Just moments ago I beat The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. So yes, that's rightÖ the last ten or so days have been lacking in any Splatoon because Zelda sucked me in. I'm glad I could complete this adventure before Breath of the Wild later this week. I had beaten The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess originally on the Wii and so as I went through this again, I wanted to rank the dungeons in order of my own personal preference. Since I was re-experiencing these, I thought it was as good of a time as ever to put together such a thing. Really I just want to talk a little Zelda before Zelda comes out. So that said, hate it or love it, here's my list.
The Cave Duo naturally gets the number 10 spot, partially because they arenít quite dungeons in the traditional sense. They are a series of rooms ranging between 40 and 50 depending on the type. Inside youíll find a different combination of enemies and sometimes this isnít so bad while other times itís quite intense. Theyíre fun post-game challenges but the rewards arenít all that useful by that point either. Ah well,... moving on.
Temple of Time
So I know what youíre thinkingÖ how could I put the iconic Temple of Time here on the list. Frankly, I just feel like it was quite tired. The massive floors (though rather linear) were still tiring, as was the lugging around of statues. However as cool as it is upon first glance, and for the story itself, I just wasnít all too impressed with this dungeon. I kept wishing and thinking that I was in the City in the Sky with my dual clawshots. The Dominion Rod is pretty cool but it stinks that it only has power in the temple, then loses it for a bit. You get that power back, sure, but why is it designed like that? The little and medium-sized Gohmas were fun to see and rather telling for when the Armogohma comes into play. The boss battle itself is pretty bland with some simple dodging until an eye opens. In fact, you end up standing around aiming at the thing until it does so, and that can take a while. When it falls, just a quick possession of a statue (now WITHOUT movement mind you) and squish. Just not as lively as I would have hoped for this part of the game, the sixth temple.
It feels so good to have that Clawshot!... but itís not that great getting there. Honestly, I found this temple to be kind of boring. Itís incredibly linear because very little is available to you unless you go the right way. Sure, that in itself is a puzzle but it just didnít feel inspired to me. The look of the temple is pretty cool though. In Twilight Princess HD, the textures are improved which means the water looks quite good. In the end this temple is an okay stop but not that memorable. Morpheel, the boss of this temple, is one of the better ones though. While it alone canít rank this temple higher on my list, the idea of an underwater rodeo where you latch onto, and then ride, a giant eel and stab the heck out of itís eyeballÖ it made that part memorable. Plus, credit where credit is due,... the mobility you have with the blue tunic and iron boots make this not a bad water experience.
A decent starter stage which finds you seeking the help of monkeys. Felt a bit familiar to Majoraís Mask in that sense. Earning the boomerang is a cool treat and feels somewhat useful. This felt more like an actual temple than other stages which is both good and bad for itís familiarity. The boss, Diababa, is a pretty standard boss but itís great that the angry monkey with the big ass is there to save the day like the badass he is.
Snowpeak Ruins ends up in the middle range on my list because of itís really surprising setting. I remember when I first experienced this dungeon upon initial release and being shocked that suddenly I was in a Ďtempleí despite it being a Yetiís home. The idea that this Yeti family live in this funky cold condo was so intriguing and endearing actually. Itís a bit linear at times, which whole wings not being available until Mrs. Yeti says thatís okay. Still, the ongoing story here during the dungeon is unique enough to warrant the spot on the list. Also, the Ball & Chain is a really fun weapon to use that is reminiscent to me of something youíd see in a 2D Zelda game. Using it against the templeís boss, Blizzeta, was pretty cool. I also hadnít expected her to be the boss all along. Itís also very freaky how she becomes the boss. Jittersl...
The organic nature of this stage is its biggest strength. You really feel like youíre inside a volcano thatís been carved out by the ancient Goron people. Their attitudes towards humans are refreshing as friend is foe for a while. Earning their trust and earning your safety is rewarding. Exploring the temple is a treat because of the cool wall and ceiling climbing using magnetic iron boots! Taking a familiar item and taking it a step further. Obtaining the Hero Bow can be a little slow though but worth the trouble. Fighting Fyrus has great music but itís boss battle is a bit repetitive and I find it hard to believe it wouldnít change itís attacks.
Palace of Twilight
The Palace of Twilight is relatively straight forward but the cool ĎSolí power-up does a good job of making you feel empowered. The hand stuff was reminiscent of the Wall Masters from past games and it was truly creepy and tense at times. This is the dungeon where Link is finally fully powered. I felt like I could take on the world after this dungeon with my final heart container and powered up Master Sword. The Zant battle is pretty cool with itís reincarnations of past bosses, but the battle in the end to take out your major foe is great.
There was always something magical to me about this desert-themed dungeon. I love the ancient feel it has and the importance this place has to the story. The quicksand and creepy poes makes for a great combo. Those tiny skeleton men are funny and kind of creepy as they stagger towards you. They remind me of old stop-motion skeletons from old films. Of course then thereís the weapon from this temple. The Spinner is one of the most ridiculously enjoyable weapons in the Zelda franchise and here is where it is unleashed. Stallord, the Twilit Fossil, is an awesome boss in his scope but admittedly heís a bit on the bland side in the end. Still, since more undead show up again, I canít be too disappointed. Oh, and speaking of the undeadÖ those Redeads are eerie as hell!
City In The Sky
City In The Sky is a nice temple. The sky-theme makes for a dungeon which has some unforgiving floor-less areas. Itís featuring maze-like paths and some tough platforming. The Double Clawshot, while just a duplicate of an earlier weapon, still ends up being one of the most freeing and fun weapons to collect. Those of course pave the way for the epic boss fight. Itís one of the most epic the series has ever seen. Argorok is a stellar, high-sky, boss where youíre clawshotting around trying to get a good view of the backside before slashing the heck out of him. Of course this is not before dragging him down to the ground and slashing the hell out of him.
The Zelda franchise has never had a more awesome rendition of Hyrule Castle. Itís like a warzone and desolate, as it would be if Ganon took it over. Itís laid out in a clear but still filled-with-secrets manner. It was so cool too to earn the respect of that big bastard King Bulbin. His speech is surprising. Later it was hilariously embarrassing to be riding a warthog and then crash into a blast barrel. Later thereís a completely optional (I think) area. A graveyard thatís eerie and secret. Itís filled with dead ghostly soldiers of the loss of the castle. Such an awesome little thing. The design of the interior is great too, with chandeliers which have crystals blocking side access. Later when youíre outside the castle, to be rescued by your team is a quick but touching moment. Inside again the music continues to just build and build as you just keep using all your weapons in neat reminiscent ways. Then finallyÖ the final boss. Ganondorf. Heís such an ass sitting there in his throne. So daunting and powerful. For the moment anyway. Four forms. All pretty great. Of them, my favorite is an obvious Dark Beast Ganon. I still recall the amazing feeling of first winning that battle and it was amazing again recently when I did it again.
Nice list! I've only played through TP once (I really should go through it again), but here's how I'd rank them:
10. Cave of Ordeals 9. Temple of Time 8. Palace of Twilight 7. Forest Temple 6. Goron Mines 5. Lakebed Temple 4. Hyrule Castle 3. City in the Sky 2. Snowpeak Ruins 1. Arbiter's Grounds
Arbiter's Grounds is really great. The atmosphere reminded me of the ominous old-school dungeons from the series' beginnings, and it used that full "creepy, abandoned dungeon" theme to the best of its ability. I loved the Spinner. I also REALLY loved the boss, Stallord, who's probably in my top 3 Zelda bosses ever. The first part of the fight would be creative enough as it is, but the second half with the crazy fast-paced battle (to King Dodongo's theme, no less!) puts it way over the edge. Amazing fight!
I don't blame you at all for having the Temple of Time as low as you have it. It's the most linear dungeon in the game, and they could have done so much more with it. That said, I think I still would have ranked it above the Palace of Twilight and Hyrule Castle just because the Temple of Time feels like a whole dungeon while the other two only feel like half-dungeons to me.
I'd probably rank them:
10. Cave of Ordeals 9. Palace of Twilight 8. Hyrule Castle 7. Temple of Time 6. Goron Mines 5. Forest Temple 4. Lakebed Temple 3. City in the Sky 2. Snowpeak Ruins 1. Arbiter's Grounds
Great list! It's so funny that we were playing this game not only at the same time, but pretty much keeping pace with one another. I beat the game about a half hour after you (with all 60 Poes, all Hearts and all Miiverse stamps!!), so reading this is a nice little dessert after the main course. Admittedly, I have to return to the game and power up my Wolf Link amiibo properly. I beat the Cave of Shadows, but not will full health. BOOOOO.
All this said, here's my list:
10. Cave of Ordeals 9. Lakebed Temple 8. Goron Mines 7. Forest Temple 6. Temple of Time 5. City in the Sky 4. Palace of Twilight 3. Snowpeak Ruins 2. Hyrule Castle 1. Arbiter's Grounds
@V_s I know what you mean about the Palace of Twilight and Hyrule Castle feeling like "half-dungeons" but Hyrule Castle is just SO GOOD, especially with the great optional puzzles that net you TREASURE GALORE!
I do have to say that the final battle with Ganondorf is a mixed bag, and the BIG FINAL BLOW didn't really have any "Oomph." Wind Waker Link still gets the Death Blow trophy, followed by OoT Link (red blood FTW). I actually liked the battle with Zany Zant more than any other boss, and love how he's really just some unhinged character. Knocking him off the monkey pillars, with him landing awkwardly on his head actually made me laugh out loud.
AAAANYWAY, great list! Good game! Can't wait for BotW!
Good list, although mine would be a little different. Arbiter's Grounds and City in the Sky are correctly in the Top 3, but Snowpeak must also be up there as well. I would also have Lakebed a lot higher as well, though part of that is that I've always been a sucker for water dungeons. @V_s's list is really close to what mine would look like, and I agree about Palace of Twilight/Hyrule Castle not feeling like "full" dungeons.
10. Cave of Ordeals 9. Palace of Twilight 8. Temple of Time 7. Forest Temple 6. Hyrule Castle 5. Goron Mines 4. Lakebed Temple 3. Snowpeak Ruins 2. Arbiter's Grounds 1. City in the Sky
Top 3 are god-tier, IMO, and overall no other Zelda game can compete with Twilight Princess when it comes to dungeons.
It's funny how you all put Arbiter's Grounds in the 1st slot or 2nd in TheBigG's case becauseÖ starting it up initially, that's what I felt too! I already knew I was going to have that as my lead and work from there but as I kept going, I felt the clawshot action of the City In The Sky was really good and fun (plus that boss which I found even more fun than Arbiter's) but then the whole Hyrule Castle sequence just got me. The build up, the battle, the finale.
As for Snowpeak, I'm not sure why I put it there exactly. Maybe I could swap it with Goron Mines but that's about it as far as my experience goes. Snowpeak is a really stellar level so why it ranks mid-range on my list, it's still top-tier in the whole franchise IMO. Thanks for posting your lists!
Yeah, that was fun to play simultaneously. While I did complete the game with all heart pieces, the wolf amiibo amped up, all my sword techniques and all the bugs found, I was a little short on stamps and pose. Like probably 10 or less of each. So I didn't beat it as completely as you.
I don't have much to say on the topic of Twilight Princess dungeons because it's honestly been too long for me to give them a fair review. About the only one that sticks in my mind though was the Lakebed Temple because I thought the mechanic was rather interesting.
I do however know of a Youtube video talking about the dungeons, and more specifically the design of the dungeons. The guy has done a whole series on the dungeons in Zelda and it's some fascinating stuff seeing them all put against each other. He does these progress maps of dungeons and it really shows how much more linear dungeons have become these days when compared to how they used to be.
Cool countdown! For me, Arbiter's Grounds, Snowpeak Ruins and the Goron Mines are my favorites. The rest are all great too, but those three are the ones that stick out the most to me.
By the way, did you know you can see past temples from Ocarina of Time within Twilight Princess? Namely, the Dodongo's Cavern (seen from just outside the entrance of the Goron Mines) and the Desert Colossus (seen from the Mirror Chamber on top of the Arbiter's Grounds). Really best seen on the GCN/Wii versions of the game, but they're pretty cool.
Thanks for the Boss Key tip, I'm going to dig right into these.
I love a bit of dungeon analysis but it's been too long since TP to join in this thread. No recollection of Goron Mines or Twilight Palace at all! TP:HD has gotta be next on my hit list if I'm not completely fatigued by BoTW. Oh, pretty sure the Lakebed Temple gave me a headache.