Soul Master

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Soul Master Soul Tyrant

Head of the Soul Sanctum. Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction, but eventually became intoxicated by its power.

The bugs of Hallownest tried all kinds of tricks and rituals and prayers to rid themselves of the infection. But to no avail! Perhaps the infection came from somewhere deep inside of them that they could not escape.

Soul Master is a main boss in Hollow Knight. Defeating him grants the Desolate Dive Spell. The Soul Tyrant is his dream variant.


Soul Master is the leader of the Soul Sanctum of Hallownest, which searched for ways to expand the minds of bugs and attain pure focus.[3][4] When the Infection started, he came to the conclusion that Soul, the energy animating bugs and beasts alike, was the solution to cure their mind of this plague.[5] He refused to listen to the Pale King opposing his work, and failed to realise that his own Infected mind was influencing him.[6][7]

Soul Master hoarded Soul and consumed it, eventually gaining new Soul powers.[8] He had Soul Totems gathered in the Sanctum and drained many unfortunate bugs of their vital energy. Unlike the rest of the Kingdom's inhabitants, he and his followers were able to survive the Infection. However, he was driven to obsession in his quest for immortality, and lost his sanity while trying to get closer to the light that was guiding him in his mind.[9][10][11]

In-game events

The Knight encounters Soul Master at the top of the Soul Sanctum where he ambushes them. After being seemingly beaten, Soul Master releases his Desolate Dive spell. If the Knight attempts to absorb it, Soul Master reappears to take it back and smashes through the glass rooftop for another round. When killed, at last, he releases the spell again while also granting access to other rooms of the Sanctum, including a bounty of  380.

After his death, the Knight can use the Dream Nail on the Soul Master's corpse to enter his dreams. There they can battle the Soul Tyrant, a stronger and faster version of the Soul Master. In this form, the Soul Master has finally realised the errors of his ways and is full of resentment towards the light that misguided him.[12]

Once defeated a second time, the lingering spirit of the scholar appears floating above his corpse. Despite his previous thoughts, the Soul Master blames the Pale King for robbing him of immortality.[10] He claims that with both the King and Hallownest dead, he will now live on forever.[13] The spirit then shatters into 300 Essence and is absorbed by the Knight's Dream Nail.

Behaviour and Tactics

Phase 1

Soul Master teleports at least once in between each of his attacks:

  • Dash: Soul Master dashes across the arena from left to right or right to left, dealing contact damage.
  • Orb: Soul Master fires an orb of concentrated Soul at the Knight. This orb attempts to home in until it strikes the wall, the floor, or the Knight. Because Soul Master can conjure an orb from anywhere in the arena (including the far left or right), this attack and the Dash Attack can look similar.
  • Clock: Soul Master floats from right to left or left to right as four orbs rotate around him. These four orbs are evenly spaced around Soul Master. The four orbs rotate clockwise if Soul Master is going from right to left. The orbs rotate anti-clockwise if Soul Master is going from left to right. After Soul Master crosses the arena, he disappears, and the orbs boomerang back across the arena, continuing to rotate as if Soul Master were present.
  • Slam: Soul Master slams into the ground, creating damaging shockwaves on either side of the impact point that travel across the entire arena. Soul Master targets the Knight when he appears in the air but only slams straight down. This is Soul Master's version of Desolate Dive.
  • Fake Out Slam: Soul Master begins a Slam Attack, but when he reaches the midpoint of the drop, he resets and performs a new Slam Attack above the Knight's new position. The only way to know this Slam Attack is coming is when Soul Master resets during the first Slam Attack.
  • Teleport: Soul Master teleports either to prepare an attack, or to simply move within the arena.

Stagger Values
Description: Soul Master "deflates" mid-air, gasping and leaking SOUL.
Hits: 9
Combo: 7 Combo Time: <1s per hit

His Orb attack can be dodged by jumping or dashing either left or right if Soul Master is far away, but it does not hit the Knight if they stand directly next to him.

When he summons the four orbs that orbit around him (Clock attack), approach him when he is about halfway across the arena, and jump over the bottom orb when it is closest to the ground.

The easiest way to damage him is to keep attacking him from below when he is conjuring the homing orbs.

He leaves many open opportunities to heal, notably when he "deflates" after taking enough damage. Staying in the centre of the arena after he disappears during his Clock attack also provides a good opportunity to heal.

Phase 2

After receiving enough damage, Soul Master undergoes a long, drawn-out death sequence ending with him leaving behind his signature Desolate Dive spell. However, just before the Knight can absorb the spell, he reappears, slamming through the ground, and the battle enters its second Phase.

In this Phase, Soul Master only has three attacks, which he alternates between:

  • Altered Slams: Soul Master homes in on the Knight ever so slightly. Instead of sending out shockwaves in either direction, there is a large explosion at the site of impact with a large area of effect. Soul Master chains together 4-7 of these attacks.
  • Fake Out Altered Slams: Soul Master begins an Altered Slam Attack, but when he reaches the midpoint of the drop, he resets and performs a new Altered Slam Attack above the Knight's new position. The only way to know this Altered Slam Attack is coming is when Soul Master resets during the first Altered Slam Attack.
  • Altered Orb: Instead of firing an Orb from his head, Soul Master hovers in one place for about 8.5-10.5 seconds and conjures 3-4 orbs from random locations throughout the arena. These orbs still home in on the Knight, and Soul Master conjures a new orb every second.

This Phase is overall significantly easier than the first Phase due to the predictable nature of the Soul Master's attacks, the lack of shockwaves on his Slams, and his openness to attacks during his projectile attack. Keep dashing and jumping in either direction when he does the Slams. Once he starts conjuring orbs, he is open for 2-3 or more hits each time, but make sure to keep moving to dodge the homing projectiles.

Learn to avoid the projectiles and attacks, as this Phase gives the Knight much less time to stop and heal.

Godmaster Content

Soul Master

Hall of Gods text: "Immortal, I rule the Sanctum"
"Covetous god of soul"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Artist, 3rd boss
Health Attuned difficulty 600 / 350 at Phase 2
Ascended difficulty 900 / 600 at Phase 2
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences. Does not smash through the ground in mid-fight.


During the fight
Dream Nailed Randomly:
  • The King falls, but I live forever!
  • My dreams are eternal and so am I!
  • I can hear it...The whispering of their souls...
After the fight
Spirit after defeating Soul Tyrant In my dreams I could see it. The Kingdom's salvation, the cure for the plague... the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies.

But the King... why?! He opposed everything I did...
His jealousy... his madness... by standing against me he robbed me of my immortality!
Now the King and his Kingdom are dead... but I... will live forever.


Soul Master is located in the upper part of Soul Sanctum.



Defeat the Soul Master.


  • Soul Master is the only boss to give the Knight a Spell after being defeated, that Spell being Desolate Dive.
  • Prior to v1.0.1.2, the Soul Master's Slam attack only rarely spawned a shockwave upon impact.[14] This glitch has since been patched.
  • During Phase 2 of the fight, Soul Master's first Dive attack only has a hitbox when he hits the ground, meaning that the Knight can be inside him when he is at the top of the screen.
The UI message after defeating the first phase
  • After defeating Soul Master's first phase for the first time, a UI message says that a "New Journal Entry" has been acquired. However, Soul Master's entry will not actually be unlocked in the Hunter's Journal. Instead, his entry is only obtained after defeating him in the second phase.


  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 75.
  2. Message from lead playtester on Discord.
  3. Wanderer's Journal, p. 74.
  4. Soul Sanctum Lore Tablet: "To attain a pure focus, is it even possible?"
  5. Soul Master: "The Kingdom's salvation, the cure for the plague... the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies."
  6. Soul Master: "But the King... why?! He opposed everything I did..."
  7. Soul Tyrant Dream Nail dialogue: "Did their souls bring me closer to the light?"
  8. Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction,"
  9. Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "but eventually became intoxicated by its power."
  10. 10.0 10.1 Soul Master: "His jealousy... his madness... by standing against me he robbed me of my immortality!"
  11. Godmaster content Soul Tyrant Hall of Gods description: "Frenzied god of mortality"
  12. Soul Tyrant Dream Nail dialogue: "You promised I would live forever!" "That voice...Was it never there...?"
  13. Soul Master: "Now the King and his Kingdom are dead... but I... will live forever."
  14. Hollow Knight (public beta) additional patch notes.
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Main Game
Forgotten Crossroads CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse Knight (Failed Champion) • MaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur
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Infected Crossroads Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk
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Kingdom's Edge BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive
Queen's Gardens Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord
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Warrior Dreams XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth
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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