After six years, the sequel to The Breath of the Wild is finally out. Tears of the Kingdom is an ambitious new Zelda RPG, and we're excited to spend this weekend diving back into Hyrule. Before that, we want to take a look back at some of the most memorable boss fights from the series' history.
Question: What is your favorite boss fight in a Zelda game?
Goht - Ozzie Mejia, Waking up from a Hundred-Year Sleep
A lot of boss battles in The Legend of Zelda, especially in the Nintendo 64 era, are pretty straightforward. There are a few gimmicks here and there, but it usually comes down to a Link hitting evil dudes with his big sword. Goht, from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, opted for something slightly different.
Goht is basically a giant mechanical beast who, instead of fighting Link directly, decides to rampage around a circular chamber. He cannot be confronted directly, requiring Link to use his Goron mask and turn this battle into some Hyrule Rollerjam. Players jump off ramps, avoid obstacles, and use their momentum to slam into Goht, knocking him down and stopping him just long enough to send arrows into the giant eyeball that emerges.
As far as Zelda boss battles go, it's one of the most outside-the-box fights I've ever seen.
Revali in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor
While I know it’s more of a Warriors/Musou game with Zelda franchise paint than an actual Zelda game, I heavily praise Koei Tecmo and Omega Force for offering a compelling expansion of the story leading up to the Hyrule Champions’ fight and eventual failure against Ganon. Most notable among them in my opinion is Revali. Since his introduction in Breath of the Wild, it has been blatantly obvious that Revali thinks Link is an upstart and ill-equipped to be called Princess Zelda’s knight. Though they eventually find peace with each other, there’s a lot of tension before that.
We got a really good look at that tension in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity where Link and Zelda go to recruit the strongest of the Rito, none other than Revali himself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go well on their first meeting. Zelda gets separated and Revali takes the chance to personally duel Link. It’s a great fight and one of my favorite in the whole game just because of how far it goes to establish that Revali always believed he should have been the Hero of Time, or at least that Link shouldn’t have. Establishing that first meeting makes their relationship in Breath of the Wild so much more interesting and it ended up staying with me far more than most other encounters throughout the games.
Bongo Bongo - Sam Chandler, Might be the Hero of Time
I will always remember playing through Ocarina of Time as a kid at my friends place. We were sat in front of her television, glued to the pixelated CRT screen, as we were scared senseless by the creepy world of OoT. There are a lot of elements in that game that still give me the creeps, like the ReDeads, navigating the desert, and the spooky ghosts. But the fight against Bongo Bongo is definitely a highlight.
After finally navigating through the Shadow Temple, you come face-to-face with this dreadful monster with severed hands and a disappearing head. You need to juggle the Eye of Truth, arrows, and the finicky movement. It’s all just so overwhelming and unnerving. I think it’s the perfect conclusion to the temple and a fight that has stuck with me well into my adult years.
Ganondorf/Ganon in Ocarina of Time - Asif Khan, CEO/EIC/EIEIO
There are a lot of very good boss battles across the history of The Legend of Zelda franchise, but the final battles in Ocarina of Time still resonate with me to this day. After traveling through time, Link finally completes his years-long hero’s journey in not one but two epic battles against the evil incarnate.
Vah Rudania - Bill Lavoy, Ascending
Well, I’ve only ever played one Zelda game before diving into Tears of the Kingdom last night, so I’m going to choose Divine Beast Vah Rudania. I really enjoyed everything about this fight, from the stealthy approach and firing the cannons, to manipulating Vah Rudania to traverse the interior. Even the final fight against Fireblight Ganon was enjoyable, with me spamming arrows like an archer from a castle wall. That said, I’m sure my favorite boss fight in a Zelda game will change in the next few days.
The Lynel - Donovan Erskine, Hateno Village resident
As someone with essentially no Zelda experience outside of Breath of the Wild, my favorite boss fights was the most humbling experience of the 2017 RPG. After getting a good grip on the mechanics and combat, I was tearing through most enemies and mini-bosses with ease. That was, until, I came across a Lynel for the first time. These shredded creatures have a deep arsenal of moves at their disposal, and I felt like a lowly Bokoblin as I got helplessly slapped around by one. It immediately put everything into perspective for me. There was so much more for me to learn and master, and it wasn’t until several dozen hours later that I was able to come back and (barely) defeat a Lynel in battle.
Stallord (Twilight Princess)/Volvagia(OoT) - Steve Tyminski, The hero of Time!
It's hard to pick just one boss fight in the Zelda series as my favorite. One that sticks out is the boss of the Arbiter’s Grounds in Twilight Princess. The fight with Stallord, the Twilit Fossil, is a fight where you need to travel the battlefield on a spinning top of all things to hit the monster. Then, you have to make your way up to the top of the tower while dodging Stallord. The great music in Twilight Princes adds to this fight, too. Another one of my favorite boss fights is Volvagia in the Fire Temple in Ocarina of Time. Ocarina of Time might be my favorite Zelda game so I have to go with a boss fight from the game. It’s a giant game of whack-a-mole but the mole is a dragon and you use a giant hammer to destroy it. I always liked that Ocarina of Time had different boss music for lizard/dragon bosses.
Those are our favorite boss fights from throughout The Legend of Zelda series, and we'd love to hear about yours. If you also plan on diving into Tears of the Kingdom today, be sure to bookmark our strategy guide for everything you need.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What is your favorite boss fight in a Zelda game?
I would answer, but, in shame, I have never played a Zelda game. That's the one with the sword, right?
I played a little bit of one on the gamecube, windwaker I guess?
I’ve played them all and can’t really remember any. Maybe that sand worm in Link to the past?
Nega-Link from Ocarina of Time is frankly the only one that has stood out in my memory all these years.
Demise in Skyward Sword is my fav.
Shadow Link, Zelda 2
Do you hate yourself?
#1 Demise in Skyward Sword
#2 Phantom Ganon in Ocarina Of Time
#3 Dark Link in Ocarina Of Time
1) Twin Rova sisters - Ocarina of Time
2) Phantom Ganon - Ocarina of Time
3) Volvagia (dragon) - Ocarina of Time
OoT is my favorite game in the series and my favorite game of all time. I don’t normally think much about boss fights in games—I’d much rather be exploring than banging my head against a brick wall, especially in games that encourage you to experiment with wacky character builds only to find out your build isn’t suited against a certain boss—but Ocarina was the first game I played where I felt like I was in a world, not a video game. Those boss battles left an impression on me that remains 25 years later.
(I should’ve included my pics with the staff but was busy all week and didn’t have to me to submit them.)