Exclamation Mark
For the Dream Boss variant see Failed Champion.

For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster variant, see here.

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.

False Knight is a Maggot wearing the armour of Hegemol, one of the Five Great Knights. This Maggot wanted to find a means to protect his siblings. When he found Hegemol sleeping in his armoured shell, he took it for himself. Even though he says that it was not madness that drove him to do this, False Knight has become infected by the time The Knight fights him.

Behaviour and Tactics

The False Knight possesses a variety of attacks:

  • Leap: False Knight will jump a distance in the air to either land of The Knight or to prepare for a Slam attack.
  • Charge: False Knight will run a small distance to get close up if The Knight is too far away.
  • Slam: False Knight will rear back priming the mace for a moment before swing 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 will also cause barrels to fall.
  • Leaping Bludgeon: False Knight will leap into the air and slam their mace down in front of them when they land. False Knight targets The Knight when they leap so they will strike where The Knight was when they started their leap. While False Knight is in the air, they lift their mace above their head and then swing it in an overhead arc before they land, bringing their large body and mace down simultaneously.
  • Rage: After enough damage is dealt to the armour, the False Knight will fall down and reveal the Maggot inside the armour. When the Maggot takes enough damage, the False Knight will start the Rage Attack. False Knight will slam their mace multiple times on their left and right. Each time the mace strikes the ground, barrels will fall from the ceiling. False Knight will continue to slam the ground with their mace for about three seconds. If the Maggot is left alone for too long without being attacked then False Knight gets back up and continues its regular attacks without going into Rage.

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

When staggered they will fall back and land on their chest revealing the head of the Maggot.

Hits: - Stagger Limit: none
Combo: - Combo Time: -

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion False Knight

False Knight Guide Video

After False Knight recovers from the first stagger he goes into Phase 2: the muffled voice of the maggot is now audible in each attack (in Phase 1 False Knight is completely silent) and barrels will fall for the Slam attack.

When the 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 the False Knight.

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

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

While the falling rocks do no damage when they hit the armour from above, the Knight can hit the rocks from the side causing them to fly into the False Knight when angled properly, doing 10 damage each. This is a great way of harming him during the Rage attack if healing is not necessary. Hitting these falling rocks into the False Knight can also cause him to Stagger.

After exposing the Maggot's head three times, the False Knight will perform 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 the False Knight Rages, the segment of wall above the left gate will become breakable, granting the player the chance to flee the battle if they so choose. This is useful as the player 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.

Dream Nail Dialogue
  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!


  • Free at last


Failed Champion

Returning to False Knight's arena will show that his body has been moved. To find Failed Champion, there is a breakable wall just above where his arena was, where two Maggots can be found mourning over False Knight's dead body. Using the Dream Nail on the body will grant entrance to the Failed Champion fight.

Behaviour and Tactics

There are no major differences in attacks, other than barrels falling for every slam attack and all the attacks doing two masks of damage. However, the following few have been slightly tweaked:

  • Leaping Bludgeon: The height of the jump is lower.
  • Leap: Only used after the first stagger/phase. This makes Leaping Bludgeon much more common.
  • Slam: The shockwave created from the slam is much larger and taller.

Stagger Values
Description: Failed Champion's stagger is based on their health, and every time the armour health is depleted to 0 Failed Champion is staggered.

When staggered they will fall back and land on their chest revealing the head of the Maggot. In addition Failed Champion will also drop barrels when staggered.

Hits: - Stagger Limit: none
Combo: - Combo Time: -

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Failed Champion

Failed Champion Guide Video

Since Failed Champion doesn't give SOUL it is advised to keep the Maggots near his body alive as to Dream Nail them for SOUL to start the fight with. Using the Dream Nail while Failed Champion is knocked down as well is a good way to fill up the SOUL meter.

Failed Champion's jumps are low and quick, though it is better to dash beneath his jumps so as not to get caught by the mace swing. This is made more effective with Shade Cloak.

Using Grimm Troupe Icon Dreamshield can sometimes block the falling barrels caused by most attacks.

It is possible to stay inside a stagger for as long as needed by hitting the armor during a stagger. This resets the stagger timer without damaging the maggot, which gives enough time for a Dream Nail hit or a Focus, especially if Dream Wielder and Quick Focus are equipped. Repeating this for long enough allows fully restoring health every stagger. Note that Failed Champion's stagger should end by hurting the maggot and not by him getting up on his own, as otherwise that stagger does not count for progressing the fight.

A strategy, while considered cowardly but safe, is to sit on the left or right wall far up enough that the False Knight/Failed Champion cannot reach the player, but not far up enough that the Knight doesn't appear on screen (this may cause problems for the following Charm setup). While charging up crystal dash, but not using it. this allows The Knight to avoid all contact with the boss, and instead only have to worry about the falling barrels. To deal damage while sitting in the corner requires some form of a companion- the selection being Grimm Troupe Icon Grimmchild, Grimm Troupe Icon Weaversong, or Glowing Womb. Granted, this tactic takes a long period of time to pull off, as the companions don't deal a lot of damage. Additional Charms for this strategy can include Grimm Troupe Icon Dreamshield to block the barrels and Grubsong for its synergy with Weaversong.



Dream Nailed during fight

  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!

After fight

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...?


Achievement Falsehood Falsehood
Defeat the False Knight
Achievement Strength Strength
{S} Defeat the Failed Champion


Mace Bug
  • After the False Knight is defeated, the head of his mace is revealed to be another bug with an armoured shell. The player can hit it to knock it rolling in a direction while also stunning it, but it will take damage and simply scurries off-screen when it gets the chance to. Hitting it with the Dream Nail gives the dialogue "Free at last!" and in addition will also give SOUL.
  • It is unknown whether or not the mace that False Knight uses belonged to Hegemol.
    • Hegemol when shown in other imagery such as his silhouette in the background of Hidden Dreams Icon White Defender has not been shown to wield any sort of weapon.
    • Due to the mace simply being another bug it is highly likely the Maggot just created it itself
  • Once the False Knight drops down from the ceiling any husks that have not been slain prior to his entrance die.
  • False Knight's Dream Nail dialogue along with the SOUL gained from using the Dream Nail on them actually originates 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.
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle
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