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Tragic Details You Missed In Hollow Knight

"Hollow Knight" was released back in 2017 after a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed Team Cherry to create one of the most revolutionary 2D action platformers of the last decade. Starting out as a PC exclusive, the game eventually made its way to Mac, PS4, and Xbox One and it's still one of the coolest games under $20 you can get for the Nintendo Switch. One of the attributes that makes "Hollow Knight" stand out from its contemporaries is the absolutely stunning artwork and world-building. From the Howling Cliffs to the Ancient Basin, Hallownest is a dreary, yet eerily beautiful world to explore.

Not everything is well in this subterranean insect haven, however. "Hollow Knight" is a game about exploring a world that has fallen from its former glory. It's easy to get caught up in the exploration and the challenging combat against the slew of difficult bosses, so many players might have missed a few of the more tragic details about the characters and the world.

Memories in The Abyss

Most of "Hollow Knight" is spent delving deeper and deeper into the various subsections of Hallownest. The Abyss resides at the very bottom, deep beneath the Ancient Basin. It's the origin of the Void, which is the antithesis of radiance and light. The Pale King and the White Lady had scores of children in The Abyss, seeking to make a vessel that would synchronize with the Void so that it would be able to hold the Moth god Radiance and stop the spread of the infection. This is how the Hollow Knight was born. The floor of The Abyss is littered with the countless husks of their abandoned children who failed to become vessels and were presumably destroyed by the void.

That's heartbreaking enough, but those who have the Kingsoul Charm can open up an additional passage and learn a bit more about the birth of the Hollow Knight. The Pale King states that his child was created to have "no mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering. Born of God and Void. You shall seal the blinding light that plagues their dreams. You are the Hollow Knight." In essence, their entire existence is relegated to suffering for the sake of binding Radiance. Real father of the year material, Pale King.

Herrah's final words

There's a lot of backstory in this game, and most of it is subtle, so it's easy to miss some of the finer details about the NPCs if you don't catch all of the dialogue. Back when the infection first became a threat, the Pale King struck a bargain with the Queen of the Spider tribe, Herrah the Beast. He agreed to give her a child in exchange for her becoming one of the three Dreamers who were supposed to seal the entrance to the Black Egg where the vessel containing Radiance resided, thereby stopping the infection from spreading. That child grew up to be Hornet.This plan obviously failed, so part of the quest to destroy the infection involves tracking down and killing the three Dreamers so that the Knight can gain access to the Temple of the Black Egg. The Knight will find Herrah sleeping on a stone plinth in The Beast's Den where the player must use the Dream Nail to enter her mind and kill her. Hitting her repeatedly with the Dream Nail within the dream yields the following dialogue: "...Bound ...For brood...For child...Fair bargain made...Give all...For her..." The Knight has to attack her after this, though she won't fight back, which makes the whole exchange feel even darker. Those who don't use the Dream Nail can easily miss this last bit of heartbreaking dialogue from Hornet's mother.

Killing the innocent Menderbug

There are a lot of enemies that players have to fight in "Hollow Knight." Some deserve their fate at the pointy end of the Knight's nail, some do not. Then there's the Menderbug. If the player destroys the sign at the bottom of the well just outside Dirtmouth, there is a 2% chance that he will appear to repair it any time the Knight re-enters the room. He will immediately flee when a player does this, however, so you really have to go out of your way to fight him. One of the only ways to kill the Menderbug is to repeatedly perform the Desolate Dive spell straight down the well until the Knight murders this poor, harmless repairman.

Killing him unlocks his house which is right next to where the player met Sly in the Crossroads. Here the player will encounter the Menderbugs journal, where he describes his simple love of repairing signs and how he was soon planning to profess his romantic feelings to a bug named Mender Berri. The last entry describes how someone keeps breaking his favorite sign, but how he's about to go fix it. Way to twist the knife, Team Cherry.

Cloth wants to die

Some of the NPCs in "Hollow Knight" can help the Knight with certain battles. Cloth is one such character. She is a Cicada warrior who wields a large club. The player can find her sleeping underground in the Fungal Wastes, where she says she's an adventurer just like the Knight. Later, the player will find her underground again while numerous beasts scurry overhead. If the knight defeats them, Cloth will pop out of the ground and admit that she ran and hid when she saw the creatures, but also declare that she has been inspired by the Knight's bravery and wishes to be a warrior like them. Eventually, Cloth will show up to help you in your battle against the Traitor Lord, although she will die in the fight. Players can then meet Cloth's ghost who will praise the battle, saying that it was everything she could have hoped for and thanking the Knight for their help.

The thing is, Cloth doesn't have to die – but she wants to. If the player defeats the Traitor Lord before meeting Cloth, they can later encounter her sleeping in Dirtmouth, where hitting her with the dream nail will reveal that she lost a loved one named Nola and that she is seeking a glorious death in battle so that their spirits can be together. Even if the player saves Cloth, she will continue to search for a worthy foe to give her the end she seeks.

Myla remembers her songs

Myla is a miner in the Forgotten Crossroads who players can find singing to herself as she cheerfully chips away at the walls with a pickaxe in search of treasure. She tells the Knight that she can hear the crystals singing and that there's plenty of treasure left in the mines, inviting them to grab a pickaxe and join her. She's one of the few positive NPCs the player can meet in the otherwise oppressive gloom of the Hallownest, which makes her instantly likable.

Unfortunately, this doesn't last. Myla stops singing after a while and she starts behaving strangely. It eventually becomes clear that she is becoming infected. She ultimately ends up attacking the Knight, forcing them to kill her. The worst part? The player will hear the lyrics to the song Myla was always singing echoing in her mind if they use the Dream Nail on her during the fight. This seems to indicate that although Myla has lost control of herself, there is some part of her previous personality still trapped inside her.