This is the area where the game begins, following the initial cutscene.
Head right along the grassy area. You can hit a mound of dirt to produce gems. Past that, a red beetle patrols. Hit him with your shovel, too.
Beyond the beetle, hop along some ledges, tending to beetles as you advance. You'll encounter large yellow blocks of sand along ledges. Your shovel destroys those just as easily as it does the dirt. Keep going until you reach a wall of those blocks, near a pit. Break apart the sand and pass onward.
Now you will soon come to a shaft with sand blocks. If you jump and press Down on the directional pad, you'll aim the shovel downward and can use it to break through the sand. Do so, and continue right. In this next chamber, bubbles float up and hover in the air. If you try to jump onto them directly, they'll inflict damage. Instead, use your downward shovel move to bounce harmlessly to the safety of a higher grass-covered ledge to the right. Then ascend a ladder.
In the new area, you can pass through and activate a checkpoint. To the left, there's a ladder you can climb to higher ground. Leap over to a floating ledge. Collect the gems and continue right, to higher ground, where another beetle is patrolling. If it's near when you jump, a downward strike can safely eliminate it.
Continuing right, you'll find another ledge floating back and forth over a bed of spikes. Hop onto it and ride to the right, then continue in that direction to reach a slumbering dragon.
Be careful of the dragon. As you get close, it wakes up and spews a bunch of the bubbles. Be ready to jump those, and then you want to bounce on the dragon's nose using your downward strike. The dragon will move back and forth, but you should be able to match its movements and keep bouncing (dealing damage each time) while bubbles float harmlessly to your left. A few good hits will finish off the dragon.
Collect your loot and descend the nearby ladder. You will reach a room with a skeleton. There are skulls lying about that you can flick with your shovel. That launches them in a low arc, toward your advancing foe. Otherwise, shovel attacks will also cause harm. Defeat him and break through more sand blocks, then descend to the room below.
Here, you can collect some easy loot. The dirt wall to the right will break apart when you hit it with your shovel, allowing you to climb along ladders and break apart more dirt (watch out for the green slime enemies that emerge when you do so) and some sand, to finally descend along a shaft near the screen's far right side.
At the base of that shaft, you'll find yourself on a high ledge. There's an opening to the right, near a beetle, and to the left a skeleton positioned near a weak wall. Drop down and take out the beetle, then hop left across the spikes. Take care of the skeleton and break apart the wall to reveal a secret chamber where you can gather more gems and a Music Sheet
. Then return right and proceed past the beetle.
In this area, you'll soon come to a flying green dragon. You can bounce off his back to obtain a precious gem. Climb the sand to the right, and hack at the black space above it. You'll reveal a hidden passage with a precious gem that you don't want to miss. Then you should descend and continue right, taking care of more slime as you go.
You will pass through and activate another checkpoint now, which is good. Ahead, there's a pit you'll have to cross by bouncing on a bubble while your shovel blade is pointed downward. On the opposite side of that pit, you'll take out a slime and then you can climb a ladder into the chamber overhead.
Astutely, you should notice a weak wall along the right side of this room. There are floating ledges to the left, with a dragon flying between them, and further left a ladder. Hop onto the left ledge, then leap right and bounce off the back of the dragon to land on the ledge that moves horizontally left and right. From it, leap to the ledge to the right, and hit the weak wall with your shovel. You'll reveal an opening. Head through it to find a dangerous area where you can hop along more bubbles to proceed. If you make it to the far right, you'll find another Music Sheet
. Then you can return left and climb the ladder in the previous room.
The ladder leads to another room with a weak wall. If you want, you can break it apart and quickly defeat the skeleton it was hiding to find some precious gems. On the upper level in that same room, you can also break apart the wall to the right to reveal a hidden space. It falls away and you can collect more goodies and battle another skeleton. Then climb the ladder near the upper right to reach a treasure chest. Open it to obtain heaps of treasure. Then you can head back down a screen. Climb the ladder to the left and hop right along those ledges to activate a new checkpoint.
Beyond the checkpoint, you'll arrive at an area where you can jump along some ledges. Dragons fly toward you here, but you can easily jump over them. Just don't let them knock you from your perch at an inopportune moment. Reach the far right side of the area and pass through to the next screen. There, you'll face another of the slumbering dragons. Deal with him as you did the previous one, while watching that you don't deal a killing blow and then plummet into the small pit. Then continue right.
This next room is actually a bit tricky, because there's a skeleton waiting on a main ledge you have to leap to. As you land, he'll charge, so be ready to quickly jump and then use a downward thrust of the shovel to deal some damage. Take out the skeleton and you then nead to leap to a very narrow ledge, and from it to a ladder along the screen's right side. Then you can climb that ladder into the next screen.
Here, you can break apart sand to descend to a grassy area with slime. There are multiple slime enemies here, and they like to slide in the grass. Make sure you carefully eliminate both of them. You can break a weak wall to the left for another large gem, as well. Then climb the ladder overhead and arrive in a new area with a dragon flying to your left. You can bounce along him and head left on that ledge to reach yet another new area. Proceed left through here, bouncing along a bubble as you do, and you'll reach a treasure chest full of gems. Then backtrack right and continue in that direction past some beetles to reach another checkpoint. Past that checkpoint waits your first boss encounter.
This should prove a relatively simple encounter, as the Black Knight only has a few very basic attacks that are quite easy to see coming (most of them) and to avoid.
One move is easy to see because your foe glows pink before launching a large projectile. Just jump over that projectile. Another move involves leaping into the air and using a downward thrust. The knight advances toward you by using this move four thrusts at a time, but it's easy to run under him as he is rebounding upward.
Use your own downward thrusts to do the most damage. You can also use regular shovel attacks, but those open you up to damage a bit more. Either way, you shouldn't have to fight for long before you win.
Following that battle, a scene plays out and you find yourself at a campfire. You can jump up and then head away from the campfire to finally access the game map, where you can travel next to the Village area.
NEXT: Pridemoor Keep