Hollow Knight - convince me to keep playing


Have you been able to get to your ghost so you can get your money back?

Also, dont screens repopulate so you can go back and forth to get money?


Ok, the game is definitely going to be too hard for you.

It’s definitely a “Dark Souls” clone, for better or worse (mostly for the better, IMO). It’s funny how they stated in the Kickstarter that the game is inspired by oldies Zelda 2 and Faxanadu, but it’s really like modern games SotN and Dark Souls. They even added a Dracula-ish boss!

The Dark Souls influence is just enormous. They went whole hog with the Dark Souls school of storytelling : silent hero explores decaying kingdom with a nearby village that can be lightly repopulated, containing a great evil by sacrificing yourself, buncha “lore” sitting around, the Dark Soul the Void, NPCs that move around and mumble incoherent, irrelevent stuff and often die for no good reason.

It’s a valiant effort as far as story goes for a metroidvania, which don’t really much story at all, but I don’t want everyone to copy the same formula.

There’s a kind of standalone DLC campaign with the Hornet as playable character coming up. Interesting.


I usually can’t find my ghosts, no, I usually end up lost and in a different area.

Money is not a problem, as far as I’m aware. The only thing I found for sale is the map guy, but he’s so high up, I’m not sure if I can jump high enough to go upward screen to screen. I usually just go downward in a dungeon until I get to a dead end, and then I start trying to find my way upward. Some ledges are low enough that you can jump to them, but most jumps downward in this game are permanent, so it’s easy to go down, but hard to go up.


There should be no one-way falls at all in the first area. (There are a few later on). You can always just follow the same route back up.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are you maybe just tapping the jump button as quickly as you can, rather than using the length of the press to control the height?


I wonder…

There are screens where there is an opening above you and all you need to do is jump up and you go through. Some you may need to wall jump. Are you also holding the jump button down to jump farther? (edit: what jsnell said)


I’m pretty sure I’m fully jumping up, yes. I don’t think I can wall jump. Maybe that’s a move for later?

Not every jump is one way, but there have been a couple. Which forced me to keep moving right or left or to keep going downward.


Is there any way you could record yourself trying to get back up and showing us where you’re stuck? The game does get better when you can navigate an area. I am always relieved when I find the map for a new area.

Edit: I guess wall jump is later.


Given you haven’t yet reached the first boss, there will have been literally no one way drops.

I’m now kind of invested in figuring out what’s going wrong. But in all honesty @Woodlance is right, and this is probably not a game for you, and it might be time to cut your losses.

Buying a map will not solve your problems, it’ll just give you the map for this tutorial area you’re in right now, but you’ll still need to find the mapmaker in all the other areas to unlock maps in those. And some of those other areas going to be much harder to navigate through.


That sounds like a good idea. I’ll try to record some gameplay this weekend.


I’m also kind of fascinated by what’s going haywire in Rock8Man’s experience with Hollow Knight. I was going to suggest starting from the beginning, knowing what you know, with a focus on gathering enough currency to get that first map. Since it sounds like a lot of money has been lost by dying and not recovering your corpse, you might just be in a deeper hole (money-wise) than the game intends? (I don’t recall how much the first map costs relative to what you collect in the early game.)

I admire your persistence, Rock! I can’t say that once you get over this hump you’ll definitely love it, but if you like these kinds of games generally, I think there’s a good chance you’ll eventually find traction with it!


I do love platformers, and I do love Dark Souls types games, and hard games in general if I enjoy the core gameplay. The only problem is that I’m not digging the core gameplay so far, and I just hate feeling lost all the time.


I felt the same way Rock8man. I absolutely hate not knowing where to go. I’m mostly glad I stuck with it even if I never quite finish.


Right. So given Rock8man is getting lost in the first area, how is he ever going to get through something like Deepnest or the Waterways? An area where the mapmaker is hidden, where the maps are totally useless anyway, and where the screens have way fewer landmarks than the Crossroads have.

Getting the map for the Crossroads is getting a map for the Crossroads. There’s a dozen other areas to get lost in.


We don’t know what he is getting stuck on. If he gets over the hump and realizes what mistake he is making then it may open the door in the areas. It could be that he isn’t recognizing something.

I mean, he plays tough games and gets through them. I don’t see any reason he couldn’t get to at least where I am. I’ve struggled to get make progress at times.


I’m pretty sure I got that first map by sticking to the same general area, going back and forth and respawning enemies until I’d earned enough to buy it. I can understand what @Rock8man is going through, I really need a decent map with a metroidvania, it’s part of what makes it addictive. So I basically grinded out the cash until I had it - it didn’t take that long from memory. I think I mainly used the area directly above the map maker, once you figure out the flight paths of those flies it’s fairly easy. There’s also an item you can buy early on that shows your position on the map - again, it’s cheap and easy to grind.

Also, bear in mind that when you die, you really have to go kill your shade. If you don’t, it will limit your soul meter to 2/3 of max, which is not what you want. Go straight back to where you died, listen for the distinctive sound that the shade makes, and kill it. You’ll get all your souls back plus what you already collected en route. If you die again before killing it, you’ll lose all the souls that shade was carrying. So don’t do that.

I also found it took a while for Hollow Knight to click, but it’s worth getting past the basics at the start to try and find the magic.


I’ve often joked about wanting to study you in a laboratory to understand your strange gameplay habits. Here is my chance!


Alright, so this concept of going back for my corpse really made all the difference. Usually I was pretty lost so I would just pick a random direction and go, and wasn’t really learning the lay of the place, and every room looked the same. But after reading this, here’s how I started out, up to my first death.

Apologies, kind of embarrassing, especially my awkwardness with the controls at the end of the clip. For the sake of my dignity can we please pretend that my toddler was trying to grab the controller from me?


Of course, once I tried to retrace my steps to the death, I got a better idea of where I was, which made all the difference, despite the same-y looking environs. So getting my corpse got me enough Geo to get the map, so let’s cut to that part, where I finally get the map and open it, and realize it’s completely not helpful.


Every time I open the map in this clip, just know that I’m saying “how is this a map? Where am I on it? What kind of map is this?”

Every time.

And also notice how I discovered that in the area that’s too high to jump, you just jump up and it magically takes you to the room above the map-maker. Simple. All I had to do was take a leap of faith based on jsnell telling me there’s no falls that can’t be reversed in this area.

Notice also that I died while trying to get my shadow/corpse thing, which would normally mean I stop playing and do something else, but since I was on a mission to record for you guys, I kept going.

And so I got to and killed the first boss, on my first try.

The second boss took me a lot longer, and many deaths, but I got there.

And then after that I was finally able to get back to the map maker’s wife with some Geo and bought some things that actually make the map useful! Yay!

Thanks folks, for all the help.

Edit: Bonus footage, first boss, because why not, I don’t just have to post myself fumbling around. I can post myself fumbling around and accidentally doing well too.



Yay, congrats! You did a fine job with the boss, better than I did (took me two attempts). Hollow Knight relies often on timing-based attack/avoidance including with the trash mobs, but I think you’ve got it down pretty well. I couldn’t see the first two clips, not working for me.


I can’t see any of the videos either, maybe because I’m not in the US?

In any case, congratulations! I think you are on your way.

I tried to explain the jumps to the screen above but didn’t do a good job…

Getting that compass charm to go with the map makes all the difference in the world. You’ll probably catch me in no time! I’m thinking for playing Super Mario Odyssey to try something I can get through in a timely manner. I’m just hoping that it’s not so easy that it is uninteresting.


Ah, it seems you where just blocked because of some early misconceptions. It’s interesting how simple things like going “up” a level can become so hit-and-miss.

I remember I found that part strange too at first, but discovered it nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the game (there’s a loooooooooot more to it!).