Top Ten Legend of Zelda Temples

And Zelda Week continues on! Our next post will concern the Top Ten Best Legend of Zelda Temples in the game. And this is a tough one, since there are so many decent candidates; suspect Ocarina of Time to go home with the most awards.

And the Triforce goes to...

First note: I do not see the 2D Zelda games as serious contenders. In my opinion, the 3D temples were far better. Also, these choices are MY opinion. So please peoples, do not get angry and troll me. So, let the list begin!

#10

GreatBayTemple (Majora’s Mask)

A giant waterwheel which will play a huge part in the temple...

New mechanics: Pipes and icy platforms.

What was great: Finally, after sneaking into a pirate fortress, taking the face of a dead celebrity, and taking photos for perverts, you are allowed to go toGreatBayTemple. On a turtle. Which is more epic than boats, sorry TheLonelyIsland. After a grand entrance, you enter the first room, and you are astounded. There are pipes everywhere, with huge water wheels clicking away and a haunting soundtrack in the background. After following the pipes, you are challenged with operating the water flow and using the ice arrows, which finally do more than freeze enemies and fire. The Great Bay Temple is confusing at times, and for Majora’s Mask, it is perfect. It’s not too long or too hard, and is entertaining all the way through. Also, it features the first tough boss in the game; to be honest, the rest of them with pretty easy. There was also a freaky mini boss who took about three fairies to kill: a huge eyeball covered in bouncing goo. All in all a very memorable temple, and for its setting and location, was very colorful.

What wasn’t great: On average, the puzzles were not as good as the ones we are about to see.

#9

Snowpeak Ruins (Twilight Princess)

New mechanics: Cannonballs.

What was great: Once again, a great entrance. After tracking down a yeti and finding out that it speaks HYLIAN, you race down a mountain slope on top of a giant piece of ice to find yourself at Snowpeak Ruins. The moment you enter, the paths you’ll be forced to take later on in the game are evident; smashed staircases and hanging platforms are just some of the scenery which makes the temple feel as if it was a functioning mansion once. In the first few minutes you are introduced to the yeti’s wife, who appears sick. She guides you to locations that may have the mirror piece you’re looking for, but of course that would be too easy. It’s a total of THREE times before you finally reach it, and then you are treated to one of the most disturbing boss battles in the game. The boss fight in the temple introduces a new mechanic, using the reflection of the icy floor to see the positioning of the boss. After completing the temple, you are treated to a romantic scene which somehow results in a heart piece; it’s comical and touching. Another great thing about this temple is the unpredictability it has. Icy stick warriors will come in hordes to attack you, and frost wolves will jump out of the floor and surround you. Also, the yeti gives you some of his soup, which is very convenient and well placed. All of this results in a great stage.

What wasn’t great: The boss was too easy.

Always take caution when approaching cursed mirror fragments: You could end up like this.

To see a more detailed analysis of this temple, check out this video link:

#8

StoneTowerTemple(Majora’s Mask)

Coolest temple entrance ever.

New Mechanics: The temple could be turned upside down.

What was great The best temple in Majora’s Mask, my favorite game, so you may be wondering why it is only in 8th place. What did make this temple stand out was the fact that it could be turned upside down; as you completed the up-right portion, you’d notice the many chests hanging from the ceiling. It had great puzzles (the upside room with the block), and a great track that suited the mystical theme of the stage. But the temple had many aggravations. It was hard, for one, and finding every chest and key was essential; this was one of the temples where I almost ran out of time on.

What wasn’t great: What kind of temple has a mini-boss that is cooler than the final boss? A phantom that wears an army of bats as a cloak will always be more fun than two giant worms floating in the air. I mean seriously, this game has the worst end boss in 3D LOZ history. Also, when you wanted to turn the whole thing upside down, you’d had to go through the same puzzle that required you to play the time consuming “Elegy of Emptiness” three times. And if you did not use the Chateau Romani milk, you would find a very hard time getting mana.

#7

Goron Mines (Twilight Princess)

Goron Mines

New mechanics: Magnetized surfaces.

What was great: The second temple in Twilight Princess. It’s funny that after countless numbers of fire themed dungeons, Nintendo can still deliver a fresh new look on the theme. You could walk on magnetized surfaces and have crazy arrow fights with moblins. Another strong point for the temple is the bosses; they are phenomenal. The mini-boss consists of a sumo goron, who you fight on a platform chained to the air. The last boss is a flaming goron who you have to trip using the chain that is attached to his leg. Also, all the bosses were good guys, which made the whole affair more heroic.For me, it was the perfect second temple: not too hard and not too easy. Twilight Princess had great pacing for the first five temples (from there it got too easy).

What wasn’t great: This could be a bad thing or a good thing, depending on your outlook. Instead of finding the boss key chest, you found pieces of it and put it together to form the key. For me, it was the lazy way out of making a big key room. For others, it was a fresh new idea.

#6

Spirit Temple(Ocarina of Time)

Inside the Spirit Temple

New mechanics: Light Reflecting Shield

What was great: No credible list about great temples in the LOZ series can exclude the Spirit Temple; it’s too good. It had great set pieces: Huge statues and a chilling soundtrack that echoed as your explored the dusty ruins. It is also one of the temples that took you outside; on top of the monument you could see where you first approached the temple. And of course, it let you use the light reflecting mirror, one of the more memorable weapons

that Link could use. But the best part is saved for the last: Twinrova. A great thing about Twinrova is that she wasn’t some monster that grew considerably powerful; she’s actually Ganondorf’s surrogate mother.

What wasn’t great: A few boring puzzles, but no one’s perfect.

#5

Woodfall Temple(Majora’s Mask)

New mechanics: Using the Deku Shrub form.

What was great: This is where my list differs from everyone else’s. For me, the Woodfall temple is by far the best starting temple in Legend of Zelda. For one, you get arrows right, a weapon which is usually introduced later in the other Zelda installments. It was constantly interesting, with tons of fights and fun puzzles. People may complain the temple was too easy, but I see that as a good thing; the first temple in Twilight Princess was harder than some of its last temples. The last boss was difficult however, since it wasn’t a boss that required you to do a certain action; you could just go up to the boss and slash away. After the boss, you free the princess, put her into a bottle, and travel back to her crazy father. What a conclusion.

Odolwa; a tough boss if you want to play by his rules.

What wasn’t great: Too easy for Zelda veterans.

#4

FireTemple(Ocarina of Time)

New mechanics: Using the hammer and freeing Gorons.

Out of all the bosses in Ocarina of Time, he has the best hair of them all.

What was great: One of the most fluid temples I’ve ever experienced. It had the perfect difficulty level, and had funny little incentives to beat the temple: freeing Gorons. The back story to the temple is that Ganondorf kidnapped the Gorons and was about to feed them to the dragon Volvagia, which is comical. Darunia goes to the temple in an attempt to free his friends, though his hard work is futile. As you travel through the temple, you are given keys and tips from the Gorons you save. I always wonder where the Gorons went after you freed them; some of their prison cells are far away from the temple entrance. Anyways, after that you fight Volvagia, a love or hate boss. I loved it, though it was a bit easy.

What wasn’t great: Some people really don’t like Volvagia, and I can see why. Half of the fight is playing whack-a-mole with the damned thing.

#3

ForestTemple

New mechanics: Finding poes.

The infamous twisted corridor.

What was great: There is tons of reason why this temple is great. It introduces the first 3D Deadhands, which freaked me out the first time they got me. Also, it features intense sword fights with Stalfos, and cool set pieces like twisted corridors. The music also fitted the atmosphere of the temple well: spooky and mysterious. The dungeon has extensive uses for paintings as well: Poes and phantoms hide in them. And speaking of phantoms, this temple houses one of the most infamous Zelda bosses ever:  Phantom Ganondorf! I can never get tired of beating this guy.

What wasn’t great: How was I supposed to know there’d be a key at the entrance of the temple? That somewhat pissed me off.

#2

Arbiter’s Grounds (Twilight Princess)

New mechanics: Roller coasters and scents.

You'll be causing lots of trouble just getting to the temple.

What was great: The best temple in Twilight Princess hands down. It starts off with you getting blasted (by a cannon) into the desert. After a few minutes of rolling around, you finally spot some moblins. So what do you do? Go sneak mode on their asses. After firing some arrows around and using warthog mounts to crash down doors, you have finally made it to Arbiter’s Grounds. From there, you track down Poes using your wolf form, while zipping around with your spinning disk. Finally, you reach the boss, a huge lizard like skeleton, with its rib cage in the sand. Once you break its spine, the real boss fight begins. It won’t spoil it for you, just play it yourself. In fact, thinking about Arbiter’s Ground makes me want to play the whole game over again.

Is this a lizard or a dragon?

What wasn’t great: It was difficult. I won’t lie. There were lots of times when I got frustrated. Also, always track the scents. You won’t regret it.

#1

Ganondorf’s Castle (Ocarina of Time)

New mechanic: Epicness.

Good luck.

What’s great: The perfect way to end a game. After you free all the Sages, they make a bridge for you to finally encounter the villain who’s been antagonizing you since the start of the game. After some forgettable puzzles, you are challenged by a number of enemies, such as Dinalfos and Iron Knuckles. As you ascend, you’ll notice some organ music playing. After reaching the top, you’ll find Ganondorf, playing the said organ. With his evil aura Navi is sent flying, meaning you’ll have to beat this boss without a lock on targeting system. After doing the bastard in, you exit the castle, only to fight Ganon, the pig version of Ganondorf. After one of the most epic moments in video game history, you are given the honors to slash Ganon right across his head with the Master Sword. Multiple teams :D. Unfortunately, this does not end happily, as Zelda is forced to give herself up to trap Ganondorf, who eventually will escape 100 years later. To not feature this level in the top three spot would be a travesty; this temple exudes epicness.

Ganondorf and his infamous organ skills.

What’s not great: To be fair, the puzzles are forgettable. I think that’s mainly because after finishing the game, you don’t remember anything else except for the stunning ending.

Well, there you have it. The Top Ten Temples in LOZ. There will be one more article before I return to my normal gaming articles. Also, watch out for the “Random Encounter” posts coming soon. Comment and subscribe! Thanks!!!

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    • Wyatt
    • January 16th, 2012

    I’m sorry. But Ganon’s Castle is terrible. What the hell? Stone Tower Temple and Great Bay Temple #8 and #10. I know it’s opinion. But I disagree entirely.

    • haha this is an old list, and being a majora’s mask fan, i agree with you; those two temples should be a lot higher.
      Ganon’s castle probably doesn’t deserve number one, but the atmosphere, and the fact that ur finally ending the game gives it that unique feeling i can’t describe. Nostalgia? i dunno. I also loved how every step up the castle increased the volume of the organ music… I’d probably put it off the list for gameplay mechanics, but it holds a special place for me 😀

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