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Ranking all the Twilight Princess dungeons

Apr 16, 2021
I like having really unique dungeons like ocarina of time does
I think at some point fans were like "we want more backtracking" and so Nintendo defaulted to the tp style too much
OoT dungeons were great, it's been forever since I've played it tho so I don't remember all the details. I'd like to replay sometime soon, make a thread like this and compare em to the TP dungeons too, cause I'm curious to see what I'd think of them now.


The one and only.
ZD Legend
Sep 29, 2020
The Lone Star State
Manufacturer recommended settings
Step 1 central area go left get a key go right advance past the central area to a long winding more difficult area that loops back around to the central area but a central mechanism has changed granting access to a new part of the dungeon and the boss
Step 2 Battle boss
That's a gross oversimplification


Pico picori!
ZD Legend
Forum Volunteer
Good thread! I don't have any specific order I'd rank these in, but I do have some opinions I'd like to touch on.

Twilight realm is the bottom of the barrel for me. Now I don't know if that Zant's hand sections are technically a part of the dungeon, but I'm going to count it anyway seeing as you need to so it to progress in that area. Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep seething hatred for Wallmasters. They scare me, and they're super stressful. Now take that and amplify it by 10 and you have the Zant's hand portion. I had to turn the sound off to complete this part of the game, and it's the reason I haven't played the game to completion a second time. Aside from that, I just have issues with the dungeon as it fits in with the rest of the world. As mentioned in the op, it's really small and doesn't have any sort of civilization there. The fact that the dungeon is the palace makes it completely impractical. Do twili have to scale walls with hookshots to seek an audience with their ruler? Overall it's small and not terribly memorable. Plus, ya know. Hands.

I think I have to disagree on the placement of Snowpeak ruins. A lot of fans list it as one of their favorite dungeons in the series, and I tend to agree with that. The thing I love is how it keeps you engaged. It's not just the usual boy wanders in, explores a bunch of rooms, kills a big thing, and gets a prize. Those are obviously all there, but there's a level of interaction that isn't present in any other dungeons I can think of. Your conversations with Yeta build up to the final boss, and finding the foods/getting mugged by Yeto is hilarious. And none of this interferes with that mysteriously lonely feeling you get wandering the dungeon halls. Now I will say, the dungeon has it's flaws. Having to carry those cannon balls around is pretty annoying. But the characters there are so loveable you can't help but admire their house. Not to mention a convenient spot to refill your jars.

Temple of time was pretty cool, but some of the puzzles were really tricky. It feels kind of tedious having to lead the statue (which I named Link Jr. and cherish dearly) back through all the rooms you just went through. I will giv kudos to the boss though, whose name I can't remember but design was pretty cool.

And obviously, best dungeon would have to be the City in the Sky. That's where the lovely Oocoo are! Instant 10,000 coolness points.
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Angel of Darkness
Staff member
ZD Legend
Jan 31, 2010
Yahtzee, Supernatural
Angel of Darkness
My favs are:
1. Snow peak ruins. I love the couple. I love how it's placed. I love how you have to solve puzzles. The mini boss is cool. Yeta/ Blizzetta is the most fun battle in the game besides the big Gdorf. Plus the music is amazing.
2. Goron Mines. I love everything it has to offer. Even switching boots on and off wasn't a big deal for me.
3. Arbiters ground. A very dark dungeon with also a dark past. But with the coolest mini boss battle in the whole game! Poe hunting was fun but a bit repetetive.
4. Temple of time. I love darknut and armoghoma but the armoghoma fight was meh. They could've done so much more with it. The whole dungeon was basically a walk up to get the statue down. The puzzles made up for it a bit but mainly because I love using bow and arrows.
5. City in the sky. I don't really like this dungeon. It's not difficult at all (non of the temples/dungeons are) but I don't like the music or miniboss. I do like Argorok but like Armoghoma it's a big let down.
6. Forest Temple. In one word; just killing freaking spiders and Petey Piranha spinoffs including the final boss.
7. Lakebed Temple. Not my fav Temple by even a mile. The music was okay but the whole Temple including mini and endboss were very dull and lame. Always glad to have this Temple out of the way.
8. Hyrule Castle. Besides fighting the darknuts and The Big G there isn't anything that make it stand out for me. The ghosts pointing the way was cool though but nothing stand out for me.
9. Twilight Palace. This is for me the most uninteresting dungeon in the game. It was just a way to avoid the hand grabbing both sols. Nothing more, nothing less. The Zant fight was one of the coolest in the game though but the dungeon was even beyond lame.


What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
ZD Legend
9.City in the Sky
Everything in this dungeon moves so… damn… slowly… and the annoying background music doesn’t help with the mind-boggling tedium. The item is almost cool, but quickly losses it’s charm once you realize that the game does literally nothing with it besides forcing you to wait through cycles of slowly spinning panels. Just getting to this dungeon tests my patience with this damn game. Yet another unfun fetch quest just to repair a lame-ass item followed by another fetch quest to find a single word. Even the boss fight doesn’t fix this train wreck of a dungeon. City in the Sky somehow manages to make a fight against a dragon tedious as all hell.

8. Palace of Twilight
This isn’t a dungeon. It’s an unfun platforming segment that takes 3 times as long as it should and only exists to further pad out a game that was already padded to hell and back. The only redeeming quality of this segment is the admittedly fun fight with Zant, but even that was completely ruined by its stupid as hell Ganondorf plot twist.

7. Lakebed Temple
Almost as tedious as City in the Sky, but at least it does something kinda neat with the clawshot. Literally everything else about this dungeon sucks though. It’s easily the worst of the water based dungeons, at least in the 3D games

6.Temple of Time
This dungeon starts out really cool, but as soon as you get the item it turns into an escort mission so awful that it makes Yunobo look like a master class in game design. It’s a shame, because revisiting the Temple of Time sounds like a lot of fun on paper. It turns out that this dungeon is yet another example of TP being derivative of a better game just to pander to fans, and botching what made said better game so amazing in the process.

5.Forest Temple
It’s an ok first dungeon, but one that pales in comparison to every other first dungeon in the 3D titles. The fact that you have to go to the entrance 3 separate times before entering doesnt help. There’s nothing really else to say about this dungeon because there’s nothing else too this dungeon. It exists and is incredibly mediocre.

4. Hyrule Castle is a much more competent and interesting Palace of Twilight. The fact that you have to go out of your way to explore the vast courtyard is pretty great, and the optional extra key leading to a treasure room is a nice touch. The entire last portion kinda sucks though as it’s just another session of pandering callback to OoT. Apart from that it’s a decent ending to a sub-par game.

3. Goron Mines
This dungeon is the one slightly redeeming quality in the absolute ****show that is the first half of TP. It’s a little rough, as it’s main gimmick is almost as tedious as the moving cogs in Lakebed, but what it does with that gimmick is make a dungeon that’s legitimately interesting to explore. It’s not the best dungeon ever, but it’s still pretty damn good.

2.Arbiters Grounds
By all accounts this dungeon should be complete ass. It’s item is worthless, the entire first half is yet another copy and paste from OoT, and it’s desert-themed. That’s an awful combination. But dammit, if that last half isn’t fun as hell to play through. I swear I’d hate the spinner just as much as I do the dominion rod if it weren’t for how much of a blast it is to fly around that giant room with the tracks. This dungeon is good on accident.

1.Snowpeak Ruins
Whenever I, or anyone else, say that TP had great dungeons, we’re mostly referring to specifically Snowpeak Ruins. A good dungeon needs to not only challenge the player with thoughtful level design, but it also needs to feel like an actual place in the world, one that could realistically exist to fulfill its stated purpose. Snowpeak Ruins does this perfectly, to the point where there are very few dungeons that even come close to how amazing it is. It truly makes me wonder how one of the best dungeons in the entire series got put in the same game as crap like City in the Sky and Palace of Twilight.
Jan 11, 2021

9. Forest Temple - The monkey collect-a-thon is not interesting and the lack of connections to the Kokiri irks me to no end. I'm glad they added monkeys into the 3D games, but there isn't much substance here. It is a servicable first dungeon, but compared to the rest in the game, it doesn't stand out.

8. Hyrule Castle - The obligatory "Zelda game ends in castle or tower" really reached its limit with Hyrule Castle in TP for me. I like the NPC interaction, I like the Bulblin battle (one of the best characters in Zelda history) and those are what bump it up above the Forest Temple, but the overall dungeon isn't super interesting.

7. Goron Mines - Obligatory "the boots are too slow." No but the Goron Mines are one of the few dungeons that feel truly lived in: it feels like a functional mine system and the palpable connections to the Goron civilization gives it great atmosphere, especially with the boss being the chief (good stuff Nintendo). However, the metal boots aren't fun and they are the main gimmick, so the overall dungeon is not super great. But this is the first dungeon that really has its own identity.

6. Palace of Twilight - This is surprisingly high. I think the Twilight Realm is the second coolest place in all of Zelda (after Eventide) and since this is really the only thing there, I tend to rank it higher. However, the dungeon is pretty lackluster; then again, most Zelda dungeons I would consider lack-luster and at least this one is very memorable, especially with the Zant reveals at the end. The atmosphere is stronger than the Goron Mines, and the Sol mechanic is better than the boots so it's ranked higher than it.

5. Lakebed Temple - I'm a sucker for really hard water dungeons in Zelda: the notoriously hardest 2D dungeon Jabu-Jabu's Belly and the notoriously hardest 3D dungeon the Water Temple are two of my favorite dungeons in the series. Lakebed Temple is a tamer version of those with the central staircase, and thus, while better than the previous dungeons for the sheer interest that the central mechanic's complexity brings, doesn't identify it as in the same league as the Water Temple or Jabu-Jabu's Belly (or even the Great Bay Temple).

4. Temple of Time - Good dungeon. The atmosphere is what sells this one: going through that door after the section with the Master Sword and being in the frikin Temple of Time...WOW! I also don't mind the "control other things" dungeons as long as they are decently executed, and I think this one is. The lore connections to the Tower of the Gods justify the only-OK mechanic of controlling the statues, IMO. That opening reveal, though, really hooked me on this dungeon, and gave it a great bias in my mind, which outweighs my bias for big-wet-puzzle-box in Lakebed. Also I like big scary spiders, they are so big and so scary.

3. Arbiter's Grounds - GOOD DUNGEON! The atmosphere and backstory to this place, much like the Temple of Time, bump it up greatly, but I also prefer the execution chamber aesthetic to the pristine temple aesthetic. And the spinner is an entirely original only-OK mechanic that becomes a goddamn GENIUS mechanic during the final fight. That final fight in and of itself makes Arbiter's Grounds top 5, but the "this is where Ganondorf was killed" and "look at all the dead people" vibes are *chef's kiss* and bump it to third.

2. City in the Sky - GOOD GOOD DUNGEON! Why so much hate? Cuz it's slow and boring for much of it? Fair. I just like spending time in the City in the Sky. I like the shop, I like the Oocoo, I like clinging for dear life to the side of a slow-moving propeller like Spider-Man. I like a big scary pterodactyl trying to kill me and screaming, raising the stakes and sending shivers down my spine. I like the music, which is apparently an unpopular opinion (maybe the weird alien moaning is what turns people off to it, but I like the mystery). This is a SET-PIECE. The previous dungeons were set-pieces, lowercase, filled with semi-interesting puzzles and pretty decent atmosphere. But the being-in-the-sky of it all makes City in the Sky beat those out any day of the week. I also do like the language elements in TP and don't really mind that what I'm doing isn't that interesting as long as I get to do it in the City in the Sky.

1. Snowpeak Ruins - Best dungeon. This fetch quest actually makes sense. The ice puzzles are actually fun for the first time (looking at you ALttP), the boss fight is SO good and has biased me towards this dungeon ever since the reveal first happened. The this-is-a-mansion/military-base vibes that are reminiscent of the Forest Temple are in full force and I cannot get ENOUGH. The snowy peak aesthetic is atmospheric and the chateau-on-a-hill-filled-with-Yetis aesthetic is super cute. This dungeon is one of the best in Zelda and definitely the best in TP.

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