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!


Starting the site back in 2016, Eli has poured blood, sweat and tears into making HtR a premiere spot for neckbeards and nerds alike.

83 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 ….

    • CueWasTaken says:

      queen’s garden is a completely optional part of the game is probably why, this guide isn’t for a 100% completion so it makes sense that its ignored

  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?

    • Headclass says:

      I’m sorry, I meant guide number 13

      • QQxwQQ says:

        For everyone wondering what to do. This seems to be a mistake.

        You can go down to the other bench and then transition one screen to the left and and then go up.
        This way you can reach the bench and follow up the route in the guide.

        • Zarya Stark says:

          Thanks for this! Was wondering what I was doing wrong. Nearly died two times trying to backtrack to find a path to that bench x_x

  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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *