.
"King Knight:
You touched my cape! Now I must launder away your disgusting filth!
"Specter Knight:
..Take these, and waste no more of my time.

[Joustus deck is given]

"King Knight: A Joustus deck? Did you soil it with your witchery?"
"Specter Knight: They're ordinary Joustus cards, you simpleton! Seek the nearest House of Joustus, and play your role!"
Before the second battle: :"Cloaked Figure: Time flows ever on, Specter Knight. Is our grand plan proceeding as planned?"
"Specter Knight: A contender has defeated two Joustus Judges. They now travel as one to the Birder Bluffs."
"????: Ha ha ha... Splendid. Soon, everyone will be brought togheter. I'd feared ours would be a protracted struggle, but the Joustus Crown turned out to be the right angle! What fools,
ha ha!
"Specter Knight: ..."
"Cloaked Figure:
is something wrong, Specter Knight? Is our cohort making you uncomfortable?
"Specter Knight: ...Toy with me no longer."
Enough of this tangent.
Don't be obtuse, ghost! Stray not from your path. Come, now! It's time we up and left.

[Cloaked Figure and ???? leave]

"King Knight: Ah, it's that deathly-pale card courier from the Plains. Fetch me a drink, or clear my path!"
"Specter Knight: My leader's power is growing unfathomably strong. If I were you, I'd show us both more reverence."
"King Knight: My power has grown as well. And unlike you and your fetid frame, I kneel for no one."
"Specter Knight:
Arrogant fool!
You will soon learn your place!
After the second fight: :"Specter Knight:
The final king lies just ahead. Do not wander from your path. But know this. Soon the house of cards will collapse. Choose your allies wisely, and you can still find what you seek.
At the Glidewing: :"Specter Knight: Joustus. A game of children. I know more of it than your tiny mind can possibly fathom. Are you foolish enough to challenge me?"

Stage Introduction Splashes Edit
  • Press Onward!
  • Into the Shadows
  • Darkness!
  • Summon thy Scythe
  • From the Shadows
  • Blight the Earth
  • Hone your Edge
  • Reap your Rewards
  • Into Oblivion
  • Darkness Looms
  • The Reaper Cometh
  • Dash and Slash
  • Escape! (Curio Stages)


  • Specter Knight's appearance comes from various sources:
    • In his knight attire, he is stereotyped as the Grim Reaper, wielding a scythe to reap the life of his foes.
    • His original cloak as Donovan is similar to a serape, except not very colorful compared to real world serapes.
    • His original weapons, a nimcha-like sword and caltrops, are both weapons that originated in Persia.
  • Like the other "Dig the Vote" bosses who got their own campaign, he has his own Steam emoticon.
  • Specter Knight has will for health. This is because he is undead, and to cope with this, health items like turkeys and apples are replaced with rotten bones and apple cores.
  • Specter Knight's original details as a playable character were as follow:[1]
As an undead creature, Specter Knight is a serious and complex character. His macabre story will explain more about his tragic fall from grace.
    • Original Play Style Ideas
      • Rapid scythe attacks which all move Specter Knight forward
      • Scythe Toss and Teleport – Throw scythe for a damaging multi hit attack and then wait for *its return or immediately teleport to its position.
      • Hover and Air Dash.
      • Fast – Can run through levels quickly.
      • Glass Cannon – Has lower health than other characters.
      • Desperation Attacks – Special attacks drain health if available. Can otherwise use *special attacks infinitely if at low health.
  • His boss portrait was changed for release of Specter of Torment across all campaigns.
  • If there are Brittle Boneclangs present when Specter Knight is defeated, they will run away.
  • Specter Knight's real name before they came up with Donovan was "Johnny Specter". This is why the cheat code to always look like Donovan is "SP&JOHNY".
  • Unlike the other playable characters, he does not produce air bubbles while underwater in stages such as the Iron Whale.
  • Back in March 16, 2019, Yacht Club Games developer Morgan Guyer released a quick sketch of a Body Swap Donovan, naming her Donnavan.[2]
  • Specter Knight's dialogue before his first boss fight in the original demo of King of Cards was as follows:
"King Knight: Your taste in attire leaves much to be desired. You shall have no place within my kingdom. Begone
cloth man
"Specter Knight: My servitude lies with the Enchantress... Join us as a knight, and see what a real kingdom looks like!"
"King Knight: My destiny is greater than that of a mere knight and servant. I'm a king!
Outta my way!


See: Specter Knight/Gallery


  1. Character Polls! on the official Yacht Club Games website
  2. Twitter post by Morgan Guyer
Shovel of Hope Characters
Main Characters: Shovel KnightShield KnightBlack KnightThe Enchantress
The Order of No Quarter: King KnightSpecter KnightPlague KnightTreasure KnightMole KnightTinker KnightPolar KnightPropeller Knight
The Wandering Travellers: ReizeBazMr. HatPhantom Striker
Guest Characters: KratosBattletoadsMadam MeeberPassmaster
Village: FarrelsBardMollyGoaticianGoatarmorerGastronomerMagicistJuice MaidDancerDeposed KingGrandma SwampMonaCroakerChesterTroupple AcolyteHoop KidPlaying KidHedge FarmerWater CarrierGrizzled Seer
Armor Outpost: WallaceToaderFishermanMary SweetsLeoPeacock GentDollyArmorerShovel SmithYopplerAirship EnthusiastScholarFish Head
Wandering NPCs: KnightsLady KnightsAdventurersFishermenBag FellowsMaidensDeer LadiesGatherersVillagers
Relic Stages NPCs: VillagerAdventurerGrizzled Seer
Hall of Champions: TicketerCultured FellowPatronThe Big Creep
Troupple Pond and sparkling pits: Troupple KingTroupples
Mini-Bosses: TeethalonThe Dinghy DropperThe Alchemeister
Final Boss: Remnant of Fate
Plague of Shadows Characters
Main Characters: Plague KnightMonaPercyBlack KnightShovel KnightThe Enchantress
The Order of No Quarter: King KnightSpecter KnightTreasure KnightMole KnightTinker KnightPolar KnightPropeller Knight
The Wandering Travellers: ReizeBazMr. HatPhantom Striker
Guest Characters: Madam Meeber
Village: Farrels
Team Plague: MagicistHedge PupilMail MinionOolongPlague Minions
Armor Outpost: ChesterTroupple AcolyteAirship Enthusiast
Hall of Champions: Head GuardCultured FellowPatron
Troupple Pond: Troupple KingTroupples
Mini-Bosses: TeethalonThe Dinghy DropperThe Alchemeister
Final Bosses: Plague of ShadowsCorrupted Essence
Cameo/Ending Only NPCs: BardMollyDollyLeoPeacock GentMary SweetsToaderFishermanWallaceYopplerGrizzled SeerWater CarrierHedge FarmerGastronomerCroakerDeposed KingTroupple AcolyteDeer LadiesLady KnightsBag FellowsFishermenGatherersVillagersKnightsMaidensAdventurers
Specter of Torment Characters
Main Characters: Specter KnightShield KnightLuanReizeDark ReizeBlack Knight (Terrorpin) • The Enchantress
Order Recruits: King KnightPhantom StrikerPlague KnightTreasure KnightMole KnightTinker KnightPolar KnightPropeller Knight
Guest Characters: Madam Meeber
Tower of Fate: RedMannyMissyDark AcolyteCreechLegionScrying GlassMemmecDragon Goldarmor'Edge FarmerHoraceScarletDancerGallBazBoneclangGoldarmorBirderRail RiderPlague Minion
Wandering Minions: WizzemsBoneclangsGoldarmorsLiquid SamuraisHoppiclesesPlague MinionsHover MeanieHoverhaftGhostTundreadRail RiderGulper MageCogslotter
The Lich Yard: Super Skeleton
Mini-Bosses: TeethalonThe Dinghy DropperThe AlchemeisterHurlsvelgr
Final Boss: Nightmare Reize
Ending Only NPCs: Deposed KingTroupple KingVillagerGrizzled SeerPatronLady KnightAirship EnthusiastMonaMr. HatPeacock GentLeoDollyMaidenToaderFishermanKnightsFarrelsHedge FarmerHedge Pupil
King of Cards Characters
Main Characters: King KnightMomKing PridemoorTroupple KingKing BirderSpecter KnightThe Enchantress
Glidewing: DoeCooperBardCardiaGouacheHengineerLedge FarmerVicar of VigorGrandma Swamp
Glidewing Recruits: Hedge PupilDuelist DiTraitorusSkipBartonTroupple AcolytesTMK-500Mr. Hat
The Wandering Travellers: Phantom StrikerBazPlague Knight (Percy) • Treasure KnightMole KnightTinker KnightPolar KnightPropeller Knight
House of Joustus: RookieHoop KidPlaying KidGoaticianJuice MaidCroakerRuffianBlack KnightKnightsGathererGrizzled Seers
Cavern of Joustus: VisitorArmorerShovel SmithMole MinionBlorb/BlazorbToaderMona
Crag of Joustus: Old LadyLeoCogslotterHover MeanieCroakerToaderSpinwulvesYopplerOolongPlague Minion
Tower of Joustus: MissyLiquid SamuraiWizzemRedHorace
Joustus houses/Glidewing: Chester
Wandering NPCs: Old LadiesCard PlayersBag FellowsVisitorsRookiesAdventurersGamblersLady KnightsPlague MinionsLunksWizzemsHoppiclesesCogslottersHover MeaniesTundreadsHoverhaftsRail RidersGhostsGoldarmorsGulper MagesBoneclangsLiquid Samurais
Chest Stage NPCs: Hedge FarmerFarrelsGrizzled SeerGastronomerSnow MaidenBag Fellow
Eerie Manor: The Big Creep
Void Crater: DollyHorzio
Fairy Glade: Madam Meeber
Mini-Bosses: Mole MinionTeethalon
Final Boss: The Grand Triumvirate
Background/Ending Only NPCs: The AlchemeistersWhippiclesesPeacock GentTicketerCultured FellowsPatronsMagicistShovel Knight
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.