Arbiter's Grounds (Dungeon)

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This article is about the Dungeon in Twilight Princess. For the location in Breath of the Wild, see Arbiter's Grounds.

The Arbiter's Grounds is the fourth dungeon in Twilight Princess.

Entrance to the Grounds

The Arbiter's Grounds is located at the far end of the Gerudo Desert. Link reaches the Dungeon after infiltrating the Bulblin Camp and defeating King Bulblin. The entrance to the Grounds itself is uninhabited, except for an Imp Poe that appears at night on one side of it.

Themes and Navigation

The Arbiter's Grounds was a prison built to house Hyrule's most ruthless criminals while they awaited trial, execution, or exile to the Twilight Realm.[1] It has a connection to the Spirit Temple in Ocarina of Time,[2] with both containing a statue of a woman wrapped in a snake. The Mirror Chamber, home to an ancient relic known as the Mirror of Twilight, stands atop the ruins of the Arbiter's Grounds, where the sacred council of the Sages presides over the cursed Grounds, conducting trials and executions of convicted criminals. Its appearance from afar resembles the Roman Colosseum, but inside it resembles an Egyptian tomb.

The Dungeon contains four floors and two basements. The first section is very similar to the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time, as it requires tracking down and defeating four unique Poes in order to light four torches and proceed into the inner sanctums of the prison. Link must use his Wolf Form to learn the Poe Scent and follow the Poes' essence, which helps him seek them out. After destroying each Poe, one of the four torches in the main room becomes lit; once all four torches are lit, a door leading deeper into the prison opens and Link is able to advance to the second part of the Dungeon, where new and different types of obstacles and objects await him, including metallic rails that Link can ride along once he obtains the ancient device known as the Spinner.

The Arbiter's Grounds teems with the undead. Its halls are haunted by vengeful Enemies, from Stalfos and Stalchildren to Gibdos and Bubbles, and even a pack of Ghoul Rats. Link also encounters swarms of Poison Mites, which threaten to slow him down and pull him under the pits of Quicksand that fill the Dungeon. The Spinner is protected by the Dungeon's Middle Boss, Death Sword, a vengeful spirit that haunts the sword it once wielded in life. In addition to riding rails to access otherwise inaccessible areas, the Spinner is necessary for activating a Switch which allows Link to make his way to the Boss. There are two Pieces of Heart that Link can obtain in the Dungeon.

Deep within the Arbiter's Grounds lies the remains of a fierce beast, Stallord. Its skeleton is reanimated when Zant unexpectedly appears and stabs the Scimitar of Twilight through the creature's skull. Link is able to defeat it using a combination of the Spinner and the Master Sword. After clearing the Dungeon, Link can obtain a Heart Container and progress to the Mirror Chamber outside, where the Mirror of Twilight is found.

Minor Enemies

Other Appearances

Link's Crossbow Training

Link attacking a group of Bulblins in the Ranger mode

In Link's Crossbow Training, the Arbiter's Grounds is the location of two stages. The first is in Stage 1, which is played as a Ranger level. Link can freely roam the area to destroy the 25 Bulblins during the set time allotment. This task takes place outside of the Dungeon in a network of fences, towers, gates, and ruined stone walls. The Bulblins, wielding clubs, will rush towards Link, though they are not much of a threat, as one shot eliminates them. Bulblin Archers can be found mostly in higher vantage points along walls and in towers.

The second occurrence is in Stage 7, and is actually set inside a hallway of the Dungeon. The Targets rotate in and out of range from the ceiling in the first scene. The second moves Targets along the Spinner rails towards Link. The final area normally encountered is set immediately before a doorway with Gibdos constantly rising from the Sand. An alternative end scene can be unlocked by shooting the Scarecrows eight times and bursting the head for 1000 points in the first two scenes. This ends the stage at the opposite end of the chamber's hall facing a wall. No Gibdos will appear, but several Targets and bonus gold colored Targets will fill the screen.

Hyrule Warriors

In Hyrule Warriors, the Arbiter's Grounds appear in the Gerudo Desert stage, although it is much smaller, being reduced to three halls and two Keeps. It sometimes serves as the headquarters of Forces in various maps of Adventure Mode and Legend Mode.


  • The Hylian text on the Dungeon Map and the Map of Hyrule shows the name of the Dungeon as Arbiter's Keep.
  • Gerudo typography appears commonly on the markings on the walls of the Dungeon, implying that the Gerudo were involved in the Dungeon's construction. This typography also appears particularly prominent around the resting place of the Spinner and locations where it is designed to be used.
  • Besides the Imp Poe in Jovani's House, the four Poes inside the Grounds are the only ones that must be defeated in order to proceed in the game.
  • Each Sage residing in the Mirror Chamber corresponds to a Sage from Ocarina of Time regarding their emblems, representing the six Sage Medallions that need to be retrieved in that game, except for the Sage of the Water Medallion, whom Ganondorf had slain.
  • Throughout the Dungeon, images of the Triforce can be seen in places such as above the first Locked Gate and above the great door closed by the four Poes. One room also contains three torches in a triangle shape.
  • Four of the Sage Medallions' symbols - Water, Spirit, Fire, and Light - are inscribed above the doorways in Arbiter's Grounds.
  • A picture of Arbiter's Grounds can be found in Snowpeak Ruins, in the room that Yeta is sitting in.
  • Arbiter's Grounds is the only Dungeon in the game (aside from Hyrule Castle) where Midna does not create an exit portal after the Boss is defeated.


The word "arbiter" is another word for a judge or a mediator, an authorized person who makes and passes judgment to settle conflicts.

Names in Other Regions
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  1. "The Gerudo Desert once held a prison built to hold the worst criminals this land has ever known... The criminals who were sentenced to death were sent directly to the underworld by a cursed mirror that was kept in the prison... Now that prison is condemned, and even the road leading to the desert is impassable." — Auru (Twilight Princess)
  2. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 45