June 11th, 2019 The Sequel to Breath of the Wild has been announced!

The Sequel to Breath of the Wild was just revealed, alongside the release dates for Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch and Cadence of Hyrule!
Join our Discord server and help us cover these games!

Latest Announcements

Dark Link

From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
(Redirected from Link's Shadow)
Jump to: navigation, search
Book of Mudora.png
This article or section does not sufficiently cite its sources.

Please help improve this article by introducing appropriate citations.

Not to be confused with Shadow Link, the recurring enemy and Boss from Four Swords Adventures, A Link Between Worlds, and Tri Force Heroes.
Dark Link
OoT3D Dark Link Model.png
Dark Link from Ocarina of Time 3D
Link's Shadow (TAoL)
Other Media
Dungeon(s)Great Palace (TAoL)
Water Temple (OoT)
Black Tower (OoA)
Palace of the Four Sword (ALttP&FS)
Take 'Em All On! (ST)
Megaton Hammer
Din's Fire
Broken Giant's Knife
Voice Actor(s)Nobuyuki Hiyama (OoT)
Akira Sasanuma (TP)
Theme Music (TAoL)

Dark Link is a dark reflection of Link.[1] He is one of the most enigmatic enemy characters in the The Legend of Zelda series, usually appearing with no backstory and no dialogue, although it is implied on numerous occasions to be merely constructed of shadow magic. Dark Link is more than just a mere battle against a monster for Link, but a battle against himself, as the young hero has to face his own strength turned against him.[2] Due to this, Dark Link is often the ultimate challenge, and is faced as a final boss on one occasion and as the final boss of optional challenges such as the Palace of the Four Sword and Take 'Em All On!.

Attributes of the Dark Links

As Link's doppelgänger, Dark Link bears a resemblance to the Link of whichever game he appears in. He wears the same clothing as Link: a tunic and a long, floppy cap, though the similarities to Link end there. His entire outfit is black or dark gray instead of green. Moreover, his hair is usually either a shadowy black or a dark gray. Dark Link tends to be left-handed, like Link. However, in some appearances (particularly when multiple copies of him appear), he has been shown to favor either hand. Another notable feature is his red eyes, which are usually the only prominent feature against his dark visage.


During his many appearances, Dark Link has had different soundtracks played to commemorate the moment of his presence. The names of the soundtracks/themes are as follows:[citation needed]


The Adventure of Link

Link's Shadow in The Adventure of Link

In his first appearance in the series, Dark Link is known as Link's Shadow,[3] although he is referred to as Shadow Link in NES Remix 2 and as Dark Link on Zelda.com.[4][5][1] He appears as the final boss after Link defeats Thunderbird in the Great Palace. He serves as the final test before Link can obtain the Triforce of Courage and wake Princess Zelda. Link's Shadow is the most difficult opponent to appear during Link's second quest to save Hyrule.

The strategy for Link's Shadow is to attack him where his guard is down. Another strategy that many mistake for a glitch is to duck in the very left corner of the arena and repeatedly stab when he gets close.

Dark Link's appearances in Event Matches during Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl are largely based upon this battle. This battle also formed the basis of the Streetpass Battle Mode of A Link Between Worlds, marking only the second time that music from The Adventure of Link returned to use in another Zelda game, the first being in The Minish Cap.

Ocarina of Time

Navi's Comment

Hey! Listen! Watch out!

Dark Link

Conquer yourself!
Link confronts Dark Link in the Water Temple

In Ocarina of Time, Dark Link appears as a mini-boss in the Water Temple, where he materializes from Link's reflection in the water to confront his counterpart. Dark Link reacts to most of Link's movements and attacks, usually defending himself in the process.[6] Dark Link has the same amount of health as Link; the number of Heart Containers the hero has equals the number of hits with the Master Sword it takes to defeat his doppelgänger. When hit, Dark Link will fall through the floor and spring back up afterwards. At the beginning of the battle, Dark Link is nearly transparent, but will gradually become opaque as the battle progresses. When he is fully opaque, he will become more aggressive and actively attack Link instead of simply reacting to his moves.

There are a variety of strategies for defeating Dark Link. Link can use the Megaton Hammer, Deku Nuts, Biggoron Sword, or use his sword while L/Z targeting him and performing a horizontal slash on the opposite side of his shield, which gives Link an instant hit. Stocking up on magic Potions and using Din's Fire is another option that makes the fight against Dark Link very easy. Din's Fire is one of the best options in both the passive and aggressive part of the battle, as it will cause damage every time, provided that Dark Link is in range. If Link performs a sword thrust, Dark Link will simply hop onto the blade of the sword before attacking (if aggressive). Once Dark Link is defeated, Link becomes able to enter a room containing the Longshot.[7]

Dark Link shares Link's voice, but it is heavily distorted, giving it a demonic feel.

Oracle of Ages

A Dark Link summoned by Veran

During the second phase of the final battle, Veran creates four clones of Dark Link that mimic Link's movement in reverse and act as dangerous obstacles. Unlike other appearances of Dark Link, these clones do not attack, and are useful in recovering health, as they are easily destroyed and drop one Heart each. They are similar in behavior to Arm-Mimics and Mask-Mimics.

A Link to the Past

Dark Links.gif

In the Game Boy Advance port, after completing both A Link to the Past and the multiplayer Four Swords game, the Palace of the Four Sword is unlocked. The Dungeon Master is four Dark Links, each with a unique tunic, corresponding to the colors of the Links that hold the Four Sword. Reaching the final room of the dungeon causes the four different colored Four Swords to rise into the air, and following this the Dark Links will drop from above. Each Dark Link has slightly different abilities, but they all aggressively attack with sword swipes and do not open their defenses often. They are quite agile, able to leap backwards out of the way of Link's attacks. They are fought one at a time, and they get progressively more difficult. The green Dark Link uses the Pegasus Boots to suddenly dash at Link; the red Dark Link uses the Hurricane Spin and the Pegasus Boots. The blue Dark Link also uses Pegasus Boots and the Hurricane Spin, and he can leap into the air to perform a Down Thrust (this is also similar to Link's use of the Quake Medallion). The purple Dark Link is the final Dark Link, and utilizes the Pegasus Boots, Hurricane Spin, Down Thrust, and the Sword Beam. Defeating each Dark Link will break the curse on the Four Sword and return it to normal.

Twilight Princess

Main article: Interlopers

Dark Link makes a cameo appearance during a cutscene in Twilight Princess that tells the tale of how the Twili race was banished to the Twilight Realm. Portraying the powerful Interlopers who sought to control the Sacred Realm, three clones of Dark Link manage to destroy Link (portraying a common citizen) before they are banished to the Twilight Realm by the Light Spirits.

Spirit Tracks

Dark Link from Spirit Tracks

Dark Link appears as the final challenge of the Take 'Em All On! mini-game in Castle Town. In this appearance, he attacks using a blade as dark as himself, that subsequently leaves a fitting black trail, and he can also place bombs and shoot arrows. He can also perform a jump attack like Link, only his is higher and much slower. Dark Link also mimics Link's sword attacks when he himself is not attacking, so Link must block his attacks and then counterattack. The music played when fighting him is the same as the track used when Link chased the Ghost Ship during the final boss's second phase in Phantom Hourglass. Conversely to his appearance in Ocarina of Time, he slowly fades from a pure black to a translucent gray as he takes damage, and once defeated, he falls over on his back and disappears, his eyes eerily left open during the whole animation. The room he is fought in is the only one which contains Hearts, despite Joynas's earlier warning that there is no way to recover health in the challenge rooms.[8]

Breath of the Wild

In Breath of the Wild, the Dark Series is an Armor Set that gives Link the appearance of Dark Link, as he appeared in Ocarina of Time. Wearing the full Set grants Link the Night Speed Up Set Bonus.

Other Appearances

The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics)

Link's Shadow as the king of Calatia

In the The Legend of Zelda comics by Valiant Comics published by Valiant Comics, Link's Shadow is featured in the "Coming Home" story of the fifth issue. Referred to simply as the Shadow and described by himself as a servant of Ganon, he has the ability not only to mimic Link, but any other person. While Link is away in Hyrule, the Shadow, disguised as Queen Seline and accompanied by Thunderbird, attacks the monarch of Calatia and defeats her using her own magical powers. He then locks her away in the tower of the Calatia Palace, taking over her kingdom and making her people suffer under his rule.[9] When an unsuspecting Link returns to Calatia to visit his parents, he is violently greeted by his father, claiming that Link is not his son and ordering him to leave and never come back.[10] Confused, Link begins to travel around Calatia but receives the same mistreatment with everyone else in town,[11] and so he decides to see Queen Seline to figure out what has happened.[12] When Link goes inside the palace's throne room, he finds that the Shadow and Thunderbird have made the queen their prisoner and taken her place instead.[13][14]

Once Queen Seline explains to Link what has happened, the Shadow takes his two prisoners and sentences them to death for committing treason against their own king.[15] The queen then halts him and demands her right of a life trial since it is Calatian Law that anyone sentenced to death has the right to trial by combat to prove their innocence.[16] Thunderbird questions Link's Shadow if it is wise to let the restless citizens witness such an event,[17] but still the Shadow accepts Seline's challenge to thus crush the people's spirits by defeating their queen again.[18] In accordance with the ancient laws, Seline chooses Link to fight in her place,[19] and Link agrees.[20]

The Shadow tries to persuade Link to leave by disguising himself as Princess Zelda and appearing to him as a projection urging him to return to Hyrule, claiming it is under attack.[21] However, when Link refuses,[22] Link's Shadow decides to ask Ganon for help in defeating Link.[23] Ganon explains to the Shadow that he will be able to easily defeat his good counterpart since tomorrow is the Day of the Triforce,[24] which is when, once each decade, the three Triforce pieces disappear for reasons unknown from dawn to dusk.[25] During the battle, after a short struggle, Link's Shadow easily bests the young hero, but just as the Shadow is about to deliver the final blow,[26] a swift move by the real Link causes for the both of them to dangle from the edge of the arena, getting ready to fall into the fire pit below. Link angrily explains that he had to let Zelda face her doom alone just so that he could put an end to his evil counterpart's tyranny,[27] but just then the fake Link explains that Zelda lives and it was all a trick.[28] Suddenly realizing the true nature of the enemy he is facing to be the Shadow he fought at the end of the Great Palace.[29] With the Shadow's sword gone and Link's sword point at his back, Link threatens to kill his counterpart unless he orders the Daira guards to drop their weapons, upon which Link's Shadow obediently commands.[30]

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Event Match 18, "Link's Adventure" in Super Smash Bros. Melee

Dark Link, as he appears in The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time appears in the Event Match "Link's Adventure", where he must be defeated with Link on the Hyrule Temple stage.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Dark Link, as an alternate costume for Link, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Both Link and Toon Link are able to take on the appearance of Dark Link as an alternate costume in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This version mostly resembles the one featured in the Twilight Princess cutscene.

Super Smash Bros. Melee's version of Dark Link (which in turn is based on the Dark Link from The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time, with a completely black appearance) reappears in the event match "Dark Link Duel" on the Bridge of Eldin stage. Unlike the alternate costume, the Dark Link in this event is completely black, as opposed to Link's alternate costume, which is mostly gray and black with red eyes. As in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link is the only option to fight against Dark Link. However, unlike Super Smash Bros. Melee, this battle is fought as a Stamina match, making him more like a traditional The Legend of Zelda enemy. A similar event, known as Battle of the Dark Sides, is featured for two players, in which Dark Link is fought by Link and Samus together, but is similarly accompanied by Dark Samus, an entity that, like Dark Link, is completely black, instead of resembling the canon Metroid character of the same name.

Ocarina of Time (Himekawa)

In the Ocarina of Time manga by Akira Himekawa, Link meets up with his shadowed doppelganger at Kakariko Village. From Beneath the Well, Dark Link emerges, ready to defeat the original Link. The original Link managed to defeat his dark self by learning that the shadow monster is only as good as Link was then. So to defeat him, Link had to become better than he was before. Slicing Dark Link in half, the dark hero was not yet done. Dark Link then returned riding on a Dark Epona. Link countered and defeated Dark Link once again with the use of his own Epona. This Dark Link replaced Bongo Bongo as boss, most likely because the Shadow Temple didn't appear in the manga.

Hyrule Warriors

In Hyrule Warriors, Dark Link appears as a mini-boss in the "A War of Spirit" Scenario. He is summoned by Cia by channeling the darker side of Link's personality into physical form, appearing as a completely dark version of him with glowing red eyes. After the first one is defeated, several more copies are summoned which attack Link and the Hyrulean Forces. Link fights them all with the confidence that he can easily overcome them, but quickly becomes overwhelmed, and is saved by his allies who defeat and dispel the Dark Links.

In the Master Quest DLC pack, Dark Link appears again in the Cia's Tale Scenario, "Darkness Falls". When Cia's dark magic begins to steadily unhinge her mind, she begins summoning several Dark Links to defend herself from Ganondorf's Forces, under the delusion that Link will come to protect her. However, by the time Zelda's Forces reach her stronghold, the Dark Links appeared to have all been vanquished in battle.

In Hyrule Warriors Legends amd Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, the Dark Links make one final appearance in the Wind Waker Scenario, "Reclaiming the Darkness". They are summoned forth by Dark Cia to capture the real Cia. However, they and Dark Cia are once more vanquished by Link and his allies.

Two of Cia's combo attacks with the Scepter involve summoning a circle of Dark Links around her to take out nearby enemies.

A Dark Link Costume is also available to use when playing as Link for players who buy the Hero of Hyrule DLC season pass, or by purchasing all of the packs included in it. The Costume will also turn Link's Weapons into the same color scheme; Epona and the Great Fairy will change color and have glowing red eyes. As Dark Link was spawned from Link's shadow, he himself does not cast one.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

Link and Toon Link return their Dark Link costumes in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Link, Toon Link and also Young Link can take on the appearance of Dark Link as alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While Link is based on his Breath of the Wild appearance, Link's costume does not resemble the Dark Series, instead giving Link dark gray skin and glowing red eyes while wearing a black Wild Set. Young Link's costume also gives him dark gray skin and glowing red eyes while wearing a black Kokiri Tunic and black Kokiri Boots.


  • In his battle in The Adventure of Link, Link's Shadow dodges or blocks most of the attacks that Link attempts but is vulnerable when he jumps. This flaw can be taken advantage of by simply standing in a corner and repeatedly swinging Link's sword toward Link's Shadow. Link's Shadow will attempt to jump at Link and keep running into the attacks, making a rather difficult battle seem less difficult. However, this does not work in the original Famicom Disk System version, as the A.I. was simplified when the game was transferred to cartridge format.
  • In his appearance in Ocarina of Time, Dark Link appears next to a dead, blackened tree. This may serve as a contrast to the living green trees that surrounded Link in his youth, and to emphasize the light/dark scenario.
  • Upon passing the dead tree, Link's shadow disappears before Dark Link materializes, suggesting that Dark Link is his shadow.
  • Dark Link in Ocarina of Time can be made to imitate most of Link's animations. Stunning Dark Link with Deku Nuts in a specific way will cause him to mirror Link's every move. This can be used to a comical effect; for example, if Link is down to a fraction of a heart and leans over panting, Dark Link will also act fatigued. Dark Link also mimics Link's idle animations, such as checking his sword and tunic. If Link puts on the Iron Boots, Dark Link will start moving as if he were also wearing them.
    • In Ocarina of Time 3D, Dark Link will instead slide towards Link on one leg, frozen in a single frame of his running animation.
  • In A Link to the Past, the GBA-exclusive Dark Links have the same sword and shield that Link currently has equipped, but they will always inflict the same amount of damage. If Link does not have any shield, his dark counterparts will have the Fighter's Shield.
  • In Ocarina of Time 3D, Dark Link is detailed and textured, granting him an appearance similar to the Dark Interlopers visual aides. When defeated, he now makes the same sound effect that Link normally makes when knocked to the ground.
  • In Breath of the Wild, a Dark Link Armor Set is available for purchase at Kilton's Fang and Bone shop after completing all four Divine Beasts.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
Language Name
Dark Link Link's Shadow (TAoL)
Japan Japanese ダークリンク (Dāku Rinku) (OoT)
ブラックリンク (Burakku Rinku) (ST)
自分自身 (Jibunjishin) Triforce piece.png
ブラックリンク (Burakku Rinku) Triforce piece.png
People's Republic of China ChineseSI 暗黑林克
French Republic FrenchEU Ombre de Link
Federal Republic of Germany German Schatten-Link Triforce piece.png
Der schwarze Link (OoT)
Italian Republic Italian Link oscuro
Portuguese Republic PortugueseEU Link Obscuro
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Link Oscuro
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Link Tenebroso
Link oscuro (OoT3D)


See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dark Link
    Created by a wicked magical force (some say by Ganon himself), Dark Link is an evil shadow capable of duplicating Link's every move. Dark Link is sometimes referred to as Shadow Link.
    🢒 The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time, Four Swords Adventures"
    The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Zelda.com (archive), retrieved November 21, 2016.
  2. "Dark Link
    Conquer yourself!
    " — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  3. "Link’s Shadow: A black shadow whose shape is identical to Link. Once a traveler reaches the depths of the Great Palace, this creature oozes out of their shadow and attacks, serving as their final trial. Like Link, it fights using a sword and shield, jumping at will." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 109)
  4. "Defeat Shadow Link!" — N/A (NES Remix 2)
  5. "Thunderbird was one of the guardians of the Great Palace, where Link defeated Dark Link and successfully roused Princess Zelda from her unnatural slumber."The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Zelda.com (archive), retrieved November 21, 2016.
  6. "You must time your attacks carefully to land a blow on this enemy, because it seems to anticipate your every action!" (Ocarina of Time manual, pg. 83)
  7. "After you defeat Dark Link, the bars on the northern door rise allowing you to access the room and claim the Longshot in the large chest there." (Ocarina of Time manual, pg. 83)
  8. "However, you'll find nothing to restore your health inside. Nothing at all!" — Hostess (Spirit Tracks)
  9. "I was set upon and defeated by someone who looked exactly like me AND had all my powers. Every magic spell I used--it threw back at me! Now this...thing, disguised as YOU, Link, has taken over the kingdom. My people are suffering under his evil rule!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 4)
  10. "You're no son of mine! Get out! Get out of here! ...And never come back!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
  11. "Hey, everyone! It's me--Link! Back from Hyrule! Is it something I said? IS it my breath?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  12. "I've got to see Queen Seline. Maybe she can tell me what's going on." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  13. "Hey, you! What are you doing on the throne? Where's Queen Seline?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  14. "She is my prisoner...just like you!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  15. "My people! Now all will see what happens to those who defy the NEW king of Calatia! [...] Silence! I am the king! You have committed treason against me! There can be but ONE penalty! Executioner! Stand forth!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. )
  16. "Hold fast! I, Queen Seline, demand my right of LIFE TRIAL! By Calatian law, anyone sentenced to death has the right to trial by combat to prove their innocence!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 4, 5)
  17. "Master... The people are restless! Is it wise to let them see this?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  18. "I beat her once already, and she's already been severely weakened by the chains! What better way to crush the people's spirits than to defeat their queen again...before their very eyes! When I am finished, NONE will defy me!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  19. "In accordance with the ancient laws...I choose this man to fight in my place, as my champion!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  20. "What? I...uh...I mean...so be it." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  21. "I'm not here. This is a magical projection of my spirit! Only you can see or hear me! You must return to Hyrule tonight! Walk through this magical pathway and you'll be back in North Palace! I need you, Link! [...] Link, the north Palace is under attack by Ganon's armies!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 6)
  22. "But...how can I? My parents...my homeland are all depending on me! I can't leave them!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 6)
  23. "I have no choice. Let the call be sent out...to the Mountain of Death! Hear me..LORD GANON!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7)
  24. "It is the Day of the Triforce! He will be without his Triforce of Courage! Link has grown soft...too dependent on its power! Without it--he is DOOMED! His own fear will destroy him!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7)
  25. "Yes...it is the Day of the Triforce. Once each decade, for one day, from dawn to dusk, all three Triforces...Wisdom, Power, and Courage disappear. No one knows wither or wherefore...just that it is so." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 8)
  26. "Prepare to die, weakling!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 9)
  27. "I let the woman I love face her doom alone just so I could be here to put an end to your tyranny--and I will, no matter what!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  28. "Wait! Listen to me! Zelda lives! It was a ruse! I posed as Zelda to trick you!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  29. "So...you're the Shadow! The one I met at the end of the Great Palace in my second adventure against Ganon! You know, you've made me REALLY angry...but I MIGHT let you live if you order your Daira guards to drop their weapons!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  30. "Guards! Surrender NOW!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between WorldsTri Force HeroesBreath of the Wild