When I first came across the waterfall at the end of Zora’s River, my mind filled with curiosity. I wondered what could be hiding behind the waterfall, and why it was such a secret. Why was this waterfall so important that I would need to play Zelda’s Lullaby to pass through it?
After playing the song, I watched the waterfall dissipate and jumped into the cave, leading me to Zora’s Domain.
Tingle’s Maps is a series in which we explore the endless lands of Hyrule in search of our favorite places in The Legend of Zelda. We’ll explore everywhere: the beautiful landscapes that make us put down the controller in awe; the deadly terrain that threatens Link with the harshest of elements; the bustling towns that bring the game to life; and the abandoned grounds that evoke peace and sadness. As well as the grand locales, we’ll also discover all the secret caves and hidden crevices that lie between. Let’s adventure!
Looking around the cave, I remember seeing the Zoras swimming in the water, and a large waterfall overlooking everything. I ran up the stairs and found a giant, chubby fish-man propped up on a ledge. This was of course King Zora, and even today, I find him incredibly annoying. The worst thing about the King occurs when he gives me access to Zora’s Fountain, as before this he is blocking the entrance with his large body. When he finally decides to let the player pass, he scoots his butt away from the entrance in the slowest, most obnoxious manner possible. Every playthrough I sit through this. I watch him scoot, slowly and tediously, while my eyes drag down into my cheeks.
Zora’s Domain may have its overly long and boring moment, but the rest of the place has so much value. The diving minigame is one of the best methods of getting rupees. This is especially useful because the Magical Bean Salesman is near the Domain, and to buy all the seeds costs 550 rupees. Those beans come easy when the Zora operating the game often throws purple and red rupees for the player to grab.
As an adult, Link will return to see Zora’s Domain completely frozen, with King Zora frozen in red ice. Freeing him with the Blue Fire gets Link the Blue Tunic, which is far better than wasting rupees to buy it. When I first entered the Domain as a kid, I wondered if the Domain would be able to return to normal. Sheik later explains that the ice would melt eventually, but not until after Ganon is defeated. After that, I decided to run up to the top of the waterfall and see if I could make Link dive head first into the ice. To my disappointment, he jumped like normal.
Frozen or not, Zora’s Domain gives the player plenty of reasons to visit. Young Link can light four torches to reveal a treasure chest containing a Heart Piece. A secret grotto sits near the entrance on the flat rock sitting in the water; the grotto can be opened with the Song of Storms and inside is a Fairy Fountain (a good spot to stock up on fairies before entering the Ice Cavern). Adult Link can find a Golden Skulltula sitting near the top of the waterfall. With all these secrets and the diving minigame, Zora’s Domain should be a top pick for any traveler — just avoid King Zora.