The Legend of Zelda series is a long line of adventures, and what would adventures be without plenty of places to discover and explore? I’m sure you can think of handful of memorable locations in these games right off the top of your head. Well today I’d like to share my top ten favorite areas in the series. Come with me on this journey across the many lands of Zelda.
#10 Faron Woods (Skyward Sword)
This wooded area is one of the three main ground locations in Skyward Sword. It may not be the most interesting to explore, but this place really showed off how pretty the game could be. The blue sky and bright green grass with trees and flowers and sunshine all around… it’s breathtaking. It makes you just want to hang around and relax. It’s a good thing there’s too much adventuring to be done at this point or it might just halt your motivations altogether!
#9 Animal Village
This strange little village of talking animals is one of many peculiar things you’ll find in Link’s Awakening. The catchy music will slowly put you in a trance as you try to figure out why you’re able to talk to animals like this. And once that happens, you won’t want to leave… which is difficult considering it only takes up a few screens. Not to mention that these animal folk seem to love listening to the ladies sing. It’s not terribly significant, but it’s hard to forget.
#8 Symmetry City/Village
This visually pleasing place in Oracle of Ages brings equilibrium to more than just city plan. Even the inhabitants do their best to perfectly reflect one another down to their very lifestyle. Their intense need for this kind of order is practically out of a Twilight Zone episode, though it doesn’t have much bearing on the overall plot of the game. This makes your quest to help them even more interesting, as it feels like a mini adventure to save this city from destruction while you’re really trying to work towards a bigger picture. Fascinating.
#7 Temple of Time
This place has made a few appearances in the series, but the one I know the best is the one in Ocarina of Time. This place is just a large, empty temple with white walls, a black and white checkerboard floor, and a red carpet leading to a podium that sits in front of a sealed door. The ominous choir in the background sing the haunting tune of time as you read the inscription on the podium. What could be beyond that door? And once you DO open it… well… no spoilers, but it’s pretty sweet. That kind of awe is bound to stick with you.
#6 Twilight Realm
So it’s a bit of a stretch to include any Twilight Realm areas from Twilight Princess, but I couldn’t think of any specific place. Whenever you go into this realm the air gets darker but the land seems to glow. The music is strange and the creatures are twisted. It’s just such an alienating place that it draws my interest. There’s something truly magical about this dimension. And you get to be a wolf here… so that’s neat.
#5 Forest Temple
Another recurring location in the series, the Forest Temple I remember the best is the one in Ocarina of Time. This is the first temple you tackle as an adult in grim new world. You go through twisting hallways, fight spooky ghosts, and try to unravel this fever dream illusion of a dungeon. The oddities within with baffle you as the music drives you insane! It’s more than just the sum of its parts. The Forest Temple is an experience.
#4 Gerudo’s Fortress
This is the hideout of the Gerudo thieves in Ocarina of Time. You need to use your stealth skills to infiltrate their fortress, defeat their guards, and free the imprisoned carpenters. It’s really the only part of the game where you need to use this stealthy type of play, and that makes it very memorable. Plus the music in this area is cool. If you get caught, you’ll get tossed into a holding cell, but luckily your captors don’t feel the need to take any of your items from you when they do so, making this cell fairly escapable. Oh, and did I mention they’re a gang of hot girls? Well… at least I imagined they were hot from their representation and… uh… anyways, what was the next one again?
#3 Clock Town
This central hub of Majora’s Mask is where you find most of the game’s inhabitants. It’s where many of the game’s events unfold. It’s central to your adventure. Plus, it’s one of the first places in the game where you get some freedom. Throughout the game you’ll come to know this town as home. Before you know it, just thinking of Majora’s Mask will bring this location to mind instantly. Maybe it’s that immediate connection to this wonderful game that makes me like it so much, but whatever the reason it’s burned into my brain.
#2 Music Box House
This is another location from Majora’s Mask. I really REALLY don’t want to spoil why this place is so important and memorable. It’s a main story point, and one that brought me to tears because of how crazy and beautiful it is. So if you play this game and get this far, you’ll figure it out. Plus, it’s a house that’s surrounded by the undead. So that’s pretty cool in and of itself. Just… just play it and experience it for yourself.
#1 Snowpeak Ruins
This is a giant, barely inhabited yeti mansion in Twilight Princess. It’s on a snowy mountain and gives off the atmosphere of a cold and lonely home. Only two yetis reside here, which explains why it’s extra large compared to Link. Exploring this place, going inside and outside, with the music behind it… everything about it just turns it into such a different mood than I’ve experienced in any Zelda game. It’s a place that really sticks in my mind. And you get a badass ball and chain weapon there that kicks ass!
So those are my top 10 favorite areas in Zelda games. Did I miss any of your favorites? Well go right ahead and voice your opinions in the comments. I look forward to hearing what stood out to you and why. If nothing else, I at least hope you enjoyed thinking about these wonderful landscapes and labyrinths that fill this series with some of its most memorable adventures. Thanks for reading.