Hollow Knight

Redherring wrote:

Now it seems like I have two choices:

1. Go fight The Hollow Knight and win the “bad ending”.
2. Go fight a whole lot of things to get a good ending.

I managed to invent a third option:

Spoiler:

Go fight a whole lot of things, but then miss the right moment in the Hollow Knight fight and still get the bad ending!

It's on my list to go back and round out option 2.

I did #2.

Note that I didn't actually manage to get the good ending. I just did everything necessary in order to fulfill the requirements to make that a possibility. The actual "getting" of the good ending is a pain in the butt I do not have the patience for.

The trickiest non dream boss thus far, the Hive Knight has been bested after a good 6-8 attempts. Ironically I completely missed 'The Hive' the first play through on Switch. The location is a really fresh change up with the blend of orange & yellows, the honeycombs stacked in the background etc The driller bees are a handful especially when 2 or 3 show up, they really arrow in on your position & the big brutes hit like a truck with their bouncing charge.

I recently got Isma's Tear & the Monarch Wings to nearly complete my full suite of abilities too. Traversal is a true joy when you get these two upgrades.

I think I’m done.

Can’t beat The Hollow Knight. Have explored everywhere that’s accessible without insane platforming or fighting yet another difficult boss.

Nothing really left for me to enjoy - time to watch endings on YouTube and move on.

I did #1, then did everything (I think) necessary for #2, but never went back and actually did #2. Couldn't stand the thought of another showdown with the Hollow Knight, then another boss battle after. The Knight itself was really tough for me, and I was a bit burned out by that point.

Huh. It didn't take long for me to figure out the Hollow Knight, and I could faithfully beat him every attempt. It was after the Hollow Knight that was... controller breaking.

Well .. it took me over three hours to get past the first Hornet fight, and maybe two hours for the Watcher Knights. I’ve spent not quite an hour on The Hollow Knight and I’ve just had enough of it.

Redherring wrote:

Well .. it took me over three hours to get past the first Hornet fight, and maybe two hours for the Watcher Knights. I’ve spent not quite an hour on The Hollow Knight and I’ve just had enough of it.

That was my experience as well. He has just enough of a moveset that I would make mistakes or forget to do something that was necessary in order to avoid damage. Quite frustrating.

I was also playing via steamlink, and was definitely encountering frame stutters and drops, which would contribute to my rage.

Eventually I put it downfor several months. Came back later and was able to grind it out, but had to use an 'assist' on the True Boss.

LastSurprise wrote:

I did #1, then did everything (I think) necessary for #2, but never went back and actually did #2.

This is a surprisingly intimate post about your bathroom habits.

Redherring wrote:

Well .. it took me over three hours to get past the first Hornet fight, and maybe two hours for the Watcher Knights. I’ve spent not quite an hour on The Hollow Knight and I’ve just had enough of it.

I beat the Watcher Knights & it took about 12 attempts, there is some really punishing bosses in the game. The dream versions being insane. I can totally see why it would frustrate a lot of players, much like the From Software games.

On the hornet fight at least I found that pretty comfortable after I'd got a couple of attempts under my belt. The thing that worked for me was a lot of small jumps, to trick her into throwing her spear & plenty of changes of direction. Its almost as if I was throwing a lot of fakes at her to make her react.

The Hollow Knight itself, I remember being in work inbetween training clients. I had my Switch in with me & just repeated that fight over & over until each phase was ingrained in my memory & I knew what was coming. I seem to do that with a lot of games, the K Levels in Tropical Freeze, Boss fights in Sekiro etc It was a tough fight, I can't remember how many goes it took me to beat HK.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
LastSurprise wrote:

I did #1, then did everything (I think) necessary for #2, but never went back and actually did #2.

This is a surprisingly intimate post about your bathroom habits.

I nearly snorted my coffee this morning, when I read this. Well done.

I decided to give Hollow Knight another whirl. I scrapped the original save file and started over. It had left little to no impression after all, so beginning again felt just. And it has faired somewhat better this go around.

I have 3 hours, or thereabouts, on the clock. I've uncovered much of the Forgotten Crossroads, and Greenpath. There's another area I've not yet acquired a map for. I've defeated a False Knight, and bested a Hornet. The former was swift. One and done. No bother. The latter, this Hornet, felled our hero at least thrice over. I was quite irritated by this as it was incidental damage from close contact after successful evasion of her attacks. She soaked up so much damage and zipped around so often that I'd get impatient and become too aggressive, leading to us tussling in corners where her landing or her reposition would rebound due to a wall. Contact. Damage. Lame. So I practised patience and stayed a little more central. Tick. Tock. Until she went down. Also, the pogo bounce attack on her head. Ha! That quickened the encounter. It also made me chuckle.

I've enjoyed the world traversal. Jump patterns. Pogo bounces on spikes, or on enemies.

One of the (I assume) semi-regular enemies, a Gruz Mother, was an interesting encounter.

I've stumbled upon imprisoned Grubs here and there. I've had introductions with Cornifer, Iselda, Myla, Quirrel, Zote the Mighty, Sly, Snail Shaman. That I can recall.

I've just acquired a dash manoeuvre. I also have a fair amount of Geo to spend. Although, I may save up for whatever can light the way in darkened areas.

Delved deeper into Fungal Wastes, and Fog Canyon. Also unearthed Queen's Station. Discovered the Thorns of Agony charm, which slots alongside Wayward Compass, and Soul Catcher. I've exceeded the 1,800 Geo required for a Lumafly Lantern. That's where I'm headed for now. Big purchase incoming.

I also ignored some Banker, out in the middle of nowhere. No way. No how. It's probably fine, but I'm getting that Lumafly Lantern first, just in case.

I'm expecting I'll start tasting defeat once more. Somewhere. It's got to ramp up. I think I laid eyes on Hornet once again. She'll bring renewed challenge, I presume.

It's quite good thus far. Pleasant art style. Pleasant music. A modicum of attention required for traversal and hostile encounters. Somewhat intriguing discovery. I do still have a concern that once I've been away for a day or two it may not draw me back. I'll continue to push on here. The challenge may prove just around the next corner. Smarter enemies. Layered traversal mechanics. Tools to access previously unattainable areas. A hook somewhere in story or lore. That's what I keep muttering to myself.

It's now around 6 hours, 30 minutes, which is a fair investment to still be waiting for that something special. Yet, it's still a rather pleasant experience.

Got the Mantis Claw. Now we're talking. Mix in the dash mechanic to our new found wall jumps and traversal has evolved!

~Edit~

I think the Mantis Claw, as well as discovering the City of Tears, along with the Old Nail reforged to a Sharpened Nail, has tilted the scales to officially invested!

At present our diminutive hero is collecting Essence having acquired the Dream Nail. In doing so we stumbled upon a few Warrior Graves, Xero, and later Gorb. Both were sorely lacking and went down in swift fashion. Interesting attack patterns all the same.

I have quite enjoyed the platform sections which the Whispering Roots toss up.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Hollow Knight's dirty secret is that the opening sucks. It took me multiple tries to get some momentum going, but I really enjoyed it once I did.

This definitely rang true for me, both times. I'd say it was around the six hour mark, maybe seven, before I became properly invested. The first go around I shelved the game after two and a half hours. I was that disappointed.

Expectations played a huge role. I've yet to stumble upon any upper echelon challenge. 15 hours in. It took a long time for the story or the lore to find any momentum. The platforming was quite a boon from the go, and it has only improved with progress. The issue was that I was expecting mould breaking or genre defining excellence in every avenue. Straight off the bat. Challenge. Discovery. Platforming. Lore. I took to the hype with heights that were perhaps unattainable, and comparisons that were entirely unnecessary (rather than a why not both essence).

I am thoroughly enjoying Hollow Knight now that I've found the footing I required, and discarded the expectations and the comparisons. It's a fantastic game in its own right.

ccesarano wrote:

It's also far more combat and platformer heavy, meaning someone that emphasizes exploration might get frustrated by challenging foes or obstacle courses constantly halting progress and therefore forward momentum.

I have had the opposite problem. It hasn't been particularly challenging. At least not to the extent I had predicted from most feedback. Unless it's gated by a slow ramp up so as not to disperse the audience with sudden difficulty spikes.

It has evolved to hold engagement since the opening sections. And that's enough. I was doing it such a disservice with hype expectations and hype comparisons.

ccesarano wrote:

The music creates a good chunk of the atmosphere, and I still regularly listen to the soundtrack on its own due to the different moods and melodies it possesses. Some of the late game tracks are particularly excellent and downright epic.

I take back my previously uneducated hot take on the music. What was introduced later has been beautiful and emotive. The earlier tracks have also grown on me. It simply took time. Once I settled in at my own pace minus the aforementioned critical lens. I may follow your lead with the soundtrack!

Okay. Someone, I think a Soul Master, just beat me senseless. It's been coming.

As someone with no real experience in this kind of game the ramp up in difficulty was perfect for me. Getting a few bosses under my belt gave me the confidence to press on. I can see it being too slow for anyone who’s played Castlevania’s etc. I’m in awe of the art style in the game. It is ostensibly very simple but conveys masses of atmosphere and character.

Soul Master is a swine. I was very pleased when I eventually beat him though.

I was feeling relatively chuffed with myself for tackling this Soul Master on the third go around. Then I was scrambling for the controller, which I'd just set down, when I realised this Soul Master wasn't beaten just yet. Whew!

Also a little irritated that I ran from Soul Master for so long following the initial trouncing. Then again, I still lost twice more, even with a more efficient charm setup. It no doubt helped immensely that I upgraded the Nail before returning.

Got a few areas I'm looking forward to trying that reward, the ground pound spell, on. Woo!

It’s nice to think back to all the places you saw rumbly ground and head there to do a bit of ground pounding.

As an aside, I'm enjoying these recent posts. Seeing people slowly realise the brilliance of Hollow Knight is really fun to read.

I've been telling myself that I'll play through it again when it comes on sale on Switch, but it hasn't been on sale even once since I bought a Switch!

I think it says a lot that most players don't get the Dream Nail until after the Soul Master as well. I think that's either a positive or a negative (or neutral) based on personal preferences. My enthusiasm for Hollow Knight waned when I realized how large and sprawling it is. Now, I don't have any feelings one way or the other since getting stuck in one area means to just go and explore elsewhere for a while.

I guess I’m in the minority in that I actually have fond memories of the beginning of the game.

The sense of melancholy and loss in Dirt mouth, the mysteriousness and sense of secrets in forgotten crossroads, the surprising lushness of greenpath...I’m a sucker for art and atmosphere, so I knew pretty early on I was going to like the game as a whole.

although that may just be my overall positive impressions coloring the opening with the passage of time.

Yeah me too. I played it a couple years ago, and loved every second of it. Probably the best game of that type that I’ve ever played.

Been exploring the Royal Waterways, and the Ancient Basin, as well as a fresh area to the City of Tears. Dispatched Dung Defender, on the second spin, and Flukefarm, on the first. Thought we were lost or trapped for a little while thereafter. Couldn't jump high enough for one particular area to the east, nor spike bounce high enough for another to the west. So back whence we came to wall jump and air dash a route back up.

I think now it's back to either the Crystal Peak, or the Fungal Waste. I've to retry the Mantis Lords, who akin to Soul Master I retreated from upon a rather stinging defeat. There's also a Crystal Guardian who bested me twice a ways back.

Still have a few unsteady ground sections to return to.

Finally, I at last failed to reclaim our Shade! Down in the Waterways, to a swarm of enemies. 1,500 Geo just gone, literally down the basis. The brash over confidence and front foot aggression carried us far.

Just got the Crystal Heart. That ability is superb. Thinking back on the time I've spent trying to reach areas that this is no doubt created for. Oof!

In poking around Kingdom's Edge, and a few other areas prior, I've identified a scattering of locations for a double jump, as well as a few for acid resistance. I should back track.

I'm trying to recall what has went on since my last update. I felled Crystal Guardian, Mantis Lords, Brooding Mawlek, Massive Moss Charger, and No Eyes. The most challenging was perhaps the Brooding Mawlek. Mantis Lords were an effort but they didn't best me as Mawlek did!

There are some brilliant platformer sections. Reminiscent of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and its K Levels. The challenge was much appreciated!

I dinged two trophies. One for half Grubs rescued! One for half Charms acquired!

Thus far I've two additional health masks, and two additional soul containers. The Nail is still at improvement number two as well.

As for Charms. I tend to use Quick Focus, Grub Song, and Soul Catcher. Recently Spell Twister. I've not yet needed additional attack range, nor more invincibility frames, as tempting as those Charms are. I'd also loathe to become dependant. (I think I have seven or eight notches. I should equip more.)

Its been a few days since I've played but Lost Kin was my toughest challenge. It took me somewhere in the region of 8-12 tries. That's a fight that will catch out so many player tendencies, dashing away from LK, running to the opposite end of the screen. It takes a while but once you learn to not react in those patterns the fight swings in your favour.

I remembered a section of Kingdom's Edge that I could use one of my abilities to bypass & ended up at Markoth. That was a cool fight which took me 3 attempts. There's a bench close enough by that your back at him very quickly.

I also took on the trickiest challenge in the game yet. The Grey Mourners quest

Spoiler:

The delivery of a delicate flower to her lovers grave in Queen's Gardens, the catch being the flower breaks if you get hit once, ride the stag or use the dream gate

which necessitates mapping out your route to a specific destination from fairly far away. One big tip (as I can see few players getting this on their first go) is to use the

Spoiler:

Dream Gate

if you've got your dream nail upgraded sufficiently.

Spoiler:

set one beside the Grey Mourners house in the resting grounds (down + triangle) then if you get hit on your journey you can press up & triangle to transport immediately back there to try again.

I think I'm going to explore more before taking on Soul Tyrant & Failed Champion. I'm sitting at a game time of just under 30 hours now. I also need to get my nail upgraded to the mastery level but I'm lacking 1 pale ore.

Brilliant! I'm glad to see updates from another. Breaks up the Clown Gaming Journal.

I've toppled Broken Vessel amidst what was otherwise a vast exploration adventure. I collected the Monarch Wings. I found Isma's Tear. I located a Tram Pass. I've uncovered many a shortcut, elevator, and such connections. Bumped into Zote the Mighty for the second time. He's still oblivious and ungrateful! Found more Stag Stations. Discovered new lands.

I lost initial encounters with Enraged Guardian, Hornet Sentinel, and the Watcher Knights. I must've been close to beating Crystal and Hornet. Their second incarnations don't let up. It felt close though. If our Nail output more damage. If we'd another health mask. Bah! The Watcher Knights are a different story. It was a gulf in offense. They ground our diminutive hero to dust. I whimpered out of there.

Since then I've welcomed the Spiralled Nail and another Soul Container. As well as mastered all three Nail Arts. More Charms too. Now we'll see.

I've also a few Warrior Graves marked on the map. I think it is Galian and Marmu.

And upon return to Forgotten Crossroads...

Spoiler:

... I found the infection had breached its borders. No!

Then. Gut. Punch. Myla! Poor Myla! After being concerned for her mental state as time progressed, we discover she has in fact turned. No!

I couldn't do it. I couldn't strike down our cheerful songstress mining buddy. I ran. Maybe I should end her suffering. Maybe I could find a cure. Damn you infection. You've made it personal!

Really impressed with the map layout and its interconnectivity. My appreciation grows for the platforming elements. Enemies as we progress also require more thought. What a gem this is. Glad I was swayed to give it another try.

I have definitely given up and moved on, but it was definitely worth playing and I’ll be interested in the follow up game. Just would prefer if it could have some way to adjust the difficulty for people like me who are obviously less coordinated with a controller. I have no idea how you can just breeze through it like that.

My goodness this White Palace has my Super Meat Boy & Donkey Kong platform skills tested to the max. Went well for so far but the area at the bottom left of where the bench is gets a bit absurd when you push further into it.

Also killed the Traitor Lord who isn't that bad bar his orange blades zigzagging at different speeds, you can do a lot of pogo on its head. Still took me about 4-5 attempts, the attack patterns - sweeping attack towards you & the launch into the air drive down diagonal attack - are easily readable after a fight or two.

Fair play Redherring, it sounds like you got a good bit out of it. I have friends who I'd love to play this & some of the From games but I don't recommend them because I know the difficulty would put them off. Be nice to see Silksong have an easier difficulty option, for those who want to experience the world & story without feeling blocked from doing so.