Hollow Knight is one of the best games I've ever played and I'm not even close to done with it yet.

Every so often a game comes out that reminds me about why I love to play video games. Breath of the Wild was the last one to do that. And then came Hollow Knight which I’m about 6 hours into now.

And man, what a 6 hours it’s been. It’s 6 of the best hours I’ve ever experienced with the medium.

Everything from the level design, to the artwork, to the atmosphere, to the combat work in such unison to provide an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. And I can tell I’m just scratching the surface of this incredibly large labrynth of a game.

This isn’t just a prime example of how to do a Metroidvania, it’s a prime example of how to do everything that a video game can do to stand apart. It offers very rewarding progression, perfectly tailored challenges, tantalizing areas that are just out of reach, haunting and beautiful sound design, and so many diverging pathways that are intricately connected and non-repetitive.

I’m not sure how three people created such a beast while still giving such a tight and focused design. Often times, even the best games tend to do one or two things exceptionally well to help them stand apart from the rest of the market place. But this one executes on every aspect at the highest possible level. No one aspect of the game stands apart as greater than the others. Every screen you enter is unique and striking with great enemy placement. And the boss fights are awesome and exciting.

It’s a joy to just move around and play the game. But even more importantly than that, discovering new areas really carries a sense of dread and weight until you get to know them and understand what new dangers lurk.

Every time I need to put down this game, I continue thinking about for hours afterwards and look forward to the next opportunity I have to enjoy it and continue my progress. It’s fully captured my imagination and re-opened my eyes to how great games can be even in genres that have been fully explored by legends of the industry several decades prior.

Team Cherry should be very proud of what they’ve put together here.

P.S. I’m playing on Switch and really love the game in both docked and portable modes. It feels tailor made for the system even though it’s not - which is also quite an accomplishment. The split D-buttons of the left joycon work perfectly for the game as does the pro-controller’s d-pad (although ymmv with that one considering the issues some people have with it). And the game looks beatiful at 1080p on my set and 720p on the handheld screen with no framerate drops.

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This game is on my short list of games to play since getting into Shovel Knight. That game is a master-class in platforming level design.

I felt a lot like that and when hour 20 came i said, this seems a tad long for a metroidvania. Then hour 30 came and i wanted to finish it and be done and 5 hours after that, i “finished it”. I can’t say more for fear of spoilers. My suggestion is if you are playing this game on anything but a PC with a high refresh monitor its going to feel laggy. I wish i beat it on pc over switch.

Interesting. Sounds like it gets more difficult later on.

My last boss fight was already pretty tough. But satisfying.

Yes. It is a game that has a sharp cliff in that regard, but the hardest of it is completely optional. Is also one of the few games I left without 100%ing it and being perfectly fine about it. Sadly the final (optional addon) ending is locked behind some of that craziness but it is such a sharp difference in difficulty that I didn’t let it bother me. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it is normal for people that want to fully complete it to practice on a single boss for hours, just to get ready to fight that boss near the end of a boss rush mode that is unlocked from doing all the other boss rushes.

Not into boss rushes? Well how about super hard platforming. Look into the Path of Pain for that.

The bosses got to the point where i would not even challenge a new optional boss because it takes the right spec and lots of practice to overcome some of these monsters. The ending i wanted required more effort than i was willing to give at that point but what’s funny is despite being done with it, i found myself losing hours to it a few weekends ago on PC. I feel eventually i will beat those optional bosses with my low lag setup vs Switch BT hell.

Sounds insane. I love a good challenge though. I’ll update the thread after I get further in.

I liked it a ton early on but some of the stuff later on becomes just cheap difficulty and largely soured the attraction I had towards the game.

I love the atmosphere and lack of handholding in Hollow Knight. I hate how long the game drags on for. Sometimes less is more, and this is one of those cases. For its genre this gen, I think Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is much better but it gets way less attention.

I think they are two different kinds of metroidvanias, with Monster Boy more focused on puzzle solving. and Hollow Knight having a bigger more explorable world. Think Iconoclasts is more of a comparison to Monster Boy, but that is even further down the path of smaller more direct paths with a puzzle focus.

Yeah, they’re definitely different styles within the same genre. Hollow Knight is like Metroid mixed with “Souls” elements and Monster Boy is like classic Monster World with Zelda-ish environmental puzzles. Fans of genre should check out both. Iconoclasts is decent; I was playing that on Vita but stopped in the middle.

So glad to hear you’re loving it @Peltz!

I’ve been playing HK on PC via a CRT monitor using a PS1 hori pad through a raphnet adapter. Lag is non-existent, and that helps immensely with the tough platforming sections and tricky boss fights.

The game has a pretty high skill ceiling (see the speedrunning community for some ridiculous techniques), and the boss rush post-game is really only there for the most dedicated players. I have only finished the first one, and I’m OK with that.

For those who have finished it and play on PC, there’s a few cool mods you can try. The item randomizer is amazingly fun. The logic is written in such a way as to always allow some pregression with the items you have collected, and requiring creative play to get to the next item check.

Oh, and the white palace and PoP are the best parts of the game, in my opinion. I wish there were more areas which required that level of precision. I find the platforming to be more fun than the combat for the most part.

Update: the difficulty, especially on boss fights has picked up a lot. And the game keeps growing in scope and is a little insane how big it is. I’m starting to see what people are talking about.

But you know what? Even though it’s taking me like 30 tries to kill this one boss, I still love it and am never frustrated by getting killed. It feels very much like a “tough but fair” design.

And I love revisiting the game and continuing to discover new stuff and backtracking through.

I have a feeling I’m going to 100% this one (which is very rare these days) and take a long time with it. The coliseum in particular is a ton of fun and the type of challenge I look for in games.

It’s still perfect in my eyes.

Definitely one of my favorites of the decade. Looking forward to Silksong.

That is good to hear!

If you ever get stuck in where to go, just look at your map for unexplored paths. Most areas you’ve been to before have things to discover when you came back with movement and item upgrades.

The game has obviously hooked you, and if you’re having fun grinding the bosses, you’re obviously up for the challenge.

Which boss has been the toughest so far?

We are definitely on opposite ends of the taste spectrum. After this and the LM3 thread. I really wanted to love Hollow Knight, its visual design was fantastic, but actually playing it, well just felt like a chore to me. I really hated the map system, basically everything about it, from having to reach a save point before it would update, to having to buy an area’s map to even be able to do that. The whole soulsesq thing about losing stuff when you die made exploring feel tedious, not interesting, and devoid of fun for me. For me this genre is all about exploring, and I felt like Hollow Knight did everything in its power to make me not want to explore. I put about 10 - 12 hours into it before I finally had enough and put it down for good.


I don’t have a name handy but there is, what I assume is, an optional boss right near the starting area you can fight by entering the third building to the right of the rest bench, descending a rope, and using the “Y” move that allows you to challenge those spirits or read NPC’s thoughts. It’s at the surface right next to the map shop.

This boss kicks my butt but I think I’ve very close to reading all the patterns and putting together a successful attempt to beat him.

A lot of the bosses have something like this. Try exploring near old boss fights and dream nailing stuff. Also some of these bosses are much harder than others and are only the tip of the difficulty iceberg the game has.

Yeah, Bretta’s beau, Grey Prince Zote is one of the most annoying bosses in the whole game. Don’t feel bad, literally everyone has trouble with the fight. At least initially.
I love his bad advice you get from listening to him in Dirtmouth.
“Zote’s Precept number One: ‘Always Win Your Battles’. Losing a battle earns you nothing and teaches you nothing. Win your battles, or don’t engage in them at all!”

@ShinJohnpv That’s a shame. Dying twice is the worst thing in the game, and the first 8 hours or so are the toughest, with a really steep learning curve.

Dying without killing your shade, and recovering your geo is annoying, but honestly there’s not much you need to buy. There’s relics that you collect, and can sell later on. These you don’t lose when you die. So, if you only sell them when you need to buy something, you can carefully return to the shop and get that upgrade.

The map system isn’t for everyone, and I totally get that too.

Yep that’s the one! He’s a pain but not in a way that seems impossible.

It’s amazing just how many boss fights are in this game. I encounter a new one in nearly every session. They’re really well made.