There are more than 150 different enemies in the fantastic Hollow Knight. While each one is entertainingly awful, some are more awful than others.
A few notes up front: I’m talking about regular enemies in this article, not bosses. Also, while I’ve reached 101% completion (out of 107% made possible by DLC), there are still four enemies I haven’t seen. So who knows? Maybe one of those four is even worse than the five I’ve listed here. Below, in no particular order, are the five worst enemies in Hollow Knight.
Actual Name: Hive Guardian
Official Journal Entry: Like their smaller kin, their only instinct is to protect the Hive at any cost to themselves. Somewhat clumsy, they’ll often damage the structure of the Hive when charging at intruders. Does this cause them shame? I do not know whether they have the capacity for such a thing.
I’ll tell you what these giant bastards should feel shame about, and that’s how wretched they made my life while I was trying to beat the Hive Knight. There are these rooms jam-packed with huge bees, with those motorcycle-sounding Hive Soldiers stabbing at you and these huge jerks caroming around costing you two hitpoints every time they hit you. For some reason I find it difficult to avoid being hit by these dudes, despite the fact that they’re large and slow. Maybe it’s that they move on a diagonal? I don’t know. Anyway, they suck.
Actual Name: Corpse Creeper
Official Journal Entry: The beasts of this land have found plenty of ingenious hiding places, but none so clever as the body of another creature! If you happen on such a beast, rejoice! You’ve hunted two creatures at once!
The Deepnest is a problem for me, as it likely is for a lot of people who play Hollow Knight. Putting on headphones while playing through this area is like putting on a sweater made out of live spiders. I considered giving Deepnest Awful Monster honors to the Deephunter spiders that seemingly materialize out of nowhere, but I gotta shout-out the exuberantly awful Corpse Creeper. I was terrified by the first one and subsequently was never surprised by one again, but that awful chittering sound they make still gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think there’s still a hidden room in the Deepnest that I have to go find, but I don’t want to go back.
Actual Name: Lance Sentry
Official Journal Entry: This devious foe will often keep its distance and try to pick you off with its thrown weapons. When it charges at you, leap up and strike it down.
I think maybe this one is just me, but I cannot for the life of me get comfortable fighting these jerks. I jump when I ought to attack, and I attack when I ought to dodge. Their thrown attacks get me even when I’m trying to pass them by without engaging. I get hit by their charge every time, and have such a hell of a time reaching them before they attack. I have been brought near death many times by underestimating a fight with them. I should probably just slow down and learn their tells, but it might be more fun to just hate them irrationally.
Actual Name: Flukemon
Official Journal Entry: Dangerous, unpredictable foes that infest the pipes below Hallownest’s capital. Even when it seems you’ve killed them, you need to stay on guard.
So you remember that episode of The X-Files with the man-sized flukeworm? The people who made Hollow Knight sure appear to. Every time I hear one of these things making that awful sucking sound, I think of this thing:
Given that that monster’s unofficial X-Files name is “Flukeman,” it seems pretty likely that the Royal Waterways’ Flukemon is an homage. Which is nice and everything, but in no way undoes the the trauma from the first time I was ambushed by a free-standing, sentient fluke rump. Though my favorite thing about the Flukemon is the sound its severed head makes. It sounds so pissed.
Actual Name: Who even cares, murder them into extinction
Real Actual Name: Fine, their actual name is Primal Aspid
Official Journal Entry: These cruel foes will ambush you and relentlessly attack with their searing venom. How strange that their descendants are so weak. If I have children, I hope they will be stronger than me…
These little bastards float in the air, just out of your reach, and shoot a three-fireball spread. Sounds manageable, right? Wrong. These enemies fuck me up harder than any adversary in Hollow Knight aside from like, Nightmare King Grimm. Whenever I try to get close enough to hit one, it shoots me first. I lose momentum, miss my swing, and fall back to earth. I try again, and it shoots me again. In theory, the spread of its fireballs leaves copious safe space for me to dodge. Yet like 80% of the time, each shot lands a hit on me. I could be up close, or could be across the screen. I could be above it, or below it. Every time one of these things appears in the Colosseum of Fools, I begin to sweat. I know I said this list was in no particular order, but I guess I lied, because these things are the worst enemies in Hollow Knight.
And there you have ‘em, the five worst enemies in Hollow Knight. Of course, by “worst” I basically mean “best,” since I love to hate even the most maddening monsters this game has to offer. I’m sure you have some hated enemies of your own, so I hope you’ll share them below.