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Hardhat Beetles are recurring enemies in The Legend of Zelda series. They are monsters that first appeared in A Link to the Past that resemble a jellyfish. They are notable for their extreme resilience and elasticity. They consist of a round, bouncy shell-like bell atop a mass of tentacles that it uses to creep about the various rooms and hallways throughout the dungeons in several Zelda titles. They commonly inhabit tower-like regions and appear alongside Bumpers and pitfalls.
A Link to the Past
Hardhat Beetles first appear in the Tower of Hera, but also appear in many Dungeons in the Dark World and Caves on Death Mountain, and commonly appear in groups. They home in on Link wildly and attempt to knock him down pits. Their movement is erratic and their tentacles give them little friction: they are liable to overshoot Link and careen around the room, bouncing off Bumpers. Striking a Hardhat Beetle with a Sword or Magic Hammer will cause it to bounce away wildly and cause Link himself to fly backwards. Due to their high defense, it is easiest to deal with them by knocking them down pits, but this will cause them to reappear if Link exits and re-enters the room. They will also attempt to knock Link into pits. In particular, the red variety can take a huge amount of damage before it is destroyed, and moves much faster than the blue variety, so Red Hardhat Beetles should be knocked down nearby holes as soon as possible. Hardhat Beetles are invulnerable to most weapons, but Bombs will stun them. They often leave more Bombs behind when destroyed.
Link's Awakening and Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
In Link's Awakening' and Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, Hardhat Beetles are completely invulnerable to the Sword, and in most cases must be defeated by knocking them down pits. They usually appear in smaller numbers however, and don't cause Link to fly back when striking them with his blade. They still retain their weakness to Bombs, but now these explosives will destroy them, rather than simply stun them. They are common in various Dungeons and Caves. In Oracle of Seasons, Link can use the Magnetic Gloves to crush them with metal balls. In Oracle of Ages, Patch's game-like ceremony for fixing items features four or eight Hardhat Beetles that must be defeated in less than thirty seconds or before the Mine Cart travelling around the room hits whatever item is being fixed. These Beetles are of a particular pinkish color.
Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, Hardhat Beetles first appear in the Tower of Flames, similar to their appearance in A Link to the Past. In this game they will even bounce off one another, but must again be defeated primarily by knocking them down pits. It is however possible to destroy them by hitting them with the Down Thrust using the Roc's Feather. As in A Link to the Past, they commonly appear near pitfalls and Bumpers in Dungeons.
In Phantom Hourglass, Hardhat Beetles first appear in the Temple of Courage. Aside from a slightly shorter stature, they are otherwise very similar to their previous appearances and must be knocked down pits since they retain their invulnerability to the sword. The Hammer received later in the game can be used to smash the Hardhat Beetle into oblivion.
A Link Between Worlds
In this game, they appear in Tower of Hera, Treacherous Tower, and Ice Ruins. They behave much like in A Link to the Past, but when Link strikes them with a Sword, they will push the young hero further away than in their previous incarnation. The Hammer can also stun them when pounding it near these enemies.
Tri Force Heroes
In Tri Force Heroes, like A Link Between Worlds, Hardhat Beetles are found in blue and red varieties. The red one is on fire, which will harm the Links if it is touched or if they attempt to attack it normally with their Swords. However, their fire can be extinguished with many other items, such as the Gust Jar, after which it is rendered almost defenseless. Like its blue counterpart, its only attack after its fire has vanished is to bump into the Links, attempting to knock them off a platform or into lava. They appear in many Levels in the Drablands.
- Evil Orb, the boss of the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening DX is a huge Hardhat Beetle and is known as ド・ポーン (D.Poon) in Japanese, with ポーン (Poon) being the Japanese name for Hardhat Beetles. The D possibly stands for "degu", meaning "big", as is common for larger versions of regular enemies. It is also known by fans as the Giant Hardhat Beetle.
- The Hardhat Beetles in Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons loosely resemble the Blooper and Buzzy Beetle enemies from the Mario franchise.
- The Prima guide for Phantom Hourglass referred to these enemies as Shell Beasts.
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