On the Forgotten Crossroads bench in the Hollow Knight game, a little bug named

Elden Ring gave me confidence in 100% Hollow Knight

I didn’t hit Hollow Knight On my first playthrough of 2018. I’m not even close. I’ve never tried fighting a dreamer, and barely passed some warrior’s dream fight, let alone the slain boss’ dream spike variant. I dozed off in Deepnest thanks to a persistent fear of spiders that kept me screaming and dropping the Switch like a hot potato. I was completely lost (and utterly disgusted) fighting the giant, grunting royal waterway boss Flukemarm, and ended up quitting the game entirely.

But I can’t stop thinking about my time in Hallownest – the sad little bugs and their shabby kingdoms, Myla’s haunting mining songs, or Bretta’s sweet blush.After 30 hours, I declared Hollow Knight One of my favorite games and being the one who won’t shut up. (Writing this is my confession.) I can come back to it anytime, I tell myself. but I do not have.Instead, I put the game on hold for four years – until Eldon Ringand its extensive online community, finally inspired me to choose it again.

Image: Team Cherry via Polygon

I’m generally an exploratory, puzzling, and platforming video game lover. While other Metroidvanias may allow players to double attack frequently, Hollow KnightThe interwoven area of ​​​​creates the impression of a constant forward, even circuitous movement. I became obsessed with all kinds of hidden entryways. The boss is very excited. Defeating them will get great rewards like entering new territories or adding new charms to my collection. But they also freak me out, so I tend to keep the optional boss. Given the game’s intimidating reputation, I don’t feel like I can really beat them – I’m content to simply enjoy the graceful dance of Mantis Lord’s attacks, while accepting the fact that I’m being outdone.

I mostly galloped through areas listening to maggots and updating my ever-growing map at will. I would try to avoid parts as much as possible, avoiding the need for healing instead of collecting souls (the game’s version of mana, for healing or spellcasting). A typical combat attempt goes something like this: Go back to the Soul Temple and awaken the Soul Master with my trusty Dream Nail. Fights are really bad. Trek to the nearest bench to try another glamour loadout, hampered by my relatively limited collection. continue.I played that way at first Eldon Ring. Explore first, then fight. I missed Stormveil Castle as I ran around the perimeter, headed straight for Lournia in the lake, through a shower of giant lobsters, and fell into the hands of death’s love.

All the while, the enemies of the game have had a strange attraction to me. Of course, I need to fight them to get runes and upgrades – but I also noticed how these creatures fit into the game’s storyline. Dealing with bosses reveals more of the world’s dense, otherwise incomprehensible lore. The Reddit community makes me think I can beat them (though probably not Malenia) if I find the right weapon and fiddle with the right build. In the subreddit, players discussed bleed builds and rune planting. I expanded my horizons beyond the Glintstone Pebble and upgraded my Spirit Ashes.

Ultimately beating Margit was the biggest driving force: I Can do, I Will Do it again with the next boss.Each successive enemy gave me some interesting lore and storytelling tidbits and I started to fall in love Eldon RingA large group of terrifying weirdos. It takes research and elbow grease, but it’s possible. So I reviewed some other boss games that I had avoided for a while – and one of them immediately rose to the top of the stack. I decided it was time to consider going back to my favorite Metroidvania for a second shoot.See fan descriptions on Reddit Hollow Knight Being a “soul-like” will only strengthen my resolve.

A little bug, Knight, is talking to a mosquito named Cornifer who is marking the map.  Cornifer said:

Image: Team Cherry via Polygon

I plunged headlong into Hallownest.Hearing Iselda for the first time Well, Papanada It feels like a warm blanket. I decided then that I wasn’t going to simply look around every corner of the game map – I was going to kill every boss (respectfully, of course). To be successful, I needed to change my approach and use different charms and nail upgrades. I decided optimistically that I would try a 100% run (though maybe not 106% or 112%, which might be achieved by playing to a certain ending and DLC) just to have a specific goal.

I don’t know if there is Eldon Ring Improved my skills. If anything, years of platforming have helped me hone the sharp knife of observation and pattern recognition. For the most part, the game gave me the stubborn stubbornness and sheer rage of trying, dying after death. How many times am I going to watch this guy tear off the dragon’s head and put it on his arm? I’ve heard people say FromSoftware games help them build patience, but that’s not the case for me. most, Eldon Ring Turned me into someone who could find humor in fear, no matter how terrifying – lest I despair from being repeatedly stabbed by a bird.

Eldon Ring teach me to play Hollow Knight be more strategic. It starts with little things like sticking to my scarab marker color-coding system, finding charms and upgrades in every inch of the map, and really adapting to various boss fights. This time around, I know deepnest’s creepy crawler is to be expected.and after 80 hours Eldon RingI was able to find bumpy humor in the area’s hidden bosses, with their disarming jumps and jumps.

A little bug, Knight, looked at a larger bug—a cicada with a hood on its head—named Bu. Bo said,

Image: Team Cherry via Polygon

I also refuse to be intimidated – I’ve lost thousands of runes Eldon Ringand Hollow KnightThe geographic “currency” feels much lower. I tracked down every Dream Nail boss variant and went to the White House.I gave the Geo to the banker Milllibelle (if you know, you Know), learn about Sly’s backstory, fight the Collector, and find the Deer’s Nest. I stumbled upon Overwatch Knights by accident – I wouldn’t recommend this – and spent half a day trying to take them out. Each of these characters opens up more world lore. Searching the game’s map helped me uncover more secrets. In my first game, I barely explored the Abyss or the Queen’s Garden – this time, I witnessed my own origin story and the end of Cloth’s story.

Playing these games side-by-side gave me a new appreciation for the richness of their worlds and the twisted elegance of their boss designs. I’ve probably always been motivated primarily by exploration, but I now look forward to boss fights rather than being afraid of them – victory pays off in satisfaction and storytelling. I searched the subreddit for a tiered ranking of boss difficulty, and I giggled when I saw Primal Aspids in the “Primal ASSpid” column and Zote in his own “Zote” tier. I try to let that excitement inspire me to do the rest: The Colosseum’s Trial of Fools, the Path of Pain – and maybe one day, the House of Gods and the Grimm Troupe. I don’t know if I’ll beat them, but that won’t stop me from trying.

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