Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda (& Which Is Undeniably Best)

There are a variety of forest-themed dungeons in The Legend of Zelda series, but one of them is definitively the best. Forest Temples have been included in various Legend of Zelda titles starting with Ocarina of Time in 1998 and continuing up until – and including – Skyward Sword‘s release in 2011. The adaptations and advancements that come with new titles fit the overall atmosphere of each game, but that doesn’t mean the Forest Temples get better with time.

The Forest Temples throughout the Legend of Zelda series are recognizable for their intricate layouts, challenging puzzles, and engaging atmospheres. The music and visuals consistently make these dungeons immersive and entertaining, even when some of the puzzles can be frustrating. Although there are some popular titles that don’t have a Forest Temple, like Breath of the Wild, the games that do include these dungeons make them so memorable that they’ve become a staple of the series.

There are seven Legend of Zelda titles that have variations of the original Forest Temple, but each one has unique features that set it apart from the others. From solving the flame puzzles in Ocarina of Time‘s Forest Temple to saving monkeys in Twilight Princess or using Baba Buds in Wind Waker, the mechanics in each of these dungeons continue to build on each other while always adding something new to the experience. Examining each of the forest-themed dungeons makes it clear that one stands out as the best.

Ocarina Of Time Introduced The First Legend Of Zelda Forest Temple

Ocarina of Time, which was released in 1998,  featured the first Forest Temple in the Legend of Zelda series. When Link becomes an adult, the Forest Temple is the first dungeon that he’s supposed to visit and clear. While progressing through the Forest Temple, there are a number of puzzles to solve that make this dungeon one of the more complicated areas to complete. To reach Phantom Ganon in Ocarina of Time, the dungeon boss, Link needs to navigate through complex paths and twisting hallways in order to return the colored flames stolen by the Poe Sisters. Along with defeating Phantom Ganon and helping Saria become the Sage of Forest, Link also finds the Fairy Bow.

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The Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time introduces the types of dungeons that must be completed as adult Link. As a child, the dungeons are easy to navigate and can be finished quickly, but that changes when Link becomes an adult. The Temples are much more difficult, and the Forest Temple was a great introduction to the types of challenges featured throughout the rest of the game. Although the boss was a little too easy, the Forest Temple had some complex puzzles and a difficult layout, and it still holds up as a great Legend of Zelda dungeon.

Zelda’s Woodfall Temple In Majora’s Mask Affected The Overworld

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best Woodfall Temple

The Woodfall Temple in Majora’s Mask involves poisonous water, several puzzles, and a curse placed by the spirit, Odolwa. Similar to the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time, Link can find a Hero’s Bow in the Woodfall Temple. After picking up the new weapon, there are switch and torch puzzles to solve. There are also a lot of areas where Link needs to use his Deku form. However, unlike the other Temples in Majora’s Mask, both the Hero’s Bow and the Deku Mask aren’t required to defeat the dungeon’s boss, although they can make the fight easier.

Although the Woodfall Temple isn’t as difficult as the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time, there’s more of a story to it, and completing it affects the overworld. Odolwa is an evil entity that trapped one of the Four Giants, as well as the Deku Princess, inside the Temple, and this boss is also the cause of the poisonous waters in both Woodfall and the Southern Swamp. Defeating Odolwa clears the poison and unlocks new opportunities outside of the Woodfall Temple. Unfortunately, the most difficult part of the Woodfall Temple is the prospect of doing it multiple times because completion is reversed as soon as time is reset in Majora’s Mask.

Wind Waker’s Forbidden Woods Builds On Previous Forest Temples

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best Forbidden Woods

Wind Waker‘s Forbidden Woods combines some of the elements from dungeons in previous titles and introduces a few new features, such as using the Deku Leaf to move platforms with a gust of wind. Most of the doors in the Forbidden Woods have parasites on them and require Boko Nuts or Bomb Flowers to open instead of keys, although there is one small key to collect in this dungeon. Similar to the Deku Flowers in the Woodfall Temple in Majora’s Mask, Link needs to use Baba Buds in the Forbidden Woods to get to higher platforms and reach new areas.

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Although there are a few similarities to other temples, the Forbidden Woods also has several unique mechanics that set it apart. In Wind Waker, Link gains the ability to target multiple objects with the Boomerang and use the Deku Leaf to move objects or glide. The new features set the Forbidden Woods apart. Additionally, the Forbidden Woods and the area that preceded it introduced the Koroks, a race that appears in the form of 900 collectibles in Breath of the Wild.

Deepwood Shrine in Minish Cap Is A Smaller Zelda Dungeon

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best Deepwood Shrine

The first Legend of Zelda dungeon in Minish Cap is Deepwood Shrine, which was once a place where Minish and humans could come together. However, Vaati’s actions infested Deepwood Shrine with monsters, and it was abandoned. After Link gets permission from the Elder in the Minish Woods, he enters Deepwood Shrine and must complete a series of puzzles to reach the boss. The main mechanic in Deepwood Shrine is the large barrel in the main room. Similar to how the Divine Beasts in Breath of the Wild can be manipulated, the barrel can be rotated to reach different parts of the dungeon.

There are a few interesting mechanics, but the Deepwood Shrine is a fairly simple and short dungeon compared to other variations of the Temple in the Legend of Zelda series. The barrel added an extra challenge, but it also felt like a small expansion on the twisted hallways in the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time. Deepwood Shrine is a good introductory dungeon for Minish Cap, but it’s not among the strongest of the Forest Temples in the series.

The Forest Temple In Twilight Princess Has Monkeys To Rescue

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best TP Forest Temple

Throughout the Forest Temple in Twilight Princess, Link needs to rescue and enlist the help of the monkeys that have been taken prisoner. There are eight monkeys to rescue as Link progresses through the dungeon. To save some of the monkeys, Link needs the Gale Boomerang, a weapon that can be obtained after defeating the miniboss. Ook is the leader of the monkeys in Faron Woods, but he’s being influenced by a Shadow Insect when Link fights him as a miniboss. Ook is one of the most comical bosses in the Legend of Zelda series, as Link can only hit him when he’s making a crude, taunting gesture.

The Forest Temple in Twilight Princess can be difficult to navigate, and Link will need to save a certain number of monkeys before he can reach some areas. Like returning the stolen flames in Ocarina of Time, saving monkeys shows a clear progression that makes some of the more frustrating moments throughout the Forest Temple less daunting. With the mix of difficult puzzles, a large layout, and some scattered comedic moments, the Forest Temple in Twilight Princess is fun and enjoyable.

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Zelda: Spirit Tracks’ Forest Temple Is Quick & Easy

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best ST Forest Temple

The Forest Temple is Link’s first stop in Spirit Tracks on his quest to restore energy to the Temple of Spirits. The dungeon is pretty straightforward, and there aren’t many challenges. The main objective is to restore the dungeon’s Force Gem and reactivate the beacon that connects this Legend of Zelda Temple’s energy to the Temple of Spirits. However, most of the time that Link spends exploring the dungeon is used to locate the Whirlwind, then reach the few remaining areas using the new item. The Whirlwind is also needed to defeat the Forest Temple’s boss, Stagnox.

The boss battle with Stagnox is a bit longer than some of the other Forest Temple bosses, but the fight is still fairly easy. The Forest Temple in Spirit Tracks has an enjoyable atmosphere created by the music and visuals, but there are not enough of the challenges that have come to be expected in a Legend of Zelda game. However, it is the first dungeon in the game, so keeping it simple helps to ease players into the mechanics and overall story objectives.

Skyward Sword’s Skyview Temple Makes Use Of Motion Controls

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best Skyview Temple

Skyword Sword‘s Skyview Temple combines some classic Legend of Zelda mechanics, like changing the water level, with puzzles that make use of the game’s unique motion controls. There are also a lot of switches to hit, and many of them are hidden, located out of reach, or far away from the object they affect. After defeating the Stalfos miniboss, Link obtains the Beetle. This item is unique to the Legend of Zelda series in that it allows Link to precisely pilot a small Beetle rather than aiming and throwing it at a target like other gear items.

Skyview Temple has a good mix of environmental puzzles and enemies, which makes it a fairly challenging first dungeon to complete in Skyward Sword. It’s also the only dungeon that requires Link to return later in the game after initially completing it. Skyview Temple is the clear product of years of adapting and enhancing different versions of forest-themed dungeons. The motion controls make Skyview Temple a genuinely unique experience compared to its predecessors.

Ocarina Of Time Has The Best Legend Of Zelda Forest Temple

Every Forest Temple In Legend of Zelda & Which Is Undeniably Best OoT Forest Temple

Although there have been many forest-themed dungeons throughout the Legend of Zelda series, Ocarina of Time‘s Forest Temple is undeniably the best one. Aside from inspiring dungeons in many different games, the original Forest Temple has some imaginative puzzles, and a complex layout to navigate. It’s also the perfect starting point for completing the game’s adult Link section. Although Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword also have memorable and highly enjoyable Forest Temples, Ocarina of Time‘s dungeon is a staple in The Legend of Zelda series, and it represents the best of what these games have to offer.

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