The Hollow Knight Beta is a beta build of Hollow Knight which was first sent to Kickstarter backers in September 2015.[1] It was also released as a sneak peek for Humble Monthly Bundle subscribers on the 3 February, 2017.[2] The beta was released to everyone on 21 September, 2020, after being posted by Team Cherry on the Hollow Knight Discord server.

All of the major changes between the beta and the final release version of Hollow Knight are documented below.

The beta can be downloaded here.

Area differences

The beta only contains King's Pass, Dirtmouth, and the Forgotten Crossroads. Some parts of these areas have remained the same in the release version, while some were still incomplete and are missing certain aspects. The following is a list of most major differences in the beta areas compared to the areas in the release version of Hollow Knight.

Dirtmouth

The entrance to Crystal Peak exists but cannot be entered as the level leads nowhere.

Beta

Release version

Iselda's shop has a different sign sprite compared to the release version.

Beta

Release version

Jiji's/Jinn's cave is missing entirely.

Beta

Release version

The lever in the Stag Station to open the door does not exist.

Beta

Release version

Forgotten Crossroads

The Ancestral Mound is called Shrine of Souls.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 05.png
The Bench in the Hot Spring is missing.

Beta

Release version

The Black Egg has Infection leaking out of it, which only happens in the Infected Crossroads in the release version.

Beta

Release version

The City of Tears lift cannot be accessed, although the bottom of the lift already exists, which can be accessed by noclipping using mods. The lever to call the lift cannot be activated and the City of Tears cannot be entered as the level leads nowhere.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_City_of_Tears_lift

Hollow Knight Beta - City of Tears lift

The lift near Myla leading to Crystal Peak is missing.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Entrance_to_Crystal_Peak

Hollow Knight Beta - Entrance to Crystal Peak

No Bench exists outside of Salubra's hut, and her hut cannot be accessed without using noclip with mods.

Beta

Release version

The passage to Crystal Peak exists near Myla, but cannot be entered as the level leads nowhere.

Beta

Release version

The passage to Fog Canyon exists, but can only be accessed by using noclip with mods. Fog Canyon cannot be entered as the level leads nowhere.

Beta

Release version

The passage to the Fungal Wastes exists, but can only be accessed by using noclip with mods. The Fungal Wastes cannot be entered as the level leads nowhere.

Beta

Release version

The secret room in the well leading to Dirtmouth is missing.

Beta

Release version

The spiked wall near Brooding Mawlek does not exist. A Grub which is present in this area in the beta was replaced by a Soul Totem in the release version.

Beta

Release version

A swimming section exists near the passage to Fog Canyon which was cut entirely in the release version. This section is also shown in one of the pre-release trailers.
Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 15.png
Hollow_Knight-_A_Weird_and_Wonderful_World_Trailer

Hollow Knight- A Weird and Wonderful World Trailer

The Tram to the Resting Grounds cannot be entered, but the tunnel exists and can be explored using noclip with mods.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Tram_to_Resting_Grounds

Hollow Knight Beta - Tram to Resting Grounds

King’s Pass

The chest containing the Fury of the Fallen Charm in the release version contains Geo in the beta.

Beta

Release version

Audio differences

Several audio changes were made in the release version compared to the beta, although overall most audio stayed the same.

Brooding Mawlek has a different explosion sound when killed and roars when it is defeated.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Brooding_Mawlek_defeated_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Brooding Mawlek defeated comparison

Gruz Mother has a different explosion sound when killed.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Gruz_Mother_defeated_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Gruz Mother defeated comparison

Sly has a different voice actor.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Sly_voice

Hollow Knight Beta - Sly voice

The intro cinematic has no music.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Opening_cutscene

Hollow Knight Beta - Opening cutscene

Vengefly King has a different explosion sound when killed.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Vengefly_King_defeated_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Vengefly King defeated comparison

When the Knight takes damage, a glass breaking sound is heard.
Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Damage_sound_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Damage sound comparison

Dialogue differences

Most dialogue of NPCs is different in the beta.

Cornifer

Beta dialogue Current dialogue

Hmm? Oh, hello there. Come down to explore these beautiful old highways? Don't mind me. I've a fondness for exploring myself. Getting lost and finding your way again is a pleasure like no other. Actually, I'm embarassed sic to bring this up, but I also make maps as a sort of side business. This one I'm working on isn't quite finished yet, but I'd like you to have a copy anyway. Oh, don't thank me. It's a work in progress so it's terribly rough. Rest assured the final product will be of a much higher calibre.

Hmm? Ah, hello there. Come down to explore these beautiful old ruins? Don't mind me... I've a fondness for exploring myself. Getting lost and finding your way again is a pleasure like no other. We're exquisitely lucky, you and I... I'm a cartographer by trade, and I'm working on mapping this area right now. Would you like to buy a copy of my work so far?

How are you finding my map? Personally I prefer to explore without one. You see so much more of the world when you're not looking at a map.

How are you finding my map? I've tried to fill out as much as I can, but every map is a work in progress... If you'd like to fill out some of the map yourself you can purchase some mapping supplies from my wife up in Dirtmouth. We've set up a little store to help make ends meet.

Elderbug

Beta dialogue Current dialogue

The other residents, they've all disappeared. Headed down that well, one by one, into the caverns below. Used to be there was a great kingdom beneath our feet. It's long fell to ruin, yet it still draws folks down into its depths. Wealth, glory, enlightenment, that darkness seems to promise all things. I'm sure you too seek your dreams down there. Well watch out. These days, it's a sickly air down there. Creatures turn mad and travellers are robbed of their memories. Perhaps dreams aren't such great things after all, heh.

The other residents, they've all disappeared. Headed down that well, one by one, into the caverns below. Used to be there was a great kingdom beneath our town. It's long fell to ruin, yet it still draws folks into its depths. Wealth, glory, enlightenment, that darkness seems to promise all things. I'm sure you too seek your dreams down there. Well watch out. It's a sickly air that fills the place. Creatures turn mad and travellers are robbed of their memories. Perhaps dreams aren't such great things after all...

Many used to come, hoping the kingdom would fulfill their desires. Hallownest, it was once called. Supposedly the greatest kingdom there ever was, full of treasures and secrets. Hm. Now it's nothing more than a poisonous tomb full of monsters and madness. I suppose everything fades away eventually. Just the nature of things, heh heh.

Many used to come, hoping the kingdom would fulfill their desires. Hallownest, it was once called. Supposedly the greatest kingdom there ever was, full of treasures and secrets. Hm. Now it's nothing more than a poisonous tomb full of monsters and madness. Everything fades eventually, I suppose.

I hope you aren't too disappointed by our little town, traveller. Though it's now a solemn place, once we were much more welcoming. Entry to the kingdom was forbidden long ago, supposedly after some great calamity. Many gates were closed, but our old well remains as a way to creep back in. Over the years, all kinds used the well to wriggle their way into the ruins, wanderers, thieves, adventurers. Eventually there was enough activity to sustain a town, and so our predecessors built Dirtmouth. I hope you aren't too disappointed by our little town, traveller. Though it's now a solemn place, once we were much more welcoming. Entry to the kingdom was forbidden long ago, supposedly after some great calamity. Many gates were closed, but our old well remains as a way to creep back in.
So many used to come through here and down into that well, droves and swarms, seeking power and wealth, seduced by endless possibilities in the dark. Funny how few ever return to the surface. Perhaps they find what they're looking for? Heh heh, I'm not so naive. No doubt, they've all been gobbled up! There're countless dangers in those depths. Over the years, all kinds used the well to wriggle into the ruins, wanderers, thieves, adventurers. Funny how few ever come back up. Perhaps they find what they're looking for? … Bah, I'm not so naive. No doubt, they've all been gobbled up! There are countless dangers in those depths.
As bustling as this town used to be, eventually the flow of fools down the well slowed. I'd thought those times were done. But recently something's changed. There's activity in the caverns, unsettling sounds and rumblings underfoot. The creatures down there have become enraged. They say a poison drifts through the old roads and highways, sending folk mad. Travellers started to drift back here and down into the well, all talking about dreams they'd had of wealth and glory. And that allure to descend, it settled over the townsfolk as well! All of them eventually wandered down there. Except for me, of course. I'm a simple man, and I do not dream. Heh heh... Not used in release version.
I remember asking one young bug why she'd climb down the well, after it had already claimed her mother and brother. Said she'd been dreaming of that stone egg in the temple. She'd heard something stirring within it, singing in a familiar voice.I told her she was a fool, but down she went anyway. Maybe I should have held her back? Heh, I doubt it. Once a mind's set on heading down, no bug can be stopped. Not used in release version.
There's something strange about you. I've seen all types pass below, but you... You're almost familiar, though I'm sure we've never met before. Not used in release version.
Feeling tired? That bench may be iron, but I assure you it’s quite comfortable. There's no better a place to collect your thoughts before heading below. Not used in release version.
Feeling tired? That bench may be iron, but I assure you it’s quite comfortable. There's no better a place to collect your thoughts before heading below. Plus, I'd enjoy the company, even if you're not the most talkative sort. Feeling tired? That bench may be iron, but I assure you it's quite comfortable. There's no better place to collect your thoughts before heading below. Plus I enjoy the company. Not that you seem the talkative sort.
If you do meet my fellows down there you might remind them of their poor Elder, up here, back aching, abandoned to his lonesome vigil. Poor poor me!... Oh I'm fine, really, but a bit of guilt might go some way in persuading their return. Assuming they're still alive that is. Not used in release version.
I never thought I’d see the day. The Stag Station has opened! That building has lain silent since before even my time. Oh, I’ve heard all the tales of the glorious lines. A web of tunnels running all though the kingdom. Not that I’ll be travelling them, mind you! I'm quite content where I am, heh heh… I never thought I'd see such a thing. The Stag Station has opened! That building lay silent since before even my time. Oh, I've heard the tales of the glorious lines. A web of tunnels running all through the kingdom. Not that I'll be travelling them, mind you! I'm quite content where I am.
There’s something about you little traveller. The winds are changing. Not used in release version.

Myla

Beta dialogue Current dialogue

Ohhh, bury the knight with a broken sword, bury the... p-priest... something about a crown...? I c-can't remember the rest of that one, ha ha ha! Maybe I'll just hum it.

Ohhh, bury the knight with her broken nail, bury the... p-priest... something about a crown...? I c-can't remember the rest of that one, ha ha ha! Maybe I'll just hum it.

Oh, hello again! Are you still running about? Why not join me d-down here? There's plenty of wealth in these rocks for anyone willing to put a bit of work in! Those crystals out there are worth a fair b-b-bit, but I have a feeling that there's something even more valuable hidden just a bit deeper in! If I close my eyes I can almost smell it! Ha ha ha! Oh, hello again! Are you still running about? Why not join me d-down here? There's plenty of wealth in these rocks for anyone willing to put a bit of work in! Those crystals out there are worth a fair b-b-bit, but I have a feeling that there's something even more valuable hidden just a bit deeper in! I can almost smell it! Ha ha ha!

Ohhh, bury the knight with her velvet gloves, Bury the thief with the one she loved! Bury the priest in her tattered gown, Then bury the beggar and his golden crooooooown!

Ohh, bury the knight with her broken nail, bury the lady, lovely and pale! Bury the priest in his tattered gown, then bury the beggar with his shining croooown!

Quirrel

Beta dialogue Current dialogue
I'm Quirrel. I have something of an obsession with forgotten and uncharted places. This ancient kingdom holds many fascinating mysteries, and one of the most intriguing of them is standing right before us. I'm Quirrel. I have something of an obsession with uncharted places. This ancient kingdom holds many fascinating mysteries, and one of the most intriguing of them is standing right before us.
A great stone egg, lying in the corpse of an ancient kingdom. And who knows what other marvels lie even deeper below us… A great stone egg, lying in the corpse of an ancient kingdom. And this egg...Is it warm? It certainly gives off a unique air. Can it be opened? There are strange marks all over it… I do so love a mystery...And who knows what other marvels lie even deeper below us...
For so long I'd heard the tales of this strange, ancient kingdom, tales full of wonders and horrors. No longer could I resist. I just had to see it for myself. And what a time I chose to arrive! This dead world has sprung to life. The creatures are riled up and the earth rumbles. The air is thick. I wonder what could have brought all this about? For so long I've felt drawn here. So many tales full of wonders and horrors. No longer could I resist. I just had to see it for myself. And what a time I chose to arrive! This dead world has sprung to life. The creatures are riled up and the earth rumbles. The air is thick. I wonder what could have brought it all about?
Isn't this building a wonder? Do you think it was built around the egg, or was the egg laid within? And this egg... is it warm? I swear it seems alive somehow. It certainly gives off a unique air. What do you suppose is inside? A great beast? Fantastic treasures? Or something else entirely? Can it be opened? There are strange marks all over it… I do so love a mystery… Not used in release version.
I can't help but notice that nail you wield. It looks a fine instrument, though it's showing signs of wear. I'd wager up there it would take you far. Down here however, I suspect you'll soon meet dangers the surface world can't match. Your nail looks a fine instrument, but it's showing signs of wear. I'd wager up there it would take you far. Down here however, I suspect you'll soon meet dangers the surface world can't match.
Did you pass that town above? What a sad little place. And such majesty hidden right beneath! I suppose that's why they've all headed down here. Who could resist such possibilities? Did you pass that town above? What a gloomy little place. And such majesty hidden right beneath!I suppose that's why they've all headed down here. Who could resist such possibilities?

Sly

Beta dialogue Current dialogue

You're exploring these old ruins then? Very brave! Plenty of courageous explorers have been lost to the hunger of these old caverns. You have your nail though, and I can tell just by looking that you know how to wield it.

You're exploring then? Very brave! Plenty of courageous wanderers have been lost to the hunger of these old caverns. You have your nail though, and I can tell just by looking that you know how to wield it.

Ah, hello! I knew we'd meet again. How do you like my cosy little store? I've made myself pretty comfortable here, selling old trinkets to travellers like yourself. Except, ah, I'm not quite ready for business just yet. There's still a bit of preparation to do, I'm sure you understand. For now I'll just have to say thank you! And I look forward to doing business with you when the time comes.

Ah, hello! I knew we'd meet again. How do you like my cosy little store? I've made myself pretty comfortable here, selling old trinkets to travellers like yourself. If you're planning a trip below, I've several items that may improve your chance of survival.
There's still plenty of work for me to do before I can open the store. Very delicate, very precise work! You seem like the patient sort though. There's no need for unnecessary haste. Not used in release version.

Snail Shaman

Beta dialogue Current dialogue

Oho! Who is that creeping out of the darkness? My, you're looking solemn, friend! A strange, empty face and a wicked looking weapon! Something important has drawn you down into Hallownest's corpse, but I won't ask what. Perhaps the reason you've found me is because you need my help? Say no more, friend. I'm going to give you a gift, a nasty little spell of my own creation. It's just perfect for a little fellow like you! Ohoho!

Oho! Who is that creeping out of the darkness? My, you're looking grim! A strange, empty face and a wicked looking weapon! Something important has drawn you down into Hallownest's corpse, but I won't ask what. Perhaps the reason you've found me is because you need my help? Say no more, friend. I'm going to give you a gift, a nasty little spell of my own creation. It's just perfect for a little one like you! Ohoho!
Oho! There you are! I was watching over you while you slept, and must have slipped away myself. I woke up and found you'd disappeared! You are a surprising fellow, ohoho! Actually, I wanted to ask a small favour of you. You see, there is a certain creature lurking just above us, in the heart of this temple......oho? Well, yet another surprise! You've slain that creature before I've even asked! I scarcely deserve such a friend as you! You're a marvel! Ohohoho! Oho! There you are! I was watching over you while you slept, and must have slipped away myself. I woke up and found you'd disappeared! You are a surprising one, ohoho!

Actually, I wanted to ask a small favour of you. You see, there is a certain creature lurking just above us, in the heart of this temple… ...Oho? Well, yet another surprise! You've slain that creature before I've even asked! I scarcely deserve such a friend as you! You're a marvel! Ohohoho!

And look! The gate between us has opened. Ohoho! I'm sure you're eager to move on. Farewell, and have faith, whatever you are seeking... Ohohoho!

And look! The gate between us has opened. Ohoho! I'm sure you're eager to move on. Farewell, and have faith! Whatever you are seeking... it will find you! Ohohoho!

Zote

Beta dialogue Current dialogue
Know this, urchin. I am Zote the Mighty, a knight of the people. Cross me again, and you'll find out why they call my weapon 'Life Ender'. Know this, cur. I am Zote the Mighty, a knight of great renown. Cross me again, and you'll find out why they call my weapon 'Life Ender'.

Hmph. What a squalid little hamlet this is.The air is too thick and the townsfolk have beady eyes. I'll be heading back down below as soon as possible.

Hmph. What a squalid little hamlet this is.The air is foul and the townsfolk have beady eyes. I'll be heading back down below as soon as possible.

Enemy and boss differences

Several enemies and bosses have behaviour changes, location changes, or visual changes.

Enemies

All enemies respawn when re-entering a room, while in the release version most enemies stay dead.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_All_enemies_respawn_when_re-entering_room

Hollow Knight Beta - All enemies respawn when re-entering room

The Shade has different colour sprites. It has no knockback when hit, and killing the Shade shows Geo flying towards the Knight instead of Void.

Sprite

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Shade_behaviour

Hollow Knight Beta - Shade behaviour

Hoppers are present in some rooms of the Forgotten Crossroads, instead of only being found in Kingdom's Edge and the Colosseum of Fools.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 16.png

Elder Baldur and Baldur have white eyes. Elder Baldur does not deal contact damage. The white-eyed Baldur and Elder Baldur were still used in the Hunter's Journal until the release of Voidheart Edition.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 17.png

Husk Guards only deal 1 Mask of damage instead of 2 Masks in the release version.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Husk_Guard_damage

Hollow Knight Beta - Husk Guard damage

A sprite for the Maggot exists in the files, but it cannot be found in the beta itself.

Beta Maggot sprite.png

The Crawlid has different sprites and looks less spiky.

Beta

Release version

Bosses

Gruz Mother's corpse shows a ribcage.

Beta

Release version

Vengefly King is in the Forgotten Crossroads near the Hot Spring instead of in Greenpath.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 18.png

Gameplay differences

The gameplay of the beta has some notable differences, including different abilities and combat.

Abilities

An ability called Backdashing is possible by pressing the current SUPER DASH button. This ability was cut in the release version.

Backdash beta.gif

Forward Dash exists and has a different animation, but it can only be activated with file editing/mods.

Forward dash beta.gif

Focus

It takes longer to use Focus compared to the release version.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Focus_time_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Focus time comparison

Geo

Geo is lost upon death but the SOUL meter is not broken before recovering the Shade.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Death

Hollow Knight Beta - Death

Invincibility frames

Less invincibility frames are gained after being hit.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Invincibility_frames

Hollow Knight Beta - Invincibility frames

Items

The inventory does not exist. No Charms or Items exist except for Mask Shards.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 30.png

Map

The Map is viewed by hitting M on keyboard or LB/L1 on controller. It is not possible to move while viewing the map. The only area that has a map is the Forgotten Crossroads and this map looks different compared to the release version.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 19.png

Masks

The Knight starts with 4 initial Masks instead of 5.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 20.png

Nail

The Knight's Nail has decreased range compared to the release version.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 29.png

The beta allows faster Nail strikes.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Nail_speed_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Nail speed comparison

SOUL

Less SOUL is gained from hitting enemies.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Soul_gain_speed_comparison

Hollow Knight Beta - Soul gain speed comparison

NPC differences

Some NPCs are missing from their location in the release version, or found in different locations. They may also have different behaviour in the beta compared to the release version.

Cornifer

Cornifer does not charge Geo for his map and the map is already drawn.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Cornifer's_map

Hollow Knight Beta - Cornifer's map

Iselda

Iselda cannot be accessed normally. She and her shop exist in the beta, but can only be accessed with mods. She only uses one sprite and has no dialogue.
Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 21.png

Jiji

Jiji and her cave are missing in Dirtmouth.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 03.png

Last Stag

The Last Stag has an unused sleeping or resting animation which can only be found in the files. One of these sprites were later used for the corpses in the Stag Nest.

Cut sleeping animation

Stag Nest corpse sprite

Menderbug

Menderbug exists in the beta. He can be killed with Vengeful Spirit, but drops nothing upon death. His house is inaccessible.

Hollow_Knight_Beta_-_Menderbug

Hollow Knight Beta - Menderbug

Salubra

Salubra is missing entirely. Her store exists but it cannot be entered.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 08.png

Sly

Sly does not sell items in his shop.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 28.png

Zote

Zote is first encountered in the Forgotten Crossroads instead of in Greenpath and cannot die here.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 22.png
Zote does not face the Knight when talking to them.
Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 23.png
Zote goes to Dirtmouth after being saved.
Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 24.png

Miscellaneous differences

Acid looks different. It is more transparent in the beta and contains more bubbles.

Beta

Release version

The beta ends after attempting to enter Greenpath.

Screenshot HK Hollow Knight Beta 26.png
City of Tears tower background sprites can be found in the files. These sprites were incorporated in a single background image in the release version which is used for some areas in the City of Tears.

Beta

Release Version

The Dreamers' masks all look the same as Monomon's.

Beta

Release version

References

  1. Blog post of 1 September, 2015.
  2. Tweet by Team Cherry on 24 January, 2017.
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