The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Hyrule Castle
Task 1: Clearing the Courtyard
The First Key
After you defeat Zant, return to Castle Town and take the north exit to Hyrule Castle. Midna will combine her powers with those of the Fused Shadows to destroy the barrier around the castle, allowing you to enter the massive doors to the courtyard. Once inside, head to the eastern exit, but be wary about enemy ambushes around the way. When you find yourself in such an ambush, a damaging barrier will surround you until you defeat every enemy. Once in the next room, head to the upper eastern side, then grab onto the chain to the right of the gated door and pull it to open the way.
When you head northwest, you'll get into another fight with King Bulbin. A large barrier will surround you, so make use of your hidden moves such as Back Slice to dispose of him, then collect the key he drops. Once you get the key, acquire the orange rupee in the chest to the north, then head up the stairs to the south. Get another orange rupee on top of the wall, then jump over, head back to the southern courtyard, then head towards the western door, but be wary of another ambush on the way.
A Map to the Castle
As soon as you enter the door, you'll be attacked by enemies. Stay close to the door and take out the Bulbin Archers with your bow (the Hawkeye might help). Then, use the boars north of the entrance to smash through the wood barricades and access the northwestern part of the courtyard. Smash through enemy watchtowers on the way there to keep yourself from being shot at by Bulbin Archers you couldn't pick off from the door.
In the northwestern portion of the courtyard, you'll find six propeller-topped pillars. Use the Gale Boomerang to blow away the leaves in the eastern part of the area and reveal a pattern of propellers to activate. Follow the pattern to open the door and get the dungeon map.
The Second Key
Change into wolf form and look for a digging spot, then dig there to enter the graveyard. Once inside, fend off the enemies and head to the northernmost tree. Place a bomb on the rock beside it to uncover a switch that opens the door to the western alcove. Inside, you'll find three chests containing rupees, a pot of Lantern Oil, and a torch. Fill up your lantern with oil, then light the torch in the alcove. The rain will stop only temporarily, so run across the graveyard to the eastern alcove and light the torches on each side of the door. If the rain comes back before you light both torches, you have to go back to the west alcove and do it over again.
Once the door opens, use the Dominion Rod to lead two statues into the notches at the southern end of the graveyard. Once they're in place, climb up the nearby stones and use the statues as steps to reach the chamber to the west. Yank the chain to open the door, then retrieve the key from the chest. Once done, turn back into wolf form and dig back to the western courtyard. The Bulbins have rebuilt their wooden barricades, so utilize another boar to get back to the main courtyard, then head north to enter Hyrule Castle proper.
Task 2: To the Top
A Fork in the Road
Shortly after you enter the castle's foyer, you will be ambushed yet again. Defeat the enemies to reveal a treasure chest on the second floor balcony. Climb the small flight of stairs that's next to that balcony, then grapple onto the chandelier and drop to the balcony to acquire the compass. From there, grapple to the chandelier to the east. Descend a bit and grapple to the next chandelier. Then, drop down and enter the door to the north.
In the next room, you'll face a Darknut. After you defeat it, light the torches on the west side of the room to raise the two lower steps, if you so wish (it isn't necessary), then climb atop them. Then, extinguish the torch on the east side of the room with the Gale Boomerang and jump onto the rear step as it rises from the floor. Once you're on the upper level, open up the chest, then proceed to head either east or west (it doesn't matter which way, the ending place is the same).
The East Path
In the next room, take out the Lizalfos, then turn into wolf form and activate your senses. You should see some ghosts congregating around and pointing to a painting. Transform back into your human form and shoot down the painting with your bow to reveal a switch. Hit the switch to open the door. If you shoot down other paintings, you may reveal a switch that, when shot, cause Chu Jellies to drop from above.
If you continue along this route, you'll have to take on two Darknuts. Proceed slowly along one side of the room so that only one Darknut comes after you. Slay him then take down the other one. If you exit via the northwest door, you'll find a switch and a chest that contains a purple rupee. Press the switch to make another chest appear. To get to it, drop to the floor and grapple to the nearby chandelier. Lower yourself slightly, grapple to the chandelier above the balcony, then drop down to claim the silver rupee (worth 200 rupees!). To return to the room where you fought the Darknuts, grapple back to the north door. Take the other exit to head to the balcony. (continue)
The West Path
You must light four torches to unlock the door. Shoot down the painting in the room to get the order in which they must be lit, then light them in that order. In the next room, defeat the armored Dynalfos to unlock the doors. Beyond the northeast a switch will lower a chandelier and allow easy grapple access from the front hall. Once you're done tromping around the hallways, head to the balcony.
Head to the west end of the balcony to retrieve a Small Key after a short battle with an Aeralfos. Then, head towards the other end. On the way there, a group of enemies will ambush you, but your friends from Castle Town dispose of them for you. On the east end, you'll acquire the Big Key. Once you have the keys, enter the door at the center of the balcony. In the next room, turn into a wolf and use your senses, then follow where the ghosts are pointing to successfully navigate through the room. Pay attention to where they are pointing, then jump directly on the block they're gesturing towards. Keep going in that same direction until you reach another ghost. If you step on the wrong block, you will fall and have to start over.
In the next room, jump up the broken stairway then defeat the enemies in the room at the top. Once they're gone, grapple through the next set of stairs with the Double Clawshots. Defeat the enemies you meet in that room, then utilize the Spinner to proceed through the third stairway. Once through that, you'll face another Darknut. Once he's gone, you may use the Small Key on the west door to find tons of supplies and cash. When done stocking up, go back and use the Big Key to head south up the stairs.
Special note: If you reach up to this point, you should save at this moment. The reason is when you start this dungeon again, you still need to get up to the top of the tower but the enemies you need to defeat would no longer be there to stop you. Also, if there's any unfinished business like getting more heart containers, opening more chests and even getting more bugs for Agitha, do it now if you like having max heart containers, max bombs, max arrows and even max rupees. This final battle can cost you easily if you decide not to resolve any issues up to this point.
Ganon's Puppet: Zelda
Ganondorf greets you when you enter the throne room, then proceeds to possess Princess Zelda and forces you to battle her.
Zelda hovers out of your sword's range and uses three types of attacks:
- A diving sword attack that you can block with your shield or dodge. She'll prepare herself for the attack, then lunge at you.
- She creates a large triangular energy field underneath you, run away or repeatedly side-step out of it to avoid this attack. You'll know when this will happen when the floor starts to glow.
- An energy ball which she fires at you, which you can deflect with a carefully timed sword swing. After a short volley, you'll hit her. The more times you hit her with the energy ball, the longer she'll be able to keep reflecting it on the next time.
Hitting her with three of these energy balls is the only way to free Zelda of Ganondorf's influence.
Dark Beast: Ganon
Once Zelda is freed, Ganon takes the form of a giant boar-like animal. His main tactic is to charge straight at you, and then run around the perimeter of the room, smashing anything in his path. Ganon also jumps into the air to smash you, so watch his shadow and run out of the way. After his attack, he warps out of the room, then reappears through a portal. After he teleports, stand on either side of the room and watch for where the portals appear. Several false ones appear before the real one does, the true one turns blue, so line up with it and be ready to counter Ganon's charge based on what stage he is on (outlined below).
During the first phase, equip the Hero's Bow and shoot Ganon in the glowing white spot on his forehead as he charges (make sure you have enough arrows). A direct hit will knock him down, keep your shield up so you aren't injured when he slides. Once he comes to a stop, target the white scar on his belly and slash at it with your sword. After you take him down a few times, he changes attack patterns. This phase is optional.
Eventually Ganon will teleport away whenever you fire an arrow at him. That's your cue that you are now in Stage 2. Turn into your wolf form and line up with the correct portal. Once he starts charging at you, stand still and press (without -targeting) when the indicator appears to grab him, then hold or to throw him. After he goes down, pounce onto the weak spot on his belly with -targeting and hit repeatedly to maul him, or transform back into human form to inflict a bit of extra damage.
Dark Lord: Ganondorf
Once you defeat Ganon in his beast form, he will take on Midna, who in turn sends you and Zelda to Hyrule Field. Ganondorf will eventually show up in his human form on horseback, so call Epona and give chase. Your goal is to get close enough to him so that you may target him, which will allow Zelda to stun him with a Light Arrow. While he is stunned, get close to him and slash with your sword (spin attacks work nicely). To prevent you from getting in range, Ganondorf has two attacks to use on you: he will either turn around and attempt to charge into you (thus knocking you off Epona) or he will summon phantom riders. To prevent him from charging you, circle around as well, and to prevent the phantoms from hitting you, get close behind Ganondorf.
You're almost there! Human vs Human, Beast vs. Beast, Horse vs. Horse, and now, finally, Sword vs. Sword!
Eventually, you will damage Ganondorf enough for him to warp you within the confines of a damaging barrier for a one-on-one sword fight. Target and circle him to dodge his swings, then counter with quick attacks of your own. Backflips work wonderful as well, since you can follow with a Jump Strike. Since Ganondorf holds his sword with his left hand, circling him clockwise yields the best results. You can also catch Ganondorf off guard with the Back Slice.
Stay close to Ganondorf as you fight, or you won't be able to take advantage of many attack opportunities, such as after he performs a lunging attack, which leaves him vulnerable. However, sometimes he does a spin strike after the lunge, so avoid the lunge to prevent leaving yourself wide open for the follow-up spinning strike. Ganondorf will also use a jumping attack where he leaps offscreen then appears behind you. Run away when this happens and await the next opportunity for an attack.
Also, when there is a bit of distance between you and Ganondorf, the word "chance" will appear on screen. If you hit as soon as the word appears, you'll engage in a close-range struggle that requires you to hit as fast as you can. If you win the exchange, Ganondorf will be stunned, allowing you to get in numerous hits. However, if you are truly rushed for time, and wish to finish this entire quite easily, take out your fishing rod, and Ganondorf will be in a hypnotic gaze. Retract the rod, and attack Ganondorf. Rinse and repeat.
After you hit him enough times, you'll be able to end the battle (and the game) with the Ending Blow.