City of Tears

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Areas

The AbyssAncient BasinCity of TearsColosseum of FoolsCrystal PeakDeepnest
DirtmouthFog CanyonForgotten CrossroadsFungal WastesGodhomeGreenpath
The HiveHowling CliffsKingdom's EdgeQueen's GardensResting Grounds
Royal WaterwaysWhite Palace
The city looks to be built into an enormous cavern, and the rain pours down from cracks in the stone above. There must be a lot of water up there somewhere.
– Quirrel

The City of Tears is the capital city of Hallownest, located in the centre of the kingdom. It is covered in perpetual rainfall that originates from the Blue Lake above. Its original name was lost to history.

Description

The City of Tears is built in an enormous cavern below the Blue Lake. It has numerous large towers with expansive windows which offer views of the city. Going up and down these towers is possible via small lifts.

The city has a notable divide between the rich and poor part. The eastern side of the city is where Hallownest's high society lived.[1][2] The interiors in this part of the City of Tears are more posh and luxurious and contain a red and purple colour pattern, while the west part's interiors appear to be more common and plain with more blue colour tones.

Fountain Square

In the very centre of the city is Fountain Square, where the memorial fountain to the Hollow Knight is located. Hornet can be encountered here as well as Relic Seeker Lemm, the latter only after one of the Dreamers has been defeated.

The Nailsmith's forge and Lemm's shop are located in the western side. This side also contains the City Storerooms Stag Station and the sub-area Soul Sanctum, where the Soul Master boss can be fought. Both Quirrel and Zote can be found in this part of the city under certain conditions.

The eastern side of the city has most of the sub-areas including the Watcher's Spire, and the Tower of Love. The bosses Watcher Knights and the Collector can be fought in these sub-areas, respectively. In one of the towers is the Pleasure House which has the only Hot Spring of the city. Lastly the King's Station Stag Station can be found in the very eastern part of the city.

Lore

Lower eastern area of the city

In the past, the City of Tears was known as "the city at this kingdom's heart",[3] "Hallownest's heart",[4] and "Hallownest's capital city".[5][6][7] The Pilgrim's Way was the primary path to the city, starting in the Forgotten Crossroads and going through Greenpath, Fog Canyon, and the Fungal Wastes, ending at the great gate at the western end of the city.[3] Travellers were promised that if they reached the capital, all their wishes would be granted and they could share in the city's glory.[3][4] Goods from all across Hallownest were transported to the capital, though not many were sent back, implying an imabalance in the wealth and prosperity between the city and other parts of the kingdom.[8]

The members of the City's high society were the ones who exerted the most influence in Hallownest.[9] Lurien the Watcher appears to have been one of the most influential figures of the city, watching over it with his telescope in the Watcher's Spire and taking notes about the city's comings and goings.

When the Infection spread across Hallownest, the capital's gates were sealed in an attempt to prevent the Infection from reaching the city.[10][2] However, this proved to be in vain as the entire city became Infected. Water now leaks from the Blue Lake through the cavern's ceiling, causing the rain and giving the capital its current name.[11]

How to access

Fungal Wastes gate

The City of Tears can be first accessed from several other areas of Hallownest. The west main gate can be opened from the Fungal Wastes by using the City Crest on the statue of the Great Knight Hegemol. The east part of the city can be accessed by using the Tram Pass to get to Ancient Basin and then travelling north.

The Tram can also be used to reach Kingdom's Edge, which has an access point to King's Station on its west side through a broken wall. Lastly, taking the lift in the Resting Grounds leads to the east part of the city.

Sub-area: Soul Sanctum

Soul Sanctum is a former research institution lead by the Soul Master where scholars worked on expanding the mind and attaining a pure focus.[12][13] When the Infection spread, they sought to combat it by harnessing the power of Soul, the lifeforce which animates bugs' bodies.[12][14] They obtained this Soul by gathering Soul Totems left behind by the Ancient Civilisation, and by extracting it from countless bugs, whose bodies were left at the bottom of the Sanctum.[15] Unfortunately, their efforts were for nothing as all scholars ended up becoming Infected.

The Soul Sanctum contains powerful enemies such as Soul Twisters which teleport around and cast spells. It is also littered with Follies and Mistakes, scholars whose bodies were twisted by their experiments with Soul. There are two Soul Warriors in the Sanctum, one of which is near the Shade Soul upgrade to Vengeful Spirit.

The Soul Master serves as the final boss of the Sanctum. He guards the Desolate Dive Spell, which is required to access many other areas and collectibles. The Spell Twister Charm can also be found in the Sanctum in the northeastern part near Soul Master's arena.

Sub-area: Pleasure House

The Pleasure House contains the city's only Hot Spring, as well as an abandoned stage where Songstress Marissa performed for audiences.[16] Her spirit can still be found on the stage, singing the vocal accompaniment to the theme of the City of Tears.

The Pleasure House also contains a lift, though there are 5 floors that it does not stop at. Near the Hot Spring, there is a Bench, where Millibelle can be found after she runs away with the Knight's deposited Geo. There is a breakable wall beside the Bench that allows access from the lift to the Resting Grounds.

Sub-area: Watcher's Spire

Home of Lurien the Watcher, one of the Dreamers sealing the Black Egg and the Hollow Knight inside. At his side, his butler can be found. Lurien must be killed to complete the game, but reaching him is no simple task as the way is barred by his elite guards, the Watcher Knights.

The Watcher's Spire can be accessed by using the Monarch Wings or Nail-bouncing on a background object near the entrance.

Sub-area: Tower of Love

The Tower of Love is a secluded series of padded rooms, first accessible from Kingdom's Edge using the Love Key. It is the home of the Collector, a being of Void who loves capturing creatures, primarily Grubs, in glass jars. Defeating the Collector rewards 3 Grubs as well as a map that reveals the location of all other Grubs.

Flipping a switch in the Tower opens a door connecting it to King's Station.

Points of Interest
Grub x 3
requires defeating the Collector
Collector's Map
requires defeating the Collector

Sub-area: King's Station

A Stag Station that lies partially in ruins, named after the King of Hallownest. A flooded Stagway infested with Belflies provides access to Kingdom's Edge through a hole in the wall.

Special Rooms

City Storerooms

The City Storerooms are where all goods were transported into the city.[8] They consist of two superimposed caverns bordering the Fungal Wastes, above the city's entrance from the Pilgrim's Way. Cargo lifts transported goods from the Stag Station above to the storerooms below. This area also connects to the building below the Soul Sanctum and the lift to the Forgotten Crossroads.


Pleasure House Kitchen

This room is located in the Pleasure House, which requires a Simple Key to unlock and access. It is found on the 5th floor.

The first room is filled with corpses of Hallownest’s Aristocracy sitting at dining tables. In the middle of this room is a Rancid Egg.

A bug named Poggy Thorax can be found in the back room. He comments on the Knight's small stature, calling them “skinny”. The room in which Poggy is found also features a small pile of bugs resembling Poggy, and dozens of small flies hovering over the rotten flesh on the counter and strung from the ceiling, implying Poggy was serving his fellow bugs as food.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The richer side of the city was planned to be a proper sub-area named the "Royal Quarter".[17]
  • A sealed door above the entrance through the Pilgrim's Way appears to connect the City Storerooms lift to the Fungal Wastes. This can never be opened or interacted with during the game and remains permanently shut.
  • A pre-release screenshot depicts Fountain Square without the memorial to the Hollow Knight. Instead, a multi-level fountain can be found in its place.
  • Very early in development, the City of Tears was known as "Ruins" and "Ruined City".[18] This can still be seen in the game files for the City of Tears, which usually contain "ruins" in their name.
  • The "Mysterious Key", seen in one of the early trailers, has a sprite named "Bath house key". It was likely originally a unique key to open the Pleasure House. Part of its shop description was likely reused for the Elegant Key:
A scavenger found it floating with the refuse of the Waterways. It's a grimy old thing and I'm not really interested in other people's secrets. Sure, you can buy it if you like, but I won't guarantee it will lead you anywhere pleasant...

References

  1. Cowardly Husk Hunter's Journal entry: "Former member of Hallownest's high society."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wanderer's Journal, p. 67.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Forgotten Crossroads Lore Tablet: "Travellers of Hallownest, descend through verdant wilds and fungal groves to the city at this kingdom's heart. There all wishes shall be granted, all truths revealed."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fungal Wastes Lore Tablet: "Hallownest's Heart lays open before you. Proceed onward to share in its glory."
  5. Quirrel: "There is a city nearby, the old capital of Hallownest."
  6. Elderbug: "Hallownest's great capital is what most of you brave types come to see."
  7. City Crest description: "Stone slab bearing the crest of the Hallownest capital city."
  8. 8.0 8.1 Last Stag: "Goods from all over the kingdom were transported here. Not a lot was sent back the other way though."
  9. Husk Dandy Hunter's Journal description: "It seems the weakest, greediest members of Hallownest were also the one who exerted the most influence."
  10. City of Tears Lore Tablet: "The great gates have been sealed. None shall enter. None shall leave."
  11. Official manual: "The city is built into a single giant cavern and water now leaks from the ceiling above."
  12. 12.0 12.1 Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "Head of the Soul Sanctum. Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction,"
  13. Soul Sanctum Lore Tablet: "The mind still limits us so. How to break past its constraints? To attain a pure focus, is it even possible?"
  14. Soul Master: "the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies."
  15. Wanderer's Journal, p. 74.
  16. Marissa: "Welcome to my stage little one. I am Marissa, a songstress of some renown, though given the sorry state of this place, you may find it hard to believe. Huge crowds once flocked to hear me sing"
  17. Team Cherry Blog Post of September 1st, 2015.
  18. Early map showing the City of Tears as "Ruins". Early map showing the City of Tears as "Ruined City".

Areas

The AbyssAncient BasinCity of TearsColosseum of FoolsCrystal PeakDeepnest
DirtmouthFog CanyonForgotten CrossroadsFungal WastesGodhomeGreenpath
The HiveHowling CliffsKingdom's EdgeQueen's GardensResting Grounds
Royal WaterwaysWhite Palace