There have been rumors of a Shovel Knight amiibo figure floating around the internet for some time, but Nintendo, Yacht Club Games, and the Game Grumps (because why not?) have officially revealed an NFC figure for the champion of shovelry. Scanning the amiibo into a Wii U version of Shovel Knight will unlock an exclusive co-op mode, while scanning it into a 3DS version will unlock exclusive challenge stages. It will also unlock exclusive customizable gear in both Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Sadly, there’s no word on anything like a Legend of Zelda crossover stage in either version to match the God of War and Battletoads levels that were added for free to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game respectively.
Naturally, there’s been a great deal of speculation that this sets a precedent for Shovel Knight himself to appear as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros, but there’s actually little to support that. This figure was made specifically for use in Shovel Knight as evidenced by the labeling of the box and that the figure’s base has a different engraving from that used for the Smash line of amiibo as you can see by looking closely at the above picture. This could be a good sign of his chances at the roster, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.
What this does set a precedent for is Nintendo to license out the amiibo brand to other third-party developers that they work closely with. Shovel Knight is the first non-Nintendo-owned game to have its own amiibo line. While we’ve seen other third-party amiibo with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and the promised Ryu amiibo, all of those are tied to the Super Smash Bros line rather than representing their own franchises. There are the two Skylanders: SuperChargers figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong that double as amiibo, but that’s only for the two characters in the cast based on Nintendo characters and doesn’t extend to any of Activision’s own characters. We may see more companies release NFC figures under the amiibo banner in the future. The most likely candidates, given their recent history with Nintendo, would likely be Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Activision, Square Enix, and Tecmo Koei. Are you planning to pick up a Shovel Knight amiibo? What other games do you want to see receive their own amiibo support? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.