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The Legend of Zelda: 10 Hardest Bosses, Ranked

Most Legend of Zelda games stick to the same formula for dungeons and bosses – each temple has a special item to aid Link’s wider journey, and that The item will be especially useful to the head of the temple. When it comes time to fight the boss, the boss will likely have a glaringly obvious weakness – perhaps a broken shield or a huge eyeball – that shows how to beat them. Despite the relative consistency and simplicity of this formula, not all bosses in Legend of Zelda games are easy to take down.

Related: Every Legend of Zelda game ever made, in order

Sometimes, the boss will be surprisingly difficult, frustrating, or more complex than players can imagine. In these cases, the player cannot rely entirely on the usual Zelda formula and must instead become more creative, invested, and caring. In all of the Zelda titles, here are some of the hardest ranked bosses.


10 Argoruk (Twilight Princess)

In Twilight Princess, Argorok is a massive armored wyvern who serves as the city’s leader in the sky. Fittingly, the central item in this dungeon is the Double Clawshot, which allows Link to fly between attachable surfaces. With massive columns lining the perimeter of the boss square – and Peahats floating atop those columns – Link must fly around the map to avoid attacks and set up attacks of his own.

The main difficulty in this fight is that there is no traditional running or dodging – everything is in the air. As such, the boss fight makes Link completely dependent on Double Clawshot in a way that is both exciting and challenging.

9 George (Majora’s Mask)

Majora’s Mask was Nintendo 64’s dark sequel to Ocarina of Time. Besides the usual items Link receives in each dungeon, Link also collects a variety of masks; The four most important of these reasons relate to the transition to a new entity. The game’s third dungeon, Great Bay Temple, relies heavily on Link’s transformation into the aquatic Zora.

Related: The Legend Of Zelda: The best songs in the series, ranked

As such, the fight with Gyorg – a huge fish – also depends on Link switching between human and Zora forms. Link can shoot arrows and slash at Gyorg when he approaches Link on Land; Conversely, Link’s Zora form can meet Gyorg in the water. Not only do players have to change constantly, but Zora’s attack relies on magical energy, which is a finite and easy-to-use resource.

The link and the shadow link reflect each other's strokes

This is technically cheating, as Shadow Link is a mini-boss in the Ocarina of Time’s Water Temple. Shadow Link reappears in several Zelda titles – his appearance in the already depressing Water Temple isn’t exactly welcome.

Shadow Link is a dark reflection of the simulated link almost Every attack players can do. Standard attacks will be copied, quickly weakening Link’s health. However, special attacks that use items cannot be copied, and are therefore effective. Specifically, using items like the Biggoron Sword, Megaton Hammer, or Din’s Fire will damage the Mini Trainer while keeping the actual Link relatively safe.

7 Phantom Ganon (Ocarina of Time)

Link reflects Phantom Ganon's energy attack

This is the first of many “Ganons” on this list – after all, he’s an iconic central antagonist in the series. Phantom Ganon is the first boss fight after Link first teleports into the future. At the end of Ghostly Forest Temple, Link must battle someone particularly fearsome picture from Janon.

This fictitious image is using the president’s square to his advantage. On the walls of the circular arena, there are six identical panels on the wall, in which Phantom Ganon will retreat. After a moment, three Phantoms will appear, charging from random panels – only one of which, light-colored, is the true Phantom. Link must locate the correct Ganon at the right time and shoot him with an arrow; Otherwise, the real ghost attacks Ganon.

Link at the edge of the Muldorm boss battlefield

A Link to the Past is one of the few Zelda titles available on multiple consoles (SNES and GBA). This means that two generations of Zelda players are exposed to a desperate battle between the Lords of Moldorm.

Mildew is a large, segmented worm with a pronounced weak spot on its tail. He’s the boss at the end of the third dungeon, Hera’s Tower. Getting to the weak point is difficult enough because Muldorm moves unpredictably. It’s also difficult to get close enough to hit the giant worm since any contact with Moldorm gives Link an intense bounce. The arena contains ledges from which Link can fall; Because the arena is so small and has a convenient hole in the center, Moldworm’s deathblow is mostly deadly.

5 Moldova (breath of the wild)

Molduga fighting in the desert tied with two sword

Speaking of giant worms serving as tough bosses, Breath of the Wild has several worms casually roaming the Jerodo Desert. Not only are there four of them, but they aren’t even related to the dungeon or story progression. Fighting them is technically optional, but they will find Link even if Link doesn’t try to find them.

Mulduja hides under a cover of sand, which he uses to fend off most attacks and hide his location. Link must find high ground to avoid his attacks and feed him bombs from the sand to land an attack of his own. If players try to fight Molduja on the sand or don’t treat this encounter as a boss battle, Molduja will definitely win every time.

4 Calamity Gannon (Breath of the Wild)

Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild vs. Catastrophe Ganon.

Breath of the Wild has one central goal: to defeat Ganon. Given that this is a fairly done job, players can technically tackle this challenge right away (and the speedsters certainly do). A departure from the usual Zelda formula, players can challenge Ganon at any stage of Link’s development. As such, this boss battle can range from “extremely difficult” to “significantly less difficult, but still a boss fight”.

The main challenging factor stems from the massive amount of damage Ganon can deal. Any given hit will clear a large portion of hearts, so plenty of permanent (red) and temporary (yellow) hearts are necessary.

3 Ganondorf (Twilight Princess)

Link and Ganondorf face each other in the final duel

Unsurprisingly, Ganondorf is the final battle in Twilight Princess; Although Zant – a resident of the Twilight Realm with a strange mask – features as the antagonist for most of the game, Ganondorf is more narratively important and more difficult to fight.

Related: The most iconic video game villains of all time, ranked

There are several stages to the boss fight, and each stage involves a unique enemy: Puppet Zelda, Dark Beast Ganon, fighting Ganondorf on horseback and dueling Ganondorf one-on-one. Each stage charts the overall battle, with carelessness leading to greater difficulty in the future. Given that the hero’s spirit teaches sword fighting techniques through Twilight Princess, the one-on-one duel with Ganondorf at the end has tremendous narrative significance and mechanical depth. At the end of this grueling multi-stage boss battle, every move counts in this final duel.

2 Gleuc (The Legend of Zelda)

Gleeok boss fighting dragon guarding the door

Some Zelda titles have recurring boss fights, either between titles or within the same game. The first game in this series, The Legend of Zelda, features a recurring many-headed dragon named Gleeok. Gleeok was one of the many reasons the original was remembered, in part, because of its difficulty.

An immobile dragon hurls fiery projects at Link that players must individually decapitate. Once the heads are cut off, they fly around, firing more projectiles. To make matters worse, Gleeok becomes progressively more difficult as it appears throughout the match, turning previously successful strategies into new frustrating defeats.

Thunderbird boss fight and Zelda II 2 title screen

The sequel to the first game — aptly titled Zelda II: The Adventure of Link — makes it clear once and for all that the protagonist is, in fact, Link. Link is definitely making a name for himself in this game, considering the sheer difficulty of the game in general. The penultimate boss, Thunderbird, is the embodiment of this game’s high difficulty level.

Similar to Gleeok, Thunderbird throws several fiery projectiles at Link, causing players to continually dodge while trying to deal damage. Unlike Gleeok, Thunderbird is constantly moving over Link, which requires him to jump heavily on the boss. Thunderbird is too Exclusively Weak in the thunder spell, which is required before he can take damage from sword strikes.

next one: Persona 5 Royal: The hardest bosses, ranked



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