The Polar Knight waits for you at the end of the Stranded Ship area, which is actually not terribly dangerous as long as you are cautious. You've dealt with more challenging areas already, to get to this point.
The first screen in the area is a good place to acquaint yourself with a new hazard: slick surfaces. You'll slide around on the ice, but you can jump straight up to stop the sliding a bit (or at least to control it). There's a weak wall to the right that you can hack to reveal a gem, which you should grab before beating a hasty retreat. There's also a bomb in that same space, and you don't want to get caught in its blast. Then you can make your way along the beetle-patrolled platforms overhead, and enter the next screen to the right.
A purple wolf likes to dash toward you here, but he's on the opposite side of a snow bank and doesn't seem to have much luck moving past it. Leap over to that bank and take out the wolf, then grab treasure and keep advancing to the right. You can hop along the upper ledges here and ride a moving platform right to reach a high ledge near the upper right side of the area. Open a chest there for some easy gems, then dig through the snow block and drop to the ice below (where a wolf may be dashing back and forth, so be careful).
Proceed right to the next screen and you'll meet a new sort of enemy that looks not unlike a Viking. He is impervious to downward shovel strikes, but you can still bounce from him repeatedly to avoid putting yourself in a position where he can chuck a spear at you easily. Move right here, avoiding the wolf and breaking apart ice blocks so you can continue advancing. You will find a sparkling fishing hole near one of the Viking enemies. Defeat the enemy and fish from the hole if you like, then continue right. You will find a final of the Viking enemies. Defeat him and break a weak wall to the right to find treasure. Then destroy some stones and veer right as you fall to squeeze through an opening.
Head right beyond that opening. You'll reach a room with a checkpoint, though you're not home free yet. You need to cross a bed of spikes, which you can do by leaping along the ice ledge. However, a magician enemy is perched on a ledge overhead. He throws blue light that drops sparkly snowflakes. If you hit one, it will do damage. Be careful to avoid those flakes as you cross over and tag the checkpoint. Then climb the ladder and take out the magician. Hop along the floating ledges to his left and cross the screen to the left to reach the area's other ladder. Climb it.
In the next screen, you'll find some prancing enemies with horsehead shields. You have fought these before, even if they were a different color. They're no stronger now, though perhaps also they're less conveniently placed. Jump to the first ledge as the first enemy reaches its left edge and starts back toward the right. Slash its back, then jump to the floating platform rising up and down to the right. Stand near its right side and you can safely jump and slash the second enemy as it turns back toward the right. Then cross to the solid ground it was guarding and enter the next screen.
Here, you can use the Dust Knuckle ability to easy cruise to the right and take out the top of two enemies. Then you can descend through the ice blocks and take out a second one before dropping through the opening it is guarding.
As you land in the next room, you'll find that the blocks are insubstantial and immediately drop as you land on them. Fortunately, they just fall into place on spikes but protect you from harm. You can jump right and destroy a block for gems, then head left and drop along a shaft to reach a lower screen.
You can stab left as you fall into this screen, revealing an opening. Then bounce from the back of the prancing horsehead enemy and up through the gap. Proceed left to find a hidden room. There is a magician here. You may find that it is easiest to drop to the lowest level and then use Knuckle Duster strikes to cross back to the room's right side along the lower level. There, you can open a chest to find gems, and you can defeat the magician and break apart the wall behind him for yet another one. Then return to the room to the right.
Now it's time to focus on crossing this room and continuing right. You can safely bounce from the lower of the prancing horse enemies, up to the puffy ledges overhead. Let those drop to protect you from spikes. Then take out the upper of the two horse enemies. Jump from its ledge toward the right, making sure that you land on the furthest right of the snow puffs. That way, you won't fall through them and graze the spikes. With those snow puffs now blocking the spikes, hop on them and hit the wall to the right to reveal a gem but also a bomb. Grab your loot and back away while the bomb explodes. Then return and hop to the upper right. Pass through that opening.
The next room has a checkpoint. Tag that and continue right, watching the statue on the ledge in that direction. You can hop on it and stab it to make it move left or right by pouring out rainbow light, which you can walk along. Guide it to the right and let it descend through that opening. Then fire it left and head that way to grab gems. When you reach the left wall, jump up once so that the platform rises a bit. Then guide it back to the right and pass through the opening on the screen's right side.
You are in another room with a statue ledge. There is also a magician, to the upper right. You can use the platform to ride to the right. Then hop a few times to make it rise so that you can jump up and defeat the magician. When he is gone, head back left and knock away the ice blocks. Then drop down and ride the ledge back left. Let it rise through the opening you created between the blocks, and then ride it right past where the magician was perched. In that direction, you'll be able to stay high and avoid spears that enemies are launching in your direction. Then you can reach them and defeat them before you drop down and pass through another opening to the right.
Continuing from there, you'll find an area with another spear-tossing foe. You can jump and hack at ice blocks that prevent you from using ladders. I like to leave the bottom of those blocks in place, as a safeguard. Then you can hop up and take out the enemy (and also a weak wall to the upper left, if you need food) before continuing right. Again, take out the top two blocks of ice or so, allowing you to continue right. Be careful of the flying enemy here, which you can bounce from to grab gems on your way through the next opening.
In a new screen, you will find hammer-tossing enemies climbing and descending a series of ladders you need to cross, ahead of a checkpoint. Cross very carefully here, clinging to one ladder at a time while you take out the next foe. The third one is out of reach, so you'll need to drop below him and then quickly right again between his stream of hammers. Break open the weak wall beneath the checkpoint to find a bomb and some turkey. Then tag the checkpoint and head back left through the room. Ascend the ladder at its upper left side.
There is a weak wall here, so hack through it and then pass left into the next room. This one contains a blue treasure chest. To get to it, you'll need to jump out on the puffy ledges to the left and use them to make the right of two floating, spike-lined platforms a bit safer. Then you can jump from that and left again to do the same thing to the left platform. From the left platform, you can leap to the ledge where the chest waits and pay Chester a whopping 4000 gold for the War Horn
. Do it, then return to the screen to the right.
Continue right, watching for the enemy on the ladder that will try to hit you with his hammers. Past that, there's a gold knight waiting to rush you on the low icy ledge. You can mostly just avoid him, by jumping up through the space and continuing right. Destroy a block and let a wolf through (leap over it as it charges, and it'll pass to the left without doing you any harm).
There's a fishing spot here if you want to spend a moment angling, but otherwise you can jump to the higher ledge and brave the rush of another wolf. Past him, there's a floating ice ledge with a statue. Jump a few times to let it ascend, then direct it right and take out the hammer-wielding enemies as you go. When you reach the far right side of the area, pass through the opening to a new chamber.
A checkpoint is positioned along the right side of this room. To reach it, you'll have to bounce along the backs of some birds that are flying in circular motions. It should be easy enough to do. Then you can climb a ladder to the room overhead.
Here, you can toss a Throwing Anchor to easily eliminate the enemies on ladders. Then climb into the overhead room and at the top of the ledge, avoid the bird. Descend through some ice blocks then, but be sure to hold left and not let yourself dig all the way through to the spikes. Then you need to dig down through some sand. That will let you drop back down to the previous screen, where you can bounce from the back of a circling bird. Head up a ladder to the left and climb back to the previous screen. Ascend and take out the enemy, then destroy the ice block and keep climbing into the next chamber.
There is a magician here, tossing snow magic to the right. Jump up and defeat him, then head left to find a hidden room. There is a Music Sheet
here, in a difficult location to reach. Jump to the nearest platform, then the next one. From it, jump to the higher of the two horizontally-moving platforms. Ride it left, collecting gems, and jump down to the stationary ice ledge near the screen's left side. You can drop from it to the lower ledge and ride it to the right to grab the sheet. Then return more or less the way you came.
Back to the right, you'll need to defeat the wolves and you can also drop down and open a treasure chest to find some gems. You must leap along the puffy ledges that drop to spikes, making yourself a safe means of crossing to the far side of the chamber. There is a Music Sheet
up here, positioned along a ledge that you can only safely reach by bouncing from the back of a dive-bombing blue bird. Grab it, then continue right, still avoiding birds and laying down snow ledges for yourself. Get to the far side of the screen and you can pass through an opening to find the final checkpoint. Break the wall just above it apart if you need food, then head right to meet the boss.
Your foe and you apparently have a history, but you're both ready to put that aside and brawl.
Polar Knight is not dangerous as the battle begins, but his behavior makes the fight grow more difficult the longer it lasts. That's because he uses his shovel to dig away snow. That produces snowballs that you can bounce from if you land on them with your shovel pointed downward. The problem is that as Polar Knight keeps producing snowballs, he will also shovel away snow and that reveals a floor of spikes.
Naturally, Polar Knight can walk along the spikes just fine. You, however, cannot. You'll need to bounce from Polar Knight's head, which causes him to raise his shovel. Then you can hopefully land to one of his sides and strike him a time or two before he starts making more snowballs or tries to charge you. If you keep dealing damage, your foe will actually fall fairly quickly and you won't have to worry about the spikes. Otherwise, you'll be forced to bounce harmlessly from his head a lot and sometimes he'll swipe at you and deal damage with his shovel. It's definitely best to show some hustle.
When you finally defeat Polar Knight, you won't get much in the way of rewards, but you will get to keep the loot that you found in his stage. That's always nice!
NEXT: Flying Machine