Beyond the battles
When you’re not exploring the main levels, there are some fun diversions on the world map. Optional bosses like The Baz (copy-and-pasted from Divekick) occasionally pop up, and these are some of the best fights of the game. There are also optional challenge levels, which actually require some of those overpowered items to complete--but these are more difficult than the standard stages, and reward you with lots of treasure. For those who want a greater challenge, they are a great option.
Every level is completely different from the last, with new traps like falling chandeliers and spurts of lava being regularly introduced. It’s a fun way to drive you to play “just one more level,” to see--and conquer--the new features of each one. They’re each themed on a member of the Order of No Quarter, a board of knights with varying elemental abilities (see the gallery below for a breakdown). One such stage, modeled after Specter Knight, is a dark graveyard, where you can only see the platforms below you when lightning flashes, lighting up the area. It’s a thrilling stage; a highlight amongst a slew of genuinely novel levels.
This variety carries over into the end-of-level bosses themselves. Each stage is capped with a battle against one of the Order’s knights, whose personality matches his home level. Just as you’re driven to see what each level offers, it’s a thrill seeing a new knight in battle.
Treasure Knight, for example, lives in a flooded submarine filled with plundered gold, and he attacks by zipping around the arena with a grappling hook/spear gun device. Plague Knight lives in a castle-turned-potion-shop, and he floods the screen with vials of poison and explosives. These are pulse-pounding battles littered with flying projectiles and flailing blades.