Hello everyone! For those who don’t know, this article is a continuation of a series about level design in Zelda games. Today we’ll be looking at a frequently lauded dungeon from Skyward Sword: the Ancient Cistern. This dungeon constantly finds its way onto top ten dungeons lists, but all I ever hear this dungeon praised for are two things:
- The theming (Heaven and Hell, Buddhist symbolism, etc.)
- The boss fight (Koloktos)
After that, I hear nearly nothing about the actual design of the level itself. So I won’t be talking much – well, at all, really – about the spiritual themes and whatnot present in the Ancient Cistern. Because, quite honestly, this dungeon would be a fantastic example of exquisite level design without any of that symbolism. Let’s dive in, shall we?