Broken Vessel is a Boss in Hollow Knight. Bosses are special Enemies that feature their own arena, a large amount of health, and a variety of unique moves and abilities. You will need to perform multiple attacks such as using The Nail and Nail Arts along with the Spells and Abilities in order to defeat them. Some bosses are capable of entering into a state of stagger after landing a number of attacks on them.
As soon as you encounter a boss, its name will appear on the screen, the music will change into a boss battle theme, and usually, paths connecting the arena will close or will be blocked leaving you no choice but to face these devastating and unique foes.
Shattered corpse, reanimated by infected parasites.
The shape of this creature... I have seen something like it before. More than once, perhaps. It looks a little like the bugs of Hallownest, but not quite the same. Where did these empty little wanderers come from?
-Hunter's Journal entry on Broken Vessel
Broken Vessel Location
- Godhome (Mini-boss)
- Main Location: Ancient Basin, at the west end of the area.
- This boss is optional and does not need to be defeated to advance the story.
Broken Vessel Rewards
Broken Vessel Strategies
This boss is aggressive since most of the time it will lock onto The Knight, will have mix-ups with its attacks, and will most likely have most of the area spawned with annoying Infected Balloons. So the first thing to keep in mind is to have the right Charms, Spells, and Nail Arts equipped before heading into battle.
Charms: First you would want to consider having Quick Focus equipped as it will help you recover your health quickly while trying to avoid and close in for attacks. Second, having a defensive charm such as Thorns of Agony, Defender's Crest, or Spore Shroom will work so that you can inflict damage even when taking damage, by running and jumping inside the arena, or by using FOCUS. And finally, the Grubsong charm. Since it is most likely that you will take damage from its annoying spawn ability, it would be better to have the Grubsong charm equipped so that you can recover SOUL while taking damage.
Spells and Abilities: Whichever Spell you have acquired will help you with inflicting more damage on this boss. Spells like Vengeful Spirit or Shade Soul will definitely work with dealing damage from a distance especially if The Broken Vessel will perform an attack that requires it to channel or concentrate first. Desolate Dive is also a helpful spell where you can inflict damage while avoiding any projectile attack it has such as the constant spawn or releasing of Infected Balloons. And of course, the Mothwing Cloak or Shade Cloak ability will be your best friend in terms of constantly dashing and avoiding this boss' attacks. Note: if you are focused on using your Spells more rather than The Nail, make sure you have the Shaman Stone and Spell Twister charms equipped which will strengthen the damage of spells and reduce the SOUL cost of casting spells.
Melee Attacks: The Broken Vessel has an increased length of The Nail making it easier to inflict damage even from a distance. So having a charm equipped such as Longnail or Mark of Pride will make the battle fair, providing The Knight an increased range of the slash attack coming from The Nail.
Stagger: At some point, after landing a couple of attacks, you will hear a more prominent slash attack where it will cause the boss to stagger. The Broken Vessel will get knocked back and will become motionless with their head tilted back, allowing you to follow up with an even stronger attack. The Broken Vessel will recover from either not attacking after a brief moment or after hitting them with whichever attack you choose to do so.
Attacks & Counters
|Leap Attack||This attack is where the Broken Vessel will try to jump over and land on The Knight, dealing damage upon contact. Simply use Mothwing Cloak or Shade Cloak to avoid where it lands.|
|Aerial Dash Slash||The Broken Vessel will jump and charge mid-air and follow up with a dash attack with the Nail towards The Knight's direction. You can avoid this by composing yourself while it charges mid-air followed by jumping over it to perform a downward strike.|
|Overhead Attack||This attack is quite tricky as it will start up similar to a leap attack, the only difference is after charging in place, it will look up before it begins to attack. The Broken Vessel will stay in its position only to swing its Nail from left to right in an overhead direction for times. It's best to keep your distance and use ranged attacks to continuously deal damage.|
|Aerial Slam||While staying in a spot for a brief moment, The Broken Vessel will jump high on top of The Knight, stops, and will slam straight down onto the ground with its Nail following up with releasing four balloons of infection that will slowly float from underneath the ground. It's best to dash before it slams down, and following it up with attacking from above it to also avoid the floating projectiles.|
|Ground Dash Slash||Similar to the Aerial Dash Slash, instead of jumping, charging mid-air, and dashing to attack, The Broken Vessel will instead charge on the ground and will follow up with a dash attack with its weapon towards The Knight. You can simply keep your distance before jumping over it to counter it with a downward attack.|
|Spawn Ability||While The Broken Vessel keeps you busy with avoiding its attacks, it will also spawn Infected Balloons that will slowly float towards The Knight's direction. You will notice that it starts to spawn one when you see an orange goo start to form in the air, these beings will appear randomly at any point of the battle. It is recommended to prioritize taking these balloons out first before The Broken Vessel in order to focus on the greater threat.|
|Rapids of Infected Balloons||This attack consists of The Broken Vessel violently banging its head to release rapid waves of Infected Balloons. These balloons will come from underneath the ground and float into the air causing it to almost fill the area with these blobs. It is highly recommended to keep your distance and watch the movement of the balloons in order to avoid it.|
Broken Vessel Lore
The Broken Vessel was once a vessel just like The Knight who was created by The Pale King and The White Lady. There are many broken vessels that can be found in The Abyss. Vessels were created to perform one task, which is to contain The Infection, however, many vessels have failed and have perished or broken due to it being unpure to contain its power - in order to contain The Infection, the vessel must be pure, it must be completely hollow, which implies that a vessel must have been filled with the Void in order to be pure and hollow.
Upon encountering the Broken Vessel, it may seem like an ordinary corpse of a vessel with a broken head. But as soon as you walk in the arena, the path you walked in will close, the ground will start to shake and will be filled with dust, and Lightseeds will appear and will start to gather into the vessel's broken head that will soon become the Broken Vessel.
Once you've defeated the Broken Vessel, the large blob of infection blocking the next area at the right-hand side will unlock where you will find the Monarch Wings - the corpse of the Broken Vessel will remain on the ground where you can use the Dream Nail on to trigger a Dream Boss Battle, Lost Kin, another variant of the Broken Vessel.
Broken Vessel Notes & Trivia
- Defeating the Broken Vessel unlocks the "Release" Trophy/Achievement.