Artwork from The Legend of Zelda
Stalfos are a very common enemy in the Zelda series. The only game they don't appear in is Majora's Mask. They appear as large skeletal figures, and are usually fairly difficult to kill. Sometimes they are weaponless, and sometimes they wield large swords and shields (with the exception of The Wind Waker, where they wield large spiked clubs). Stalfos are usually found in dungeons.
The Legend of Zelda
The original appearance of the Stalfos is probably actually the easiest as well. They are found right away in Level 1, they deal a half a heart of damage, and only take a few slashes to defeat. They wield two swords and often have keys embedded into their ribcage. In the second quest, Stalfos will shoot a beam sword, similar to that of Link's beam sword.
The Adventure of Link
The Stalfos of this game are armed with a sword and shield with no armor. They come in two colors, red and blue, blue being the stronger of the two. The red Stalfos attack simply by swinging their sword and can be defeated by a sword slash while crouching. The blue Stalfos has the same attack but can also jump and downthrust in mid jump; you defeat them the same way as you would a red Stalfos.
A Link to the Past
Stalfos in A Link to the Past come in two variations. The first and more common of which are small, similar to the ones seen in The Adventure of Link. The Stalfos will constantly jump forward and back, avoiding your attacks, and they will also throw bones at you. The quickest way to despatch these foes is with your bow, but your sword will work too. They deal half a heart of damage and their only weapons are their bones.
The second and more uncommon version are the first appearence of big, heavy, armored Stalfos, similar to those in Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword. In this game in the few places where you even find Stalfos, you can easily defeat them by madly slashing your sword. After they crumble, you must quickly place a bomb to truly defeat them, or else they will rebuild themselves and you will have to re-battle them. Stalfos are armed with swords.
A change to the usual Stalfos, the type that appear in Link's Awakening have no sword and prefer to jump or throwing bone-like projectile at Link. They come in two variants: A Green Stalfos and Orange Stalfos.
These skeletal enemies will slowly travel around the room, ready for battle. When you approach a Green Stalfos, it will launch itself into the air and try to stomp down on you. Quickly dodge their stomp attacks by moving away, then turn around and try to attack swiftly with your sword. Spin attacks may be useful when trying to defeat this Stalfos.
Orange Stalfos will wander the room like the green variety, but instead of jumping on you they will jump away from you. When it lands, it will throw a bone club at you. Be ready to avoid its club since it is one of the few projectiles that can travel diagonally. Attacking from a distance may be a good idea when fighting an Orange Stalfos.
Ocarina of Time
These skeletal warriors make their return from previous Zelda titles. Watch out for their jump attack, which can do a great deal more damage to you than their regular sword attacks. Use Z targeting to get close while using your shield, then take a quick stab as soon as you see them let their shield down. Try to circle around them when they jump at you. Also, if you get right in their face, you can easily "force them" to attack and get a quick stab in. If done right, you can take them out very quickly this way. They are found in the Forest Temple, the Water Temple, the Shadow Temple, the Spirit Temple, and in Ganon's Castle.
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
The Stalfos here appear in the same fashion as they did in Link's Awakening
Ocarina of Time
This enemy can be prevented from jumping at you with a sword slash by keeping your shield up, holding Z and keeping as close to it as possible because it may jump and mid air slash at you if you're too far away.
The Stalfos follow the same attack pattern as A Link to the Past
The Wind Waker
These Stalfos that appear in The Wind Waker are large, skeletal enemies and they are probably larger in The Wind Waker than they are in any other Zelda title. To defeat a Stalfos you can hit them with your sword to break their bodies into bones, then slash away at the bouncing skull. An easier way to kill a Stalfos in The Wind Waker is to use a bomb to quickly demolish their bodies, then stun the bouncing skull with the Boomerang and then finally finish it with the Skull Hammer.
Four Swords Adventures
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap Stalfos are found in red and blue varieties. The blue stalfos will walk towards Link and hop away when he swings his sword at them. They can be defeated by cornering them and slashing at them or forcing them to jump down a hole. Red Stalfos will usually stand a distance away from Link and hurl bones at him. They can be defeated by simply slashing them. An effective way to kill stalfos in The Minish Cap is to use the Cane of Pacci or the Gust Jar to suck or flip their heads off.
In Twilight Princess, Stalfos are skeletons whom have a sword, shield, and minor armor, much like they did in Ocarina of Time. They can be found in the Arbiter Grounds. In order to take them out, you'll have to first defeat them in a sword fight, then bomb their remains that they crumble into once you've hit them enough times. One good strategy for taking out multiple Stalfos simultaneously is to simply to fire bomb arrows at them from afar, as it will instantly kill them. Alternatively, you can strike these enemies with the Ball and Chain to instantly kill them.
The Stalfos that appear in Phantom Hourglass appear as a collection of bones on the ground. Once Link draws near, the bones will form a skeleton enemy and begin to throw bones toward Link. Stalfos are quite agile and will jump away if Link tries to strike them with his sword. Use the jump attack with your blade. Alternatively, the grappling hook, bombs, and the boomerang work wonders against these boney foes. There is also another variety that wears hats, uses a sword, and is much more difficult to deal with.
These Stalfos have the same design as they did in Phantom Hourglass. The Stalfos that hold swords also return, now called Stalfos Warriors. Occasionally, they drop Stalfos Skulls when defeated.
"This skeleton soldier is born of the dead. In its previous life, it was an ordinary knight, but undeath has improved its combat abilities. It is possible to overpower it with a well-timed shield bash during the creature's attack." - Fi
The Stalfos in Skyward Sword are skeleton-like enemies that wield two large swords which they use both to block and to attack. Link must attack from specific directions that are unprotected, requiring good timing and accurate sword slashes.
Stalfos have three main attacks. They will quickly swing one sword horizontally, perform a cross-chop with both swords, or raise both swords above its head in preparation for a powerful two-part attack. The Stalfos is defenseless while its swords are above its head, so this is your chance to run around behind it and slash away. There is also a more powerful version of Stalfos with four arms and more life called Stalmasters
Stalfos Artwork from The Legend of Zelda
Stalfos Sprite from The Legend of Zelda
Stalfos Official Artwork from The Adventure of Link
Stalfos Artwork from The Adventure of Link
Red Stalfos Sprite from The Adventure of Link
Blue Stalfos Sprite from The Adventure of Link
Stalfos Sprite from A Link to the Past
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Stalfos as they appear in Link's Awakening
Red Stalfos Sprite from Oracle of Seasons
Stalfos artwork from Ocarina of Time
Stalfos model from Ocarina of Time
Stalfos model in beta version of Ocarina of Time
Stalfos artwork from The Wind Waker
Stalfos artwork from Twilight Princess
Stalfos as they appear in Skyward Sword
- "A skeleton that's got a sword in each hand. Little attacking power." — (The Legend of Zelda US Instruction Manual, NES Version, page 35).
- "These skeleton soldier will come at you with two-handed sword. They may look menacing, but they can easily defeated." — (The Legend of Zelda US Instruction Manual, GBA Release Version, page 26).