The Legend of Zelda is arguably my favorite game series. It has many great elements: grand adventure, intense action, intricate puzzles and memorable dungeons. It’s a clutch series, always delivering an enjoyable experience. Part of that experience is created from its onslaught of exciting bosses. I decided to make a list on what I perceive to be the five best bosses/boss battles from the series. As you read on, you’ll notice that most of the bosses I chose are from the 3D entries. This does not reflect my opinion on the 2D games. I love 2D and 3D equally. However, I do find that the 3D bosses leave a bigger mark. To 2D’s defense, 3D gives game developers more room to work with.
Anyway, here I provide my list (BEWARE OF SPOILERS):
Argorok made his debut in Twilight Princess as the boss of the City in the Sky. Argorok is mainly on my list because he’s a bad-ass, black-armored, fire-breathing dragon. Really, that should be enough, but the technique to this fight is innovative. You get to use your shiny new toy, Double Clawshots, to climb up massive pillars, latch onto Argorok and bring him down using your Iron Boots.
The second phase of the battle is where things really start to heat up (horrible pun intended). Wind, rain and thunder begin as you now have to double-claw your way around Peahats as Argorok breathes fire your way. I remember sitting on the edge of my couch in full focus and fear as I aimed my Wiimote at the screen. After an invigorating battle, you’re rewarded with seeing a dragon explode in mid-air. Pretty awesome.
Veran is the main antagonist of Oracle of Ages, and makes for a fun, yet difficult, fight. Though her first battle isn’t nearly as challenging as the second, I always like when games throw in multiple fights with a boss. The first battle and stage one of the final battle are essentially the same. Veran possesses Queen Ambi, and you have to hit her with a Mysterious Seed. You can then pull Veran out of Queen Ambi with your Switch Hook and attack away. Stage two is where the battle reaches its peak. Veran turns into a fairy-esque creature and summons four “Dark Links” that mimic your movements.
Stage three is the true swear-provoker. Her turtle form is enough to make you want to headbutt your gameboy as she tries to jump on you, forming a small pool of acid around where she lands. Her spider form is a bit easier, but you must hit her with bombs as she scurries about. The bee form… I didn’t find it very threatening. Overall, she’s a challenge, but definitely a boss worth noting when it comes to creativity and skilled gaming.
Stallord, also a boss from Twilight Princess, is found at the end of the Arbiter’s Grounds. This could be the most fun I had fighting a boss in any Zelda game. Using my Spinner to ride rails, dodge Staltroops (sand zombies) and attack Stallord’s spine is my definition of a good time. This is just the first stage of the battle. The second stage speeds up as you ascend spiraling rails and dodge Blade Traps and fireballs being shot from Stallord’s floating head. It is definitely an adrenalin pumper.
Although Dark Link makes several appearances throughout the series, his biggest would be his surprise attack in the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time. I was so psyched by this fight, that I moved the Water Temple up a couple notches on my dungeon list. You could always decimate him with the Megaton Hammer or Din’s Fire, but why not have a good old fashioned sword and shield duel with yourself. It’s the ultimate test of your skills. If you can beat someone who knows and copies your every move, you can beat anybody.
Phantom Ganon has his grand opening in Ocarina of Time at the end of the Forest Temple. He makes appearances in Wind Waker and Four Swords Adventures, but doesn’t look nearly as cool. I was shocked when I came to the end of the Forest Temple to find Ganondorf on his high horse. I was even more shocked when he tears his face off to reveal Phantom Ganon. The battle that follows is equally intense and innovative. You have to follow him from painting to painting with your bow and shoot arrows as he emerges in a dark vortex.
The second half the battle foreshadows your later battle with Ganondorf. It’s a clever way of having you battle the main antagonist twice without actually doing so. He’s of course not as hard as Ganondorf, but his menacing laugh paired with the haunting music keep you on edge. Watching him writhe and erupt in flames as Ganandorf taunts you from afar is a satisfying end to a nail-biting battle.
There are definietly plenty of great battles spread across the series. It was a challenge on par with the first LoZ to narrow it down, and to put them in order. Please, feel free to provide your list.