False Knight

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False Knight Failed Champion

A maggot driven mad by a strange force. Inhabits a stolen armoured shell.

Weak creatures love to steal the strength of others. Their lives are brief and fearful, and they yearn to have the power to dominate those who have dominated them.

Dialogue Bottom.png

False Knight is one of the main bosses in Hollow Knight. He keeps the City Crest required to open the gates to the City of Tears. Failed Champion is his faster and stronger dream form.


False Knight is a Maggot wearing the armour of Hegemol, one of the Five Great Knights of Hallownest.[3][4][5] This weak creature wanted to find means to protect his siblings who live in an abandoned storeroom in the middle of the Forgotten Crossroads.[6] When he discovered Hegemol sleeping in his armoured shell, he took it for himself, hoping for the great strength that wearing the armour seemed to promise.[7] Even though madness did not drive him to do this, False Knight eventually fell to the Infection's control.[7][3]

In-game events

False Knight falls from the ceiling when the Knight enters the hall below the Maggots' storeroom, killing any enemies still wandering inside. He then attacks the Knight, deluded by his own strength, while threatening to collapse the building in his rage.[8]

At the end of the fight, False Knight accidentally collapses the floor and falls below, where the Knight can execute the final blow. Once defeated, the Maggot is expelled from the armour along with the City Crest. The shelled bug that served as the head of the mace then crawls away slowly.

When returning to the storeroom, the Maggot's corpse can be found lying on an upper level hidden by a breakable wall. His brethren are mourning him, and flee at the Knight's approach. Using the Dream Nail on the corpse brings the Knight to a dream projection of the storeroom where Failed Champion, a much stronger form of False Knight, can be fought.

After this second defeat, False Knight's spirit appears, floating above his corpse, to tell the Knight the reasons behind his acts. He then shatters into 300 Essence that is absorbed by the Dream Nail.

Behaviour and Tactics

False Knight possesses a variety of attacks:

  • Leap: False Knight jumps a distance in the air to either reposition or prepare for a Slam attack. False Knight does not leap twice in a row. False Knight stops using this move in Phase 3.
  • Charge: False Knight runs a small distance to get closer if the Knight is too far away and performs a Leaping Bludgeon attack at the end of the charge.
  • Slam: False Knight rears back, priming his mace for a moment, before swinging it forward, slamming it into the ground. The impact of the mace creates a shockwave that travels forward across the whole arena. In Phase 2, this attack also causes barrels to fall, and in Phase 3, even more barrels fall per slam.
  • Leaping Bludgeon: False Knight leaps into the air and slams his mace down in front of him when he lands. False Knight targets the Knight when he leaps, so he strikes where the Knight was when he started his leap. While False Knight is in the air, he lifts his mace above his head and then swings it in an overhead arc before he lands, bringing his large body and mace down simultaneously. In Phase 3, this attack also causes barrels to fall.
  • Rage: After enough damage is dealt to his armour, False Knight staggers, falling down and revealing the Maggot inside the armour. When the Maggot takes enough damage, it re-enters the armour and initiates this attack. Jumping to the centre of the arena, False Knight slams his mace multiple times on his left and right. Each time the mace strikes the ground, barrels fall from the ceiling. False Knight continues to slam the ground with his mace for about three seconds. If the Maggot is left to stagger for too long without being attacked, False Knight gets back up and continues his regular attacks without going into Rage.

Stagger Values
Description: False Knight's stagger is based on his health, and False Knight is staggered every time the armour health is depleted to 0.

When staggered, he falls back and lands on his chest, revealing the head of the Maggot.

Hits: -
Combo: - Combo Time: -

After False Knight recovers from the first stagger, he goes into Phase 2: the muffled voice of the maggot is now audible with each attack (in Phase 1 False Knight is completely silent), and the Slam attack causes barrels to fall. After False Knight recovers from the second stagger, he goes into Phase 3 where barrels now drop during the Leaping Bludgeon attack and even more barrels drop during the Slam attack.

When False Knight Staggers and the Maggot pops out, heal if necessary then get in as much damage as possible. This is the only time the Knight gains SOUL from attacking False Knight.

It is important to note that attacking the armour does not award SOUL, so the Knight should conserve their SOUL if they need to heal or use the Grubsong Charm to regain SOUL when struck.

If healing is needed, the safest opportunity is to wait until False Knight goes into a Rage and then heal up in a corner of the room. Watch for falling barrels.

While the falling barrels deal no damage when they hit the armour from above, the Knight can hit the barrels to redirect them. When angled properly, the barrels can directed at False Knight, dealing 10 damage each. This is a great way of harming him during the Rage attack if healing is not necessary. Hitting these falling barrels into False Knight can also cause him to Stagger.

After exposing the Maggot's head three times, False Knight performs one more Rage attack before breaking the floor, falling to the level below and revealing the Maggot. Drop down and attack the Maggot to end the fight.

After the first time False Knight Rages, a segment of the wall above the left gate becomes breakable, granting the Knight the chance to flee the battle if they so choose. This is useful as the Knight obtains the Vengeful Spirit Spell in the room immediately after the False Knight room, allowing them to either attempt the fight again with a stronger, ranged attack or simply proceed through the rest of the game and come back later. Returning to the area after escaping resets the fight.

After defeating False Knight (or Failed Champion), the Knight can still strike his armour with the Dream Nail, yielding dialogue and SOUL like usual. This is particularly useful when challenging the Godmaster content Pantheons that contain him in Godmaster content Godhome, as it allows the Knight to accumulate additional SOUL for the subsequent battles.

Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster Content

Exclamation Mark.png

Besides defeating him, False Knight is unlocked in the Pantheon of the Master and the Hall of Gods if he was skipped by breaking the left wall during his fight and leaving the room.

Statue False Knight.png

False Knight

Hall of Gods text: "I protect the weak in the heart of the crossroads"
"Angry god of the downtrodden"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Master, 3rd boss
Health Attuned difficulty 260*3
Ascended difficulty 560*3
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes The arena is larger than in the base game, no difficulty differences. He does not fall through the floor prior to defeat.


During the fight
Dream Nailed Randomly:
  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!
After the fight
Dream Nailing the living mace Free at last!
Spirit after defeating Failed Champion I wanted it.... the strength to protect the others...

When I saw that Knight... sleeping... safe in his big armoured shell...
It wasn't madness that drove me to it... I just wanted it...
But... in the end? If strength cannot save you, then what can...?


False Knight is located in the centre of the Forgotten Crossroads.



Achievement Falsehood.png Falsehood
Defeat the False Knight.


Detached Mace Bug
  • After False Knight is defeated, the head of his mace is revealed to be another bug with an armoured shell. It can be hit to send it rolling in a direction while also stunning it, but it does not take damage and simply scurries off-screen when it gets the chance. Hitting it with the Dream Nail gives the dialogue "Free at last!" and also gives SOUL.
    • When struck with the Nail, the bug makes the same sounds as an idle Belfly.
  • False Knight's Dream Nail dialogue and the SOUL gained from using the Dream Nail on him actually originate from the body's hitbox as it is separate from the head's. This means that even if False Knight has been defeated and the Maggot has been removed from the armour, the empty armour casing can still be Dream Nailed.
  • False Knight has an infinite amount of health. Both his armour and the Maggot within reset their respective health as they interchange stages. However, he is scripted to die after 3 armour stages and 4 Maggot stages.
    • This also means that if the Knight does not attack during the Maggot stage, or does enough damage quickly during the Armour stage, False Knight can be fought infinitely as he cannot die unless he collapses the floor by finishing the final Rage attack.


  1. Maggot Dream Nail dialogue: "Wake up, brother! Help me!"
  2. Reddit AMA comment by Team Cherry.
  3. 3.0 3.1 False Knight Hunter's Journal entry: "A maggot driven mad by a strange force. Inhabits a stolen armoured shell."
  4. Relic Seeker Lemm: "Others have told me there's a statue out by the city's entrance depicting a large knightly figure. Could be one of the Kingdom's great five."
  5. Background sprites in the arena of Hidden Dreams content White Defender.
  6. False Knight: "I wanted it.... the strength to protect the others..."
  7. 7.0 7.1 False Knight: "When I saw that Knight... sleeping... safe in his big armoured shell... It wasn't madness that drove me to it... I just wanted it..."
  8. False Knight Dream Nail dialogue: "I'm braver than all of you!" "I'm the strongest now!"
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