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Temples Why Are They Called That??


Clothed in Green
Sep 25, 2010
Why are the Temples In Zelda games called Temples because what is so religious about them? I don't see any body worshipping in them or anyone in them at all - well the majority of them- and why are they very so complex, take the water temple in O.O.T it is so complex and mind-numbingly complicated i wouldn't go there to worship. Also another thing why isn't there so much as an alter or even a convenient entrance to it and if the ancient people of Hyrule attended to them for what reason or purpose.

Can some one explain to me:yes:


Jan 31, 2008
Amherst, MA
Didn't I already answer this one?
Actually, there probably is some sort of religious background to them. Hyrule is a place that believes in the Goddesses, and they probably build their own shrines to worship them in. It's very likely that the Gorons gathered at the Fire Temple, the Zoras in the Water Temple, and the Kokiri(maybe?) in the Forest Temple. The same could maybe be said of the other temples in the games. I think that if they ever had this value, though, they've sort of lost it and have just come to refer to regular dungeons. It's very possible that some of the temples that were built were built for religious purposes, however.


Jun 14, 2010
Not in the SB ;-;
Hmm good point. I guess they are called like that since every temple is like a "shrine" fro each zone or race (zoras, water temple, gorons, goron mines). And for the complex part, remember that each temple has a sacred weapon, the complexity of it is to protect the weapon. As for an altar, they do have altars, they are the boss chambers, for an example in WW the boss room in the earth temple was were Link and the sage recharged the sword!!!

Hope i clarified


Dec 3, 2009
Ikana Canyon
Each Temple is a Shrine that is designed for a Specific Race to worship in.Like the Water Temple is for Zoras,Fire is for Gorons,Woodfall is for Dekus,and ect.But maybe not all the Temples would have to have Religion in it,maybe some were designed to just hold a Special Item or to seal/hold a Demon/Beast.I hoped this helped for your question this was the best answer I could come up with.


Pure Awesomeness
Aug 3, 2010
Somewhere over the Rainbow
Even if it is a temple of worship- why is it so complex? Why do they have hidden keys in hidden rooms, creatures with swords, giant blocks to push around and climb on top of? My theory is: It's just a game, a zelda game. They probably weren't thinking about that when they made it,


May 9, 2010
Maybe Its was use to by what region you are in like in Spirit Tracks it called the Snow temple and its in the Snow Realm.But in Twilight Princess is what area you are in like Hyrule field, the forest, the peeks (Example Peek Temple) But I have not played the rest of the Zelda games but I know a little about in A Link to the Past in there it is label in realms or regions.I think what you mean is why is it like that.
Sep 16, 2009
Cali For Nuh
Even if it is a temple of worship- why is it so complex? Why do they have hidden keys in hidden rooms, creatures with swords, giant blocks to push around and climb on top of? My theory is: It's just a game, a zelda game. They probably weren't thinking about that when they made it,

Remember during those 7 years Link was sleeping? Alot of bad things happened. Including Ganon giving dominion of the temples to the evil creatures he place in charge. These were definitely temples pre-ganon's control. Which is very much why they more became dungeons AFTER ganon's rise to power.

I find it silly that you say there is nothing religious about them... The Spirit Temple had a freaken Idol in the middle of it. By all technical definitions the Lobby of the Fire Temple was an alter as well (similar to what you see in most contemporary churches today).

The water temple, not accessible? Ok sure its not accessible to our friends who must breathe to survive, but it was very much accessible to our fishy friends who dwelled and worshiped there. Shadow Temple on the other hand... Had many locations where worship could be obtained... as well as the possibility of it being a training ground for new sheikah.
Mar 8, 2010
I see your point. Im going to go through some "temples"
forest temple-an old mansion in the forest. most likely not a place of worship. Deemed a dungeon.

fire temple- a simple place of worship. you can tell their fire/mountain god are those statues with the flames in them at the beginning. Deemed-temple.

Water temple- a laberynth. I believe not only was it a place of worship for the zora but also a stronghold for war. after all, no one can beat a zora inderwater. Deemed-temple

Shadow temple-a crypt. I think it was less a place of worship and more where the shiekah kept the evil spirits of hyrule. a sort of hell/prisin. Deemed-Dungeon

Spirit temple- a place of worship. I think the statue of the lady with a snake gives it away. Deemed-temple.

Woodfall-an old mesoamerican themed temple. it was shaped after a temple so im going to assume the Deku practiced religion similar to that. Deemed-temple

Snowhead-wasnt it stated somewhere this was a shrine. anyway, im going to say it was a temple. And I believe ceremonial Goron races are held there for the "gods" Deemed-temple

Great Bay-an industrial plant. I'm at a loss here. im thinking it was used to produce electricity, hence the lights. It may power terminia. who knows this one's kind of odd. A guess I can take for sure is that it wasnt a place of worship. No signs of any worship. Deemed-dungeon

Stone Tower-a Temple for majora. I think it's fairly obvious that this was a place of worship, and I think they worshipped majora's mask. In fact, I'm going to go as far to say they were the tribe with the ancient rituals of hexing with Majora's mask. Deemed-temple

Dragon Roost-a mountain. it really isnt a temple so much as a challenge to get the Ruko (or whatever) wings.

Forest haven-old Deku tree. it is just the old duku tree. no signs of worship whatsoever. Deemed-dungeon.

Earth and Wind temples-both simply that. These are the truest sence of temples. they are simply for worship. Deemed-temples.

Forest temple-an old large tree. I'm pretty sure that on of the villagers refers it as the "forest temple" indicating they worship their sometimes. deemed-temple

Goron Mines-where the gorons mine thier ore. Unless you worship work I wouldnt count mines as a temple. Deemed temple

Im lazy and a new One Piece episode just came out. you get the idea haha:)


Stardust Crusaders
Feb 15, 2010
Seasons in the Abyss [Minnesota]
There four types of dungeons in my opinion in the Legend of Zelda.

Temple: A place of worship, where different races go to worship thier god/gods.
examples: Fire temple (OoT) and Stone Tower Temple (MM)

Labyrinth: A complicated Maze or Puzzle like dungeon. Used to trap rivaling tribes or explorers.
examples: Water Temple (OoT)

Dungeon: Anything that doesn't fit into the categories above.
examples: Shadow Temple (OoT), Level 8 (LoZ).


going deku
Aug 23, 2010
Pennsylvania, USA
It is just another theme Zelda uses for their dungeons/levels. As others have said they make them all have religious affiliation with the different races of hyrule and the Zelda lands.

In OoT the temples were all places where the sages were

In MM the temples were the places of the Giants who were protective spirits

In WW they were places of the sages' worship

In TP, well, they were just holy places or shrines. Obviously the Temple of Time had the same affliliation as in OoT.
Nov 26, 2008
You guys are being way too narrow in defining "temple".

▸ noun: an edifice devoted to special or exalted purposes

For clarification:
(edifice) ▸ noun: a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place
(exalted) ▸ adjective: of high moral or intellectual value; elevated in nature or style

It does not need to be strictly religious. The Temples are the places where the Sages gathered. They stayed in the temple and prayed and/or meditated. It was a place of spiritual power of their element. It didn't need to be strictly religious so much as a complete embodiment of the element. Can you argue that any one of the temples is not that? And "religious" or "place of worship" is greatly dependent on how the religion worships. It seems that the temples are places for the sages mainly, and people to worship that element. It may extend to worshiping the goddesses too, I don't know. Either way, the boss chambers are in several cases probably the main praying/meditating rooms.

That's speaking strictly of OoT though. Other games don't define the purpose of the temples as much, but you can be pretty sure there was some basic purpose for them. Either spiritual, outright religious, or perhaps just intellectual. The name is still appropriate. Outside of OoT, only certain games use the term "temple" frequently. MM does, but these are the resting places of the Giants, Termina's gods, so it makes sense. PH and ST both did as well. In PH they all seemed to be spiritual places of some sort, and they contained either the sealed spirits or the Pure Metals. The Temple of the Ocean King was literally the home of a guardian deity. As for ST, they were the places where the energy for the Spirit Tracks and the Tower of Spirits were located. That's very important, and befits the title of temple.

The term makes sense whenever it's been used. Including more singular examples like the Temple of Time. There's nothing wrong here. And I don't think the dungeon's design is relevant to this at all. It's designed for gameplay, not plot. Look at Castlevania, which has the most psychotic and impossible to traverse castle ever conceived. This is gameplay, not story. Even with it taken into consideration, though, it makes sense since at least in OoT they were temples in honor of an element, so they perfectly represented that element.


I am the wannabe Kokiri!
Oct 9, 2010
Northern Ireland
Stop intruders!

I personally think that the reason they are called temples, and they are so mind numbingly confusing sometimes is possibly because they were built like that as defences against intruders and the boss room was the mid point the room of worship.

As mentioned in earlier posts each temple was built for one race to worship in. so for a zora it wouldn't be to hard to sink below the surface to and open a door. Neither will it be to hard for a kokiri to find their way through the lost woods (I think) they would be able to find their way through the woods with their own natural forest senses, if that makes sense?

The boss is the one causing trouble, yes? In OOT the boss had taken hold of a sage or something along those lines...and as such the boss room could be the sages room for worship? If you understand what I mean.. I hope so :)
Oct 21, 2010
I would have to say the reason why some of them are called temples is cuz they were built for the godesses, not so much they went there to worship... Or they might have used them a long time ago, but they stoped for one reason or another... But they placed weapons in there, and made it complicated cuz they knew "the hero (of whatever)" might come back or something... But I REALLY have no idea, thats just a guess! :)


Dec 16, 2009
United States
Attack helicopter
I had that same question too! A temple is usually a place of worship. I don't think it was for the goddesses though. It might also be a place to protect things. Like in PH, all the temples were there to protect things.

In of ALttP, they were all (except for Ganon's Tower and Hyrule Castle) were used to protect the crystals in the Dark World and the Light World had the Pendants. In MC(except for Dark/Hyrule Castle), they were used to create the Four Sword.

In ST, (except for the Tower of Spirits), the Sand Temple protected the Bow of Light while the others protected Force Gems keeping the Spirit Tracks together.

In LA, they temples were protecting the instruments to gain entrance in the Egg on the Mountain. I don't know about any other games because I haven't seen what's at the end of the dungeons.


For some temples in OOT and MM the word temple may in my opinion have been overused. Great Bay Temple is not a temple to me, nor are Snowhead Temple, Forest Temple and Shadow Temple.
Furthermore: in OOT the temple that is most temple-like is Spirit Temple with the great statue of the Desert Goddess at the entrance and in the main room where both child and adult routes lead to.
Water temple has temple decoration but seems a bit too hazardous and puzzled. But that may have been on purpose of course. The Fire Temple I'd see is more of a dungeon than a temple because of all the puzzles and hazards but I can understand why it could be seen as a temple.

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