Bretta and Zote are NPCs in Hollow Knight that have very different personalities. Despite this, the two characters end up growing closer with each other more than any other two NPCs in the game. Here’s how you can follow their questline.
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You can initially find Bretta in Fungal Wastes. From the level’s southern-most bench, walk to the left and proceed to the next area in this direction. As soon as you enter the next room, you’ll immediately see Bretta, but you’ll be unable to reach her.
No matter. From here, start making your way down. Once you reach the very bottom, walk to the left and you’ll enter a secret area. Just make your way up from here. Then, you must navigate a series of narrow spaces that are filled with spike-laden walls. At the end of this path, you’ll arrive at Bretta’s location.
Interact with her once and she’ll thank you. You can simply leave her now, as she’ll find her own way back to Dirtmouth. You can find her there the next time you return to Dirtmouth yourself.
While in Dirtmouth after rescuing Bretta, you can either find her sitting at the bench or sleeping in her hut located to the right of Iselda and Cornifer’s. Head inside her hut to find a Mask Shard.
You first encounter Zote as you make your way to Hornet’s location in Greenpath, about to be eaten whole by the Vengefly King. Striking the Vengefly King will free Zote, knocking him unconscious. This will then trigger the mini-boss fight with the Vengefly King.
Although massive, the Vengefly King is an easy boss to beat. He’ll fly around the arena, dashing from left to right or the other way around. When he does this, jump up and nail-bounce on him. He’ll also occasionally summon little Vengeflies which can be taken care of swiftly.
Zote will awaken after you defeat this mini-boss. Hilariously, he’ll complain about being rescued, insisting he had things under control.
You can find Zote lingering in Dirtmouth after you rescue him in Greenpath. You’ll eventually come across him again in the City of Tears where he’ll introduce himself to you once more, completely forgetting his recent rescuer.
Rescuing Zote… Again
When you make your way to the central area of Deepnest, you’ll find Zote once again caught in spider webs. Similar to Bretta’s situation, you’ll be able to see Zote but he’ll be inaccessible to you. You can get to his location and free him by heading to the upper section of this room. Keep making your way up until you see an opening in the ceiling to the section above.
From here, walk to the left, and return to the section below by taking the entrance in the ground there. You’ll then arrive at a small arena where you’ll need to fight multiple Corpse Creepers. Once done, continue along this path and you’ll eventually find Zote, allowing you to rescue him once more.
Zote in the Colosseum of Fools
After rescuing Zote both times, you can then find him in the Colosseum of Fools. Surprise, surprise, you’ll find him here tied up and captured once again. You won’t have to free him here, though. What you’ll simply need to do is compete in the Trial of the Warrior and you’ll have the chance to “fight” him when you reach the end of the trial.
Zote deals no damage whatsoever and he’s shown to be very clumsy and inept when it comes to combat. Hit him a couple of times to defeat him.
Zote & Bretta
After rescuing both and defeating Zote in the Colosseum of Fools, you’ll find them speaking to each other in Dirtmouth.
Upon re-entering Bretta’s hut, you can then find a spot on the ground you can descend on. This leads to Bretta’s basement, where you’ll find a statue of Zote. Hitting the statue with your Dream Nail will send you to Bretta’s dream.
You’ll find a stronger variant of Zote here named Grey Prince Zote, apparently fueled by Bretta’s delusions of him. Bretta herself can also be found here, lying comfortably on a bed, surrounded by multiple Zotes, with one of them fanning her.
This time, not only can Zote actually damage you, but he is also way stronger, bigger, and faster than his original self.
Defeating Grey Prince Zote
A few of Grey Prince Zote’s attacks are reminiscent of the fumblings of original Zote’s movements. However, they’re more impactful and dangerous this time around. Take a look at Zote’s movesets and attacks, how you can avoid them, and how you can take advantage of them.
- Sword Flail – Zote will charge at you while flailing his nail in front of him. After persisting for about 3 to 4 seconds, he’ll drop to the ground, sending shockwaves hurling forward in both directions. The moment Zote flails towards you, jump and start nail-bouncing on him. When he drops, use Descending Dark to avoid getting damaged and dealing damage to him at the same time.
- Leaping Slam – Zote will often leap around the arena, sending shockwaves in both directions upon landing. The best way to avoid this attack is to dodge towards his jumping point and jump just before or exactly when he lands. He’ll sometimes do this a maximum of three times in a row.
- Flipping Slam – This is a variation of Zote’s Leaping attack. Sometimes when leaping, Zote will do a flip at the peak of his jump and slam directly downwards. The shockwave that he sends forward during this attack is taller than the usual so be sure to double jump to avoid it.
- Teleporting Slam – Another variation of Zote’s leaping attack. When Zote lands after leaping, he’ll often drop straight below the ground, only to return to the ceiling to drop below once again. The area Zote lands at will always be in the direction you’re heading in, so be sure to move around and dodge away when you see him falling. Then, jump just as he lands as he’ll send shockwaves at the end of this attack too.
- Zote Summons – Grey Prince Zote will occasionally spit out two flying mini Zotes. These little guys will then attack you independently. Deal with them as soon as you can.
The most difficult part about fighting Grey Prince Zote is the unpredictability of his leaps. He has a total of three different variations of a seemingly singular attack that it’s tough to react to them as quickly as possible. That said, whenever he leaps, just wait for them to be over and only attack when he stops.
Grey Prince Zote will get staggered after receiving multiple hits. This is the perfect time for you to heal up. It will be hard to do so during the actual fight considering how manic he can be.
Whenever Zote is open, string melee attacks and spells together to deal as much damage as possible. Be reactionary and defensive rather than offensive. Wait for every opening. Don’t force your melees unless Zote is really open. His movements might catch you off-guard, inevitably damaging you.
You’ll be rewarded 300 Essence upon defeating Grey Prince Zote before getting sent back to the outside world.
Should you choose, you can fight and defeat Grey Prince Zote in Bretta’s dream a total of ten times. The statue in the basement will turn gold after Zote’s 10th defeat. It should be noted that you won’t receive any Essence after you defeat him for the first time.
If you decide to leave Zote’s dream variant be and not fight him here, he won’t appear in the Godmaster DLC, making the 3rd and 5th pantheons shorter and easier.
The End of the Questline
And that’s that. When you interact with Zote while he’s conversing with Bretta, you’ll get the chance to hear the “57 Precepts of Zote.” Yes, you’ll actually get the chance to hear every single one of them. Does this go on for too long? Yes, it does. Should you listen to them anyway? If you have the time and the patience, you absolutely should.
After rescuing Bretta, she’ll seem to display affection towards The Knight. After meeting Zote, however, her affections will be redirected towards him. Not for long, though.
Bretta will remain in Dirtmouth with Zote until you defeat his dream variant from Bretta’s basement four times. After which, Bretta will disappear from her location and leave Hallownest altogether.