Eleven Dangerous Foes in the Zelda Universe
Ashton Raze (@ashtonraze) delves deep into the lives, and long hidden secrets, of some of the most iconic enemies within The Legend of Zelda series.
An entry from Link’s journal, date unknown.
It had been a hard day, and my body ached. I rested by the campfire with sleep in mind. Navi’s snoring–a blissful respite from the incessant chirping–reverberated in my weary ear. My body ached from a day of pot smashing adventures, but rest I could not. My mind was racing, unable to shake the notion that something bad was about to happen, possibly involving Ganondorf and Zelda and a Triforce. These things happened with alarming regularity back in those days. And so I removed my trusty journal from its hiding place under my tunic and penned this, Eleven Dangerous (Or At Least Mildly Scary) Foes of Link. For many a year this encyclopedia served as a handy reference on my travels.
The Octoroks, curious arachnid sea-dwellers that they appear, are not actually enemies. First encountered in The Legend of Zelda, these beasts are concerned with only one thing; rock physics. Blocking their spitting attack with a shield and knocking them out with their own projectile is not only a handy counter measure, but also serves to further their research into the field of horizontal trajectory. The Octoroks’ scientific goal is currently unknown.
The Demon Train, a terrifying boss enemy from Spirit Tracks, longs for a life of freedom. Unwilling to be shackled by an oppressive hierarchy, Demon Train spends his days in coffee houses penning liberal manifestos and dreaming of equality. Unfortunately, due to crippling student debt, by night he’s forced to embrace his role as a hellish locomotive, but only until he earns enough to go travelling.
Legend has it that in the distant past, a Hyrulean arm wrestling champion meddled with forces he didn’t understand, and thus the Floormasters were born. Disembodied, spectral arms that drag careless travellers to their doom (or at least to the start of a dungeon). The identity of this arm wrestler remains a mystery, although ancient stone carvings in the Valley of Death depict a man not dissimilar to Tingle. If questioned on the subject, Tingle becomes cagey and occasionally even aggressive.
It’s a common misconception that Moblins are related to Goblins. Goblins, unseen by human eyes for over twenty seven million years, were svelte and beautiful creatures who possessed immense grace and specialised in ballet. Moblins and their other -blin counterparts, are cumbersome and awkward beings who persistently smoulder with generic rage at the fact they’re nothing like the Goblin race. The first and only Moblin performance of Swan Lake ended in a tragedy so horrific that it’s never spoken of in polite company.
Hidden beneath gigantic suits of armour, nobody can settle on the exact identity of the Darknuts. Reported to be Moblins, Deku Shrubs, Gorons or even Gels depending on whom you ask, the truth is far more unusual. Darknuts aren’t real. The legend first came to pass when a young Moblin found a disused suit of armour, and other species soon hopped on the bandwagon. Where the armour design came from originally is still a mystery.
Contrary to what their name may suggest, Flying Tiles do not fly but rather glide, their tile-shaped bodies perfect for catching the updrafts and sending them soaring across the landscape. Not to be confused with regular Tiles, the Flying Tile feeds on a diet of eggs and wheat protein, and only emerges from hibernation for ten percent of the year. For the remaining ninety percent, the Flying Tiles arrange themselves into amusing mosaic patterns. During this time, they tolerate being stepped on but do still feel pain.
Unlike many skeletal foes, such as the Stalfos Knight and the Stalfos Warrior, regular Stalfos never had flesh. Upon coming of age, many Stalfos begin the quest to acquire a body, by way of fancy dress, papier maché or simply eating as much as possible. Those who remain skeletal, however, are the revolutionaries who reject the body policing of their clan. These Stalfos prowl the dungeons of Hyrule, repeating the mantra ‘bony is beautiful’ to all who will listen.
Poes are gentle, fun-loving creatures who have the misfortune of looking like ghosts and sharing a name with a famous Hyrulean author of Gothic mysteries. Fed up of being reviled for their haunting appearance, Poes retreated to graveyards and caves, lacking the foresight to realise this would only make matters worse in terms of public perception. Poes carry lanterns, not to appear sinister but because they are actually afraid of the dark.
Unusually for spiders with skulls on their backs, Skulltulas are remarkably intelligent creatures. After dominating the worlds of art and entertainment, the Skulltulas grew bored with their existence and decided that spinning around violently to scare adventurers was the purest form of expressionism. A Skulltula can work for years on its spin, practising in private until it’s ready to head to a dungeon and put on the performance of a lifetime. Unfortunately, Hyruleans are a tough crowd and Skulltulas are regarded more as target practise than patrons of the arts.
The official story is that Phantom Ganon was created by Ganondorf as a guardian of the Forest Temple. The fact is that Phantom Ganon is no relation to Ganondorf, and his appearance and name is just a coincidence. Fed up of being mistaken for the Great King of Evil, Phantom Ganon first applied for a job as Ganondorf’s decoy at public events, but soon became little more than hired muscle. If asked, Phantom Ganon describes himself as ‘lawful neutral’ which, given his thorny disposition and penchant for wrongdoing, is clearly a lie.
Regarded as a harmless fowl by many citizens of Hyrule, the Cucco holds a dark secret. Able to raze entire countries with the flap of a wing, or curse entire generations with a single cluck, the Cuccos could be the ultimate force for evil in the entire universe. Every single one of these chicken-like creatures possesses near-infinite power. Thankfully, they simply choose not to, content with a life in which they masquerade as farmyard animals. Despite their solemn vow never to use their powers, it’s best not to anger a Cucco as even their most feeble of attacks is enough to floor a grown man.