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Skull Woods (A Link to the Past)

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Not to be confused with Skeleton Forest, or Skull Dungeon from Oracle of Ages.
Skull Woods
Dungeon 3.png
Entrance to the final branch of the Dungeon
Location(s) Skeleton Forest
Game(s) A Link to the Past
Main Item Fire Rod
Boss(es) Mothula
Quest Reward(s)Crystal
Heart Container
Theme Music Dark World Dungeon

The Skull Woods, also known as the Skull Dungeon,[1] Skull Palace and Level 3 in the Game Boy Advance version of A Link to the Past,[2] is the third Dungeon in the Dark World in A Link to the Past.

Themes and Navigation

The Skull Woods dungeon is found in the Skeleton Forest (the Dark World counterpart of the Lost Woods), north of the Village of Outcasts. However, the two entrances north of the Village of Outcasts are impassable, so Link must use the entrance farther to the east.

Unlike other dungeons, Skull Woods has a vast number of entrances throughout the forest, hidden within large, gaping skulls. It is also possible to enter the dungeon by dropping through pits in the forest floor. The dungeon sprawls under almost the entirety of the Skeleton Forest. The number of entrances to this dungeon, a total of eight in all, as well as the disconnected sections of the dungeon, makes it entirely unique among Zelda dungeons. The variety of entrances make for a labyrinthine layout, which can get very disorientating. The dungeon also makes heavy use of Star Tiles, which rearrange the layout of the pitfalls found on the floors throughout the dungeon.

While Link can enter almost any entrance first, the section of the dungeon that leads to the boss is cut off from the rest of the dungeon, similar to the Desert Palace. To reach the Dungeon Master, Link must enter a huge insect-like skull near the resting place of the Master Sword in the Light World. To enter this part of the dungeon, Link will first have to obtain the Fire Rod, then locate the correct exit to reach this final section.

The dungeon introduces the powerful Gibdos to the game, which are weak to fire but take many sword hits to kill. It also features the notorious Wallmaster, who for the first time in the series drops from the ceiling, dragging Link back to where he entered the dungeon. To reach the Fire Rod, Link will have to destroy an entire a wall to reach the Big Chest, which is otherwise inaccessible. The Fire Rod is vital in the dungeon, able to destroy the immensely resilient Gibdos (as well as Wallmasters) in one hit, and is required to light torches from a distance so Link can reach the Dungeon Master, Mothula. Mothula is also unique among bosses in the game, as the room itself is more of an enemy than it is, with moving a moving floor and unpredictable Traps lining the arena. After defeating it, Link will receive a Heart Container and the third Crystal.

Enemies and Traps

Trivia

  • In the Japanese version of the game, both the Skeleton Forest and Skull Woods share the same name, Dokuro no Mori, meaning "Skull Forest". There is no apparent distinction between the forest and the Dungeon itself in terms of their name. This also applies to the Thieves' Town and Misery Mire Dungeons.

Nomenclature

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ドクロの森 (Dokuro no Mori) Skull Forest
French Republic FrenchEU Forêt de Squelettes Skeleton Forest
Federal Republic of Germany German Skelettwald Skeleton Forest
Italian Republic Italian Bosco d'ossa Forest of Bones
Spanish-speaking countries Spanish Bosque de Osamentas Skeleton Forest

References

  1. "The passages of Skull Dungeon were connected by a network of dungeon entrances on the forest floor." (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo of America Inc.), pg. 84)
  2. "By taking the exit from the second stage of the Skull Palace, Link discovered the main entrance—a giant skull with columns made of bones." (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo of America Inc.), pg. 127)
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