HOLLOW KNIGHT

Hollow Knight is a 2017 action-adventure game developed and published by Team Cherry and was released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux in 2017, and for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2018. Development was partially funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, raising over A$57,000 by the top of 2014.

The game follows a nameless knight, as they traverse an ancient plague-infested kingdom inhabited by various insects, referred to as Hallownest. The Knight must travel through Hallownest, fighting bosses and unlocking new abilities to progress, as they uncover the mysteries of the dominion. Hollow Knight was well received by critics and has sold over 2.8 million copies as of February 2019. A sequel is in development, called Hollow Knight: Silksong.

Game features

  • Classic side-scrolling action, with all the fashionable trimmings.
  • Tightly tuned 2D controls. Dodge, dash, and slash your way through even the foremost deadly adversaries.
  • Explore a huge interconnected world of forgotten highways, overgrown wilds, and ruined cities.
  • Forge your own path! the planet of Hallownest is expansive and open. Choose which paths you are taking, which enemies you face, and find your own way forward.
  • Evolve with powerful new skills and abilities! Gain spells, strength, and speed. Leap to new heights on ethereal wings. Dash forward during a blazing flash. Blast foes with Fiery Soul!
  • Equip Charms! Ancient relics that provide bizarre new powers and skills. Choose your favorites and make your journey unique!
  • An enormous cast of cute and creepy characters all delivered to life with traditional 2D frame-by-frame animation.
  • Over 130 enemies! 30 epic bosses! Face ferocious beasts and vanquish ancient knights on your quest through the dominion. Hunt all twisted foe and add them to your Hunter’s Journal!
  • Leap into minds with the Dream Nail. Uncover an entire other side to the characters you meet and therefore the enemies you face.
  • Beautifully painted landscapes, with extravagant parallax, provides a unique sense of depth to a side-on world.
  • Chart your journey with extensive mapping tools. Buy compasses, quills, maps, and pins to reinforce your understanding of Hollow Knight’s many twisting landscapes.
  • A haunting, intimate score accompanies the player on their journey, composed by Christopher Larkin. The score echoes the majesty and sadness of a civilization delivered to ruin.
  • Complete Hollow Knight to unlock Steel Soul Mode, the last word challenge!

Gameplay

Hollow Knight may be a 2D Metroidvania action-adventure game and takes place in Hallownest, a fictional ancient kingdom. The player controls an insect-like, silent, and nameless knight while exploring the underground world. The knight wields a nail, which may be a cone-shaped sword, used both in combat and environmental interaction.

In most areas of the sport, players encounter hostile bugs and other creatures. Melee combat involves using the nail to strike enemies from a brief distance. The player can learn spells, allowing long-range attacks. Defeated enemies drop currency called Geo. The knight starts with a limited number of masks, which represent hit points of the character. “Mask shards” are often collected throughout the sport to extend the player’s maximum health. When the knight takes damage from an enemy or from the environment, a mask is reduced. By striking enemies, the knight gains Soul, which is stored within the Soul Vessel. If all masks are lost, the knight dies and a Shade appears at that place. The player loses all Geo and may hold a reduced amount of Soul. Players got to defeat the Shade to recover the lost currency and to hold the traditional amount of Soul. The sport continues from the last visited bench they sat on which are scattered throughout the sports world and act as save points. Initially, the player can only use Soul to “Focus” and regenerate masks, but because the game progresses players unlock several offensive spells, which consume Soul.

Many areas feature tougher enemies and managers which the player may have to defeat so as to progress further. Defeating some bosses grants the player new abilities. Later within the game, players acquire a “dream nail”, a legendary blade that will “cut through the veil between dreams and waking”. It enables the player to face tougher versions of some bosses and to interrupt what’s sealing the trail to the ultimate boss.

During the sport, the player encounters non-player characters (NPCs) with whom they will interact. These characters provide information about the game’s plot or lore, offer aid, and sell items or services. The player can upgrade the knight’s nail to deal more damage or find Soul Vessels to hold more Soul. During the course of the sport, players acquire items that provide new movement abilities including a further mid-air jump (Monarch Wings), adhering to walls and jumping off them (Mantis Claw), and a fast dash (Mothwing Cloak). The player can learn other combat abilities, referred to as nail arts, and therefore the aforementioned spells. 

To further customize the knight, players can equip various Charms, which may be found or purchased from NPCs. a number of their effects include improved combat abilities or skills, more masks or their regeneration, better movement skills, easier collecting of currency or of Soul, and transformation. Equipping a Charm takes up a particular number of limited slots, called notches. Wearing a Charm that needs quite the available number of notches is feasible, but it leads to being “over charmed”, causing the knight to receive double damage from all sources.

Hallownest consists of several large, interconnected areas with unique themes. With its nonlinear gameplay design, Hollow Knight doesn’t bind the player to at least one path through the sport nor require them to explore the entire world, though there are obstacles that limit the player’s access to a neighborhood. The player may have to progress within the story of the sport or acquire a selected movement ability, skill, or item to progress further. To fast travel through the game’s world, the player can utilize Stag Stations, terminals of a network of tunnels; players can only visit previously visited and unlocked stations. Other fast travel methods, like trams, lifts, and “Dreamgate”, are encountered later within the game.

As the player enters a replacement area, they do not have access to the map of their surroundings. they need to find Conifer, the cartographer, so as to shop for a rough map. Because the player explores a neighborhood, the map becomes more accurate and complete, although it’s updated only sitting on a bench. The player will have to buy specific items to finish maps, ascertain points of interest, and to put markers. The knight’s position on the map can only be seen if the player is carrying a selected Charm.

Release

The Nintendo Switch version of Hollow Knight was announced in January 2017 and released on 12 June 2018. Team Cherry originally planned to form their game available on the Wii U. Development of the Wii U version began in 2016, alongside the PC version, and it eventually shifted to modify. The creators of Hollow Knight worked with another Australian developer, Shark Jump Studios, to hurry up the porting process. Initially, Team Cherry planned the Switch version to arrive “not too long after the platform’s launch”, subsequently they delayed it to early 2018. A release date wasn’t announced until the Nintendo Direct presentation at E3 2018 on 12 June 2018, when it had been unveiled the sport would be available later that day via Nintendo eShop.

On 3 August 2017, the “Hidden Dreams” DLC was released, featuring two new optional boss encounters, two new songs within the soundtrack, a replacement fast travel system, and a replacement Stag Station to get. On 26 October 2017, “The Grimm Troupe” was released, adding new major quests, new boss fights, new charms, new enemies, and other content. The update also added support for Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese languages. On 20 April 2018, “Lifeblood” was released, bringing various optimizations, changes to the color palette, bug fixes, minor additions also as a replacement boss fight. On 23 August 2018, the ultimate DLC, “Godmaster” was released, containing new characters, boss fights, music, a replacement game mode also as two new endings. It was renamed from its former title of “Gods and Glory” thanks to trademark concerns.

Plot

At the outset of the sport, the Knight (the player character) arrives at the ruins of Hallownest and makes camp at the tiny town of Dirtmouth just above its entrance. Because the Knight ventures through the ruins, they discover that Hallownest was once a flourishing kingdom which fell to ruin after becoming overrun with “The Infection”, which drove its citizens to madness and undeath. The last ruler of Hallownest, the Pale King, attempted to seal away the Infection; however, it becomes increasingly clear that the seal is failing. The Knight is granted the facility to enter the dreams of certain powerful entities; this enables the Knight to seek out and kill the three Dreamers who act as living locks to the seal. This quest brings the Knight into conflict with “Hornet”, a female warrior who acts because of the “protector” of Hallownest and who tests the Knight’s resolve in several battles.

Through dialogue with certain characters also as cutscenes, the Knight receives insight into the origin of the Infection and itself. In the past, the bugs of Hallownest worshiped a better being called the Radiance: a primordial, god-like moth whose mere presence could sway the denizens of Hallownest to mindless obedience. One day, another higher being called The Wyrm received Hallownest and transformed into the Pale King in order that it could establish a grand kingdom. The Pale King “expanded” the minds of the bugs of Hallownest, granting them intelligence and self-awareness, and eliminated The Radiance by destroying all memory of it; barren of worship, the Radiance faded away. This lasted until an ancient statue of The Radiance was accidentally unearthed during the excavation, reviving her memory: enraged, The Radiance began invading the dreams of Hallownest’s citizens and driving them to madness, an affliction referred to as The Infection.

In an effort to contain the spreading Infection, the Pale King used the facility of Void (a sort of living darkness) to make the Vessels: living yet empty beings that might hypothetically lack a will which might be corrupted by The Infection. After many attempts, he created an appropriate Vessel (the Hollow Knight) and used it to contain the Infection, then sealed the Hollow Knight within the Black Egg Temple with the help of the three Dreamers. Yet because the Pale King had bonded with The Hollow Knight as a parent and child (respectively), the Hollow Knight developed a “wish” that was employed by The Radiance as an edge for corruption, compromising the seal.

As the story progresses, the Knight discovers that they’re a failed Vessel: one among hundreds who did not be chosen because the Hollow Knight, yet had the strength to flee The Abyss from which all Void originates. counting on the player’s actions, Hollow Knight has multiple endings. Within the first ending, “Hollow Knight”, the Knight defeats the Hollow Knight and takes its place, though the Infection still survives. The second ending, “Sealed Siblings”, occurs if the player collects the Void Heart charm before fighting the Hollow Knight: this is often roughly almost like the primary ending, except Hornet arrives to assist during the ultimate battle and is sealed with the Knight, becoming the Dreamer that locks the door.

The third ending, “Dream No More”, occurs if the player collects the Void Heart and uses the Awakened Dream Nail ability to enter the Hollow Knight’s dreams when Hornet arrives to assist. This enables the Knight to challenge the Radiance directly. The battle ends when the Knight commands the entire power of the Void and therefore the remaining Vessels to consume the Radiance utterly and thus end the threat of the Infection, though the Knight mysteriously disappears from the chamber thereafter.

The Grimm Troupe expansion

In the second expansion to Hollow Knight, the Knight lights a “Nightmare Lantern” found hidden within the Howling Cliffs, after which a mysterious group of circus performers referred to as the Grimm Troupe arrives in Dirtmouth. Their leader, Troupe Master Grimm, gives the Knight a search to gather magic flames throughout Hallownest so as to require part during a “twisted ritual”. He gives the player the Grimmchild charm, which absorbs the flames into itself, progressing the ritual. Eventually, the Knight must prefer to either complete the ritual by fighting Nightmare King Grimm or banish the Troupe from Hallownest with the assistance of Brumm, a traitor of the Grimm Troupe. the previous fully upgraded the Grimmchild, while the latter replaces the charm with Carefree Melody, which, rarely, prevents the Knight from taking damage.

Godmaster expansion

Two additional endings were added with the Godmaster content update, during which the Knight can battle harder versions of all of the bosses within the game during a series of challenges set by a being called the God seeker. If the Knight completes these challenges and battles Absolute Radiance because the final boss, upon defeating her, it transforms into a huge Void creature and completely destroys Absolute Radiance. God’s home is consumed by darkness because the Godseeker begins oozing Void, which eventually erupts and destroys her also before appearing to open up into Hallownest. Hornet is seen standing by the Temple because the tendrils of Infection turn black. A chained creature, implied to be the freed Hollow Knight, moves to confront Hornet.

The fifth ending is unlocked if the Knight has given the Godseeker a fragile Flower item before defeating absolutely the Radiance. The ending is just like the fourth, but the void starts glowing, and therefore the Godseeker and the Void vanish, leaving only the flower behind.

Sales

Hollow Knight had sold over 500,000 copies by November 2017 and surpassed 1,000,000 in sales on PC platforms on 11 June 2018, at some point before releasing on Nintendo Switch, where it had sold over 250,000 copies within the fortnight after its launch. By July 2018 it had sold over 1,250,000 copies. As of February 2019, Hollow Knight has sold over 2,800,000 copies.

Awards

The game was nominated for “Best PC Game” in Destructoid’s Game of the Year Awards 2017, and for “Best Platformer” in IGN’s better of 2017 Awards. It won the award for “Best Platformer” in PC Gamer’s 2017 Game of the Year Awards. Polygon later named the sport among the decade’s best.

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