Top 10 Legend of Zelda Dungeons

Script written by Kurt Hvorup Hey, listen! When it comes to epic questing, these are the places to go. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Legend of Zelda Dungeons. For this list we'll be scouring the lengthy history of the “Zelda” franchise in search of the finest dungeons the games have to offer. Be they 8-bit or modern, vast in scope or small and personal, we found that these were the cream of the crop in terms of dungeon design. Special Thanks to our users "CedrikD" "adpem88" "MechonBlade" "MetalShadow" & so many other users for suggesting this topic on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Legend of Zelda Dungeons


Hey, listen! When it comes to epic questing, these are the places to go. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Legend of Zelda Dungeons.

For this list we'll be scouring the lengthy history of the “Zelda” franchise in search of the finest dungeons the games have to offer. Be they 8-bit or modern, vast in scope or small and personal, we found that these were the cream of the crop in terms of dungeon design.

#10: Ancient Cistern
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)

All that glitters may not be gold, but this dungeon still impresses. Serving as the fourthdungeon of “Skyward Sword”, the Ancient Cistern is initially a marvellous sight with its golden walls, massive Buddhist-style statue and vast pool of water. However, players who descend to the lower level will find a visually darker dungeon waiting for them, guarded by Cursed Bokoblins and housing the six armed sword-wielding boss Kokoktos. Add to that puzzles such as a movable Great Statue, and you have both an atmospheric and appropriately challenging dungeon.

#9: Shadow Temple
“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

There's nothing wrong with the classics – certainly not here. According to the lore, the Shadow Temple was one of five temples built to house five of Hyrule's Seven Sages. In the game proper, it's a grim locale haunted by the zombie-like ReDeads, consisting of invisible walls and floors that require use of the Lens of Truth or the Iron Boots to traverse. Surviving the various enemies and morbid traps leads to a fight with Bongo Bongo, an evil spirit with detached hands and a vulnerable red eye. Darker than most, but it works here.

#8: Earth Temple
“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” (2002)

Our green tunic-wearing hero Link certainly isn't fearful about dark locations, that's for sure. The Earth Temple, as the fifth dungeon of “The Wind Waker”, relies heavily on one element: sunlight. For once Link isn’t the lone dungeon hunter as Medli the harp player is here to help. You can even take control of her in certain sections as her Harp acts as a reflective light source, and she can fly short distances. The whole experience is a ray of sunshine.

#7: Thieves' Hideout
“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (2013)

Is it irony that a thieves' den is easily broken into? That password was more of a riming game than a password… Regardless, there's something amusing about the relative ease with which Link enters the Thieves' Hideout in “A Link Between Worlds”... even though the real treat lies inside. Another dungeon that you don’t experience entirely alone, to get thru you must help a Theif girl excape, making careful use of various conveyor belts and carefully placed Bawbs.

#6: Tower of the Gods
“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” (2002)

Sometimes it's not the destination, but the reward that makes the effort worthwhile. Case in point: this early dungeon of “The Wind Waker” serves as the location of the Hero's Bow, a valuable and iconic item. Link's journey up the Tower puts him through many tests – from guiding the Tower's Guardians to a chamber, to activating switches with the use of statues – in the pursuit of the Bow. And the battle with the floating boss Gohdan serves as an effective final test, at once capping off an impressive dungeon and proving Link is worthy of his new tool.

#5: Ganon's Tower
“The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” (1991)

All good things must come to an end. This appears to be the guiding principle behind this final dungeon in “A Link to the Past”, wherein Link must traverse its eight floors in order to complete his quest. Along the way, he – and by extension the player – are faced by many of the game's enemies and the bosses of every Light World dungeon. It's a cathartic surge of combat that works as the game's climax, to say nothing of the intense fight with the evil energy-firing wizard Agahnim.

#4: Sandship
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)

The desert can be a dangerous place for travellers – and it's here that that lesson becomes key. Once a ses-faring galleon, the Sandship was taken over by pirates and left stranded in the Lanaryu Desert. By the time Link climbs aboard, it's deserted save for lurking foes such as the scorpion-like Arachas, creating a tangible sense of loneliness. Perhaps the most sci-fi Zelda dungeon ever, the amazing timestone mechanic let’s you peer into the past and checkout the sandship when it was in it’s prime.

#3: Arbiter's Grounds
“The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” (2006)

Four dungeons in, and “Twilight Princess” shows the extent of its grim tone. The Arbiter's Grounds are infested with undead creatures, ghosts, and other ghouls – extending even to the boss Stallord, a giant reanimated skeleton. This fits with its origins as a prison for the worst of criminals, it’s most notorious inmate being non-other than Ganondorf himself. By finding the Spinner item and using it to ride scattered rails can a player hope to overcome this haunting yet fascinating locale.

#2: Forest Temple
“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

Tread lightly, Link, for the road ahead is uncertain. At first glance, the Forest Temple resembles a Gothic-style mansion, complete with red carpeted halls and a grand entrance. Yet venturing further reveals its brilliant secret: the Temple changes its layout based on the flipping of switches. Floors become walls, hallways twist and turn, and the temple itself becomes a puzzle to figure out. This confusing layout makes the search for the 4 ghost sisters you must find inside all the more tense.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Lanaryu Mining Facility
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)
Eagle
“The Legend of Zelda” (1986)
Temple of Droplets
“The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap” (2004)
City in the Sky
“The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” (2006)
And our dishonourable mention
Water Temple
“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

#1: Stone Tower
“The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask” (2000)

In a series preoccupied with temples, this is among the finest on display. Located in Ikana Canyon, the eastern area of the land of Termina, the Stone Tower is the epitome of variety. Its puzzles rely on many different elements – from fire, to light, to water – requiring quick switching through Link's various forms. The dungeon itself turns upside-down at the mid-point, keeping things interesting up to the battle with the monstrous insect Twinmold. And the rewards are plentiful: Light Arrows, The Giant's Mask, and even the powerful Great Fairy's Sword. Aces, Nintendo, aces.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite dungeon from the Legend of Zeldagames? For more legendary Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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