Ranking all The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Dungeons
Great dungeons Tier
(From left to right)
Thieves’ Town – Thieves’ Town is definitely one of the more interesting dungeons out there. I’m not really a fan of the first four screens as they’re mostly just a waste of time but beyond that, it becomes better. It’s lower on the puzzles than other dungeons, but I like the floor bomb and escorting the ”girl” to the boss room, just for her to become the boss. That part is definitely the most memorable segment about this dungeon that makes up for the shortcomings at the start.
The item to get are the Titan’s Mitt, and what makes them better than the Power Glove is the sheer amount of places and secrets you can unlock with them. This is basically the only obstacle that prevents you from doing the last three dungeons out of order but when you have it, the world opens up for you again on a grand scale. It’s still hard to compare it to actual weapons of course, but I do like how every other dungeon unlocks after having this item.
Which brings us to the boss and as I’ve already spoiled before, it’s the girl you came to rescue here in the first place! Well, kinda. It was actually a thief called Blind who disguised himself and waited for the perfect moment, but was not prepared for a bombed floor that let light through. Blind is potentially one of the most difficult bosses in the game, mostly due to how chaotic it can get with the amount of heads and lasers on screen. I love this boss battle though, it feels great to overcome.
Eastern Palace – The first official dungeon in the game, and what a good first dungeon it is. It keeps puzzles simple but still engaging, and has the memorable ball-rolling section at the start. Optional holes to fall in for fairies and even an optional room with rupees: they’re all here. It might not be as complex as some of the later dungeons, but it does a good job introducing the player to what’s in store for them.
And of course, we can’t forget about possibly one of, if not the best weapon in the game: the bow. Link’s trusty weapon that has served him since the very beginning of his gaming career is back in full force and still as satisfying to use as ever. On multiple occasions, it can work more effectively than the sword–especially on several bosses such as Vitreous. And the dungeon having enemies that are weak against the arrow is just a cherry on top.
I may have a slightly biased take on the Armos Knights as I have fought them way too many times before and therefore can do them blindfolded, but they are still a good first boss for sure. Splitting up into six different statues and hopping around is not too menacing but since they’re weak against the arrows, it’s your job to time your shots right. Once the final one is left it will become more aggressive which makes it a fun second phase. Good introductory boss for sure!
Tower of Hera – I’m a big fan of climbing towers in games, so there’s perhaps a slight bias here. Also, don’t ask me why because I don’t know either. Anyway, I do enjoy going into the basement first and then making my way up, sometimes falling through cracks in the floor to discover new rooms or to pass obstacles. It’s a clever dungeon with a lot of floor switches as well.
It’s difficult to talk about this dungeon’s item because there is no way of interacting with it. What it does do however, is make you not turn into a bunny when going to the Dark World. The effect is awesome as you can now explore the entire second half of the game, so I’ll just take neutral grounds here and move on to the boss.
Moldorm! Everyone loves Moldorm right? Nah, that’s false, everyone hates the big worm. It’s also the only boss in the game that is basically a bigger version of an existing enemy, with the changes being that the skin is unharmable. This also makes the fight annoying for most people since you bounce off of him when he comes near you, potentially bouncing you off the stage and forcing you to do everything all over again. I don’t necessarily dislike Moldorm as much as other people since it’s hard to take actual damage from him and the drawback is only being sent back one floor, but I can understand why he’s such an infamous boss.
Turtle Rock – Not unlike Misery Mire where I always forget what the dungeon was about, but I do remember it better due to the unique puzzle mechanics it has; namely riding a platform over a bottomless pit on multiple occasions and taking a few chutes to the other side of the room. This is definitely what makes the dungeon stand out from the others… even if I hate the dark room with multiple fireballs while you are riding the platform. This is also the first true dungeon to make a reference to the Super Mario series, with the Chain Chomp enemies and the Hokkubokku being very suspiciously designed after the Pokey enemies. Oh, and though not directly part of the dungeon, I do like that you can go outside a few times and use the mirror to find a completely different cave in the Light World.
The upgraded shield is cool, though it won’t really have that much use beyond this particular dungeon. It does get used in the dungeon itself though, with the many lasers that the shield can block. Good upgrade to the old shield, but I’m mostly indifferent to it.
Trinexx the turtle… snake… thing is a fun boss that plays slightly more like a puzzle than the other bosses do. Emphasis on slightly since the solution is pretty obvious: use fire on the ice head, and ice on the fire head. Still, it does make for a fun battle due to all three heads having different attacks, and the battle not ending either after getting rid of the elemental heads. Trinexx turns into a stone snake and has some illegal off-screen movements, but he should go down pretty easily. Definitely had fun with this boss!