This week, to start off our Zelda-ween celebration, we’ve been discussing Zelda’s scariest enemies. Hatm0nster took on the unexplainable Majora, and The Duck ran down her Top 5 list that includes some of the series’ most seminal and terrifying enemies, such as the ever-present ReDeads. Now it’s my turn! I’ve also got a Top 5 list: my top five most frightening foes from the games I’ve played in The Legend of Zelda series (that is, from Ocarina of Time to Spirit Tracks.) None of these enemies are on quite the same level as ReDeads and Dead Hands – they aren’t necessarily the stuff of bad dreams – but they are some of the ones that I least looked forward to encountering, mainly because they were just downright creepy. With that said, it’s time to start with the list!
Skulltula (Ocarina of Time)
Oversized spiders have appeared as enemies in fantasy/adventure games since Dungeons & Dragons. So of course it would make sense to have at least a few in The Legend of Zelda. The only thing is, there are LOTS more than just a few in Ocarina of Time! In fact, the Forest level is teeming with these eight-legged horrors! (Side note: I DO NOT like spiders, in games or otherwise.) The smaller Skullwalltulas that lived on vines and weren’t too bad to take out, but dealing with the Skulltulas, and even worse, the Big Skultulas, was no fun. Nope. No. Fun. At. All. What with their spindly, bony legs and skull-shaped abdomens; they’d drop down from the ceilings unheeded just to snatch Link into their webs. No. Thank. You.
Stalfos (Wind Waker)
I’m pretty sure that I probably mentioned at some point that I’m not a huge fan of skeletons. I don’t downright fear them (like spiders), but I’ve harbored feelings of dread towards skeletons ever since I was a kid. So, enter in the Stalfos – the Zelda series’ answer to the sword- and shield-wielding enemies of Jason and the Argonauts – and you might think it was a recipe for disaster. Actually, it wasn’t in Ocarina of Time, but it was in Wind Waker. Why? I think it had to do with their purely inhuman form. They were big, slow, and shaped like…like…I don’t even know what! True that many of the character designs in the game involved oversized heads and stubby legs, but applying those same features to the Stalfos made them really menacing, if, admittedly, a little goofy at the same time.
Zant mask (Twilight Princess)
Do you like being chased by disembodied heads? I know I don’t. Of all the weird and, frankly, horrifying, enemies that Link meets in Twilight Princess, the Zant mask was my least favorite. Strike one: it’s an giant head that randomly disappears and reappears in the Palace of Twilight. Strike two: the head looks like a terrible, mutated crustacean. And strike three: it’s a floating, oversized, decapitated head that only wants to kill Link. Three strikes, and you’re out.
Eyeball Monsters (Phantom Hourglass)
So now that we’ve talked about floating heads, let’s move into floating things that make up one’s face, shall we? If facing fully-formed facial features wasn’t bad enough, the Phantom Hourglass gave the Zelda series dastardly flying eyeballs, hence the straightforward title of Eyeball Monsters. More pests than pains, Eyeball Monsters usually appeared in packs, but still, they were eyeballs, with horns and wings. Eyeball-type monsters usually make me think of Sauron, and he was super scary, but at least he didn’t fly around. Eyes belong in heads; I think that’s where the fright lies personally. I also really wouldn’t want to face off with a evil nose or and angry set of ears, either.
Sir Frosty (Spirit Tracks)
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is also about Link and a train. A spirit train, mind you. Which is all well and good until Link starts riding the train around Hyrule. Because it’s not like he gets to take a comfy seat in the passenger car, all safe and enclosed…no, he literally rides the train around the tracks like it’s a horse. And as one might expect, the rides are fraught with peril, including the ridiculously mad Sir Frostys! They can’t stand to see Link succeed, so they display their anger by throwing bombs at him and the train as it proceeds along the tracks. What’s worse is that they have completely blank, lifeless, dead-eyed stares while they’re attacking the train. There’s something really unsettling about enemies that are simply robotically evil.
Now it’s your turn! In the comment section give us your lists of untypically scary enemies from the Zelda franchise! What enemies offered you up some scary good times?