After restarting my save file, I finally ‘Get’ the Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight
Image: Nintendo Life

Soapbox features allow our individual writers and contributors to voice their opinions on hot topics and random things they’re mulling over. Today, Jim finally saw the Hollow light…

Last year, I decided to quit my job Tears of the Kingdom and choose a fun-looking, rarely discussed indie game that has a small discount on the eShop at the time. The game is called ‘Hollow Knight‘, or something like that, and I spent a decent amount of time on it before getting stuck, putting down my controller, and never thinking about it again.

I honestly had a lot of fun with what I played in this game that you probably haven’t heard of. I rate the movement, combat is fun, and I’m enjoying the feeling of exploration. My first 20 hours in Hallownest were a blast, but that was it only one a good time’. This is not a life-changing experience.

Turns out, this forgotten gem is becoming one next part – Every day is a school day, right? — and, as excited anticipation for it grew, conversations began to heat up about its predecessor being one of the best of the best, a top metroidvania, something that keeps you up at night. [Okay, okay, enough of this pretend forgetfulness! – Ed.]

What I saw was perfectly clear, but that was not all. Did I miss something? Did I play wrong? Clearly not content to let everyone have their own opinion, I decided that the only thing I could do was go back and see if I could find the secret sauce that everyone wanted. other people seem to be very passionate or not

I’m a big fan of map markers.

I’m a sucker for map markers, so when I was shown the location of the three Dreamers a year ago, I went on my final mission. I breezed through the environmental narrative, disdaining newly opened routes and leaving anything that didn’t feel absolutely necessary in the dust. Playing that way, I crossed Herrah the Beast off the list and burned.

This time, I went back to my original save and walked around a bit only to discover that I had no idea where I was or what to do, other than capture two other Dreamers. Frustrated that my memory couldn’t remember every nook and cranny of a massive and detailed map after a year of not looking at it, I trashed that old file and started over.

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s here that I found the secret sauce.

Hollow Knight
Image: Nintendo Life

Now I am armed with a different attitude. Forget the completion rate, I’m having a good time here And a long time. I took things slowly, resisting the urge to run straight to Dreamers and instead focusing on exploring every avenue open to me.

My map became a pile of pins – bought from Iselda’s shop in Dirtmouth – as I patiently marked spots I couldn’t visit right now, but spots I knew I wanted to check out later. I ensure that the areas are completely cleared (to the best of my knowledge) before proceeding. The black pins mark the spots where the ground shook until I unlocked Desolate Dive, the red pins mark a double jump platform before I found the Monarch Wings, and the yellow pins marking long gaps in my pre-Crystal Heart days.

The Hollow Knight’s genius lies not in his fighting ability or movement… but in Hallownest’s design itself

I mainly used these pins to help distract me from the three Dreamer symbols, but over time they served a much more important purpose: they allowed me to properly explore. Freed from the constraints of my goal, I can look deeper into Hallownest and see the beauty there. The only thing that I completely got over initially (and the reason I kept coming back this time) was the world-building and all that lore – lots of legends.

The Hollow Knight’s genius lies not in his combat or movement (although both are possible) but in Hallownest’s design. I set out to explore every corner of the kingdom not to fulfill some self-imposed goal but to learn more about the infected wasteland that surrounded me – via tablet, Dream Nail messages or Sales of Gypsy Magazine.

In my head, I began to piece together every piece of lore I could get my hands on. Mostly nothing more than some neat color, adding to my image of the fallen kingdom and its inhabitants. The others (*cough* The Abyss *cough*) left me sitting open-mouthed as my perception of the entire game changed. “Wow, more people really need to play this game,” I thought, turning a blind eye to the 3,684 video essays titled ‘The Legend of the Hollow Knight EXPLAINED’.

With this understanding of the kingdom, a deep sadness completely swept over me during my first playthrough. The Kingdom’s Edge music only mildly a year ago; Why does it make me cry now? And don’t even get me started on those NPCs. The legendary meat they brought to the table was varied, but my god, I was emotionally invested in their arcs. It’s completely normal to mourn a fictional error, right?

It’s completely normal to mourn a fictional error, right?

And so, after 22 hours of learning about infections, fallen kings, and sacrifices, I finished the game. At least I completed the ending of ‘The Hollow Knight’ game. I think it’ll be a hot minute until I get back to doing some of the final Dream Nail action to unlock what I understand to be a more satisfying conclusion, but I’m perfectly happy with where I got it. leave everything behind (I mean I’m an emotional wreck).

It may have taken me two tries, but I finally opened my eyes to the true power of the Hollow Knight: maize its depth.


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