Broken Vessel

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Broken Vessel Lost Kin

Shattered corpse, reanimated by infected parasites.

The shape of this creature... I have seen something like it before. More than once, perhaps. It looks a little like the bugs of Hallownest, but not quite the same. Where did these empty little wanderers come from?

Broken Vessel is one of the main bosses in Hollow Knight. It blocks the way to the Monarch Wings. Lost Kin is its dream variant.


Broken Vessel is one of the many Vessels who escaped the Abyss like the Knight, but unlike the Knight, was met with a tragic death while still in Hallownest. Its corpse sat in a windy cave deep within the Ancient Basin, in an Infection-filled room just before the Monarch Wings.

In-game events

Broken Vessel is found in a room of the Ancient Basin that is overgrown with Infection bulbs. When approached, parasitic Lightseeds rush to fill its broken shell, forming a large protruding bulb. These Lightseeds can be killed, but this has no effect. The Infection reanimates the husk and causes it to attack the Knight. Like other Vessels, it has no voice, but the Infection within screams like the Radiance. Upon defeat, the Infection is cleared from Broken Vessel's husk, and it reaches out to the Knight before finally collapsing.

Using the Dream Nail on the husk after leaving and re-entering the room brings the Knight to a dream. There, Lost Kin, a stronger form of Broken Vessel, still controlled by Lightseeds, can be fought. After its defeat, the spirit of Broken Vessel floats above its husk. Appearing unmarred by the Infection, it offers the Knight a silent bow before shattering into 400 Essence to be collected by the Dream Nail.

Behaviour and Tactics

In addition to having a similar appearance to the Knight, Broken Vessel also shares some similar moves:

  • Slash: Broken Vessel dashes forward, slashing with its nail. It travels about 75% of the arena during the dash. Broken Vessel slashes with its nail in the middle of the dash.
  • Aerial Slash: Broken Vessel levitates a short distance above the ground and then dashes forward, slashing with its nail. It travels about 75% of the entire arena during the dash. Broken Vessel slashes with its nail in the middle of the dash.
  • Backstep: Broken Vessel does a quick backwards dash to reposition for another attack.
  • Leap: Broken Vessel leaps either to land on the Knight's location or to move around the arena.
  • Flail: Broken Vessel swings its nail rapidly in an overhead arc left and right four times.
  • Slam: Broken Vessel leaps into the air and positions at the peak of the jump to slam directly down on the Knight. The impact of the slam creates four blobs of Infection that rise up and away in parabolic arcs at set distances from Broken Vessel.
  • Cascade: Broken Vessel leaps to position itself around the centre of the arena. It then shakes its head back and forth and spawns a multitude of blobs of Infection. This attack covers most of the arena. The blobs emanate downwards from Broken Vessel but rise up from beneath the ground in waves of 3 blobs. Every wave has a chance to be: all 3 blobs at once, 2 blobs with 1 quickly following behind, or 1 blob with 2 quickly following. The whole attack lasts about four seconds with waves of blobs appearing every 0.4 seconds. Infected Balloons stop spawning and those already in the room disappear. Broken Vessel only uses this attack 3 times - at 370HP, 220HP, and 110HP.
  • Balloon: Broken Vessel spawns an Infected Balloon enemy with 1 health instead of its usual 15. This attack happens every 4-5 seconds. Furthermore, this attack happens independently of Broken Vessel's other actions. The Infected Balloon typically spawns somewhere in the air and floats straight towards the Knight to deal contact damage. If Broken Vessel jumps into a Balloon as it is spawning, it cancels it. There is a maximum of 3 balloons that can be alive at once and this attack only starts after Broken Vessel has reached 420HP.

Stagger Values
Description: Broken Vessel faces upwards, lightly shaking; their head being weighed down by the sac of Lightseeds.
Hits: 13
Combo: 9 Combo Time: <1s per hit

Broken Vessel has a large variety of attacks to deal with. The Quick Focus Charm is highly recommended for this battle. Charms like Mark of Pride and Longnail can help extend the Knight's Nail to better match Broken Vessel's. Spore Shroom is useful to get rid of the Infected Balloons while healing as well as dealing extra damage to Broken Vessel. Defender's Crest gets rid of the Infected Balloons without the need to heal.

Broken Vessel is one of the few bosses that takes knock-back, so the Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul Spell can be useful, as it has a decent chance of hitting twice. Increasing the spirit's size with Shaman Stone increases the chance of a double hit.

Using the Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell during the Cascade Attack can deal a lot of damage to Broken Vessel and prevents the Knight from taking damage at the same time. Using the Spell during staggers is optimal as it allows the Knight to kill any Infected Balloons nearby and deal great damage to Broken Vessel.

Nail Arts can be useful in this fight, especially Cyclone Slash as it can be used to corner Broken Vessel and stagger it quite easily if used after an attack, especially at the start of the Cascade attack.

Godmaster Content

Broken Vessel

Hall of Gods text: "I sleep in the deep caves below the world"
"Broken shell of an empty god"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Artist, 9th boss
Health Attuned difficulty 700
Ascended difficulty 1000
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences.

Dream Nail Dialogue

  • ...


Broken Vessel can be found near the far west corner of the Ancient Basin, guarding the Monarch Wings Ability.



Defeat the Broken Vessel.


  • Team Cherry first revealed Broken Vessel in a Twitter post as the "Infected Wanderer".[3] This was accompanied by a gif showcasing the boss fight.
  • Broken Vessel was the seventh and the last boss to be revealed through the Kickstarter campaign under the name "Infected Knight".[4]
    • In the Hollow Knight Press Kit, Broken Vessel is called "Broken Wanderer".[5]
  • Broken Vessel and its boss fight used to be located in the room in Greenpath where the Mothwing Cloak can be acquired.[6] This can be seen in early maps and in an early trailer. Broken Vessel was later moved to Ancient Basin, with Hornet replacing Broken Vessel as the boss that needs to be defeated before obtaining the Dash ability.
  • Broken Vessel appears to be taller than the Knight and other regular Vessels, though not as grown as the Hollow Knight. This height difference is accentuated by its longer horns and cloak.
  • Upon defeat, Broken Vessel reaches out to the Knight before completely dying.
  • Possibly due to a bug, Broken Vessel and Lost Kin might move towards the Knight when they are staggered.
    • Due to another bug, they are also not able to be struck by the Dream Nail when staggered.


  1. Developer note found in the game's files: <entry name="gender notes"/>the hollow knights have no gender.
  2. White Lady about Hornet, the only child of the Pale King with a gender: "It faced the Gendered Child?"
  3. Team Cherry [@TeamCherryGames]. "Hollow Knight: Battle the Infected Wanderer! Wait for an opening and strike!" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 November 2014 – via Twitter.
  4. Kickstarter campaign
  5. Hollow Knight Press Kit
  6. Early map showing Broken Vessel as "zombie boss".
Hollow Knight Enemy Compendium
EnemiesBossesHealth ValuesColosseum of FoolsGodmaster content Hall of GodsGodmaster content Pantheons
Main Game
Forgotten Crossroads CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse Knight (Failed Champion) • MaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur
Greenpath MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAluba
Fog Canyon Charged LumaflyUomaOomaUumuu
Fungal Wastes AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords
City of Tears Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul Master (Tyrant) • Husk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightCollector
Royal Waterways BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm
Crystal Peak ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian (Enraged)
Infected Crossroads Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk
Deepnest DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk
Ancient Basin Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel (Lost Kin)
Kingdom's Edge BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive
Queen's Gardens Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord
Colosseum of Fools Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobblesShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZoteGod Tamer
Warrior Dreams XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth
White Palace WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils
Story Bosses Hornet (ProtectorSentinel) • Hollow KnightRadianceShadeHunter's Mark
Content packs
Hidden Dreams content Hidden Dreams Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender
Grimm Troupe content The Grimm Troupe Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare KingSeal of Binding
Lifeblood content Lifeblood Hive Knight
Godmaster content Godmaster FlukemungaPale LurkerSisters of BattleWinged NoskNailmasters Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselAbsolute RadianceVoid IdolWeathered Mask