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Hunter's Journal

Bestiary
Skilled combatant living at the heart of the waterways. Assails intruders with balls of compacted dung.
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Fighting for 'honour' or for 'loyalty'... You may as well be fighting for dust. If you want to kill, do it for your own sake. That is the true nature of the hunter.
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Behaviour

The Defender does a variety of attacks:
Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Dung Defender

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Dung Defender

Dung Defender Boss Guide Video

  • Toss: Dung Defender will gather up and throw two dung balls one after the other. These dung balls will bounce around the battleground for about six seconds before disappearing. These balls do not disappear when they hit The Knight. After Dung Defender throws the two balls, he will sometimes curl up into a ball and bounce around the battleground with the dung balls for about four seconds.
  • Burst: Dung Defender will dive underground, disrupting the ground as he travels underground back and forth across the battleground. After being underground for about five seconds, Dung Defender will burst from the ground, sending four dung balls into the air to rain down on The Knight at set distances away from Dung Defender, with him in the center. These dung balls will not bounce, instead breaking once they hit the floor or The Knight. Dung Defender can burst up anywhere on the battleground.
  • Dive: Dung Defender will dive in and out of the ground like a dolphin in water, moving across the battleground.
  • Zeal: At a point during the fight, Dung Defender will let out another boss scream and go into a temporary hyper mode lasting about twelve seconds. During this time, Dung Defender will chain together multiple, faster Burst Attacks, bursting from the ground once every half second. After this ends, he will also detect where The Knight is on the ground when he dives and will try to reemerge close to them.
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Tactics

In the beginning of the fight, try to dodge the balls as best as possible. When he stops to conjure the two balls of dung, stand next to him, hit him once, step back when he throws the ball, step forward to hit him again and quickly step back when he throws the second one. This is the safest way to damage him with little risk.

  • Towards the end of the fight when he does his attacks more frequently, particularly the Burst attack. Staying right at the left side of the arena is almost completely safe as he will always try to reemerge from the ground close to the player and the balls will just bounce off of the wall, giving a safe spot to damage him.
  • During the Burst attack, if the player uses Desolate Dive/Descending Dark while he is burrowing, he will be knocked out of the ground and stunned for a few seconds. This is an opportune time to use a Nail Art or a Spell against him, as he will go right back into attacking as soon as he is hit.

Generally speaking, he is one of the easier bosses in the game. Quick Focus will allow the player to almost trivialise the battle. Standing in a corner while he throws his dung balls typically provides lengthy opportunities to heal.

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Dialogue

During Fight

Dream Nailed

  • ...For the honour of the King!..
  • ...For the honour of the Five!..
  • ...For the honour of Hallownest!



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Talking to him after defeating him

Oh, it's you again. I'm glad to see you return.

No, no, please... Don't say a word. I must apologise for my previous behaviour.

Entirely my fault. I mistook you for one of those mindless skulking husks, yet you bested me in the most majestic knightly fashion.

Such joyful, vigorous combat. I'd almost forgotten the feeling.

I was once a Knight you see. By the grace of our good King, I stood proudly before the throne, watching Hallownest swell to greatness.

Then that nasty business with the affliction...

We knights defend against the physical, but a formless enemy. How to defeat such a foe?

Our King tried in his own way. A cruel means it was... And still, eventually, we were brought low.

Bah! I shouldn't be so morose. You've invigorated me. 'Tis truly a delight to meet one whose strength can match my own.

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Talking again
Go now, mighty warrior of Hallownest! You've proven your honour! Good fortune on the path ahead.

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Talking while wearing the Defender's Crest
Ahh, you exude the proud odour of the just. Truly, a mighty Knight you are.

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After acquiring Isma's Tear
Ahh! That tear... You've been to her grove!

I swore I'd visit, but... my duties... my oath...

Oh, I'm sorry. Ignore me, I'm being foolish. If I'm not careful I'll sink down into old memories and won't ever come back again.

She's a great judge of character, so if she gave you her blessing you must be something special indeed. I'm barely worthy to be in your presence!

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Dream Nailed after fight
...So there were others...

Dream Nail when asleep
...Isma... So strong.... Teach me...

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Trivia

"Deep in the Waterways beneath the City of Tears lurks a shunned being. Once a knight, now lost to puerile obsession: The Dung Defender.

Despite his exile, the Dung Defender has for centuries maintained a self-conferred charge: the protection of his mysterious gleaming 'beloved.'

Stalwart and full of bravado, the Dung defender eagerly challenges all who would enter his noxious realm."

  • He is presumably one of the only two living members of The Pale King's five Great Knights (the second being Ze'mer).
  • Staggering him (by taking his health down to a low enough amount) while he is using Zeal will cause the shockwave effect to last until he is staggered again or is defeated.
  • After his boss fight, the player can access a room by using Descending Dark below the giant switch in the room to the right of the boss arena.
    • If all three Dreamers have been defeated, Dung Defender will be in the left room sleeping amongst a set of five statues made of dung, presumably depicting the Great Knights. Another statue is found to the right with a King's Idol on it - presumably a statue of the Pale King himself.
      • The Dung Defender will not appear in this room immediately following his defeat-- the area must be reloaded by having the Knight exit and reenter.
      • Striking him here with the Dream Nail will send the Knight inside the Defender's dreams, where they may fight the White Defender, a stronger version of the Dung Defender in white armour who served while the Pale King and the Five Great Knights were all still alive.
      • In his dream dialogue, he mentions Isma, one of the other Great Knights, in a revered and admiring tone. This, combined with the fact that the Defender is guarding Isma's Grove, along with Isma's Dream Nail dialogue, all suggest that the two had some form of relationship before Isma died.
  • With the Hidden Dreams update, the White Defender's armour implies that all five of the Great Knights most likely dressed in white while serving the King.