Top 10 Boss Battles from The Legend of Zelda

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Boss battles are a staple in most video games, but no series does it quite like Zelda. The Legend of Zelda is well known for creative, puzzle like boss fights, and while the formula doesn’t change up much, the fights are still enjoyable. Of course, there are a few battles here that fans will universally agree upon, but I may see certain battles in a different light. I created this list by keeping the entire series in mind and not just limiting it to the latest Zelda games. Also, before you continue, there are no Skyward Sword bosses on this list. With that said, let’s go to Number 10.

10. Nightmare – Link’s Awakening


The final boss for what is often considered Link’s greatest handheld adventure is Nightmare. Much like the rest of Link’s Awakening, Nightmare is mysterious. Nightmare can take on many different forms, in fact, Nightmare will take on a total of six forms; the final being his true form. This will keep you on your toes throughout the battle as you will need to switch out items, and tactics to defeat him. It isn’t a hard battle by any means, but Nightmare’s imitation of classic Zelda bosses such as the Moldorm, Agahnim, and Ganon make it worthy to stand amongst the top ten!

9. Eox – Phantom Hourglass


Eox is a gigantic stone warrior, a characteristic that automatically makes this boss bad ass. After acquiring the hammer in the Mutoh’s Temple, Link can propel himself skyward when standing on see-saw like boards. Link must hit the peg on the board to fly high and hit the red pegs that extend from Eox’s body. It is a unique way to fight as the boss takes up both Nintendo DS screens; watching Link fly over both screens is one of the more memorable moments from Phantom Hourglass. There is a second phase to the battle which sees Link attacking a crystal that appears atop Eox’s head. Similar to the beginning stage, Link must fly high once again and attack the weak point to finish off this ancient warrior. 

8. Gleeok – The Legend of Zelda


Let’s be honest, while the original Zelda adventure is a classic, its boss battles aren’t all that exciting, or challenging. That is until you meet up with Gleeok. Gleeok is not only the coolest boss in the original game, but is the most challenging. Gleeok has multiple heads which serve as its weak point. After defeating one of the heads, it will begin to fly around the room and spit fireballs at Link. It can no longer be damaged, but will definitely hinder Link’s ability to finish the dragon for good. It appears multiple times throughout the game and only gets harder as you will have to fight up to as many as four heads.

7. Jalhalla – Wind Waker


Jalhalla is the most interesting boss from Wind Waker, well, at least in my opinion. It is a giant Poe that is composed of many smaller poes – which happen to look like gigantic Pikmin to me – that is seemingly impossible to damage. You must use Link’s mirror shield to shine light on Jalhalla which will turn him into a physical entity. Link now has to pick him up and throw him on spikes that surround the room. Jalhalla will collapse and turn into those Pikmin-like poes I mentioned earlier. Now you must defeat these Pikmin-like poes with your sword.

6. Helmasaur King – A Link to the Past


The first boss you will likely encounter in the dark world is a giant version of the small helmasaur monsters found scattered throughout the Dark Palace dungeon. Link must fight the Helmasaur King primarily with the hammer, smashing its mask into bits revealing a green jewel, its true weakness. When its mask falls off, you walk up and slash away until it is defeated. However, the Helmasaur King is a little unpredictable in its movement making it kind of tough to fight. It will try and hit you with its tail, as well as try to topple you with its body, and even spit fireballs at you from time to time. If getting close is too much for you to handle, you can attack it with bombs to break the mask, and then fire arrows at its weak point.

5. Twinrova – Ocarina of Time


Twinrova is a pair of sorceress sisters known as Koume and Kotake. They both have the ability to use elemental magic with Koume specializing in fire and Kotake in ice, but what makes them truly unique is their importance in the Ocarina of Time backstory. Koume and Kotake are the surrogate mothers of Gannondorf, and without them, Hyrule wouldn’t be plagued by his evil. The first phase of this battle is fought against both sisters. Here, Link must use their magic against them by reflecting either ice at the fire wielding sister, or fire at the ice wielding sister with the Mirror Shield. After a few hits the second phase will begin. Link now has to fight the combined efforts of these evil sisters. Again, the mirror shield is a key element for winning the battle. Instead of reflecting, Link’s shield must now absorb magic of the same element to stun Twinrova.

4. Phantom Ganon – Ocarina of Time


When I first played Ocarina of Time, this battle with Phantom Ganon left me in awe. I have always considered this one of the coolest Zelda bosses, even if I did have a difficult time beating him back in the day. Link battles Phantom Ganon in a museum-like room surrounded by ropes and eerie paintings of a dirt path. Phantom Ganon rides his horse during the first phase and will gallop down the dirt path toward Link. The catch here is that Ganon will try and trick Link by creating the illusion in two paintings. Link has to determine which Ganon is the fake and which is real. The real Phantom Ganon will jump out of the painting and Link must then hit him with an arrow, the other Ganon will gallop back down the path. After dishing out some damage, Link will face off against Phantom Ganon in the familiar Dead Man’s Volley. 

3. Ganondorf – Twilight Princess


Twilight Princess sees you fight through four different phases in the final battle, however, I have only included the final two phases on this list. Link must first face Ganondorf in a horse duel, which is appropriate because the use of your sword while on Epona was added in Twilight Princess. This battle takes part in Hyrule field and includes Zelda as a helper. Link must gallop around while Zelda tries to hit Ganondorf with light arrows. Link can then slash away at Ganondorf until this portion is over. It is a very action filled phase that sees Link avoiding attacks from summoned Phantom Riders, and of course, Ganon himself. After knocking Ganondorf off his horse, Link will go head-to-head in an old fashioned sword fight. Ganondorf is slow, but will dodge and block most of Link’s attacks. Link must attack when there is an opening, or he can distract Ganondorf with the fishing rod to make the battle much easier.

2. Majora’s Mask – Majora’s Mask


Majora has three forms in this final battle and will attack Link first as the mask alone. Link must hit the mask from behind as it’s impervious to damage from the front. After stunning Majora from behind, Link can then freely damage Majora in its weakened state. After this, Majora will transform into Majora’s Incarnation. This phase of the battle is a little strange, and the music that accompanies it strengthens the awkward atmosphere. Majora’s Incarnation will dance around erratically while Link must trip him. After this, Majora’s Incarnation throws what looks to be a mini temper tantrum, appropriate in this fantasy filled, childlike battle. Lastly, Majora’s Wrath takes on a humanoid form that aggressively attacks Link with its long tentacles. Link must stun Majora again to get in some real damage. Overall, this is one of the strangest, yet most fulfilling final battles in the Zelda series. Link gets to stop Majora and save Termina, putting an end to an emotional quest. Link can also fight Majora with the Fierce Deity Mask.

1. Argorok – Twilight Princess


Finally, we come to number one. Most fans will agree that the battle with Argorok, the Twilit Dragon, deserves this spot due to its impressive, larger than life atmosphere. Link battles the dragon atop the City in the Sky during a thunderstorm. It is an impressive sight and makes for one of the most epic battles in the entire series. Link will initially have trouble fighting the dragon because it always stays out of reach. To remedy this, Link must gain height by climbing around the pillars – not unlike Spider-Man – with the double clawshot. At the top, Link can finally start to damage Argorok by grabbing its tail, and dragging it to the ground using the Iron Boots. Doing so will destroy some of its armor, and doing this a few times will reveal its true weak point. Link must climb around once again to try and land on the beast’s back. During this phase, Argorok will try to fry Link with its fiery breath to prevent him from reaching its weak point. Once Link can dodge the fire, climb around the arena, and land on Argorok’s back, he can put the beast to rest by attacking the weak point continuously to win.

Images borrowed from Zeldapedia


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