Posted on May 27 2021 by Chakell Herbert
I remember the first time I played through the Stone Tower Temple in Majora’s Mask. After flipping the dungeon upside down in an eerie fashion, I didn’t expect another mini-boss after the Garo Master, but as I entered a room engulfed in darkness and saw the iconic door locking moment, I knew I was in for something spooky.
Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed, and I am not ashamed too say I audibly screamed a few times in fear when a grim reaper-like monster stole what seemed like half of my hearts with one swipe of his scythe. And not only did he look horrifying, he was also covered with an endless amounts of bats; and you couldn’t even hit him unless you shot a Light Arrow to make them dissipate.
It was literally just so much to process the first time I played through that dungeon. I panicked and ended up dying on my first encounter with the terrifying Gomess; but then when I took on Twinmold, I was sort of let down at the intimidation factor. Giant flying centipedes? Those were way below the mini-boss I had just taken on when it came to the scary (and difficulty!) scale. And this wasn’t the only time I was sort of let down by a dungeon boss when compared to a mini-boss.
The Darknut at the very tippy top of the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess was much more difficult and intimidating than Armoghoma (though I don’t suffer from arachnophobia). Apart from her creepy appearance, she was pretty much a walk in the park to take down when compared to the giant knight that took major sword skills, dodging, and shield bashing to take down beforehand.
And don’t get me started on Death Sword in Arbiter’s Grounds. Not only is the atmosphere in his room majorly unsettling, but he is a nightmare-fueled ghost that is literally tied down by ropes. It’s even more terrifying that he is invisible until you use your wolf senses to finally see his unnerving demon-like form. *Shivers.* Stallord was a solidly intimidating boss in that dungeon too, but I see his boss fight as more of a fun thrill ride than a scary encounter, especially after taking down this unhinged ghost!
Then there’s the Silent Realm Guardians in Skyward Sword that still give me nightmares, the creepy and inexplainable Alien invasion in Majora’s Mask that I’m still afraid of, and territorial Lynels in Breath of the Wild that make Calamity Ganon look like a breeze. And I don’t think I even need to make a case for Dead Hand who lurks not only in the Bottom of the Well in Ocarina of Time, but again in the Shadow Temple!
Nintendo was just rude for making us fight that monstrosity twice.
All in all, some mini-bosses seem to really outshine main bosses in some dungeons and areas throughout The Legend of Zelda series when it comes to intimidation and difficulty. But secretly, it’s always a pleasant surprise for me when they do.
What about you? Do any mini-bosses take the crown over their supposedly stronger and bigger bosses in the series? Let me 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. You can usually find her gaming (obviously), laughing with her husband, 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.