As part of our month-long spotlight on boss battles, we’ve decided to dedicate this week to the boss battles found in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
One of the many highlights in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is defeating all four Divine Beasts and each Ganon creation who you find at the end of each gigantic monstrosity. We’ve already written about Vah Ruta, the elephant-shaped creature drowning the lands of Hyrule with the flood of water spitting from its trunk. Of the four, Ruta is perhaps the second most interesting of the bunch but for my money, the most exciting dungeon is without a doubt found in the Gerudo desert.
The path to the Vah Naboris main quest begins in Gerudo Town in the far southwest of Hyrule after Link ventures across the lonely wastelands of the desert. The Divine Beast has been stirring up quite the storm making it hard for the Gerudo people to traverse the desert due to the massive sandstorms it has been creating.
There’s something just so damn intriguing about this mélange of Spaghetti western iconography and East Indian spiritualism, named after Nabooru, the Sage of Spirit. Vah Naboris resembles a camel. Its element is thunder and its humps are actually powerful lightning generators, which it uses to protect itself. The interior of the Divine Beast is split into 3 cylinders, each of which can rotate a full 360 degrees.
The Vah Naboris main quest is simply put, epic. Not only does it include some of the game’s most challenging encounters and puzzles but it also opens the doors to several side quests. The camel is an electrifying creature, but one you can overcome with enough determination and a sharp wit. You’ll be required to ride a sand seal, show off your archery skills and deactivate the glutton by rotating parts of the large cylindrical room inside the mechanical creature. This will allow you to move around and open up new areas, and align electrical wires to power up certain places. With its whirl of arresting visuals and its puzzle-within-a-maze-within-a-puzzle of nauseating dizziness, the Devine Beast is certainly the most daring and original dungeon of the game, as well as a visual tour de force. It’s a sublime brain-twister of a challenge that plays out so intricately on so many levels that a bathroom break comes at your own peril.
Of course, like every dungeon in this game, at the very end, you will face off against one of Ganon’s creations, this time, Thunderblight Ganon, arguably the best of the four. Thunderblight Ganon can be frustrating, especially if this is the first dungeon in the game you attempt to beat – mainly because unlike other incarnations, he actually provides a real challenge. When he’s not throwing balls of electric energy at you, he’ll teleport around the room making it difficult for you to keep up. You’ll need to rely on fast reflexes and dodge his attacks before repeatedly attacking its shield, leaving him stunned and executing a perfectly aimed flurry attack to deal some damage. And just when you think you have the fight under control, things will get more deadly as he purposely attacks from a distance striking with a bolt of lightning while metal spikes fall from the ceiling. And if he hits you, not only does your health drop but you’ll be momentarily paralyzed and lose your weapons as well.
All in all, the entire dungeon is a great visionary achievement, so original and exciting, it stirred my imagination like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The ambition on display is huge, and you’ll emerge feeling as if you’ve just destroyed a boldly constructed wonder with plenty of paradoxical architecture. While Breath of the Wild has been criticized for a lack of dungeons, Vah Naboris is one of the most intoxicating, challenging and beautiful offerings of the entire Legend of Zelda series, so far.