Temple 4. Shadow Temple
A brief description:
I’m completing all seven temples in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Masterquest in seven days. These are the Forest, Fire, Water, Shadow, Spirit, Light, and Time Temples, which serve as different levels to complete within the game, the final goal being to save Hyrule. The game uses the number seven with themes of growing up, and The Hero’s Journey, just like the Harry Potter books.
Ocarina of Time started with a set of themes: The Hero’s Journey, Good vs. Evil, Saving the princess, and many other tropes and devices that could be said to come from the fantasy genre. When it comes to the abyss of the Shadow Temple, however, a number of dark and mature themes that work against the child-like image of the game emerge. Simply put, it takes a very dark turn from its light beginning.
Like the earlier temples, the shadow temple is in a location that matches it’s element. In this case, the shadow temple was built in a graveyard. It’s an underground necropolis, filled with zombies, mummies, and skeletons. Guillotines and giant scythes weilded by statues of the grim reaper strike out of the shadows. It’s nowhere near the gore of resident evil, but the temple does surprise in how dark and bloody it gets at times. Apparently, the Land of Hyrule has a history of greed and violence. This is the place where it was unleashed, and locked away.
The Temple has a number of puzzles that involve the Lens of Truth. A little eye glass that allows Link to see hidden passages and invisible enemies. It’s a fun mechanic, and is a little bit like the reveal ability from the Golden Sun Series for Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS.
On July 8, 2012 at 9:35pm, I wrote the following on the Shadow Temple Boss:
At the time of writing this (July 8, 2012), I have yet to defeat the final boss. All of the dungeon is complete except for Bongo Bongo – a “phantom beast” who fights Link on a giant drum. A ridiculous sounding name and an odd arena belies how frustrating the battle against is. I plan to update this entry within the next day, and before the next temple, to report on how I defeated the boss.
The same day at 11:30pm, I defeated the boss by using one key strategy: using the space available in the drum shaped arena to watch the phantom beast’s movements. I found it frustrating earlier because I was standing too close to the boss, and not watching his attacks. With any boss fight, there is always a pattern to watch out for. With this creature, watching his hands reveals what attack is coming next: a punch, slap, or hand clap, all trying to crush Link. With enough space, his movements are not difficult to dodge. When defeated, the boss smacked down one last rhythm and then dissolved into shadows.
The Mid Level Sub Boss was not difficult to defeat, but was horrible to look at. It’s called a Dead Hand, and it seems out of place in Ocarina of Time. Dead Hand puts The Shadow Temple and the sub-level before it (the infamous “Bottom of the Well”) into a far darker territory.
A ship carries Link through a part of the temple called the “Valley of the Dead”. I was reminded of the story of Orpheus, who venture into the underworld to rescue his partner Eurydice. Including this boat in the Shadow Temple adds another layer to myths and legends referenced throughout this game. Orpheus had significant musical talent, according to the myth. It makes sense then, that Link acts out part of the myth since he plays the ocarina the game is named after.