Soul Master Soul Tyrant

Head of the Soul Sanctum. Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction, but eventually became intoxicated by its power.

The bugs of Hallownest tried all kinds of tricks and rituals and prayers to rid themselves of the infection. But to no avail! Perhaps the infection came from somewhere deep inside of them that they could not escape.

Dialogue Bottom

The Soul Master is a main boss in Hollow Knight. Defeating him grants the Desolate Dive spell. The Soul Tyrant is his dream variant.


The Soul Master is the leader of the Soul Sanctum of Hallownest, which searched ways to expand the mind of bugs and attain pure focus.[3][4] When the Infection started, he came to the conclusion that Soul, the energy animating bugs and beasts alike, was the solution to cure their mind of this plague.[5] He refused to listen to the Pale King opposing his work and failed to realize that his own infected mind was influencing him.[6][7]

The Master hoarded Soul and consumed it, eventually gaining new Soul powers.[8] He had Soul Totems gathered in the Sanctum as well as many unfortunate bugs drained of their vital energy. Unlike the rest of the Kingdom's inhabitants, he and his followers were able to survive the Infection. He, however, lost his sanity, driven to obsession in his quest for immortality, trying to get closer to the light guiding him in his mind.[9][10][11]

In-game events

The Knight encounters the Soul Master at the top of the Soul Sanctum where he ambushes them. After being seemingly beaten, the Master releases his Desolate Dive spell. If the Knight attempts to absorb it, the Master reappears to take it back and smashes through the glass rooftop for another round. When killed, at last, he releases again the spell while also granting access to other rooms of the Sanctum, including a bounty of Geo380.

After his death, the Knight can use the Dream Nail on the Soul Master's corpse to enter his dreams. There they can battle the Soul Tyrant, a stronger and faster version of the Sanctum's Master. In this form, the Master has finally realized the errors of his ways and is full of resentment towards the light that misguided him.[12]

Once defeated a second time, the lingering ghost of the scholar appears floating above its corpse. Despite his previous thoughts, the Soul Master blames the Pale King of having robbed him of immortality.[10] He claims that with both the King and Hallownest dead, he will now live on forever.[13] The ghost then shatters in 300 Essence to be absorbed by the Knight's Dream Nail.

Behaviour and Tactics

Phase 1

Soul Master will teleport at least one time in between each of his attacks:

  • Dash: Soul Master will dash across the arena from left to right or right to left, dealing contact damage.
  • Orb: Soul Master will fire an orb of concentrated SOUL at The Knight. This orb will attempt to home in until it strikes the wall or floor (...or The Knight). Because Soul Master can conjure an orb from anywhere on the arena (including the far left or right), this attack and the Dash Attack can look similar.
  • Clock: Soul Master will float from right to left or left to right as four orbs rotate around Soul Master. These four orbs are evenly spaced around Soul Master. The four orbs will rotate clockwise if Soul Master is going from right to left. The orbs will rotate counter-clockwise if Soul Master is going from left to right. After Soul Master crosses the arena, Soul Master will disappear and the orbs will boomerang back across the arena, continuing to rotate as if Soul Master was present.
  • Slam: Soul Master will slam into the ground, creating damaging shockwaves on either side of the impact point that travel across the entire arena. Soul Master targets The Knight when they appear in the air but only slam straight down. This is Soul Master's version of Desolate Dive.
  • Fake Out Slam: Soul Master will begin a Slam Attack and when they reach the midpoint of the drop, they will reset and perform a new Slam Attack above The Knight's new position. The only way to know this Slam Attack is coming is when Soul Master resets during the first Slam Attack.
  • Teleport: Soul Master will teleport to prepare an attack or to simply move within the arena.

Stagger Values
Description: Soul Master will "deflate" mid-air gasping and leaking SOUL.
Hits: 9 Stagger Limit: 999
Combo: 7 Combo Time: <1s per hit

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Soul Master

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Soul Master

Soul Master Boss Guide Video

His Soul Orb can be dodged by jumping or dashing either left or right if the Soul Master is far, but it won't hit the Knight if they stand directly next to him.

When he summons the four orbs that orbit around him (Clock attack), approach him when he is about halfway across the arena, jump over the bottom orb when it's closest to the ground.

The easiest way to damage him is to keep attacking him from below when he is conjuring the homing orbs.

He leaves many open opportunities to heal, notably when he "deflates" after taking enough damage. Staying in the centre after he finishes his Clock attack also is a good opportunity to heal multiple times.

Due to the openness of the arena and his relatively large size, Grimmchild is very useful, since it has a clear shot at Soul Master, same for Soul Tyrant.

Phase 2

After receiving enough damage, the Soul Master will appear to have died; with a long drawn out death sequence ending with him leaving behind his signature spell. However, just before the Knight can absorb the spell, he reappears, breaks the ground and the battle enters its second phase.

In this phase, the Soul Master only has three attacks, which he will alternate using:

  • Altered Slams: Soul Master will home in on The Knight ever so slightly. Instead of sending out shockwaves in either direction, there is a large explosion at the site of impact with a large area of effect. Soul Master will chain together several of these attacks.
  • Fake Out Altered Slams: Soul will begin an Altered Slam Attack and when they reach the midpoint of the drop, they will reset and perform a new Altered Slam Attack above The Knight's new position. The only way to know this Altered Slam Attack is coming is when Soul Master resets during the first Altered Slam Attack.
  • Altered Orb: Instead of firing an Orb from their head, Soul Master will hover in one place for about ten seconds and conjure orbs from random locations throughout the arena. These orbs still home in on The Knight and Soul Master conjures a new orb every second.

This phase is overall significantly easier than the first phase due to the predictable nature of the Soul Master's attacks, the lack of shockwaves on his Slams, and his openness to attacks during his projectile attack. Keep dashing and jumping in either direction when he does the Slams. Once he starts conjuring orbs, he is open for 2-3 or more hits each time, but make sure to keep moving to dodge the homing projectiles.

Learn to avoid the projectiles and attacks, as this phase will give the player much less time to stop and heal.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

Statue Soul Master
Soul Master
Hall of Gods text: "Immortal, I rule the Sanctum"
"Covetous god of soul"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Artist, 3rd boss
Health Attuned Badge 600 / 350 at phase 2
Ascended Badge 900 / 600 at phase 2
Radiant Badge
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences. Does not smash through the ground in mid-fight.



Dream Nailed Randomly:
  • The King falls, but I live forever!
  • My dreams are eternal and so am I!
  • I can hear it...The whispering of their souls...

Ghost after defeating Soul Tyrant In my dreams I could see it. The Kingdom's salvation, the cure for the plague... the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies.

But the King... why?! He opposed everything I did...

His jealousy... his madness... by standing against me he robbed me of my immortality!

Now the King and his Kingdom are dead... but I... will live forever.


Soul Master is located in the upper part of Soul Sanctum.



Achievement Illumination Illumination
Defeat the Soul Master


  • The Soul Master is the only boss to give the Knight a Spell after being defeated, that spell being Desolate Dive.
  • In the game files, he is referred to as "Mage Lord".
  • Prior to v1.0.1.2, the Soul Master's Slam attack only rarely spawned a shockwave upon impact.[14] This glitch has since been patched.


  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 75.
  2. Message from lead playtester on Discord.
  3. Wanderer's Journal, p. 74.
  4. Soul Sanctum lore tablet: "To attain a pure focus, is it even possible?"
  5. Soul Master: "The Kingdom's salvation, the cure for the plague... the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies."
  6. Soul Master: "But the King... why?! He opposed everything I did..."
  7. Soul Tyrant Dream Nail dialogue: "Did their souls bring me closer to the light?"
  8. Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction,"
  9. Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "but eventually became intoxicated by its power."
  10. 10.0 10.1 Soul Master: "His jealousy... his madness... by standing against me he robbed me of my immortality!"
  11. Godmaster Icon Soul Tyrant Hall of Gods description: "Frenzied god of mortality"
  12. Soul Tyrant Dream Nail dialogue: "You promised I would live forever!" "That voice...Was it never there...?"
  13. Soul Master: "Now the King and his Kingdom are dead... but I... will live forever."
  14. Hollow Knight (public beta) additional patch notes.
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