We should admit: Zelda rankings are likely to look slightly samey, maybe with a number of spicy adjustments primarily based on the particular person. However you will by no means discover Breath of the Wild on the backside, or Tri Pressure Heroes on the prime, even when the particular person making that listing is the world’s most opposite list-maker.
So, we have been mixing issues up by celebrating the person successes that every Zelda recreation has, and highlighting the unbelievable issues that may be present in every one (even when the remainder of the sport is a bit duff). We have already ranked each model of Fairy Fountain, ranked all of the devices that Hyperlink will get to play, and found out the 15 finest dungeons within the sequence — and now, we’re onto boss battles!
Listed here are our 15 finest boss battles, with all the pieces from environment, puzzles, and the boss area itself taking part in into our decisions. Make certain to go down into the feedback part when you’re carried out to inform us your favourites, or disagree with our decisions!
15. Tentalus (Skyward Sword)
We do love an atmospheric brawl, and Skyward Sword‘s Sandship boss battle delivers in spades. The battle begins with an uncommon characteristic for Zelda bosses — Hyperlink has to really get to the boss first, operating via the ship’s corridors and dodging tentacles earlier than you even know what you are about to combat. Despite the fact that the eventual reveal may be disappointing as a result of Tentalus appears to be like extra like a Pixar character than an enormous monster, the continuing storm is horrifying sufficient to claw again some respect for this factor.
After all, with solely the one gigantic eye, it is not onerous to determine Tentalus’ weak spot, however the rhythm of destroying tentacles, beautiful the beast, then slashing its peepers with the sword is what Zelda fight is all about.
14. Bulblin King (Twilight Princess)
Whereas the Bulblin King may not be an all-out boss combat within the conventional Zelda sense, the truth that this large piggy man simply will not appear to die all through the sport (critically, who can survive being thrown off a bridge twice??) offers him greater than sufficient materials to face amongst the sequence’ extra memorable fights. Preventing the Bulblin King is sort of a single boss battle that lasts the length of your journey and there isn’t any large eye to hit, fingers to poke, or mouth to chuck a bomb into!
The primary of those encounters sees Hyperlink engaged in a horseback slash-fest in Eldin Province earlier than transferring onto the Bridge of Eldin. The following joust battle calls on one in every of Twilight Princess‘ finest mechanics and it has the epic rating and cutscenes as well. The next three encounters will see you focusing on weak factors in armour with arrows and dodging large axe assaults. Between the completely different assault methods, threatening presence and the urge for this mini-boss to simply die already, it is massive Zelda fight in its purest type.
13. Helmasaur King (A Hyperlink to the Previous)
Though Helmasaur King cannot actually maintain a candle to later Zelda bosses with their fancy gimmicks and their three dimensions and their 1080ps, he deserves a spot on this listing all the identical for his mask-based puzzle. As the primary boss within the Darkish World that you’re going to combat, he represents one thing rather more sinister than the Hyrule you’ve got come to know, and his gigantic masks (critically, it is greater than Hyperlink) leaves extra questions than it solutions.
Fortunately, with bombs and/or the Magic Hammer, you may destroy the masks and weaken the King, permitting you to wail on his weak level (the face, duh) till he explodes like each different boss. At this level in Zelda, most bosses had been comparatively simple “hit them within the aspect/tail” affairs, so Helmasaur King’s helm was the primary inkling for a lot of Zelda lovers that bosses might be greater than only a greater, tougher model of the sport’s common goons.
12. Crayk (Phantom Hourglass)
Phantom Hourglass‘ crabby boss exemplifies top-of-the-line (and infrequently, most irritating) issues about Phantom Hourglass: Its use of each of the DS screens to create attention-grabbing puzzles. Crayk can flip invisible, you see, and that makes him onerous to seek out (and hit, and kill), however the prime display exhibits Crayk’s perspective even when he is invisible — and it is as much as the participant to triangulate the boss’ location from his POV.
Though it may be tough for these with poor spatial reasoning, this boss battle stands out for its inventive and attention-grabbing gimmick all the identical. Zelda bosses have at all times been extra concerning the puzzle than the punching, and Crayk is a good instance. Good crayk, because the Irish say.
11. Parasite Arachnid Gohma (Ocarina of Time)
Gohma pops its creepy little arachnid head above the parapet in a number of Zelda video games, changing into extra of a good friend than an enemy (till now we have to tug its legs off and shoot it within the eye, a minimum of). Our selection of the perfect Gohma is Ocarina of Time‘s model — though we do love Wind Waker‘s dragon-botherer, too, however we will not have two Gohmas on this listing — as a result of it is the very first boss battle in Ocarina of Time, and that means one thing.
Not everybody’s first Zelda expertise was Ocarina of Time, in fact, however the gigantic leap between earlier Linkcarnations like Zelda I, Zelda II, and Hyperlink’s Awakening and Nintendo’s 3D N64 masterpiece was so gigantic that this felt like a primary Zelda expertise all the identical. And Gohma is Hyperlink’s first “issues simply received actual” second, after battling all of the creepy-crawlies inside the Deku Tree’s tummy. The second Gohma looms over the tiny Youngster Hyperlink, this recreation is gonna be SCARY.
10. Phantom Ganon (Ocarina of Time)
The Forest Temple is one in every of our favorite dungeons, so it is sensible that Phantom Ganon can be one in every of our favorite bosses — partly as a result of it is an thrilling introduction to the villain of the sport (apart from the bit the place he nicks Zelda, obvs), and partly as a result of horses very not often get to be evil in video video games.
When he is not leaping out and in of the haunted work on the wall, Phantom Ganon will experience his evil ghost horse instantly at Hyperlink, and it is as much as the participant to detect which one is the real-fake-Ganon earlier than it is too late (which you are able to do by discovering the one which’s a barely lighter color). The haunted work theme tie this boss battle properly in with one other couple of N64 gems that use cursed art work — Tremendous Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. Will need to have been one thing within the water.
9. Puppet Ganon (Wind Waker)
You have lastly discovered Zelda, and you’ve got discovered Ganon, too — however you will not get the denouement simply but, as Ganon makes the marginally odd selection to rework right into a terrifying puppet that wishes Toon Hyperlink lifeless. You may want to chop his strings, assault his weak level tail, after which he’ll drop to the bottom like a dull marionette. Straightforward, proper? You would possibly suppose so — however this can be a Zelda boss, they usually by no means simply have one section, do they?
After his puppet type, you will should combat Puppet Spider Ganon, after which Puppet… Snake Factor Ganon. All have the identical glowing orb on the tail because the weak spot, however every one requires a distinct technique to defeat. However all that puppet preventing was only a distraction so Ganon might get away, dangit!
8. Talus (Breath of the Wild)
A left-field selection, to make sure, however BOTW is an unconventional Zelda — and so are its bosses. With out correct dungeons and chapters like different Zelda video games, lots of the fights that might be thought-about boss battles happen in particular places as a substitute, just like the Lynel within the Colosseum, the Guardians round Hyrule Fortress, and the Hinox at Eventide Island.
Of all of those larger-than-life mini-bosses, we just like the Talus household the perfect, together with all its variants (Frost, Igneo, Luminous). Why? As a result of they take the perfect elements of Zelda bosses, the puzzley, weak-spot-finding thriller that you need to clear up, and mix it with the perfect a part of Breath of the Wild — having the ability to deal with issues from a number of instructions, with a number of weapons and expertise at your disposal. Fireplace Bomb Arrows on the rock on the Talus’ again, plant bombs and set them off at a distance, Stasis the Talus and Hammer at it whereas it is nonetheless, or try to climb up the factor whereas it swings at you and slash together with your sword.
It helps that the primary time you ever discover a Talus is a momentous and memorable event, because the pile of rocks you thought is perhaps a Korok puzzle turns right into a formidable foe earlier than your eyes. What a second.
7. Stalblind (A Hyperlink Between Worlds)
A Hyperlink Between Worlds was a recreation all about squishing Hyperlink down into the second dimension, so it is no nice shock that ALBW’s biggest boss used that mechanic to full impact.
Stalblind is simply a big Stalfos, however he is received a matchingly massive protect on him — sufficiently big, in reality, to suit a sure two-dimensional Hyrulian lad on it. The humour within the animation of the Stalblind not having the ability to discover Hyperlink is extremely properly carried out, and having the ability to sneakily drop behind him to provide him a few fast bum-stabs is brill, too. If something, we want the mechanic lasted a bit longer, as a result of it is solely the primary of his three phases — and the opposite two are fairly by-product, should you ask us.
6. Large Inexperienced Chuchu (Minish Cap)
A Chuchu? These little blobs? The Zelda equal of Mario‘s Goombas and Dragon Quest‘s Slimes? How might this goopy lad make it into the Corridor of Boss Fame? It is exactly as a result of the Chuchu is an inoffensively tame little creature that this Minish Cap boss battle caught with us. “What if essentially the most pathetic man was a giant man” is the sort of heel-turn plot twist deserving of its personal film — the bullied changing into the bully.
From the primary moments that the Chuchu slime begins drip-drip-driping from the ceiling, to the final second of toppling the top-heavy boss and going to city with the Picori Sword, this boss battle is one for the ages. Although he be however small, he’s fierce.
5. Ganondorf (Wind Waker)
This final conflict between Hyperlink and his biggest enemy might take plenty of its cues from the identical battle in Ocarina of Time, but it surely stands out because of its poignant storytelling and its setting. After crusing the seas, accumulating the Triforce, befriending/shedding/discovering Tetra, and unearthing the drowned land of Hyrule, you lastly attain the head of the story: A remaining battle with Ganondorf.
This showdown follows a replay of the bosses you’ve got met thus far (albeit simpler variations) and Puppet Ganon, all of which contribute to the sensation that that is going to be one epic battle. And, not like many different boss battles in Zelda’s previous, it takes place in a brightly-lit underwater area, because the tides rush in to sink Hyrule perpetually. After which there’s Ganon’s remaining line: “The wind… it’s blowing…” What a method to make us really feel a twinge of pity for the evil pig-guy.
4. Darkish Hyperlink (Ocarina of Time)
Do you bear in mind the way you felt the primary time you met (and fought) Darkish Hyperlink? Regardless of solely being a mini-boss of the Water Temple, Darkish Hyperlink is much extra attention-grabbing than the precise boss, and that is not simply as a result of Morpha seems to be a pile of sentient, offended goo.
No, Darkish Hyperlink is the perfect as a result of he represents Hyperlink’s psyche, trapping him in a world that stretches off to the horizon just like the Rom the Vacuous Spider combat in Bloodborne — a liminal area past time and past assist, the place your worst enemy is your worst self. Right here in Hyperlink Limbo, there’s simply an exit, a tree, Hyperlink, and himself, like some type of avant-garde staging of Ready for Godot the place all of the dialogue is changed by HYA HUH HEEEEYAH be careful UH HA HA hey HRGH HUH HYAAAA. To be trustworthy, we would watch that.
3. Stallord (Twilight Princess)
Stallord is undoubtedly one of many extra “gimmicky” boss encounters in Twilight Princess (or any Zelda recreation for that matter), but it surely stays immediately memorable because of the deal with the Spinner merchandise, acquired earlier within the ‘Arbiter’s Grounds’ dungeon.
Like most Zelda bosses, Stallord consists of two phases: the primary has you circling a sand pit atop your trusty Spinner earlier than launching your self in the direction of Stallord, dodging enemies alongside the way in which and slamming into the large skeleton’s backbone, regularly chipping away on the brittle bone. The second section has you leaping from wall to wall as you get nearer to Stallord, who’s now an enormous, floating head full with projectile fireballs – good. When you’re in a position to knock Stallord all the way down to the bottom, you have got a brief window through which to launch a sequence of fundamental assaults on the evil sword thingy that Zant casually jammed into its head. What a meany!
It is a comparatively simple combat, all advised, however stays some of the cinematic and thrilling in Zelda’s historical past.
2. Twinrova (Ocarina of Time)
If we have been twin sisters with opposing elemental magic, we might merely select to not be in the identical room. That basically looks like elemental magic 101, does it not? You would not make a Charmander and Squirtle hand around in a small room except you actually needed two lifeless pets in your fingers.
Nonetheless, we will not assist however be glad that Kotake and Koume determined that the perfect plan of action was to combat a man with a Mirror Defend by taking pictures eminently reflectable beams of elemental magic at him, as a result of it makes for a correct good combat with some wonderful sound results. Pacifism is the perfect protection, certainly. Nicely, pacifism and well-judged angles.
Arguably the perfect a part of the battle is the top, because the two witches will each be seen floating off to the afterlife collectively, arguing about which one in every of them is older. It is all very Muppet Christmas Carol.
1. Koloktos (Skyward Sword)
Skyward Sword‘s finest boss can also be the climax of Skyward Sword‘s finest dungeon, the Historical Cistern, with all of its Buddhist afterlife theming that culminates in Hyperlink’s “awakening”. Ho ho, see what we did there? Anyway, Koloktos is a huge, six-armed automaton that was designed to guard the Historical Cistern, however turned corrupted, main Hyperlink to exterminate it as soon as and for all.
Though Koloktos’ weak level, his massive purple gem of a tummy, is a really by-the-numbers Zelda boss design (the one manner it might be extra so is that if it was a watch), it is the usage of the Whip that makes this battle thrilling and completely different. In spite of everything, the Whip is one in every of Skyward Sword‘s extra distinctive objects, and utilizing it to wrench off Koloktos’ arms feels satisfyingly tactile and weighty.