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Ideas for a "scary" Dungeon


Jul 17, 2011
District Four; Panem
What do you think would be a good scary dungeon for a Zelda game?

I would absolutely love a smaller dungeon that is maze like. The entire place is very dark and you have to use a lantern to see. The whole point of the place is to find the pieces of the boss key that are scattered around the rooms. The gimmick part is that a large dark figure would be following you the entire time. The background music would get faster and higher the closer he as to you, and if he caught you, you would be trapped in the room that you are currently in and you would have to fight him, like a mini boss. But, after you fight him he is still not defeated. You just escape him and keep going. That means that you can fight him multiple times if he catches you, or you could end up not fighting him at all. What do you think? What are your ideas?


Twilight Princess Lover
I think a scary dungeon would be a huge labyrinth with tat feeling something is chasing you. For example, when you have to get the tears in Skyward Sword, you know the really scary feeling that the guardians are chasing you when you run out of time, yeah, that's what scares me most in any video game.
Apr 23, 2010
I haven't actually played the game, but from how people describe it, it sounds like you want a Slender Man version of Zelda. I'm not saying don't rip off the idea, because I think it has some potential, but I've explored this kind of dynamic in Zelda storytelling, and naturally the necessity for game design, and it's missing a lot of essentials before the idea could be a viable path to a good dungeon.

I do agree with you on the idea of scouring through a level that is pure fright in nature, but I went about this a different way. The first obstacle I hit when contemplating this idea was the presence Link would be in. Of all the kingdoms of Hyrule, and the variations in other kingdoms, no race exactly encompasses the level of scare I was looking for. Maybe if you go to Ikana Canyon in MM, or elaborate on the Redeads, but that might be too much of a stretch, seeing as how Redeads amount to the Zelda version of zombies and Ikana Canyon pretty much has its own backstory, which means it would be more so a sequel to MM. And that's not necessarily a bad idea, but it would seem smaller in scale to only focus on a story revolving around Ikana without elaborating on the other regions, while ALSO not rehashing any MM themes.

So the only solution I could come up with was to create a new race, one that derived from characteristics of previous races. Enter the Hadian race, a merger of Ordonian and Twili DNA. This is a result of the timeline I went with, allowing the expansion of Hyrule's races, and as such, the cross-breeding of different races. But, to avoid some kind of segregation theme, I couldn't simply make this race "evil" or scary overall. So they were grounded in the idea that they were very much people, but on the poorer side to Hyrule's economy. And their looks weren't that attractive either. As such, it made a great environment for enemies to blend in, as they are usually deformed beasts. But I furthered that integration of distinction by creating a new enemy, the Morphos (everything a Redead couldn't be). They're fast, vampiric, camouflaged, and generally more detailed hence their scarier nature. Their origin would most certainly be the Twili version of Redeads, and their presence in the Hadians' kingdom would be abundant due to the environment.

This region alone, is enough to create a more medieval frightful experience than OoT could in adult Link's Castle Town ventures. But what makes this level more so is the item acquired. As the game design I created permits a co-op experience, Link and Zelda both receive the Lens of Truth and the Lens of Purity, used to expose these Morphos in their hidden forms, as well as revealing other things. The catch is, since I went with a more realistic way to incorporate the lenses, they don't take magic to use, but (unless combined with the bow or crossbow, respectively) they must be held with one hand. Therefore Link and Zelda can either shield or attack in the encounter of these Morphos. So imagine walking through a dimly lit, grungy castle town, seeking the right townfolk to discuss matters of your adventure, but your vision is limited and on top of that you only fully expose them once within close proximity. It's as if a haunted house experience has been recreated. And this Morphos experience extends to the different regions and sidequests of the game.

Later in this level, the tools you acquire are used to infiltrate a Morphos Castle, which is borderline pitch black, and ultimately a wonderful experience, haha.


Keep it strong
Mar 17, 2012
Liverpool, England
I think it should have lots of ghosts who go "BOO!" and some spiders in the corners and maybe a skeleton and a spooky witch and some lightning and also maybe some bats. That would make me do a poo :(

No, in all seriousness, I gave an answer in another thread which applies here a bit so I'll just quote that:

I've never really given much thought to what kind of dungeon I'd like to see myself, but I've always wanted another horror themed dungeon like the Shadow Temple. However, I would like one that was focused on scaring you, rather than just having a general theme of spooky stuff. I was quite taken with the idea in Twilight Princess's Palace of Twilight of the huge hands which followed you as you tried to escape. Having a seemingly unstoppable entity haunt you and follow you throughout the entire dungeon might be a fun idea (presumably this entity would be fought as the end of dungeon boss too).

You could even build upon that with lots of torch based puzzles, with the entity being warded off by light but the dungeon itself having few permanent sources of it. It could also provide a good opportunity to mess about with classic enemy design. I've mentioned on this forum before that I think Wallmasters could become scary again if, rather than dropping from above, they formed out of the scenery, for example: floor or ceiling tiles; bricks in the walls; even various decorative objects merging into the shape of a hand.
Imagine being chased by some unstoppable horror, desperately trying to light some torches to keep it at bay only for those very torches to become long fingers which grab you and drag you off somewhere.

I don't know about specifics but I would love to see a very horror focused dungeon appear, one that was genuinely creepy, scary and unsettling and made you feel vulnerable at every moment.
Apr 23, 2010
Did you change your mind? I think I remember you saying they were GERUDO and twili.

Yeah, since everything's still in the development stage, I decided to go with a less controversial route and combine Twili and Ordonian. After studying the Gerudo origin more, from OoT I believe, I found that their culture sometimes kidnaps a male from Hyrule to bring as their leader. At least, that's what I read somewhere. So I didn't want to contradict that too much and decided to take the Gerudo based fusion of a new race (the Sesunians) in a different direction- ala a more tribal version of Neverland, having "lost boys" as the male population.

I also figured, that Ordonians of all races would be most likely to adapt to their surroundings, so even Ordonians in the Land of Fiends would be different from Ordonians in Hyrule. The main goal for the Hadians was to make them slightly taller (to trump the size of Link and Zelda) and palish-blue tone to their skin, to reflect the somewhat morbid setting of the Hadian surroundings. And maybe to distinguish more between the rich Hadians of Castle Town and those of Hadian Village, the citizens would look slimmer, reflecting their impoverished life.

Either way, the Land of Fiends is a location solely inspired from Transylvania and the tales of Van Helsing so I really wanted to embody that in a Zelda game with a new region. And naturally, in order to digress from linear game play, sidequests galore would carry on from the Land of Fiends to various parts of the map.


Oct 24, 2012
Crisis? What Crisis?
Pan-decepticon-transdeliberate-selfidentifying-sodiumbased-extraexistential-temporal anomaly
A mysterious, decrepit old haunted castle overgrown by a deep, dark wood. Inside lurks four sinister ghosts shamelessly named after Louis May Alcott characters.

Oh, wait... :suspicious: that sounds suspiciously familiar... :xd:

Okay, okay... how bout this? A dark, murky sewer beneath an eerie old village where the (un)dead lie in ancient catacombs. Dark, narrow, and scary are three features to describe it. Old men tell of legends that a one eyed thief once built a home over it and that his malevolent spirit lurks within...

hmmmm... :hmm:

Yeah, I can't quite think of anything to top that.


Eating Link since 1987
Jul 27, 2010
The Wind Temple
I was imagining a dark crypt, which would require the Lantern in most or all rooms. There would be tombs that would open at random which would contain, for example, Gibdos and Redeads, Wallmasters would be everywhere, and so on. The dungeon would be sort of like the Earth Temple of Wind Waker, but darker and much more unpredictable. This crypt would use the element of surprise to create fear, rather than the fear created from being pursued which was used in TP`s Palace of Twilight.

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
That idea you've postes sounds a lot like the Slender Man. I made a thread about that a while back, and I think it would be an awesome idea to implement a dungeon that implemented some idea of him into it. An unkillable enemy that can do some very serious damage or even outright kill you if he catches you, and he is following you the entire time. That's what I want.
May 18, 2012
Rio de Janeiro
I posted some original ideas for a dungeon in a recent thread I created: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/f9/wh...-dungeon-new-zelda-post-your-ideas-36573.html

I think a Labyrinth would be pretty cool. The concept would be unique in a Zelda game, as far as I know. Lots of opportunities for scary things, traps and all that kind of stuff. I think the WiiU gamepad could be used with the same effect of OOT's Lens of Truth. Instead of using the item like you did in OOT, you'd scan the screen with the gamepad and that would revel the "truth". It would be a throwback to the Shadow Temple because of the item (it's been a LONG time since they used the Lens of Truth and I think it's time it makes a return) but in a different environment, which is that of a labyrinth.

Scattering boss key pieces all over the labyrinth would eliminate the problem of linearity. Otherwise, people would just look up the escape route on Gamefaqs and spoil the whole thing. Maybe the labyrinth could be randomly generated. At least some parts of it.

Also a Circus could be really spooky. A room full of mirrors anyone? Haha.

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