Category: Editorials

The bosses of Zelda are some of the biggest features of their respective games and in many ways have influenced boss designs in the industry as a whole. From the introductory minions like Queen Gohma to the epic final confrontations with foes like Demon King Demise, a boss can be the thing we anticipate most in Zelda dungeons. But what makes a good battle? What makes these encounters so tense or symbolic? Let’s explore these questions while we design our own boss! Feel…

It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s true, then one would probably think that Nintendo felt very flattered by their second party partner Rareware during the mid- to late-nineties. Particularly during Rare’s fruitful run on the Nintendo 64, when they seemed to be firing on all cylinders, did it seem that the British developer got assists from Nintendo in developing their games. Banjo Kazooie and Conker both borrowed the game engine that Nintendo had…

The Nintendo Power Player’s Guide of Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart. Ocarina of Time was a game that I played a lot on my brother’s Nintendo 64, and it’s arguably the game I played the most often growing up. I loved exploring the open world, talking with the NPCs, and immersing myself in the story of a child’s destiny to become the world’s savior. I became so obsessed with the game that I collected any merchandise…

The Earth Temple scarred me as a child. There just isn’t a better way to put it. This miserable mausoleum was leaps and miles and worlds away from what I’d encountered throughout the rest of my journey across the open sea. I began with a furtive crawl, more so than in any other dungeon that I would be eager to sprint through and marvel at with glee. Here the dynamic colors and life I’d seen throughout The Wind Waker were stripped…

When I think of Zelda dungeons and what they mean to me, I often think of the Ancient Cistern from Skyward Sword. In my eyes, it’s the epitome of the franchise’s level design. I had to think very hard on why I love it so much, and I concluded that it’s not simply the theme or the mechanics of the dungeon that draw me to to this dungeon, but how those elements come together to tell a story. The Ancient…

If one was to describe the qualities of a great Zelda dungeon, the list would certainly include things like intuitive design, innovative puzzles, and memorable boss encounters. And while I completely agree that these elements are essential toward a dungeon’s success, there is an additional consideration that I believe raises certain labyrinths above the rest. That consideration relates to how well a dungeon explains its purpose and functional utility within the game’s setting. Beyond just servicing gameplay, I appreciate dungeons…

Introduction The Stone Tower Temple is one the most unique dungeons within Majora’s Mask, and one of the most unique within the Zelda series in general. This is not just due to the considerable effort and time required to get into the tower, but due to the further challenges presented by the upward climb toward the temple and, of course, the dungeon itself. All aspects of entering and completing Stone Tower ensure that the player is prepared and worthy for the final conflicts…

The Zelda series is known for a lot of things, though three in particular stand out to me: its characters, its items, and its dungeons. There are plenty of memorable dungeons throughout the series, though the reason why they’re memorable varies from dungeon to dungeon. (I’m looking at you right now, Water Temple). However, when it comes to dungeons, I believe that Twilight Princess contains some of the best designed dungeons in the series. And of all the temples and labyrinths…

The Water Temple from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: arguably the most infamous dungeon in the entirety of the Zelda franchise. The name alone can drive fear and dread into the hearts of the most experienced players and trigger flashbacks of blindly stumbling through the watery depths and the maze of corridors, hoping to find some form of progress. As someone who got a later start than most in exploring the Zelda franchise, it was only recently that I took…

The Stone Tower Temple is one of the more philosophical dungeons in the Zelda franchise. The temple, from top to bottom, appears as Link’s final trial before he faces off against Majora in the Moon. He must first scale the enclosed structure, which in itself serves as a proving ground for those who seek to enter the temple. And once at the top, he — and the player — is instantly hit with a cautious sense of wonder when faced…