We all love the Zelda series. There are so many things to love about it; the characters, the stories, the dungeons, the inventory… the list goes on. But if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the series is notorious for pitting our favorite hero against some of the most irksome, tantrum-inducing, downright ANNOYING enemies of all time. Regardless of difficulty, all of these foes slow your progress. I considered not putting these enemies in any particular order, but some are much more irritating than others, and I felt a ranking was necessary. Hit the jump to see the ones that made the cut!
#15: Hardhat Beetles
These foes appear in several Zelda titles, but the ones I find the most irritating are the ones that only die by falling down pits. They can either be extremely easy or extremely tedious, depending on the layout of the room and their quantity. If you find one in a room with pits surrounding all four walls, you’re golden. If you find three or more in a room with small, awkwardly placed pits, you may find yourself losing hearts (and patience) quickly. These suckers have strength in numbers, and what makes them more annoying is that it can be difficult to line them up between yourself and the pit. The direction in which your sword swings can also change the direction they slide. Though they rarely cause this much trouble, it can happen.
#14 Pols Voice
Ugh. These “cute” things bounce around randomly, sharing an annoying characteristic to moldorms, but are more difficult to defeat. In Japan, these The Legend of Zelda enemies could be defeated via the built-in mic feature. Players in the U.S. were not so lucky. While they were given a weakness to arrows, they could be hard to hit. It seems like simply shouting in the general vicinity of the foe would be much simpler. We were treated to this feature on the Nintendo DS, and the Pols Voice returned in Phantom Hourglass. This enemy’s return was truly bad timing for me. I was no longer a kid but still too young to afford my own place to live, so when I played this game and had literally no choice but to yell at the video game, my family looked at me like I was crazy. Whether or not I really am is beside the point. It’s a clever gimmick, but an annoying one, for sure. Fortunately, they do not appear in too many Zelda games, and if they did, the Pols Voice would have eventually made me homeless. Totally worth it for Zelda, though.
#13: Like Likes
Here’s one I’m sure everyone was expecting to see on the list, but possibly not so low (or… high?). The reason they rank where they are is because they simply aren’t that difficult. They’re slow moving, and when they take your stuff, items are usually returned upon their defeat. However, they can be a real nuisance in the DS titles. in every other Zelda game, they are slow moving and can generally be avoided easily. However, in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, they can suck you in from a distance. Furthermore, if they eat a replaceable shield, they won’t be giving it back. You’ll have to buy a new one. They are quite possibly the most popular enemy on the list, so if they truly annoy you, I’m sorry, but they’re probably not going anywhere. You’re sure to see them again in future games.
#12: Dark Trains & Armored Trains
Of all the enemies on this list, these foes are probably the ones that will slow you down the most. They literally require you take longer paths to wherever you’re going, and sometimes will require you to backtrack. If they could be defeated, or did not cause one-hit deaths, they probably wouldn’t have made the list. But wow, are they a nuisance! Thank the goddesses they do not (and probably will not, ever again) appear in any other games.
The particular incarnation of Lizalfos that bugs me are the ones from Skyward Sword. And while they do indeed annoy me, I can’t deny that I do like them (after all, look at my ZD badge). As one of the more challenging enemies in the game, they can deplete your hearts quickly. I’ve beaten Skyward Sword about five times now, so you’d think I’d be used to them. But they still manage to land those nasty uppercuts repeatedly. A lot of this has to do with the delayed Wii Motion Plus controls. I’ll try using my shield when I see them ready to attack, but my sword has not yet finished swinging, and next thing I know, I’m on the ground. I almost never have to use potions in Zelda games (but I’ll usually keep one handy just in case), but during my latest play-through of the Earth Temple, I was forced to drink my red potion. Their taunting places them higher on the list, but their skill and cool design make them one of my favorite enemies to face, regardless. Annoying but I like them… please don’t ask me to justify this… I don’t think I could.
The annoyance of these real-life creatures depends on the game. In A Link to the Past, they’re nothing to stress over. But if you turn your back in a game like The Wind Waker, these pests can be a real… pest. While you’re preoccupied fighting other enemies, these vermin will attack and swipe rupees. What rats need rupees for, I haven’t the foggiest, but that’s beside the point. Some of the more annoying enemies in Zelda games are ones you underestimate, and try not to even bother paying any mind toward. But that’s what makes them so infuriating! Our heroic Link, who has multiple times over rescued Hyrule from the clutches of gargantuan monsters and skilled warriors, is made a laughable victim of a common animal we kill with traps from Walmart. As ridiculous as it sounds, I sometimes think I wouldn’t mind a dungeon item being a mouse trap. Zelda may be a PG game series, but how satisfying would it be the snap those pests’ necks? Am I getting a little dark here? Okay… we’ll move on.
#9: Bokoblins & Technoblins
What? One of the easiest enemies in Zelda lore made the list? Yes. Yes they did. But only the ones from Skyward Sword. I don’t know if it was just me, but I could swing my sword in a direction they weren’t blocking, and then they would somehow, faster than Superman himself, block in that direction. Seriously, are they Jedi or something? Can they sense where I’m going to swing my sword before I actually do it? Am I the only person who had trouble with these guys?! They weren’t really “difficult,” as they were usually on the defensive rather than offensive, and as such would rarely ever hit me. But they could be on the defensive for several seconds before I got in a lucky shot. However, the form of Bokoblin that can be difficult is the Technoblin; their swords are electrified, and shock you if you swing your sword the wrong way. I learned quickly in my first play-through of the game to just stand back, nail them with the slingshot, and attack while they’re stunned. You may find yourself depleting your seeds quickly this way, but hey, better ammo than hearts.
#8: ReDeads & Gibdos
Like many other enemies on this list, these two are not necessarily difficult; they just slow your progress. Let’s look at Dark Trains again, just as a comparison. Although Dark Trains slow your progress, they at least require you to think on your toes and map out a new path quickly. They’re annoying, but at least challenging. ReDeads and Gibdos just scream, and you find yourself frozen for a few seconds. What’s so bad about that, you ask? Well, they’re a total buzzkill to your fast-paced adventuring spirit, and they may scream several times before you have a chance to defeat them permanently. And if they scream at just the right moment, they will get the jump on you and gnaw away at your skull. Not only annoying, but freaky.
Like rats, Peahats are not annoying in certain games, such as Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. In the top-down perspective games, however, there is probably no more common, irritating foe you will see in the overworld. Whether it’s The Legend of Zelda, Link’s Awakening, Oracle of Seasons, or Oracle of Ages, these floating flowers are much more deadly and tougher than they appear. I usually try to simply avoid and walk around them, but when there’s a crowd of four or so, they can be hard to maneuver around. Though they can be defeated, they move in a sporadic manner and therefore can be difficult targets to hit. Your best chance is to wait until they land, but by then you’ve either lost plenty of hearts or wasted time outmaneuvering them, waiting for them to land, when you could’ve just done so anyway and continued on your way. They’re not worth the effort.
Their paths aren’t random. They travel in a continuous diagonal path, taking a predictable redirection when hitting a wall. But no matter how predictable their movements are, I still seem to get hit by them. This makes them a unique entry to the list. You become more angry with yourself than at them! You slap yourself on the forehead saying, “Really? Why did I walk straight into its path?!” And as a bonus, they cut not only your hearts, but also your magic in A Link to the Past, and are the only enemies to do so (that I can recall, anyway). While you’re focusing on the real threats in a dungeon room, such as traps, puzzles, and stronger enemies, these things just become a nuisance. On the plus side, however, sprinkling Magic Powder on them will transform them into health granting fairies. But it can be risky to approach them, since Magic Powder has little range.
#5: Zirros & Bombers
I quote Austin Powers: “Why won’t you die?!” Luckily, these enemies do not appear in too many titles, and even so, they don’t appear too often. There are only a handful of bombers in Link’s Awakening, and even less Zirros in A Link to the Past. They are generally an enemy that can be easily avoided, unless you find yourself preoccupied with a nearby enemy. These guys will swoop in and drop explosives. So if they’re easily avoidable, why put them on the list, especially in a spot so high? Well, have you ever tried hitting one?! These things have the reflexes of a… I don’t know, something that has really good reflexes (we’ll use the Jedi reference again). Your sword is not gonna cut it this time. But since they are avoidable, it in a way makes them more annoying. You’re gonna want to just walk around them, but they will take chase and keep dropping bombs. Even if you don’t engage them in battle and just walk away, the sound effect from their continuous attacks is annoying to the ear. Both of them, actually.
#4: Red Dairas
While playing The Adventure of Link, I find that it can be quite easy to deplete your magic. If you can’t cast the reflect spell, the Red Dairas will get you. Several times. Period. And to make matters worse, you can’t even obtain the spell before Death Mountain, where many of these beasts make their home. Of all the enemies on this list, I seriously think they are the only ones that you cannot avoid being hit by, no matter how talented or cautious you are. I find that if you have the health to spare, your best bet is to run toward them full speed, taking a hit or two, and slicing away when you get close to them. But to add insult to injury (or injury to injury… to injury), they back up while you approach them! You may get hit three or four times by their powerful axes before you can kill them. The Downward Thrust is an effective maneuver to use on them, but again, you have to be able to get close enough to them to perform the attack. You will get hit with at least one axe, guaranteed. And I hate them.
With the exception of some very challenging bosses, no enemy in The Adventure of Link irritated me (or killed me) more than the speedy, side-swiping Moas. It would figure that these almost unavoidable foes appear in the only side-scroller game in the series. They would be easy to avoid in top-down perspective games, and probably the 3D games too. Luckily, they only appear in the one game, otherwise they may have taken the #1 spot. You may be thinking, “Moas weren’t that bad! They just dropped fire, which was easy to avoid.” I agree, but I’m not talking about the common dungeon Moas, I’m referring to the ones you encounter in the graveyard. Because Link taking damage also cuts your experience points, I would highly suggest not trying to level up in the graveyard. These suckers are infuriating!
#2: “Cursed” Enemies
Call me a cheater on this one, but this broad range of enemies I would categorize as one, because they all annoy me equally. Not being able to use your sword and other items can occur at the worst possible times. Here’s a perfect example: during my most recent play-through of Skyward Sword, I was in the lava river section of the Sky Keep. There’s a section where you need to quickly change the flow of lava before the rock you’re riding melts. But one of the dark keese on the way got a lucky hit on me, and I couldn’t swing my sword to defeat the others, or use the Beetle/Clawshots/Bow to change the flow of lava or create the next rock to ride. Inevitably, Link singed his tushy and had to start back at the beginning of the ride. They also got me during the “protect the robot” mission, and all I could do was watch as they attacked my robot, and I had to start the mission all over again. Even if you do not need to defeat anymore enemies after being cursed, you may still have to wait out the curse to hit a switch or something. The only thing you can do to pass the time is run around like a cucco with its head cut off. BOOOOORING!
I hate Phantoms. In fact they’re probably the number one reason I dislike Phantom Hourglass so much (in comparison to other Zelda games, anyway). I cut them a little slack when it comes to Spirit Tracks, as they are much less of a nuisance in the Tower of Spirits (Zelda can possess them, no time limit, etc.). But in the Temple of the Ocean King… get ready for a headache. Not only are they nearly invincible, but they slow your progress like crazy, which is especially irritating considering you’re on a time limit here. Many times, you will find yourself simply waiting for one to reach a particular spot so you can make your move. It also doesn’t help that they appear in the games that utilize touch screen controls, which can cause your hand to get in the way of part of the screen and obstruct your view while one or more chase you down. Oh, and one more thing: they cause one-hit K-Os. So yeah, (CENSORED) Phantoms!
If you are surprised to not see enemies you expected to make the cut, take a look below to view the “honorable” mentions:
Arachas (Skyward Sword)
Dragon Heads and Wolf Heads (Adventure of Link)
Garos (Majora’s Mask)
Geozards (Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks)
Iron Knuckles (Adventure of Link)
Nejiron (Majora’s Mask)
Quadro Baba (Skyward Sword)
Sandworms (Phantom Hourglass)
Sentrobes (Skyward Sword)
Shadow Beasts (Twlight Princess)
Stalfos (particularly those in A Link to the Past and The Minish Cap)
Takkuri (Majora’s Mask)
Wolfos (particularly those in Spirit Tracks)
Yellow Chu Chus (Skyward Sword)
What do you all think? Which enemies do you find the most annoying? Which ones were you surprised to not see on this list? What would your own list look like? Comment below, and let’s talk about it!