Sword & Shield Maze

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The Sword & Shield Maze,[1] also known as the Sword & Shield Dungeon,[name references needed] is the eighth and final dungeon in Oracle of Seasons. It is also the only dungeon located in Subrosia.

Entrance to the Maze

The entrance to the Sword & Shield Maze is at the "mouth" of a human-looking volcano. Its eyes follow Link's movements. The dungeon is found in the northwestern corner of the Subrosian Volcanoes. This secluded section of Subrosia can only be accessed from a portal within the Temple Remains where the Temple of Seasons once stood. This dungeon is the only dungeon of the game where the Maku Tree cannot direct Link to the entrance. This is likely because the dungeon is not in Holodrum at all.

In a Linked Game, when Link enters the dungeon, Princess Zelda leaves her refuge to encourage the populace of Holodrum to prevent them from giving in to the destruction that now surrounds them, as the end of the game draws near. Zelda does so against the wishes of Impa, who wishes her to remain hidden.[2][3][4]

Themes and Navigation

The theme of this dungeon centers around polar opposites: the first floor of the dungeon is ice-themed, while the basement is fire and lava-themed. Also, the first floor of the dungeon, when seen from above, resembles a shield while the first basement resembles a sword, hence the name of the dungeon. These opposites are further interlinked by the fact that, in Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, defense is usually represented by the color blue (i.e., the Blue Ring), and offense is usually represented by the color red (i.e. the Red Ring). Fittingly, the mini-boss of the dungeon is Frypolar, a fire-and-ice enemy. The item obtained in the dungeon is the Level-2 Hyper Slingshot.

The Magnetic Gloves are used extensively, required to manipulate an N Ball and Magunesu, as well as to pull Link to a far-away "S" Stone. The icy floors of the ice section of the dungeon cause Link to slip and slide, making navigation rather difficult. This problem can be solved using the Snowshoe Ring. At a certain point in the dungeon, Link finds magical Ice Crystals on the ice-themed floor. These must be thrown down to the fire floor in order to harden the lava, which allows Link to navigate further into the basement of the dungeon,[5][6] which contains a Dial in the Dial Room as well as a large Lava lake.

The boss of the dungeon is the fearful Medusa Head. Defeating the boss garners Link a Heart Container as well as the Changing Seasons, the final Essence of Nature.

Minor Enemies

Trivia

  • The American version of Oracle of Seasons is the only version to name this dungeon a maze. In all other versions, it is simply called "Sword & Shield Dungeon".
    • Additionally, the term "Sword & Shield Dungeon" also appears in the American version when one brings up the dungeon map, leading to the dungeon having inconsistent naming in the American version.

Nomenclature

Names in Other Regions
LanguageNamesMeanings
The Italian Republic
Italian
Dungeon Spada e Scudo[7]Same as English.
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.

Gallery

References

  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 151
  2. "Zelda! No! Don't leave the refuge! Not now!" — Impa (Oracle of Seasons)
  3. "Let go of me! I cannot stand by while the people live in fear of destruction!" — Princess Zelda (Oracle of Seasons)
  4. "No matter how frightening it is, you must not lose hope! Hope is the one thing that can lead you to peace!" — Princess Zelda (Oracle of Seasons)
  5. "Icy cores make piercing blades." — Owl Stone (Oracle of Seasons)
  6. "The magical ice freezes all." — Owl Stone (Oracle of Seasons)
  7. "Livello 8
    Dungeon Spada e Scudo
    " — N/A (Oracle of Seasons, Italian localization)