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KleenexTissue50's Top Ten Zelda Dungeons

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These are KleenexTissue50's Top Ten Zelda Dungeons ranked for Ed Bellis's What Would You Do.

Top 10 Zelda DungeonsEdit

The dungeons in Zelda games are easily my favorite reason for playing them. Every time a new game comes out, I look forward to exploring whatever crazy labyrinths Nintendo has come up with for the new installment. Not every one of them are winners (sup Oracle games), but everyone once in a while they churn out a real gem, something that makes me glad I played the game. I also thought about doing this a front page top 10, but I figured it would be too narrow a subject and probably wouldn't be accepted. So I didn't. Oh well, let's get this thing started.


#10 - Arbiter's Grounds

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


Staring off the list is the only dungeon from Twilight Princess that will appear on here. I know a lot of people think City in the Sky should be here instead, but to be honest I really didn't care for it that much. Arbiter's Grounds was a lot more fun for me. Now, nothing in Twilight Princess was really that difficult, but I liked hunting down the four ghost (reminiscent of the Forest Temple from Ocarina) and the item you get was just awesome. Now, the Spinner wasn't utilized nearly enough in this game, but damned if that room right after you got it wasn't badass. I must have sat in there sliding around the walls for a good 10 minutes longer than I needed to. And to top it all off, the dungeon had one of the coolest boss fights in the series. Again, it suffered from being a bit too easy, but that boss is probably the most memorable part of the entire game for me. I wish they were that creative with all their boss encounters.


#9 - Eagle's Tower

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening


And now the sole LA dungeon on the list. Link's Awakening gets a lot of love around here, and while I do like it a decent bit, most of its dungeons were pretty lackluster. The Eagles Tower was great, though. The item and boss were kind of forgettable, but the process you need to go through to complete the dungeon was very clever. Knocking down the four pillars to drop the dungeon down a level had me stumped back when I first played the game, and to this day I still forget exactly how to go about doing it. Not that it's a bad thing. It's rare when there's a Zelda puzzle I have trouble solving after completing it once before.


#8 - Blind's Hideout

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past


Ah yes. This dungeon is also unique. Like Eagle's Tower, the item you get is fairly underwhelming (this is actually true of most of the dungeons on this list), but it does have a unique progression. At the bottom of the dungeon, in a jail cell, is what you are expected to believe is the maiden you are trying to save. She says for you to lead her out of the dungeon, but you know better. The maiden is actually Blind, the boss of the level. You have to bring her into the boss room yourself after bombing the ceiling to flood the room with light. The fight with Blind was and still is one of the most challenging boss fights in the entire series. You're constantly dodging a barrage of fireballs and laser beams from Blind and his heads all while trying to damage him. It's a great test in reflexes and a really intense fight.


#7 - Spirit Temple

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


Here's one that often does get the praise it deserves. An interesting dungeon that you need to go through as both Young and Old Link. An excellent mini-boss fight (c'mon, who doesn't love fighting Iron Knuckles?) The puzzles are pretty good, and the boss at the end is a fun fight that does the old "reflect projectiles back at the enemy" strategy in a somewhat unique way (at least at the time in the series). A solid dungeon overall, with nothing really bad to say about it.


#6 - Dark Hyrule Castle

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap


Minish Cap dungeon what. Minish Cap is probably my least favorite game in the series that I've finished, but for some reason this dungeon sticks out to me as being memorable. Maybe it's because the rest were to lackluster, but DHC jumped up the difficulty suddenly and it was a nice change of pace. The music gave it a nice classic feel (the old Hyrule Castle theme from LttP), and yet it still felt eerie in a way. It's topped off by what might be the best final boss in a Zelda game. Vaati's pretty cool, and while he's not around a lot, his fight is pretty awesome. Tough too, which is something unexpected from a Zelda game so late in the series. Shame the rest of the game wasn't as good.


#5 - Snowhead Temple

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Snowhead Temple has the tendancy to get kind of annoying if you don't know what you're doing. It's easy to overlook crushing one of the snowballs in the center pillar and then needing to backtrack to get the one you missed. But aside from that, the dungeon is pretty well built. But the real reason this is on the list is because of the boss fight. Goht is goddamn awesome. What the hell is better than chasing a giant mechanical bull around as Goron Link? Another rare display of creativity in Zelda bosses.


#4 - Turtle Rock

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past


Aw yeah Turtle Rock. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I like Turtle Rock that much. I know a lot of people hate it for the annoying magic consumption and whatnot. But there's something about this dungeon that draws me to it. Yes, the Cane of Somaria platform sections can be frustrating, and you very well might run out of magic power if you don't come prepared. But there's something about the dungeon that's cool to me. And I really love the boss fight here. It's not really hard or anything, but it's a fun battle. Mirror Shield as the main item is fairly boring, but again there's just something that makes me like Turtle Rock, and I always have fun with it when I replay LttP.


#3 - Stone Tower Temple

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Stone Tower is awesome. The music is awesome. The concept is awesome. The atmosphere is awesome. The boss fight is...well ok, that's not quite as good as the rest of the dungeon. The design here is just killer, though. Flipping the entire dungeon upside-down was an awesome idea and it creates some really cool challenges. The miniboss fight was great, though the items (again) weren't that spectacular...they didn't need to be. You were too busy worrying about not falling into oblivion with the temple turned upside-down to worry about your light arrows or giant's mask. More Zelda dungeons like this please, Ninteno.


#2 - Forest Temple

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


The Forest Temple trumps every other dungeon on this list (including number 1) in one area - atmosphere. I love ruin-like locations and the Forest Temple does a great job of it. The half-inside/half-outside nature of the temple was one of the coolest things ever. And hey, get this - the item is useful! I mean sure it was only the bow, but damnit I had been waiting for that thing forever in OoT. And those damn Stalfos. They kicked my ass the first time I played this game. The ghost-hunting thing from Arbiter's Grounds is here, and it's topped off with what was (at the time) the coolest boss fight ever - the first 3D fight with Ganon...kinda. The dungeon is great way to break in Adult Link after you first get him, and is easily the best dungeon in the game; almsot in the entire series. There is one that tops it, however...


#1 - Ganon's Tower

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


I love this place. This is how a final dungeon is supposed to be done. None of this lameass crap from LttP or TP where the final dungeon is some halfassed, lazily built area half as long as the rest. Ganon's Tower is the final dungeon. It's huge. It requires you to make good use of almost every item you've gotten throughout the game. It makes you re-fight all the light-world bosses. It has themed rooms from most of the earlier dungeons. And it finished with an awesome battle against Ganon. And Ganon is awesome. He should be in more Zelda games. This is the culmination of Link to the Past - not the battle with Ganon immediately proceeding Aganhim's defeat (although that fight is pretty good, to be fair). This is the dungeon I look forward too every time and I play the game, and the dungeon I hope every level in a new Zelda game will be. But so far, nothing has matched it.


"So there you have it, my top 10 Zelda dungeons" I hate that line. Every other top 10 list does that at the end. Augh. Anyway, obviously this list isn't objective, this is just my personal preference, and not everyone'll agree with it. It's a shame that the more recent games haven't had a whole lot to offer up. Nothing from Phantom Hourglass wowed me, and only one TP dungeon made it on this. Maybe nostalgia is clouding my vision. It's certainly possible, but hey, that's why this isn't objective now isn't it?

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