• Welcome to ZD Forums! You must create an account and log in to see and participate in the Shoutbox chat on this main index page.

The Toughest Zelda Dungeon

Majora's Cat

How about that
Sep 3, 2010
^ What Dagoth Ur said. I believe those are definitely the two most difficult temples in the series. In my previous post I included a bunch of temples... but I believe that those two are the very definition of "insanely difficult".


I'm back!!
Through the four Zelda games I've played so far, I've went through 24 dungeons, though I beated 23 (I still haven't beaten the Great Bay Temple).
So far, the toughest dungeons/temples haven't been too tough, but tough enough to make me play them actively, and still be a lot of time stuck in them (with the exception of one I'm going to mention later...). These are the dungeons/temples that I've found to be the toughest I've played so far, taking me from one week to months:

Forest Temple (OOT)

Didn't see it coming, huh? The Forest Temple isn't famous because of it's difficulty, mainly because people find it in a medium difficulty, though my lack of experience in Zelda made this temple feel like a medium-difficult temple, taking me a week to beat. Let's all admit it: if your first game is ocarina of Time, and you play through the Forest Temple in your first playthrough, you will find yourself in a totally different place from the dungeons that you had previously played, that is, Inside the Great Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern and Inside Jabu Jabu's Belly. While these dungeons had some easy puzzles, combined with some easy and easy-medium enemies, the Forest Temple presented you a new level in terms of dungeon, including hard-to-figure puzzles and hard enemies, with your first encounter against the Stalfos, with which you die a lot if you fight them for your first time. The place was big and felt like it was non-linear, like there were a lot of different routes you could take that lead you to the boss. That, added to it's confusing structure, made it difficult already. It had hard enemis to beat, like the Stalfos, and some puzzles many times harder than the ones you had played before, like the pull-the-blocks puzzle, or the one with the twisting corridors. You even had to solve a puzzle to fight with a poe (the green one). The place seems crazy, and you don't have a clue of what to do: you didn't have the help of Navi you had Inside the Great Deku Tree, or the easy puzzles of Dodongo's Cavern, or the almost linear structure of Inside Jabu Jabu's Belly. You were alone, without any help, and without knowing a bit of what to do. Is it strange to see the Forest Temple in one of these lists' Yes it is, but, is the reasoning strange, weird? I think not.

Water Temple (OOT)

We all saw it coming. The Zelda players worst nightmare. The Water Te`mple. The puzzling temple. The confusing temple. The tedious, annoying and extremely difficult temple. This one took me three weeks, though I'll explain why later. This temple is unarguably the most difficult temple of all Ocarina of Time, because of it's extensive backtracking, confusing structure, hard enemies and puzzles and the reason that is the most criticized one: changing the Kokiri Boots to the Iron Boots, and viceversa. This temple is very hard, mostly because of it's structure: you have to get keys by doing a lengthy backtracking, going from room to room, then change the water level, and then explore all the accessible rooms. This kind of tedious exploration stressed a lot of people, having to search room to room in order to get a bunch of keys and be able to proceed through the temple. You had to through ten rooms, to realize you hd the wrong water level. Then you forgot where you had to change the water level, and went through all of the accessible rooms again to find where to change the water level. Then again, the tedious exploration. This repetitive exploration quickly makes the Zelda player to choose one of two options: to love it or to hate it, most people choosing the latter option, being angered because of this temple. And, of course, with the tedious exploration you had the Iron Boots, by which you had to constantly press START, go to the menu and change the boots, having to change them between some seconds to a few minutes. Thi wasn't a nice idea from Nintendo, I must admit. In fact, I kind of hated the Iron Boots system, but never been so frustrated about it that shouted in anger each time I had to change Link's boots. My actual opinion of the Water temple is that it is a medium difficulty temple, if we exclude what kept me playing it for so long time: the little details that require little to no thinking, like exploding a part of a wall that is darker than the others. In this kind of moments, I was thinking all kind of solutions to be able to pass through the point in whcih I was stuck, to find the answer to the problem was incredibly easy. This is what raise the temple to having the position as the toughest temple of all Ocarina of Time.

Moonlit Grotto (OOA)

This is, pretty much, one of the most puzzling dungeons in all Oracle of Ages, which is already a complex Zelda game. This dungeon has all kind of different and hard-to-solve puzzles, like trying to access to different portions of the dungeon by going through a room that connects four areas, though you only can go to one area when a 'wheel' in the middle of the room indicates you you can go to the certain area you want to, which you have to do by going through that room multiple times, and doing certain things I won't mention to not spoil the puzzle's answer. Tjhis dungeon I can't remember exactly how much time I've spent in, but I can remember it took me between one week and one month. The place has a bunch of puzzles you have to solve without any help at all, and they aren't as easy as the game's first dungeon's puzzles. You have to think a lot to go through this dungeon, and it can stuck you a lot of time when you don't know what to do or where to go, which happens very often. Still, I think of this dungeon as one of the most entertaining dungeons I've ever played, being extremely fun in my eyes. A cool, but hard dungeon.

Jabu Jabu Belly (OOA)

This is the dungeon I think took me the most time. Ever. I've been stuck in this dungeon for like, three months, to find the answer to the puzzle I was stuck in was pretty much very simple. This dungeon is a water-based dungeon, having two (or is it three?) water levels, and being very difficult because you have to go to certain rooms at certain water levels, but accessing certain portions is the hardest part, as, by raising or lowering the water level, you have to go to a certain area using a certain route you could take before, but that now is impossible to access because you now can't float over holes, or can't do certain other things. You also have the problem that you can't pull things while underwater, so sometimes you have to lower the water level and then go to certain areas, getting confused while trying to go to them. There are a lot of areas that seem like they are impossible to pass, or certain puzzles you just can't figure out what to do, and then come the water levels, raising and lowering them, and then trying to go to the area you were before, find it inaccessible to get to, and get stuck. I still remember my exhausting search to find the dungeon's item, the Hookshot LV2, to find out that wasn't the solution to all of my problems. After some time, I realized all I had to do was to change the water levels, and then found out that wasn't the solution to all of the dungeon's puzzles, as backtracking through the dungeon isn't as easy as it seems. All in all, a very difficult dungeon, havign to change the water levels a lot of times and backtracking oto go to certain areas you now find inaccessible. This dungeon I also find very entertaining, but also very confusing: if only the water levels wouldn't be there...

That's the final of my list. Four dungeons/temples from two games, as Majora mask's dungeons I still don't find too difficult, and Link's Awakening dungeons being so easy I've beaten most of the dungeons I've played through in less than a day (I mean, each dungeon in less than a day).
Hope you enjoy (if you enjoy these kind of posts...)! :) .


Prince of Moblins
Jun 17, 2010
In lost woods guarding the forest temple
LOZ- Ganons Tower

I havent played got to it yet, but i saw the map for it and it was HUGE!!!

OoT- Water Temple

Yah this temples hard for almost everyone, its like you go into it and you go anywhere, you get lost, ITS HARD!!! I hade to go to ZD walkthrough like 5 times cause i keep on getting lost.

ALTTP- Dark Palace

Its not hard, but for me finding the master key was pain and the boss was really HARD for me.

ALTTP- Skull Woods

Its not hard ethier, but the wall master just keep getting me. It seems that the little things in ALTTP makes it harder.

TP-City in the Sky

Ehh... its just hard.


Stardust Crusaders
Feb 15, 2010
Seasons in the Abyss [Minnesota]
I would say the temple I had the most difficulty on was the Great Bay Temple from MM.

I would say the toughest dungeon I have ever played was Great Bay Temple I hated all the mechanics and water ways.

Nye Pendragon

Feb 16, 2010
HMMMM. The hardest Zelda dungeon for me so far...
I haven't exactly found a temple in any Zelda game to be very 'tough' or anything like that... even the 'dreaded' Water Temple from OoT. In fact, that was one of my favorites from OoT, and I found it fun, not challenging.

SO. I will go with one that I had the most trouble with that I can think of...
The Lakebed Temple from Twlight Princess.

Why? Because on my first playthrough, I think I spent a good chunk of two weeks trying to beat it! It was puzzling, awkwardly designed and I had the worst time with those darned lever thingies. I spent so many hours on that dungeon...

-shivers- I haven't had such a problem with a dungeon like that before. Not even hard ones from OoT or MM.


Dec 1, 2009
That place where things are.
I'd have to go with Ganon's Tower from the original LoZ. I don't think I've ever had that much trouble with a dungeon before, to the point that I literally looked up a map of it, planned out the path I'd take, memorized it, then practiced going through it as fast as possible while taking as little damage as possible. In fact, I can't remember much from it since I didn't explore much out of fear of just getting wrecked if I so much as took a wrong turn.

Come to think of it, the closest dungeon to that would be Ganon's Tower from ALttP. To be honest, I found it to be easy until you had to actually climb it. For some reason, the moving floors combined with the beamos statues, enemies, ice, holes, and every other obstacle that could possibly exist in the game thrown into one room for multiple rooms just obliterated me. To the point that I stopped playing the game and didn't try again until a year or two later, when I played through the entire game again and went through it. It wasn't as hard as that first time, but it was still rough.

I don't think there's any other dungeon that gave me the troubles they did. I could mention dungeons from Zelda 2, but I haven't beaten it and it feels too obvious of a choice anyway.


Feb 2, 2009
Great Bay Temple, straight up.

First of all, by the time you get to the Great Bay Temple, you're pretty much pooped, for the lack of a better word. There is a TON of gameplay hammering you in between Snowfall and this, and this temple caps that all off in quite a grand fashion. I feel that this water factory from hell is what defined water dungeons as the hardest dungeons in the Zelda series. The Water Temple of OoT was the first significantly hard water dungeon, yes, but when this came along just 2 years later, this trend of difficulty really took off.

For the first bit of the dungeon, it seemed alright. The first large gear room proved to be somewhat challenging, but it was easy to make way through that room and on to the next. I do not remember very well, but soon there was a cylindrical room that had water like a lazy river, except it was more of a wide awake river that just drank a bunch of red bull. Later on in the dungeon, we had to change the flow of this river to access new areas, a task that proved extremely confusing and difficult, despite how easy it may sound. Throughout the dungeon, it was loaded with all kinds of gears and pipes that had to be manipulated in ways that seem to never cross your mind. Room after room I found myself backtracking again and again, helplessly turning gears and changing water flow until I had some spark of success.

The mini bosses and boss of the dungeon weren't a cakewalk either; they were actually quite far from it. The minibosses weren't huge threats, but fighting Wart seemed to take forever! One by one, each of his small eye ball things had to be terminated until he finally was in the form of just his singular, huge eye. However, once 15 minutes of my life were wasted on the first stage, the eye just kept zipping through the room at crazy speed, running in to me and quickly draining my health. I actually died 2 or 3 times before firing enough arrows to finish him off. Gekko, the next miniboss, however, was not very hard compared to Wart, but he was very fast and hit very hard. After getting frozen by the jelly, he pretty much gnawed your face off, and before you knew it, you were dead. I don't think I died facing this guy, though, as I was fortunate enough to kill him before he became too much of a threat to me. The real challenge, though, lied in the actual boss of the dungeon, Gyorg. Like many bosses, this was the kind of fight were you had to stun him and then proceed to attack him while he's down until he's dead. The battle doesn't seem to hard for a while. It's easy to stun him, but very risky to attack him. You can only get a couple of shots in before he chomps you up, causing major damage. However, halfway through the fight, he summons his little minions, should I say. I believe they are called Garahnas. They chase you around and persistently attack you while underwater. Gyorg and the Garahnas worked together to make quick work of me, and I died at least 10 times on this fight. It literally took me hours of non-stop playing to defeat him. Once I did, I had one of the biggest feelings of accomplishment that I had ever felt. I had finally completed the diabolic Great Bay Temple.

The complexity and difficulty of this dungeon was overwhelming - but that's what made it so fun. It's extremely boring to go through a dungeon that has the same boring puzzles over and over again and simple easy to kill enemies. However, this dungeon got my brain working quickly. Throughout the dungeon, I was completely locked in to the game, wanting absolutely no disruptions whatsoever. It was extremely fun to solve the many puzzles within this beast of a dungeon. At times it may have been too hard for me to enjoy it, and I wanted to quit, but when I kept going I realized how much of a masterpiece this dungeon was. To develop such a complex puzzle, Nintendo must have put in a ton of effort, and I give them a huge kudos for creating the most difficult and one of the most enjoyable Zelda experiences to date.
Jul 29, 2010
Cincinnati Ohio
anyone who thinks the water temple is the hardest out of the series has never played the 1st 2 games all the way through lol. much of the later temples in tohose games probably take the cake


One who sits
Aug 18, 2010
West Valley City, UT
I can't believe people are choosing dungeons from OoT and MM. But I guess not everybody has played AoL. The Great Palace in that one. OMG HARDEST DUNGEON EVER!! But getting there is the hardest part. I think it raised my death count by 25 at the very least. 'Nuff said.


Warrior Postman
Sep 30, 2009
I'm not sure which one gave me the most trouble, as I died countless times in LoZ Quest 2, but I'll cast my vote for Level 9. Spectacle Rock was an entrance to Death; this place was an entrance to repeated death.


Hyrule's Princess
Dec 25, 2010
Water Temple, I spent about 4 hours on that dungeon, Not including the time I spent trying to kill the boss.


:(The Jabu-Jabu's Belly in Oracle of Ages is the hardest dungeon ever created. It would eat the Ocarina of Time's water temple for breakfast! SERIOUSLY, it is the most complexed and longest dungeon I've ever seen! As soon as you get far in to it you will never be able to find the entrance.:(:kawaii:

If you can get past the spinning water it's super easy
Last edited by a moderator:


Zora Warrior
Nov 3, 2009
Termina Bay
Everything in AoL was hard, but the great palace is soooooo hard. Also Jabu Jabu's Belly in Oracle of Age was really hard.


Ash Gala Wonderful!
Mar 9, 2010
49.9°N 8.2°E
2D games:

1. Great Palace in AoL, no doubt. Very long, countless dead-ends, extremely tough enemies, you have to fall through invisible floors to progress etc etc. And if you arrive at the end alive (with enough MP and HP of course), the two(!) bosses will take the rest out of you.
2. Death Mountain (LoZ): Also very large, you have to bomb random places, tough enemies here too (Blue wizzrobes + bubbles in narrow rooms) and if you reach Ganon without the Silver Arrows (which is possible), you will have no idea what to do.
3. Ganon's Tower (aLttP). Quite challenging puzzles in the large basement floor and difficult battle rooms in the upper floors (thank God for Bombos! Soo useful in the iced rooms!). The final battle which could be considered part of the dungeon (you'll be brought there automatically after defeating Agahnim) is IMO the hardest one out of all the Zelda games.

3D games:

Puzzle-wise (I'm assuming 100%): Stone Tower Temple (MM). My favourite dungeon at the same time because of the many different puzzles, the flipping, the 3 minibosses, the outside areas with the day/night effects and because you had to use all 4 forms (5 if you count the Giant's mask). Finding all the stray fairies was really difficult, you had to flip the temple several times. Often you had to make chests appear in one state and grab the content in the other state, I liked that a lot.

Combat-wise: Forest Temple (OoT). If it's your first time playing OoT, you probably have only 6-7 hearts and no Biggoron's Sword. There are many Stalfosses and a jump strike of a Stalfos steals you 2 full hearts. And if you're not fast enough when battling the 2 Stalfoses in that one room, it can take you forever because a dead one can rise again, so you have to deal equal damage to each of them before finishing them. And the boss isn't that easy either, it might even be the hardest of all the Temple bosses, especially if you don't know about the Triforce Corner trick (stand there and you won't get hit) which is probably the case on 1st playthrough. I died a lot there when I first played through the game.
The Water Temple wasn't that hard for me because there were almost no enemies that could deal good damage and the boss was very easy too. Also I had no problems puzzle-wise because with the map+compass, finding the keys is easy, in the worst case you have to do some backtracking if you missed the key for the room which has the boss key. Switching the boots that often was a bit annoying though, but you could reduce that a little by getting the Golden Scale before and diving instead whereever it is possible. The 3DS release will improve the issue.


Dec 15, 2010
I thought The Great Bay Temple was pretty average. What really got me is the City in the Sky, and WW's Earth Temple.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom