The Shadow Temple seen in The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time is no laughing matter but only one of the hardest boss - challenge dungeons ever created for any traditional Legend of Zelda video game. And it’s promised you will never encounter another quite exactly like it. It’s unique on its own, and shows true players what a challenge feels like. Try it out when in adult Link format. You will not be disappointed.
This temple is the 7th on Link’s agenda, and this hero must make his way through it. Having made stops through the last 6, of course, he now has far more confidence in his abilities than he ever thought he could have...and that’s a good thing, because in this shadowy dungeon, he’s going to need nothing less. He’ll also need a prayer.
In the Shadow Temple, which is as dark and shadowy - gloomy as its name states, Link will find his Hoover Boots, some of the best inventory items to ever be invented so far….like, ever. These boots, like their name states, let Link hover in the air for very short spurts of time, and he’ll find them quite useful when needing to cross through obstacles or even invisible areas. But how does it all start? Let’s go back to the start…..
First of all, to even gain access into this elaborate Shadow Temple of old, Link has to first prove himself by reaching the Kakariko Village Graveyard within a very small alcove...of which he can only find access to by playing a song that he has learned on the Ocarina of Time, a song called the Nocturne of Shadow. Sheik teaches this song to Link. Now, let’s talk a bit of back - story on the Shadow Temple itself, and then we’ll cover it in greater scope…..
First off, the Shadow Temple carries quite a rich history as it was one of the old Sheikahs’ traditional places used to protect Hyrule’s Royal Family (all while apparently interrogating its opposers or other enemies that would arise).
It truly represents what some had called a “dark stain”, at least in terms of Hyrule’s history. And as such, the Royal Family never tends to speak of such a temple; many say it has been long forgotten altogether, the very memory of it perhaps merely holding as a dark children’s story meant to be told when there is nothing better to be said. Blood stains remain on many walls and floors of the Shadow Temple, perhaps adding to Link’s overall fear as he embarks on a quest to get through it in one piece….
In this temple, Link must come to his senses and realize that many parts of it are, indeed, invisible; he must find out a weapon called the Lens of Truth, and once he does so, he can use it to point out invisible things. It’s kind of like having x - ray vision. But using the small device for too long will also drain Link’s magic meter, so he has to be quite careful with his overall consumption….and use only when it’s needed. And that he does.
Link is even able to find many more skulltulas in this special boss dungeon, many of which have been concealed to the naked eye….but which the Lens of Truth can help him track down and hunt. He adds several to his collection here. He eventually, not to say unfortunately, meets the gruesome Dead Hand, the sub - boss for this dungeon. Dead Hand is no simple adversary, either, but is as hard as they get...so far.
Dead Hand lives in the very well’s bottom inside the Shadow Temple. His origins are unknown, but Link would rather not know anyways….this creature’s ugly, scary appearance alone maybe says it all, at least everything we need to know. Dead Hand is a large jaw attached to a zombie type of head. Try and picture that.
Dead Hand has got green - colored blood and blood stains that look like purple blotches running throughout its body, the core color of its body being like a light gray with white color. So all in all, we’re talking about a very foul - looking, pale and odorous creature not to mess with, right? Indeed.
And worse, there’s like 5 different disembodied hands that it uses to snag and consume all its prey, including Link. Link, watch out. You can take this guy if you’re careful!
Then, once Dead Hand is well out of the way, Link will come up against Bongo Bongo, the Shadow Temple’s true foe. Bongo Bongo’s a large cyclops shadow that uses its two disconnected, disembodied hands to smack Link down….just as if the two hands were striking a set of bongo drums. It can also grab, squeeze and even punch anything --- or anyone --- standing in its way. Don’t make it mad.
And guess what? You’ll (Link will) fight this foe on top of a giant drum. How could it get any better? The creators are so creative.
This beast will even make itself invisible, at certain moments, in which Link will have to whip out that Lens of Truth and spot it. He must also get himself clear of the creature’s hands, as they may move quickly and sporadically, in order to avoid being slapped, beaten down or crushed by them. It’s no simple challenge, but Link, as always, manages to get the hang of it.
In order to not get knocked from side to side, to and fro, Link wisens up and uses his Hoover Boots here, too, realizing more of what they can do for him. And Link stuns both hands, and then damages the main eye with his Master Sword. He patiently repeats that process and eventually comes out on top...no big surprise. We knew it was coming. And after his victory, Link manages to pick up his semi - final medallion needed and rescue another sage, getting closer to stopping his central nemesis, Ganondorf.