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Dungeon Themes You Would Like To See In The Next Zelda Game

Dungeons have always been a central element of the Zelda universe. The original NES game coined them "levels" and the basic navigation from listless room to listless room albeit with different color backgrounds was the same with all nine. Zelda II: Adventure of Link took the franchise design along a completely new route but did little to alleviate this problem. It's with A Link to the Past that things started to spice up. No longer were the interiors of dungeon bland but desert, ice, cave, forest elements were included. Ocarina of Time took this evolution to the next level with a variety of themes like forest, fire, water, ice, dark, and light just to name a few. That template would be followed by most installments to come with one particular element coming to mind when traversing through a dungeon.

Enter Skyward Sword. The first Wii exclusive Zelda title kept golden on Nintendo's promise to alter the traditional series formula and blend dungeon with overworld. The overworld was filled with more puzzles and enemies than ever before whereas the dungeons felt more open. Skyward Sword also added its own twist to the mix by combining multiple themes so to speak in each dungeon. This was particularly well demonstrated by the Lanayru Mining Facility as well as Ancient Cistern which boasted desert/mechanical and water/"undead" zombie elements, respectively.

Although E3 2012 brought with it no new Zelda announcements aside from a shallow minigame in Nintendo Land-which was to be expected given the recent release of Skyward Sword-it's never to early to start thinking about upcoming titles for the franchise. Most seem certain that the next installment will be for the Nintendo 3DS since that would logically follow seeing as how the last was for a home console. The ideas presented in this thread will therefore apply to the 3DS hardware. A mechanical theme comes to mind, twisting cogs into place with the stylus, perchance something along the lines of the fuseboxes in Resident Evil: Revelations. It would also be great to see an ice theme return seeing as how it was blatantly missing from Skyward Sword. If the next game features a darker style, I'd gladly love to see something along the lines of the Shadow Temple from Ocarina of Time. Interesting uses of the 3DS gyroscope could also come into play if a horror aspect is involved. Above all, I'd like to see the blending of multiple creative ideas as Skyward Sword did. What dungeon themes would you like to see in the next Zelda game (presumably for 3DS)?
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Ah what a cool thread ALIt, i knew you'd come back tonight with an awesome conversation piece.

I've been musing on the idea of what i'm dubbing 'double temples'. I'd like a temple which has to be done two different ways much like becoming Young Link again t tackle the Spirit Temple in OoT. However, my version would be to use a mode of transport, this would have worked well with say the LoftWing to use it for half of the dungeon and then on foot for the rest. I think set ups like that would really help bring something out in the temples, especially if the story were to revolve around Link's method of transport.

As for more conventional themes, the Lanayru Mining Facility got me thinking about the possibility of an electricity dungeon, perhaps it could be an open top dungeon with large pillars needing to be activated or moved into the right place under a storm that happens over the dungeon itself, just an idea, probably a terrible one but this is why i leave it to Nintendo.

I'd quite like a 'suspended' dungeon too, if anyone has ever played Pandora's Tower they'll kind of see what I mean. We had that a little in the City in the Sky in Twilight Princess but it never felt very perilous to me and i kind of wish it had a different design to it since that one temple is perhaps the one that bugged me the most in terms of design, it was very hard to go back on yourself if you missed a heartpiece.

I can't think of anyhting else but Zelda dungeons definitely have a potential if nintendo were to further break the mould. I do agree that the two dungeons you mentioned the Lanayru Mining Facility and the Ancient Cistern are the two that I remember because of their mixed themes like the Cistern's 'undead' section. A Horror dungeon would be quite wonderful. I remember one in Wind Waker (can't for the life of me remember which one) which was crawling with Re-deads and that one stood out because of all of the nice little touches like being surrounded by coffins and having to run from their falling lids forcing you to keep your back turned to the danger as you ran with no idea what was in them. Pretty effective.

I also remember Oracle of Ages regressing to LoZ by calling their dungeons 'levels' too =]


Sage of Tales
Ooh, I like that "mechanical" concept. I think it could be pretty awesome to have a dungeon that upped a steampunk feel to eleven... A future Temple of Time concept, in fact, would be perfect for this. I've played (most of) a sony RPG - Wild ARMs 3... It has lots and lots of dungeons (like, one-hundred small dungeons scattered over an entire planet). It's a very long game and I haven't played it in months as I got stuck on one portion... still... there is this dungeon in it called Infinitum, which is a shrine to the Guardian of Time in their world. There are parts of it that work like I think a Zelda Temple of Time *should* have. Timing-based puzzles, spinning cogs...

A *moving* dungeon might be cool - like a dungeon that is a vehicle of some sort - a huge train or in the form of a walking, mechanical beast (or even, if they want to go the Jabu-Jabu route, an organic beast but one that walks or swims or flies as you're inside it fighting evil) - and there are puzzles presented that use the dungeon's movement as part of the challenge.

A temple set into the side of a sheer-cliff might be neat, if nothing more than "the bigger challenge is getting to it" and the visuals. There are real-life ruins like this (I've been to 'em in the American southwest).

I am also fond of a pair of dungeon concepts I used in one of my fanfictions ("The Great Desert"). There was the Bone Temple - a kind of meaner and nastier take on the Shadow Temple, but the walls and most things in it were made of bones. Then there was the Steel Temple, a dungeon (actually landed/crashed ancient starship!) with absolutely no organic enemies - it was entirely mechanical traps, puzzles and wall-mounted guns, a soulless security-system that had to be puzzled-through rather than fought with brute force.


I've was a big fan of the Flipping effect in MM during the last temple. Being able to see the chest but able to reach it right away made the temple truly interesting. Also since I started playing Zelda games I have found that although the water temples tend to be outrageously difficult the first time through I think that they definitely should have an intense water temple.


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
Definitely another mechanical dungeon like the Mining Facility. That place shut up any speculation and doubt about advanced technology in Zelda. The varied features/themes that SS's dungeons offered should be continued, as well, and multiple dungeons should be returned to to uncover previously blocked off areas.

Oh, and definitely a creepy dungeon. Gotta have those in there. That's the one dungeon SS lacked. Sure, it tried to do it with the lower portion of the Ancient Cistern, but it failed miserably at it. I will forever hate the Bottom of the Well from OoT due to childhood memories, but I still say there should be something like that in the next title.
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I'm baack. Who missed me?
Sep 7, 2011
United States, Michigan
I like the idea with the mechanical theme. I think that there could also be a mountain type dungeon. Not volcano or icy peak, just like a giant cave or like a more outdoor at the peak of a mountain. I think that would be cool.


The White Knight Alien
Mar 22, 2012
A Distant Nebula
Well I don't know about the next Zelda game in-particular, but I would love to see this dungeon element in place. I would want like a link to a dungeon that had Shadow Link as the boss, and it was like the world through his eyes.
Every object is black, and even lights are black. It's strange though, because wherever this dark light doesn't shine, there is some color. Wherever it would be pitch black in the normal world, there are vibrant colors of what is truely there in this shadow dungeon. It would be really hard to navigate, because you would have to light certain torches to unlock some stuff, but when you did, everything around that area would go dark. Even the enemies obey these wierd laws of physics. When it comes to fighting Shadow Link, it would be best to turn out the lights. You could have a very unique item that came with this dungeon, that would change the light into dark, or do something wierd that Link could also use outside of this dungeon.


Jun 22, 2011
One idea I have is a water/ice dungeon that you would visit at least twice. The game would change seasons as you progress so the dungeon would be a water dungeon early in the game and an ice dungeon later. A third of the dungeon would overlap so that you experience the level both as a water and ice dungeon. The pure water third of the dungeon would lead to the miniboss and dungeon item, and the ice third of the dungeon would contain the boss.

My other ideas aren't as developed but I'd like to see an underground cave dungeon that feels like a cross between a throwback to the original game and the lantern caverns of Twilight Princess, another underground dungeon that is a mine with a shovel as the dungeon item and you have to use the map well to reach new areas with the shovel, a dungeon in a haunted house, a dungeon somehow revolving around a farm, a very tall tower dungeon with a grappling hook for the dungeon item and you have to go outside windows at some points to reach upper floors and in some cases hidden rooms on lower floors, and another dungeon like the Skull Woods of A Link to the Past which completely blurs the line between dungeon and the surrounding environment.
Jun 19, 2011
I would like to see the light world dungeon theme from ALttP make a return in a future Zelda game. It's one of my favorite themes in a Zelda game.

Random Person

Just Some Random Person
Feb 6, 2010
Anything electricity or mechanical based. I've found that in Zelda, the temples that I'm am most interested in, are the ones that incorporate technology. In Majora's Mask, I consider the Great Bay Temple the best temple. Twilight Princess, the Goron Mines is my favorite and the Arbiter's Grounds is the best. (Curious enough, though, I was not please with TP's Water Temple) And now we have the Lanryu Mining facility which takes its place as my SS favorite. Pushing blocks is fun and all, but finding a way to make medieval items cooperate with out of place tech, is much more pleasing imo.

Night Owl

Oct 3, 2011
Skybound Coil Tree, Noctilum
I would like to see dungeons revolving around the Idea of being shrunk. I think it would make a nice throwback to Minish Cap.

Another thing I think might be cool, is if they had a space themed dungeon. I think Having gravity be a puzzle element would be interesting. It could also be mechanical as that has worked really well. Maybe a crashed spaceship or something.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
A full length ice dungeon would be nice, as would a dual themed forest and fire dungeon. I can't say much else.


Red as the Crimson Sun
Jun 27, 2011
McKinney, Texas
I quite enjoy the Dungeon themes of some of the newer console games, particularly Skyward Sword. Skyward Sword did a very good job of putting precise elements into it's dungeons that provide an excellent time for the player. Skyward Sword did many things with it's dungeons. It provied dungeons that contained: Excellent length time, puzzles that made you think, but were not too hard, precise enemy placements, and many suprises along the way. Skyward Sword also added an element that not all Zelda games take on, visually appealing dungeons. In every dungeon you see excellent decore na dvisually enticing decorations and fissures all along the ceiling, walls, and ground. From Skyview Temple's glowing mushrooms and quite, nature-like appearence, to the Lanayru Mine's loud mechanical decor, to The refined, sea-like demeanor. Everywhere you went, you believed that it was there and it fit. It was just like being in a different world.
Mar 20, 2012
Clock Town, Termina
I would love another Fire and Ice Temple, like Sword and Shield Maze, or Snowhead Temple. Additionally, I'd like something watery, but not obnoxious to the point of, well...most water temples. And something weird and original, like: Stone Tower Temple, Snowpeak Ruins, Sandship, etc.


Sep 19, 2011
V2 White Male
Dreamy theme - More of an illusion but a dungeon that seems like it's set in the sky. Lots of pink , fluffy clouds , Plenty of waterfalls ,and light colors. The further you progress the more nightmarish it becomes. You know the score. Darker colors etc

Steampunk theme - Lots of Metal etc. See the sky-rim dwarf dungeons to see what I mean.

Giant Dungeon - Maybe some giant lives in the mountains I dunno. Would be pretty fun to climb up his dinner table etc :P

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