Skull Woods

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Not to be confused with Skeleton Forest, or Skull Dungeon from Oracle of Ages.

The Skull Woods,[1] also known as the Level 3,[2] is a recurring Dungeon in The Legend of Zelda series.[note 1]


A Link to the Past

Entrance to the Skull Woods

The Skull Woods dungeon is found in the Skeleton Forest (the Dark World counterpart of the Lost Woods), north of the Village of Outcasts. However, the two entrances north of the Village of Outcasts are impassable, so Link must use the entrance farther to the east.

Unlike other dungeons, Skull Woods has a vast number of entrances throughout the forest, hidden within large, gaping skulls. It is also possible to enter the dungeon by dropping through pits in the forest floor. The dungeon sprawls under almost the entirety of the Skeleton Forest. The number of entrances to this dungeon, a total of eight in all, as well as the disconnected sections of the dungeon, makes it entirely unique among Zelda dungeons. The variety of entrances make for a labyrinthine layout, which can get very disorienting. The dungeon also makes heavy use of Star Tiles, which rearrange the layout of the pitfalls found on the floors throughout the dungeon.

While Link can enter almost any entrance first, the section of the dungeon that leads to the boss is cut off from the rest of the dungeon, similar to the Desert Palace. To reach the Dungeon Master, Link must enter a huge insect-like skull near the resting place of the Master Sword in the Light World. To enter this part of the dungeon, Link will first have to obtain the Fire Rod, then locate the correct exit to reach this final section.

Despite being called “Level 3”, Link can conquer four other dungeons before even entering. Those dungeons are the Palace of Darkness, Swamp Palace, Thieves’ Town, and Misery Mire.

Themes and Navigation

The dungeon introduces the powerful Gibdos to the game, which are weak to fire but take many sword hits to kill. It also features the notorious Wallmaster, who for the first time in the series drops from the ceiling, dragging Link back to where he entered the dungeon. To reach the Fire Rod, Link will have to destroy an entire wall to reach the Big Chest, which is otherwise inaccessible. The Fire Rod is vital in the dungeon, able to destroy the immensely resilient Gibdos (as well as Wallmasters) in one hit, and is required to light torches from a distance so Link can reach the Dungeon Master, Mothula. Mothula is also unique among bosses in the game, as the room itself is more of an enemy than it is, with a moving floor and unpredictable Traps lining the arena. After defeating it, Link will receive a Heart Container and the third Crystal.

Minor Enemies

A Link Between Worlds

Entrance to the Skull Woods

The entrance to Skull Woods

Skull Woods is in the Skull Woods Region of Lorule, directly north of Thieves' Town. The temple can be accessed through the southeastern entrance to the woods.

Themes and Navigation

The Skull Woods is a set of haunted catacombs beneath the forest which features numerous entrances and exits, including some that are merely hidden pits in the earth above. The dungeon is infested with Wallmasters, with several puzzles that require Link to actually exploit the Wallmasters' instincts by tricking them into pouncing on switches or crumbling floors. The dungeon also introduces a new type of switch, activated by placing crystal eyes into statues.

Just like in the dungeon of the same name from A Link to the Past, the Skull Woods dungeon requires Link to find various exits back into the forest, so that he can find a different entrance to proceed with the dungeon.

The Compass is in the northeastern room of the first floor; the chest is already visible and can be opened immediately. The Big Key is at the northernmost point of the first floor--in the northwestern room. Link must first complete the crystal eye puzzle by placing the two irises inside their eye statues on the north side of the room. After the puzzle is completed, the chest containing the Big Key can be accessed.

The Master Ore chest can be found on a ledge in the northwestern room of the first floor (same room as the Big Key, just on the opposite end). To access it, Link must fall through a hidden hole in the Skull Woods area and land on the southeastern ledge of the correct room. He can then Wall Merge to get to the ledge that the chest is on.

Minor Enemies


  • In the Japanese version of A Link to the Past, both the Skeleton Forest and Skull Woods share the same name, Dokuro no Mori, meaning "Skull Forest". There is no apparent distinction between the forest and the Dungeon itself in terms of their name. This also applies to the Thieves' Town and Misery Mire Dungeons.
  • With clever routing, it is possible to finish the A Link to the Past Dungeon with two extra Small Keys. This makes it the game's shortest Dungeon, consisting of only 13 rooms, including the Boss room.
  • In A Link Between Worlds, Skull Woods is one of two Dungeons not based around or requiring any Items from Ravio's Shop; the other being Thieves' Hideout.


Names in Other Regions
ドクロの森 (Dokuro no Mori) (ALttP | ALBW)[7][8]Skull Forest
Forêt des Squelettes (ALBW)[13] 
The French Republic
Forêt de squelettes (ALBW)[12] 
The Federal Republic of Germany
Skelettwald (ALBW)[9] 
The Italian Republic
Bosco d'Ossa (ALttP | ALBW)[5][6]Bone Woods
The Republic of Korea
해골 숲 (Haegol Sup) (ALBW)[10]Skull Woods
Latin America
Bosque de Osamentas (ALBW)[11] 
The Kingdom of Spain
Bosque de Osamentas (ALBW) 
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


  1. The Skull Woods were referred to as Skull Dungeon and Skull Palace in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past—Nintendo Player's Guide by Nintendo of America.[3][4] However, as these contradict the name given in Encyclopedia, they are not considered Canon.


  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 147 (ALttP) & 158 (ALBW)
  2. "Level 3
    Skull Woods
    " — N/A (A Link to the Past, Game Boy Advance version)
  3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past—Nintendo Player's Guide, Nintendo of America, pg. 84
  4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past—Nintendo Player's Guide, Nintendo of America, pg. 127
  5. "3 Bosco d'Ossa" — Credits (A Link to the Past, Italian localization)
  6. "Quello è il Bosco d'Ossa." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds, Italian localization)
  7. Nintendo Official Guidebook: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Vol. 2, Shogakukan, pg. 3
  8. "そこにはドクロの森があります" — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
  9. "Dort liegt der Skelettwald." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
  10. "그곳에는 해골 숲이 있습니다" — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
  11. "Te encuentras cerca del Bosque de Osamentas." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
  12. "La forêt de squelettes s'étend devant toi." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
  13. "Tu te trouves dans la forêt des Squelettes." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)