Hollow Knight’s first boss fight can be an absolute beast if you’re not prepared. The False Knight is tall, imposing, and doesn’t seem to do anything when you hit him, not even fill your health bar. But don’t worry! It’s not as hard as it looks; you just have to know what you’re doing.
If you haven’t gotten there yet, The False Knight is the first mandatory boss in the game. You cannot explore beyond the Forgotten Crossroads until you defeat him. Fighting her not only gives you access to an ability that allows you to explore Greenpath, but it’s the only way to get the item and enter The Pale City. There is no way around this fight.
Where to go
If you don’t know how to get to the False Knight, start at the Forgotten Crossroads Stag Station (don’t forget to rest on the bench there). Climb up to the clear opening on your left. Enter and stay on the platforms – don’t jump down.
The way to the knight
There’s a fat guy waiting for you who can slap you if you’re not careful. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to avoid. He won’t see you if you stay above him, and once you jump all the way to the left, he can’t follow you very far because the ceiling is too low for him. Saved by being short!
before the fight
Once you make your way past the various small enemies littering the path to the fake knight, you’ll enter a large empty area. You can’t continue left because there’s a metal door in the way, so go up.
Up and to the right is the path of combat. You’ll know you’re there when you run into a trio of smaller enemies. Dispatch is fairly easy, but be careful not to go too far to the left – this will trigger a boss fight.
If you die
If you die during the boss fight (or by killing the little guys beforehand), your shadow will be waiting for you here. Make sure you take care of this before starting the main fight. Don’t forget to treat yourself too!
Once you start the fight, prepare yourself. The false knight only has two real attacks, but he jumps a lot. His movements are telegraphed well in advance, so if you spend some time watching his movements before attempting a hit, you’ll be golden.
The trick to this fight is that your hits on his armor don’t do any damage, meaning he doesn’t fill your soul and you can’t heal. It will be very helpful for you to prioritize not getting hit rather than hitting him. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to deal a big blow to the False Knight by running up under him when he lands a big jump and then punches.
The Shockwave attack is a bit harder to avoid, but timing is everything. Before it hits the ground, it curls up for a moment and sends white vibrations towards you. Jump on them just before they get to you.
If you’re feeling confident, there’s a short window where you can hit the false knight before he launches another attack. Just bite into it to avoid damage and you’ll soon be staggering around with it.
When his white worm head appears, it crushes and starts chasing him. You will notice very quickly that these pipes fill your soul. Don’t worry about healing yet, just keep hitting him until his head disappears and he stands up.
The second phase
When the false knight gets up, he gets angry and knocks things off the ceiling. Hang on the wall and use the opportunity to heal. After that, the fight will continue pretty much the same as before, except now more debris will fall occasionally. Avoid it if you can.
Depending on your efficiency, you may need to stagger the false knight once or twice more. It can be hard to keep track of whether it will keep killing you. Don’t let your frustration overwhelm your return from the Stag Station bench.
End of fight
At some point, the floor of the arena will cave in. If you don’t fall, jump behind the fake knight.
He’ll just lay there with his head out so you know what to do. Keep bumping until it explodes.
No need to run, the orange thing won’t hurt you. He steps out of his armor and shows how small he really is. The fight is over, the False Knight has been defeated. Pick up the City Crest he places next to his empty armor and head left.
Don’t forget to explore the room before you leave. There is a treasure chest you can touch that will give you lots of money to spend on map upgrades and spells. Once you’ve collected it, head left to run into a strange little bug and attack from a distance.