21.1 King Bulblin, one last time
When you’re ready for the end, warp to Castle Town. From the Castle Town Central Square, proceed north through the town gate. A cutscene will play where Midna uses the power of the Fused Shadows to break the barrier surrounding Hyrule Castle, allowing you finally to enter.
Insert Hyrule Castle is the final dungeon. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to stop and finish all of the sidequests. In particular, Hyrule Castle contains a lot of rupees; which will allow you to make great use of the Magic Armor
You start the dungeon outside in the southern grounds. You can go in either direction, so let’s begin by going northwest. Soon a barrier will form, blocking you in. Defeat some Bokoblins and a Kargarok, and the barrier will subside, letting you continue. Enter the northwest door.
The western grounds are filled with wooden towers and barricades–as well as Bulblin Archers who will be trying to snipe at you from these tall vantage points. Meet any Bokoblins rushing in with the Master Sword. Then once they’re gone, whip out the Hero’s Bow and take aim at three Bulblin Archers. (There are explosive barrels in this area too, which can also help.) Run in and defeat any stragglers, which should only be Bokoblins at this point.
Continue straight north, then curve back around east at the wall, and you should encounter a couple Bullbos in the space ahead. Hop on one and prepare to go hog wild! Ride through all the wooden obstacles in your path–don’t forget that Bullbos can even take down those towers. Bust your way through to the far western part of this courtyard. Follow this path as it curves north along the outer wall, and you’ll find two more Bulblin Archers on high towers up ahead. While you could dismount and take them out with the Bow, it’s much more fun to ram into their towers, destroying them in the process (and Bulblins are very bad at hitting moving targets too).
Continue forward to reach the northeastern portion of this area, and dismount. You’ll find six wind fans atop six tall pillars, in a kind of triangular formation. If you continue on to the gate, you can blow away the leaves there with the Gale Boomerang to reveal the Z-like pattern on the ground with which you need to blow the fans. Next, position yourself so that you’re just north of the southwestern-most fan, facing northeast (i.e. in the direction of most of the other fans). Target the fan nearest you on the left, then the next one up and to your right, then the fan directly across from it to your left, then finally the one in the far back. (The southwest and northwest fans shouldn’t be targeted at all.) Let the Boomerang fly, and if you did it correctly, then the gate ahead will open.
Go through the open doorway and open the treasure chest on the other side to obtain the Dungeon Map. Exit this small chamber, and look around the area of the wind fan pillars. Transform into Wolf Link and activate your wolf senses. You should see a dig spot in a conspicuous patch of soft earth. Dig there to wind up in the Hyrule Castle graveyard.
Still in wolf form, activate your senses to see some spirits pointing at the wall close to where you just emerged. Tuck that hint away for later, and revert back to normal Link. As you proceed through the graveyard, Stalkin will rise out of the ground to attack you–use your sword to destroy any that get in your way. Keep going, and soon a Stalfos will challenge you, so take it out with a Bomb Arrow. The nearby torches next to the gate can’t be lit due to the rain, so continue northwest. Take out three more Stalfos, and if you check the gravestones in this vicinity, you’ll read some clues on how you are to proceed.
Go to a tree near the center of the graveyard and investigate it with your wolf senses. You’ll see a whole bunch of spirits gathered around it. Look for a conspicuous rock half-buried near the tree and bomb it. It’ll reveal a switch you should step on, which will open a gate in the northwest doorway. Go inside to find some jars and three treasure chests. The one on the left contains an Orange Rupee (100), and the two small chests on the right contain a Red Rupee (20) and a Green Rupee (1), respectively. There is also some Lantern Oil in this small room if you need to top off. Finally, light the torch in here, which somehow stops the rain.
Return outside to the two torches you couldn’t light before, and light them now. The gate here will slide open, allowing you into another small room. Two Owl Statues are in here, so use the Dominion Rod to activate one, and guide it down to the south wall, where you’ll find two nooks against the wall. Lead one statue into one nook, then use the Dominion Rod to lead the other statue into the other nook. When both are in position, look for a place to climb up in the southeast corner, and hop across both Owl Statues to the wall on the other side. You’ll reach a new enclosed area, with a chain hanging out of the wall straight ahead. Pull it to open the next doorway, and claim a Small Key from the treasure chest inside. That concludes your business in this part of the castle grounds. Return to where you entered the graveyard (near the spot where the Owl Statues are now located), transform into Wolf Link, and dig your way back to the western grounds.
Return to that room where you got the Dungeon Map. Inside is a ladder. Climb it up to reach the top of the castle wall. Follow it all the way down south to locate a small treasure chest, this one containing a Yellow Rupee (10). Now just hop off the wall down to the ground, then take the southeast door. You’ll be back in the first area of the dungeon.
Head northeast from the entrance this time, and a barrier will surround you; you’ll have to defeat a Kargarok and several Bokoblins to free yourself. Once the enemies are slain, the barrier will dissipate, allowing you access to the door ahead. Enter it.
Here in the eastern grounds, a similar barrier will hem you in. Several waves of Bokoblins will enter and attack–just defeat them all in the usual way, and the barrier will lift. Continue north to a sealed doorway, where you’ll find a chain dangling out of the nearby wall. Pull it open the way, and go through.
As you venture farther, another barrier will stop you–and this time, King Bulblin himself will drop in to face you one last time! Like your previous encounter in Gerudo Desert, King Bulblin will attack you with a very slow-moving axe strike. Avoiding it is easy, and then it’s just a simple matter of getting behind him and slashing away. Be particularly careful of his spinning axe move, as it will knock four hearts off your life energy! Other than that, use your Hidden Skills (or regular sword techniques) to take this brute down once and for all. After his defeat, he will gift you with a Small Key and depart. Before you leave, check the small treasure chest to the north to collect a Red Rupee (20).
21.2 Exploring Hyrule Castle
At this point, proceed due south from the treasure chest, where you’ll go up a flight of stairs on top of a wall. From there, drop down straight ahead to the next ledge, where another treasure chest is waiting for you, this one also containing a Red Rupee (20). Now drop down to ground level, enter the southwest door back to the southern grounds where you started, then use one of your keys to open the locked door in the north wall. It’s time to enter the castle proper!
Once you’re inside the castle, another barrier will form around you. You’ll first have to defeat a wave of Bokoblins, then a couple waves of Lizalfos before the barrier fades away. After this, the lights come on, and you’ll get a good view of this grand chandelier hallway. Also, a treasure chest will form on the northwest balcony. Climb up a set of steps nearby, then Clawshot onto the chandelier directly above the balcony and drop down. Open the treasure chest to obtain the Compass. Now Clawshot your way from chandelier to chandelier until you’re above the north door. Drop down and enter that door.
As soon as you enter, a Darknut will stride forward to meet you. Defeat him the same way you did in the Temple of Time (though you’ll have to dodge or block his throwing sword attack between phases this time) to lift the barrier and cause a treasure chest to appear. Before you can reach it, light a pair of torches against the west wall to raise some platforms for you to climb. On the east wall is a single torch already lit as well as some more Lantern Oil if you need any. Climb on top of the platforms you made rise, then get out your Gale Boomerang and look for that single lit torch against the east wall–throw the Boomerang there to put it out. The final platform will slide up, allowing you access to the chest and the Purple Rupee (50) it contains. Past the treasure chest, you have a choice to make as you come to the connecting corridors: east or west. We’ll start by going east first.
A couple masked Lizalfos guard the way in this next corridor, so take them both out. You might notice that the door on the other side has yet to unseal, so investigate with your wolf senses–you’ll find some spirits pointing at the middle painting on the west wall. Turn back into normal Link, get out the Hero’s Bow, and aim at the string holding up the painting (it’s a portrait of the castle at twilight). Shoot an Arrow to drop the picture to the floor, revealing a Crystal Switch behind it–hit it with any ranged weapon to open the door ahead of you. (Note: If you have any Empty Bottles, you can hit some of the other paintings to make Chu enemies fall down, then collect their Chu Jelly upon defeat.)
In the next corridor, you have the daunting task of facing two Darknuts. (This is an excellent place to use your Magic Armor, by the way.) Approach slowly so as to coax only one to approach you at a time–or simply shoot one with an Arrow from a distance. If you do get caught having to fight both at the same time, try to focus on just one of them, and keep the one you’re fighting between you and the one you’re not fighting. Whatever you do, don’t get caught between them! Also, you’ll want to be sure to fully defeat one before tackling the other because if both end up without their armor at the same time, it’s going to be a rough battle. Once the two Darknuts are down, both doors on either side of you will open. Let’s take the northwest door first, taking us back to the chandelier hallway.
You’ll emerge on the southeast balcony. Open the treasure chest here to claim a Purple Rupee (50). Next, step on the floor switch across from you, which will spawn a treasure chest on the northeast balcony. You have no way of reaching it just yet, so let’s go fix that. Return to the previous room, and go all the way back north to where you found that Purple Rupee in the treasure chest where you had to choose whether to go east or west. This time, we’re going west.
Go through the door to find yourself in a poorly lit corridor that seems to be free of enemies. Occasionally, however, a swarm of Keese will attack from the ceiling, so be prepared to take care of them if they appear. You’ll find four torches in this room that have to be lit in order to unseal the door to the south. The trick, however, is that the torches stay lit for a limited amount of time–and that time varies per torch. So what you’ll want to do is start by lighting the torch that will stay lit the longest and go in decreasing order to until you’re saving the torch that will go out almost instantaneously to light last. The order you should light these torches then is this: southeast, northwest, northeast, and southwest. When all four are lit, the door will open. Proceed through it.
Next up are a pair of Dynafols at the end of the corridor. (Again, the Magic Armor is not a bad idea here.) Make sure to get behind them to their vulnerable backsides, and try to avoid being caught in between them as well. Take them both out, and once again two doors open for you on either side. Take the door heading northeast back into the chandelier room.
Now on the southwest balcony, step on the floor switch here to lower a nearby chandelier, which does two things: It provides a shortcut to this balcony from the entrance of the castle interior, and by grappling onto this newly lowered chandelier via Clawshot, you can now reach the high chandelier above the northeast balcony where you made a treasure chest appear a little while ago. Do so now, and open that chest to collect a well-earned Silver Rupee (200)!
Drop down to the floor, and Clawshot your way back onto the southwest balcony. Enter the door, then cross the hall to the next southwest door to find yourself outside on the castle battlements. Run to the tower straight ahead, and eventually a barrier will trap you in battle with an Aeralfos. Defeat this foe the same you did at the City in the Sky–wait until it shows its shield, Clawshot that shield to bring the creature down to you and slash it repeatedly. When it’s dead, enter the doorway in the tower beyond and open the treasure chest inside for a Small Key.
Go back to the door that brought you out here, but instead of going in, turn right. Follow the castle wall all the way east, and head toward the sealed doorway in the tower opposite you. As you do, a variety of enemies will emerge from the tower to attack you, but a cutscene will take care of them all for you. Afterward, you’re free to run through the now open doorway and open the ornate treasure chest to obtain the Big Key. Return back west, and in the center of the battlements, look for a north door that’s locked. Unlock it and enter.
You’ll find yourself in a kind of collapsing chamber. Immediately turn into Wolf Link and activate your senses so you can both take out any Ghoul Rats that approach you, as well as see the spirits in this room, who will face in the correct direction you must take to navigate this place. If you go the wrong way, you’ll end up on a section of floor that will collapse into the abyss! Watch out for pits in the floor that are already there as well. Run and jump straight north past the first spirit. Then go west at the second spirit, south at the third spirit, west at the fourth spirit, north at the fifth spirit, and finally west again at the sixth and final spirit.
You’ll reach the collapsed staircases next. Transform back into human Link, and for this first staircase, simply jump over the gaps as you climb them. Next, you’ll be barricaded in with a couple Lizalfos. Defeat them in the usual way, then move on. The second staircase has wider gaps, requiring the Double Clawshots to cross. Simply use the sconces lining both walls to pull yourself up and over. Two masked Lizalfos await on the other side, but they should be no challenge for you at this point. At the third and final staircase, you’ll have to ride the Spinner along the grooves on the sides of either wall. Keep an eye on the spiked Spinners sharing the grooves with you, and be sure to jump from one wall to the other to avoid them on your ascent. At the end, one final Darknut guards the door to Ganondorf’s inner sanctum. Defeat this enemy the same way you have the previous Darknuts.
Before you face the final boss, if you’ve been following this guide, you should have one extra Small Key in your pocket. Use it to unlock the west door and enter the castle’s treasure room. This room has a whopping thirteen treasure chests for you to plunder! Starting on the south end and going clockwise, the small treasure chests contain a Blue Rupee (5), Yellow Rupee (10), Red Rupee (20), Bombs (20), Arrows (20), Bombs (20), Green Rupee (1), and Arrows (30). Across from you are the larger treasure chests. Going from left to right, these chests contain a Purple Rupee (50), Bombs (10), Silver Rupee (200), Seeds (50), and Orange Rupee (100). In total, it’s possible to acquire 386 Rupees, 50 Bombs, 50 Arrows, and 50 Seeds all from this one room! (We hope you took our earlier advice about liberal usage of the Magic Armor in this dungeon.) On top of that, there are crates, barrels and jars in this room you can smash open for even more goodies–note that one of the jars contains a Fairy. Return to the previous room once you’re done.
Be sure to save your game at this point! When you’re ready for the final showdown, use the Big Key to open the large ornate door to the south. You’ll emerge outside the tower near the highest point of Hyrule Castle. Climb the stairs on either side of you, and proceed into the throne room.
Boss Battle: Ganon’s Puppet – Zelda
After a few minutes of cutscenes, Link will have to face a possessed Princess Zelda in battle! (Note that you’ll be without Midna for this battle, but it’s not like you need to transform into Wolf Link here.) She has three different attacks: Sometimes she will dive through the air toward Link sword-first. Either jump out of the way or hold your shield up. Her most dangerous attack is when she raises her sword up, and a triangular field of light appears on the floor underneath you. Flip or roll off this field as soon as you can because she will soon release damaging energy from the triangular light! Her most common attack is to form a ball of light from the point of her blade, which she will then fling at Link. What you must do is wait for this attack, then swing the Master Sword to deflect the ball back at Zelda. Be on guard, though, as she will probably hit the energy ball back at you, and the ball will only travel faster the longer the volley goes on. (This duel is reminiscent of various Phantom Ganon battles in previous Legend of Zelda games.) All it takes is three hits from her own energy ball attacks to liberate Zelda from Ganon’s control.
Boss Battle: Dark Beast – Ganon
After the next cutscene, you’ll have to face Ganon himself, transformed into a monstrous beast. (Midna will be back with you now, but you don’t need to turn into a wolf… yet anyway.) He has several attacks, the first of which will involve him rampaging around the throne room, destroying pillars and jars in his wake. (You can collect Recovery Hearts and Arrows from the jars in this room, it should be noted.) Sometimes he’ll stop and charge straight toward you–you can tell when he faces you and digs his claws into the floor. Other times he will escape the arena via a portal of his own devising. One of two thing will happen next: Ganon will either drop down on top of you from above (watch for his shadow to appear on the floor, and be ready to dodge out of the way at a moment’s notice), or a series of red portals will appear in the room. Eventually one of those portals will turn blue, which is the one from which Ganon will emerge and charge at you.
You’ll want to keep your distance while Ganon is running around the room. If he stops to start his charging animation, Z-target him and shoot an Arrow from the Hero’s Bow into the glowing white spot on his forehead–and very quickly jump or roll out of the way of his careening slide afterward! With an Arrow to the forehead, Ganon is now stunned. Run up to the conspicuously bright scar across his belly and execute as many sword slashes as you can on this weak spot. Once Ganon recovers, the pattern repeats. Whenever he warps out of the room, go to the general vicinity of where he teleported out, aim your Bow, and scan the appearing and disappearing portals. Watch for the one that turns blue, and be ready to fire an Arrow into Ganon as soon as he emerges. Don’t forget to dodge his slide too!
After a couple rounds or so of this, it will get to the point where Ganon automatically avoids your Bow and Arrow attacks. At this point, transform into Wolf Link–it’s time to fight beast against beast! Keep a watch on the portals as usual, then when one turns blue, stand your ground, and Z-target Ganon when he runs out. Just before he hits you, the prompt “Push” should appear on the bottom of the screen if you’re lined up properly. Midna will use a giant hand to grab onto Ganon’s head; tilt the control stick all the way either left or right to slam your foe onto the floor. (It’s not much different from wrangling goats at the beginning of the game!) Once Ganon is stunned, just use sword slashes or wolf bites on his vulnerable belly. Keep this pattern up, and Ganon will be defeated… or so it seems!
Horseback Battle: Dark Rider – Ganondorf
After a series of cutscenes, you’ll find yourself outside in Hyrule Field, seated on Epona with Princess Zelda riding along behind you. She is now armed with the Light Arrows, and you must fight Ganondorf who is riding his own horse. Ganondorf rides with speed and precision, able to turn seemingly on a dime, and oftentimes he will attempt to ram into you. (Note that each time you take a hit in this battle, Link will be knocked off Epona and have to climb back on.) His more threatening attack is to conjure a line of Phantom Riders who materialize behind him and home in as they charge toward Link together. They appear in a swirling ball of light from above, so if you’re close enough to Ganondorf and this ball, keep kicking Epona for more speed and they’ll materialize harmlessly behind you. If you’re too far back, make sure they won’t spawn on top of you, so you’ll have a chance to find a gap between two and evade them through it. For your own attack strategy, spur Epona twice to get up enough speed. When you’re in range, Z-target Ganondorf, and Zelda will begin charging up a Light Arrow. Stay straight, and the closer you are to him, the more accurate Zelda’s aim will be. If her Light Arrow strikes Ganondorf, he will be stunned, slowing him down. This is your chance to gallop close and get in as many sword strikes as you can! Spin Attacks are particularly effective. Even after Ganondorf recovers, if you can stay near without getting hit, Zelda will be able to shoot him with another Light Arrow in short order. After the villain has taken enough of a beating, this fight will end.
Final Battle: Dark Lord – Ganondorf
After another cutscene, you will find yourself alone with Ganondorf. Your horses are abandoned, and both Zelda and Midna are out of the fight. It’s just Link in a one-on-one sword duel with the King of Evil himself. (Note that the skulls in this arena contain not only Recovery Hearts, but one of them even holds a Fairy.) Don’t bother trying to attack Ganondorf directly. His blade has greater range than yours, and his defensive skill is so good that even your Hidden Skills are generally useless against him–though you might occasionally have success with a Back Slice. As a counterattack, though, he might leap into the air, then land behind you and attempt to skewer you with his sword–simply keep moving forward to avoid this attack. Ganondorf can punish you for being too close or too far. If you get up close, then he will attack with kicks and sword thrusts. You can block these with your shield, but sometimes he follows up with a spinning sword attack, which will cut right through your defenses and damage you. If you get too far away from him on the other hand, he’ll charge forward and slam into you with the hilt of his sword, which you also can’t defend because he immediately follows up with an unblockable roundhouse kick.
So what should you do? You need to position yourself at just the right distance from Ganondorf–not too far and not too close. Approximately, it’s just within Z-target range of him. Z-target Ganondorf, and if you’re the right distance away, he’ll run toward you, sword drawn, and you’ll see a “Chance” prompt on the bottom of the screen. Press A immediately, and Link and Ganondorf will lock swords. During this time, continue pressing A repeatedly to give Link the upper hand. Keep at it until Link pushes Ganondorf off of him. You finally have your opening! Hit him with as many sword slashes as you can. Jump Attacks and Spin Attacks work best, as always. As soon as Ganondorf begins blocking with his sword, though, it’s time to retreat and repeat the pattern. (A particularly amusing tactic here is to use your Fishing Rod–yes, the Fishing Rod! Keep your distance, and cast the Fishing Rod in Ganondorf’s direction. He’ll be distracted by it, allowing you to run up to him and get in a few cheap hits.) You’ll need to employ this “Chance” tactic for approximately three rounds total until, instead of being shoved backward, Ganondorf will be knocked flat on his back. As soon as the “Finish” prompt appears on the screen, press A to execute the Ending Blow to put an end to Ganondorf once and for all!