Hollow Knight – How to beat NKG (Nightmare King Grimm)

Hollow Knight – How to beat NKG 11 - steamlists.com
Hollow Knight – How to beat NKG 11 - steamlists.com
So, NKG is a hard boss, but he is fun.
It’s been a while since I made my last guide, I managed to get all of hollow knight’s achievements, which means I beat the Pantheon of Hallownest now.
Second guide I’ve ever made, don’t expect much quality.
If there’s any particular boss yall would like me to do next, use the comments.
Like if you like, dislike if you disliked.


Who is NKG?

NKG is a short name for Nightmare King Grimm.
You unlock him by completing the Grimm Troupe ritualHollow Knight - How to beat NKG

My favorite boss in the game, I even beat him on radiant charmless.
Unlike my AbsRad guide, I won’t be doing phase to phase explanations because nkg doesn’t have those, unless you count each stagger as a different phase.
Instead, I’ll be doing the general attacks and the stagger stuff (for that I count the actual stagger and the pufferfish attack).


Nkg has the same attacks as regular Grimm with only 1 new attack (which are the fire pillars), but his attacks are faster and deal double damage.


Dash burn is how I will be calling the attack where Nkg stands at a place, flashes his cloak, dashes towards you, goes up and disperses into flames.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
There are 3 ways of avoiding the dash and 1 easy way to dodge the fire.
1. Dash away from him, running away from your problems solves them.
2. Jump.If you are skilled enough you can pogo on him too I guess.
3. Shadow dash trough him.
To dodge the flames you have to try staying near him while he disperses into fire. If you stay to his left or right side, but not right below him.

But Lemon, he steps back if you dash towards him and dashes before the shadow dash can recharge. How is that supposed to work?
Well, it’s all about experience.
When nkg shows his cloak, he shakes his hand, move towards him the tiniest bit or not at all then dash when he shakes his hand 2-3 times. You should be able to dash through him at the same time he is dashing through you.

How I suggest dealing damage: Spam your nail at him once you dash through by dashing to him after you’ve dashed through him, or do the same thing but using a nail arts.


Descending flame is how I call the attack where Grimm spawns in the air, dashes to the ground towards you, then dashes in the orientation you are in, all while leaving a flame behind him.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
I suggest not being right below him and jumping and doing a double jump when he lands. Again, 3 possible things to do afterwards.
1. Dash away, again… Running away from your problems solves them.
2. Try to pogo on him.
3. Instead of double jumping when he lands, do a descending dark.

How I suggest dealing damage: Don’t. Or do a pogo or the descending dark trick.


The attack where Grimm stands in one place sending 4 bats at you, they go up, down, up, down. If you dash through him he’ll teleport to the other side and send 2 bats that go in a circular shape crossing through each-other.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
Jump just above the first bat and do a dash towards Grimm and you should be just in front of him. You can also just jump above each downward bat to be extra safe.

How I suggest dealing damage: If you do what I said for dodging you should be in front of nkg so… You can also start charging a nail art and release it when you do the dash towards him.


Grimm is levitating in one spot while 4 fire pillars spawn where you walk.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
I suggest you rapid tap your movement buttons while you move towards him. The pillars will spawn behind you. After the 4th one spawns you can rush to Grimm and do what you want there.

How I suggest dealing damage: Once you get below Grimm you can slash him as much as you want or Abyss Shriek him.


Little cloth sapling looking things will sprout from the ground and from them a giant spike will rise.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
Just…. react to where they are and move to where there aren’t saps.

How I suggest dealing damage: You can’t.

The staggers

I count both NKG’s actual stagger and his pufferfish attack as staggers because unlike regular Grimm, that attack only happens when he’s at 75%, 50% and 25% hp (from what I know).


This is the attack where he turns into a pufferfish and it becomes a bullet hell.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
You only need to worry about the fireball that is on your height. If there’s none there, just don’t jump. If there’s a ball there and a gap above it, do a short jump. If there’s a ball there and above it, do a full jump. Only double jump if you think it would somehow save you.

How would I suggest for you to do damage? Well, during the pufferfish attack he is immune to nail attacks but still gets hurt by spells.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG

Both regular shade soul and flukenest work.


When you slice him enough times he’ll turn into a bunch of bats, one of which is glowing red.

Hollow Knight - How to beat NKG
This is a perfect time to heal. You can also attack the glowing bat which will damage nkg.

Charms and etc.


Recommended charms: Strength, Heart, Nailmaster’s Glory, Shaman Stone, Mark of Pride, Quick Slash, Soul Catcher, Soul Eater, Shape of Unn, Quick Focus, Sharp Shadow.

You should also use Grimmchild if it’s not Godhome.

Recommended charms per attack:
Dash burn – Sharp Shadow (you’ll be dashing through him a lot during this attack), Quick Slash (once you dash to him and don’t plan to use a nail art, this will help you), Nailmaster’s Glory (speeds up charging a nail art).
Descending flame – Shaman stone (if you do the descending dark trick, this should help you), Mark of Pride/Longnail (it makes pogoing on nkg easier)
Bats – Nailmaster’s Glory/Quick Slash based on which you plan to use
Fire pillars – Shaman stone (makes Abyss shriek stronger), Shape of Unn (it makes the attack into “safe” healing time)
Spikes – Shape of Unn (you can move out of the way while healing)
Pufferfish – Stalwart Shell (you can get some good i-frames if you do get hit), any spell charm (good if you plan on attacking him during this phase)

I think I did a decent job at least at explaining this. Enjoy the next guide which will come out in like….
The last guide came out a few months ago so I guess the next guide comes out in Summer or sooner. Or it will be like Half Life 3 and just never come out.

Written by Lemon, Wack

This is all about Hollow Knight – How to beat NKG; I hope you enjoy reading the Guide! If you feel like we should add more information or we forget/mistake, please let us know via commenting below, and thanks! See you soon!

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