Throughout many decades, The Legend of Zelda series has been very popular among gamers, and has become well known throughout the world. Most gamers and even many non-gamers recognize the game, the famous characters, or at least the Triforce symbol. It’s a series that has often reached critical acclaim and has become one of most popular game series for Nintendo.
What the Zelda games are also well-known for is their accessibility. People of different ages could enjoy the games, kids and adults alike. While there was often fantasy violence and maybe a bit of blood, most games didn’t exceed the E10+ rating (The exception being Twilight Princess). They were great adventure games that most kids over the age of 10 could play with few problems.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Zelda games didn’t have moments that were genuinely scary, disturbing, and creepy. You don’t have that many games without getting a few disturbing storylines, creepy enemies, and unsettling characters. And surprisingly, the Zelda series has quite a few creepy moments. So, I’m going to talk about 20 times The Legend of Zelda series got rather creepy.
Keep in mind that this isn’t comprehensive list of creepy moments for Zelda. But I felt that these particular moments were ones that stuck out in my mind as genuinely disturbing and creepy, especially considering these Zelda games were played by kids.
If you think there are some even creepier moments in The Legend of Zelda games, be sure to comment below!
20 A Truly Disturbing Vision
In Twilight Princess, after you cleanse the Lanaryu Province from the Twilight, the Spirit Lanayru gives you more background on the beings of the Twilight Realm, the beginning, and what happened. This is all done through what is likely the strangest vision that’s ever come out of Zelda.
The vision starts out innocently enough, but slowly gets stranger as we get images of Link and his friend Ilia with white eyes, evil Link, Ilia with a dagger, and more. The vision ends with several Ilias falling from the sky slowly all while laughing. This vision is unlike anything the Zelda games has really done. It’s strange and rather unsettling, making it a rather creepy vision. It makes sense for it to be in Twilight Princess since this game is a bit darker in tone. It definitely is a scene that we won’t forget anytime soon.
19 This Scream Will Paralyze You
The Redeads in general are a pretty creepy enemy, but their creepy factor is upped quite a bit in Ocarina of Time. Their appearance looks like a malnourished human with sightless eyes. If that isn’t creepy enough, they constantly let out these low moans as you come near them.
But the most frightening aspect about these guys is the way they attack. If Link gets close enough to a Redead, it lets out this horrifying shriek that causes Link to freeze up in fear. Then the Redead slowly walks over to him. If it gets close enough to Link, it will jump on him, wrap its legs around him and start biting. What makes this so creepy is that moment when you’re desperately trying to get Link to move out of his frozen state while this ghoul-like creature is slowly coming towards him. It’s a subtle kind of horror that was done rather well.
18 The Deadliest Climb
The Ancient Cistern dungeon in Skyward Sword is regarded favorably by many gamers, mostly for its originality and interesting use of water. But what really sets this dungeon apart are its two contrasting levels.
The top part of the dungeon is brightly lit with a huge statue in the middle, resembling Buddha. But when you find your way down to the bottom of the dungeon, you get an entirely different setting. In this area, it feels like you’ve walked into the underworld, with a giant skull in the background, pools of toxic water, and undead bokoblins coming up out of the ground. But the greatest (and creepiest) part is exiting this area. The only way to get out is to climb up this thin line that will take you up to the statue room above ground. But as you start climbing, many undead bokoblins start to follow you up the line. So while you’re climbing, you’re also fighting off these undead creatures as you slowly make your way from this ghastly underworld to the light. It’s creepy and thrilling, making it a fun element to the dungeon.
17 This Invasion May Spell Your Doom
At the Romani Ranch, Romani will ask you on the first day to help her fight off the ghosts that will come to invade the ranch and steal the cows. If you stick around for the ghosts to arrive, you’ll find out that these “ghosts” are likely aliens. Yes, aliens in Zelda.
The aliens are pretty unnerving, and the music surrounding them really adds to the creepy atmosphere. It gets even creepier should you fail to stop the “ghosts” from reaching the barn. They then take the cows and Romani. If you come back to Romani Ranch on the third day, you’ll see that Romani is back, but something is... off about her. She seems a bit spaced out and not all that present. The implications of what happened to her are rather unsettling.
16 A Temple Of Death And Torture
Out of all the temples and dungeons that Link goes to in Ocarina of Time, the Shadow Temple is definitely the creepiest. The atmosphere in this place is just dripping with death and torture. Throughout the temple, you’ll find various torture devices, suspicious bloodstains on the grounds, trap doors, death traps, and all sorts of ghoulish enemies. Half the time, Link isn’t just in danger from enemies, but from the temple itself.
If that isn’t creepy enough, the music makes it even worse. It has some rhythmic drums and creepy sighing vocals. It’s not particularly loud or flashy music, but the subtle darkness of it is what really adds to the creepiness of this entire dungeon. You can practically feel the presence of the souls of those that perished here screaming out for some sort of relief. It’s creepy, unsettling, and even a little sad.
15 These Transformations May Be Incredibly Painful
The whole concept of these three masks transformation masks in Majora's Mask is a little creepy in of itself since they came to Link as a result of the death of someone (he actually witnesses Mikau the Zora die). And when Link puts on the mask, he is transforming into that dead person.
What adds to this creepiness is the whole scene that happens when Link puts on the mask. He starts out gasping, choking and then he finally screams as the mask on his face contorts into some sort of expression of pain. Then a bright flash of light happens, and Link is transformed. Granted after the first time, you can skip these scenes by pushing a button, but the implication of this is that every time Link puts on this mask, he goes through a process that looks and sounds very painful. Think about how many times you put on the different masks and it gets a little disturbing.
14 A Truly Horrifying Yeti
As you search for the shards of the Twilight Mirror in Twilight Princess, one is found in the ruins of a giant mansion in the middle of SnowPeak. The only residents there are two yetis named Yeto and Yeta. Both are fairly friendly creatures and are willing to help you get the mirror shard.
Eventually Yeta leads you to room where the shard is. As she gazes at the mirror shard, she croons about how pretty it is. Then something strange starts to happen. Her face starts to twitch as she grunts. Then her head turns around completely to reveal the face of a dark twisted creature with fangs and red eyes. This scene is rather terrifying. To see a gentle creature like Yeta suddenly become a shrieking demon-like creature is both jarring and frightening.
13 The Creepiest Final Boss
Maybe this was just me as a kid, but I found the final battle in Majora’s Mask to be terrifying. You fight Majora’s Mask in three stages, the first one being the mask itself, the second having the mask growing limbs and an eye, and the third having the mask grow a head with sightless eyes. The design of this final boss is very creepy, and the area that you fight in is strange and a little trippy.
Everything about this battle is unsettling; the design of Majora’s mask, the way it fights you and the way it transforms into the different stage are all surprisingly creepy. Even just looking at the mask itself is pretty creepy with its eyes that seem to bore into your soul. Overall, that entire battle was just plain freaky.
12 The Curse Of The Sword
Death Sword is a mini-boss in the dungeon Arbiter’s Grounds in Twilight Princess. What makes the battle with Death Sword creepy is actually the introduction to this enemy.
As you first step into the room, you see this giant sword half buried in the ground. There are several glowing ropes tied from the sword to the ground. Various charms seem to hang from these ropes, so you can tell that this thing is supposed to be sealed here. So, you go and slice one of the ropes, of course. The sword then breaks away and seems to move about on its own. But if you transform into a wolf and use your senses, you can see the wielder, a seriously creepy ghost that then screams at you as it tries to kill you. This guy’s creepiness mostly comes from the atmosphere around it, but it’s still pretty grotesque.
11 A Surprisingly Disturbing Man
Some gamers may see Tingle to just be a little weird, but others have found him to be a bit creepy. This is a thirty-year-old man who dresses up in green tights (because he believes he’s a fairy) and spends his days dancing around. Something about this is just a little unnerving. His fixation on Link as a fairy is also a little creepy.
Another issue is when you meet him in Wind Waker. He’s in a cell for unknown reasons, but if you set him free, you can look around his cell to find a hidden tunnel. After crawling through a maze of tunnels, you eventually find a room where the Pictobox is, something that Tingle apparently stole. What’s creepy about this is that there are several bones and skulls in this room as well, implying that Tingle may have done more than just steal to get landed in that cell.
10 It's The End Of The World As We Know it
Toward the end of the Third Day in Majora's Mask, you see that the moon has gotten closer and closer to Clock Town. (Also, the moon itself is seriously creepy with its angry face just staring at you all the time.) Now normally, you would just play the Song of Time on your ocarina, and you will go back in time to the 1st day. But what happens if you don’t do that and you let the time run out?
Well you get a really disturbing cut scene where the moon crashes down on Clock Town, destroying everything, and showing Link dying in the backlash. Everything then fades to black and you hear the Happy Mask Salesman chuckle and say “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” And then it’s game over. Basically, if you let the time run out, the world ends and you die. That’s pretty messed up.
9 They're Hiding In The Walls (And The Ceiling)
Most Zelda gamers can share the pain of the Wallmasters. If these creatures grab you, they take you back to the beginning of the dungeon, which could be incredibly annoying. Their design was a little creepy since they were basically giant disembodied hands. The ones from Ocarina of Time also walked around, looking creepily similar to a spider.
What was particularly creepy about the Wallmasters was the fact that they could come out of nowhere. They were particularly creepy in Ocarina of Time, where the only warning you got was that Link’s shadow seemed to get bigger as it descended on you. If you didn’t move Link away in time the Wallmaster would grab him by his head and take him away as he’s screaming. It’s a seriously disturbing moment, making these enemies frightening ones to battle.
8 You Can't Escape The Deku Scrubs
When Link first confronts the Skull Kid in Majora's Mask after he steals Link’s horse and ocarina, the Skull Kid decides to play a joke on him and transform him into a Deku Scrub. This whole sequence of the transformation is both rather trippy and creepy.
The scene has Link surrounded by menacing looking Deku Scrubs, from which Link tries to run away. As he’s running, you see a giant Deku Scrub chase him and eventually overtake him. All of this is happening with the background noise of the Skull Kid’s mask rattling and the rustling of the Deku Scrubs. It’s pretty weird and rather creepy, especially since the Deku Scrubs’ eyes give off a really creepy vibe. It’s a great scene that’s really creepy, but pretty cool.
7 The Curse Of The Most Terrifying Spiders
In Ocarina of Time, if you go into a house in Kakariko Village, you’ll find it empty inside, but when you go in further, you’ll find several Skulltula. But these aren’t ordinary Skulltula, they’re people cursed by the Skulltula for their greed. You make a deal with them that you will find and destroy the Gold Skulltulas in the world in order to transform them back into human.
What’s creepy about these people is their appearance. They look to be part spider part human, and it’s pretty grotesque. They all also have this same sort of pained look in their eyes, like they’re suffering. If you talk to any of the cursed people, they will all say things like “Yeaargh! I’m cursed!” It’s just an unsettling place with creepily designed human spider hybrids.
6 There's Something Off About This Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman is the one who sets you off on your quest to retrieve Majora’s Mask from the Skull Kid, since he was the one the Skull Kid stole the mask from. In general, the Happy Mask Salesman is a little strange. He changes mood rather quickly and he seems to know a lot more than he’s letting on.
But the really creepy part is when he finds out that Link hasn’t gotten Majora’s Mask back to him yet, and he goes ballistic. His face is of pure rage and he’s shaking Link, yelling at him, asking why he doesn’t have it. Then just as quickly he goes back to his normal smiling self when Link tells him he’ll get it for him. That whole scene was creepy with just how quickly this guy went from angry to sad to happy.
5 These Fairies Are A Little Too Interested In You
The Great Fairies in the Zelda games are very powerful beings that help Link on his journey by giving him more power. Some give him a magic boost or more abilities, some enhance his clothing, and some give him more space in his quiver and bomb bag. No matter what though, these fairies are here to help Link out. So why are some of them creepy?
In Ocarina of Time, the design of the Great Fairies is just weird and a little creepy, not to mention that every time you meet one, she comes out of the fountain with this screeching laugh that sends your teeth on edge. In Breath of the Wild, the design of the Great Fairies is fine, but their actions toward Link are a little disturbing. Sometimes they kiss Link as a way to enhance his clothing, something he does not appreciate. And one action involves the Great Fairy grabbing Link and dragging him down into the depths of her fountain with Link screaming. The implications of these actions are what are pretty creepy.
4 Beware What's At The Bottom Of The Well
You come across Dead Hand as you’re going through the bottom of the well in Ocarina of Time, which is creepy enough in of itself. Dead Hand is a mini-boss that you must fight in order to get the lens of truth. But everything about this monster is incredibly grotesque and disturbing.
If the hands sprouting from the grounds isn’t freaky enough, the creature itself is pretty unnerving. Dead Hand has a humanoid shape with a very long neck and an unhinged jaw. Combine that with the fact that he’s incredibly pale with splotches of red on him, and it makes it even more freaky. His methods of attack are the most frightening, where one of the sprouting hands will hang onto Link until Dead Hand comes near enough to try to bite him. Everything about this guy is just dripping in horror and creepiness.
3 This Statue Just Screams Death
If you have Link play the Elegy of Emptiness on his Ocarina in Majora's Mask, Link can create a statue of his current form. This is handy for puzzles in dungeons that require him to be in two places at once. What’s cool is if Link plays this will in his Deku Scrub form, it will create a Deku Scrub statue, and so one with his other forms.
But what happens if he plays the song in his human form? Well he gets a statue that looks like him... sort of. Here’s the creepy part. The statue of Link does look like him, but it’s a little off, mostly with the expression on its face. The expression is very empty with flat, dead eyes, and a creepily forced smile. It’s unnerving and makes you not want to look at it for very long.
2 The Children Of The Night
Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time during the day is fairly harmless as you have Link walk around and explore. However that changes when night falls. If Link is walking around Hyrule Field at night, he’ll be attacked by the StalChildren. These are basically small skeleton creatures with glowing red eyes. You can pretty easily outrun them, and they’re also easy to defeat, but their appearance in general is just a little creepy. It’s also disturbing that you’re essentially locked out of Castle town at night when the drawbridge is raised, so then you’re stuck fighting these creatures all night.
What’s even creepier is the implications of their existence. These creatures basically look like the animated skeletons of children. If that’s the case, then what happened to the children, and why are there so many dead children in the Hyrule fields? It makes you wonder.
1 A Horrific Curse On This Family
When you go the Ikana Valley in Majora's Mask, you find a little house. In it resides a girl that refuses to let you inside the house. But if you sets a bomb off by the house, the little girl will come out and investigate, giving you room to sneak around her into the house. If you then go down into the basement, you’ll discover a wardrobe that’s moving a bit. If you get closer, then the door falls open and a partially mummified man comes out.
This mummy is limping slowly towards you, moaning piteously. But if you play the Song of Healing, the man then reverts back to his human form leaving behind the Gibdo Mask. The daughter then comes back and joyfully reunites with this man who is her father. It’s a rather touching ending to a seriously creepy story. We also don’t get any back story on this guy. Why was he partially mummified? What happened? It’s a strange story that’s seriously creepy.