Saria’s gone into this temple to try to confront the evil here, but she can’t do it alone! Use your Master Sword to cut through the monsters and get to the heart of the temple.
As soon as you enter the temple, you’ll see a door straight ahead. Approach it and a Wolfos will come out and ambush you! Deal it a swift stroke from your Master Sword to defeat it, then climb up the vines to your right (avoid the Skullwalltula!) and drop down onto the top of the tree. (Nab Skulltula Token 49 with your Hookshot while you’re up here.) Walk carefully along the tree limb and leap over to the one protruding from the opposite wall. On top of this other tree is a chest containing a Small Key!
Head through the door you saw earlier you’ll enter a short hallway. Shoot down the Big Skulltula with your Hookshot, which will pierce right through its armored shell, and proceed through the next door. This is the central staging area of the temple. There’s an elevator in the center of the room that will take you to the boss’s chamber, but as you approach four Poe spirits appear and steal the flames that power the elevator. These are the four Poe sisters, and you’ll fight each of them in turn later on in the dungeon.
Gold Skulltula 50 is hiding in the alcove straight ahead. Nab it, then proceed through the north door into the next hallway. A Blue Bubble lies in wait. Defeat it and you can continue to the next chamber. Here, you’ll fight a pair of Stalfos warriors for another Small Key.
With your new Small Key, return to the main chamber and walk up the northwest corridor. Here you’ll find a Time Block that you can remove with the Song of Time. Behind the door the Time Block reveals is an outdoor room where a Big Deku Baba and Octorok combo will team up to attack you. Fight them off and head to the right, where you’ll run into a vine-covered wall crawling with Skullwalltulas. You can use your Hookshot to take out the two lower ones, but you need Bombchus to reach the highest spider. If you don’t have Bombchus, you can just climb carefully past it.
At the top of the wall is a hidden door leading to a small chamber with only a Blue Bubble inside. Defeat it and you’ll earn the Dungeon Map.
In the next room, which is another outdoor area, point your Hookshot at the black target-square on the wall and let the chain fly so you can pull yourself towards it. These “Hookshot targets” will appear frequently throughout the remainder of the game, so remember them well! Step on the switch in this alcove and you’ll drain the water from the well in this room.
Drop down to the ground floor (you can pick up Skulltula 51 while you’re here) and climb into the well. At the bottom is a walkway leading between the two outdoor rooms, and in the middle of the walkway is a small chest with a Small Key inside. Climb back out of the well and return to the central chamber for your next objective.
From the central chamber, head up the stairs to the locked west door and use a key to go through it. Tread through the next corridor into a large puzzle-filled maze area. It may seem complicated, but it’s a lot simpler than it looks. First, walk straight ahead and climb the ladder up to the higher ledge. Another ladder awaits that will take you up to a walkway on the upper floor. Follow this walkway until you find a large blue block.
Pull this block along the floor, following the yellow triangle arrows. After a certain point you’ll start to run out of room to pull it, so run around to the opposite side and start pushing it up against the wall. You’ll hear a thunking noise when you’ve pushed it as far as it can go, at which point you should run around using the walkway to your left and push it into a slot in the floor. You can use it to climb up to the next level.
Before you do, however, look for a ladder near the spot where the green block originally was. Climb up this ladder and hang a couple rights to find a reddish-colored block. Push it straight ahead until it hits the far wall, then head back down the ladder and use the greenish block to head around to the other side of the red one. From here you can shove it into yet another slot in the floor to create another makeshift stair to the higher levels.
Once you’re reached the tiptop of the room, you’ll run into a locked door guarded by two Blue Bubbles. There’s an eye switch above it, but nothing in your current arsenal can hit it. Fight or ignore the Bubbles and use your Small Key to proceed through the door. You’ll emerge in a long corridor that’s been twisted into a spiral. You can still walk safely through it, so make a break for it into the weird room at the end. Look for a weird-looking treasure chest hanging from the wall, as it will be important later on.
Wallmasters lurk in the ceiling and will try to reach down and grab you to take you back to the start of the dungeon. Avoid them and leap across the raised platforms (you can use a ladder to climb back up if you fall) to reach a locked door that you can open with your last Small Key.
This room is full of paintings, one of which depicts one of those Poe sisters you saw earlier! As you approach, however, the image will shift from one frame to another. Walk down the two flights of stairs here and proceed through the door into the next chamber.
A Stalfos awaits you here, but this one’s harder than the others you’ve faced - there’s a giant hole in the center of the room! Defeat it without falling into the hole and the gap will fill, but two more Stalfos will come out and attack! Once you’ve dealt with all three Stalfos, a chest will appear containing the Fairy Bow.
Proceed east to the next room and shoot the Poe’s image in the paintings from a distance with your Fairy Bow. Sometimes the Poe will try to avoid your shots by teleporting before you can let your arrow fly, so try to stay as far away as possible and be quick with that bow!
Once you’ve eliminated all three paintings, head down to the entrance of the room and you can fight the Poe directly for the Compass. Defeat her, then cross back over to the other room and repeat the process for the other Poe sister, who relinquishes a key.
Backtrack through the twisted corridor to the eye switch you saw earlier. Shoot it with your Fairy Bow to “untwist” the hallway and rotate the room at the end so that you can open the multi-colored chest and grab the Boss Key!
Rotating the room also opened a passage in the floor that you can easily drop down into. Defeat the enemies here to open the door to a walkway overlooking one of the outside rooms you found earlier. (You can nab Skulltula Token 52 while you’re up here.) Follow the walkway and enter the first door on your right.
Here you’ll find a Floormaster, a cousin of the Wallmaster. Defeat it and its offspring to earn another Small Key, which you’ll need to reach Amy Poe. Return to the walkway outside and head through the door to the right, which leads back into the block puzzle chamber. Climb up to the top, then shoot the eye switch again to retwist the hallway so you can head back through Joelle & Beth’s rooms to reach another locked door at the end.
Head through the corridor on your right, defeating or avoiding the Green Bubbles that block the way, and open the locked door at the end of the hall. In this room, four ledges rotate around a central torch. There’s an eye switch on the east wall, but it’s been covered over by a sheet of ice.
Leap onto one of the rotating platforms - don’t fall into the pit, it’s poisonous! - and try to line up an arrow so that it passes through the torch’s flame and melts the ice to expose the switch. This will twist the previous corridor, opening up another hole to drop into in the weird room at the end.
In the room at the bottom of the pit, there’s a falling ceiling that will try to crush you if you pass under it. Luckily, there are gaps in the ceiling that you can fit into as it falls to avoid getting smashed. Big Skulltulas guard some of these gaps, but you can pick them off from a distance with your Fairy Bow. Move carefully across the room and step on the floor switch towards the far end to unbar the passage forward.
Here you’ll find another Poe painting, this one of Amy Poe. When you shoot the painting, five blocks will fall from the ceiling. Four of them display quarters of Amy’s image - push them together to replicate the painting within the time limit and the Poe herself will appear. Defeat her the same way you did the previous Poe sisters and you’ll restore her flame to its rightful place.
Head west through the newly-opened door and you’ll find Meg Poe waiting for you in the central chamber. A few rounds of her game and the violet flame will return to its torch, causing the elevator to start working again.
Hop on the elevator to ride down to the lower level. The room here is laid out rather strangely. If you push on the protruding sections of the wall, the whole room will rotate, opening new passages to side chambers. Approach the western section and push it towards the north to open up the southwest passage, inside of which you’ll find Skulltula Token 53.
Now push this same section of wall south twice to open a passage to the northwest. Step on the switch in this nook to unbar the passage leading to the east (along the red carpet), then push the wall south again until you open up the east chamber. Press the switch here to open up the southern switch (along the blue carpet), which you can access by continuing to push the wall until the side passages line up. This last switch opens the north passage (also blue carpets), which leads to the boss’s chamber. Use your Boss Key to open the door.
Phantom Ganon and his horse will rise up into the air and cast themselves into one of the creepy forest paintings. After a while they’ll disappear into the distance, only to start coming back out through another painting.
The phantom actually has created a duplicate of himself to confuse you, so look for the incarnation that looks a little less shadowy and a little more colorful and fire an arrow at it when it tries to emerge from the painting. If you picked the wrong phantom, it’ll turn around and race back through the painting, while the real one leaps across the room and casts a magic bolt at the floor, sending a pulse of electrical energy across it that is difficult to avoid.
Three hits with your arrows and Phantom Ganon will abandon this strategy and begin attacking you directly. He’ll fire magic bolts from his trident-like scepter that you can volley back at him with a stroke of your sword. Unfortunately Phantom Ganon is also skilled at repelling magic attacks, so you’ll have to bounce the energy back and forth for a few rounds before it’ll hit him square in the chest, knocking him out briefly. Take this chance to go in for some direct hits with your sword.
As he takes more damage, he’ll sometimes use a more powerful charging attack that only the Spin Attack can block. Look for some white sparks to generate around him as he prepares for this move. After a dozen or so hits from your sword, Phantom Ganon will be vanquished for good and you can grab the Heart Container and meet Saria on the other side of the magic portal…
Ocarina of Time screenshots courtesy of AceofSuns. Screenshots will eventually be replaced with 3DS version images, which are not presently available for hopefully obvious reasons.