Dungeon bosses have long been a core pillar of the Zelda games. These fun flashy set-pieces implore players to utilize items and strategies accrued in the preceding dungeon. Our list of bosses are memorable, challenging, epic and fun. Take a look below for 10 of the best and baddest bosses from the Legend of Zelda games.
Koloktos, Ancient Automaton, is the boss of the Ancient Cistern, the fourth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It is a huge golden statue with six arms, two of which hold large Chakram-style curved axes. Koloktos is initially inanimate, but when Link faces it he finds Ghirahim sitting on the statue’s head. After stating that Link is persistent, Ghirahim promptly uses his dark magic to bring it to life before vanishing. The statue will often smash its fists down on top of Link in an attempt to crush him, and the hero must use the Whip in order to defeat it. The pieces which make up Koloktos are held together by some form of dark energy provided by Ghirahim.
Koloktos was most likely inspired by the Asura; six armed, three headed (or three faced in some versions) demon deities from Buddhism. This would fit within the Buddhist theme of the Ancient Cistern. The game files for the boss use the name “Asura”.
Zant is one of two main antagonists in Twilight Princess. He is the self-proclaimed King of Twilight, although Midna claims he is the King of Shadows. He is a member of the Twili who usurps the throne of the Twilight Realm from Midna before the events of Twilight Princess. He regularly appears wearing a helmet that conceals his face, but removes it before his battle with Link. He is a powerful sorcerer and minion of Ganondorf.
For most of the game, Zant presents himself with a mask of calmness and control, always maintaining an upright posture and speaking in a cold, sinister voice. Zant also shows himself to be a cunning and brilliant tactician, having nearly conquered all of Hyrule save for Ordon Province, which was only thwarted because Link was there when a Shadow Beast attempted to steal Ordona’s light. Zant also possesses an extreme amount of arrogance and entitlement. Whereas most Twili were content with life in the Twilight Realm, Zant held a megalomaniac belief that they had the right to rule the World of Light. He constantly refers to himself as the King of Twilight and shows full confidence in his abilities.
Zant has also shown himself to be incredibly ruthless in achieving his goals, committing countless atrocities with no sense of compassion or morality. He turned his own people into Shadow Beasts against their will, ordered the execution of Rutela in front of the Zoras for resisting his rule, forced Zelda to surrender under the threat of harming her people, and nearly killed Midna by exposing her to light, all with no remorse.
Upon his final confrontation with Link and Midna, it is revealed that Zant’s earlier persona was a facade and that underneath is a raving lunatic. Zant reveals himself to be very insane, often going on bizarre tangents, hopping up and down, and throwing a tantrum in a manner similar to that of a child. He implies in his rant that part of the reason for his madness is because he was the only one of the Twili to have any emotion at all, and that such was suppressed by decree by the Twili royal family. Zant also shows a near fanatical devotion to Ganondorf, blindly following the Demon King’s every command and believing that Ganondorf would revive him without cease.
Koume and Kotake, collectively known as Twinrova, are a recurring pair of Gerudo twin witches in The Legend of Zelda series. They are known as the Sorceress of Flame and the Sorceress of Ice, respectively. As the surrogate mothers of Ganondorf, they are among his more devoted servants.
In Ocarina of Time, Koume and Kotake are a pair of 400-year-old twin witches who secretly lead the Gerudo tribe, and are the surrogate mothers of Ganondorf. They maintain their long lives by using their powerful magic. They both have green, wrinkled skin and dress in black robes with white Gerudo patterns near the hems, with an obi-like belt around their waists. Kotake’s association with ice is noted by a blue jewel on her forehead and blue slippers. The markings on her headband are in red with a blue border, whereas these distinctions are red on Koume to highlight her association with fire.
They first appear outside the Spirit Temple just after child Link obtains the Silver Gauntlets. They kidnap Nabooru, who they subsequently brainwash and dress in an Iron Knuckle armor. After adult Link defeats her, he fights Koume and Kotake inside the boss room of the Spirit Temple. After being defeated, halos appear over their heads and they are absorbed by a column of light, presumably passing to the afterlife.
Koume tends to act as the leader of the two, usually appearing first and deciding what their course of action should be. She is the first to introduce herself during the boss battle and is also the one who formulates the idea of combining with Kotake to form Twinrova.
Originally, Stallord is a lifeless skeleton of an ancient beast found in the dungeon’s final chamber. Zant, however, reanimates Stallord’s fossil by plunging the Scimitar of Twilight into the skull, thereafter disappearing.
Stallord awakens and a large sand pit forms all around it. Link is forced to attach himself to the edge of the pit with the Spinner and ride around it. He must then detach from the wall and direct himself towards the spine, attempting to dodge the Staltroops that attempt to block his attacks. Successfully attacking the spine three times makes it crack, bringing Stallord down.
After this, its head falls to the ground, draining the sand out of the room. By spinning the Spinner into the lock in the center of the room, Link activates the gears, which causes a central pillar to rise in the middle of the room, leading to the second part of the battle.
Stallord’s skull then flies around the raised pillar, attempting to bombard Link with fireballs. Only by riding along the wall with the Spinner is Link able to catch up with it. Stallord attacks whenever Link gets close enough, forcing him to jump from wall to wall to evade. By striking it with the Spinner, Stallord is knocked out of the air, giving Link the chance to attack the Scimitar in Stallord’s skull. When Stallord rises again, Blade Traps start filling the walls, forcing Link to keep jumping from wall to wall.
After enough hits, Stallord is defeated, leaving behind a Heart Container.
Ganon, also known by his original/human form Ganondorf, is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda series. Ganon is a nickname for Ganondorf and the name given to him when he transforms into a boar-like beast. He made his debut appearance in the first game, The Legend of Zelda, and has since been present or referred to in most subsequent iterations.
Introduced in The Legend of Zelda as a monstrous Prince of Darkness, Ganon’s character has seen much development throughout the series, from being a simple monster to a powerful warlock with deeper motives to his actions. As the manifestation of the Demon King Demise’s hatred for the Goddess and her Chosen Hero(or, according to the Hyrule Historia, the reincarnation of Demise himself), Ganon is destined to eternally reincarnate to pursue world domination.
In most cases though, he makes a return after being resurrected or breaking a seal. Four Swords Adventures is a notable exception, featuring a reincarnated Ganondorf. The original Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time appears in the rest of the games, making him stand out from other villains as the same character from game-to-game.
Ganon is the possessor of the Triforce of Power, imbued with the essence of the Goddess Din. This divine relic makes Ganon unimaginably strong and grants him boundless mystical power, making him a grave threat to the land of Hyrule and the world. Additionally, Ganon is the source of darkness. As stated in prophecy, the only one capable of defeating Ganon is the Hero who is chosen by the Goddesses.
6. Bongo Bongo
Bongo Bongo is a Boss in Ocarina of Time. It is a mysterious Cyclopean shadow spirit with two large disembodied hands, and it serves as the Boss of the Shadow Temple. Once sealed deep in the darkness at the bottom of Kakariko Well, the true origin of the beast is unknown. After Ganondorf came to power, the beast was able to escape its prison within the well and retreat to the Shadow Temple, where Impa went to try to seal it again.
Bongo Bongo is noted as being one of the strangest bosses in The Legend of Zelda series. Some features that contribute to its oddity are its abilities to become invisible, to sink into a shadow and travel across surfaces, and to manifest itself as a mysterious dark energy (though the remake suggests these latter two abilities are the same). Despite its hands being separated from the main body, it still retains full control over them from a distance, allowing the creature to punch, slap, grab, and squeeze the life out of its victims. It also can shield its susceptible red eye by folding the flaps over it.
It is also thought by some to be the hardest boss in Ocarina of Time, even harder than Ganon. Some even believe it is the hardest boss in the whole series, while others believe it is easy due to the systematic way of killing it. Adding to this is the fact that Bongo Bongo has the highest amount of health of any bosses in Ocarina of Time. The easiest way to defeat Bongo Bongo is to have the Biggoron’s Sword, which makes the fight much easier.
When Link encounters Bongo Bongo, the battle occurs on a giant drum (most likely a Bongo, given the name) surrounded by a very poisonous green gunge that will harm Link if he touches it. Not only does it beat on the drum, but the creature sings throughout the battle with a strange voice much like the Four Giants in Termina.
Majora is the assumed name of the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. An evil being inhabiting Majora’s Mask, it is arguably the series’ most depraved and bizarre villain. Despite appearing as an inanimate object, and using the Skull Kid as its puppet, the mask carries obvious sentience and the ability to speak coherently, through its wearer or of its own power. The gender of Majora is disputed, as neither the game nor any supplementary material states it.
The true form of Majora is arguably never seen. During Link’s final battle with the spirit, it transforms into three different forms. It is possible that the appearance of Majora’s Mask may resemble the true appearance of Majora, if it ever had one; however, this cannot be confirmed.
Majora is the only Legend of Zelda antagonist who does not seem to have clear motives. Most villains, such as Ganondorf, Zant, and Vaati, wish to rule their land or increase their power, but Majora seems happy with simple destruction. As it amplifies the wearer’s dark desires, the motive for each owner may be different. However, Majora itself most likely has differing motives from the wearer, corrupting their mind and bringing about its own ends for destruction.
It having differing motives from the wearer is further implied by its’ treatment of the Skull Kid after the Four Giants prevented the moon’s crashing into Termina by explicitly comparing Skull Kid to a puppet before declaring him broken and useless. This likely means that Majora simply wants to destroy, without any real cause, and when Majora has a host, it uses their reasons instead. It seems to have a very pronounced sadistic streak, not only causing destruction but causing Skull Kid to use the mask’s powers to generally make the lives of Termina’s inhabitants miserable.
Goht is the Boss of Snowhead Temple in Majora’s Mask. It is a giant mechanical creature with resemblance to a goat or bull. It is Goht’s curse that is causing the abnormally long and cold winter at Snowhead, which threatens the lives of the native Gorons living there.
When Link reaches the boss room, he finds Goht frozen. He must use a Fire Arrow to melt the ice block. The monster will then thaw, come back to life while breaking out of the rocks surrounding it, and start charging around the course in an attempt to tackle Link.
Goht appears in the official Majora’s Mask manga as well. Its story differs slightly from the game as it resides outside Snowhead Temple rather than being frozen inside it and is attributed with Darmani’s death.
When Link goes to fight Goht in Darmani’s stead, he uses Darmani’s strength to stop the charging Goht and throw it off the side of the mountain, taking its remains and freeing the second Giant in the process.
9. Dark Link
Dark Link is a dark reflection of Link. He is one of the most enigmatic enemy characters in the The Legend of Zelda series, usually appearing with no backstory and no dialogue, although it is implied on numerous occasions to be merely constructed of shadow magic. Dark Link is more than just a mere battle against a monster for Link, but a battle against himself, as the young hero has to face his own strength turned against him. Due to this, Dark Link is often the ultimate challenge, and is faced as a final boss on one occasion and as the final boss of optional challenges such as the Palace of the Four Sword and Take ‘Em All On!.
As Link’s doppelgänger, Dark Link bears a resemblance to the Link of whichever game he appears in. He wears the same clothing as Link: a tunic and a long, floppy cap, though the similarities to Link end there. His entire outfit is black or dark gray instead of green. Moreover, his hair is usually either a shadowy black or a dark gray.
Dark Link tends to be left-handed, like Link. However, in some appearances (particularly when multiple copies of him appear), he has been shown to favor either hand. Another notable feature is his red eyes, which are usually the only prominent feature against his dark visage.
10. Helmaroc King
In The Wind Waker, the Helmaroc King resides in the Forsaken Fortress, and is a servant of Ganondorf. He is also the primary minion sent out by Ganondorf to search for Princess Zelda. He appears early on in the game, flying around Outset Island with Tetra in his claws before being shot out of the sky by Tetra’s Pirate Crew. The Helmaroc King then drops Tetra and captures Link’s sister, Aryll, mistaking her for the young pirate captain.
It is later discovered that the Helmaroc King was bringing young girls with pointed ears to Ganondorf in an effort to find Princess Zelda, as Ganondorf wished to find the princess so that he could steal her piece of the Triforce. When Link travels to the Forsaken Fortress to save his sister, the Helmaroc King captures him and throws him into the sea at Ganondorf’s command.
Later in the game, Link returns to the Fortress in an attempt to save Aryll once again. He successfully frees his sister and the other kidnapped girls, Mila and Maggie, while Tetra and her pirate crew distract the giant bird. Link is then attacked by the Helmaroc King after Tetra and her crew flee.