Exclamation Mark
For the Dream Boss variant see Failed Champion.

For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster variant, see here.

A maggot driven mad by a strange force. Inhabits a stolen armoured shell.

Weak creatures love to steal the strength of others. Their lives are brief and fearful, and they yearn to have the power to dominate those who have dominated them.

False Knight is a Maggot wearing the armour of Hegemol, one of the five Great Knights. This Maggot wanted to find a means to protect his siblings. When he found Hegemol sleeping in his armoured shell, he took it for himself. Even though he says that it was not madness that drove him to do this, False Knight has become infected by the time The Knight fights him.

Behaviour and Tactics

The False Knight possesses a variety of attacks:

  • Leap: False Knight will jump a distance in the air to either land of The Knight or to prepare for a Slam attack.
  • Charge: False Knight will run a small distance to get close up if The Knight is too far away.
  • Slam: False Knight will swing their mace forward, slamming it into the ground. The impact of the mace creates a shockwave that travels forward across the whole arena. This attack will also be primed with the mace being held backwards for a couple seconds before being brought down.
  • Leaping Bludgeon: False Knight will leap into the air and slam their mace down in front of them when they land. False Knight targets The Knight when they leap so they will strike where The Knight was when they started their leap. While False Knight is in the air, they lift their mace above their head and then swing it in an overhead arc before they land, bringing their large body and mace down simultaneously.
  • Rage: After enough damage is dealt to the armour, the False Knight will fall down and reveal the Maggot inside the armour. When the Maggot takes enough damage, the False Knight will start the Rage Attack. False Knight will slam their mace multiple times on their left and right. Each time the mace strikes the ground, barrels will fall from the ceiling. False Knight will continue to slam the ground with their mace for about three seconds. If the Maggot is left alone for too long without being attacked then False Knight gets back up and continues its regular attacks without going into Rage.
Stagger Values
Description: False Knight's stagger is based off of their health and every time the armour health is depleted to 0 False Knight is staggered.

When staggered they will fall back and land on their chest revealing the head of the Maggot

Hits: - Stagger Limit: none
Combo: - Combo Time: -

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

False Knight Guide Video

When the False Knight falls over and the Maggot pops out, heal if necessary then get in as much damage as possible. This is the only time the Knight gains SOUL from attacking the False Knight.

It is important to note that attacking the armour does not award SOUL, so players should conserve their SOUL meter if they need to heal and/or use Grubsong to regain SOUL when struck.

If healing is needed, the safest opportunity is to wait until the False Knight goes into a Rage and then heal up in a corner of the room. Watch for falling rocks.

While the falling rocks do no damage when they hit the armour from above, the Knight can hit the rocks from the side causing them to fly into the False Knight when angled properly, doing damage. This is a great way of harming him during the Rage attack if healing is not necessary.

After exposing the Maggot's head three times, the False Knight will perform one more Rage attack before breaking the floor, falling to the level below and revealing the Maggot. Drop down and attack the Maggot to end the fight.

After the first time the False Knight Rages, the segment of wall above the left gate will become breakable, granting the player the chance to flee the battle if they so choose. This is useful as the player obtains the Vengeful Spirit Spell in the room immediately after the False Knight room, allowing them to either attempt the fight again with a stronger, ranged attack or simply proceed through the rest of the game and come back later. Returning to the area after escaping resets the fight.

Dream Nail Dialogue
  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!


  • Free at last


Failed Champion

Returning to False Knights arena will show that his body has been moved. To find Failed Champion, there is a breakable wall just above where his arena was where two Maggots can be found mourning over False Knight's dead body. Using the Dream Nail on the body will grant entrance to the Failed Champion fight.

Behaviour and Tactics

There are no major differences in attacks other than barrels falling for every slam attack and all the attacks doing two masks of damage. However the following few have been slightly tweaked:

  • Leaping Bludgeon: This is now the dominant attack that Failed Champion uses- with the regular jump rarely used unless positioning for the Slam attack or the Rage attack.
  • Slam: The shockwave created from the slam is much larger and taller.
Stagger Values
Description: Failed Champion's stagger is based off of their health and every time the armour health is depleted to 0 Failed Champion is staggered.

When staggered they will fall back and land on their chest revealing the head of the Maggot

Hits: - Stagger Limit: none
Combo: - Combo Time: -

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Failed Champion Guide Video

Since Failed Champion doesn't give SOUL it is advised to keep the Maggots near his body alive as to Dream Nail them for SOUL to start the fight with. Using the Dream Nail while Failed Champion is knocked down as well is a good way to fill up the SOUL meter.

Failed Champion's jumps are low and quick however it is better to dash beneath his jumps as not to get caught by the mace swing. This is made more effective with Shade Cloak.

Using Grimm Troupe Icon Dreamshield can sometimes block the falling barrels caused by most attacks.

A strategy, while considered cowardly but safe, is to sit on the left or right wall far up enough that the False Knight/Failed Champion cannot reach the player, but not far up enough that the Knight doesn't appear on screen (this may cause problems for the following Charm setup). While charging up crystal dash, but not using it. this allows The Knight to avoid all contact with the boss, and instead only have to worry about the falling barrels. To deal damage while sitting in the corner requires some form of a companion- the selection being Grimm Troupe Icon Grimmchild, Grimm Troupe Icon Weaversong, or Glowing Womb. Granted, this tactic takes a long period of time to pull off, as the companions don't deal a lot of damage. Additional Charms for this strategy can include Grimm Troupe Icon Dreamshield to block the barrels and Grubsong for its synergy with Weaversong.



Dream Nailed during fight

  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!

After fight

I wanted it.... the strength to protect the others...

When I saw that Knight... sleeping... safe in his big armoured shell...

It wasn't madness that drove me to it... I just wanted it...

But... in the end? If strength cannot save you, then what can...?


Achievement Falsehood Falsehood
Defeat the False Knight
Achievement Strength Strength
{S} Defeat the Failed Champion


  • The armour and the head have separate health values.
  • After the False Knight is defeated, the head of his mace is revealed to be another bug with an armoured shell. The player can hit it, but it will not talk and simply scurries off-screen. Hitting it with the Dream Nail gives the dialogue "Free at last!" It is unknown whether or not this weapon belonged to Hegemol or if the Maggot made it itself.
  • Once the False Knight drops down from the ceiling any husks that have not been slain prior to his entrance die.
Compendium B Crystal Crawler
Main Game CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse KnightMaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur

MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAlubaCharged Lumafly


AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords

Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul MasterHusk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightThe Collector

BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm

ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian

Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk

DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk

Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel

BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive

Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord

Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobbleShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZote the MightyGod Tamer

XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth

WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils

HornetThe Hollow KnightThe RadianceShadeHunter's Mark

Hidden Dreams Icon Hidden Dreams Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender
Grimm Troupe Icon The Grimm Troupe Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare King GrimmSeal of Binding
Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood Hive Knight
Godmaster Icon Godmaster FlukemungaPale LurkerBrothers Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselVoid IdolWeathered Mask