Puzzles are a recurring aspect of The Legend of Zelda series, particularly in Dungeons. They are some of The Legend of Zelda series' main trademarks, and some of the more simplistic puzzles are repeated throughout the series, of which the Block, Enemy, Return, Switch, Target, and Torch are the most common.
Types of Puzzles
The Block Puzzle involves moving Block(s) into a certain position, or the rearranging of blocks to form a picture. This may be to press a switch, or to create a step which can be used to gain high ground, etc. The Poe Sister, Amy, from the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time incorporates the block-picture approach in her defeat. A variation of this puzzle, as seen in Oracle of Ages, is to push a block in a way that a certain color is on top, and the block itself in a hole, igniting a flame.
The Enemy Puzzle puzzle involves a room or area in which one or several enemies must be defeated to move on. In The Legend of Zelda series, this puzzle takes three forms: the multi-pronged strike, the miniboss puzzle, and the boss puzzle.
- The Multi-Pronged Strike enemy Puzzle pits Link against multiple foes in a single room, often enemies with collective strength much lower than that of Link. Seen in the Fire Temple of Ocarina of Time, and in the Lakebed Temple of Twilight Princess, all of these enemies must be defeated for the enemy puzzle to be accomplished. Sometimes, such puzzles will keep a reward or door hidden unless the foes in the room are defeated in a certain order.
- The Miniboss enemy puzzle is seldom seen outside of dungeons because they involve the defeat of a single, significant enemy, often carrying or barring access to a dungeon item. Some examples include Death Sword from the Arbiter's Grounds and Ook from the Forest Temple in Twilight Princess.
- In the Boss puzzle, a large, strong monster that holds a Heart Container prevents Link from finishing the temple until it is defeated. This type of enemy puzzle is only seen in dungeons: examples include Gleerok from The Minish Cap and Gyorg from Majora's Mask.
One of the most commonly reccurring puzzles is the Return Puzzle, a puzzle in which a player must leave a room and return later with an extra item or key, making that room passable. The return puzzle most often exists in dungeon rooms with many exits.
Switches in the form of levers and buttons are prevalent in the series.
- Lever: Needs to be pushed or pulled. Some inaccessible levers require use of Hookshot (pull), Seed Shooter (push), or Bombs (when timing is needed).
- Button: Many varieties exist, but can be broken down to positive and negative actions. Positively activated buttons require a weight to be added or placed upon it. Negatively activated buttons require a weight to be removed from it.
The Target Puzzle, simply involves shooting a certain switch to open a door. For example, shooting a golden eye above a door, with a projectile, can open that door. Sometimes the target moves, or Link is on a moving platform, making this puzzle more difficult.
Projectile Items Necessary to Complete Target Puzzles:
- Note: The Hookshot, Clawshot, and other similar items do not work when it comes to target puzzles, as they are not true projectile weapons.
The Torch Puzzle involves the lighting of one or more torches by fire in order to receive access to another room, treasure chest, or the like.
Viable Ways to Complete Torch Puzzles:
- Fire Arrows
- Din's Fire
- Shooting a regular arrow through fire in the direction of a torch
- Lighting a Deku Stick from another fire source, to set a torch alight
- Using the Lantern
- Although many temples and dungeons in The Legend of Zelda series incorporate at least one of these techniques, the temples of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and The Minish Cap make use of all of them.