Hollow Knight Challenges Players


Brian Vasquez

The title screen of Hollow Knight does not show the complexity of the game inside. The style of the game is very whimsical.

Brian Vasquez, Reporter

Indie game Hollow Knight is a throwback to metroidvania games with difficult bosses and an amazing story.

Hollow Knight’s gameplay is a great way to challenge oneself by beating hard bosses and difficult exploration areas. The story is well-versed having players explore different areas and discovering the tragedy of Hollow Nest. Hollow Knight’s combat system is based on strike and return, essentially waiting for the opponent to open up and strike while it’s avoiding obstacles in the way. Hollow Knight’s music gives off an ambiance of dark and broken hope with songs that differentiate in areas of exploration.

“It’s a frustrating, beautiful, and probably well-designed game” Rancho High School student Aldrae John said.

When starting the game of Hollow Knight, the players are welcomed with a title screen of options to start with. The music playing gives the player a sense of direction of where the game could go, either intense or melancholy. When playing Hollow Knight, a player could go either toward the boss or explore the mystery surrounding the plague that encountered Hollow Nest. The controls of Hollow Knight are tight; each jump and strike feels like hitting the enemy with precise attacks.

“It’s fun,” Rancho High School student Christopher Castillo said. “I spend a good hour looking at gameplay and playing the game myself.”

The journey begins with the player dropping into the world of Hollow Nest exploring for the sole reason of why the kingdom has gone to ruins. While exploring the vastness of Hollow Nest, the player sees that there is an infection that has plagued the nest. The ruler of Hollow Nest, the Pale King, uses their son Hollow Knight to contain the infectious disease. The guardians or the Dreamers sealed the Hollow Knight, but that didn’t work as the disease leaked out and infected different areas of Hollow Nest. The Knight or the player must defeat different bosses to get to the Radiant to stop the infection.

The Knight avoiding the enemies attack, going to find the Radiant. Finding the Radiant is the primary goal of Hollow Knight. (Brian Vasquez)

“It’s a great game, the battle mechanics will get more complex as the story goes on,” ATECH student Anon said.

Hollow Knight’s combat system is essentially strike and return, waiting for the open to make a move and strike while dodging projectiles. Not only is it just strike and return, there are spells that take the players soulcage and use them to damage or weaken the foe. There are also charms that give the player abilities that can enhance their damage output or increase their defense play. Using these advantages help the player progress throughout Hollow Nest, whether it’s dodging, attacking, or just getting around the big 2D map.

“[I] played a bit of it; it’s a really good game with great ambiance,” Valley High School student Andres Momox said.
Hollow Knight is a great game, one that instills great game design and lore toward figuring out the story. Not only does it have a great story behind it, the game is difficult; it took me many times to beat the first boss on my first play through. This game gives the player a sense of achievement: when finishing Hollow Knight, the player unlocks steel soul mode, which makes the game harder. Beating Hollow Knight and discovering different areas which make the player feel a certain way depending on the place he or she visits is amazing as it can be intense for a second then it can change to peace or sadness. The game is incredible with it’s great developers being mainly a three man team.

“One of our big focuses was always giving the players plenty of options for forging their path forward, so if they encounter a difficult foe or get stymied by a tough area they can always withdraw to town, gear up, and choose somewhere new to explore,” Team Cherry said on Nintendo’s website, the team consisting of Ari Gibson, William Pellen, and Jack Vine. “The best advice for the game is probably just to keep exploring, and don’t hesitate to leave a challenge for later if it’s frustrating you!”