Have you visited the remnants of his palace? It's down below this city, in the bedrock of the kingdom. Must've been an impressive sight in its time. Now there's nothing left.
It's a strange thing though. There are no signs of conflict around the area. It's as though the whole place just vanished.
-Relic Seeker Lemm
White Palace mainly consists of white and light grey architecture. The rooms contain large, tall windows which let in light from the outside. The palace is covered in white-grey leaves, roots, and ferns. Flying creatures can be seen flying away in certain areas. Besides these features, the palace is covered in buzz-saws, thorns, and spikes.
The entrance to White Palace opens after defeating the Kingsmould that guards it. After entering the palace another Kingsmould needs to be defeated and a switch needs to be activated to gain access to the atrium of the area. This atrium contains a bench and has two hallways leading to linear areas which each have a switch at the end. Activating both of these switches opens the lift at the top of the atrium which grants access to the upper palace. The atrium also contains an exit out of White Palace.
The northern part of White Palace is fairly linear and eventually leads to the throne room where the Pale King's corpse is sitting on his throne.
The area's only sub-area, the Path of Pain, can be opened by destroying a breakable wall in the room above the lift leading to the upper part of White Palace. Completing the Path of Pain grants the Seal of Binding entry in the Hunter's Journal. After completing it this sub-area cannot be entered again.
Originally located in the Palace Grounds in Ancient Basin, White Palace was where the Pale King ruled over Hallownest. Royal Retainers were servants of the King who served in the palace, and the Kingsmoulds were guards of the palace made by the Pale King with Void in his workshop. The Hollow Knight was raised in White Palace before being sealed in the Temple of the Black Egg.
After the Infection returned and Hallownest fell to ruin, the Pale King went into hiding. White Palace vanished from its location in Ancient Basin, and it seems the Pale King somehow took the palace with him when he fled.
How to access
White Palace can be accessed by using the Awoken Dream Nail on the corpse of the Kingsmould in the Palace Grounds in Ancient Basin. The Monarch Wings are required to reach the Palace Grounds. After getting half of the Kingsoul Charm and waking up outside, White Palace can be entered again by simply using the Dream Nail on the corpse.
White Palace contains sets of difficult platforming sections, therefore it is advised to use a good combination of Charms:
- Hiveblood: Allows the Knight to wait between attempts at platforming to avoid losing health.
- Deep Focus + Grubsong: Allows healing with the Knight's SOUL slowly decreasing (losing 3 SOUL each time 2 points of damage is received and healed - two hits gives 30 SOUL which gets healed for 33 SOUL). Adding Grubberfly's Elegy gives the Knight an unlimited supply of SOUL for healing (gaining 17 SOUL each time 2 points of damage is received and healed - its interaction with Grubsong increases the return to 50 SOUL for two hits).
- Longnail/Mark of Pride: Provide a bigger window for the Knight to Nail-bounce on spikes, saws, or Wingmoulds, though they make some narrow horizontal platforming challenges difficult.
- Quick Slash: Allows the Knight to spam the downward strike lots of times without worrying about missing the timing.
- Dashmaster: Allows the Knight to easily complete one section in which you fall between sets of retracting spikes.
- Sharp Shadow: While this could help to reach platforms from a further distance, it may become troublesome since many obstacles are built with regular dashing range in mind.
- Any health-boosting Charm like Fragile Heart/Unbreakable Heart or Lifeblood Core also helps with survivability.
Sub-area: Path of Pain
A secret, extra-challenging section of White Palace, hidden behind a breakable wall (the pathway opens despite being invisible) at the beginning of the first buzz-saw room on the second floor, above the large room with a Bench in the middle.
Completing this area unlocks a special cutscene depicting the Pale King and a younger version of the Hollow Knight, alongside a Journal Entry for the Seal of Binding. Note that after the challenge is completed, the Path of Pain becomes inaccessible.
The Path of Pain is made up of several sections each separated by an infinitely usable Soul Totem depicting the Hollow Knight. Platforming here is very difficult and requires excessive aerial and wall movement, as well as requiring the Nail to be swung towards most of the mobile hazards to gain height. There are many buzz-saws, spikes, and small wall sections, alongside thorns on the sides of most sections.
After the final platforming section, the Knight falls down a pit into a room surrounded by thorns on the walls. In this room are two Kingsmoulds which the Knight must defeat in order to finally reach the end of the challenge.
When the Path of Pain is completed, the Knight wakes up directly outside it. The Path of Pain cannot be entered again as the wall cannot be broken.
- The Soul Totems in this area, as mentioned earlier, grant an endless supply of SOUL to the Knight, allowing for complete healing after each section. However, as not every section has a Soul Totem, it is still useful to have Charms that improve survivability.
- As all of the difficult challenges without a Soul Totem are to reach the switch inside the path, survival-boosting Charms are no longer needed after the switch has been hit.
- All of the Charms that are useful for the main White Palace are still useful in the Path of Pain, except for Dashmaster as it is very easy to accidentally down-dash due to the amount of time DOWN is held to Nail-bounce on saws.
- It is recommended to defeat the Kingsmoulds at the end with Desolate Dive/Descending Dark, as using these Spells makes the Knight immune to damage for several frames. Having the Shaman Stone and Spell Twister Charms equipped can help to deal more damage and consume less SOUL respectively.
White Palace contains three secret rooms in the upper part of the area which explain more of the game's lore.
The Pale King's workshop
The Pale King had a workshop where he made the Wingmoulds and Kingsmoulds with Void. This workshop can be accessed near the end of White Palace by falling down at a certain point after using the Crystal Heart. The workshop contains a Lore Tablet and a mould that can be Dream Nailed, giving the text: "...SERVE...". Exiting this area drops the Knight back to the place where Crystal Heart was first used. It is possible to double jump back into the exit in order to enter the workshop.
White Lady's room
Right before taking the lift up to the throne room, there is a room on the east side of the lift with a breakable floor and a Soul Totem. Using Desolate Dive/Descending Dark on this floor opens up a room with a chair and a structure in front of the chair. The chair has a dark imprint that looks like a smaller version of the White Lady's head. A music box version of the Shade's theme also plays here.
Throne room Lore Tablet
East of the throne room in the very north part of the palace is a breakable wall. Breaking this wall leads to a lore tablet which provides more information on the Pale King.
- It is possible to sit on the throne after knocking the Pale King's corpse off. A version of the main theme, the Royal Hollow Knight theme, plays while sitting on it. Charms can be switched while on the throne, but masks do not heal until a Charm is changed.
- After returning to the throne room, it is no longer possible to sit on the throne.
- It was originally impossible to return to White Palace after picking up the White Fragment. This was changed in The Grimm Troupe update which added the Path of Pain.
- The Hunter's Journal entries for the Royal Retainers, Wingmoulds, and Kingsmoulds are still automatically completed upon leaving the palace.
- When returning to the throne room, the Pale King's corpse has disappeared from the ground. This is due to his corpse being an entity corpse, meaning that it despawns after leaving the room like any other enemy's corpse.