The Haunted Wasteland is a massive desert between Gerudo's Fortress and the Desert Colossus, far outside the land of Hyrule in Ocarina of Time. As well as being extremely difficult to navigate, with a lack of landmarks and constant sand-storms, it is also said to be haunted. Due to this, the entrance to the Haunted Wasteland remains closed until Link shows his Gerudo Token to the Gerudo guard nearby. However, before opening up the gate to the young hero, the guard mentions to Link that he will not be able reach the Desert Colossus unless he passes a set of two trials: the River of Sand and the Phantom Guide.
River of Sand
The first trial, known as the River of Sand, consists of crossing the large river of quicksand that cuts through the desert. In order for Link to pass this trial, he will need the assistance of either the Hover Boots or the Longshot. Equipping the Hover Boots allows the young hero to float over the River of Sand; likewise, he can also cross the valley of quicksand by using the Longshot to grapple to one of the boxes on the other side of the river. Once Link has successfully completed the first trial, he must follow the series of flags that have been placed throughout the desert. Straying too far from these flags will cause him to wind up back at the entrance of the wasteland.
While following the flag posts, Link will encounter a sign advertising a shop. He can follow the direction in which the sign is pointing to find a merchant hovering over a Flying Carpet ready to sell Bombchus to Link for 200 Rupees. It is necessary to use the Hover Boots to reach the merchant since the flying carpet is far off a ledge.
At the end of the flag posts is a stone monument that houses the second trial: the Phantom Guide.
Once Link climbs the stone structure, there will be a small plaque mentioning that one with the "eye of truth" will be guided to the Spirit Temple by the "uninvited ghost." Here, Link must equip the Lens of Truth to see a Poe known as the Phantom Guide who will be his guide on the way to the Desert Colossus; however, the Phantom Guide will not take the young hero on his way back to Gerudo's Fortress. Link has to follow the guide closely, since deviating too far from the phantom's path will result in him getting lost and returning to the Haunted Wasteland entrance. While following the Poe, various Leevers will appear in an attempt to distract Link from following the Phantom's path.
- According to The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia from the official Zelda website, the Haunted Wasteland later became known as the Desert of Mystery.
- There is an unused Navi dialog within the game's data that makes reference to the flags in the Haunted Wasteland.
- "Hey, rookie! Are you going into the desert? I'll open this gate for you, but... You can't cross the desert unless you pass the two trials." — Gerudo guard (Ocarina of Time)
- "The first trial is...the River of Sand! You can't walk across this river! After you cross it, follow the flags we placed there." — Gerudo Guard (Ocarina of Time)
- "All those reckless enough to venture into the desert--please drop by our shop. / Carpet Merchant" — A sign (Ocarina of Time)
- "Well Come! I am selling stuff, strange and rare, from all over the world to everybody. Today's special is... A dangerous, running object! Terrifying! I won't tell you what it is until I see the money.... How about 200 Rupees?" — Carpet Merchant (Ocarina of Time)
- "The second trial is...the Phantom Guide!" — Gerudo guard (Ocarina of Time)
- "One with the eye of truth shall be guided to the Spirit Temple by an inviting ghost." — Plaque (Ocarina of Time)
- "I'll be your guide on your way, but coming back, I won't play! I'll show you the only way to go, so follow me and don't be slow!" — Phantom Guide (Ocarina of Time)
- "Known as the Haunted Wasteland when Link was a boy, this vast arid expanse in southeastern Hyrule has slowly become known more commonly as the Desert of Mystery." — The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Zelda.com.
- "WHAAAT!? Look at all those flags! Can you figure out which ones are real?" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||幻影の砂漠||Desert of Illusion|
|French||Désert Hanté||Haunted Desert|
|Italian||Deserto stregato||Hex desert|
|Spanish||Desierto Encantado||Haunted Desert|
|Regions in Ocarina of Time|
Click on a location