And here we are, the final countdown. All but one of these bosses is from my four core Zelda's, which by now you've probably figured out are A Link to the Past, The Wind Waker, Minish Cap, and Twilight Princess. Nine of these bosses are a huge part of why I love their respective games so much, and the last one is tragically one of the only good parts in what is an otherwise thoroughly forgettable title.
But we're not here to talk about which games are good. This is a list of the best bosses, and for that we've got to start by handing it to...
10. Mazaal (MC)
Mazaal finishes off the Fortress of Winds, which is unusual among Zelda dungeons for its Aztec/Maya temple theme. Mazaal's link to that theme needs no explanation, but it's mechanical link to the dungeon is an even more impressive work of boss design. By the time you reach this fight, you've acquired at least the Pegasus Boots, the Bow, and the Mole Mitts since last fighting a boss, all of which play a role here. You need the Bow to disable Mazaal's hands without being grabbed and the Pegasus Boots can be helpful for escaping from some of its faster attacks.
The Mole Mitts are where it really shines. If you disable both hands, Mazaal will temporarily turn off and fall to the ground. You can then use a Minish transformer to shrink down and run into its nose, where you'll need to dig through the accumulated dirt and dust to strike at its core. Repeat that a couple of times and you'll be free to climb the stairs to the peak of the Fortress and claim the Flute.
Mazaal is nearly unique among bosses for its theme and mechanics, but nonetheless there are two bosses left ahead of it that better represent each aspect. Beyond slightly preferring those fights, the only complaint I have about Mazaal is that, like all regular MC bosses, it does not get a unique theme. Still, even that's not a big deal since MC's base boss theme is plenty good:
9. Fyrus (TP)
Fyrus has the best introduction cutscene of any Zelda boss. It was actually jaw-dropping when I saw it for the first time in 2007, and even if TP's graphics aren't up to produce the same reaction now, it's still impressive today. Fyrus is a fire monster who was seemingly imprisoned in the core of the Goron Mines and is more than ready to take out its anger on Link.
In an ideal world, Fyrus' mechanics would've been as impressive as its design, but unfortunately what we actually got is a challenge to shoot it in the face with and then trip it with its own chains while it's running around blinded. Kind of an undignified end for poor Fyrus.
Thankfully, the music is here to save the day!
8. Dark Links (aLttP-FS)
I love the concept of the Dark Links. Zelda isn't known for optional dungeons, but the GBA remake of A Link to the Past quietly added the Palace of the Four Sword, which can only be accessed after beating both the original game and Four Swords on the same save file. It contains all sorts of extra hard remixes of bosses and rooms from the original game, most notably including new fights against Arrghus, Helmasaur King, Mothula, and Blind. If you reach the very end, you find yourself in a dojo-style room where the Four Swords fly out and become Dark Links.
From there, you face off against each of the Dark Links in sequence, with each having a different mix of your skills and abilities. It's an absolute marathon of a fight that is considerably harder than anything else in the game, and possibly even the entire series. It's an extremely cool way to link the two games together and provide a reward for finishing each of them.
Alas, it doesn't get its own theme and there's still another aLttP boss left to cover, so there's no music for this entry.
7. Eox (PH)
Eox makes me sad. It's my number 7 boss in the entire series, and it's forever sentenced to be near the end of a game that is simply not worth playing as much of as you'd need to in order to fight it. And that game used the same terrible theme for every boss, so you've got to listen to some of the worst boss music Zelda has to offer even if you do get there.
But if you put the issues of Phantom Hourglass itself aside and only look at Eox, it's brilliant. It's a towering stone monster that Link has to slowly chip away using catapults. When all of its armor is gone and you're left fighting a giant wooden skeleton, there's nothing left to do but fling yourself at its weak points until there's nothing left but its head, which can be finished in more traditional style.
Breaking something giant into pieces like this is always fun, and I can't think of anything comparable in another Zelda game. It's like a boss from another series snuck in for this one fight that many fans would never see. I'm glad this concept got its day in the sun, but I wish it had been in a bigger and better game.
6. Trinexx (aLttP)
As much as I love the Dark Links, there was never any doubt in my mind about which aLttP boss would come out on top. It was only a question of where my favorite three-headed rock dragon would land on the list.
Trinexx scores well in just about all of my categories. It's a great Rule of Cool design, it has a wide variety of attacks that can threaten link, the music is fantastic (if not unique), and most important to this battle, it makes use of a wide variety of Link's weapons. The initial phase has you trying to defeat the fire and ice heads, which are weak to their opposite rods. Both of them have sweeping elemental attacks that make i