"A 'W' for me and an 'L' for you!"
—The Knight, Death Screen
The Knight is a gray horse with a body shape similar to a chess piece, with a round bottom and lanky arms and legs. He dons a golden knight helmet with his ears sticking out, a pink plume of his hair, and neck protection. His tunic is mostly red with gold diamonds at the bottom, with a gold seam around his hips. His armor has some round plating on the elbows and knees. He wields a short sword with a round golden guard and a wooden shield.
As the battle begins in the hall of the knights, the Knight covers his eyes with the visor before slamming his sword on his shield two times.
During his fight, the Knight will have his sword raised above his head and a shield in front most of the time.
His attacks are as follows:
- Upward Thrust: The Knight momentarily lets his guard down, then thrusts his sword upwards.
- Sword Dash: The Knight holds his sword up sideways, then dashes across the field. He will tire out for a bit after this.
- Wild Swing: The Knight ducks down and puts his visor up to look and smile at the player, then lets out a neigh as he swings his sword in an upwards arc. He will tire out for a bit longer after this.
- Taunt: The Knight stands up straight and beckons the player to come closer to him. This move is always performed if the player is too far away from him.
He always has his back covered by raising his sword when he is not tired. If a player happens to be somewhere behind him or close to the wall than he is after an attack, he will dash away from the player, specifically to the other side of the room. If the player is behind him after a dash attack, he will quickly turn around with his guard up. He can also dash away from you out of a taunt if you happen to be behind him and far enough away from him too. He makes some horse neigh when he dash away from the player. If the player idles on the far side of the room without performing any actions, then during one of his taunts, the knight will suddenly perform a faster dash attack without either winding up or tiring out.
Like the Pawns before him, the Knight can't be attacked by shooting. They can only damage him by striking his plume with their parry.
After taking enough damage, his helmet, sword, and shield flies towards the screen while he spins around and bucks like an actual horse that breaks into panic.
- The Knight's death screen line likely references how in real chess, the knight can only move in a "L" shaped pattern.
- In real life, the plumes on some knights' helmets were made of horsehair. In the Knight's case, his plume is simply his own mane on the back of his head, as seen in his defeat animation.
- He was first revealed in the Game Awards trailer.
- His fight is similar to Jelly the Octopus, for Jelly was also a boss that could only be defeated by parrying a part of its body. In Jelly's case, it was the tip of his antenna.
- The Knight is the only champion in The King's Leap whose head does not come off at all, however his helmet still does.
Inspirations and Similarities
- This boss was directly inspired from the Knight piece in chess, whose piece is depicted as a horse's head.
- In chess, knights can be used to trick opponents into making miscalculated moves. The Knight follows the same philosophy, as his attacks have odd timing that could make a player misjudge when they should parry.
- In the Game Awards trailer, the transition into this boss fight is two explosions with chess pieces (pawn and rook, knight and bishop) flying out after Cuphead and co. wreak havoc.
- His overall design and mannerisms seem to be based on Disney's characters Goofy and Horace Horsecollar.
- A potential reason these characters were chosen as references could be because of the Goofy short A Knight for a Day.
- His taunt is a reference to Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series, notably his taunt in Street Fighter III: Third Strike, where he beckons you to come closer to him.
- His sword swing refers to the eclipse attack by Sabrewulf from Killer Instinct.
- His upward thrust refers to the crouch punch that Nash from Street Fighter 5 uses.