Hunter's Journal

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

Enourmous titan hiding a shocking surprise.

The False Knight possesses a variety of attacks:
Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

False Knight Guide Video

  • 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.
  • Leaping Slam: 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 armor. 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, rocks will fall from the ceiling. False Knight will continue to slam the ground with their mace for about three seconds.


The best bet at fighting the False Knight is to keep moving, attacking the armour when possible. When the Maggot pops out, heal if necessary then get in as much damage as possible. When the shock waves appear, simply jump over them.

It is important to note that attacking the armor does not award SOUL, so players should conserve their SOUL meter if they need to heal, 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 before the rocks begin to fall.

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. Attack the Maggot enough times and it will die, ending 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.


Failed Champion

After acquiring the Dream Nail, upon returning to where the False Knight was fought, the corpse of the Maggot that occupied the armour is found in the room above the arena, along with two living Maggots mourning over it. Striking the corpse with the Dream Nail will transport the player to an arena where they will fight the Failed Champion.


The Failed Champion uses the same attacks as the False Knight, however it will spam its attacks near constantly and contact with their body or mace does 2 masks of damage. The shockwave itself and the rocks do only 1 mask of damage.

In addition, rocks will fall during every attack and the shockwave from the Slam is much taller. It gives 300 Essence when it is defeated.


Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Failed Champion Guide Video

Since hitting the armour doesn't give any SOUL and the Champion attacks relentlessly, allowing little time to heal, it is recommended to use Joni's Blessing, Stalwart Shell, Quick Slash and an aggressive strategy. With this setup and a decently upgraded Nail, it's possible to damage-race the Champion. Fragile charms also work well as they don't break when dying in Dream fights.

Alternatively, the fight will be easier if the left Maggot is left alive until the Champion is defeated (as they do not respawn) - if the player loses in the dream fight, they wake up with full health but no SOUL. Using the Dream Nail with Dream Wielder on the Maggot is a convenient way to re-enter the fight with full SOUL.

The Desolate Dive/Descending Dark spell is effective as it hits twice and the invincibility frames allow the player to dodge mace strikes while casting.

His jumps are wide and provide room to be dashed under. This will create an opening to attack him from behind and dodge his smashing attacks. This is more effective with Shade Cloak equipped.

Another reliable opening to attack is when he jumps backwards, as this jump never lands with smashing attack.

During one of the Champion's Rage moments is the best time to use Descending Dark as the player can then flee without taking damage.

Never try to heal during normal attacks, unless using Quick Focus or Shape of Unn, as the Failed Champion closes distances very quickly.

Dream Wielder shines in this boss battle. While it is almost impossible to gather enough SOUL from the Failed Champion to heal reliably through conventional means, when it falls, there is time to Dream Nail him three times before attacking. Then, while the Champion is Raging in the middle of the room, heal with Quick Focus.

Dream Nail Dialogue

False Knight/Failed Champion:

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

False Knight's Mace:

  • Free at last


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 can not save you, then what can...?


  • The armour the Maggot stole actually belongs to Hegemol, one of the legendary Great Knights (mentioned by Nailmaster Sheo).
  • After the False Knight is defeated, the head of his mace is revealed to be another bug with an armored 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.
  • The reason the Maggot took the armour was to protect its fellow Maggots, not because of the infection plaguing Hallownest.