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?

Dialogue Bottom

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


The 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. Their corpse was forgotten in a windy cave deep within the Ancient Basin before the Monarch Wings where the Infection has spread.

In-game events

The Broken Vessel is found in a room of the Ancient Basin overgrown with Infection bulbs. When approached, Lightseeds rush to fill its broken shell, forming a large bulb protruding out. 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 Broken Vessel's husk is cleared from the Infection, and it reaches out to the Knight before finally collapsing.

Using the Dream Nail on the husk afterwards will bring the Knight to a dream. There, the Lost Kin, a stronger form of the Broken Vessel still taken over by Lightseeds, can be fought. After its defeat, the ghost of the Broken Vessel floats above its husk. Appearing unmarred and uninfected, it offers the Knight a silent bow before shattering in Essence absorbed by the Dream Nail.

Behaviour and Tactics

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

  • Slash: Broken Vessel will dash forward, slashing with their nail. They travel about 75% of the entire arena during the dash. Broken Vessel slashes with their nail in the middle of the dash.
  • Aerial Slash: Broken Vessel will levitate a short distance above the ground and then dash forward, slashing with their nail. They travel about 75% of the entire arena during the dash. Broken Vessel slashes with their nail in the middle of the dash.
  • Backstep: Broken Vessel does a quick backwards dash to reposition for another attack.
  • Leap: Broken Vessel will either leap to land on the Knight's location or to move around the arena.
  • Flail: Broken Vessel swings their 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 will leap to position themselves around the center of the arena. They will then shake their head back and forth and spawn 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 for about four seconds with waves of blobs appearing about every half second. Infected Balloons will stop spawning and those already in the room will disappear. Broken Vessel will only do this attack 3 times at 370hp, 220hp, and 110hp.
  • Balloon: Broken Vessel will spawn an Infected Balloon enemy with its health reduced to 1 hp (reg. 15). This attack is will happen at set intervals (4-5 seconds). Furthermore, this attack will happen independently of Broken Vessel's other actions. The Infected Balloon enemy typically spawns somewhere in the air and it will float straight towards the Knight to deal contact damage. If Broken Vessel jumps into a Balloon as it is spawning, it will cancel it. There is a maximum of 3 balloons that can be alive at once and this attack will only occur after Broken Vessel has reached 420 hp.

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

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Broken Vessel

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Broken Vessel

Broken Vessel Boss Guide Video

The Broken Vessel has a large variety of attacks to deal with. Quick Focus is highly recommended for this battle. Charms like Mark of Pride or 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, because of this, Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul can be useful, as they have a decent chance of hitting twice. Increasing the fireball's size with Shaman Stone increases the chance of a double hit.

Using the Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell during the Cascade Attack will deal a lot of damage to Broken Vessel and prevent the Knight from taking damage at the same time. The Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell during staggers will is optimum as it allows the player to kill any Infected Balloons near them and do 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 quite easily if used after an attack and it can stagger it quite quickly.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

Statue Broken Vessel
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 Badge 700
Ascended Badge 1000
Radiant Badge
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence
  • ...


The Broken Vessel can be found near the far left corner of the Ancient Basin, guarding the Monarch Wings upgrade.



Achievement Release Release
Defeat the Broken Vessel


Broken vessel dead
  • The Broken Vessel was the seventh and the last boss to be revealed through the Kickstarter campaign under the name "Infected Knight".[3]
    • In the Hollow Knight Press Kit, Broken Vessel is called "Broken Wanderer".[4]
  • The Broken Vessel appears to be taller than the Knight and other regular Vessels, but not as grown as the Hollow Knight.
  • Upon defeat, the Broken Vessel will reach out to the Knight.
  • Due to a possible 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. Kickstarter campaign
  4. Hollow Knight Press Kit
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle
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Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel
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WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils

HornetThe Hollow KnightThe RadianceShadeHunter's Mark

Hidden Dreams Icon Hidden Dreams
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Grimm Troupe Icon The Grimm Troupe
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Godmaster Icon Godmaster
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