Hollow Knight lovers now have another excuse to play the game again. A group of ambitious fans have finally finished an impressive project: Hallownest Vocalized, a mod that brings voice acting to the game. It’s available for free for PC players, and it can be installed using the Scarab Mod Launcher.
This mod is absolutely enormous in scope. Not only do major characters now have voice acting, so do bosses, spirits, corpses (lol), and numerous item descriptions — including lore tablets, charms, and all of the Hunter’s Journal descriptions and notes. According to the YouTube video description, more than one hundred voice actors lent their talents to this project. In the trailer you can get a sneak peek at a few voices, like those of Hornet, Quirrel, Snail Shaman, Markoth, Uumuu, and more.
Hollow Knight had a kind of voice narration prior to this mod, but one that was a bug-language gibberish. I, like many die-hard fans of the game, am incredibly attached to these original vocalizations. Shopkeeper Iselda greets you with a resigned [sigh] bapanada, the Dung Defender shouts DOMA DOMA DOMA before hurling an enormous, spherical turd at you, and the Nailsmith greets you with a gruff ronjo-stenja.
But the idea of a community project that brings voice acting to the actual text that is displayed is incredibly compelling, both as an example of what a fan community can produce, and as an artistic perspective. While Hollow Knight lore is somewhat contested — I may have watched one too many mossbag videos — there is a consensus that the bug inhabitants of Hallownest were given the gift (or curse) of sentience. Voice acting lends even more credibility to that idea by giving life to their voices. It also increases accessibility for those with visual impairments, for whom reading small text is difficult.
It’s worth pointing out that there are over 40 different people who provided voice acting for grubs, which suggests that each grub has a distinct speaking voice. Color me intrigued! (Though, on the flip side, people who download the mod will have to put up with the fact that Zote can speak.)
It’s an exciting way to stay busy as we all await the release of Silksong, Hollow Knight’s highly anticipated sequel.