I hear there's a fellow on Windfall Island
The Forsaken Fortress is a dungeon that is visited multiple times in The Wind Waker. It is a large fortress situated to the northwest section of the Great Sea. It is home to Ganondorf and his large army. The fortress was originally set up by the Demon Thief as his main base of operations after he escaped his seal. The structure itself seems to be made up of the remnants of sunken pirate ships. Link must visit this dungeon on two separate occasions, with each visit differing.
Dungeon Overview First Visit
On the first visit, Link tries to rescue his sister, Aryll, and enlists the help of Tetra and her pirate crew. Since the fortress is heavily guarded by Bokoblins with searchlights and patrolling Miniblins and Moblins, they can't get their pirate ship close enough to drop Link off there. Instead, they decide to shoot him out of a cannon inside a barrel, successfully getting the young hero into the fortress, however Link loses his sword in the process.
In order to get to the room where Aryll is being kept without Link's sword, Link must stealthily go around the fortress, taking out the searchlights one by one and avoiding any Miniblins or Moblins. Once he finally retrieves his sword, Link proceeds to Aryll's room however a giant bird, the Helmaroc King, takes Link and throws him into the sea, after showing him to his leader, Ganondorf.
Dungeon Overview Second Visit
After Link has retrieved the legendary Master Sword from the depths of sunken Hyrule, he returns to the Great Sea on a mission of revenge. Now with the adequate power to overthrow Ganondorf, he once again attempts to siege the fortress. Link, much like before, attempts to save his sister Aryll, as previously he was kicked out by Ganondorf.
When Link enters the central section, he encounters a dark being known as Phantom Ganon. After the young hero defeats the dark being he is gifted with a powerful weapon known as the Skull Hammer. This time the fortress is largely abandoned, meaning Link can navigate the grounds without little trouble. After traversing to the upper section of the fortress, Link comes across Aryll's room. Tetra and her pirates surprise him and take Aryll back to their ship, leaving Link to fight and finally defeat the Helmaroc King. After he is defeated, Link attempts to kill Ganondorf, but since the Master Sword has lost its power, he is unable to do so at that time.
- Main article: Helmaroc King
The first phase of this fight involves Link climbing up the room were Aryll was captured. Since the room is now filling with water, Link has to be swift in reaching Aryll. After the young hero nears the top of the tower, the Helmroc King's presence impedes Link's progress. Link, armed with the Skull Hammer, can strike the helm atop of the giant bird. This causes the Helmaroc King to fall into depths of the flooded tower, Link can now progress to the top.
Shortly after the young hero reaches the summit, the gargantuan bird manages to escape his impending death and approaches Link. During this phase, the Helmaroc King tries to flap his wings to push Link into the spikes. The bird also used his swift flying as a form of offense while his final form of attack is to peck Link with his giant beak. Link must dodge one of his pecks and use the Skull Hammer to strike the birds armored helm. After the Hero of Winds shatters the helm, the weak spot of the bird is revealed, in which Link must attempt to strike with his newly found Master Sword. After a substantial amount of damage has been dealt, the Helmaroc King explodes in mid air thus ending the battle. Link can now proceed to grab the Heart Container.