Your hunt for Mole Knight will take you to Lost City, a rather heated sort of place. You'll get some nice rewards once you clear it, though.
In the entrance chamber, you'll see slime that patrols back and forth. It has flames atop its head, so landing on it is a bad idea. There is sand you can shovel through, or you can hop to the right and advance in that direction to reach a room with more slime, sand and stone. There's also a treasure chest along the right side. Cross carefully, hopping well over the top of the two slimes, and jump to reach the treasure chest. Open it for some gems, then return left and dig your way through that room.
The chamber you reach below contains a few slimes. As they head toward you, lava droplets fall from the ceiling and set them ablaze. Hack away the slime, then run under the lava when the coast is clear. Dig through some sand and drop to the lower level with your shovel aimed downward to attack the enemy that prances around in that space, carrying a horsehead shield. You will bounce from him harmlessly, but at least he won't hurt you. To defeat him, you have to hit him in the back with a quick shovel thrust. Next, hop over a few gaps while avoiding more lava drops, and descend through the shaft by eliminating more sand.
This chamber contains a few flying bird heads. They can take a bit of damage before falling. There's also another of the prancing horsehead enemies. You can break apart the wall to your left and keep hacking at it to finally reveal an opening through which you can drop. Be careful of the flying bird head as you do so. Then destroy some stone blocks to descend through a hole along the room's lower left side.
In the next room, you'll drop onto an oversized beetle of some sort with a green gem on his back. When you touch that, you'll bounce upward. You need to keep moving to the right, bouncing and destroying blocks that get in your way as you avoid enemies and lava droplets. It is easy enough to do. At the far right side of the area, you can destroy a weak wall to reveal an alcove with a treasure chest that you can open for gems. Then bounce onto the higher ledge and stroll to the right to find a mini-boss.
This fellow stands on the opposite side of a rope bridge. He takes turns slashing outward with his weapon and sending fiery bursts. You can drop down and break the wall to your left to reveal a food item of some sort. If you stand between the two lava lines, your enemy's shots will pass harmlessly around you. Then you can approach when you're good and ready. You only have to stab him a few times and he's done.
Head right from there and tag a checkpoint as you continue advancing. This area includes a lot of lava, and a bath in that is immediately fatal. As you leap over pits, note that lava fish will leap out of it. You can use downward thrusts to bounce along them, or you can stand near the edge of a ledge and stab them to eliminate them. Watch out also for more falling lava droplets, and a flying bird head. Near the right side of the area, there's also a red knight waiting. Defeat him and then continue right into the next screen, where you can tag another checkpoint.
Here, destroy the left half of the block formation by jumping up and slashing at the large block near where flaming slime are patrolling overhead. They should fall into the lava and leave part of the block formation. Leap up onto it, near the patrolling horshead. Jump to the upper right and walk in that direction to find a hidden room. You can cross it by bouncing on top of the lava fish that will emerge as you progress. At the far side of that area, you'll open a chest to obtain a Music Sheet
. Then return left the way you came, and when you reach the previous room, chop your way down through the opening and fall into the screen below.
This room is a bit dangerous because if you're falling from above, it's hard to stop pogo hopping with your shovel and in the process eliminating valuable blocks that you need to cross safely to the left. Your goal is to hit a block to the left, which starts a snake-like pattern of blocks to disappearing. Drop down and press left to the far left side of the chamber, then jump from the large block to collect some easy gems before you drop through a hole and into the next screen.
On this screen, you'll find another puzzle similar to the one you just cleared. Don't destroy the bottom row of cinder blocks, whatever you do. The others, however, should be removed so you can leap left and drop through another opening.
You are now in a room with a checkpoint. The green soup at the base is rubbery, so you'll bounce along it. Tag the checkpoint, then bounce back left and slash at the wall to reveal a hidden opening. Pass through it and head left to find Chester, who wants to sell you the Dust Knuckles
for 3000 gold. Buy them, if you can. You can use them to reach some chests to the left, or head back right to the checkpoint.
From that checkpoint, continue right and bounce onto a floating ledge. Ride it over a gap, then keep going in that direction and you'll come to a ledge with green goop that drops from the ceiling. You can use a downward thrust to bounce from this. You can also hack it and cause it to slide to the side. Bounce from one of the green blobs, over a wall and to another area where slimes approach. Let the goop extinguish their flames, then kill the slimes. Knock a blob of goop right and bounce from it to reach the next high ledge, then keep advancing right.
You will reach another wide room here where you can start across more lava. The way to do this is by slashing at blobs and sliding them into the lava. They will temporarily cool the lava so that you can stand on it for a few seconds if you need to. Cool the first bit of lava and drop onto it, then hack the wall to your left to reveal an opening with a chest that contains gems. There is also a slime blob here, so hit it back right and bounce up to the high ledge to the right.
There is a bit of a puzzle here. You need to hit a slime ball from the edge of a ledge here, so that it slides onto a platform that heads left and right nearby. Do so as the ledge is nearing the left side of its path. Then as it slides back toward the right, goop will fall from it and cool the lava. Now you need to jump down to that lava and quickly cross to the right. You'll have to continue hitting more slime here, some in the air, so that you can knock it over to a lava ledge and hop across. Keep going in this manner until you reach the chamber's far right side, where you can just barely bounce from the lava and up onto the high ledge to the right side of the pit.
You can return to that pit in a moment, since clearly you are supposed to drop down it, but first you should head right to find a chamber with a Music Sheet
. You have to manipulate more slime to cross the lava to the far side and collect the sheet, then return left to the previous room and finally drop through that pit.
In the chamber below, you'll find more of the cinder blocks that quickly vanish once you stab one of them. There is also a knight. Your best strategy here is to avoid him as you head left. You can bounce from his upraised shield and onto a small safe spot to the left. Then stab it and let the blocks evaporate and dump the knight into the lava.
This is another room with lava you can cool. You can push some from the high ledge and drop it down to the main body of lava below. To your lower left, there is another of the mini-boss enemies with his spear. You should quickly eliminate him. Hop onto the ledge if you must and take a bit of damage as you repeatedly slash at him. That's better than dying by touching lava, after all. When he is defeated, you can drop through the shaft to the left that he was guarding.
You will find a checkpoint to tag in the room below. Do so, then destroy the sand blocks to the right. Next, drop down through the opening to the left to start the beetle moving toward the right. Jump back up and head right, then drop onto the beetle again and ride it as it continues toward the right. You will need to destroy blocks and a few enemies as you ride in that direction, but there's not much here to make things genuinely difficult. In the next screen, you'll tag the stage's final checkpoint. You can break apart the wall to the upper right to find a turkey. Otherwise, slash your way through the lower chamber to meet up with the area boss.
The Dust Buster ability is useful here, so make sure you have it equipped. Your foe, as his name suggests, is a mole. He will spend a lot of time flying back and forth across the corridor, and you can either jump and hit him with a downward shover thrust or you can use the Dust Buster ability to punch through him without taking damage from his charge.
The Mole Knight also likes to send blocks your way. You can jump over some of these, or slash through them with regular or Dust Buster attacks. Double block columns are handled best with the latter approach.
When Mole Knight starts heating up and a fiery aura surrounds him, that's a good time to keep your distance. He is impervious to your attacks at that point, and he'll send out shots that you want to leap to avoid (or run under, depending on their arcs). Other times, he'll produce several piles of dirt and will emerge from one of them, so be careful not to stand in the wrong place. You can use a downward shovel thrust to hit him when he first appears, and also when he is burrowing into the ground. Most of the damage you can do, though, is done when he's flying across the screen and you hit him on the way. He'll do that often as the fight nears its conclusion. As long as you're fast, it will be an easy fight.
Once you win, you should have another bonus stage dream where you can eliminate enemies for gems and then catch your falling friend. Afterwards, you will appear back in camp and should be able to open a chest for a Meal Ticket
(it's possible that the bonus is available based on a set number of stages cleared and is not tied to the defeat of Mole Knight himself, but I haven't been able to determine that just yet). After you grab any goodies, return to the map and head to any new areas. Now that you have the Dust Buster ability, a good place to visit is Knuckler's Quarry.
NEXT: Stranded Ship