Link has fought hundreds of baddies in the last twenty-five years. He's an expert on monster-slaying if we ever saw one. All he needs to get the job done is his legendary sword and shield, but sometimes the hero in green must implement more complex strategies to fell his foes. Skyward Sword petitions players to be creative with their approach during combat. Whatever the means required, Link has faced creatures big and small, easy and tough. Here are ten excellent enemies that come to mind (bosses excluded).
It's impossible to imagine Link exploring deep, dark dungeons without picturing him clashing swords with these reanimated skeletons. Appearing in every Zelda game aside from Majora's Mask (unless you're counting Stalchilds), Stalfos attack with swords, maces, and even their own bones. They're prone to jumping onto Link from above, as well. If they try to reassemble after falling apart, a good knock to the head will keep them from returning.
By now you're probably familiar with the Stalfos in Skyward Sword. To beat them, players must swipe Link's sword in various patterns depending on how they hold their dual swords: for example, vertically when held horizontally, and so on.
With a backside resembling an ominous mask, these spiders drop from the ceiling and specialize in giving poor Link quite the scare. Skulltulas (a portmanteau of "skull" and "tarantula") are relatively new to the series, making their debut in Ocarina of Time and spinning their webs throughout Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks. Some are invisible, and others can spin attack Link when he's nearby.
In Skyward Sword, players can snip their web lines with the flying beetle item and then overturn them with the sword to expose their vulnerable undersides.
Wizzrobes have given players a hard time since the first The Legend of Zelda, and it's no wonder: They shoot magical balls of energy and teleport out of reach before Link can strike.
Some Wizzrobes (like those in Zelda II and Link's Awakening) are impervious to sword attacks, and their spells must be reflected back at them to do any damage. In numbers, they can turn the screen into a war zone of sorcery and mayhem.
7) Business Scrubs
These scrubs are good for two things: information and wares. Once defeated, they'll help Link in a number of ways, such as expanding his inventory space for a particular item or selling him rare goods. Cousins to Deku Scrubs, these misunderstood creatures can't help but spit nuts when they talk, despite only wanting to usher in new customers.
They're found in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle of Seasons/Ages, and The Minish Cap.
ChuChus come in a variety of colors and styles: blue, green, red, rock, and spiny, to name a few. These blob-shaped foes can't support the weight of their giant, balloon-like heads, but as silly as they look, they can sneak in an attack or two if Link's not careful—especially when they're traveling in groups. Each type demands a different strategy, and in games like Majora's Mask, yields a different prize when killed.
In The Minish Cap, two enormous green and blue ChuChus serve as bosses of the Deepwood Shrine and Temple of Droplets, respectively.
5) Giant Bots
Regular Bots (blue) and Bits (red) in Zelda II: Adventure of Link are tediously annoying enemies. They creep along the ground and leap unexpectedly in Link's direction, costing him valuable health. The gelatinous blobs reside in caves and palaces, and they drip down from special Bot-generating pillars. A friendly exception lives in Saria, the Water Town, under the guidance of its master, Bagu.
The most rewarding encounter occurs in the challenging Great Palace, where an angry Giant Bot falls from the ceiling, exploding into many tiny Bots with a stab of Link's sword. They're the reverse King Slimes!
Who could forget Moblins? The bulldog-faced enemies throw spears and bombs, fire arrows, or swing swords and clubs depending on which game you're playing. Moblins have been missing from The Legend of Zelda since The Minish Cap, but a variation on them (Bokoblins) appears in Skyward Sword.
Not all Moblins are fighters. The Wind Waker told of a Moblin named Moe, who could read and write and possibly loved a girl named Maggie. Then again, that could have been hunger talking.
Chances are you remember either Darknuts or Iron Knuckles remarkably well. Both are formidable, armor-clad soldiers that bear a high tolerance for puny sword strikes. Darknuts predate their iron cousins (by one game) and appear in more Zelda titles (Iron Knuckles have only been spotted in Zelda II, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask), so they made our list.
Either enemy is no easy obstacle. Whether you've played the original The Legend of Zelda or the more recent Twilight Princess, congratulations—you've bested these challenging foes.
In particular, Link's Awakening has Super Mario Bros. references tucked into every quadrant of the map, but A Link to the Past first introduced the Bow-Wow, a direct play on Chain Chomps. They later cameo in Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, but they were more fun in the aforementioned Link's Awakening. Madam MeowMeow (go figure) keeps three of these barking dogs as pets, and Link must rescue one from Moblin captors. The grateful Bow-Wow will gulp down any enemies that stand in Link's way as long as he's holding the leash.
Another, more miniature Bow-Wow will give Link her ribbon in exchange for dog food.
You're either thinking we've gone cuckoo, naming Cuccos as our number one enemy, or you wisely recognize the danger of these feathered threats. In handfuls, Cuccos are pushovers. They're frightened of everything, but bully them enough and down comes an unstoppable flock of bloodthirsty killers, pecking at Link until all his hearts are depleted. Talk about Hitchcockian irony.
What A-list enemies did we forget to mention? Which are your favorites?