In this installment of the Zelda Dungeon Top 5, we look at first bosses. The criteria was simple: can you find this boss at the end of any Zelda game’s first dungeon? If the answer is yes, then that enemy is eligible. First Bosses in Zelda games vary wildly in difficulty and quality, as do the dungeons that they are contained within. In Ocarina of Time, for example, the player will enter the game’s first dungeon almost immediately. This is opposed to the more recent 3D entries in the series, such as Skyward Sword, where the first dungeon is nestled far within the game. As such, there are some large differences between the general design ideas behind these bosses.
Alexis Anderson – View Profile
Ghirahim was just an enticing character, and it was fun damaging his pride by defeating him so easily right off the bat. Odolwa’s battle was kind of nutty and his chanting was memorable. I love to hate Moldorm (his battle is insanely annoying), but after fighting him so many times throughout the series he’s carved out a special place in my heart. Yuga’s battle was the first where the player got to see the wall-painting mechanic in action, and the collaboration with Ook was fun in Diababa’s battle.
Brian Frost – View Profile
I tend to prefer bosses with a lot of personality, which all of the bosses on my list except for Diababa have in spades. Diababa only makes the cut thanks to a guest appearance by Ook (who doesn’t love Ook?). I also generally appreciate it when the first boss battle isn’t painfully easy, so I listed bosses who both had character and offered a bit of a challenge.
Colonel Majora – View Profile
5. Armos Knights
4. Gohma (Ocarina of Time)
1. Gohma (The Wind Waker)
As my first 3D Zelda game, I was not prepared to see a hulking monstrosity jumping out of magma in only the first dungeon. It was quite shocking, and the 3D environment and wide-open room made for some clever mechanics that were satisfying to discover. Plus, the second form was a nice surprise. Definitely a step up from Gohma’s Ocarina of Time counterpart.
Kevin O’Rourke – View Profile
3. Gohma (Wind Waker)
2. Gohma (Ocarina of Time)
I’m a much bigger fan of the 3D Zelda games and have much more experience with them, so nearly all of my choices are from the 3D games. Odolwa is fun to fight, and is especially great if you can get a perfect one cycle combo on him with your spin attack. Both Gohmas are fun to fight as well.
Liam Orth – View Profile
5. Gohma (Wind Waker)
Between all these bosses, they’ve served a great purpose introducing you to what each game has in store. With Gohma’s simplicity and Ghirahim’s swordplay, each boss here gives you a great taste of what the rest of the game has in store.
Mark Olson – View Profile
4. Gohma (Ocarina of Time)
1. Gohma (Wind Waker)
I find that, as a general rule, a later first dungeon equates to a better first boss. Though the player has to get through a considerable portion of the game before fighting any of my top 3, the wait is well worth it. The Wind Waker’s Gohma makes for a particularly fun and intense fight and, as a side note, the lava effects in the boss room are gorgeous.
Mases Hagopian – View Profile
1. Big Green Chuchu
I enjoyed how in both A Link Between Worlds and Skyward Sword, one of the major villains was introduced early on in the game and, in both cases, served as the first dungeon boss. That said, my favorite first boss is the Big Green Chuchu from the Minish Cap, as I think the games shrinking mechanic allowed the developers to re-imagine what ordinarily was a very easy foe.
Michael Crouch – View Profile
2. Gohma (OoT)
When it comes to the bosses, I like the most classic and original ones. Horsehead and Pumpkinhead were very funny designs with a good introductory fight, while bosses like Gohma and Moldorm made some of my favorite gaming experiences ever.
You’ve now seen our picks, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments if you agree with anyone in particular, or shout your dissent due to no one picking the Armos Knights.