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Dark Souls Wiki
Zombie swordsman

A Hollowed zombie.

Not to be confused with Hollow (enemy).

Hollow (亡者, Mōja, Hollow) is a degenerative state in the Dark Souls franchise which the Undead are doomed to eventually become unless they can find a steady supply of Humanity.


Dark Souls[]

In terms of gameplay, Hollow refers to an in-game mechanism which limits the abilities and possible scenarios of the Chosen Undead. Namely, not being able to summon NPCs and other players in the form of white phantoms. Alternatively, being Hollow might also be desirable at times as it prevents the player from being invaded by other characters and players.

It is possible to "Reverse Hollowing" by offering Humanity at a bonfire; however, death results in reverting to a semi-Hollowed state. Also, the darksign can recreate the Chosen Undead's body in order to be reborn.

Dark Souls II[]

Hollowing in Dark Souls II is similar to the previous game, with a few key differences:

  1. Being hollow does not prevent being invaded by NPCs and other players.
  2. Each death suffered will reduce the player's max HP in increments of 5%. This will continue until it caps at 50% of maximum HP, unless the player has a sin level of wretch, which will cap it at 5%. With a Ring of Binding equipped, the HP reduction caps at 75% of the player's health.
  3. The player's appearance visually degrades with each death.

Reverse Hollowing can be made instantly using a Human Effigy from the inventory. Alternatively, seeking Vendrick's blessing and wearing one of the four crowns will completely negate the effect of Hollowing, even upon death.

Dark Souls III[]

Hollowing is a bit different in Dark Souls III compared to the previous games.

  1. Hollowing does not occur until the Ashen One has acquired at least one Dark Sigil. Every time the player dies, their hollowing stat will increase by an amount equal to the Dark Sigils in their inventory. The Ashen One's body will start decaying after reaching a certain level of hollowing, but this effect is purely aesthetic.
  2. Hollowing has no negative effects on gameplay. However, it is required for certain NPC questlines and provides a bonus to luck when wielding Hollow weapons with a hollowing level of at least 15.
  3. Hollowing can be temporarily cured by paying the Statue of Velka to reverse hollowing, or by consuming a Purging Stone. To remove the Dark Sigil, and hollowing, permanently, the player must give the Fire Keeper Soul to the Fire Keeper, and then pay her a number of souls relative to the player's number of dark sigils, for every 1 dark sigil (upto a max of 8) it cost the equivalent of your next 1 level up in souls, I.e 5 dark sigils will cost the equivalent to your next 5 levels in souls, and 8 will cost you the equivalent of your next 8 levels in souls. Healing the Dark Sigil cannot be undone, and will stop questlines that require it. Although it is possible to heal 5 dark sigils then perform the Avowal ceremony, this will result in you gaining back 3 Dark Sigils which again will cost the equivalent of your next 3 levels in souls.


Crestfallen hollowed

A Hollowed Crestfallen Warrior

The process of turning into an Hollow involves the gradual loss of Humanity, the source of will and emotions. [1] Many Undead characters encountered in Lordran will eventually turn Hollow if certain prerequisites are met. Most characters are fearful of going Hollow and try to ward it off as much as possible, though the Crestfallen Warrior seems to find the prospect of going Hollow to be desirable.[2]

The Chosen Undead is already in a somewhat Hollowed state when escaping from the Undead Asylum and seems to be subject to a different progression pattern compared to other Undead characters in Lordran. Despite the Chosen Undead's appearance as a Hollow, they are able to maintain their free will and this is immediately recognized by other characters.[3]

In general, it seems that Undead go Hollow more quickly when they have no further goals or purpose. Even characters like Blacksmith Lenigrast, who are visibly almost fully Hollow, can maintain their lucidity if they are focused on their craft. This is likely why the Chosen Undead never fully hollows during the course of the game, since they will continue on their journey for as long as the player is motivated.

At some point in time, Hollows developed their own civilization, most notably Londor, governed by the Sable Church.


At the beginning of the Age of Fire, Gwyn marked the Dark Soul within every human being with a seal of fire, blocking its natural powers and causing humans to become mortal. [4] [5]  As the First Flame began to fade, the Darksign's power consequently weakened and, as it was no longer able to adequately contain the Dark Soul, humans returned to being immortal, coming back to life with each death, and becoming known as Undead. [6] [7] However, humans are still marked by the Darksign, which consumes their Dark Soul as fuel to continue to exist. This leads the Undead to slowly lose their minds and become Hollows, as the strength that allows them to have a will and emotions and remain a human is consumed from within them. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]


Hollow 01

The symptoms of being Hollow is primarily characterized by a lack of free will. Those that are Hollow may still have attractions to things they valued as living and Undead.[14] This might explain why so many have maintained stations at various posts as well as their aggression towards non-Hollows.[15]

Hollows are also referenced as mad[16] or lost, also characterized by abhorrent stench.[17] Hollows' minds are filled with fears.[18]

Beyond this, drastic changes in physical appearance can be observed. Skin appears slightly decomposed and the body thoroughly dehydrated, prominent veins can be seen surrounding the heart although physical signs may only be indicative of progression into a Hollowed state and not of being entirely Hollowed.[19]



  1. Pursuers description.
  2. Crestfallen Warrior dialogue.
  3. Oscar, Knight of Astora dialogue.
  4. Ringed Knight Armor description.
  5. Aldia, when met in the Undead Crypt: "Once, the Lord of Light banished Dark, and all that stemmed from humanity. And men assumed a fleeting form. These are the roots of our world. Men are props on the stage of life, and no matter how tender, how exquisite…A lie will remain a lie. Young Hollow, knowing this, do you still desire peace?"
  6. Opening (Dark Souls) dialogue.
  7. Undead are able to come back after each death and return to a bonfire.
  8. Darksign description.
  9. Undead Prisoner in-game description.
  10. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Hollow_01.jpg
  11. To avoid becoming Hollow the player has to consume Humanity to the bonfire, this means that becoming Hollow involves losing your Dark Soul and the only way in which this can happen inside your body is because of the Darksign, the only unnatural element placed inside every human
  12. The body of a Hollow appears highly dehydrated and malnourished, with a lump of roots protruding from the area close to the heart, where the Darksign is present. This indicates how their bodies are literally being drained from the inside and robbed of their life force.
  13. Pursuers description indicates how the Dark Soul of the humans gives them will and emotions, meaning that Hollows lacks those because they don't have their humanity anymore.
  14. Alluring Skull description.
  15. Soul of a Lost Undead description.
  16. Broken Straight Sword (Dark Souls III) item description.
  17. Hollow Skin item description.
  18. Hollowslayer Greatsword item description.
  19. Undead Male Merchant appearance.