Arbiter’s Grounds has always been one of my favorite Zelda dungeons to play through, and each time I tread through the cursed grounds I always find myself completely immersed in the atmosphere. However, there is one time I found myself getting even more into the game than usual.
Twilight Princess immediately became my favorite Zelda game quickly after its release, and I’d play it day and night, time and time again, including when I had to stay the weekend at my grandparents’ house. My parents were going away and, being 12 at the time, it wasn’t the best idea that I should be left alone at the house. I had packed up my GameCube to bring with me and I was super excited to play it on the huge flatscreen that my grandparents had. I had beaten the game before I brought it over and I was working on one of my many replay files of the game.
I left off in the midst of Arbiter’s Grounds and picked up from there. I was excited to revisit this dungeon, especially after the Lakebed Temple which is one of my least favorites in the game (curse that spinning staircase!) I had the lights dimmed, giving a darker environment just like the one I was exploring. It felt like I was in Link’s shoes — or rather boots — exploring the dungeon thoroughly. Then my grandpa entered the room.
He wanted to watch TV, but I was so close to the end of the dungeon, I begged him to let me finish. He agreed and let me continue my adventure. As I progressed through the level, he started asking me a few questions about what was going on. I explained to him that I was trying to get to the boss at the end of the dungeon so I could fight him. Once he knew what was going on, he seemed to begin to enjoy himself watching as I dispatched monsters and solved puzzles. Then my grandma walked in.
She, like my grandpa, wanted to watch TV. I told her I was almost done and would save and pack up the GameCube as soon as I finished. She also complied and took a seat on the couch since I was in her recliner.
I entered the boss’ lair and let the cutscene commence. As immersed as I was in what was going on, I couldn’t help but notice that my grandparents were equally as entranced. Zant brought the great beast known as Stallord to life, and that was where the excitement began.
It was really cool to see The Legend of Zelda work its magic and allure people who had never even heard of it before
The battle begins where Link has to break his way through undead soldiers to get towards Stallord’s spine on the spinner. I gave my grandparents the rundown on what was going on and fought the best I could. Once they saw me hit the bone, they understood just how I needed to take down Stallord. It took me a bit to break through the barrier, but I got through and shattered the fossil’s spine. My grandparents applauded me when they saw the monster go down, but I knew this was just the beginning.
I told them it wasn’t over just yet. I had Link spiral his way up to the top of the tower and set the stage for the next part of the battle to begin. Stallord’s eyes began to glow and his head rose in the air. I started to give the chase, and once again my grandparents began to cheer me on. They would get so excited every time Stallord came into view again, knowing I was getting closer and closer. They would cheer whenever I hit my foe and started slashing him with the Master Sword, and they would encourage me to get back up again whenever I missed the mark and fell off the track. It was really fun seeing them get so into the game that I loved so much. I eventually took down the Twilit fossil and saved the game, letting my grandparents take control of the television once more.
I was really hoping that I would be able to have them watch me play later on that weekend, but that was all the gameplay I would do while I was over there. I’m not even sure if they remember this moment, but I do, and I think I always will (especially since I have this article to remind me). It was really cool to see The Legend of Zelda work its magic and allure people who had never even heard of it before and getting them so involved, and I hope I get to see that happen again sometime soon!