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The 10 Hardest Legend of Zelda Dungeons in Franchise History

Updated June 14, 2019 27.7k views10 items

The Legend of Zelda series can be described in a lot of ways, but easy is not always one of them. The bread and butter of the Zelda franchise is its intricate dungeons, but as this list proves, not all Zelda dungeons are created equal. The intricate puzzles and infuriating bosses make the hardest Zelda dungeons masterpieces of rage, so we decided to take a look at the 10 most difficult Zelda dungeons from the series so far. Specific phrases like “Great Palace” and “Stone Temple Palace” make almost every serious Zelda fan shudder, but there are plenty of other rage-inducing dungeons that deserve medals of frustration as well.

If you think the most frustrating Zelda dungeon isn't on this list, let us know what it is in the comments, and why you struggled with it. This list is obviously subjective, but the 10 on this list are all objectively difficult.

  • Ice Palace (A Link to Past)

    Video: YouTube

    The fifth Dark World dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to Past, the Ice Palace is unique in that it is the first ice temple to appear in a Zelda game. With ice floors in almost every room, your walking traction is majorly reduced, making for very difficult maneuverability and frustrating combat with enemies (especially those damn green penguins.) The Ice Palace also involves a ton of backtracking, which is super annoying considering the map layout is confusing and you're slipping and sliding all over the place when you run. Kholdstare, the final boss, is fortunately not located on an ice floor, but is still pretty difficult nonetheless.

  • City in the Sky (Twilight Princess)

    Video: YouTube

    Before Skyward Sword took Link above the clouds to Skyloft, there was the City in the Sky dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. One of the final dungeons in the game, City in the Sky is difficult for several reasons. It features a very large and disorienting map, where you're traveling both vertically and horizontally using your clawshot and eventually double clawshot (which is a really fun aspect of the dungeon.) The City in the Sky features a ton of spinning obstacles that you need to attach yourself to, which can be disorienting and often times confusing for the player. It's definitely the grand finale of Twilight Princess; if you can make it out of here alive it's all smooth sailing from that point on.

  • Great Palace (Zelda II: The Adventure of Link)

    Video: YouTube

    Many hardcore Zelda fans consider Great Palace from The Adventure of Link to be the most unrelenting Zelda dungeon of all time. The last dungeon in the game, the Great Palace is located in the Valley of Death, where the Triforce of Courage can found. Although the confusing map layout and unforgiving pits of lava are some of the challenges in this temple, the main reason it's on this list is because of how tedious it is.

    In order to defeat the Thunderbird (which isn't even the temple's final boss,) you HAVE to have a thunder spell. Where do you get it? A random guy in town, who makes you collect 4 magic containers that are very well hidden before finally handing it over to you. Only then do you stand a chance of maybe defeating the Thunderbird, which again, isn't even the final boss. Let's not forget you can get a Game Over as well, forcing you to start from the BEGINNING of the game if you fail (which you probably will.) F*ck you Great Palace; you are legitimately awful.

  • Water Temple (Ocarina of Time)

    Video: YouTube

    Considered the hardest temple in the game, the Water Temple from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is notoriously difficult for first-time Zelda players. Hell, the Water Temple is practically an internet meme at this point, as even non-Zelda fans have probably heard about how harrowing it can be to complete.

    Why is the Water Temple so difficult? The main gimmick of this dungeon involves raising the temple's water level up and down to solve puzzles, which gets confusing and involves a lot of experimenting and backtracking before you finally figure out what you're supposed to be doing. In the original version for N64, you also had to constantly equip and un-equip the iron boots, which was tedious and annoying (although they fixed this in the 3DS remake.) Add a mini-boss fight with Dark Link to the mix and you've got one difficult Zelda dungeon.