From Dirtmouth to Deepnest, Walkthrough contains all the information you’ll need to make your way throughout each section within the game.
The Journey to Dirtmouth
Once you gain control of the Knight, head right through King’s Pass, slashing your way through the gates and dispatching the small beetles until you reach the elevated platforms. Hop up each one, following the path to the top where you’ll encounter a Lifeblood room.
Destroy the blue Lifeblood egg and destroy the blue creatures to claim several Lifeblood Masks, which grant a temporary health boost.
NOTE: A thorough exploration of the side chambers will reveal several Geo caches, allowing you to stock up on extra money before you arrive in Dirtmouth.
After reaching the Lifeblood room, head right and slash through the gate. At this point, the floor will breakaway, so move forward slowly, then jump left to avoid falling. Now, hugging the left side, drop into the pit and hold the Left button to find an additional Geo cache before continuing.
Jump between the elevated platforms to cross the spiked pit, avoiding the falling spikes. After avoiding the final falling spike, drop off the right side of the rightmost platform to discover a hidden area.
NOTE: If you want to skip the hidden area, skip ahead to the Back On The Critical Path section.
HIDDEN AREA NOTE: You’ll need to employ the Nail Jump technique to proceed beyond this point without the Mothwing Cloak or Monarch Wings.
Jump over the spikes, then slash downward to hit the spikes and propel the Knight forward. Mastering this technique is essential if you plan on obtaining the best items Hollow Knight has to offer.
Nail Jump over the spikes and hop down to find a chest. Slash it to open it and claim your first Charm, the Fury of the Fallen.
Now that you have your first charm, drop off the ledge to the left to pop back out earlier in the area. Proceed through the area again and head up after the spiked pit to continue on towards Dirtmouth.
Back On The Critical Path
Now that you’ve proceeded beyond the spiked pit, continue on the path until you reach a wooden support, which holds up the stone walkway. Slash at the support to destroy it and continue on towards the great gate.
Once you’ve broken through the gate, jump off the ledge and continue heading to the right until you reach Dirtmouth. Sit on the bench (equipping the Fury of the Fallen Charm if you obtained it in the hidden area), then continue to the right and jump down the well to arrive in the Forgotten Crossroads.
The Forgotten Crossroads
Upon arriving in the Forgotten Crossroads, head left until you reach the cavern with the chained platforms.
NOTE: Directly across from you is the home of the Grubfather, so keep this location in mind and visit frequently (as you free Grubs) throughout the game.
Continue down through the chamber until you reach the bottom. Fall through the floor and head right to meet Cornifer, the cartographer for the game. You’ll meet him in each of Hollow Knight’s major areas, at which point you can purchase an area map.
Purchase a Forgotten Crossroads map from him for 30 Geo.
At this point, Cornifer’s wife Iselda has opened the item shop in Dirtmouth, which contains some incredibly useful items, so head back to town and buy the Quill for 120 Geo. Once you hold the Quill, each area Map you own will automatically be updated when you sit down at Benches.
NOTE: It is also highly recommended to also purchase the Wayward Compass for 220 Geo. Hollow Knight is a very big game, so being able to see yourself on the map is a major help, especially if you plan on collecting every Item, Spell, or Mask Shard.
Iselda also sells some incredibly useful items, such as markers which will identify and mark the locations of Hot Springs, Benches, Vendors, as well as custom markers, so be sure to save up your Geo if you want to make the most of your map.
Dive back down into the Forgotten Crossroads, descending past Cornifer until you reach the bottom of the shaft. Head right and follow the path until it branches upward. Head up and into the first room on your left to discover the Forgotten Crossroads Stagway station.
Pay 50 Geo to unlock the bell and summon a ride back to the surface. This network of stations will become the quickest way to get around Hallownest, and gathering every collectible, upgrade, and item will require a bit of backtracking, so be sure to unlock each one you find.
Use the Stag to head back to town and unlock the Stagway entrance door in Dirtmouth, then return to the Forgotten Crossroads Stagway station and continue all the way up to the top of the shaft and slash the lever to unlock a shortcut back to the uppermost sections of the Forgotten Crossroads.
From there, head back down the shaft and take the first exit on your left, following the path until you reach the first boss, the False Knight.
Enter the boss arena and clear out the weak enemies. Once they are all dispatched, head towards the far left side of the arena, and the gates will close. The False Knight will drop from the ceiling and the boss fight will begin.
The False Knight’s biggest strength is their range and their ability to deny the player access to parts of the screen. While it doesn’t deal a significant amount of damage in each hit (compared to later boss fights like the Traitor Lord), this fight is more about teaching the player how to interact with boss encounters in Hollow Knight.
At the beginning of the fight, the False Knight will leap into the air, coming down with a large sweeping strike with their two-handed mace. After the strike, they will stand still for a few moments, so be sure to dodge the attack, then quickly approach and make a few attacks.
The False Knight’s body slam attack will send shockwaves in both directions after a short delay, so wait a second, then jump over the shockwave and get in a few attacks before backing off.
If you stay close to the False Knight for an extended period, they will brace themselves and let loose a flurry of blows, so watch for the wind-up and keep your distance in between attacks.
After enough attacks, you will knock the False Knight over, causing its head to pop out of its helmet. Take this opportunity to attack as many times as possible before the boss gets up.
After the False Knight gets up, their ground slam attacks will also cause explosives to rain from the ceiling. This doesn’t dramatically change the fight, but at this point spacing becomes even more important, so get attacks in when you can.
As with many fights in Hollow Knight (and games like it), patience is the key to victory. Learn the patterns, wait for the opportune moment, attack briefly, then retreat to safety. Follow that strategy and you’ll soon cast down the False Knight.
After the False Knight has had enough, they will jump and slam through the floor, causing them (and you, if you aren’t careful) to fall to the floor below. Jump down and slash at the False Knight’s vulnerable head to deliver the killing blow and claim the City Crest from their body as your reward.
A Brush With Magic
After dispatching the False Knight and collecting the City Crest, head left and claim the Geo-filled chest just above the main walkway. Drop down to the main floor and continue left until you reach a lever next to a wall.
Strike the lever to open a shortcut back to the left side of the Forgotten Crossroads, but before you continue to the next area, turn right and head up, following the torches until you reach a doorway.
Go through the door and sit at the bench, then speak with the Snail Shaman. After you accept their magic spell, Vengeful Spirit, you’ll pass out and awaken behind a gate. The Shaman will then ask you to clear out a beast haunting the temple as a favor, so follow the path and practice using your powerful new weapon.
NOTE: Your powerful Vengeful Spirit spell (indeed, every spell in Hollow Knight) uses the same Soul reservoir that fuels your healing, so carefully consider when to attack and when to heal up.
As you near the end of the temple, there will be several wooden planks you can break to make your way into a secret area with several Geo caches and a Lifeblood nest. After collecting them, head down to face the miniboss.
The miniboss will spit acid, so dodge their attacks, and dispatch the rolling enemies they release from time to time. Focus on casting Vengeful Spirit at the boss and kill the rolling enemies with your Nail to restore your Soul so you can heal or cast more Vengeful Spirits.
Once you have rid the temple of this large pest, head left and pick up the powerful Soul Catcher Charm, which will increase the amount of Soul you gather from enemies each time you strike them with your Nail.
Head down and the Shaman will release you from the temple, then sit down at the Bench, equip Soul Catcher, and continue back towards the Stagway station.
Continue past the Stagway station and down into the depths of the Forgotten Crossroads. When you can’t descend any lower, head right and you’ll soon encounter a closed gate with a creature sleeping next to it. Attack it to begin the Gruz Mother boss encounter.
The Gruz Mother is located in the southeastern corner of the Forgotten Crossroads, and it bars entry to Sly the Shopkeep and Charm Lover Salubra, as well as a passageway between Forgotten Crossroads and the Resting Grounds.
Enter the boss arena and approach the sleeping Gruz Mother, then damage them with a spell or Nail attack to awaken them, close the gates, and start the fight.
The Gruz Mother fight is arguably the easiest boss encounter in Hollow Knight, because it deals little damage, and all of its attacks are easily read and countered.
While the Gruz Mother lives, it will bounce diagonally around the arena, so stay in either corner until the boss approaches the ground, then make a quick slash and run under it when it slams against the ceiling. You can also attack from a distance if you have already obtained the Vengeful Spirit spell, but be sure to conserve Soul in case you need to heal.
Occasionally, the boss will stop and make single slam attacks near your position, so quickly backstep and deliver a strike before dodging again. Repeat this process until the Gruz Mother falls and you enter the second phase of the fight.
Don’t let your guard down once you defeat the Gruz Mother, because the encounter isn’t over yet. The gates are still closed and, after a moment, the bosses body will begin to stir before erupting with a swarm of the Gruz Mother’s offspring.
Back into a corner and slash away at them as they approach. When you have breathing room, you can also jump and use Vengeful Spirit to take out several of them at once. Clear each one out and gather up your well-earned Geo.
After dispatching the Gruz Mother, continue down the corridor to the right, then drop down and head left. Soon you’ll reach a small hut. Duck inside and you’ll find a small bug with glowing orange eyes. Listen to him until he snaps out of his daze and he’ll head back to Dirtmouth and open his shop.
Return to the Forgotten Crossroads Stagway and take the Stag back to Dirtmouth and you’ll find Sly’s shop to the left of the village Bench. Go inside and you’ll find Sly’s offerings, which include the Gathering Swarm and Stalwart Shell charms, Mask Shards, Vessel Fragments, a Simple Key, the Lumafly Lantern, and a Rancid Egg.
The highest priority items are the Lumafly Lantern (which will open up a number of new areas to explore), the Gathering Swarm charm (which automatically gathers all Geo dropped by enemies, including those dropped long distances, or Geo which falls in acid or on spikes), and the Simple Key (which unlocks either a Shadow retrieval service on the far right side of Dirtmouth, or a large area beneath the City of Tears).
The Mask Shards and Vessel Fragments will increase your health and Soul capacity when you gather enough of them, so definitely purchase those later when you have an abundance of Geo, but your current amount of Health and Soul is sufficient for the next area, and you almost certainly don’t have enough Geo to get everything at the moment, so buy what you can, then head down into the Forgotten Crossroads via the Dirtmouth well.
Head left and follow the path until you reach the long vertical chasm. Head through the hallway to the left if you have been rescuing Grubs and claim the grateful Grubfather’s rewards, then head down the shaft and take the first exit to the left and follow the corridor until you arrive at Greenpath.
After gathering what you need from Sly’s shop, and picking up a little extra scratch from the Grubfather, continue down the shaft until you see a left side exit covered in foliage. Take it and follow the pathway left, and soon you’ll find yourself face to face with the same sort of creature which haunted the Snail Shaman’s temple.
Because the creature will curl into its shell if you get too close, your Nail won’t defeat it. Instead, back up until the creature uncoils, then dispatch it with multiple casts of Vengeful Spirit. Once you’ve killed the creature, proceed and you’ll soon find yourself in Greenpath proper.
Greenpath has new creatures to contend with and new hazards to avoid. Cross the elevated platforms and be careful not to fall into the acid. Be cautious when walking through the wooded corridors of Greenpath, as enemies will often emerge from the ground without warning. One of the first enemies you’ll encounter will spout clouds of poison, so either employ hit and run tactics, or use Vengeful Spirit to dispatch them and continue moving left through the area.
After traveling a few screens, the path will branch upwards, and following that branch will reveal the first Bench. Sit to save your progress, then continue along the path to the left.
Once you reach the terminus, you’ll see another warrior standing on a ledge. They will soon move to the next area, and you don’t have the means to follow them at the moment, so descend down the shaft instead.
Once you reach the bottom, head right and you’ll soon hear the ho-hum of our friend, Cornifer. Hop up onto the stones suspended by vines, then slash the vines to create platforms and open up the path forward. Continue right to find Cornifer and buy the Greenpath map for 60 Geo.
Head back to the left and slice the remaining vine holding up the large stone slab (if you didn’t already), then drop down on top of it and hop across the spikes and up to the ledge on the left. Slash the other vine ahead of you to unlock a shortcut, then hop down through the floor and into the next area.
Continue downward, slashing vines and dropping slabs to create a pathway forward. Hug the wall on the right, and you’ll soon reach the bottom of the shaft and a pool of acid. Head left and continue along the path and you’ll soon run into the large leaf-covered Moss Chargers.
Continue to the left until you begin seeing thorns, then head up through the shaft until you reach a toll gate. Pay the 50 Geo required to unlock it, then rest at the bench to update the map and save your progress. Continue up the chasm until you reach the next area, then head right and you’ll encounter the Moss Knight miniboss.
Slash at the Moss Knight, then jump above it and slash downwards and leap to safety, or cast multiple Vengeful Spirit spells to make quick work of it, then continue to the right. Follow the tunnel up towards the surface, then turn left and the environment will begin to look like the Forgotten Crossroads again. Follow the corridor all the way to the left until you can drop back down into the green, leafy region of Greenpath once again.
Continue down the shaft, then head right and slash the vine to unlock a shortcut, then head down into the next area and you’ll find the Greenpath Stagway station to your left. Pay the 140 Geo to unlock it and sit at the bench to update your map and save, then head back up into the previous area and take the first exit to the left, following the path until you reach the Hornet boss encounter.
Hornet is a challenging boss located in the northwestern region of Greenpath. Enter the boss arena and Hornet will address the Knight before attacking.
Hornet is the first truly challenging boss encounter in Hollow Knight. With a variety of quick attacks with effectiveness at both short and long ranges, she is a formidable foe, so don’t be alarmed if it takes a few attempts to learn her patterns before you start making serious headway.
One of Hornet’s long range attacks is her dash attack, where she will wind up before quickly charging roughly three-fourths of the way across the screen. Jump as she makes her charge and slash downward at her to deal damage while avoiding harm.
Another attack is her needle throw attack. She will wind up, hurl her weapon ahead of her nearly the two-thirds length of the arena, then recall it. This attack roots her in place for a short time, so if you can stay out of range, this provides an excellent time to heal. If you are properly positioned, you can also leap over the needle, strike, then jump away as it returns to Hornet, but timing must be precise.
From time to time, Hornet will leap into the air and slash all around her in a large damaging circle. She can’t be harmed by your Nail during this time, so keep your distance, heal, or leap up and cast Vengeful Spirit.
Hornet may also leap into the air and then dash diagonally towards the Knight. Sidestep her landing zone and you should be able to land one or two strikes before you need to move.
Once you deal a certain amount of damage, Hornet will become stunned, standing in place for several seconds before she recovers. During this time, you can heal up to three Masks of damage or, if you are already at full health, you can sneak in an extra, unguarded attack.
Continue to fight conservatively and eventually you’ll defeat Hornet, causing her to flee, and freeing you up to loot the body of her last victim, scoring the incredibly useful Mothwing Cloak for your trouble.
Preparing for The Fungal Wastes
With the Mothwing Cloak, the Knight now has access to one of the most important vendors in the game, so head left from Hornet’s arena, then down and to the right, and use your new dash ability to climb back up the right side. Destroy the wooden support at the top of the shaft to unlock a shortcut back to the rest of Greenpath, then head south and take the Stagway to the Forgotten Crossroads.
From there, head southeast until you reach the area where you rescued Sly. Continue right and use the dash to reach another Bench, and the shop of Charm Lover Salubra.
Salubra sells a number of powerful Charms, as well as charm notch upgrades, which allow you to equip more Charms. Each of her wares has its use, but the most powerful are the Shaman Stone (which increases the power of spells), the Longnail (which increases your melee attack range), and the Quick Focus (which reduces the amount of time it takes to heal by channeling Soul).
Buy as many of those as you can afford, then sit down at the Bench and equip them before heading back to Greenpath via Stagway. Exit the Greenpath Stagway station and head down the shaft. Continue to the right once you reach the bottom and keep going until you reach the first exit downward, then take it and make an immediate right to find another area Bench.
After resting at the Bench, continue down through the area and you’ll soon cross into Fog Canyon.
NOTE: Fog Canyon is home to jellyfish-like enemies. The smaller enemies may be attacked freely, but the larger enemies will rebound from any contact, causing massive explosions, so use caution when navigating the area.
Continue down through the corridor and take the last exit on the right. Head down through that shaft, once again taking the last exit on the right to reach the Queen’s Station, which contains both a Stagway (120 Geo) and a Bench. Rest there, then take the top right exit to enter the Fungal Wastes.
Into the Fungal Wastes
From the Queen’s Station Bench, head right into Queen’s Station, then take the exit in the upper right corner and you’ll arrive in the Fungal Wastes. Dodge or kill the poison-spewing balloon-type enemies and take the exit at the bottom of the screen and you’ll Cornifer’s signature humming. Descend and take the first left and you’ll find him in an alcove.
Purchase the Fungal Wastes area map for 75 Geo, then go back up to the previous area and head right. Continue through the right side exit, then head up through the shaft, dodging the explosive spores as you go.
Several passageways are blocked off, so take the only exit available and continue right into the next area. After dispatching or bypassing the new shrieking mushroom enemies, head up to the upper platform and proceed left, back into the previous area through the top left exit. Slash the lever to unlock the gate, then hop up through the top exit and enter the gated arena to initiate the Shrumal Ogre miniboss encounter.
SHRUMAL OGRE MINIBOSSES
At the beginning of the fight, you’ll only engage a single ogre, so avoid the orange ooze and slash the foe a few times, or unleash several volleys of Vengeful Spirit (especially if you bought the Shaman Stone from Charm Lover Salubra) to dispatch them, then focus your attention to the other ogre.
NOTE: If you stay close to the ogres for a prolonged period of time, they’ll initiate a quick, repeated headbutt attack, so initiate hit-and-run tactics to make easy work of the minibosses.
After you have destroyed the two Shrumal Ogres, a Charm Notch upgrade will fall from the ceiling. Pick it up to increase your Charm slots by 1, then continue to the next area to the right and ascend, taking the first exit to the right to meet Leg Eater.
Leg Eater will request a nominal fee to “see something nice,” so pay up and you’ll gain access to a useful Charm vendor.
Leg Eater only sells three charms, but each of them are quite powerful. Fragile Heart increases the Knight’s available health by two Masks, Fragile Greed increases the amount of Geo the Knight receives from all sources, and Fragile Strength increase damage dealt. Each of the Fragile Charms is broken upon death, but Leg Eater can repair them for a relatively low fee, and they can be upgraded later to become unbreakable.
DEEPER INTO THE WASTES
After you’ve made your purchases, head back down to the bottom of the chasm and continue to the right. Once you’ve reached the vertical shaft at the end of the path, descend through the acid-filled chasm until you reach the bottom, then head left and into the next area, where you’ll meet a fellow adventurer named Cloth.
Continue past Cloth, into the next area. This area has purple fungus which the Knight can use as bouncing platforms. Utilize the Nail Jump technique and slash downward as you land to gain an extra boost to your jump height and clear the acid pit. Continue down until you reach the bottom of the area and you’ll see Hornet run into the next area to the right, but we don’t have the necessary item to follow her, so head left instead, and continue down into the area below.
As you descend through the next vertical area, take the first exit on the left by Nail Jumping, then dashing off a cluster of purple fungus. Follow the corridor left until you reach a lever which unlocks a shortcut back to the Queen’s Station Stagway and Bench.
After unlocking the shortcut, return to the previous vertical chamber and continue down. Once you reach the bottom, head right. At this point, you’ll begin to to encounter Mantis enemy types.
After unlocking the shortcut between Queen’s Station and the right side of the Fungal Wastes, return to the vertical chamber to the right and continue down. Once you reach the bottom, head right. At this point, you’ll begin to to encounter Mantis enemy types.
Mantis Warriors will utilize quick dashing attacks, then retreat slightly before attacking again, so engage them carefully, and always try to take on one at a time until you are intimately familiar with their attacks. Mantis Youths will harry you with flying dash attacks, so watch the walls and ceilings as you continue through the area to avoid being boxes in by gangs of rowdy Youths.
After dispatching (or running from) your first Mantis enemies, head down into the next area. Follow the shaft down to the bottom and sit on the Bench in the lower right corner, then continue through the bottom left exit and downward to find the Dashmaster Charm sitting at the foot of a statue.
After you claim the Dashmaster Charm, head back up to the previous area and take the middle-left exit, which is guarded by a Mantis Warrior and several Mantis Youths. Continue left and you’ll soon arrive at Mantis Village.
Stay at floor level and proceed all the way through to the far left side, then strike the lever on the ceiling to open a gate on the platform above. Make your way back to the entrance of Mantis Village and, this time, take the upper set of platforms all the way to the left side. Watch out for hiding Mantis Youths and utilize your air dash to jet between platforms.
Make your way to the upper left corner of the area, through the open gate, then drop down and claim the next major item, the Mantis Claw.
Once you have the Mantis Claw, you’ll be able to explore the rest of the upper section of Mantis Village, so return to the right and use your new item to wall-jump and dash through the spiky platforming section at the top of Mantis Village to reach a lever which will open a large hole in the main floor of the village.
Return to ground level and jump in the new opening in the floor to descend to the lower level of the village, heading down either side and dashing to avoid the spiked pits.
NOTE: Hitting the Dash button while sliding down a wall will automatically dash away from the wall. Some platforming sections in the area are made significantly easier by utilizing this technique to make much more precise maneuvers than could be made by jumping then dashing.
Continue down, then take the first left and navigating the spiked avenues back up to the top until you reach a level unlocking a shortcut to the pit entrance. After unlocking that lever, slide down the left wall until you reach a lever which opens the middle-left gate, then hop down one more time to unlock the lowest gate on the left side.
Once you’ve done that, hop down one more level, dispatch the Mantis Warrior and cross over to the right side, then ascend the right side and hit the lever to unlock the bottom right gate. Once those area gates have been opened, descend to the very bottom of the pit and challenge the Mantis Lords.
NOTE: Defeating the Mantis Lords at this point is fairly challenging, but awards one of the more universally useful Charms in the game, the Mark of Pride, which significantly increases the striking distance of your Nail. If you find the Mantis Lords too challenging, you can skip ahead to the City of Tears as soon as you have the Mantis Claw.
The Mantis Lords are a multi-phase, multi-enemy boss encounter located in the southernmost part of the Fungal Wastes region.
The Mantis Lords represent a significant difficulty hurdle when engaged early in the game, especially when first traveling through the Fungal Wastes, but with the right combination of Charms, proper spacing, and a familiarity with their attacks, they can be defeated at any level.
The Mantis Lords only employ three attacks, and each is easily countered. For the first section of the fight, you’ll only engage with one of the Mantis Lords, so use this phase to learn the attacks and become familiar with them, and how to counter them, and it won’t be long until you can finish phase one without taking damage.
The first attack the Mantis Lords will use is an aerial attack which begins when the boss appears in the air and slashes downwards, ending when the Mantis Lord reaches the ground. They will then linger a moment before vanishing and beginning another attack.
To counter this attack, sidestep or dash out of the way, then slash the Mantis Lord. You may only get one attack in, but this is a battle of attrition, so each strike or spell counts.
NOTE: If you can avoid this attack early enough, this provides an excellent opportunity to heal, especially if you have the Quick Focus Charm equipped.
The second attack is a grounded lunging attack. The Mantis Lord will appear on one side of the arena, ready an attack, then dash to the other side of the arena, lingering a moment before vanishing.
To counter this attack, jump while the boss is dashing, slashing when you are above them. If you find timing that style of attack difficult, jump slightly as they dash and land beside them, slashing before they vanish again.
The final attack is an area denial attack where the boss will project a zig-zagging energy attack which either begins low, then crosses the arena and returns at an upward angle, or begins high and crosses the arena and returns at a downward angle.
To counter this attack, duck under the high projectile or jump and dash over the low projectile, then either close the gap and slash with the Nail, or cast Vengeful Spirit while in the air.
If you find yourself with an excess of Soul during this phase and don’t need healing, cast Vengeful Spirit. The spell is best used during the boss’ boomerang attack, when it is most difficult to land hits with the Nail. Otherwise, save your Soul for the far more challenging second phase.
After you defeat the first of the Mantis Lords, they will withdraw and the encounter will enter Phase Two, where things become much more challenging.
In Phase Two, both of the remaining Mantis Lords will enter the arena and, while they use all of the same attacks from the first phase, you’ll now need to move more quickly to avoid twice the attacks.
While attacks come in rapid succession, and you’ll have to dash more often than sidestep attacks to avoid taking damage (due to potential followup attacks by the other Lord), the only attack which needs to be dealt with differently is the double boomerang attack.
During this attack both bosses will launch identical, mirrored attacks which will deny the player access to a large swath of the screen real estate. If the attack begins high, quickly run to the right, then pause as the attacks reach the center of the screen, then jump and dash towards the center of the screen to avoid damage.
If the attacks begin low, go to the middle of the screen, then jump and dash left or right to avoid damage.
NOTE: If you have mastered avoiding attacks and are looking for ways to increase your damage output, wait until both Mantis Lords are on the ground (such as after lunging/aerial attacks) then cast Vengeful Spirit. Since the spell travels through enemies, you’ll deal double damage for the price of one cast.
Exercise patience and practice and you’ll soon dispatch the formidable Mantis Lords.
Into The City Of Tears
Whether you defeated the Mantis Lords and now have the Mark of Pride, or whether you simply acquired the Mantis Claw, you are now prepared to enter the City of Tears. From Mantis Village, head up through the top of the village, through the next area with the purple fungus. Take the top right exit into the next area, then climb until you reach the sign where Hornet was last sighted.
Follow the path to the right, then use the Mantis Claw and Mothwing Cloak to wall-jump and dash through the thorny platforming section. Drop down at the halfway point and hit the lever to raise the first section of the bridge, then proceed through the next thorny section, dropping down at the end to raise the second section of the bridge.
Move forward and place the City Crest you obtained from False Knight into the slot in the statue and the gate to the City of Tears will open.
A MORE PERFECT WEAPON
Once you enter the City of Tears, proceed right. Dodge the dive-bombing Belfly, then take the exit at the end of the corridor and descend until you reach the first area Bench. Rest up, then continue down until you reach the elevator to the base level of the City.
Once you reach the bottom, head left and you’ll soon arrive at the Nailsmith. Although you’ll need Pale Ore to upgrade your Nail to the heights of its strength, your first power boost costs just 250 Geo, so hand your nail to the Nailsmith and wait for him to upgrade your Old Nail to the Sharpened Nail, then leave his shop and continue right.
After returning to the lift, climb aboard and hit the lever, then jump off and dash when you see a platform to the right. Take out the flying enemies and follow the platforms to the top to acquire a Hallownest Seal, then follow the platforms to the right until you reach an elevated exit. Hop through, dispatch the large charging enemy, then hop down a level and hit the lever to unlock the gate to the lower level.
After unlocking the gate, head right and you’ll meet Relic Seeker Lemm, Hollow Knight’s first item buyer. Lemm buys Wanderer’s Journals, Hallownest Seals, King’s Idols, and Arcane Eggs, awarding the player an amount of Geo which scales with the rarity of those items.
Now that you’ve met Lemm, head back up to the previous area and take the elevator up one stop. Follow the path to the left, then ascend through the area and move to the next screen. Wall-jump and dash as you progress through the next screen until you reach a lever. Use it to unlock a gate immediately below it, then head through the open gate and go down, dropping into the next area.
You’ll land next to another lever. Hit it to open another gate, this one on the other side of the elevator shaft. Dash across the empty elevator shaft and head down to reach another lever. Hit this one and you’ll open another gate to the elevator shaft, and a shortcut back to bottom of the screen.
Head back to the top and go through the top exit on the right side and proceed to the next area. When you arrive, you’ll see a sign indicating an area Bench is nearby, so follow the sign up and take the elevator up two stops, then head left.
You’ll enter an arena where you’ll need to dispatch a Heavy Sentry. Once you’ve killed them, a Lance Sentry and Winged Sentry will appear. Kill them both to open the gates and continue on your way. Head through the left side of the arena, then wall-jump up into the next area, where you’ll hear the tell-tale humming of our old friend, Cornifer.
Buy his area map for 90 Geo, then pay the 150 Geo to gain access to the second area Bench and rest up, then jump up and dash to the left exit.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Continue along the path all the way left until you reach another lever. This one unlocks the gate to the very beginning of the City of Tears, so unlock it, then head up along the platforms, dispatching the Winged Sentries. Head to the top right, dash through the doorway and collect the Simple Key, then hop across the platforms and take the top left exit into the next area.
When you reach the next screen, head left until you reach the next area. Once you arrive, pay the 150 Geo toll to activate the lift and create a quick pathway between the City of Tears and the Forgotten Crossroads. Once you pay the toll, head back to the previous area, this time heading to the upper right side. Take the right side exit and you’ll find a new Bench and the 200 Geo Stagway.
After you unlock the new Stagway station, head back down to where you met Cornifer. Rest at the Bench, then head down into the area with the Heavy Sentry, then take the exit on the right and, as you attempt to leave, you’ll be trapped in an arena with the new Soul Twister enemy. This enemy will float and teleport around the room casting spells at the Knight, providing a preview for the upcoming boss encounter. Dispatch it and take the elevated platforms up into the next area; the Soul Sanctum.
As soon as you enter the Soul Sanctum, head left and take the exit to the next screen. You’ll soon hear the telltale humming of our favorite cartographer. Take the elevator up and swing your Nail at the damaged wall on the left side of the elevator shaft as you pass. Keep riding the elevator and slashing at the middle section of the wall and it will soon break, unlocking a shortcut between the Bench and the Soul Sanctum.
Head back to the right and into the Soul Sanctum, this time hugging the right side of the area as you ascend, defeating the floating Soul Twisters and the crawling Mistakes until you reach a lever. Hit it to unlock a gate above you, then descend until the path diverges left, then take the left elevator to reach the now open gate.
Enter through the gate and you’ll encounter the Soul Warrior miniboss. The Soul Warrior will teleport frequently, utilize dash attacks, cast spells, and use an aerial attack, very similar to those used by the Mantis Lords. With both Hornet and the Mantis Lords under your belt, the Soul Warrior should be easy pickings, so dodge and counter your way to victory, then continue along the path to the right.
Once you enter the next area, descend to the bottom and take the left exit to find another lever which unlocks a shortcut to the bottom. Hit it, then return to the right and ascend as far as you can, hitting the next lever you encounter before taking the right-side elevator to the top. Continue along the path and take the top left exit into the next area.
Follow the path down and to the left until you reach a series of small elevated platforms. Follow them to the top, hit the lever to unlock the shortcut, then take the slightly hidden exit at the top of the screen. In this area, you’ll be swarmed by Mistakes, so use this as an opportunity to collect Soul and heal up. Then head right into the small alcove and pick up the powerful Spell Twister Charm, which reduces the cost of your spells.
Head back to the Bench to equip this potent charm if you like, or head back down and left to encounter the next boss, Soul Master.
Soul Master is a two-phase boss encounter, and is the first encounter the Knight will have with a “Spell Caster” boss. Soul Master can be found at the top of the Soul Sanctum section of the City Of Tears.
The Soul Master has four main attacks, one of which has the potential to include a fake-out animation, so players will need to have constant situational awareness and make decisions quickly to avoid taking damage as the boss moves around the screen.
The easiest, and most straightforward, attack Soul Master employs simply involves floating from one side of the arena to the other. To counter it, simply jump and dodge, striking a downward blow with the Nail as you pass over. If you have difficulty with the timing (and especially if you are using the Spell Twister, Soul Catcher, and/or Shaman Stone Charms) consider casting Vengeful Spirit as Soul Master approaches, then simply jump-dashing over the boss.
In a modified version of this attack, the boss will summon four orange orbs which revolve around them as it crosses from one side of the arena to the other. Stay close and keep pace with the boss, dodging the slowly revolving orbs as it moves, and you can deliver several hits with the Nail during this time.
Once it reaches the other side, the boss will vanish and the orbs will travel back across the screen again, so jump through the orbs as they return to avoid taking damage.
Soul Master will also hover at various points on the screen and cast small homing orbs. To counter this attack, simply hop over the orb as it approaches and close the gap, attacking as many times as you can before Soul Master teleports away to begin another attack. If you have extra Soul and do not need healing, cast Vengeful Spirit as you hop over the orb to inflict additional damage. If Soul Master appears close to you before casting, back up and wait for the orb, then hop over and attack.
Soul Master also has a ground slam attack. This attack is fast and generates two shockwaves, which quickly travel out along the ground in both directions. The boss may also teleport mid-attack to change the location of the strike, so stay on the ground and dash out of the way until the attack actually lands, then jump and dash over the shockwave.
After taking a certain amount of damage, Soul Master will deflate and pause, gasping in midair. This will happen several times throughout the fight and is an excellent time to heal as many Masks of health as you can. If you have time, you may also be able to sneak in an extra attack.
Utilize these strategies and use Charms which play to your strengths as a player (Soul Catcher/Shaman Stone/Spell Twister for spellcasting, Longnail/Mark of Pride/Steady Body/Fragile Strength for powerful Nail attacks) and you’ll soon finish Phase One of the encounter, when Soul Master will explode and leave a Spell floating in midair. Jump and claim it and Spell Master will return, shattering the floor and initiating Phase Two.
Soul Master will likely begin Phase Two by initiating a flurry of ground slam attacks, back to back. Dodge each one and keep to the middle of the screen so you’ll have room to move in either direction. Stay alive and Soul Master will stop dive-bombing and stop on one side of the screen and begin summoning homing orbs. Use this opportunity to close the gap and land as many attacks as possible.
Repeat the process to bring a final end to Soul Master and, this time, truly claim the Desolate Dive Spell.
The Royal Waterways
Now that you have obtained the Desolate Dive Spell, the Crystal Peaks area can be reached. Before that, however, we’ll use the Simple Key we obtained in the Soul Sanctum to travel through the Royal Waterways and unlock the rest of the City Of Tears.
From the body of Soul Master, head left into the next area, then jump and use Desolate Dive to crash through the glass at the bottom of the pit. You’ll land in a pit full of Mistakes, so dispatch them, then Desolate Dive through the next glass fixture in the floor.
Wall jump back up the shaft, taking the first left. As you approach the Soul collector at the end of the row, the damaged ground will rumble beneath you. Stand above it, then use Desolate Dive to break the ground.
You’ll land in another area filled with Mistakes, so clear them out and climb the platforms on the right. Dash and wall jump to reach the ledge, then hit the lever and wall jump up the walls to the right until you reach the exit at the top of the shaft. Head through it and continue through the area towards the right.
Pass under the body of Soul Master, past another Soul collector, and into the next area on the right. Climb to the top of the area, then Desolate Dive through the glass and head right.
Desolate Dive through the next glass fixture you see and you’ll arrive in the area where you fought the Soul Warrior miniboss earlier. Take the elevator to the left. Once you step off, head to the right and take the next elevator down to the bottom. Head right, drop off the ledge, and take the exit at the bottom of the screen.
Head left through the area where you fought the first Soul Twister and into the next area. Head to the far left, hop up the shaft and into the next area, then rest at the Bench. Head back down to the previous area and take the elevator down to the bottom, then head down and take the exit in the bottom of the right side of the screen.
On the next screen, hop down the right side of the shaft and drop all the way down, then drop down the elevator shaft on your left. Once you reach the bottom, head left and drop through the exit in the floor. Now that you are outside the shop of Relic Seeker Lemm, sell any relics you have, then take the elevator down to the ground floor.
Step right and you’ll find a mechanism which requires a Simple Key to open. With the Simple Key we found on our way to Soul Master, and the Lumafly Lantern from Sly’s shop in Dirtmouth (1800 Geo), we are prepared to descend into The Royal Waterways.
Once you drop into The Royal Waterways, head left and drop down, then take the left exit. In the next area, drop down the bottom of the shaft, then use Desolate Dive to break through the ground and find the first area Bench.
Slash the wooden barrier to the right to unlock a shortcut, then hop back up to the previous area and head left. Continue left, following the elevated platforms until you reach a ledge on the left, where you’ll see one of Cornifer’s signature pieces of paper. Keep going left and take the exit into the next area, then drop down and continue left.
At this point you’ll encounter a number of gaps in the floor along with a swarm of inflating Hwurmps, so be careful to stay on the platforms and continue left until you reach the exit on the left side. Head through and you’ll enter a gated arena with a swarm of Hwurmps.
Clear the room of them and the gate on the left will open. Head through it and hit the lever to unlock a shortcut between the Royal Waterways and the Fungal Wastes, then hop up another level where you’ll find Cornifer. Buy the area map for 75 Geo and continue to the right and you’ll fall through the weak floor.
Head back to the Bench, then head right and stick to the top path until you reach far right side. Wall-jump up and take the exit in the top right corner of the area. At this point you’ll begin hearing the laughter of one of Hollow Knight’s silliest bosses, so continue along the path and you’ll soon encounter the best named boss in the game; the Dung Defender.
Dung Defender may have a silly name, but this noble knight can shovel… well, you know… with the best of them. He is a boss of low to moderate difficulty and most of his attacks involve either projectiles or attacks in which he strikes from under the ground.
Dung Defender will often ball up heaps of dung and lob them at the Knight. These balls will bounce off walls, but have no homing capability, so simply keep an eye on them and they are simple enough to dodge. You can also close the distance and attack the boss during the wind-up or after the projectile is thrown, but don’t linger too long or you may take damage from subsequent attacks.
The Dung Defender may throw several of these projectiles and then roll up into a ball himself and bounce around the room. He can still be damaged by Nail attacks and Spells during this time, but if you find him difficult to hit during this time, save your Soul and heal, instead.
From time to time, Dung Defender will burrow down into the ground. At this point he may use one of two attacks. During the first attack, he will burrow from one side of the arena to the other, hopping up regularly before diving back underground. Counter this move by hopping over the boss, then slash with the Nail as you follow close behind them.
For the other attack the Dung Defender will stay underground and burrow back and forth, finally stopping for a moment before jumping high into the air and shooting two dung balls on each side of him. To counter this, stay close to the burrowing boss, then sidestep him once he stops moving. Then slash him with your Nail as he emerges, and once again as he approaches the ground.
After a certain number of damage is taken, Dung Defender will flop over on his back, granting you an opening. Use this opportunity to heal, or sneak in an additional attack if you don’t need healing.
Dung Defender may also beat his thorax and roar before going into a brief frenzy and performing repeated burrowing attacks in rapid succession. Keep your cool and follow these strategies and you’ll soon bring an end to this crappy boss and claim the Defender’s Crest as a reward.
The Resting Grounds
After defeating the Dung Defender and claiming the Defender’s Crest, head right and hit the lever on the elevated platform, then jump down and move below the platform and use Desolate Dive. After reaching the bottom head right and pickup the King’s Idol, which can be sold to Relic Seeker Lemm for a whopping 800 Geo. Climb back up the shaft, destroy the wooden bracing on the right, then head through the hole and into the next area.
Climb up through the shaft, wall-jumping against the wall on the left side, then dash to the ledge at the top right corner of the screen and continue to the next area. Now that you have returned to the City of Tears, hop up onto the ledge on the left and continue into the next screen. Dispatch the enemies in this area as you move through it, taking the exit on the left.
In the next area, you’ll find a lever. Hit it to unlock a shortcut to and from the earlier sections of the City of Tears.
Head left and you’ll encounter Hornet once again. She will speak of the sacrifice which sustains it and suggest the player seek out the “Grave in Ash.” We’ll get there soon enough, but for the time being inspect the statue, which bears the likeness of the titular Hollow Knight. It will also add the Black Egg Temple to your map, represented by the head of the Hollow Knight.
Head back to the right, continuing past the path to Royal Waterways, until you reach King’s Station. Follow the platforms up and take the exit on the middle platform of the right side to find a Bench and the second Stagway station in the City of Tears. Pay the 300 Geo to unlock the Stagway, then head left and back out to King’s Station, and take the exit at the top of the area.
THE DREAM NAIL
Follow the path up and use the first elevator, then head right and take the second elevator up. Head left until you reach the exit, then take it to enter the next area. Take the massive lift up, then head left and use the platforms to reach the lever in the upper left corner of the screen. Hop up through the newly formed opening and into the next area.
Head right and you’ll soon arrive at a platform with three large obelisks set upon it. Hop up onto the platform and you’ll be trapped in a bubble of light. Voices will speak to the Knight, then transport them to the dream realm.
Soon a glowing figure will appear and create floating platforms for the Knight. Follow them to the right until you reach the end, then speak to the figure to obtain the Dream Nail.
THE RESTING GROUNDS
You’ll then awaken and meet a new character, the Seer. The Seer will explain that they can empower your new Dream Nail if you bring them Essence, a substance which can be gathered from the small coiled plants (called Whispering Roots) scattered throughout Hallownest. Exit and you’ll discover you have been taken to the Resting Grounds area.
Hop down a level and you’ll find your first Whispering Root. Strike it with the Dream Nail and it will scatter small orbs around the area. Track them all down and absorb their Essence, head back up and land on the second ledge from the top on the left side. Continue left and you’ll enter a secret alcove which contains the Dreamshield Charm.
Return to the central shaft, then drop to the bottom and head right. Hop atop the grave, then use Desolate Dive to break through into the caves below the Resting Grounds. Head right and slash through the damaged wall, then continue right and follow the path, breaking through damaged walls until you reach the far right side. Keep moving to avoid the spiked pits as you proceed to the right and eventually you will find the extremely powerful Soul Eater Charm, which greatly increases the amount of Soul gathered when striking enemies with the Nail.
Head left and proceed through the rest of the area and break through the wooden bracing and the far left end. This will open a path which leads to the City of Tears elevator.
Head back up to the main chasm in the Resting Grounds climb up the right side and take the middle right exit towards the Stagway sign. Sit on the bench, then hit the lever to summon the bell and open the gate. Call the Stag and return to Dirtmouth and purchase the Resting Grounds area map. While you are here, you can also purchase new pins for Whispering Roots, Warrior’s Graves, and two additional colored markers for use with the map.
After you’ve finished your business in Dirtmouth, hop down the well and into Forgotten Crossroads, then head right until you reach the first exit down. Take in, then take the first right-side exit you find. Continue down the corridor until you reach a branching path. Take the top path until you reach a lift. Ride it to the top level, then continue to the right and you’ll come to a dark cluster of ground which rumbles when you walk over it. Jump and use Desolate Dive to break into the Crystal Peak area.
Head down into the next area, then head left. Continue left until you reach a toll gate. Pay the 50 Geo to unlock the pathway back to the Forgotten Crossroads.After you unlock the gate, head left and drop down. Kill the two Glimbacks, then head right, destroy the wooden bracing and head back to the previous screen.
Drop down and head right, crossing the conveyor belts until you reach the next section of solid ground. Head right and into the next area to find the first area Bench. Return to the area on the left and wall-jump up to reach the exit at the top of the screen.
Take it, dispatch the Glimback and Husk Miners, and continue up the left-side path. Hop on the conveyer belt running up the left-side wall and take it all the way to the top. Hop up through the exit and into the next area.
This area features crystal beetles which sporadically emit laser beams, so carefully dodge them as you follow the path to the top. An easy way to ascend without being hit repeatedly is to wall-jump up the far right wall, wait for an opening, then jump and dash to the ledge on the left. Kill the Husk Miner and destroy the wall behind him (we’ll be back for this area later), then wall-jump up into the next section of crystal laser beetles.
Follow the platforms up, dodging the lasers, until you reach the top. Take the exit to the left and you’ll find Cornifer. Pay him his well-earned 112 Geo and claim the Crystal Peak map.
‘’THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS’’
After you bid Cornifer a fond farewell, head back to the area on the right, then hop up through the exit above you. Dodge the patrolling laser beetles and hop up onto the platform on the left, then proceed up to the next level. Head up the left-side path, through the crystal laser beetles, and up through the top exit into the next area. Once there, follow the path all the way to the right and take the right exit.
Hop down and land on the second ledge on the right and you’ll find a lever. Strike it to open the gate below, then hop down the newly opened gate to the left and hit the lever you find at the bottom. Wall-jump back up to the ledge on the right, then drop into the next shaft on your right. Once you land, head right again and drop down the long vertical shaft with conveyor belts on both sides. Once you reach the bottom, hit the lever to the left to open another gate, then head through the exit on the right.
Continue right, across the conveyor belts and revolving platforms, then hop up onto the vertical conveyor belts to ascend to solid ground. Once you reach the top of the first vertical belt, there will be wooden bracing hiding a Soul collector on your left, so use it if you need to heal up. After that, head right through the series of laser beetles.
After clearing the first, straightforward section the area will open up, adding revolving spike platforms and conveyor belts to the laser beetles. Make it all the way to the right and you’ll find another Soul collector. Heal up if you took hits, then hop down and follow the path. You’ll soon reach a vertical conveyor belt. Take it to the bottom, then head right across the bridge and you’ll soon find a large mechanical figure with a brilliant light shooting out of its stomach. Inspect it to obtain the incredible Crystal Heart.
The blast of consuming the Crystal Heart has blown out the bridge, but that shouldn’t bother a now-flying bug such as yourself. Charge the Crystal Heart and fly left to reach the platform you came from, then hop up on the ledge and fly left again. Follow the path up and to the left and continue into the next area.
Hop down the ledges and into the vertical shaft below. Drop down to the bottom, then head right through the hydraulic mashers, use the Mothwing Cloak to dash under them and avoid harm.
Continue through the first volley, then drop down to the next level and take on the more challenging gauntlet of mashers to the left. Jump, then dash through each masher and drop down through the hole in the floor and you’ll find a lever on your right. Hit it, then head left and hop down to the ledge. Continue to the right, dash across the elevated platforms and take the exit on the right-hand side.
‘’DEVOURING THE DARKNESS’’
Continue through the darkened cavern to the right, hopping from platform to platform and avoiding the spike pits and the flying Crystal Hunters. Destroy the Glimback at the end of the tunnel and take the exit to the right.
Now you’ll find yourself standing on a ledge overlooking a large chasm, so charge your Crystal Heart and fly over the chasm to the right and you’ll arrive at the Crystallized Mound. Enter and use Desolate Dive to break through the floor. Head right and you’ll encounter Crystal Hunters and crystal switch platforms. Quickly hop from one platform to the other, then hop up and wall-jump up the wall to the left to reach solid ground.
From there, drop down the shaft to your right and slide down the left-side wall, then hit dash to land on the switch platform on the right. Hop up the platforms and dodge/kill the Crystal Hunter, then double back to the top left and land on a safe ledge. Dispatch the Baldur and use your Soul to heal if you took damage.
Follow the switch platforms straight up and land on the ledge to the right. Continue up and to the right to find a Grub, or hop back onto the switch platform on the left, jump and dash to the left-side wall, then wall-jump up to safety. Walk left, then break the wooden planks in the floor and drop down to find a crystallized Snail Shaman.
Shatter the Snail Shaman’s prison and you’ll consume a portion of the Void, empowering your Desolate Dive Spell and turning it into the more formidable Spell, Descending Dark.
‘’BACK TO DIRTMOUTH’’
Once you’ve claimed the Descending Dark Spell, head back to the area Bench to update your map, then head up to the section of broken wall we made a note of earlier.
Head left through the opening and, now that we’ve obtained the Crystal Heart, fly left and hop over the hurdle onto the ledge on the left. Charge the Crystal Heart, time the release, and fly through the lasers. Do this at each of the platforms you reach and you’ll soon reach the far left end of the crystal cavern. Head through the exit into the next area, then drop down and claim the powerful Deep Focus Charm.
This Charm will cause the Knight to heal two Masks of health each time Soul is channeled, although the charge time is slightly longer. Pair it with the Quick Focus Charm to greatly enhance your ability to restore health, if you are having trouble staying alive.
After you’ve collected the Charm, head back into the previous area and take the top path conveyor belt back to the right. Exit into the next area, then head back up the shaft and take the next exit. Proceed left, past the point where we met Cornifer, and use the Crystal Heart to fly to the left and through the exit.
You’ll soon hit a wall, so jump down and fly to the left again. Continue working your way towards the left, using your wall-jump and dash abilities to set yourself up for the next flight to the left. Continue all the way to the end of the long corridor, then take the exit into the next area.
Hit the lever to unlock the lift and open a pathway directly from Crystal Peak to Dirtmouth, then return to town and rest at the Bench. After all that flying, the Knight’s arms are probably tired.
Take the Stagway back to Queen’s Station, then head back down to the Mantis Village and into the arena where you fought the Mantis Lords. They bar the path to Deepnest, so if you did not defeat them earlier, now is the time.
With the Mantis Lords defeated, head left into the next area and you’ll arrive in Deepnest. Wall-jump up the first shaft you find, then progress left and you’ll find Cornifer hiding from the horrors which lurk in the dark of Deepnest. Buy the map for the incredibly affordable price of 38 Geo, then head back down to ground level and proceed left.
Hop across the pits of writhing centipede young to the far left side of the area, then wall-jump up until you reach the exit at the top left. Jump up through it and into the next area, where you’ll find full-grown, indestructible centipedes patrolling the tunnels.
NOTE: Throughout Deepnest, you will be unable to “clear” areas of enemies in the same way you can in other areas. Hostile bugs will regularly emerge from the ground or skitter onto the screen from the background or foreground, so be sure to pause if you step away (or while you are reading this guide) to avoid being killed unexpectedly.
Hop up and hug the left wall as you progress through the maze, dispatching the emerging Dirtcarver and venom-spitting Deephunter enemies as you go. You’ll soon arrive at a three-way juncture after falling through a weak floor, so wait until the centipede passes, then head left.
Dash over the spiked pits and vertical shafts and continue left. Kill the Deephunter, then dash to the wall on the left and wall-jump up. Follow the path to the right, then wall-jump up the next wall. Kill or avoid the Deephunter and continue up, then left, then drop down through the weak floor. Once you land, head left and hop down the vertical shaft on your left, making sure to fall on the left side of the chasm to avoid a spiked pit. Continue to the bottom and head out the exit on your left.
Take the exit at the bottom of the screen and continue to head down until you fall through the weak floor and into a pit. Continue down the path to the left and avoid the centipedes and you’ll soon see a doppelganger of the Knight lurking in the darkness. Continue down, breaking through the weak sections of floor in the maze and avoiding spike pits and centipedes, until you reach the bottom left corner.
REST AND RELAXATION, HOWEVER TEMPORARY
Hop down the hole and you’ll fall far below, into a hot springs right next to the area’s first Bench. Rest up and update your map, then head left into the next area.
NOTE: At this point creepy, crawly spider-like enemies begin to appear in the darkness, so be aware of that if you have arachnophobia or are triggered by specific types of multi-legged, skittering enemies. They aren’t as creepy as spider-type enemies in many other games, due to the almost “chibi” art style of Hollow Knight, but proceed with caution if this concerns you.
Hop up onto the elevated platform above the centipede larva pits, then jump to the ledge on the right. Follow the path up and to the left, then wall-jump up the left wall and you’ll begin to see cobwebs. At this juncture, you have a choice to make. If you want or need to leave Deepnest for whatever reason, you’ll need to head through the path leading upward until you unlock a shortcut back to Mantis Village.
To continue onwards, head through the cobweb-laden exit on the left. As soon as you enter, you’ll see a spike wall in front of you. Drop down the three small ledges on your left, then slide down the wall below and dash over the pit below and onto the ledge on the left.
Carefully proceed, jump, and dash to the left, avoiding all the spikes. Jump and dash left again and the cavern will open up. At this point you will begin to encounter more Corpse Creeper enemies, which will reanimate the bodies of the recently deceased. Don’t let your guard down or you may be swarmed by these fast-moving enemies, which are especially dangerous due to the restricted movement in the tunnels.
Continue to the left and you’ll encounter the powerful, shielded enemies; the Stalking Devout. These enemies will fill up tunnels, so you won’t be able to pass them. They also wear defensive masks and approach slowly, before dropping their defenses to deliver a flurry of attacks.
Wall-jump to the top portion of the screen before you reach your first Stalking Devout, then follow the path to reach the exit up and head into the next area. Wall-jump up the lengthy vertical shafts and continue to follow the maze upwards, taking the top exit again, and you’ll arrive in the Failed Tramway sub-area.
THE FAILED TRAMWAY
In this area you’ll encounter large flying enemies called Carver Hatchers. They will fly and harass the Knight on their own, and will sporadically spit out Dirtcarvers as well, so take them out early with Vengeful Spirit or Nail attacks, to avoid being overwhelmed with enemies.
Head left and you’ll soon find a crashed tram and the old tram station just beyond it. Head into the abandoned station, then head up. Wall-jump up the left wall to reach a hidden Lifeblood pod if you need extra health, then hop back down and drop into the hole in the floor. You’ll land in an old tram car, but the gate on the left is closed, so head right and hit the lever to open it, then proceed through the exit on the left.
Dispatch the Carver Hatcher, then hop up on the platform on the left. Jump and dash to the ledge on the right and hit the lever to unlock the shortcut to the area entrance, then head back towards the left until you reach the final tram car on the left. Hop up on top of it, then down through the hole in the car and claim the Tram Pass which is sitting on the floor at the front of the car. This will allow you more ways to travel between areas, including an area we’ll be heading to very soon.
Head back to the right and through the newly opened gate into the next area. Travel all the way to the right, past the passageway back down into the Deepnest tunnels, and go through the Tramway gate into the next area on the right.
Hop over the gap and you’ll find our old friend Cloth and an area Bench. After you have talked to Cloth and rested at the Bench, go left and hop down into the gap. Follow the path to the right and break the weak ground on the far right side to unlock a shortcut between the Tramway and the earlier sections of Deepnest, then wall-jump back up to the top and head back through the Tramway gate to the left.
Dispatch the Carver Hatcher and take the bottom exit back down into the Deepnest tunnels, proceeding back through the maze of spikes and sliding down the left-side wall until you reach the bottom. Hop down into the bottom exit, then follow the path left, dropping down twice to reach the bottom.
Once you reach the bottom, dash left over the pit of centipede larva, then wall-jump up and take the small tunnel to the left to skip the Stalking Devout. Continue left and you’ll enter the next area.
SPIDERS, SPIDERS, EVERYWHERE
In this area, you’ll begin to encounter Little Weavers, spider-like enemies which seem to fly, but are actually traversing the tiny spider webs which criss-cross the entire region.They can appear at any time, so exercise caution when initiating the tricky platforming sections in this area, as some falls can set you back quite a ways.
Drop down the small ledge as you first enter the area, then wall-jump up the small vertical shaft and dispatch the tiny Deeplings enemies you find there. Hop up on the ledge to the left, dash across the spike pit, and continue left. Hop out onto the tiny platforms suspended over the pit, then dash to the far left side. Kill the Deepling and continue left and the floor will begin to give way, revealing spike pits beneath.
Continue all the way to the left and drop down into a hidden shaft. At the bottom you’ll find a yellow bulbous formation. Destroy it to obtain a Rancid Egg.
Deepnest Part 2
Then head right and destroy the wooden bracing to unlock a shortcut to the ground floor. Hop back up the shaft you just dropped down, dash across the spike pits, then wall-jump up the wall to reach the area above.
NOTE: At this point, you can head right across the pit, past a Stalking Devout, through a destructible wall, and into the Weaver’s Den. Inside, you’ll find the Weaversong Charm, which summons tiny Weaver companions which attack enemies.
Whether you claim the Weaversong Charm or not, head left until you reach another wall leading up. Wall-jump up into the next ledge, then head left and into the next area.
Continue as far as you can, then wall-jump up the vertical shaft and follow the path up and around until you drop back down to the floor, which will give way to a spike pit. Continue around the path, killing the Deephunters as you dash and wall-jump between the walls and ledges until you reach another weak floor.
Jump down the newly-made hole and slide down the right-side wall, then dash across the spike pit to reach the ground, which will quickly give way. Slide down the wall, avoid the spike pit at the bottom, then head right and destroy the wooden bracing. Continue and wall-jump up and destroy the wooden bracing there to unlock a shortcut back to the previous area.
Backtrack to the shaft you just slid down, wall-jump back up, and continue left. A short way down the columned path, the ground will give way, so jump and dash to avoid falling in the spikes, then continue left and into the next area; the Distant Village.
THE DISTANT VILLAGE
Hop across the small elevated platforms and head to the upper right corner of the area, then head into the area to the right to find a suspiciously destroyed Bench and the Stagway. Pay the 250 Geo to unlock it, then return to the large web-covered cocoon at the center of the village. Enter, heed the advice of all the suspicious robed figures, and sit down on the Bench.
You’ll soon be mired in spider webs, the robed figures’ betrayal revealed. Try to move and they will close in on you, the screen will go dark, and the Knight will awaken in the Beast’s Den, suspended in a cocoon. Use your Nail to free yourself, then head right. Keep walking until you see a ledge above, then jump up and kill the Stalking Devout. Continue left, then wall-jump up and follow the path around. Kill the Deeplings and continue to the right.
Soon the ground will give way, but hop over the hole and continue to the end of the tunnel, then wall-jump up and kill the Deephunter before dashing across the chasm to the ledge on the left. Continue up through the winding tunnels and you’ll soon drop down next to a Grub.
Continue left and wall-jump to the top of the shaft, then head left. Kill the Stalking Devout and continue left, then wall-jump up the next shaft until you reach the top. Head right, kill another Stalking Devout, then continue right to find a Dreamer. Use your Dream Nail to strike them and enter the dream realm.
Head right and you’ll find the Beast, patiently waiting for its end. Strike it down with the Nail, then charge your Soul to absorb their essence and break the first of the Black Egg Temple’s three seals.
When you awaken, head left and follow the far left wall all the way down to the bottom, then head right and you’ll soon find another weak section of floor and another Bench. Drop down and you’ll find the party has died down a bit since you left.
Head to the left and out of the cocoon, then head all the way back to the area’s Hotspring. Depending on whether you’ve interacted with him before, you may find Quirrel there. Recharge in the soothing water, then head to the right, through the long corridor and into the next area.
Here you’ll find a rapid succession of centipedes burrowing through the tunnels, so time your journey as you work your way to the top right side of the area, then drop down and work your way to the exit on the bottom right. In the next area, you’ll find the Tramway, so insert your pass, head inside, and press the glowing button on the right side of the car to travel to get it moving.
Once the Tram comes to a stop, exit and you’ll find yourself in the Ancient Basin.
From the Tram, head left and jump off the Tramway. Dash along the ground until you near the Tramway gate and you’ll see a hole in the ground. Jump down, then follow the path to the left. Dash over the shaft in the middle of the tunnel and continue left and up. Kill the Mawleks you encounter, then drop back down and follow the path until you reach a large black orb at the end of the corridor. Inspect it to obtain a Pale Ore (which we’ll need the next time we return to the City of Tears).
Hop down the shaft on the left side, then follow the tunnel to the right. Avoid the dive-bombing enemies and destroy the wooden bracing to unlock the shortcut back to the Tram.
Once you head back up to the Tram platform, drop down into the hole just left of the Tram. Now that you’ve entered the main area of the Ancient Basin, drop off the left side of the platform until you reach the second ledge to the right, where you’ll find our humming friend, Cornifer. Buy the area map, then head down to the bottom of the area and take the exit on the left side.
THE ANCIENT BASIN
Once you enter the next area, you’ll find a toll station. Pay the 150 Geo and a Bench will appear. Rest, then use the Crystal Heart to fly to the left. Around halfway, you’ll pass a platform with a Geo cache and, at the end of the area, you’ll find a platform with spikes on the left side, so hit the Jump button before you hit the spikes to stop and avoid taking damage.
Jump up the ledge and continue into the area to the left. Drop down the hold and you’ll arrive at a four-way passageway and swarms of small, orange enemies will scurry away in every direction.
Head through the bottom left passage and drop down through the floor and into the next area. Follow the path down and you’ll soon encounter an acid-spewing Mawlurk. Dodge the venom and kill it, then continue following the path. Drop down the shaft at the end, then dodge left to avoid the spikes. More small orange enemies will emerge from the walls and head down the next shaft, so follow them down, then left and you’ll find a Mawlurk attached to the ceiling. It is entirely possible you don’t have the means to dispatch it at the moment, so feel free to dodge the acid and continue to the left.
The next platform below will have another Mawlurk spitting venom into the air, dodge over it, then either kill it or continue along the path to the left. Hop down the shaft, then head right and into the dead Mawlurk corpse to find a bug holding a Simple Key.
Take the key for yourself, then hop back up the shaft and continue to the left. Here you’ll find a Mawlurk suspended on a platform above a spike pit, jump up and slash at it with your Nail until it is dead, then wall-jump up the far left wall and continue up the path and to the right. Kill the last Mawlurk along the path, then head right and follow the path into the above area.
In the next area, take the path left, then follow the path up and to the right. Once you hop up to the next ledge, follow the path right and you’ll find a set of wooden planks bracing a section of wall. Destroy it to create a shortcut back to the toll Bench.
Return to the Bench if you need to heal up, then proceed back to the left, through the newly opened shortcut, and into an encounter with the Broken Vessel.
The Broken Vessel is a boss on the left side of the Ancient Basin area, just a few screens left of the toll Bench. Enter the room, pass the fallen shell of a broken vessel and approach the wall, then the gate will close and Lifeseeds will swarm the corpse.
They will soon fill the corpse, animating it and initiating the boss encounter.
RECOMMENDED CHARMS: Quick Focus, Soul Eater, Grubsong, Thorns of Agony, Fragile/Unbreakable Strength, Fragile/Unbreakable Heart, Stalwart Shell, Mark of Pride, Longnail, Steady Body, Weaversong, Grimmchild
The Broken Vessel is a fast moving boss, which utilizes several different types of physical and magic-style attacks. Using Charms which boost the damage and range of your Nail, and allow quick healing, will serve you well for this fight. Try to stay at the edge of Nail range, to allow yourself more time to dodge attacks while still dealing consistent damage.
Utilizing companion Charms such as Weaversong and Grimmchild will also allow you to deal damage to the boss while avoiding area attacks or healing, so consider a companion/healing build if you are having trouble.
The first attack the Broken Vessel will use is a standard dash attack, which covers around 2/3 of the fighting arena. The boss can use it while on the ground, or in midair, so observe the boss carefully as it moves.
If it pauses, halt your approach and wait for it to finish its attack, then counter with your Nail or spells
The boss will also frequently jump in the air, pause, then initiate a downward slash. Once the slash hits the ground, four orange orbs will float downward, then reverse direction, spread out, and fly upward across the screen.
To counter this attack, sidestep or dash out of the way, then dash back towards the boss, avoiding the orbs. Quickly slash with the Nail or keep your distance and cast Vengeful Spirit while watching out for the next attack.
From time to time, the Broken Vessel will stop in place, then begin casting out orange orbs, which travel down and away from the boss, before rising and spreading out as they fly upward. During this time, try to stay as far away from the boss as possible. If you can stay far enough away, this is an excellent time to heal (especially if you have the Quick Focus Charm equipped).
Keep your cool, maintain the attack, and heal when the opportunity presents itself, and you’ll soon put an end to the Broken Vessel.
After defeating the Broken Vessel, continue left through the newly-opened wall. Follow the path to the very end, where you’ll find a tiny glowing orb, floating in midair. Jump up and touch it and you’ll consume the Monarch Wings, which grant the ability to double-jump.
Proceed back up to the Broken Vessel arena, then head right. Fly past the toll Bench and into the next area, then follow the path all the way to the right. Now that you have the Monarch Wings, use them to clear the gap and jump up to the exit on the bottom right side and head into the next area.
Use the Crystal Heart to fly all the way to the right, then smash through the weak wall and you’ll find the Ancient Basin Stagway station. Pay the 300 Geo to unlock the Stagway and take it to City Storeroom Stagway Station in the City of Tears.
Once you arrive, descend through the city and back to the Nailsmith. Use the Ancient Basin Pale Ore and 800 Geo and he’ll upgrade your Sharpened Nail to the Channelled Nail.
With your newly-honed weapon, return to the King’s Station Stagway, take the exit left of the Bench, then drop down to the bottom floor. Take a right and you’ll find a broken Bench and a flooded Stagway station. Hop down into the water and wade right and you’ll go through a hidden passageway into a cavern with dive-bombing Belflys.
Once you reach the end of the cavern, take the exit on the right side and you’ll emerge in Kingdom’s Edge. Walk to the edge of the platform and drop down. Fall to the left and slide down the wall and you’ll shortly stop on top of a pipe, jutting out of the side of the cliff face. You should also clearly hear the tell-tale humming of our old friend, Cornifer.
Pay the 112 Geo for the Kingdom’s Edge area map, then continue down the small platforms until you reach the bottom of the giant chasm, then head right into the next area. In this area, you’ll begin to encounter enemies called Hoppers. These, fast-moving enemies hop along the length of their specified regions at set intervals, so they can be dashed under, so avoid or engage them at your leisure as you progress to the right.
NOTE: Obtaining the Dash Slash is useful for the next Boss encounter, but the skill is not necessary. If you aren’t interested in obtaining the Nail Art, or if you don’t have 800 Geo, head up once you reach the middle of this area, instead of heading right.
You’ll soon reach a large pillar, so wall-jump over it and continue right and a Great Hopper will come crashing through the ceiling and begin to pursue you. Unlike their smaller cousins, the Great Hopper will hone in on the Knight, and are relentless in their pursuit. Because they constantly attack the Knight, they can cover lots of ground in a short period of time, and they are so large, they can deal significant damage quickly, so treat them like minibosses.
Continue down the corridor to the right, then take out the two Great Hoppers and keep going and you’ll soon find a Bench next to a building. Head inside and speak to Nailmaster Oro. He’ll instruct you on the finer points of Nail combat, if you can part with 800 Geo. Fork it over and you’ll learn the Dash Slash.
Once you’ve obtained the Dash Slash, head back to the left, taking the first path you see upwards. Follow the tunnels up and take the exit at the top of the screen. Proceed through the next vertical area, hopping up platforms and dispatching Primal Aspids and Hoppers until you reach the top, then head right. Wall-jump up the right side until you reach the top, then head left and you’ll see a bent Bench sign.
Head left, then jump up and attack the weakened section of ceiling. Once its broken, wall-jump up into the next area, rest at the Bench, then hop back down to the bent Bench sign and head right until you reach the right-side exit. Head through it and you’ll enter a long corridor. There are no enemies here, so avoid the falling spikes and continue right. Towards the end, you’ll see Hornet. Follow her through the exit into the next area.
Here you’ll find another vertical shaft, this one leading down. Drop down until you reach the bottom, then head to the right, into the arena, and the Hornet (Sentinel) encounter will begin.
Hornet (Sentinel) is a boss on the far right side of the Kingdom’s Edge area, located just north of Nailmaster Oro’s hut on the map, and straight east of the passageway to the City of Tears.
From the nearest area Bench, head down a screen, then right two screens, then jump down to the bottom of the shaft and enter the arena. The gate will soon close, initiating the Hornet (Sentinel) boss encounter.
During this encounter, Hornet will employ more advanced techniques than she did during the first encounter in Greenpath, and she will utilize significant area-denial hazards upon entering her second phase. The focus on this encounter should be patience, waiting for a moment to strike, avoiding and destroying hazards, and waiting for the opportune moments to heal.
RECOMMENDED CHARMS: Weaversong, Grimmchild, Quick Focus, Mark of Pride, Longnail, Quickslash, Soul Eater, Shaman Stone, Grubsong, Thorns of Agony, Fragile/Unbreakable Strength, Fragile/Unbreakable Heart
During this fight Hornet will use many of the attacks she used during the Greenpath encounter, and you’ll counter them the same way you did back then. Dash, sidestep, or jump over her dash attack, and counter with the Nail, or Spells like Desolate Dive.
Sidestep or dash to avoid her aerial lunging strike, then counter with the Nail or Spells like Vengeful Spirit or Desolate Dive/Descending Dark. Jump over her Needle Throw attack and counter in the same manner. Your counter attacks will typically only consist of one or two strikes before Hornet will retreat, but don’t overextend yourself. Stay patient and heal during the Needle Throw attack, as Hornet will be stuck in place for long enough to heal twice if you have the Quick Focus Charm equipped.
As the fight progresses, Hornet will start to show off her new skills. After certain attacks, Hornet will adopt an aggressive pose and stay still for a few moments. During this time, she’ll hold her Needle above her head at a downward angle. This is her Parry stance. Attacking during this window will deal no damage to Hornet, and she’ll counter-attack with a wide sweeping motion, so avoid attacking relentlessly, or you’ll eat a few Parries.
Another new strategy Hornet will employ during the encounter is the use of spiked barbs, suspended by thread. After every few attacks, and with greater frequency as the battle progresses, Hornet will stop attacking to suspend threads across the screen which contain sharp barbs. This can hem the player into a corner, and make it difficult to dash away from Hornets attacks without taking damage from the barbs.
Thankfully, a quick strike from the Nail will destroy the barb, so make sure to stop attacking and clear the barbs whenever you can to keep the area clear, and make the fight that much more manageable.
NOTE: If you take companion Charms into the fight, such as Weaversong or Grimmchild (empowered to the point where it will attack enemies), they can both fight Hornet while you destroy barbs, or even destroy the barbs themselves. This makes them even more helpful than they would normally be.
Stay patient, keep the arena clear of barbs, and avoid attacking while Hornet is in her Parry stance, and you’ll emerge victorious once again.
After defeating Hornet for the second time, proceed through the arena and to the right. Continue along the path, down, then to the left. Follow the howling winds and you’ll soon arrive at the mouth of the Cast-Off Shell.
Enter, then walk all the way left and you’ll find a glowing object. Approach and pick it up to mark yourself with the King’s Brand, which grants access to The Abyss, an area below the Ancient Basin reserved for the King himself, and sealed off after the horrific events which led to the creation of Hallownest.
Once you have marked yourself, head for the exit and the Cast-Off Shell will begin to collapse. After a short scene, you’ll have control again, and you will be free to explore the area, or head to The Abyss. Ascend to the top-left section of Kingdom’s Edge and you’ll find the Colosseum of Fools; an arena which grants access to an additional Charm Notch, Pale Ore, and mountains of Geo for any warrior skilled enough to conquer it’s various wave-based challenges.
In the lower reaches of Kingdom’s Edge, there is also a hidden entrance to a sub-area called The Hive, where you can find several useful Charms, a Boss, and more Collectibles.
NOTE: Now that you have the Monarch Wings and access to both the Colosseum of Fools, you can obtain two more Pale Ore and the next Nail upgrade. Complete the Challenge of the Conqueror in the Colosseum and you’ll be awarded a Pale Ore. Another Pale Ore sits atop the highest reaches of Crystal Peak. Bring them both to the Nailsmith, along with 2,000 Geo, and you can obtain the Coiled Nail; the second most powerful Nail in the game.
FINDING THE ABYSS
To continue progressing towards the final boss, return to the King’s Station Stagway. Take the Stag to the Hidden Station in the Ancient Basin, then fly left through the next screen and back into Ancient Basin proper. Drop down and head left. Take the first exit down and into the next area.
Proceed along the path and to the left and you’ll soon find a massive gate bearing the King’s Brand. Now that the Knight is branded with the King’s mark, simply approach and the gate will open, unlocking The Abyss.
Descending into The Abyss is fairly straightforward. Although the absolutely massive vertical shaft is riddled with enemies and spiked platforms, it is easy enough to drop off the platform at the top of the chasm and slash the Nail down. This will ensure you Nail Jump off spikes or enemies, instead of taking damage, especially if you have the Quick Slash equipped.
Drop to the bottom of the shaft and head right. Once you enter the next area, you’ll notice black pools of sinister-looking liquid. Once the Knight approaches them, however, they will take the shape of bugs and lash out violently, so keep your distance from them and use the Mothwing Cloak to dash and stay out of their reach as you progress to the right.
Soon you’ll begin to encounter enemies which look similar to the Shade the Knight leaves behind when he dies. These enemies, called Siblings, are weak and easily dispatched. Soon after encountering the Siblings for the first time, you’ll reach a veritable ocean of dark liquid; one we cannot cross without assistance, so hop up the elevated platforms, taking out the Siblings until you reach the top of the tower.
Head inside and you’ll see a lever. Strike it to activate the Lighthouse. Head back outside and hop down to the bottom of the tower, then use the Crystal Heart to fly to the far right side of the map.
Once you arrive on the far right side, hop up the ledge and into the area to the right. Continue heading right and wall-jump up at the first opportunity. Once you reach the top, follow the path to the right, then drop down and continue heading right and you’ll arrive at a massive form holding a basin, overflowing with dark liquid.
Jump up into the basin and absorb the dark essence to obtain the Shade Cloak, which will prevent you from taking damage while dashing.
Isma’s Grove & The Watcher’s Spire
After acquiring the Shade Cloak and returning to the City of Tears, proceed back down into the Royal Waterways. You can reach it by descending through the shaft just right of the statue to the Hollow Knight, which we unlocked after defeating the Dung Defender.
Returning to the shaft, hop down the left side and take the first exit on the left. This leads to the Dung Defender arena, so progress through the area and follow the winding tunnels back to the next area below. Now back in the central hub of the Royal Waterways, follow the walkway down and to the far bottom right side, then hop down the hole and into the next area.
Follow the path as it curves left, then drop down the shaft, dispatching the Flukefeys as you go. The bottom of the chasm is filled with acid, but we’ll soon do something about that, so hop up on the ledge to the right and continue following the path until you reach a ledge which sports some pink crystals.
Charge up the Crystal Heart and fly to the right. You’ll soar through the exit, in between the spiked sections in the next area, and into next screen, where the Royal Waterways continue.
If you don’t air stall to stop early, you’ll land on a section of wall which drops down into the acid, so wall-jump left, slide down, and use the Crystal Heart to fly to the next wall. Wall-jump up onto the next ledge and head right, then hop up the platforms and kill the Hwurmps, then hop up onto the ledge at the top right corner of the shaft.
Once on the ledge, wall-jump up the wall on the right side and head right once you reach the top. Here you’ll find a warning that “Only those who prove their honour in combat may enter the grove beyond.” Since the sign was written by The Defender, and we already bested him in single combat, we can continue right and into Isma’s Grove.
Once you enter the next area, wall-jump up at the first opportunity, then kill the Winged Sentries and wall-jump up the left wall. Jump and dash onto the ledge on the right and continue along the path. Drop down one of the shafts and you’ll enter a battle arena.
Dispatch the various Sentries to clear the arena and unlock the gates, then head right and drop down the shaft, following the path until it drops you into Isma’s Grove. Hop along the platforms to the right and you’ll soon reach a glowing green droplet, suspended from a branch which is growing from what is, presumably, Isma’s body.
Inspect the glowing ball to absorb Isma’s Tear and gain immunity to the pools of acid which may be found throughout Hallownest.
Now that you are immune to acid pools, drop off the ledge and head under Isma’s platform into a hidden shaft on the right. Hop up the walls to find a Grub, then continue further up the shaft to another acid pool leading to the left.
Swim through the pool and back to the area above, then follow the upper path around, then drop down the shaft on the left side and proceed back into the area to the left. Hop back up onto the ledge where the Dung Defender left his warning sign, then head left, across the gap and up the left side.
At this point you’ll see a green tube of liquid running in the background, and you’ll soon come to a shaft leading up. Wall-jump to the top, then head right. Follow the path until the scenery changes and you arrive at a lit doorway.
Step through it and wall-jump up the shaft, then take the exit on the left side and you’ll enter a dwelling in the City of Tears. Hit the lever on the left-side wall to open the door, then step through to return to the City of Tears.
Now that you are back on the streets of the City of Tears, head left and take the upper path into the next area. Now that you are back inside some of the more opulent areas of the City of Tears, take the first elevator up, then head left and stop when you reach the glass section of the floor.
Now that we have the Monarch Wings, we can reach a new area, so double-jump up to the ledge on the left and hop up through the ceiling, and into the next area.
THE WATCHER’S SPIRE
Head right and hop up onto the central platform, kill the Winged Sentries, then wall-jump and dash to the top of the shaft and head left. Head through the exit on the left to find the area Bench, then return to this area and drop down, following the winding path and killing the various bugs in your way, then drop down into the small arena below.
Dispatch the Heavy Sentry and the Winged Sentry, then head right and hit the lever in the ceiling to unlock the gate in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Hop down and head through the newly opened gate and follow the path up. You’ll soon encounter a broken elevator, so continue along the path and wall-jump up the elevator shaft and land on the ledge to the left. Hit the lever to unlock a shortcut back to the area Bench, then continue right along the path and up into the next area.
Once there, follow the path on the first level all the way to the left and into the next screen, then hit the lever to unlock a shortcut between the Watcher’s Tower and Soul Sanctum.
If you acquired the Elegant Key from Sly after finding the Shopkeeper’s Key in Crystal Peak, you can now access the Vengeful Spirit Spell upgrade, Shade Soul. Head left and into Soul Sanctum, then wall-jump up to the elevator on the left and take it up two stops.
Once you reach the top, exit to the right and into the next area, where you first fought a floating Spell Twister. Hop up the platforms and into the area above, then take the first left and proceed into the next area. From there, take the elevator all the way up, past the broken wall where Cornifer’s Bench is, and follow the path to reach a locked door.
Use the Elegant Key to open the door, then head through the door to find an arena with floating Mistakes and a Soul Warrior. Destroy the Warrior, then follow the path left. Wall-jump up to the next level, then inspect the device at the center of the room to absorb the Void essence and obtain the potent Shade Soul Spell.
Hit the lever on the right to unlock a shortcut back to the elevator. Drop down and retrace your steps until you arrive back in the Watcher’s Spire.
ASCENDING THE WATCHER’S SPIRE
Once you are back in the Watcher’s Spire, ascend the left side path and you’ll find an elevator. Take the elevator up, then follow the path left and into the next area.
Take the elevator in the next area to the top, then stop just after stepping off the elevator. Double-jump into the air and slash the weakened ceiling until you destroy it. Wall-jump up to the top and head right and you’ll find some rope holding up a ceiling fixture.
Destroy it and the fixture will crash to the ground, smashing the shell of one of the giant beetles in the next room, and making what happens next a little easier. Head back down and enter the arena to begin the fight with the Watcher Knights.
The Watcher Knights
The Watcher Knights are a multi-enemy boss encounter at the top of the Watcher’s Spire in the City of Tears. To find the arena, head left from King’s Station, cross the residential area, then ascend the Watcher’s Spire, located in the center of the city.
NOTE: Before entering the boss arena, there is a small antechamber. Destroy the ceiling on the left side of the antechamber to reveal a vertical shaft. Wall-jump up the shaft and slash at the brown rope to destroy the support for a chandelier. The fixture will then crash to the ground, destroying the shell of one of the Watcher Knights and permanently reducing the number of boss enemies from six to five.
During the encounter, the Knight will have to defeat six Watcher Knights (Five Watcher Knights if the player destroys the chandelier before entering the arena).
The fight will begin with one Watcher Knight, but at set intervals, or upon defeat of the current Watcher Knight, more will be possessed and awakened by the orange essence. Despite the large total number of Watcher Knights, the player will never have to fight more than two at a time.
RECOMMENDED CHARMS: Quick Focus, Mark of Pride, Longnail, Quick Slash, Fragile/Unbreakable Strength, Sharp Shadow, Dashmaster, Stalwart Shell
Because the primary concern during this fight is the number of boss enemies you’ll need to fight, there are only three attacks the Watcher Knights will use, and each one is simple enough to deal with, in theory. Putting these strategies into practice may prove difficult, but with a little practice, the Watcher Knights will fall to your Nail.
The simplest attack the Watcher Knights will use only comes out if the boss ends an attack close to you. This double-slash attack is telegraphed well in advance, so simply dash away and cast Vengeful Spirit, or jump up and Nail Jump off the Watcher Knight’s shell.
The boss will also use a rolling spin attack which covers the length of the area. This attack is simple enough to jump over, and you can attack downward with the Nail as the Watcher Knight passes. If you find the timing of a downward slash difficult, jump over the Knight as they roll by, then dash to close the distance and slash until a new attack is initiated.
The final attack the Watcher Knights will use is a bouncing spin attack. This attack is extremely similar to the one used by Dung Defender, with one big difference; the Watcher Knights lose momentum after each bounce, meaning one large bounce, then one small bounce. Use this knowledge to your advantage and avoid trying to run under the second bounce.
Using the Nail Jump technique during the fight works wonders. The Watcher Knights don’t have a significant way to counter the technique, especially if you are using the Mark of Pride and Longnail to increase your range, and it is easier to avoid their attacks if you stay off the ground, as the double slash and rolling spin attack only hit close to the ground.
Also, since we picked up the Shade Cloak, the fight will be significantly easier, as you can simply dash through the Watcher Knights when they try to box you in. Learn the bosses attacks, use these techniques, and try the Charms recommended above, and you’ll defeat the Watcher Knights, carving a path forward to the next Dreamer; Lurien the Watcher.
Having defeated the Watcher Knights, head right out of the boss arena and wall-jump up to the next level. Follow the path left, then wall-jump up the shaft and take the exit into the area above. Head left and take the elevator all the way to the top, then head right and you’ll find Lurien the Watcher, sleeping on a slab.
Use the Dream Nail to enter Lurien’s dream, then follow the platforms to the right and slash Lurien with the Nail until they give up the ghost. Channel Soul to absorb their essence and bring an end to the dream.
RETURNING TO FOG CANYON
Once you awaken, return to the King’s Station Stagway and take the Stag to Queen’s Station. From the Bench, head right and into the main Stagway area. Hop up the platforms and take the top left exit into Fog Canyon.
Now that we have the Shade Cloak, we can obtain the Fog Canyon map. In this area, you’ll have to deal with explosive enemies, so use caution (especially if you have attacking companion Charms), and heal often. Hop all the way up the vertical shaft and take the top left exit into the next area.
The next area has acid and a number of explosive Ooma enemies, so climb the shaft cautiously and take the top right exit. In this area, hop across the platforms and you’ll soon reach a vertical black beam which blocks the way forward. Use the Shade Cloak to jet through it, then ascend the platforms to reach a small alcove at the top of the screen.
Buy the map from Cornifer, then hop back down the platforms and take the exit on the right, into the next area. Tons of tiny Uoma enemies are scattered throughout the area, so proceed carefully and avoid the explosive orange bubbles sitting on the floor, then hop across the platforms or swim through the acid and take the right side exit.
You’ll emerge into a vertical shaft where small swarms of Lumaflies regularly coalesce to create electrical outbursts. Wait for an opening, then dash through, head down the shaft, and take the exit on the left side. Proceed left, through the next area, then take the left exit and you’ll arrive at the Teacher’s Archives. Talk to Quirrel, then head left and destroy the wooden bracing to unlock a shortcut back to Queen’s Station, then head inside to begin your journey through the Teacher’s Archives.
Once inside, head right and hop up at the first opportunity to find the Teacher’s Archives Bench. Rest up, then head down the bottom and into the area below.
The left and right paths lead to the same place, but the left path has fewer enemies, and since we have Isma’s tear, the acid doesn’t pose a threat, so head down to the bottom and drop through the gap in the middle of the floor and into the area below to initiate the Uumuu boss fight.
Uumuu is a boss encounter found in the Teacher’s Archives sub area, which is located in the central section of the Fog Canyon area.
NOTE: The fight is made significantly easier when the Knight possesses Isma’s Tear, as falling into the acid at the bottom of the screen is no longer a threat.
RECOMMENDED CHARMS: Quick Focus, Deep Focus, Soul Eater, Shaman Stone, Quick Slash
NOTE: The Uumuu fight is rather unique amongst the pantheon of Hollow Knight bosses, in that the boss is fully immune to damage for the majority of the fight. Don’t bother trying to hit the boss during this time. Rather, focus on avoiding Uumuu’s attacks and keeping your health full.
During the fight, Uumuu will focus primarily on denying access to large portions of the screen and dealing damage with electrical storms.
The first attack Uumuu will employ causes a series of small electrical bursts to appear on the player’s location. Keep hopping around the arena in large circles for the duration of the attack to avoid taking damage.
During the second attack, the boss will stop moving and cause electrical bursts to emerge throughout the entire arena. There is a small wind-up on this attack, so try to find a ledge (or jump into the acid at the bottom of the screen) to avoid damage.
If you are able to quickly find a safe ledge, this is an excellent opportunity to channel Soul and heal as much as you can, especially if you brought the Deep Focus/Quick Focus Charms along with you.
Soon, Quirrel will appear, cry out, and perform a lunging attack which temporarily destroys Uumuu’s rubbery exterior. Close the gap when this happens and get in as many attacks as you can. Use Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul if you are too far away from the boss, or use this time to heal to maximum health.
Uumuu will regenerate shortly, so back off when that happens and repeat the cycle. Stay patient, keep moving, and hit with your hardest hitting spells or Nail Arts to quickly bring the fight to an end.
Preparing For The End
After defeating Uumuu, head through the door in the bottom right corner of the arena, then drop down all the way to the bottom. Swim left until you see a vertical shaft, then wall-jump up the left wall, then jump and dash over the giant liquid-filled tube and you’ll reach a ledge.
Inspect the figure in the tube and Quirrel will arrive. Speak with him to learn he felt drawn to this place, as well. He’ll soon speak of his history with The Teacher, then he will use his mask to destroy the seals which protect her. Use the Dream Nail to enter the dream, then hop along the platforms to the right until you reach a large platform.
Soon The Teacher will appear. Slash at her with your Nail until she disperses into Essence, then channel Soul to absorb it and destroy the third and final seal to Black Egg Temple.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Now that the final seal is extinguished, you can enter the Black Egg Temple in the Forgotten Crossroads. Travel back to the Stagway, then take the Stag back to Dirtmouth. Hop down the well and you’ll enter the Forgotten Crossroads, which have now become the Infected Crossroads. Head right and you’ll soon arrive back at the Temple.
Head inside and the door will burst open with a deafening roar. Enter the new opening and walk to the right, through the darkness, and you’ll soon arrive at the final Bench.
Inspect the sigil to the right of the Bench and a tracker will be added to the bottom right corner of your Inventory screen, which keeps track of your overall Game Completion Percentage.
At this point, heading to the right will lead to the final boss encounter, so this is the last opportunity to obtain upgrades, Items, Spells, Charms, and to complete any optional Boss encounters.
Some optional areas include Queen’s Gardens, The Hive, the White Palace, the Howling Cliffs and more, so explore to your heart’s content, then head right until you reach the next area and initiate the final boss encounter with The Hollow Knight.
NOTE: This is your final opportunity to obtain any upgrades, Charms, Items, etc. before the final boss fight. After completing the game, however, you will still have access to your game, and can explore and enjoy the rest of Hallownest (including the Hollow Knight DLC) at your leisure.
NOTE: There are multiple endings in Hollow Knight, which are determined by multiple factors, including whether the player has obtained the Void Heart Charm. The first ending is locked after obtaining the Void Heart Charm, so if you want to experience each ending, make sure to beat the final boss without it, then load your save, obtain the Void Heart, and beat the boss again.
The Hollow Knight
The Hollow Knight boss encounter is the final boss encounter in Hollow Knight. The Hollow Knight can be found in the Black Egg Temple in the Infected Crossroads after defeating the three Dreamers and absorbing their essence, breaking the seals.
After resting at the final Bench, head right into the next area and you’ll be locked in an arena with the Hollow Knight. Slash at the chains to release them and the final boss battle will begin.
RECOMMENDED CHARMS: Quick Focus, Mark of Unn, Longnail, Mark of Pride, Quick Slash, Soul Eater, Nailmaster’s Glory, Grubsong, Stalwart Shell, Spore Shroom
The Hollow Knight is a boss with multiple phases, relatively quick movements, and a wide array of attacks and techniques, each with considerable reach. Due to their infected nature, however, they do have some weaknesses which can be exploited to make the fight easier.
The first attack used by The Hollow Knight is a triple slash attack. The Hollow Knight will advance as they make each attack, and their Nail is quite long, so the advancing attack will cover around ¼ of the arena. Because the boss does not attack upwards, you can easily counter this attack by jumping above the Hollow Knight and Nail Jumping on their head until they vanish and begin the next attack.
The second attack used by The Hollow Knight is an advancing dash attack. During this attack, the Hollow Knight will wield their Nail like a spear and quickly lunge forward across around ¼ of the arena. Counter this attack like the triple slash and jump over the attack, then Nail Jump on the boss’ head until they disappear to begin the next attack.
The next attack isn’t an attack at all, if you play your cards right. During the fight the Hollow Knight will adopt a defensive parrying stance and hold their Nail above their head with the tip of the Nail pointed diagonally towards the ground. During this time, attacking the boss will result in a wide, sweeping counter-attack, so avoid attacking and use this opportunity to heal if you have the Quick Focus Charm equipped.
After dealing enough damage to the Hollow Knight, they will scream as they did at the beginning of the fight, and Phase Two will begin. At this time the boss will gain new, more desperate attacks, which cover a larger part of the screen.
The Hollow Knight will still use the triple slash, dash, and parry attacks, so maintain your strategy for countering those attacks while keeping an eye open for new attacks.
The first new attack the Hollow Knight will use during Phase Two is a volley of orange acid. The Hollow Knight’s cloak will open, revealing globs of orange goo. The boss will shoot the orbs in arcing paths across the screen, starting low to the ground, then rising higher and higher as the attack continues. Use the Shade Cloak to dash through the first orb, then attack while the boss lobs acid over your head.
The second attack the Hollow Knight will use during Phase Two is a two stage ground slam attack. The boss will leap into the air, then slam down on the ground, causing the ground to erupt in damaging spikes of infectious energy at set intervals across the screen.
There will be a short window where the location of the spikes will be revealed, so position yourself between them to avoid taking damage. If you are quick enough, you can heal during this time using Quick Focus. You can also cast Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul if you are careful, but these spells do cause some recoil, so be careful not to damage yourself.
During Phase Three, the Hollow Knight will grow increasingly mad with infection, and will gain several new attacks, but will stop using the dash attack and parry from Phase One.
At the beginning of Phase Three, the Hollow Knight will impale themselves on their own Nail several times. Use this opportunity to heal any damage leftover from Phase One and Two and prepare for the new Phase Three attacks.
The first new Phase Three attack the Hollow Knight will use is a bouncing attack. The boss will float into the air, target the Knight’s current location, and fly towards the ground, bouncing off the ground and attacking again for a short while.
Dash back and forth to avoid the attack, and counter with Vengeful Spirit, Howling Wraiths, or Nail attacks. Note that attacking with Howling Spirit will not stop the Hollow Knight from striking you, so make sure you have sidestepped the attack zone before casting.
The second new Phase Three attack used by the Hollow Knight is an arena-wide acid lobbing attack. The boss will float into the air and open their cloak to reveal globs of orange acid, which will then stream out across the arena.
Avoid dashing at this time unless it will get you to a clear area, instead focus on standing in a single area and stepping slightly from side to side to avoid the acid.
From time to time, the boss will attempt to use the same triple slash from Phase One, but may grow tired and fall to the ground after the first slash. Use this opportunity to counter-attack or heal.
Stay patient, focus on avoiding damage and keeping your health topped off, and soon the Hollow Knight will collapse and victory will be yours.
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