Hollow Knight: Trial Of The Fool Guide

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  • How To Begin The Trial And What To Expect From Its Waves
  • Extra Tips & Tricks

The third and final trial within the Colosseum Of Fools, the Trial Of The Fool, might just be one of the hardest things to do in Hollow Knight. It is an onslaught of tough enemies and obstacles that even the best players may struggle with. At times, it's borderline unfair how tough this trial gets. Considering the paltry reward you receive at the end, it may not even be worth doing at all.

However, this guide is for all the fools out there who dare to attempt this trial. This guide is here to tell you what you should expect and how you might be able to survive. So no more fooling around, let's try to make it out of the Trial Of The Fool in one piece.

How To Begin The Trial And What To Expect From Its Waves

As with the other two trials, there is a banner you can walk over to place your mark and initiate the trial. It'll cause 800 geo to begin it and you should be prepared for a very stressful series of encounters.

There are 17 waves of brutality within the Trial Of The Fool. Here's the layout of each of these waves. May god have mercy on your soul.

First Wave

The Trial Of The Fool starts off rather innocuously with a Heavy Fool and a Shielded Fool. Two Armored Squits will spawn next, followed by a pair of Shielded Fools and a Primal Aspid. This wave will conclude with two Winged Fools and two Sharp Baldurs. Nothing too strenuous yet as any Hollow Knight vet will have faced off against a series of enemies like this before. Prioritize the flying enemies and make some space between enemies if you need to heal.

Second Wave

Platforms will rise up and a pair of Sturdy Fools along with a Primal Aspid will appear. Don't bother with the Fools as spikes will soon pop up out of the ground and kill them. Focus on the Aspid and await the next wave.

Third Wave

The ceiling will slightly lower and three Battle Obbles and a Winged Fool will spawn. Take out the fool and stay out of the path of the Obbles' projectiles. After they're all dead, two Furious Vengeflies will arrive. They're not very tough, but they do explode after they die. Kill one Vengefly at a time and be sure to stay clear of their explosive corpses.

Fourth Wave

The platforms and spikes lower back into the ground and a pair of Heavy Fools spawn. Don't engage with them as a series of Belflies will start swooping in and exploding. They'll likely end up killing both of the Fools, so just cling to the walls and watch the fireworks.

Fifth Wave

The next few waves involve Death Loodles, which are more deadly than their silly name implies. They jump around the arena and can leap at you rather quickly from the walls. For the most part, they're pretty slow, so just whack them with your nail as they spawn and try not to get surrounded. You'll face a trio of them in this wave to start.

Sixth Wave

Platforms rise up once again and five Death Loodles appear. Avoid their attacks and take them all out quickly.

Seventh Wave

Just another three Death Loodles. Kill them as soon as they spawn.

Eighth Wave

Four small, stacked platforms rise up along with spikes. You'll now be treated to several flying enemies spawning in. Each time you kill one, another one will come in to replace it. First, there are two Armored Squits, then three Primal Aspids, and a Winged Fool. Try not to stay in the middle of these platforms as that's a good way to get trapped between baddies.

After they're all dealt with, four Garpedes will move across the arena taking up the space between each of the platforms. These aren't really enemies as they can't be damaged. They're just giant obstacles for you to avoid. Once you've gotten past one of them, that platform should be safe for you to stand on for a bit, which will give you a chance to heal if you need it (and you probably will need it.) When the Garpedes are gone, one more Winged Fool and a pair of Armored Squits will fly in.

Ninth Wave

Now get ready to fight a whole lot of enemies. The wave begins with a trio consisting of a Shielded Fool, Heavy Fool, and Primal Aspid. Once you kill one of them, another enemy spawns in. You'll then have to fight a Mantis Traitor, who can be a pain since they move fast and have leaping attacks. Then a flying Mantis Petra will spawn, who will fire a spinning blade that acts like a boomerang. You'll then encounter two Mantis Petras and a Mantis Traitor, followed by a Mantis Petra and a Heavy Fool.

Then things start to get wild as two Soul Twisters materialize. They'll start teleporting around and throwing projectiles at you. Once they've been swatted out of the air, three Mistakes will pop up out of the ground, but they're fairly useless so that shouldn't be an issue.

Keep an eye on the area above you as a Soul Warrior will warp in and try to land on your head. This guy will keep teleporting and trying to hit you with ground pound and side-swiping sword attacks. If you get too far away from it, it'll throw projectiles too. The Soul Warrior will also summon a ghostlike Folly – which is like a flying variant of the Mistake enemy – every so often to mess with you. Stay on your toes and keep dashing away from the Soul Warrior's attacks as much as possible.

Tenth Wave

More platforms and spikes come out of the ground. The first enemy will be a Volt Twister, who will create patches of electricity that appear wherever you're standing. It doesn't do much besides that, so just attack it when it's not conjuring lightning and avoid getting shocked or landing on the spikes. After it's defeated, a Soul Twister will spawn, followed by two more Volt Twisters and another Soul Twister.

Eleventh Wave

The spikes and platforms retract and you'll fight a Soul Twister and a Soul Warrior. Kill the Twister first.

Twelfth Wave

The walls will now close in on you. At first, this doesn't seem so bad as you just have to fight a Winged Fool and a Sturdy Fool. Things quickly start to heat up as two Lesser Mawleks show up. These guys can be tough as they move fast and spit orange globs of infection at you. As soon as they spawn in start swiping them with your nail. After the first pair of Mawleks, another pair will spawn along with a Winged Fool.

The worst part of this wave is at the end when a Brooding Mawlek enters the fray. This is a bigger, taller version of the Lesser Mawlek that has a whole bunch of attacks. He'll spit more globs, swipe at you with its claws if you get too close – which is likely to happen due to the lack of room – and will leap in the air and try to land on you. He'll also spit out multiple globs all at once that are almost impossible to dodge unless you dash through it with the Shade Cloak. Keep dashing and try to keep your distance.

Thirteenth Wave

Initially, this next wave seems really unfair as the walls completely close in leaving you no space to move as a Garpede starts to come at you from above. Thankfully, this game isn't that cheap, and the walls will retract a bit to let you dodge the giant bug. You'll then have to dodge multiple Garpedes that come down at you from the ceiling. This part of the wave is pretty much an obstacle course where you just have to avoid the Garpedes.

Fourteenth Wave

Welcome to the hardest wave in the entire trial and possibly one of the hardest battles to survive in the whole game. The walls will slightly retract and spikes will rise up out of the floor. You now have nothing to stand on, so hopefully, you'll have healed up before this wave. The only way to not land on the spikes is to cling to the walls for dear life. And now, here comes a wave of flying enemies.

You'll now fight a Winged Fool and two Armored Squits, followed by an Armored Squit and a Primal Aspid, then an Armored Squit and a Mantis Petra, then four Battle Obbles, and finally, a pair of Winged Fools. Spells can be quite handy here as you won't be able to heal anyway so you might as well use your soul. Other than that, all you can do is nail jump on these enemies. Be careful not to waste your dashes and double jumps or you'll end up on the spikes.

Fifteenth Wave

As if that last wave wasn't enough of a nightmare, the ceiling will now lower to give you even less room. There are only two Armored Squits to fight, but even that is a challenge with this enclosed space.

Sixteenth Wave

Mercifully, the walls and ceiling recede and platforms appear. So by default, this wave is much easier than the two that preceded it. However, you still have to fight 14 Death Loodles at once, so it's not like it's a walk in the park. But if you just stay on the platforms and avoid their attacks, most of these guys will wind up killing themselves on the spikes below.

Final Wave

Everything is back to normal, so no more spikes or platforms. Now, get ready to fight a smorgasbord of bad guys.

Throughout this wave, you'll encounter enemies in this order: a Heavy Fool and a Sturdy Fool, a Mantis Traitor, a Winged Fool, a Mantis Petra and a Shielded Fool, a Soul Twister, another Shielded Fool, a Volt Twister and a Heavy Fool, a pair of Armored Squits and a pair of Sharp Baldurs, a group consisting of a Heavy Fool, Winged Fool, and Shielded Fool, and a final Sturdy Fool.

There's one last enemy to deal with, and wouldn't you know it, it's a boss fight. This is God Tamer, a warrior who rides into battle atop a slug-like beast. The God Tamer isn't too bad as their attacks mostly involve leaping in the air trying to hit you with their lance. The real problem is the beast who spits multiple orange globs of infection and then curls into a ball, rolls toward you, and bounces off the wall and tries to land on top of you. While the God Tamer is an easy target, if you focus all your attacks on the beast and slay it, the God Tamer will simply give up allowing you finally complete the Trial Of The Fool.

Extra Tips & Tricks

This trial is something you should attempt close to the end of the game. Before you begin to even think about trying this trial, you should have all the nail upgrades and nail arts, along with as many mask shards, vessel fragments, charm notches, and charms as you can find. You want as much health and soul as possible. You should also have every ability and spell available. At the bare minimum, you should have the Monarch Wings and the Shade Cloak.

Some good charms to equip include Mark Of Pride and Longnail as being able to strike enemies like the Brooding Mawlek from a distance will make your life easier. These are also good during Wave 14 and 15 as they'll give your nail jump attacks extra range. Quick Focus can help you heal faster and Hiveblood can passively heal you when you don't have a chance. Charms that help you gather soul like Grubsong and Soul Catcher can make sure you have enough soul to heal and use spells. If you are going to use spells, equip Spell Twister to reduce their cost.

Heal as much as possible during the lulls between waves. If you keep easily dodgeable enemies like Shielded Fools and Sharp Baldurs alive at the end of a wave, it will delay the arrival of the next batch of baddies and should give you enough time to recover health. Definitely make sure to heal before Wave 14 starts as you won't get an opportunity while the spikes are up.

As for the reward you receive for completing the Trial Of The Fool, you'll get around 3000 geo and the Fool achievement. That's it. No other items or anything, just some money and proof that you were foolhardy enough to beat this. But hey, you're now among the most elite of Hollow Knight players, and you've got the achievement to prove it.

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