The Great Palace, as seen in Zelda II, by far. There are so many difficult things about this dungeon.
First, there's simply just reaching the dungeon. Doing so requires the player to traverse and endure the Valley of Death.
This trial of might houses hordes of dangerous enemies, including swarms of Moas. There are also unavoidable action sequences, which include jumping of pits of lava. Entering the caves is a nightmare, as surviving the repeated attacks of Blue Lizaflos is only a few levels under impossible. Whatsmore, the nearest town to heal is a great walking distance, and will serve no advantage. You'll lose your energy quickly once again when returning to the valley. Stocking up on extra lives might be ideal, but don't be surprised if you lose them quickly. Otherwise, it's all up to skill.
So, you somehow managed to survive the onslaught. But the battle has only begun, enter the dungeon itself.
It seems as if you were given a break from the terror, the reason being the once the player gets a Game Over in the Great Palace, they're returned to the dungeon's entrance, and not the North Palace (the starting area of the game). And trust me, when attempting the palace, you will be getting many Game Overs.
One of the first easily noticeable things about this dungeon is the mind scrambling, maze-like layout. Even a map helps little when exploring.
The dungeon is full of hidden passages disguised as solid walls or floors. Some of these passages are required to enter to progress in the dungeon, which is a real kick in the head. There are also sequences where Link must smash throw walls by being attacked by hordes or enemies. Which brings us to our next point, the horrible spawns that lay within the Great Palace.
This palace houses enemies not seen before in previous dungeons. Among them are the fire spitting Fotail, which only become more of a threat the longer they linger on the screen.
Avoiding their fireballs requires much skill, and missing a jump can lead to a great loss of energy.
Yet, there's still a bigger threat than this creature. It's the bird-like knight, the Fokka.
These bringers of death retain the height damage and defensive capabilities of the Iron Knuckle, along with another skill which makes them an ultimate force to reckon with: a very high jump. This makes attacking the creatures a grueling task, and gives them a high ground advantage. The best stragetdy against them is to run, but even that is near impossible to accomplishment without taking a few hits. Whatsmore, they also appear in those wall breaking segments I mentioned earlier. This is a true ordeal. If Link manages to endure the hordes of beasts, he's treated with two indescribably difficult foes.
The first guardian of the Great Palace is Thunderbird. Though he can be described as the lesser of the two evils, he still shoes no mercy.
To even make him tangible, our hero must activate the Thunder spell, draining most of the player's magic. Then, one must be precise in damaging him; he must be hit directly in the face with the use of the up or down thrust. Thunderbird retaliates by dropping fireballs across the room, doing so at a faster pace with the more damage he takes. When Link manages to destroy him, the following bout is much more of an ordeal.
Link is now faced with the final boss, his own shadow, Dark Link. The guardian of the Triforce of Courage spawns him as the final challenge, and boy, is it fitting. He mirrors your every move, so landing a blow on him is quite difficult. If the player thinks that refraining from attack will make their opponent do so, they're in for a nasty surprise, as Dark Link kills them quickly. There is an exploit, which requires cowering in a corner and slashing repeatedly, but other than that, it's all up to skill. Good luck.
When finally overcoming the last trial, the player is treated with the ending of the game. Congratulations, you should feel proud. :yes: