Bottom-10 Zelda Monsters
Of course, once I do a top-10 I have to follow it up with a bottom-10. Last time I listed my favourite Zelda monsters, the ones I instantly identify with the series and which I love. However, with so many games and such a broad variety of foes for Link to fight, it goes without saying that some of them have been a little under-whelming, some fitting if not really memorable and some… just flat-out lame.
These are the ten Zelda monsters that I think don’t need to make any more appearances or were just really annoying to fight and face or just generally to put up with. Some are here due to the immense lack of creativity that went into their design. And some just flat-out suck.
An honourable mention in this monster category goes to “ChuChus” of all colours from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. These guys not only looked dumb but were just a pain in the butt with their erratic jumping and respawning. The only reason I couldn’t put them higher was that due to always (or almost always) carrying an item inside, they could actually prove to be useful from time to time.
Let’s get on with the list…
Ropes probably win “the most inappropriate name of show” prize for Zelda monsters of all time. Sometimes in an effort to come up with new names for monsters that were just regular animals (like the Keese) Nintendo really let their imagination fly.
This, however, was clearly not the case with the Ropes. The generic slithering enemies were still series regulars during the first few instalments of the franchise, but have made very few appearances post-A Link to the Past. And personally I don’t mind at all.
There’s nothing inherently bad about making snakes an enemy in a video-game, but it’s very obvious why Ropes have fallen out of prominence in the Zelda series. A snake just isn’t tha scary in a 3D game as it can be in a 2D one, not to mention that Ropes were just sword-fodder intended to slow Link down. They’re not the dumbest enemy, but their name was enough for me to want to include them.
Some Zelda monsters are just unfortunately derpy when you really wouldn’t want them to be. Wolves are animals which are actually fairly frightening in real life and thus seem perfect for adapting into enemies for a video-game. Why is the Wolfos in Ocarina of Time such a complete and utter derp.
It’s not just their face which looks stupid. Apparently, a Wolfos’ attack pattern consists of it running around its victim and coming in for one very easily dodgable slash which leaves its back open to attack. Not to mention, if you have Deku Nuts you can finish the Wolfos off before he can even lay a hand on you.
What makes the Wolfos even more sad, is that Nintendo actually tried to make him cool by introducing a white Wolfos in Majora’s Mask. I’m quite perplexed as to how Nintendo was able to take one of the coolest animals in the wilderness and turn him into such a goofball. It wasn’t until Twilight Princess that we finally got to see some respectable Wolf-action from the Zelda games.
As mentioned on the previous list, there have been many dragon enemies in the Zelda games, as well as friendly dragons. They range from more traditional ones in Twilight Princess to slightly more goofy ones in Skyward Sword and Wind Waker, to something truly bad ass and cool in Ocarina of Time, namely Volvagia. If Volvagia is the dragon amongst dragons, then Aquamentus is the ass amongst the horses (or possibly a mule).
There’s just really no defending this derpy creation of Miyamoto’s. It’s basically just a cartoony dragon with a prominent unicorn horn stuck to its forehead. It looks more cute than threatening and adding insult to injury, it’s probably the easiest boss in the very first Zelda title on the NES.
It’s little wonder why the Aquamentus never made another appearance in the game series. The only occasion where I think I’ve even been happy to see the Aquamentus was during its very short appearance in the Zelda cartoon series. Beyond that, there just isn’t a whole lot to this creature.
The Bombchus in Ocarina of Time were my favourite “item” to use for blowing up enemies from a distance. Plus, they were really cute for being explosive inanimate objects. Then for some reason, while they were making Majora’s Mask, Nintendo decided that it would be a “fun” idea to make an actual enemy based on the Bombchu.
I’ve never experienced quite so much anxiety in Zelda games (except maybe around Like-Likes) as I have with these little bastards. Once the Bombchu notices you, it immediately runs for you and wont stop until it blows up.
Of course, I’ve since learned that the best way to defend yourself from a Bombchu is just bumping it back and up into the air with your shield. As such, Bombchu’s aren’t even that difficult of an enemy. Plus, they just look stupid.
Quite simply Nintendo, if you can’t be bothered to actually come up with a new enemy, don’t just take an established mythological creature and give them a horrible name (why is “Hello… is it me you’re looking for?” suddenly playing in my head).
This is exactly what happened with Lynels. Quite simply put, they’re just Centaurs with swords which Nintendo renamed for no other reasons than to hide their original source of inspiration. Just for comparison’s sake, I’d like to point to Motaro from the Mortal Kombat franchise. He looks like Centaur, he acts like a Centaur and within that game universe’s continuity, he’s a frickin’ Centaur.
Nintendo, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
A topic I touched upon in my previous blog was how I’m constantly disappointed by the exclusion of recognisable and classic Zelda baddies from newer instalments of the series, like Skyward Sword. In addition, Nintendo keeps coming up with new horrible monsters which simply can’t compare to their prior creations. And okay, creating enemies is a hit or miss process – but The Imprisoned simply shouldn’t have made its way into the finished game.
The Imprisoned doesn’t even look like a Zelda monster. This thing would be more at home in a Donkey Kong or maybe even a Yoshi game. Especially considering that the method of putting down this beasty involves slashing away at its toes and later its fingers. Quite simply put, The Imprisoned just looks horrible and feels way more cartoony than a giant and, may I add, recurring Zelda boss should.
If it weren’t for the fact that the boss fight was at least somewhat fun, this creature could have easily made it higher on the list.
The Flying Pineapple of Death also known as the Peahat takes the cake for one of the dumbest enemy designs and names in the Zelda franchise. Peahats are practically invulnerable during flight and just a general pain in the ass in pretty much every Zelda game they appear in.
Sure, the giant versions in Ocarina of Time are a little scary, but in Twilight Princess they were basically reduced to being flying anchor points for Link’s Dual Clawshots.
I generally have a problem with turning plants into enemies, but the Peahat feels like it’s trying a little too hard.
On a general level, I don’t have a huge problem with ghost enemies in video-games. The Poes though really annoy me. They have an irritating cackle and they like to become invisible to avoid being hurt by your attacks which tends to drag out your fights with them a lot. And they’re just annoying little ghost shits.
What perhaps irritates me more is that Nintendo decided to name them after my favourite author, Edgar Allan Poe. The Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time, where you have to defeat four Poes to finally gain access to the inner chamber is one of my least favourite dungeons simply because you have to deal with the Poes so many times.
Poes are generally annoying in later games as well. I hated having to go after them in the Desert Temple in Twilight Princess and the scythe-wielding versions from that very same game could also be real asshats at times.
Keese are the bane of every Zelda fan’s existence. No matter what Zelda game you turn to, they are always there. Swooping around erratically, flying into Link, draining precious hearts, setting him on fire or magically freezing him in place.
There are so many ways in which the Keese suck it’s hard for me to list them all. What it all comes down to is that they’re just bats. It’s annoying that such a small enemy will hold you up and block your path in a video-game. And what’s even more annoying is that due to their simple designs, they’re more than likely to keep on reappearing in later Zeldas as well.
I just hate Keese.
Am I the only one who thinks that the Bokoblins in Skyward Sword just looked stupid as all hell. One of the many small ways in which Nintendo could have made that specific game better would have been by ditching the annoying and stupid looking Bokoblins, who appear throughout the game, with the much more likeable Moblins.
I seriously couldn’t take the Bokoblins seriously as enemies and the fact that there are so many of them and such a huge variety just made me dislike Skyward Sword even more. Beating these guys isn’t even that rewarding. So they block attacks coming from a certain angle? Big deal, so can I.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me that Bokoblins were also the goblin like enemies seen throughout Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. If the Bokoblins aren’t going away any time soon, could Nintendo just do us all a favour and stick with either one of these prior incarnations of the character – because, frankly, Bokoblins just plain old suck.