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Empress of Light

The Empress of Light is a Hardmode, post-Planteraboss fought in The Hallow. While she can be fought as soon as Plantera is defeated, she is significantly more difficult than most Hardmode bosses and will typically require post-Golem gear. The Empress of Light fight is optional and is not required for progression.

While the Empress of Light is alive, her exclusive music Empress of Light will play. When Otherworldly music is enabled, the track Boss 2 (Otherworldly) will play instead.


The Empress of Light is summoned by killing a Prismatic Lacewing, a rare critter that spawns in the surface Hallow at night between 7:30 PM - 12:00 AM once Plantera has been defeated in the current world. The Prismatic Lacewing is one of the few entities that can be detected by the Lifeform Analyzer.

The Prismatic Lacewing can be killed at any time in any biome to summon the boss, however outside of the Hallow biome, the Prismatic Lacewing will disappear almost immediately, requiring the player to use persistent or quick weapons to kill it.

Although the Prismatic Lacewing only spawns naturally in worlds where Plantera has been defeated, it is possible to bring one to a Pre-Hardmode world and kill it to summon the boss.

Like most critters, the Prismatic Lacewing can be caught with any bug net, and can then be released and killed by the player.


If fought during the day, the Empress enters an "enraged" state, indicated by the color of attacks turning a bright yellow. While enraged, all of her attacks instantly kill the player regardless of equipment. See below for exceptions.

If night falls (7:30 PM) when fought during the day and she is not defeated, she will vanish and drop nothing.

If fought in Expert or Master Mode, she will always use her enraged attack pattern, but without the massive damage increase.


  • Prismatic Bolts - Summons a cloud of prismatic bolts that home in on the player after a short time. These bolts do not have perfect tracking, and will miss if the player makes a sharp turn as they approach.
  • Prismatic Bolts v2 - In her second form she shoots out a cloud of prismatic bolts in a sort of unorganized circle around her, usually having the player in the circle if they are close enough. Then the bolts will home onto the player. This version is harder to dodge, and when she is enraged she summons more bolts.
  • Dash attack - Positions herself to the left or right of the player before charging horizontally in the player’s direction.
  • Sun Dance - Hovers above and slightly to the left of the player and emits 6 rays of light (8 if enraged) that slowly rotate clockwise around her. 3 sets of rays are created per sun dance, each positioned slightly further clockwise than the last.
  • Everlasting Rainbow - Releases a ring of 13 stars that spiral out clockwise from her original position, then spiral back inward in the same direction. These stars leave behind a trail of light that will damage the player.
  • Ethereal Lance - Summons a swarm of swords that launch in the direction the player was headed when they were summoned, telegraphed by colored beams. These swords are summoned behind where the player was moving, or all around the player if they were stationary. The swords do no damage until launched. If enraged, extra swords are summoned, and they will launch faster.

Attack pattern

The Empress has set attack patterns for both of her phases.

First phase

When spawned, the Empress will hover in place for a few seconds before executing the following attacks in order:

  1. Prismatic Bolts
  2. Dash attack
  3. Sun Dance
  4. Dash attack
  5. Everlasting Rainbow
  6. Prismatic Bolts
  7. Dash attack
  8. Ethereal Lance
  9. Dash attack
  10. Everlasting Rainbow

This sequence of attacks repeats indefinitely until the second phase starts.

Second phase

When the Empress is below half of her max health, she will disappear for a second then reappear above with a change of appearance in the next estimated location of the player before executing a new set of attacks, with slightly shorter attack intervals than before:

  1. Ethereal Lance version. 2: Summons four evenly spaced waves of swords that travel across the screen, telegraphed by colored beams. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right, the second from right to left, the third wave from top-left to bottom-right, and the fourth wave from top-right to bottom-left.
    • If enraged, there will instead be six waves of swords that target specific points around the player instead of traveling from one side of the screen to the other. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right of the player, the second wave from the right side to the left of the player, the third wave from top side to the bottom-right of the player, the fourth wave from top side to bottom-left of the player, the fifth wave from the bottom side to top-right of the player, and the sixth wave from the bottom side to top left of the player.
  2. Prismatic Bolts
  3. Dash attack
    • If enraged, she will cast Ethereal Lance after the dash before resuming her normal pattern (targets where the player is rather than where they will be, or do nothing if the player is stationary)
  4. Everlasting Rainbow
  5. Prismatic Bolts
  6. Sun Dance
  7. Ethereal Lance
  8. Dash attack
  9. Prismatic Bolts (Cast in a circle around the Empress instead of a cloud directly above her)

This sequence of attacks repeats indefinitely until she is defeated.


  • Despite being a Hardmode boss, the Empress of Light can be summoned in a pre-Hardmode world if the Prismatic Lacewing is killed quickly enough after being released, or is released in an artificially-created Hallow biome.
  • If the Empress of Light is able to drop the Terraprisma, at 7:30, she will despawn. But if she was attacked during the night, she will not despawn, regardless of time.
    • However, initially attacking the Empress at night and continuing to attack her at day will not make her drop the Terraprisma when killed.
  • The Empress of Light currently stands as the fastest boss in the game as no matter how far away you move before she finishes attacking she will always zip above player position to initiate her next attack. Her speed beats Skeletron, Skeletron Prime & Enraged Queen Bee.
  • Ethereal Lance is the only move the Empress can use to attack the player regardless of distance since the swords appear near the player's position instead of traveling from the Empress to the player.


Fae Flayer • "Defeat the Empress of Light, responsible for all those flashy lights and glitter."
Defeat the Empress of Light for the first time.


  • To avoid accidentally summoning the boss, use the Guide to Critter Companionship, which prevents the player from damaging critters including the Prismatic Lacewing.
  • Consider using a Bug Net to capture any Prismatic Lacewings when you see them, rather than killing them immediately. This will allow you to easily fight the Empress at a time and place of your choosing once prepared.
  • If the Prismatic Lacewing is released outside of the Hallow, it will disappear very quickly. This can be circumvented by placing the Lacewing directly into a stationary area-of-effect projectile, such as a Clinger Staff's flame pillar or a Rainbow Gun's rainbow.
  • A Rod of Discord, dropped from Chaos Elementals, will help you dodge some of her attacks.
  • If attempting to fight the Empress during the day to obtain the Terraprisma, defense and damage resistance should be completely disregarded in favor of damage, dodges, and mobility, as any damage taken will be beyond lethal regardless.
    • The damage canceling effect of the Master Ninja Gear, Brain of Confusion, and Hallowed Armor can allow the player to occasionally take hits without instantly dying.
    • The dash ability from Tabi, Master Ninja Gear or Solar Flare armor can increase mobility.
    • Using wings with hover or fast acceleration capabilities, such as Fishron and Betsy's Wings, or the Jetpack can be quite effective for dodging due to their high speed and acceleration.
    • If you are using the Rod of Discord during her daytime fight, use it freely while ignoring the Chaos State debuff. Losing a fraction of your health to Chaos State is far better than losing all of it to one of the Empress's attacks.
    • A riskier strategy would see the use of flying mounts instead of wings or boots, which would free up equipment slots for increased damage output.
    • Although the Prismatic Lacewing can only spawn at night, the Empress of Light can be spawned at any time of day.
  • Use weapons that are capable of dealing damage reliably from long range, such as the Blizzard Staff, Possessed Hatchet, Chain Gun, or Tactical Shotgun with Chlorophyte Bullets.
  • A large arena constructed of asphalt blocks and layers of platforms is highly recommended, especially with the demand for mobility whilst fighting the Empress during the day.
    • For fighting the Empress during the day, these arenas do not require boosting structures, such as Campfires or heart lanterns, as instant death negates their regeneration buffs.
  • She is not immune to any practical debuffs. This can be a good extra source of damage, especially with the use of Ichor, Betsy's Curse, or Daybroken.
  • It is best to stay at an average level or below the Empress of Light as she zips above the player's position after every attack she does making it lethal in daytime and / or damaging at night.


Empress of Light's second form appearance while enraged.
  • This boss was described as "a beautiful bullet hell" by Cenx before 1.4 was released.[2]
  • The Empress of Light is one of 6 bosses with exclusive music, the others being Queen Slime, Plantera, Duke Fishron, Moon Lord, and Queen Bee.
  • Seeing as she can deal tens of thousands of damage during her day form, she is the first enemy in the game to be stronger than Dungeon Guardian in terms of raw attack damage.
    • However, the Dungeon Guardian still holds the title as the toughest enemy in the game, because of its absurd 9999 defense.
  • The Empress of Light is one of 3 Hardmode bosses that are not necessary for game progression. The others are Queen Slime and Duke Fishron.
  • She is the only nocturnal boss that uses upgraded moves rather than just one move when enraged.
  • Several sound effects used by the Empress of Light appear to be samples of the "Whale Probe" s communications from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • The Empress of Light's light effect during spawn is internally named.
  • Crowno has stated that the V-shaped line beneath the Empress' eyes, which some players mistake for a mouth, is actually her nose.[3]
  • Crowno has stated that the Empress is inspired by the Touhou Project and other bullet hell games.[4] One can see the inspiration clearly in her attack patterns, and her music.
  • The Bestiary entry suggests that the Empress sees you as impure after killing the Prismatic Lacewing.
  • The Bestiary entry for the Empress of Light: "Beneath the Hallow's cleansing blanket lies a vengeful fae goddess bent on scrubbing the land of any and all impurity."



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