Ever since 1998, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time‘s Water Temple has been pegged as the most frustrating, formidable water-themed dungeon in the series. It continued to hold that title over the decades, but as we grow older, our perceptions of things change…and I have to ask, was it really that bad? If not, which water-themed dungeon truly is the worst?
What made the Water Temple so daunting was the confusing, and perhaps ambiguous, method of altering the water levels. There were three separate places to play Zelda’s Lullaby, and at some point, you do need to revisit some and readjust the levels to reach certain rooms. By the second half of the your journey there, it is hard to recall where you have been. While remembering the location of the three places wasn’t an issue for me, the 3DS remake color-coded them to make it easer. They also made the Iron Boots an item–something that was greatly welcomed.
Then, we all remember that ONE key. Throughout the maze-like temple, it is more than easy to forget that one well-hidden key that forces us to backtrack. Finally, it didn’t help that Morpha was a lame boss.
Although I dreaded the Water Temple back then, I don’t believe it is the worst water dungeon. The level design is brilliant, and it makes you think.
Water levels generally have been notorious for being difficult and/or frustrating. Additional contenders in the Zelda universe are (not an all-inclusive list):
- Great Bay Temple in Majora’s Mask
- Angeler’s Tunnel in Link’s Awakening
- Lakebed Temple in Twilight Princess
- The Swamp Palace in a Link to the Past
- Mermaid Cave in Oracle of Ages
- Temple of Droplets in the Minish Cap
- Ancient Cistern in Skyward Sword
For me, I disliked the Great Bay Temple the most–way more than the Water Temple. The current mechanics frustrated me, and it can make for a lengthy slog in a game where you are literally on a timer. Gyrog, the boss, had me pulling my hair. I just didn’t have fun.
What I’ve learned is that everyone’s Zelda experience is different. Tell us which water-themed dungeon is worst in your opinion? Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord.
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