When first treading through this dungeon, it was the bane of my in-game existence. Now, as an experienced player, it is one of my favorite dungeons featured in The Wind Waker. Regardless of what my opinion was or now is, every time I enter this tower I am in complete awe of the next challenge ahead of me.

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!

Just entering this larger-than-life dungeon, with the grand bells and choirs greeting you, was incredible as a young one. This truly felt as if it were the ultimate test. To me back then, the puzzles were challenging to the point where I would continually get stuck and have to take breathers from this game to calmly think things through on my next take. As I got older, the puzzles seemed a lot easier and I felt silly because of how simple some of these solutions were, but I still enjoy them all the same.

Aside from the puzzles, the overall atmosphere still sends shivers up my spine. As if the music alone wasn’t intimidating enough, the structure of the tower seemed like it came right out of some sort of Greek myth. The building as a whole feels as though it has been sitting underneath the sea since the ancient times. Several rooms incorporate creating staircases and bridges out of pure light, giving it that otherworldly feel, and that isn’t to say that ancient technologies aren’t at play either. With all of the scales, conveyor belts, and laser-guarded gateways, this tower is filled to the brim with all of the highest forms of magic and technology available to this world — and that’s not even mentioning the statues you must command.

I know it can be tedious to play the “Command Melody” over and over, but I still thought it was a pretty neat mechanic and made for some intriguing puzzles. Having the three statues follow behind you or parallel your movements from across an entire room was a fun experience which made its way over to one of my other favorite dungeons, the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess. Again, I know I’m probably one of the few who enjoyed it, but something about bringing a statue to life (if only for a brief moment) to move it instead of simply pushing or shoving it throughout the tower made this place as a whole feel more alive.

The Tower of the Gods is a longer dungeon as the tower is quite large and is filled with many rooms and secrets, so I’ll simply skim over a few that remain strong within my memory. I’ve already briefly mentioned a few, but another that comes to mind is the room with no floor. When you enter, a Bubble is there to try and scare you off, but with a quick swipe of your sword he’s gone and there’s nothing but an abyss in front of you. You use the grappling hook to make your way across the chasm to a choice of a few different doors. It’s one of the longest jumps you’ll have to make. With just one wrong move, down you go.

Then there’s the room with the scale. You must use the statues provided in the room to weigh the scale according to where you need to go. Make it heavier than yourself to go up, or hop on without any to drop down. Beneath the scale is a small pool. If you drop your statue into the water, it will eventually reappear, but it will yell at you for your mistake. I’m not sure what they were screaming, but it doesn’t sound very nice. The fact that they later come to life in other portions of the tower doesn’t make me feel any better either.

Finally, there’s Gohdan’s room. Behind the last, giant, golden door, awaits a statue embedded into the walls. The walls begin to glow ominously as a mysterious, deep voice congratulates you on your progress thus far before giving you one final challenge. The hands and head of the ancient mechanism awaken, emerging from the wall to test your skills with both weapons you receive in your quest through the tower. You must shoot the eyes on its hands before the ones on its face with your newly acquired bow, then once the head drops to the ground, you take the bombs you stole from the pirates and toss them in his open mouth.

As a kid, this boss was a real challenge. It seemed easy enough at first, but as I got closer to finishing Gohdan off, the pace of everything kept increasing. It was hard for me to keep up. While its hands were easy to avoid at the start, as it got faster I found myself constantly getting swooped off the edge into an electrical pit that would usually kill me. I even found myself running out of arrows every now and then, but luckily the gods were kind enough to have Gohdan sneeze out some more whenever my stock was low.

With Gohdan defeated, you rise up to the top of the tower (after taking your hard-earned Heart Container, of course) and grapple onto the bell and ring it victoriously. Watching Link swing as he rings the bell from afar only makes it more significant of your achievements. Watching this small child take on the trials created by the highest authorities in the world of Hyrule is inspirational for all of us who long for adventure.

With all of this said and done, a portal opens at the bottom of the tower. A golden ring glimmers, beckoning us to the bottom of the sea. Link’s journey is not over, but is only just beginning.