The Zelda series contains a large amount of memorable dungeons, including the original Legend of Zelda‘s  Level 9,  Ocarina of Time‘s Water Temple, and Twilight Princess‘s Hyrule Castle. Each of these dungeons exhibit different aspects that make them unique in their own way, which could actually be simplified down to each dungeon’s “type”. Popularized by the YouTube series Boss Keys, 3 prominent dungeon types have been identified throughout the series: Lock & Key dungeons, Puzzle Box dungeons, and Gauntlet dungeons.

Lock & Key dungeons are essentially mazes, with the path to the boss being blocked by locked doors or other obstacles. The point of these dungeons is to slowly find the correct path by finding and using various “keys”, which could be actual keys or dungeon items. Level 9 from the Legend of Zelda and the Forest Temple from Ocarina of Time are great examples of Lock & Key dungeons.

Puzzle Box dungeons can be compared to Rubik’s Cubes, as the dungeon itself is the puzzle. You have to manipulate the architecture of the dungeon in order to solve the puzzle and reach the final boss. The Water Temple from Ocarina of Time is the most infamous Puzzle Box dungeon in the series to date; in fact, most of the Water-themed temples in the game are Puzzle Box dungeons. Eagle’s Tower from Link’s Awakening is another example of a Puzzle Box dungeon.

Finally, Gauntlet dungeons are the combat-focused dungeons. While these dungeons can contain elements from other dungeon types, their main focus is on the combat. Another element of these dungeons is that they tend to be more linear. Hyrule Castle from Twilight Princess and the Shadow Temple from Ocarina of Time are great examples of Gauntlet dungeons.

My question to you all is this: Which is your preferred or favorite dungeon type? Personally, while Puzzle Box dungeons may encapsulate the hardest dungeons in the series to date, they are my preferred type because they include some of my favorite dungeons such as Twilight Princess‘s Lakebed Temple, Skyward Sword‘s Sandship, and Majora’s Mask‘s Stone Tower Temple. But what do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below!

Jarrod Raine is an Original Content Editor at Zelda Informer who thinks that the Wii version of Twilight Princess is the best version. If you disagree, follow him on his Twitch or Twitter.

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