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Nightmare Key

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Big Key
LANS Nightmare Key Model.png
Other media
Unlocking the boss door

Nightmare Keys,(LA)[1][name reference missing] also known as Big Keys,(ALttP | TWW | TMC | TP | ALBW)[1] Boss Room Keys,(Series)[2] and Boss Keys,(OoT | MM | OoS | OoA | PH | ST | CoH)[1][3][4] are recurring items in The Legend of Zelda series.

Location and Uses

Big Keys are one of the three standard dungeon items, the other two being the Compass and the Dungeon Map. They are generally harder to find than Small Keys and are used to open the big door leading to the boss' chamber.

A Link to the Past

In addition to opening doors, Big Keys are also used to open the Treasure Chests containing a dungeon's item in A Link to the Past. Doors unlocked by the Big Key may not necessarily lead directly to the boss.

Link's Awakening

Nightmare Keys open access to a Dungeon's Nightmare in Link's Awakening.

Ocarina of Time

Majora's Mask

Oracle of Seasons

Oracle of Ages

The Wind Waker

Four Swords Adventures

In this game, Big Keys are optional items that open Big Chests, which contain a large number of Force Gems.

The Minish Cap

Twilight Princess

The Big Key from the Goron Mines must be put together by obtaining the three Key Shards from the Goron Elders in Twilight Princess. In the Snowpeak Ruins, the Big Key is replaced by the Bedroom Key, as said dungeon is actually the mansion residence of Yeto and Yeta.

Phantom Hourglass

Link must carry the Boss Key in his hands rather than in his inventory in Phantom Hourglass, making him unable to attack and vulnerable to attacks.[5]

Spirit Tracks

Link must carry the Boss Key in his hands rather than in his inventory in Spirit Tracks, making him unable to attack and vulnerable to attacks. In some instances, Boss Keys are electrified and Link must have Princess Zelda possess a Phantom in order to carry them for him.

Skyward Sword

A Link Between Worlds

Other Appearances

Hyrule Warriors

Cadence of Hyrule



TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
JapanJapanese大きなカギ (Ōkina Kagi) (ALttP)[6]Big Key
Federal Republic of GermanyGermanGroßer Schlüssel (LANS)Big Key
Italian RepublicItalianGrande chiave (LANS)Big key
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 118 (ALttP | LA | OoT | MM | OoS | OoA | TWW | TMC | TP | PH | ST | ALBW)
  2. Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 118 (Series)
  3. "You got a Boss Key! Get ready for the final battle!" — N/A (Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition)
  4. "Boss Key" — N/A (Cadence of Hyrule)
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass — Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Games) pg. 14
  6. Nintendo Official Guidebook—The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords (Shogakukan) pg. 13 (ALttP)