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It's not a secret to everybody that these levels will test even the best of legendary heroes.


  • Every Water Temple in every The Legend of Zelda (except Skyward Sword's, mainly because of fewer water puzzles. Link to the Past had a pretty easy water dungeon, but the Ice Palace qualifies.):
    • Special mention goes to The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time's incarnation. It probably says something that in the Master Quest mode of the 3DS remake, which upped the difficulty of the dungeons enormously, the Water Temple inexplicably became easier. In fact, Ocarina's director has officially apologized for the Water Temple. He's also stated that he will fix several of its problems in the upcoming 3DS remake. Specifically, he mentioned how annoying it was to constantly pause the game in order to put on or remove the Iron Boots and that the remake wouldn't use a mechanic like that. If anything, it would make the game much less time-consuming.
    • The main reason for the Water Temple being so hard is because of the fact that after some time exploring the temple, you will get a key that must go to a certain door, but this door is not the first locked door that you encounter and you will undoubtedly use the key on the wrong door. If you do mess up, it takes much longer [1]. As if it weren't bad enough, it's possible to miss the item that makes it nearly tolerable. That's right: somebody did the whole Water Temple without the blue tunic. Another reason is the miniboss Dark Link, which due to a quirk of programming, takes much less time to beat on a three-heart run.
    • They hung a lampshade on its infamy in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. If Midna is talked to while in the Lakebed Temple she'll comment on how large the dungeon is and how hard finding all the keys needed to progress will be. Thankfully there's not nearly as many keys in this version. That said, they brought back the annoying key puzzle: You get a key, you open the door, you see nothing but an open space, and you realize you just used the key for the dungeon item on the wrong door. Good luck figuring out the backup Nintendo had set up for you in case you did that. Also, you can glitch your way onto the correct door by jumping from just the right angle.
  • The Swamp Palace in A Link to the Past isn't too bad. The Ice Palace, however, can become seizure-inducing due to the tougher bestiary, obstacles and maze-like layout. Luckily, having the Cane of Somaria makes it much easier. There is a block you're supposed to push down a hole and once down that hole, you can push it on the switch. So yeah it definitely fits in this category. In fact, until the Updated Rerelease, it was almost assumed that any player would do the dungeons out of order so that they could tackle the Ice Palace with the Cane of Somaria. When your dungeon is so hard it drives normal players to Sequence Breaking, you've definitely got a Scrappy Level on your hands.
    • It wasn't so much the block puzzles, but the map being rendered pretty much useless due to most rooms being made up of discrete sections. Nothing worse than finally getting halfway down correctly, then remembering that warping to the beginning of the level flipped the FUCKING red/blue switches.
    • Also from Link to the Past, Turtle Rock. The floating platform tracks. "Bring a green potion" indeed.
  • The Ice Cavern from Ocarina of Time. It's frozen water. And horrible. The constant falling icicles are annoying, and so are the ice monster ... things; but the level can be done fairly quickly if you know the right route, and the wolf at the end is an Anticlimax Boss.
    • The OOT expansion Master Quest turns most of the dungeons into this, but the Fire Temple will probably make prematurely finish your game if you've come this far. irritating use of fire, frequent use of lighting torches by firing arrows in front of them(to the point where it's better to beat the Water Temple first and get the Fire Arrows), maze-like layout, and probably one of the most frustrating puzzles in the series. This puzzle involves trying to get to a key by pushing a switch, quickly running to a hookshot target, and trying to get to the chest before the fire rises. Thing is, the switch has an improbably short fuse, so unless you learned the scarecrow's song, good luck.
  • Snowpeak Ruins from Twilight Princess. The knee-deep snow, the icy floors, the Block Puzzles, the sliding ice things (you know the ones), the Freezzards... the ball and chain does little to abate the hurting. Plus, there's the fact that enemies didn't drop hearts (but you can always ask the nice Yeti for soup. Have fun backtracking to the same room for that, though).
  • The defending of the caravan in Twilight Princess. A combination of the Gale Boomerang, needed to put out fires, having next to no range, fast-moving targets, pterosaurs dropping bombs on everything and the fact that Epona handles like she's drunk makes it impossible to beat. It's even harder on the Wii due to the lack of a precise targeting system.
  • Jabu Jabu's Stomach in Oracle of Ages (not the dungeon of the same name in OoT) puts all other water dungeons in all other Zelda games to shame. Plus all the other dungeons in those games. Heck, throw in most other dungeons in all other games, too. This place is insane. Skull Dungeon from the same game, too. A lot of the jumping is just ridiculous, and there's one room in particular where you have to jump across three moving platforms. If are even a second too soon or too late for the jump, you fall into a lava and you have to jump across each platform all over again.
    • The Ocarina of Time equivalent was no slouch either. Almost all enemies will electrocute you if you attack them, so most of them are either very difficult to bring down or outright unkillable until you get the boomerang. And also the Zora princess yells at you if you leave her, even though under certain circumstances, she'll vanish all on her own.
  • In The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask, the Great Bay Temple features a complicated series of switches, currents, waterfalls that must be frozen and thawed, etc. The crowning evil of this dungeon would be that in the second room there are three switches. Pressing the wrong ones reverses the current in the entire level, making it impossible for you to proceed until you return to hit them again. Also of note is the fact that almost the entire level is based around hitting switches that are blocking barely visible water flow through multicoloured pipes, and you must follow the pipes to find the next switch, despite their aggravating habit of exiting through doors that can't be opened from this side. The real kicker for the Great Bay Temple (and whole game) is that you have a time limit. In the other games, you could just keep bashing things in different ways all night long until you got past.
    • Stone Tower Temple, also from Majora's Mask. The two worst parts of it are collecting the stray fairies [2], which, unlike the last three temples, doesn't even get you a good reward [3]. There's also a room before you get the Light Arrows that involves a Light and Mirrors Puzzle... except that the mirrors actually absorb light when you shine it on them, and you're supposed to use that and your Mirror Shield to reflect the light from your light source to one mirror, then to another mirror, then to a block in your way that disappears when light is shone on it. This wouldn't be so hard if not for the Goddamned Bats that respawn in the room, often messing up your aim at the mirrors. And if you stop shining light on one mirror for even half a second, you have to wait until the mirror has used up all its light before you can recharge it again. There's a Guide Dang It solution that makes it a little bit easier, but it's almost impossible without said solution.
    • What about the Goron Maze on the Moon? You have to go high speed on extremely narrow ledges, have to bounce off objects at the perfect angle to hop onto another platform, with little room for error.
      • Except that this section becomes a joke when you realize that the way to properly do it is by not moving the control stick at all. If you just roll straight, Link will bounce perfectly off the treasure chests for the vast majority of the level.
  • Temple of the Ocean King. The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass is not exactly hard, but this dungeon is extremely boring and the constant backtracking is just tedious.
  • The 6th dungeon in the original NES classic. Being the first appearance of the Wizzrobe enemy, and also swarming with shield-eating Like Likes, paralyzing Bubbles, and almost impervious Darknuts. If the orange ones are annoying, then the Blue ones are infuriating.
  • The Ancient Ruins from Oracle Of Seasons. For one thing, it was huge--the boss battle was on the fifth floor. For another, it prominently featured the Magic Boomerang, which was introduced in the level--which half the time ended up with you accidentally walking into a pit when you hit something and control shifted from the boomerang back to Link. Then there was that mad dash for the Boss Key with the walls closing in... and finally, the boss itself, which required both mad boomerangin' skills and quick timing, all done in a pit of quicksand! With the Quicksand Ring, though, the boss battle becomes much less annoying, as you can move around normally without regard for the quicksand.
  • Solmasters. You have to carry a glowing orb through three rooms. A giant hand is chasing you, and if it gets too close, it will snatch the orb back, and unless you want to do the whole damn thing over, you have to grab it out with the clawshot. Thus requires good aim, and if there are any monsters around, you have to either kill them first or do the targeting really, really quickly. You have to put the orb in certain spots to raise platforms or stairs so that you can get to the other door, which involves leaving it unattended for the hand to grab before you can reach solid ground and clawshot it back up. Enemies can knock it out of your grip, and it likes to roll, so you have to chase it down, and most likely do the whole room over. Oh, and there's two of those orbs, each with their own giant hand. Have fun!
    • While that's all true, you can also shoot the hands with the bow a couple times to stun them or make them drop the orb. That said, the stun doesn't last long and you'd better make sure you have enough arrows.
  • Two candidates from Link's Awakening:
    • Catfish's Maw, where a miniboss steals the dungeon item and requires you to pursue it all over the damned dungeon to its hidey-holes. The last one is extremely difficult to find, as it is very close to the entrance in an area the player has likely long since visited and won't think to go back to.
    • Turtle Rock, the last main story dungeon, is an absurdly complicated and massive maze where every previous miniboss from the game appears as respawning enemies; the dungeon's unique miniboss is capable of knocking Link back to the dungeon entrance; one puzzle requires Link to shoot an arrow into the eye of a random statue (while this is normally a Zelda staple, this is the only time in the game this is required, and it occurs in the eighth dungeon); and, completing the dungeon requires the player to visit a hidden room whose entrances are not even on the Dungeon Map.
  • The Cloud Tops from The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap: like walking in a circle collecting Kinstones and fusing them to random pieces of architecture for no reason other than Padding? And woe to the person who accidentally misses a Kinstone, forcing them to circle around again hoping they don't overlook the same thing twice. The music's nice though, and it leads up to the Palace of Winds, so it's not as bad as it could be.
    • From the same game, you've got the Temple of Droplets. Slippy-Slidey Ice World? Check. Marathon Level? Check. The puzzles there caused many players frustration. It's also full of annoying puzzles, especially after you get the dungeon item.
  • The Lanayru Mining Facility from The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword. As if GETTING to the damn place wasn't bad enough, the enemies are EXTREMELY annoying, (Dear GOD, the Beamos!) the time-shifting puzzles are very tedious, and it's all accompanied with some rather freaky music. Even more frustrating is that this is the temple after the Earth Temple, and the boss of this temple is a joke, making Scaldera seem tough in comparison.
    • It doesn't help that two of the other enemies there, Beamos and Sentrobes, while being fairly managable normally, become nightmarishly intense on a No-Shield playthrough. Oh, and LMF is actually longer than the next dungeon, and probably the one after that too. It really says something when this game's water dungeon actually inverts this trope and becomes a Breather Level from LMF.
    • A rare non-dungeon example in the series comes later: the Escort Mission at Eldin Volcano. Basically, you have to escort a robot up the entire volcano, which is now swarming with Bokoblin Archers capable of hitting said robot from afar. (they also have an annoying tendancy of hitting you in the face with a point-blank shot just as you kill them) I hope you've mastered the Bow, because you're going to need it here. And even then, prepared to pull your hair out in frustration as you get through a tough area only to have Scrapper shot down by an off-screen archer when you could have sworn you killed them all. Several times. And it gets worse once you reach the Summit. Think fighting two Lizalfos is hard? Try fighting two while keeping them away from Scrapper! Oh, did I mention that he annoyingly pesters you when he's under attack and mocks you when you fail?? Even worse, plot-wise, We Could Have Avoided All This is Scrapper hadn't pulled a Leeroy Jenkins. Yeah, after this mission, you'll be starting to think he deserves a different, but similar sounding name.
    • Even later, Lanayru Gorge has a case of That One Room. It's filled with Technoblins, Beamos and Sentrobes, all of them either Goddamned Bats or Demonic Spiders, and you have to follow a Timeshift Stone in a moving mining cart to avoid falling in sinksand. Fall in, and you don't take damage, but you'll be returned to the start of the room WITH ALL ENEMIES RESPAWNED! Attempting to put an arrow in a Beamos' eye, missing by millimeters and proceeding to get knocked into the sinksand by its beam... pretty much speaks for itself. What makes this place truly maddening is that its situated after five or so incredibly easy rooms... but there are no checkpoints between them. Trust me, having to go back through those easy rooms again every time you die will drive you insane.

Notes

  1. One very persistent rumor is that it's possible to use the keys in the wrong order, and fail the whole temple. That's right, many players still believe you can actually permanently screw up the Water Temple. And what does that mean? Restart your file! To be fair, you can get into situations where it seems like this is the case -- you can actually still solve it if you take the right course of action, but if you can't manage to find that action, it seems like you're stuck forever.
  2. For one or two of them, you have to do something deep in the temple, then go outside and flip it upside down, then do something else in the same room, then go outside again and turn it right side up just so you can get the fairy. And if you want the Awesome but Impractical reward, you need all 15 of them
  3. In the other temples you get the advanced spin attack, the longer magic meter, and double defense, but the Stone Tower Temple reward is a C-item sword that does little more damage than the Gilded Sword
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