Arbiter's Grounds

Author: Efrain Silva

This fourth Twilight Princess dungeon, Arbiter’s Grounds, is found by getting through the hot Gerudo Desert, which you might be used to doing by now. Let’s say Link’s no stranger to this warm place. The weapon you need to get here, to make your quest a lot more fun, and to help you move along on it, is the Spinner….this Zelda game is the first to feature it, and let me tell you just what it is, by the way. 

The Spinner

The Spinner is what you will use to travel right onto quicksand, and even rails, much like you would when hopping on top of a skateboard and gliding along on it. The Spinner does the same thing and makes you look like Tony Hawk at the same time. It’s pretty neat. It’s not a hard, physical weapon like a sword or bow, or flashing deku nut, but it still can kill some enemies that might be in the way…..such as those on the rails you ride. If you’ve got speed and force behind you, and you make impact with them, they won’t throw you off the track, necessarily…..but instead, you’ll kill them down and pick up speed and force as you keep riding through to wherever the path ends. 

You’ll especially use the Spinner, all the more, in the second half of Arbiter’s Grounds, more than anything else. This will be a tool you will become close buddies with. Time for a friend photo! 

Yes, bond with it. It will help you get through. And there will be some parts of the dungeons that will be 100 % inaccessible if not for the Spinner, so accept this fact now and practice lots with it, until you feel comfortable. Keep in mind, as well, that the Spinner will lose its momentum after some time, so you must ride it out as long as you can, and if you can, hop off and roll somewhere else. You’ve got to try out what can work best for you, in different places and challenges, respectively. 

Arbiter's Grounds: Rails

You can even ride some rails on the wall using this Spinner. And remember that classic Spin Attack that makes Link so popular? Well, the Spinner’s got something similar, a spin attack of its own, so to speak….which, when used to spin around on, can take down your enemies, too, much like the original spin attack itself. I guess the spin attack is back but in a new way. Those villains must have been so tired of seeing the old spin attack and never saw this one coming……

If you’re using this item, however, right before you fall or jump off of any cliff, for instance, your speed will significantly slow down --- which is good --- and thus, you’ll take no damage from your landing. You’re also able to control your descent while falling. This is new. And even when you reach the dungeon’s roof, later on, you’ll pull out your new buddy here and get inside the Mirror Chamber, from which you’ll unveil that glorious Mirror of Twilight. Safely move over unstable tiles, collect treasures on areas with rails, and more with this cool tool….it’s too cool, actually.

Mini Boss: Death Sword

But getting this tool will not come without some blood, and perhaps a broken tooth or two. You first have to fight Death Sword in order to get it. Death Sword is just a mini - boss, a warm - up for what’s really ahead behind the dungeon’s last doors….but we’ll get there. I believe. Anyways, Death Sword is a magic, evil blade --- apparently --- that has now come to life, with your presence, and is seeking your destruction. 

The only way to stop this dude and get him to take a chill pill is to first go right into Link’s wolf form, the only thing that will let you use your wolf senses to spot him. It’ll attack you, but its sword will so conveniently happen to get stuck right on the floor, and then, as a hungry wolf, you’ll need to jump right at it and bite away. This will make your enemy visible now, and you’ll go back into the other form you were in….normal form. When you see it float around in the air, like a mindless spirit, shoot it down to teach it some respect, using that perfect bow you’ve got in your arsenal. 

The process will pretty much just repeat itself. Stay firm. Stay faithful. Repeat what you’ve just learned. And soon, you will be the victor of this match, now just having to worry about your next one with Stallord, who doesn’t play nicely either.

Arbiter's Grounds Boss: Stallord

Stallord, the last boss here, is a Twilight Fossil looking like a giant, possessed skeleton of a massive animal that was before. Whatever reincarnated version it’s in now doesn’t matter, only the fact that you have to return it to the dust...if you know what I mean. It doesn’t belong here, and you hope to get that Fused Shadow out of it. But it may not be so easy ; we’ll see, now, won’t we?

Ok, so first of all, use your Spinner on the pit’s edge to ride around to safety as he’ll make every attempt to sink you out to your death. Then, that sword of yours is going to attack his spine, like three times, making it crack hard, and he’ll drop. After his head falls down, you’ll see the sand in the room being drained out, then your Spinner will glide you right onto a center - room lock that you’ll hit to activate some gears.

Ride along the walls to catch up with this foe’s flying skull. Strike it with your Spinner, and jump from wall to wall on it. It’ll get hurt. Repeat the process with all confidence in your timing abilities and accuracy. 

Then, this guy will have become toast with butter, which you can pick up and eat to celebrate --- literally? No. But you understand. And now, Snowpeak Ruins gladly lies ahead…..