As you start right through this first area, you'll come into contact with a few enemies and situations that might be unfamiliar to you.
The first new enemy you'll meet is a frog. You can jump and strike a frog with a downward thrust of your shovel, and that's a great way to open any dealings with the critter. It will take a couple of such hits to eliminate the frog, or you can use standard horizontal strikes. Just know that the frog sometimes sends out an electric barrier, and it moves pretty quickly when it hops.
Besides the frog, you'll encounter clumps of green along the ground. If you hit one from the side, it will spring briefly into the air. Then you can jump onto it with your shovel pointed downward. You'll bounce pretty high then, allowing you to reach higher ground or sail into the air and grab goodies.
Further right, you'll find a specter floating above a mound of soil. You can slash the specter and it will fade away for a moment, allowing you to dig gems out of the soil. The enemy will return before you're done, possibly, so be ready to hack it again. Continue right from there, and dig down through blocks to descend along a shaft to the area below.
Here, you'll see a bunch of walls to the left. They're almost all weak. You can jump and slash to break through them, revealing loot in a treasure chest near the far upper left. Some of the walls also hide skeletons that you should eliminate. Then you can exit to the right and activate the stage's first checkpoint.
As you proceed from the checkpoint, you'll encounter a headless skeleton enemy that wanders back and forth. You can bounce off his head to reach an overhead ladder. In this room, a spector floats toward you. Hack at the wall to the left to reveal an opening with some gems. You can also bounce from the top of the poles to reach higher ground and dig out some gems, releasing additional spectors in the process.
When you're ready, descend the ladder to return to the previous room, and this time head right. You'll reach a chamber with a mini-boss. There's a skeleton ahead of you that you should defeat in the usual manner. Beyond him, a large pile of bones awaits. As you approach, it assembles itself to form a much larger skeleton that leaps toward you and swings a club at you. It will periodically collapse briefly into a pile of bones again. When that happens, jump and stab downward with your shovel. You can bounce on the bones, and then on the skeleton as it reassembles. Keep bouncing and moving left or right as necessary until you deal enough strikes that the enemy is defeated. It will drop a lot of loot. Then you can climb the ladder along the corridor's upper right side.
There are a few frogs in this room, and a floating ledge. You can hit the green shrub to make it rise, then bounce from it to the floating ledge. Collect the goodies on a ledge to the upper left if you like, then head right along upper ground and into the next screen.
The lights dim dramatically here, so that you can mostly see silhouettes except when lightning flashes. You can break away a weak wall here that is visible as lightning flashes, to reveal some gems. However, you should devote more of your attention to the ground. There are pits here and you can only spy their location when an illuminating flash of lightning briefly makes it possible. Make sure that you leap over those, and don't let the floating specter knock you backward into a gap.
On the next screen to the right, you'll activate another checkpoint and also have more reliable light. Kill the rushing, headless skeletons. There's a ladder leading to the overhead area, but you can also slash the wall to the right to reveal a hidden ladder. Descend it to reach a treasure room. You can jump and use downward strikes to hit and bounce from each of the poles positioned along a watery gap. Reach the ladder and climb up. Open the chest to find a lot of loot, then strike the wall to the right. Defeat the skeleton, then head right and climb back up the ladder to the previous chamber. Then climb another ladder to reach new territory.
Here, you have a bit of a puzzle if you want to reach the high ledge along the left side of the area. There are two green shrubs positioned along the ground. Stand between the two of them. Hack the left one, then quickly the right one. Jump straight up and hack the left one again so that it rises even higher. Then quickly jump again and bounce off the one to the right, then the one to the left and from there to high ground.
Walk left now to reach a secret area with a Music Sheet
to the left. It's another of those areas where lightning flashes reveal your footing. It would be easy to cross safely here, watching lightning flashes to see your solid ground, except one of those stupid specters floats around and makes things more difficult. You can still cross, though, and grab the note. Just try to hack the specter while it is near the edge of a ledge, so you can occupy that same ledge and hack it again as needed without being knocked into a pit or rushed.
Once you have the music sheet, return to the right and continue in that direction (past the room where you bounced along the shrubs) to reach an area with ledges that will slowly descend into watery depths as you stand on them. You can defeat shaman skeletons as you run to the right here. Make sure that you jump as needed, to avoid keeping too much weight on the treacherous footing. There is a frog to deal with toward the right side of the area, and you need to eliminate him quickly or he'll weigh down the platform. Be careful not to jump against the spikes, which will instantly kill you. Toward the far right side of this area, you'll have to make a leap to a ladder and climb into the next room.
That next room is another where you must rely upon flashes of lightning to see where you can safely tread. Jump left across two batches of spikes and take out a beetle on the far side. Climb a ladder and jump onto the floating platform when it is near, then quickly break away sand blocks with your shovel as the platform floats back toward the right. Jump to the high ledge and continue right.
This is yet another room where the lightning is your friend. There is a frog jumping around in a square chamber near the center of the area. You can hit the ground at the middle of that area to dig down through an opening, but first you have to reach him. Head to the right side, where a shaman skeleton head is resting on a ledge. Though you may not have noticed this previously, the ledges only descend under your weight if they are in contact with one of those shaman heads. You can hop a few times to raise the ledge if you need, then knock the head left with your shovel. Keep knocking it left so it reaches the ledge along the left side of the room, then let that sink enough that you can head into the open space with the frog. Defeat the frog, then dig through the sand and drop through the hole to the next screen down.
If you're careful in this room, you can let the skeletons approach and then you can bounce from their skulls up to the ledge to the left. Head left through that opening to find a special room. Cross along the ceiling to reach a blue chest, where Chester is waiting. For 1000 gold, you can purchase the Phase Locket
. Do it, then head back right past the frogs and take out the skeletons you dealt with previously.
To the right past those skeletons, climb a ladder and reach the next room to find a checkpoint. There's a chest along a lower ledge here, as well. To open it, you'll need to head right and bounce from a pole onto an upper ledge. Knock a shaman skull left so it lands on the sinking ledge that is positioned just to the right of the treasure chest. Head quickly along it and to the left, below the overhang, to reach the alcove with the chest. Open it to find a Music Sheet
. Then return right and advance through the area until you near the upper right side. You can break a weak wall and bounce from a pole up to the ceiling here, and walk across it to reach gems to the right. Grab that loot, then backtrack left.
This time, you need to head right along the lower level. There's a floating specter here that you may have noticed when you visited the room on the higher level to grab the gems. One of the floors here is actually a pitfall, and you need to drop down through it to reach the screen below. This reveals another skeleton mini-boss to the right. You can defeat him as normal, but make sure you break apart a weak wall to the left when you're done to find and loot a treasure chest. Then strike the shrub near the right side of the area and bounce from it to the overhead ladder, which you should climb to reach a checkpoint in the next room.
You are now in another of those chambers where lightning flashes prove so important. Frogs will hop along the ledges toward you near the start, so eliminate them just to make things safer. Then watch lightning flashes as you leap along a few narrow ledges toward the right. You'll have to watch the timing of a floating ledge overhead, and hit a shrub and then bounce from that to the ledge. As you continue right from there, skeletons wait on a few floating ledges. Jump when you're as high as possible and the ledges are quite low, and use downward thrusts to eliminate the skeletons so you can keep moving. Past there, you'll see some more ledges. These are of the sinking sort, though, and you can't necessarily tell that they are sinking because the darkness hides the fact. Leap quickly across them to more solid ground, watching for specters along the way. Then hit a shrub and bounce up to a higher ledge to the right.
Walk right into the next chamber to reach the stage's final checkpoint (and a weak wall to the left that you can destroy to find a turkey), and beyond that the area boss.
Your foe here is quite dangerous, but there are strategies you can use to avoid most of his attacks. The arena consists of flat ground and two floating ledges. I find that I have the most luck when I use the upper right ledge as my (relatively) safe spot. When Specter Knight floats toward me, I can jump and slash to deal damage and push him back a time or two. I also can more easily avoid his occasional air dashes and strikes.
When Specter Knight floats to the upper right side of the screen, he'll toss a whirling blade. You can duck it, then jump up and hit him a time or two. Then he'll materialize along the bottom and possibly even repeat the process. You can bounce from his head one or more times and keep dealing damage while easily avoiding the blades.
Specter Knight sometimes calls skeletons that appear on the ledges, but just destroy the one that appears on your safe ground and ignore the others. They will disappear soon enough.
Finally, Specter Knight douses the lights when the battle is nearing its end. Working against the silhouettes, not much changes about how you fight. Hopefully, you're familiar with the area and the attacks by that point and can easily avoid hazards while you deal out the last required damage. You can also use the Phase Locket as needed, if you have it. The fight shouldn't prove overly difficult, in the end.
When you defeat the boss, you'll be able to play a bonus game where you try to eliminate as many enemies along the ground level as you can, while a friend falls through the air. You are told to save her by catching her as she reaches the bottom, though the cluster of enemies can make that difficult. Then when you wake from your dram, you can open a chest for a Meal Ticket
, before exiting the area and returning to the world map.
Take your ticket back to the village, and also make sure that you visit the basement area and talk to the dancer. You'll trigger a scene and gain another Music Note
. You should now have three notes to sell to the bard, if you wish. When you're done messing around in the village, it's time to visit some new areas that are likely available to you on the map.