Ranking Skyward Sword's Dungeons (by Carl B.)
November 28, 2011, by Carl B. - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has some of the best dungeons in the entire Zelda series. They aren't as large in scope as the dungeons in Twilight Princess, but they're denser and more compact as each room features its own puzzle. How do the dungeons in Skyward Sword rank. Note: this article contains spoilers.
7. Skyview Temple
The first dungeon in Skyward Sword, the Skyview Temple, isn't impressive in the slightest. This dungeon is really used as a way to introduce players to the fundamentals of dungeon progression in Skyward Sword, and it can be completed in roughly 30 minutes. The boss, Ghirahim, provides little challenge as well.
6. Earth Temple
The Earth Temple is the second dungeon in Skyward Sword and, much like the previous dungeon, it's quite easy. This dungeon's concept revolves around rolling a ball of rock on lava to access various parts of the dungeon that were previously inaccessible. Scaldera is the boss of the Earth Temple, and it's essentially a new version of the classic King Dodongo boss fight.
5. Fire Sanctuary
The Fire Sanctuary is the second to last dungeon in Skyward Sword. It is home to some pretty challenging foes – including powered-up Lizafoes – but the puzzles weren't as great as some in the dungeons before it. There was one puzzle where a Mogma gives Link a vague clue early in the dungeon and was used at the very end. Ghirahim is the boss, and he puts up more of a fight this time around.
4. Ancient Cistern
Water dungeons have always been very difficult in Zelda games. The fourth dungeon in the game, Ancient Cistern, is true to form with previous incarnations such as the Water Temple and Great Bay Temple. The Ancient Cistern revolves around using the Whip to raise and lower a central tower above and below a bed of water, in order to reach the boss key hidden directly below it. The dungeon's boss, Koloktos, is one of the better bosses in the game.
3. Lanayru Mining Facility
As I mentioned in my review of Skyward Sword, the two desert based dungeons are absolutely amazing. Lanayru Mining Facility is the first of the two, and the third overall dungeon in the game. It makes heavy use of Timeshift Stones, crystals that restore small portions of the desert back to its pre-desert past – it's time travel. The amazing thing about this dungeon is that players will have to solve puzzles in order to activate the Timeshift Stones in the first place, and then solve completely different puzzles in the "past" in order to advance. The dungeon's boss, Moldera, is so weak that it's used as a regular enemy later in the game.
2. Sky Keep
The game's final dungeon, Sky Keep, is literally a giant puzzle. Players must organize the various rooms of the dungeon in order to collect the three pieces of the Triforce, and each room features a challenging puzzle. To shake things up, each room has a specific side that doors are placed, forcing players to rework the dungeon numerous times – even as they work their way through it – in order to complete it.
The Sandship is the second desert based dungeon in Skyward Sword, and it is one of the greatest dungeons in the Zelda series. Half the struggle is getting to the Sandship – literally a ship in the middle of the desert – and the dungeon itself is more than fantastic. Like the Lanayru Mining Facility before it, Sandship uses Timeshift Stones as the driving force behind its puzzles, only this time there's only one Timeshift Stone, placed on the ship's lookout perch. Once players obtain the Bow and Arrow they're able to activate the stone from a distance, and will have to activate it and reactivate it from various positions inside and outside the ship. The dungeon's boss, Tentalus, looks like something out of a Dreamworks movie but the set piece for the battle is amazing.