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A Darknut from Twilight Princess
Other Media
Health4 Triforce piece.png (TLoZ)
8 Triforce piece.png (TLoZ)
Effective Weapon(s)Sword
Bomb Arrows
SpoilsFour Bombs (TLoZ)
One Rupee (TLoZ)
Clock (TLoZ)
Heart (TLoZ)
Fairy (TLoZ)
Knight's Crest

Darknuts are recurring enemies in The Legend of Zelda series.[1]


The Darknut resembles a large knight, equipped with heavy armor and a large sword, and a wide shield. These foes share trite similarities to the Iron Knuckle enemy and Iron Knuckle Boss, though there are a few discernible differences, one being the Gothic appearance of Darknut's armor as opposed to the somewhat Eastern appearance of the Iron Knuckle's armor. Apart from that, the two have never appeared in a game together, aside from the non-canon The Wand of Gamelon, where Darknuts are a common enemy and an Iron Knuckle is a boss. Additionally, since Ocarina of Time, Iron Knuckles have wielded two-handed axes while Darknuts use swords or maces.

These enemies, though sometimes denoted in strength by differences in coloration, are all masters of swordfighting, seen most vividly during battles fought with them in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, where the differences in size between Link and the Darknut in three dimensions further emphasizes this accurate behavior. Darknuts are known to charge at Link, as in Link's Awakening, parry and block his sword strikes, as in The Wind Waker, and even possess a highly mobile second form, most notable in Twilight Princess.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda Manual Comment

The Legend of Zelda


The knight who lives in the labyrinths. He has lots of attacking power. He repels Link's attacks from the front with his shield.

TLoZ Darknut Red Sprite.png TLoZ Darknut Blue Sprite.png In The Legend of Zelda, Darknuts come in red and blue varieties, with blue being the stronger of the two. They are able to shield themselves from any attack and are thus invulnerable if attacked from the front.[2] Link can harm them by attacking them from the side or behind with either his Sword or a Bomb. Darknuts cannot be stunned by the Boomerang and they cannot be harmed by the Magical Rod, Arrows, or Fire. The red Darknuts have a health of 4, while the blue Darknuts have double the amount of health at 8. When defeated, red Darknuts may drop either a Heart, one Rupee, four Bombs, or a Clock, while blue Darknuts may drop either a Heart, one Rupee, or a Fairy.[note 1]

Link's Awakening and the Oracle series

DarknutRed.png DarknutBlue.png Golden Darknut.png In Link's Awakening and the Oracle series, Darknuts vary from carrying a shield and sword to a bow. The Darknuts with a bow are generally less aggressive than Darknuts that carry a sword and shield, as they do not charge Link like the sword-carriers do. Both types are more common in Labrynna than they are in Holodrum. Darknuts appear in a red and blue variety in the Oracle series. In Oracle of Seasons, Link use the Magnetic Glove to repel or attract Darknuts and a Gold Darknut exists that is twice as powerful as a normal Darknut.

The Wind Waker and The Minish Cap

Tingle's Comment



Oh! A Darknut!

Cut off his armor with your parry attack! ♥
TWW Darknut Artwork.png
Darknut from The Wind Waker

In its first appearance in a 3D Zelda, the Darknut increases lethality tenfold in The Wind Waker. Wielding a thick-bladed flamberge, and wearing strong armor, they are one of the most difficult non-boss enemies in the game. The Darknut is also resourceful. If it drops its sword, it can pick up fallen weapons, such as a Moblin's polearm, or engage in hand-to-hand combat. They also tend to perform the Great Spin attack if they see Link charging said attack. Another thing that makes unarmored Darknuts difficult to fight is that they cannot be attacked normally as they can dodge Link's sword and the Grappling Hook. These unarmored Darknuts use counterattacks that can take two full Hearts of health if landed. Their martial arts skills are formidable; unarmed Darknuts attack with either a flurry of quick karate chops or a spinning jump kick that can send Link reeling. Underneath their helmet, they resemble a humanoid Doberman Pinscher but with a more felid snout and nose. Finding a Darknut normally means the presence of the enemy scenario.

Link doing a parry attack on an armorless Darknut

Its only weak point is the back, where a seam in its armor leaves it vulnerable. The best way to deal with these powerful enemies is the Parry Attack, which avoids the sword and allows easy removal of the helmet or armor.[4] Depending on where the hit landed, either its body armor or helmet falls off, leaving either their head vulnerable to a boomerang, or their body open to sword hits. Darknut armor can also be destroyed by repeated sword strikes, but this strategy is hazardous.

Darknuts in this game have varying armor, which may denote ranks. The armor colors are silver, gold, black and red. Most Darknuts use round bucklers, although there are some that do not. Highly ranked black and red armored Darknuts sometimes wear differently shaped helmets. It will also be revealed that they have a beard and doberman-like features if Link removes the helmet with a parry technique. Darknuts are also the only enemy to carry Knight's Crests with them. Once the main body armor is off, Link can use the Grappling Hook to steal them. Collecting ten crests and taking them to Orca on Outset Island will earn Link the right to learn the Hurricane Spin.

The first Darknut that is fought serves as a mini-boss in Tower of the Gods, and it guards the Hero's Bow. It should also be mentioned that shooting Light Arrows at a Darknut, even in full armor, will instantly kill the unfortunate Darknut, suggesting that Darknuts are followers, or perhaps even creations of, Ganondorf, seeing as regular, fire, and ice arrows will simply bounce off a Darknut's armor.

Mighty Darknuts are captains,[5][6] and are essentially stronger, more heavily armored versions of lower-ranking Darknuts. They have a different appearance than the original, with shining red or black armor and a long red cape with a black tunic underneath. In The Minish Cap, Mighty Darknuts are called Red Dark Nuts and have an extra electrical attack that is capable of sending Link reeling.

It should be noted that although the Nintendo Gallery mentions that only "some" wear capes, only caped Darknuts are considered to be acceptable for a Mighty Darknut figurine. Other Darknut captains can be found in places such as the Savage Labyrinth, the Wind Temple and Ice Ring Isle, but they are not considered a Mighty Darknut unless they are wearing a cape. Caped Darknuts are only found in Hyrule Castle (after Princess Zelda has been captured) and Ganon's Tower.

Black Knight

The Black Knight appears exclusively in The Minish Cap, and only in Dark Hyrule Castle. Its endurance and strength exceeds all others, and it recovers from attacks and blocks much quicker than regular Darknuts, but it still features the same moves and attack patterns as the other Darknuts in The Minish Cap. The Black Knight also uses a powerful electricity attack. Link encounters the Black Knight twice, once as the sub-boss of Dark Hyrule Castle, and again, along with two Royal Darknuts, to attempt to stop Link from interrupting Vaati's ritual.

Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)
Darknut Figurine TWW.png
Habitat: Tower of the Gods
Spoils: Knight's Crest

These mighty knights are protected by heavy-duty armor. Rather than attacking from the front, it might be best to slip around behind them and cut their armor off.
Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)
Darknut Figurine 2 TWW.png
Habitat: Earth Temple
Spoil: Knight's Crest

These knights are well protected by their round bucklers and mighty armor. If you use a parry attack to jump up and knock off their helmets, it'll spell their doom.
Dark Nut (Figurine from The Minish Cap)
Dark Nut Figurine.gif
Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. These armor-clad soldiers are tough. Use your shield and rolling skills to find an opening in their defenses...
Black Knight (Figurine from The Minish Cap)
Black Knight Figurine.gif
Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. This is the strongest Dark Nut, with a good balance of attack and defense. They will do anything to stop you.
Red Dark Nut (Figurine from The Minish Cap)
Red Dark Nut Figurine.gif
Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. These Dark Nut commanders are strong, but if you relax and find an opening you can still defeat them.
Mighty Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)
Mighty Darknut Figurine.png
Habitat: Hyrule Castle
Spoil: Knight's Crest

These are Darknut captains. Some wear capes that must be burned or cut off before their armor straps can be cut.

Twilight Princess

Midna's Advice

Eee hee hee! See you later!


I have no idea what to do against these knight things! Just try using the sword techniques you know, Link!

Midna's Advice

Eee hee hee! See you later!

Darknut (asked again)

The only thing to do is try all your sword techniques on it until you find one that works! Don't worry! You have what it takes to beat him, Link!
File:Darknut 2.png
Darknut in battle position in Twilight Princess

In Twilight Princess, Darknuts remain one of the most powerful enemies in the game, becoming even harder than their The Wind Waker counterparts. They still retain some of their characteristics like removable armor and high defense, but now have increased speed and more sword techniques. Its armor has become less bulky and more streamlined like a medieval knight. They still use a large Sword and Shield. Midna does not know how to beat them, but suggests to Link he try using all of his sword techniques.[7][8]

Darknuts come in two phases, the first being armored. The best strategy is for Link to draw it towards him, backflip when they plunge their sword down, and then land a Jump Strike. The Back Slice, Helm Splitter and Mortal Draw are also effective. Bomb Arrows can be used to remove a Darknut's armor from afar (or Bomblings provided Link angles them so as to not hit the Darknut head-on), but the Darknut's shield will soak up any arrows aimed at it directly. Link must instead target the ground immediately next to or behind the Darknut. When Link lands a hit on it, some of its armor strips off, though not as quickly or in as large amounts as in The Wind Waker.

Eventually, when all its armor is off, revealing its under-armor chain mail, it proceeds to jump back and throw its weapon at Link. It then pulls out a smaller sword (a longsword), granting it different attacks, and becomes much more agile, having shed its bulky armor. An unarmored Darknut tends to attack with two cuts in succession, which give Link a split-second opening to counterattack; a thrust; or a kick which can briefly throw Link off balance. The Darknut also becomes far more adept at blocking Link's attacks and can dodge explosions and arrows effortlessly. Jump attacks, jump strikes, and back slices can send a Darknut reeling just long enough to attack.

One Darknut with a different helmet, sword and shield is the mini-boss in the Temple of Time, while others commonly guard items such as keys or new areas. Red and blue variants of the Darknut are also found in the Cave of Ordeals. However, the differently colored equipment does not denote any change in the Darknut's physical attributes.

Other Appearances

Link's Crossbow Training

Darknut from Link's Crossbow Training

In Link's Crossbow Training, a Darknut appears as the boss of Stage 8-3. Its appearance is identical to its Twilight Princess incarnation, but now attacks by unleashing a swarm of insects in addition to sword combat. Its shield is invulnerable, requiring that Link wait until the Darknut attacks to shoot its armor off with the Crossbow. The armor appears to be enchanted, as each piece turns into a larger insect that attacks Link after it has been shot.

When all of the Darknut's armor is destroyed, it then proceeds to attack Link with its smaller sword, but also gains a teleportation move, in which it turns into a swarm of insects to move around and attack. After landing several consecutive hits, the Darknut then turns itself into a swarm of white insects that are each worth 100-300 points. By shooting these white insects, Link can whittle down the Darknut's health and defeat it.

The Legend of Zelda TV Series

Zelda fighting against a Darknut in The Legend of Zelda comic

In The Legend of Zelda TV series, a Darknut appears in only one episode: "That Sinking Feeling". In this episode, Link and Princess Zelda encounter a Darknut as they are journeying through the Underworld. The Darknut blocks most of Link's sword attacks, and when the Darknut swings his sword at the young hero, Link manages to evade it but falls in the process. Just as the Darknut is about to strike at him, Link kicks the foe's ankle and the Darknut falls, allowing the young hero to deliver the final blow. The Darknut leaves behind a Magic Bracelet, which proves to be useful later on in the battle against Ganon.[9]

The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics)

See also: Darknut Prime

In the The Legend of Zelda comics by Valiant Comics, Darknuts mostly resemble their artwork depiction of the original The Legend of Zelda. Like in the games, there are red and blue Darknuts, with the blue Darknut being known as Darknut Prime.[10] Like most of Ganon's minions, these foes are also capable of speech.[10] Although a robed Darknut makes an appearance in He Also Serves, normal Darknuts are first introduced in The Power, where Link and Zelda encounter them upon entering the Underworld. The young hero manages to bury them under a pile of rubble thanks to a bomb's explosion,[11] but the mighty foes recover and start chasing Link again. Eventually, Link is able to easily defeat them with the use of the Triforce of Power.

In Choices, Zelda encounters a Darknut after fleeing from Ganon's grasps, but her life force is nearly gone from having used all her magic to escape and is unable to put up a fight against the knight.[12][13] However, the princess refuses to give up,[14] and although she is weak, she manages to win against the Darknut by sending him down a bottomless pit.

The Crystal Trap

In The Crystal Trap, a Darknut will greet Princess Zelda's arrival to the Dark Tower by promptly attacking her upon sight. By shooting an Arrow at the Darknut's back, Zelda defeats the foe and climbs up the tower to find that the Darknut was actually protecting the Handprint, one of the three items necessary to free Link from the Crystal.[15]

The Shadow Prince

In The Shadow Prince, one or more Darknuts ambush Princess Zelda, Charles of Moria and Link while they are in the woods, depending on which path Link takes. If the young hero chose to go back to North Castle to get help for the fainting Zelda, he will return only to hear the princess excitedly flatter Charles, saying that, while Link was gone, Charles defeated a Darknut and caused the other two to run away in fear. However, if the young hero agrees to let the Morian knight take Zelda back to North Castle, a Darknut will suddenly appear and charge at Charles, who confidently faces his enemy with having two weapons to choose from: his axe or sword. Although Link tries to help Charles in the fight, he will be unable to draw his sword since it seems to be stuck to the sheath, forcing Zelda to fight with her dagger instead. The Darknut, once defeated by Charles's axe and Zelda's dagger, will leave behind a Red Darknut Arrow.

Later on in the book, after the King of Hyrule calls a Royal Council informing about the latest sightings of monsters appearing in strange places, he mentions that an entire mob of Darknuts were spotted in the Jungle of Favors the night before.[16] Since Darknuts do not usually appear outside of a cave or a castle,[17] the king considers the spotting of the Darknuts in a jungle to be alarming and decides that the Triforce of Wisdom should be immediately delivered to the Fifth Castle of Ancient Hyrule to keep it safe from Ganon.[18]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Darknuts appear as a Trophy and Sticker. The Trophy is based on their Twilight Princess appearance while the Sticker is based on their appearance in The Wind Waker.

# Trophy Significant Games Description How to unlock
202 SSBB Darknut Trophy Model.png
Twilight Princess A knight enemy clad in heavy armor that defends with a shield and attacks with sword techniques and kicks. Darknuts lose their armor as they take hits, but they grow faster in the process. Their sword skills are quite accomplished. The most fundamental way of dealing with Darknuts is having good command of spin attacks and back slices. Random
Sticker Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary Usable by
SSBB Darknut Sticker Icon.png
The Wind Waker [Slash] - Attack +13 This sticker is only usable by Link, Zelda, Ganondorf and Toon Link

Hyrule Warriors

Darknuts appear in Hyrule Warriors as regular, medium-strong Captains. Their design resembles the unique, lone Darknut from the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess. Darknuts can be stunned by dodging around to their backs while they are preoccupied, such as when their shields are raised.

When defeated, they may drop the Piece of Darknut Armor and Large Darknut Sword Materials. The VS Undead Skill affects these Darknuts, implying that they are undead creatures.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Darknuts in their Twilight Princess appearance appear as enemies in the Smash Run mode and as a Trophy.

# Trophy Appears in Description How to unlock
208 SSB3DS Darknut Trophy Model.png N/A Twilight Princess These heavily armored, bulky enemies often seen in the Legend of Zelda series are slow but powerful and can use their swords to block attacks and projectiles. When you're faced with one, you'll need to slowly cut away its armor. Once it's gone, the Darknut will become more agile, but it'll also be more vulnerable! Random


  • These enemies are called Soldiers in the English guide for Link's Awakening, but were always known as Darknuts in the Japanese version.
  • Shooting Fire or Ice Arrows at a Darknut's back and/or cape in The Wind Waker is amongst the easiest and most life-preserving ways to eliminate a Darknut.
  • Darknuts in The Minish Cap generally carry their shields with their left hands, but their shield-hand changes when they face east. This is because the Darknut's sprite is being horizontally flipped, mirroring the graphic. This may be so Link can constantly attack Darknuts from the top instead of having to alternate between top and bottom every time they turn left or right.
  • Chief Soldiers are known as Darknuts in the Japanese version of Four Swords Adventures. In the English guide, Soldiers are sometimes erroneously called Darknuts.
  • The Darknut in the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess has a Sword that resembles Ganondorf's Sword from the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • The Japanese name for a Darknut can be translated as "Tart Knuckle", implying some relation between Darknuts and Iron Knuckles.
  • In Link's Crossbow Training, the Darknut's ability to separate itself into swarms of insects is similar to Gomess's own ability of turning into bats.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name
Darknut Black Knight Red Dark Nut Mighty Darknut
Japan Japanese タートナック (Tāto Nakku) ブラックナイト (Burakku Naito) タートナック赤 (Tāto Nakku Aka) タートナック (Tāto Nakku)
French Republic FrenchEU Darknut
Darknut Magnus (SSBB)
Darknut Noir Darknut Rouge Darknut (TWW)
Federal Republic of Germany German Schattengarde
Finstergarde (TWW)
Nimbusgarde (SSBB)
Schwarzer Ritter Nimbusgarde Nimbusgarde
Italian Republic Italian Titanus (TWW)
Titanus Magnus (SSBB, HW, HWL)
Cavaliere Nero Titanus rosso Titanus (TWW)
Republic of Korea Korean 터틀너크 (Teotlneokeu)
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Ferrus
Darknut Triforce piece.png
Ferrus negro Triforce piece.png
Ferrus rojo Ferrus
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Ferrus Ferrus Ferrus


See Also


  1. If Link defeats 10 enemies without getting hit or teleporting with the Recorder, then the 10th enemy defeated will drop five Rupees. However, if the 10th enemy is defeated with a Bomb, then it will drop four Bombs. If Link defeats 16 enemies without getting hit or teleporting, then the 16th enemy will drop a Fairy. After the 16th enemy, Link must get hit and reset the counter to zero in order to achieve this effect again. Defeating Armoses, Like Likes, Keeses, or Gels will not be counted.[3]


  1. "Darknut" (Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books), pg. 121 (TLoZ), 241 (TWWHD) & 300 (TPHD))
  2. "The knight who lives in the labyrinths. He has lots of attacking power. He repels Link's attacks from the front with his shield." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 36)
  3. n.a., Forced Drops, redcandle.us, published n.d., retrieved August 17, 2017.
  4. "These knights are well-protected by their round bucklers and mighty armor. If you use a parry attack to jump up and knock off their helmets, it'll spell their doom" — Darknut Figurine (The Wind Waker)
  5. "Mighty Darknut" (Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books), pg. 241)
  6. "These are Darknut captains. Some wear capes that must be burned off before their armor straps can be cut." — Mighty Darknut Figurine (The Wind Waker)
  7. "I have no idea what to do against these knight things! Just try using the sword techniques you know, Link!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
  8. "The only thing to do is try all your sword techniques on it until you find one that works! Don't worry! You have what it takes to beat him, Link!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
  9. "Look! It dropped a magic bracelet!" — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 6 )
  10. 10.0 10.1 "HA! You flee in FEAR from the might of the Darknut Prime!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2 [The Power])
  11. "I just need a little DISTANCE to throw this bomb! Cave in!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2 [The Power])
  12. "Yield, Princess Zelda! You are so weary from running you can barely lift that bow! You are no match for Darknut!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
  13. "He's right. The magic spell I cast to escape Ganon...almost destroyed me... My life force is nearly gone! I'm in no shape to fight one of Ganon's knights!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
  14. "But NOTHING is going to stop me." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
  15. "'Welcome!' an inhuman voice whispers from the shadows. 'Who's there?' Zelda demands, pulling back on her bowstring. A tall, armored figure steps into the moonlight. 'A darknut!' Zelda whispers. Without another word, the evil knight charges, his shield held high, his long blade slicing the air." (The Crystal Trap (Archway), pg. 49)
  16. "'Word came last night that an entire gang of Darknuts were spotted in the Jungle of Favors.'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 5)
  17. "'And then there's the matter of Darknuts in the woods. I've never heard of a Darknut appearing outside of a cave or a castle. Why are they turning up in our forest all of a sudden?'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 92)
  18. "'I believe Ganon is after our Triforce of Wisdom again. It's in danger here. We must move it.' [...] To the Fifth Castle of Ancient Hyrule.'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 6)
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