Royal Waterways is a Location in Hollow Knight. Please see Walkthrough for other areas. The Royal Waterways is a location filled with sewage pipes and support structures that are underneath the City of Tears. Mutated bugs can be found inhabiting the area.


General Information


Video Walkthrough

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NPCs in the area



Materials & Consumables

  • N/A

Equipment & Upgrades

Key Items

  • Godtuner



Royal Waterways Walkthrough

Getting into the Royal Waterways

To get into the Royal Waterways, head to the east side of the City of Tears from the Memorial of the Hollow Knight. You'll need a Simple Key to unlock the hatch below that leads into the waterways - you can find a Simple Key near the Stag Station at the east side of the City of Tears or by visiting Sly's shop in Dirtmouth and purchasing it for 950 Geo, take note that you'll also be needing the Lumafly Lantern to further explore the area which can also be bought from Sly for 1800 Geo. 

Find a Bench and Cornifer

Upon arriving at the Royal Waterways, head west towards the path where you'll encounter a new enemy, 2x Pilflip. Fight your way through and continue west and into the next section - you should notice a sign of a bench that is on your right before entering the next section indicating you're on the right path. From here, drop down then use Desolate Dive to break the floor which will take you all the way down to a bench. Use it to save your game and update your map.

From here you'll want to walk to the right side of the bench to break the wall which will open up a shortcut. When you're done, head back up until you reach the Bench sign that is written on the wall then head across to the left where you'll encounter a Belfly. At the edge, drop down into the water and swim to the wall to your right. You can break the wall to discover a secret room that has a Grub that you can rescue.

After rescuing the Grub, climb back up then continue going west by using the platforms and avoiding the new enemies floating called a Hwurmp. Be cautious when avoiding it and try not to attack it since it will inflate like a blowfish once it is attacked and hits onto a surface or another enemy making them dangerous and difficult to avoid when there's multiple of them floating around - you'll notice that there will be a trail of paper on the ground, follow it into the next section where you'll encounter yet another new enemy called a Flukemon. Be careful when dealing with this enemy, since upon killing it, it will cut into half where the top part will attack you and upon killing it, the other half will also jump in for an attack.

Upon entering the next section, you'll still need to follow the trail of paper which will take you into the next room which is to your left. You can find a Soul Totem to regain SOUL which is at the top left-hand side of the room just before entering the next section.

Once you've reached the room at the far left, you'll hear Cornifer humming. As you continue forward, the gates will close and you'll need to kill all the Hwurmp floating around for the gates to re-open. When the gates are open, climb up to the middle platform, flip the switch above you to unlock the door at the bottom left that opens up the path that leads back to the Fungal Wastes, then continue going up to find Cornifer - you can purchase a copy of the map for 75 Geo.

Acquire a Mask Shard

From Cornifer's location, you'll want to walk to your right until you come across a floor that will break that takes you back into the previous section. Upon heading back, take a detour and head up to the top left to find a cache of Geo. After collecting the geo, jump down into the water then swim to your left where you'll find a secret room that contains 1x Mask Shard. Now, you'll want to head back to the bench and head towards a path leading to the first boss that you'll encounter in this area.

Finding the Flukemarm

From the bench, drop down into the opening to your left where you'll encounter a Flukefey and Flukemon. After killing the enemies, walk onto the floor just near where you fell through to find a breakable floor, use Desolate Dive to open up a path to another area below.  Upon arriving, you'll want to drop down one level, head left into the water, then right into a pit with more Flukefey and Flukemon enemies.

Continue going east until you encounter a Belfly alongside the Flukefey and Flukemon enemies, from here, you'll want to drop down into the bottom part of the room then go west towards a narrow path that has some worms sticking out of the floor and ceiling. You'll want to follow the path until you reach a high wall which can be destroyed to open up a secret passage that leads into the lair of the Flukemarm - before entering, you can replenish your SOUL by hitting the small worms with The Nail.

Boss Battle, Flukemarm

Upon arriving, you'll notice the Flukemarm hanging in the middle of the arena filled with elevated platforms. To start the battle, you'll have to attack it with The Nail or a spell. The Flukemarm only has one attack which is shooting out multiple Flukefey that aggressively attacks you once you're within its radius. You can click here to learn more about the strategies on how to defeat this boss. Upon defeat, the Flukemarm drops the Flukenest charm which transforms the effect of the Vengeful Spirit spell into a horde of volatile baby flukes. Now, we'll have to find the main boss to unlock a sub-area in the Royal Waterways which is the next location called Isma's Grove - retrace your steps back to the tilted bench and save the game.

Finding the Dung Defender

To find the Dung Defender, you'll have to head at the far east side of the room where the tilted bench is. From the bench, you'll want to drop down into the path to your left then go east while fighting your way through the Flukefey and Flukemon enemies. Eventually, you'll come across a small pit with water where you'll swim into to get across and then a path that is filled with dung - you'll know when he's close by once you hear him shouting. Just follow the path and his voice until you reach his arena, the gates will close once you're inside then the ground will start to shake and the Dung Defender will appear which prompts the start of the battle.

Boss Battle, Dung Defender

A couple of notes to remind you of, first, the Dung Defender's health ranges from 700 - 900 HP depending on the type of Nail you have upgraded it into. Second, he has three attacks and one defensive tactic, and finally, he has two phases where he enters into a state of frenzy in phase two. You can click here to learn more about the strategies on how to defeat this boss - upon defeating the Dung Defender, he drops the Defender's Crest charm as a reward and also grants you access to the switch that unlocks the path to Isma's Grove.

From the Dung Defender's arena, head into the room to your right to find a huge lever. Flip it to drain the acid water from the entrance of Isma's Grove which will now allow you to reach that area. There is also a breakable wall to your right that opens up a path that will take you to a busted lift that connects between the City of Tears and the Ancient Basin. For now, we'll need to drain the acid water and head to Isma's Grove.



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Click on the image to enlarge the map.

Trivia & Notes:

Trivia and notes go here


Hollow Knight Locations List
Ancestral Mound  ♦  Ancient Basin  ♦  Birthplace  ♦  City of Tears  ♦  Colosseum of Fools  ♦  Crystal Peak  ♦  Crystalised Mound  ♦  Deepnest  ♦  Dirtmouth  ♦  Fog Canyon  ♦  Forgotten Crossroads  ♦  Fungal Wastes  ♦  Godhome  ♦  Greenpath  ♦  Hallownest  ♦  Howling Cliffs  ♦  Isma's Grove  ♦  King's Pass  ♦  Kingdom's Edge  ♦  Mantis Village  ♦  Queen's Gardens  ♦  Resting Grounds  ♦  Soul Sanctum  ♦  Teacher's Archives  ♦  Temple of the Black Egg  ♦  The Abyss  ♦  The Hive  ♦  Trial of the Conqueror  ♦  Trial of the Fool  ♦  Trial of the Warrior  ♦  White Palace

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    • Anonymous

      Flukmarm with just the Sharpened Nail... don't know if this is possible.If you can't oneshot the little mob, good luck.

      • Anonymous

        am i the only one that likes the royal waterways more than queens gardens..........yes?damn(i prefer waterways more cause queens gardens has the traitor mantis sub tribe.the traitor lord boss is good but the traitor mantis enemies are so annoying,for me at least.........i need to git gud

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