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Hollow Knight - Soulsvania platformer


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9 hours ago, Timmo said:

I finished this last night with 25 hours on the clock. Now I'm muddling around trying to find what I missed.

 

Most of my deaths were to that invincible grave protector character. I spent so long fighting him not realising it was pointless! Everything else was just the right side of challenging with most bosses down in 1-4 goes. Felt like a walk in the park after Nioh 2!

 

One thing has annoyed me though, finding out that missable things exist and that I'd have to restart to get full completion. Pretty shitty.

 

Amazing game otherwise, though, a definite 9 or even 10.

 

If it only took you 25 hours to complete then I'd wager then there's that much content again that you've missed, all of which is very much worth seeking out, especially if you like a challenge ;) 

 

Superb game.

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It certainly seemed that way! So I've gone back to explore. I think my other complaint would be that it's a bit too obtuse, at no point did I really know what exactly I was doing or why.

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In preparation for Silksong, whenever that is, I've hopped back into this. Played a fresh file and just enjoyed the heck out of it, now trying to mop up some stuff I never did. Late-game spoilers:

 

Spoiler

Finished Steel Soul mode, and got the Steel Heart achievement (100% deathless!). Currently at 105% and trying to get that to the full 112%. Some of that's Godmaster stuff which is all in the dream world (so can't actually kill you) but it means I get one shot at Trial of the Fool and The Radiance. Gulp. At least I can practice both on my normal save first.

 

I'm a bit taken with the idea of trying again to get really excellent at this, but I suspect I lack the patience for the truly bonkers late-game stuff like Pantheon of Hallownest with Bindings. That said, I've pretty much had my fill of exploring the world now, and boss fights hold my interest for longer, so I might just throw myself into them. They really are bloody excellent boss fights.

 

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I've been pulling 60 hour weeks at work for the past month so I've not really played much.  Dunno if I'm out of practice or out of talent (and having a 3 year old in the room certainly doesn't help when I'm trying to concentrate on boss fights) but I'm having my ass handed to me on the reg at the moment.  Mantis Lords are kicking my ass, the walk from the bench back to their room sucks a lot of my desire to keep trying the fight, apparently I've fucked it on getting the bench near them because one of them has locked a door and it won't be reopened until I beat them so I'm trying the Traitor Lord now.  He seems really difficult too: 

 

Spoiler

I've got Cloth helping me fight him, but the two masks of damage he does with every hit and the parkour needed just to face him are killing me.  I don't want this to be the point where I put the game down but I feel like I'm hitting a wall.  Any tips? 

 

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10 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

 

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I've got Cloth helping me fight him, but the two masks of damage he does with every hit and the parkour needed just to face him are killing me.  I don't want this to be the point where I put the game down but I feel like I'm hitting a wall.  Any tips? 

 

 

Using Desolate Dive or its upgrade  makes you invincible for almost half a second and can be pretty useful for escaping a tough situation while still doing damage. I would say that the pattern for Mantis Lords is definitely easier than Traitor Lord. Remember that if you feel like you're going to land on their spinning blade projectile you can down+slash to bounce up off them. Also, when they both go high up and throw the blades simultaneously you can stand in the centre of the stage and heal; the blades should narrowly miss you.

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19 minutes ago, therearerules said:

Plant a spawn point near him. But yeah, taking off 2 masks and being that fast make him a bastard. I just gave up on my second run through.

 

I found that using magic projectile plus the charms that boost magic power and reduce magic consumption was great for him and for all bosses where heal windows are low. Just forget healing and increase your damage output to make the fight much shorter.

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Probably gonna go get the final nail upgrade. I've got 400 odd essence (just found out that 900 gives you the ability to set fast travel points?) so I can get pale ore there. I'd imagine I've got 25 grubs or so, so getting to 31 is probably a sensible thing to do, it's just trying to remember which one's I've got and which one's I need and then it's to the Colosseum for the second trial. 

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9 hours ago, joffocakes said:

 

Using Desolate Dive or its upgrade  makes you invincible for almost half a second and can be pretty useful for escaping a tough situation while still doing damage. I would say that the pattern for Mantis Lords is definitely easier than Traitor Lord. Remember that if you feel like you're going to land on their spinning blade projectile you can down+slash to bounce up off them. Also, when they both go high up and throw the blades simultaneously you can stand in the centre of the stage and heal; the blades should narrowly miss you.


And if I could add - I used the shadow dash alongside the slash bounce to evade his attacks which saw me through. Probably the hardest boss in the game though, alongside Broken Vessel (note - I never did Godholme!). 
 

It bears repeating - the bosses in Hollow Knight require patience and for you to learn their attack patterns in order to devise a strategy that lets you avoid their attacks and hit them when they’re not attacking. Don’t get greedy and do use opportunities to heal instead of attack wen you need to. 

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I really should give this another go. I properly bounced off it when I tried a few months back. I thought it was unbelievably ugly and found navigating the levels pretty confusing. I also never got the Souls comparisons either. You can’t all be wrong though.

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Let's try in sync and post updates here! I've been hearing lots of good things about this game elsewhere too and I'm about to finish Bloodstained: RotN so can happily bounce straight into another epic game (though I should really finish the second Ori game at some point).

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It's incredible but you kind of need to persevere at the start. First few hours can seem a little meandering. 

 

After that though, you've got a good 40-80 hours depending how deep in you want to go. and it's the most atmospheric game ever. Beautiful music and graphics. 

 

It's so good

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12 hours ago, JPL said:

I really should give this another go. I properly bounced off it when I tried a few months back. I thought it was unbelievably ugly and found navigating the levels pretty confusing. I also never got the Souls comparisons either. You can’t all be wrong though.

 

Play until you get to the City of Tears and tell me if you still think it's ugly. :)

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3 hours ago, Talvalin said:

Let's try in sync and post updates here! I've been hearing lots of good things about this game elsewhere too and I'm about to finish Bloodstained: RotN so can happily bounce straight into another epic game (though I should really finish the second Ori game at some point).

I’ve just started The Last of Us 2 and I’m still plugging away at Bloodborne, so it might have to wait a while longer yet. It’s going on the list though.

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Bugger. Well I just started playing and I'm already clueless as to where I'm supposed to go. There's a big chap with a club who looks like he'll smash me flat but based on my limited exploration it seems that I need to go that way?

 

Open-world Metroidvanias are all well and good but is it too much to ask for a game to make it obvious where I'm supposed to go first and then open out? Bah.

 

Edit: Twatted the bug guy and released a green bug in a glass jar. Where I go next isn't exactly clear but maybe back to the mine where that weird person was singing songs to themselves?

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On 10/08/2020 at 22:13, JPL said:

I also never got the Souls comparisons either.

Mainly the bloodstain retrieval mechanic but also limited, carefully timed heals, bonfire-like checkpoints, obscure story with hidden lore, oppressive tone overall, NPCs you bump into on their own journey, theme of descent into the depths and at times a real trapped-in-Blighttown feel. It makes it its own thing though unlike many games that ripped off aspects of Souls without really knowing why.

 

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Okay. I have a map now and I'm merrily exploring away. The bloodstain mechanic was... unexpected lol. 

 

I've beaten the first boss and now I'm looking for somewhere to use the item I received. 

 

Also was it just my imagination or did the head of the boss's mace just roll off by itself? :o:ph34r:

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Eventually I went back to the place with all the skulls which I thought was going to be another boss (so soon after the first one?) but turned out to be where I had to go to get a new ability for further progression.

 

On to the next area. I think I found the boss area so I noped out of there pretty quickly (though as I've just demonstrated my sense for that isn't attuned yet but it did look a gigantic Venus fly trap to me so yeah I remain suspicious).

 

So far the compulsion to keep on exploring is a strong one, despite having no clue what new enemies are around the corner and whether or not a bench is close by or not. 

 

In short I'm really enjoying this so far. @JPL Get on this game stat!

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On 10/08/2020 at 22:13, JPL said:

I really should give this another go. I properly bounced off it when I tried a few months back. I thought it was unbelievably ugly and found navigating the levels pretty confusing. I also never got the Souls comparisons either. You can’t all be wrong though.


Honestly, I think it’s more beautiful that the already gorgeous Ori. It might be I just prefer the darker aesthetic, but it’s just glorious.

 

Like all these games though, I’m terrible at them. They’re the only genre these days that make me regress back to my Spectrum days where joysticks and computers would be hurled uncontrollably around the place.  

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Two minor criticisms at this early stage (which may well echo the RPS review that I read yesterday): 

 

1. Making you buy an item that shows your location on the mask *and* making you allocate a charm notch to use it is such a shitty thing to do. I cannot see the reasoning behind it.

 

2. The game allows you to explore quite far at times before you realise that you cannot actually proceed. This has led to a great deal of backtracking after acquiring a new ability that can be occasionally frustrating at times. I should stop being a cheapskate and just buying those additional map markers so I can mark points of interest to return to because the map itself doesn't really help you on that front.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm still enjoying it and though Ori feels like a more beautiful game, I still love the aesthetic and character designs of this game. 

 

Those screaming, rolling mushroom guys can fucking do one though. Also the plants that fire homing explosives at you. Can the explosives be deflected or exploded safely, or do you just have to avoid them until they self-detonate?

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Oh. I can actually be the wizened old sage here. 

 

1] The map thing I kinda dig.  If I had to guess I'd say the devs wanted people to get to know their way round though recognising locations and landmarks and not be a slave to the minimap, it's a curse and blessing, yes I do know which screen leads where more than I might without the mechanic but even now I still sometimes take a while to get my bearings on the minimap without the compass equipped but I can figure it out.  You can quite easily have the compass on the entire time save for boss fights though, you don't really need to feel like you are sacrificing something to have it unless you are constantly having your ass kicked. Ditto the Gathering Swarm charm, that pays for itself in next to no time. 

1a] Cornifer is a don though.  I love the little mini game of finding him in a new area, you get clues (seeing pages on the floor when you are a couple of screens away, hearing him him when he's in the immediate vicinity) and when you meet him in a really hostile location it's great to know you have a safe spot coming up while you chill with Cornifer. 

 

2] You can probably get further than you think.  The number of abilities you need to explore the map is pretty small, I've not beat the game yet but I think you can see credits with only three items unlocked 

Spoiler

i) the "fireball" (vengeful spirit) which opens up Greenpath, within you'll find ii) the "dash" (mothwing cloak) which you'll be led to by an NPC who is obviously important and the "wall jump" (mantis claw) which isn't as well signposted but I do believe NPCs will tell you to head down further into Hallownest to a village.  

 

There are other items which will unlock optional sub-areas and make traversing the world faster and easier, but you don't actually need them to see the entire world. 

 

You can dodge a lot of the enemies, at some point you'll be able to kill a lot of the ones you are seeing now in one hit (so just run by if they are giving you shit) as really all they are there for is to generate magic for your spells and act as a source of income. Money is never really hard to come by and it seems fairly unimportant in the mid to late game.  I found the markers which show you where things like benches are to be more useful than the custom ones, you'll probably know when you need them and it's not in the early game.  

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Cheers for all of that. So, for now, I should just run past tough enemies as I'll be able to twat them later on? Those explosion spewing plants stress me out as they slowly home in on you but I'll push on for now as I think that area is where I need to go next. 

 

I will look forward to going back and one-shotting those gits and other larger enemies, as I did much the same in Bloodstained and it was very cathartic.

 

Cornifer is a cool dude but I feel for his partner sitting up topside running the shop and waiting for him to come back. I can hear him in one area of the Fungal Wastes but can't actually get to him right now so my map remains blank for that area. :(

 

 

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Progressing nicely I think. I'm about ten hours in, and I've found the third upgrade, explored some areas that I couldn't traverse before and found a new area with a couple more NPCs within.

 

Spoiler

I was heading deeper into the Mantis Village when I bumped into the itinerant warrior who told me that my nail was inadequate for taking on the boss so I'd better go and find the Nailsmith in the City. Ouch. Now equipped with the Mantis Claw, I made my way to the City of Tears and was aimless going and up and down elevators before finding the Nailsmith who upgraded me for Geo only first time, but is now demanding Pale Ore which is something I've yet to come across.

 

After some more wandering around the City, I stumbled onto a boss that proceeded to batter nine shades of fuck out of me, which was a problem as I still hadn't recovered my lost spirit in the opposite room (the one you get locked into with all three of the guard variants) with about 700 Geo attached. Luckily this was a boss I could run away from, so flee I did straight into the arms of my bro Cornifer. Phew. Bought the bench, then unlocked the Stag Station and then the Lift back up to the Forgotten Crossroads which was an oddly welcome sight.


I now need to decide whether to try my luck with that flying boss in the City of Tears, or to continue on through the Mantis Village which may be a little less painful with an upgraded Nail.

 

Question: I've found a NPC who was willing to buy things from me like the Wanderer's Journal (I now have 2 of them) and some kind of Hallowsnest Crest. Can these be safely sold, or do they come into use later on? 

 

 

 

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You can sell them safely, depends if you like the safety of carrying them around as geo you can never drop, or want that geo. Also, please keep us updated! I love reading people's experiences playing this and Dark Souls.

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I'm happy to relay my tales, and will endeavor to inject some actual storytelling into them rather than a boring account of travelling from A to B, dying repeatedly before giving up and going to C instead. :) 

 

Whilst I remember, does the glowy stuff dropped by the jellyfish enemies in Fog Canyon have any significance? Well, apart from the fact that the glowy stuff in the larger enemies makes a fucking beeline for you to give you the equivalent of a hot orange facial, which frankly I never asked for and could do without. I tried using magic and then dodging out of the way, but those things come at you fast man. 


Which reminds me of the time I was attempting to climb out of Fog Canyon and fell on one of the large jellyfish by accident. I can't remember if the fall popped the jellyfish or if I stupidly swung at it with my Nail (I have no wish to repeat the experiment :P ), the initial blast took out its buddy just above and to the right, the combined force of which did for me quite nicely. Some of the least aggressive enemies in the game and they still managed to fell me. Worst explorer ever.

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Progress here too, I beat the Trial of the Conqueror at the very next attempt as I wasn't caught out by the final enemy going into a frenzy this time so now I'm the proud owner of a fully upgraded nail.   Throwing this out to @Talvalin I would say 

Spoiler

upgrade the nail.  There are four levels to upgrade, the first two are pretty easy to get and you'll be doing nearly triple the damage when you've upgraded twice.  I'm not sure but it feels to me like each upgrade will reduce the number of hits required to kill enemies by one (ie four hits becomes three, two hits become one) and of course it makes any boss fight you will have significantly easier.   

 

I guess I'm going to have to have a crack at a few more bosses now.  Checking what I've done so far I think I've killed: 

 

Spoiler

Broken Vessel

Brooding Mawlek

The Collector

Crystal Guardian

Dung Defender

False Knight

Flukemarm

Gruz Mother

Hornet (twice)

Massive Moss Charger (why is this even considered a boss?)

Nosk

Soul Master

Soul Warrior

Uumuu

Vengefly King

 

 

I've encountered the Mantis Lords, Grimm and the Traitor Lord and lost the battles.  I'm happy to read up bits online about areas I've already been and enemies I've already faced but I'm not reading anything about stuff I've not seen in game yet.  I believe there is a bee boss in The Hive too but I've been to the point where I think a boss fight is likely to take place and turned back.  

I'm reluctant to face the Mantis Lords right now because the walk from the bench is a ballache and the rewards for beating them (access to Deepnest, which I'm pretty much finished with and the Mark of Pride charm which is better but not much better than longnail).  I might go essence collecting next, 900 gets me the ability to place a fast travel point, right? 


edit: 

Spoiler

Grimm down! 
I basically smoked him with incredible burst damage from Abyss Shriek and tanked a lot of his damage.  I’m sure there are more ‘honourable’ ways to fight him, but he hardly fights fair either.  

 

Edited by Naysonymous
Killed someone didn’t i?
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