Zote the Mighty Grey Prince ZoteThe Eternal Ordeal

Hidden Dreams Icon Hidden Dreams Content

Figment of an obsessed mind. Lacks grace but becomes stronger with every defeat.

"My love, any creature who could bear to be away from you, who would willingly leave you behind or say unkind things to you... Pah! Lowly maggots, not worthy of standing in your glorious shadow!"

She felt her cold body grow warm, a sensation she had almost forgotten...
-'The Grey Prince' Chapter 112
Dialogue Bottom

Grey Prince Zote is a hidden boss in Hollow Knight. It is the overpowered dream variant of Zote the Mighty fueled by Bretta's delusions of him.

Behaviour and Tactics

  • Flail: Grey Prince Zote will charge at the Knight, flailing his Nail before him. Grey Prince Zote will flail his Nail for about 2.5 to 3.5 seconds. Once Grey Prince Zote is exhausted, he falls to the ground, sending out a shockwave in each direction. While Grey Prince Zote is flailing, he moves with momentum, like he's on ice. There is a variation to this attack where Grey Prince Zote will prepare to flail but just falls over, sending out the shockwaves immediately
  • Zotelings Spit: Grey Prince Zote will produce Zotelings that will attack the Knight independently of Grey Prince Zote. The first Zoteling Grey Prince Zote can spit is the Winged Zoteling. These Zotelings can show up with any version of Grey Prince Zote. The other Zoteling Grey Prince Zote can spit is the Hopping Zoteling. These Zotelings don't show up until Zote 2 and later. Grey Prince Zote produces these Zotelings by spitting them from his mouth. Grey Prince Zote will produce one to three Zotelings in rapid succession per attack. The Zotelings do half of the damage scaled with each version of Grey Prince Zote on rounding down to a minimum of 1. These Zotelings will remain in the arena until they are killed.
  • Shadow Slam: Grey Prince Zote will leap into the air and as he lands, he transmutes into a pillar of shadows, launching himself high above the arena. Moments later, he slams down, sending two large shockwaves across the arena in opposite directions. Grey Prince Zote appears to land where he believes the Knight is going to be rather than where the Knight was. Grey Prince Zote can link into this attack after a Leap Attack.
  • Nail Slam: Grey Prince Zote will leap into the air and slam his Nail down. This attack targets the Knight. Grey Prince Zote will slam his Nail down where the Knight was when he reaches the apex of his leap, just before he flips. When he slams his Nail, two shockwaves will erupt from the impact point and travel across the arena. The one in front of Grey Prince Zote is larger than the one traveling behind him. There is a variation to this attack which involves Grey Prince Zote reaching the apex of his leap and instead of slamming down then, he'll pirouette in the air to readjust his targeting and then slam down.
  • Leap: Grey Prince Zote will leap around the arena. Grey Prince Zote can string together multiple leaps up to 3 times in a row. He can chain this attack into a Shadow Slam Attack. Every time Grey Prince Zote lands, he sends out two small shockwaves in either direction that cross the arena.
  • Summon Bombs: Grey Prince Zote cries out and summons 3–4 Volatile Zotelings around the arena, which explode after a short time or when killed (note that unlike other explosive enemies in the game, the explosions cannot deal damage to Grey Prince Zote). This attack happens at first in his 3rd fight and later. The Volatile Zotelings spawn anywhere within a certain area of space in the air. Like the other summon attack, the Volatile Zotelings can persist while Grey Prince Zote uses other attacks, though only briefly as they self-destruct. Unlike the other summoned types of Zotelings in the fight, the damage from the Volatile Zotelings and their explosions (base 2 masks) do scale with each victory.

Stagger Values
Description: Grey Prince Zote will fall onto his back flailing about.
Hits: 17 Stagger Limit: 999
Combo: 12 Combo Time: <1s per hit

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Grey Prince Zote

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Grey Prince Zote

He can be fought up to a maximum number of ten times from the statue, but each successive time he will obtain more health (Max. 4 fights to 1500), and his attacks deal more damage with consecutive fights: 1 mask on the first 3 fights, 2 masks on the 4th fight, and one additional mask each fight after that (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 for fights 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 respectively).

He grants 300 Essence on the first victory and none after each subsequent victory.

This section will focus on strategies that work against the 10th version of Grey Prince Zote since any strategies that work against him will also work on earlier versions.

There are some safe times to heal, particularly when Grey Prince Zote is staggered or during the Zoteling and Ghost Attacks (depending on how close Grey Prince Zote is for the attacks). However, healing is not a great tactic past Grey Prince Zote 8 because healing 6+ damage requires a lot of time and/or many opportunities to heal. Charms like Quick Focus, Deep Focus, and Shape of Unn can be most helpful.

It is important to defeat Grey Prince Zote as quickly as possible because the longer the fight draws on, the more difficult it can become to evade all of his attacks. For damage output, Nail-based Charms work very well; Fragile Strength/ Grimm Troupe Icon Unbreakable Strength, Quick Slash and Mark of Pride/Longnail are helpful. Spells are a valid strategy too. Desolate Dive/Descending Dark is a great spell for its damage and invincibility frames. Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul is also useful, especially for damaging Zote and his Zotelings at the same time. It is recommended to have Shade Soul and Descending Dark for this fight. And to maximize Spell efficacy and damage, bring the charms Spell Twister and Shaman Stone, respectively. A lot of damage can be dealt to Zote when he's spitting Zotelings during the Zoteling Attack, when he's summoning Volatile Zotelings during the Ghost Attack, and during the Flail Attack.

Zote Statue

The Statue of Grey Prince Zote

The Shade Cloak is very useful for dodging a lot of Grey Prince Zote's (and his Zotelings) attacks. The Monarch Wings are useful for avoiding the shockwaves and navigating the sometimes crowded airspace of the arena.

A challenging but viable tactic is to combine Grubberfly's Elegy, Quick Slash, Fragile/Unbreakable Strength, and Fury of the Fallen to maximize Nail damage and range even at 1 hp.

As with the other Dream Bosses, the Knight does not die when they lose all their health during this battle, but simply wakes up next to the statue. This means that Fragile Strength and Fragile Heart can be used continually without breaking.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

Statue Grey Prince Zote
Grey Prince Zote
Hall of Gods text: "I serve my Queen inside her dreams"
"False god conjured by the lonely"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Sage, 7th boss
Health Attuned Badge 1400
Ascended Badge 1400
Radiant Badge
Arena changes The arena appears wider than in the base game, no difficulty differences.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence
  • My Queen... I do it all for you!
  • I love her more!
  • Dark... Light... They're nothing compared to her!!
  • I'll kill you quickly... I must tend to my Queen!
  • Jealous fool! You stand no chance!


To access the boss, both Bretta and Zote must have been saved and Zote must have been defeated in the Colosseum of Fools. The Monarch Wings are also needed in order for the basement to open. The fight starts by striking the statue in Bretta's basement with the Dream Nail.



Achievement Dark Romance {S} Dark Romance
Defeat Grey Prince Zote


Zote Statue Gold
  • Each time Grey Prince Zote is defeated, one additional candle around his statue will light up, to a max of 4. After the 10th victory, the statue will also turn gold.
    • Prior to the Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood Update, the Zote statue had 10 candles instead of the current 4.
  • Grimm Troupe Icon Bretta's Dream Nail dialogue will change the 1st and 3rd times Grey Prince Zote is defeated.
    • After the 4th victory, Bretta leaves Dirtmouth entirely and cannot be found anywhere.
    • Prior to the Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood Update, Bretta only left after 10 victories.
  • Bretta will clap in the background every time the Knight takes damage and all the Zotes look scared whenever Grey Prince Zote is Staggered.
  • Each time he is defeated, he earns a new adjective listed, stacking on top of the other titles:
    • (level 9) Invincible,
    • (level 8) Fearless,
    • (level 7) Sensual,
    • (level 6) Mysterious,
    • (level 5) Enchanting,
    • (level 4) Vigorous,
    • (level 3) Diligent, Overwhelming,
    • (level 2) Gorgeous, Passionate,
    • (level 1) Terrifying, Beautiful, Powerful, Grey Prince Zote
  • Some of the attacks Grey Prince Zote uses are similar to some of Zote's "attacks" in his fight against the Knight in the Colosseum of Fools. The Flail, Trip and Leap are specifically referenced in the battle in stronger forms.
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