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Stealth in the Zelda Series

Nov 26, 2008
A couple of Zelda games (four in particular) have included stealth elements, though only in particular parts of the game.

In Ocarina of Time, you had to sneak through the Gerudo's Fortress. A similar thing happened in Majora's Mask, in which you had to sneak through the Pirate's Cove. In Wind Waker, you had to infiltrate the Forsaken Fortress without your sword, not getting caught. And in Phantom Hourglass, you constantly have to sneak past Phantoms and Reaplings.

Oh, and there was also sneaking through the courtyard in OoT and through the Deku Palace in MM, but I always considered that more of a minigame.

So, my question is... what do you think of stealth in the Zelda series, and do you think it should continue to appear in the series? Also, I suppose say your opinions on the different games' takes on stealth, and what you would like to see done in the future.

I personally had mixed feelings about the Forsaken Fortress in WW. The lack of the sword and all the screwing around grew tiresome for me, although I really liked the base idea. I did like the sneaking in OoT and MM, using the bow to stun guards and infiltrating with your items. I haven't played PH yet, but the concept in there sounds good.

So I think I would like to see stealth where you are armed, but are against opponents you can't beat, much like Gerudos, Phantoms or Reaplings. You can't defeat the enemies or guards, but you can at least use your tools to fend them off, stun them, or get past them. I don't like being completely helpless.

As for the "courtyard" sneaking, I wouldn't mind seeing something similar return, but preferably as a brief minigame as opposed to a whole full-size area.
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Mother Hyrule
May 17, 2009
on a crumbling throne
I really, really loved the idea of stealth in the Zelda games. It brought more to the games, and on top of that, it's fun. Infiltrating the Gerudo Fortress in OoT was a LOT of fun. I loved being up high and "sniping" the Gerudo guards. Having to fight your way through was pretty great, too, because it didn't make you stick with just stealth. And we can't forget sneaking into Zelda's Courtyard, can we? I think that was perfect.

TWW pulled it off pretty well in the Forsaken Fortress, but there was a little too much of it. Remember, it's Zelda, and it needs some degree of hack n slash. Still, I was giggling like a MGS fangirl when Link had to sneak around in a barrel.

Sidling is pretty cool, and I think it works perfectly with stealthy situations. Sticking your head out from around the corner is pretty great, yeah? I didn't care much for the stealth in PH, though. Why? I feel that the top-down view just makes a little too easy for those situations. Sure, it was a lot of fun, but I think it works a lot better in 3D games.

Personally, I'd love to see more stealthy situations. I think it gives the games a little more difficulty and edge, and it could prove to be pretty interesting in future games. How about sneaking around a huge monster, trying not to wake it? Sneaking into a well guarded area is always fun, but throwing some traps here and there would make things a lot more interesting.

El Bagu

Wannabe Mr. 1-8-1
Jul 5, 2008
In Woods. N of River!
I actually find "sneaking" around being quite tiresome and frustrating, maybe not if it´s just a short "sequence" but if you have to do it for quite some time. When I play games I want action :D I can enjoy having to flee from a superior opponent (after I found out he is/seem superior), but I dont want to hide from him because of lack of a weapon etc.


Apr 19, 2009
I like the stealth aspects, but only in small doses. I loathed it in both TWW and PH. In WW, it was just too much, too boring, Link was utterly helpless, sneaking for about a solid hour just plain isnt fun.

In PH it was just plain bad. It didnt work the way it was done, and also it was just difficult. The way the phantoms seemed to have no set path so you couldnt tell where they were going was just plain annoying, and i'm sorry, but you cant have a time limit to a stealth aspect of the game, so having this in the temple of the ocean king just doesnt work.

Some people said that it just doesnt work from an atop view, but i dont think thats true. In MC where you are sneaking through hyrule courtyard thats 2d and that works perfectly. Also, alot of the OoT sneaking through the courtyard is above view aswell, so this statement isnt true.

I want to see more stealth in the LoZ games, but only in very small bundles, like 5 minutes at a time.
Jan 6, 2009
In your face
I LOVED the stealth sections in OoT. Particularly the Gerudo Fortress (that whole area was just made of win). You always felt on edge, yet knew you weren't completely helpless.

Axle raised a good point. Maybe the key to good stealth is learning the full capabilities of your items, and adapting them to a sneaky situation. At least in Zelda games anyway. Unlike other games that require stealth from the get-go and therefore use different game mechanics (such as using whatever you find), Zelda should do stealth Link's way - using items acquired from dungeons in a new way. In OoT, you're never shown to be able to shoot arrows at humans, yet in the Gerudo's Fortress, you're given the opportunity to do so. This way, you'll never feel out of your element, which was why WW fared considerably worse IMO - you had no items at that point, and the whole segment felt very unusual as a result. Also, this means that items that would normally be used in only the dungeon it was found in (e.g. the Dominion Rod in TP) could be actually useful elsewhere.


Sep 15, 2008
through the Deku Palace in MM, but I always considered that more of a minigame.

You are forgetting the infiltration in the Pirate's Lair to get back the eggs and the hookshot.

I would gladly like to see some more stealth action, as, I am a fan of metal gear solid games, and that's one of the things I really love about it:)
The deku palace part was annoying due to the fact that the camera switched to a top view, and all the "sprites" looked very small


There's a Bazooka in TP!
Feb 28, 2009
Ontario, Canada
I think it could be incorporated as long as it's not forced. It would be an alternative to fighting if you chose to use it, but you could also charge in sword drawn and do battle if you chose. Of course, you would be forced into battle at times because you couldn't stealth your way through the game, otherwise there would be no puzzles involving the defeat of enemies to open a new door or recieve a treasure chest.

I am not a fan of forced stealth even though I enjoy stealth games. There really should be an option to use it if you want to. I think when it's done right it can be enjoyable, but I don't consider most of the stealth moments in Zelda right now that have used it as "done right".

You should not be punished for not keeping under cover by being forced away from where you are into another room in order to start the stealth part over again. If you get caught, then you should have to fight your way out, or use an item to make a distraction, or have a chance to flee and go under cover again, or even talk your way out of it. You shouldn't have to be sent back to the beginning, or to jail in order to begin again. That's just a pointless task of trial and error, and I don't care much for that in smart games such as Zelda.
Oct 26, 2008
I love all the Stealthy parts in Zelda but I prefer ones where you can kill mass amounts of guards along the way with your bow, I class the Hidden Village (Or whatever it was called) in TP, I would prefer one though where there is sneaking along thin pathways high up above the ground as well, Like back against a wall while stood on a ledge. Also I want one with many many enemies in to hit with your bow.


As long as you have weaponry (E.g. Taking out the gerudo guards with arrows) I don't mind it so much. However if you're totally defenseless and have to rely on stealth completely, it becomes tedious (E.g. Forsaken Fortress).

Don't even get me started on PH stealth. Especially those plinky-plonky floors that alerted the guards if you were running too fast. Eurgh.

So yeah, as long as the stealth is kept to a small portion of the game, fine.
A Zelda game based around stealth mechanics? God help us all.

Alder Dragon

Classic Gamer
Nov 20, 2007
Pennsylvania, USA
This was also in The Minish Cap, when you had to enter the castle at one part in the game. I loved these parts of the games, and I loved the Forsaken Fortress the first time I played it. Doing any of these more than once gets annoying to me :P

But I would love to see it return. I tend to like the 2D aspect of it more (MC, OoT) since OoT was an aerial view. I liked The Forsaken Fortress, but after the first time it was just annoying for some reason.


Feb 2, 2009
Ocarina of Time: The stealth in the Gerudo's Fortress was actually pretty fun. It wasn't too hard to rip the insides out of the N64, GC, or Wii, (GC in my case), but it was still hard enough to make the challenge fun. I also loved fighting the Gerudo warriors. With Link wielding his sword and the warriors sporting double scimitars, they were quite an epic fight.

Majora's Mask: I also liked the stealth in this game's Gerudo Fortress. It was pretty long and you crossed many different terrains, starting in the part of the Fortress with the platforms on the sides with the body of the water in the middle, then going underwater, then going out to the main fortress. It was a great addition to the game, as it was very fun and made you think, but it might of been a tad too long. The whole Great Bay part of the game is long, as it has the Gerudo's Fortress and the Zora Eggs.

Wind Waker: The Forsaken Fortress wasn't really that fun the first time with the stealth. I actually liked it a lot more the second time. First of all, everything that was stealth about it was just avoiding lights and Moblins and that wasn't as fun as the other games with stealth. It was long and repetitive, and was sometimes hard to figure out where you were. It wasn't really a good start to the game, in my opinion. But I still love the initial scene in which Link is shot to The Forsaken Fortress. What a classic.

Phantom Hourglass: Anyone that knows about me and PH knows that I absolutely hate The Temple of the Ocean King. Every floor was a challenge for me, as I did not adapt well to the controls of Zelda on DS at first. I haven't gotten through most of it, only the first two trips to the place, but from what I have done in it it's not very fun for me. It's very hard, which is why I took a very long hiatus from the game, and it's much too long. Every time I finish a floor and head down another, I think to myself, When is this going to be over? -.- Both times there I was very relieved to have finally finished it. I will admit that it is a nice challenge, though. I may have emphasized how hard it is a bit too much. But it is still a pest to me, and I never look forward to it.

The "Brief Minigames" that you mention, I am pretty indifferent. They weren't something I liked, but I didn't really dislike them either. Although I liked OoT sneaking better than MM. I could care less if they appear again, but I wouldn't want a stealth minigame of a similar style grow any longer than they are already. That would be flat-out tiresome and boring.

As to whether or not it is going to appear in another game, I think it probably will. The most recent game, PH, had it, and it's not like there has been a huge gap in between the ones that had stealth. Who knows, it may even appear in Spirit Tracks. If I were to take a guess, I would say that it's going to appear in at least one of the next three Zelda games to be released. As for whether or not I want it to appear, it really depends on what the stealth sequence is. If it is one like the ones from OoT and MM, I am all for it. But I would rather not see another one like TWW or PH. If they do put one in like that, it's not going to be the end of the world. I'll probably still enjoy the game, as the stealth is only a small part of the game, that is, unless there is going to be another Temple of the Ocean King.
Apr 10, 2009
I like it, so far it has been just in small bits very well chosen and justified. As long as stealth is not the main concept through all of certain Zelda title, I don't think I'll have a problem with it.

Hiding under the barrel in the windwaker got me into, feeling adrenaline when the pigs noticed your movements and turned and even sniffed around you.Of course you learn how the game goes and you lose that feeling more and more, but first times are awesome.

In OoT the Gerudos, I didn't know about the arrows, so I just by plain run and hide while they were giving me their backs. xD


Apr 19, 2009
I think the only way that Nintendo could make this an important part of gameplay was if the main character, i.e the one you are controlling was someone other than Link. Link is way too badass to have to be sneaking around. That's why I think the stealth works in OoT, MC and WW as Link is young and not so elite, but if we had say a TP Link sneaking around it wouldnt work. However, saying that, it did work sneaking around as wolf Link, but that was only because you were sneaking around so you didnt scare people, or so you could listen in on their conversations.
Apr 5, 2008
Chula Vista, San Diego, CA
If stealth were to be a larger part of the Zelda series, it would be nice if it acted like it does in the Elder Scrolls games. You press a button, and you crouch over. You walk slower, but quieter. It would make it far easier to be stealthier. But if it played as small of a roll as it did in OoT, MM, WW, and PH, then that wouldn't be necessary
Jan 17, 2009
The Universe
I really liked the Gerudo Fortress because you can "kill" the guards with arrows.
But I REALLY HATE the 1st visit of the Forsaken Fortress... I hate being unarmed.
The PH sneaking was really easy, except for the noisy floors. I love it when you can take out the Phantoms.
In other words, I like sneaking around armed, not unarmed.

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