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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.

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.
  • 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.

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 armor 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.

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, rather 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

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Failed Champion Guide Video

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

  • Leaping Slam: 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.

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.



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


  • The armour and the head have separate health values.
  • 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 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.
  • It appears that the reason the Maggot took the armour was to protect its fellow Maggots, not because of the infection plaguing Hallownest.
  • Once the False Knight drops down from the ceiling any husks that have not been slain prior to his entrance die.