Hollow Knight Guide

8. Royal Waterways

Hollow Knight guide

Beneath such a wondrous city, one would expect huge waterworks and Royal Waterways is just that. As you enter Royal Waterways, note that there are some super annoying enemies in this area. With that aside, let’s get you the map!

Get the Map

Hollow Knight guide

When you enter Royal Waterways head left until you reach a piece of floor which you can use Desolate Dive on. Break the floor and snag the bench. After you have snagged the bench, return back up the hole you made and continue heading left. Head all the way to the left room and you will end up in a room where the map make is locked behind a gate. Here you will need to kill all the enemies in order to get the gate to raise. With the gate raised, hit the switch to raise the second gate near the map maker and head up. The map maker sells a map of this area for 75. In this room is a switch to open the shortcut for Fungal Wastes. Push it if you so desire.

Optional Boss: Flukemarm

Flukemarm is an optional boss in Royal Waterways. The boss is located in the lower left corner of the map, behind a breakable wall. This boss is 100% aids and should be avoided at all costs. If you feel like fighting it, all I can say is good luck and maybe lower your game volume. (See video). Beating Flukemarm unlocks the Flukenest Charm.

Boss: Dung Defender

The major boss of Royal Waterways is Dung Defender. I personally find this boss to be one of the easier, but if you have difficulties, simply skip to the Crystal Peak portion of this guide. My reason for DD being so easy is simply that the boss telegraphs every attack and makes it relatively easy to dodge. See the above video for an idea of the fight.

Hollow Knight guide

After you beat Dung Defender, you will receive a new Charm, The Defenders Crest. This Charm emits an odour around the wearer which damages enemies. Grab the charm and head to the next room. You will see what looks to be tubing and a switch. Hit the switch and green liquid will begin to flow. Head right and up into City of Tears.

City of Tears

Hollow Knight guide

When we first entered City of Tears, we ended up reaching the middle of the city with no way to access the right side of the city. When we exit Royal Waterways, we end up on the right side. First things first, head left until you reach the door that was locked near the statue in the middle of the city. We are now able to open this door. With that done, head as far right as possible (avoid fighting if need be). In the far right area is a bench and King’s Station Stagway. To unlock the Stagway is 300 Geo. With the Stagway unlocked, let’s head to Forgotten Crossroads and then Crystal Peak.

Getting to Crystal Peak

Hollow Knight guide

Crystal Peak is accessed by going to the mine located near the Forgotten Crossroads Stagway. To access this area, leave the Stagway Station, head up and then right. Inside the mine, take the elevator up and Desolate Dive the loose ground. You are now inside Crystal Peak!


Enricofairme is the pioneering founder and chief author of holdtoreset.com, a premier platform for discussing and analyzing video games. His illustrious career spans six years, during which he has consistently produced high-quality content in the video gaming niche. To stay updated with his latest works and musings, kindly follow Eli on Twitter via the handle @enricofairme.

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84 responses

  1. NGorter says:

    Can I use your writing and pictures in this guide to create a android app and publish it legally?

  2. fritz says:

    On page 6, Getting to hornet section, isnt going left then down from Cornifer ability locked? I’m trying to speedrun this game using this guide. thanks!

  3. Lee Cunningham says:

    This is an excellent, massively helpful walkthrough dude. It’s articulate, easy to follow, and is my default go to guide for when I’m stuck

    Much obliged for your putting in the effort in its preparation. I know that the front of house end result belays an awful lot of back office work that you no doubt sweated into this. You’ve done a top job



    – everygrainofsand –

  4. Dorotyhy little cat says:

    Great guide!! it really helped me solve all of the grueling puzzles! who knew the creatures were bugs!

  5. KyloRen23471 says:

    What about howling cliffs?

  6. KyloRen23471 says:

    I need help. I went to the store in dirtmouth after being at the seers house. I accidentally fell in and got the dream nail on accident. I was traversing through crystal peak when i fell in. I would like to know if i can get back without the tram pass because i dont have that. Also the map wasnt in cornifers shop.

    • Jogamy says:

      in section 10 of the guide it has discription on how to get to the resting grounds and you should find a card here that says cornifer left after that you will be able to buy the map at dirtmouth

  7. KyloRen23471 says:

    How do i get to the other area in city of tears? In the other area to the northwestern bench. There is a little corridor and it has just a block and the leaver on the other side. OR how do i get to the area past where you meet hornet?

  8. sleepy_birdie says:

    “Uumuu only takes damage after being deflated by (name?) an ally who appears during the fight.”

    Quirrel! You make it sound like you haven’t played the game for enjoyment, there are so many places you talk to him!

  9. sleepy_birdie says:

    “This black substance blocks access to certain areas and must be passed through in order to access the final mask.”

    What? That’s not true; I broke all three masks before getting the shade cloak 🙂 There’s a way into Fog Canyon from Fungal Wastes that puts you on the other side of the inky wall thing, Cornifer even comments on having found a way around. That wasn’t just to explain his presence there, you can find it too.

  10. Alex says:

    Thanks for the guide – I’ve tried to avoid using it other than as a pointer for the next general direction to head. I’m 26 hours in, and just heading towards the second mask in Deepnest. So far the Watcher Knights have been the biggest pain in the ass, but I’m currently getting owned by a dream essence fighter thing I stumbled across in Deepnest (not on your map, but it’s near one of the blue glowing bulb things that gives you extra blue hearts). Such an awesome game.

  11. CoolKid says:

    Fuck the Mantis Village

  12. Kat says:

    I have a question, on this guide it says to backtrack to where Hornet was. But there is a passage right above where you get the mantis claw, are you supposed to go there?

  13. war says:

    strange, queen’s garden is not in the guide ….

  14. someone_who_wants_to_know_this: says:

    How do you get to that bench in the picture? I cant find a way there.

  15. Octo Knight says:

    How do you get out of the soul master area after defeating him?

  16. Henry says:

    Hi, I am loving the guide. I am on page 12 and I can’t understand how to follow the map to Isma’s Tear. I am on the passage from King’s Station, the one with the broken elevator down below, and can’t find any opening on walls to follow the path on your map. If anybody could help me..

  17. Headclass says:

    Hello, in the guide number 14, you tell us to go for the first bench in the deepnest. However, the area is blocked. There is no way to go there. What should I do?

  18. Konrad says:

    First of all, congratz on a great guide. It helps a lot! I have a question about King’s station stagway. I managed to get there but there’s a bench broken and bell on a ground with no possibilty to activate it. I went far right but I gotto Kingdom’s edge. Did I miss something?

  19. wratih9 says:

    Great job on the guide! I’ve dropped 15 hours into Hollow Knight and the lack of pointing you in the right direction has made the challenge only harder. I’m fighting Soul Master now even though I’ve completed the Royal Waterways, Deepnest, and have explored a lot of the map. I think at just glancing at the order that your guide has the areas will make it much more manageable.

  20. quanta says:

    Great guide. Simple, easy to understand and it allows to head in the right direction while leaving 90% of the content unspoiled for the user to discover. Thank you so much!

  21. Luigi says:

    Cornifer can appear in two locations in Deepnest, one where you said, and one near the entrance from the mantis lords.

  22. Kingdu says:

    Great guide. I use it to navigate workout wasting time in the wrong place, but in between each page I explore and test out my new ability or buy more charms. What a fantastic game.

  23. slightlyfermented says:

    Hey man. Just bought this game on Switch and LOVING it. Admittedly I’m more of a casual gamer so guides like these are super helpful. I love your hand-drawn notes. Some guide-writers tend to over-complicate things but I really appreciate that this walkthrough is so super simple and easy to follow. Thanks again and keep up the awesome work.

  24. FishyFish_TML_ says:

    I love how you read “kill hornet#2” or “kill watcher knights” it sounds soo easy…
    Till you get to the bosses and you rage over them.
    (Tip: You can skip Watcher Knights and come back for them later after you get the void dash thingy)

  25. allie says:

    I cant get the simple key?? how do I get into the waterways if ive i already bought the key and used it to open jiji’s cave? its not for sale anymore and apparently i dont have it :///

  26. Isuckatmetroidvania says:

    How do get to the bench right before the mantis lords? I’m getting sick of trudging all the way back from the first bench.

  27. FrogMan says:

    Flukemarm is incredibly easy with the 3rd (channeled) nail upgrade.

  28. Jam says:

    Getting the Pale Ore is not possible. There are spikes everywhere in the area near it.

  29. Lachlan says:

    Flukemarm can be stupendously easily beaten using the desolate dive above it. I just tried it as a fluke and it beat the boss in probably 3 seconds

  30. CoffeeAddict says:

    I’m a little confused on page 12.. I’m trying to get Isma’s Tear, but I can’t figure out how to get into her grove. I’m at the bit where there’s the sign that reads “Only those who prove their honour through combat may enter the grove beyond.” above the acid pool. How do I get in?

  31. Brad says:

    when you go back to the city of tears to fight the watcher knights, there is this picture of a way to break a chandelier and reduce the number of them… i can’t seem to find that area.

    • enricofairme says:

      Right before you enter the Watcher Knight’s room, there is a breakable wall directly above the entrance to the boss arena. Break it to reveal a small area with the chandelier chain.

  32. MWH says:

    hello, after defeating the broken vessel the area of the false knight became blocked by the infection blobs, any idea if this area will be accessible later in the game? I wish there was a warning in the walkthrough about it prior to the fight.

  33. TheDorkLord says:

    I dealt with Herrah first, but now I’m stuck in her area, once you beat her, how do you leave?

  34. Patrick Sutherland says:

    Maybe I just haven’t noticed something obvious but I have no idea how to get to mantis village or even the entrance to city of tears from the fungal wastes, I’m stuck in an area with bouncy purple mushrooms and every walk through I’ve seen people have jumped really high on the but whenever I jump on them I don’t go high enough and can’t get from fungal wastes to the lower areas like city of tears, hopefully someone can help.

  35. Richard says:

    One quick correction: On page 14, you show dropping only down to the rectangular room with the centipedes, then immediately going left to the bench room. However, the first time you go to the area, that way is blocked – you can just go into the very edge of the room and you seem to be at a dead end. So instead you have to drop all the way to the spring, go left a big and climb back up to get to that bench. Once you get there you can go to the ‘blockage’ and a bit of floor will collapse, opening up the previously blocked passage.

  36. Rayven says:

    Page 7: For me, Cornifer is behind the black barrier in Fog Canyon, and not in the alcove in Fungal Wastes. How do I get to him?

  37. Jacob says:

    This was great! I tried to use it as little as possible for that “into the unknown” vibe, but it truly did help with the moments where I sat there thinking “Where the hell do I go now?”

  38. KKv says:

    wow,,,,this guide is priceless for person like me; beginner of hollow knight…
    I salute your effort to create this awesome guide! Keep it up man.

  39. huan says:

    good guide it was helpful for me to get thru the game , but i gain access to the third mask before going to deep nest , and beat the final boss

  40. Ririsu says:

    If you see in the boss fight the left area with the wood, if you hit it 4-6 times you can escape to the other side,and come back around to fight the boss with VS(Vengeful spirit),and if you beat him to collect the chest come back quickly to see the mallet/ball at the end of his mace run away, i didn’t get to kill it but if anyone does please get back to me, this is my second run and i don’t wanna start a 3rd one, the only reason i’m doing it again is because i killed Marissa ;-;…. I realized how big of a mistake that was…. and thanks to whoever made this walk through, You helped so much, hope my VS tip helped

  41. edgar says:

    I ahve a problem in page 8, I used the key in other palce, so I don’t have key and I can’t access the Royal Waterways. What do?

  42. Mikuru says:

    You don’t actually need the Shade Cloak to reach Teacher’s Archives. There’s an alternate way in that only requires Isma’s Tear.

  43. Dirtyleaf says:

    utilize downward dive and spell charms and its a piece of cake

  44. Chao says:

    thx for your guide. but the room for crystal heart is so dark and I can barely see the surroundings, and fell off the abyss quite often. No other ways to light up the path?

  45. Joe says:

    You guys rock! This guide was SUPER handy and I ended up using it for most of my run, though I was at 61% complete with the game when I finished.

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