Posted on January 23 2023 by Chakell Herbert
I am a Zelda dungeon fanatic (both in terms of in-game dungeons and this glorious website where we currently reside). Few things bring me as much joy as a good dungeon full of whimsical puzzles and memorable baddies do. However, there are some dungeons in the Zelda series that not only made me scratch my head, but almost made me rage-quit a few times during my first playthrough. Being difficult doesn’t mean that these dungeons were bad, but good heavens, some of these fortresses just proved to be a little more forceful on my patience level.
One dungeon I can clearly recall as being particularly difficult to conquer for the first time was definitely an infamous one from Twilight Princess. The City in the Sky was such a challenge for me when I was a young, chipper 15-year-old. This eerie fortress in the heavens didn’t have a lot of distinguishing features to help me know where I had or hadn’t been, and combining the confusing environment with tons of idle periods that required me to shoot my Clawshot and wait for Link to dangle and be carried from one area to the next got tedious at times. This dungeon got easier with each playthrough, but if I’m not careful, I still find myself getting tripped up!
Another difficult dungeon for me was the Wind Temple in The Wind Waker. I don’t remember what was super difficult about this one other than just trying to figure out how to guide sweet, little Makar with me as I made my way through all the rooms in that central chasm with the giant wind vortex.
However, don’t get me started on the vexing dungeon that is the Stone Tower Temple from Majora’s Mask. Imagine playing through almost the entire thing, both right-side up and upside-down, only to forget a single key, having no idea where to find it, and frantically trying to finish this dungeon before the end of the Final Day… Only to hear the dooming bells of the Clock Tower telling you that you’re out of time and you’ll have to start this dungeon over completely. Curse you, Majora’s Mask.
Others that proved to be challenging for me during my first run were Sky Keep in Skyward Sword, Jabu Jabu’s Belly in Oracle of Ages, The Ice Palace in A Link to the Past (curse that slippery floor), Eagle’s Tower in Link’s Awakening, and, of course, the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time.
But, despite the difficulty, you’ve got to love that sweet sense of satisfaction in knowing you bested them in the end. How about you? What dungeons were most difficult for you to conquer? Let us know in the comments!
Chakell (pronounced shuh-kell) is an associate editor for Zelda Dungeon! She has loved The Legend of Zelda series since she was a little girl because of its equal mix of princesses, besting bad guys, and heartfelt stories. Chakell lives in the overall tame state of Utah, but holds onto her childhood hopes to find an adventure in her backyard one day. She has a degree in English and is a full-time editor for a magazine that dear to her heart. You can usually find her gaming (obviously), laughing with her husband, Jeffrey; taking a long time to tell stories because she keeps getting distracted; getting sucked into books and podcasts; or snuggling her cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ella.