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The Ancient Ruins are a recurring dungeon in The Legend of Zelda series.[1][2][note 1]


Link's Awakening

Entrance to the Ruins

The eastern side of Koholint Island houses two related shrines: the Face Shrine in the north, which serves as the sixth Dungeon, and the Ancient Ruins in the south that features a relief depicting the origins of Koholint Island. As Link travels to the Face Shrine he encounters the Owl, who suggests he first venture to the Ancient Ruins.[4]

The region features sandy terrain, with the sand covering a decorated stone path on the ground. Cracked stone walls and broken columns make navigating the area complicated as the path cannot be followed. Many Armos statues are situated among the Ruins, though approaching some of the statues reveal them to in fact be living enemies. Gels and Zols are also found in the area.

The region can only be accessed from the Shrine Waterfall region to the north-east. To the south of the region is Animal Village and the Yarna Desert, but they are blocked off by cliffs and cannot be accessed from the Ancient Ruins.

A set of stairs leading underground can be found by moving one of the Armos statues. A Secret Seashell can be found here, which is replaced with 20 Rupees if the Koholint Sword has already been obtained.

Themes and Navigation

The Writing on the Wall in the Ancient Ruins

The Ancient Ruins is a short, linear Dungeon that is guarded by an Armos Knight. Defeating it will reward Link with the Face Key, which unlocks the entrance to the Face Shrine.

At the end of the Ancient Ruins, Link comes to a room with a relief known as the Writing on the Wall. The relief is written in a riddle-like tone and reveals the secret of Koholint Island and its guardian Wind Fish. It is seemingly addressed to Link directly, and explains that Koholint Island is nothing but an illusion dreamed by the Wind Fish, all of which will completely vanish as soon as the Wind Fish is awoken.[5]

The Owl appears outside of the Ruins after Link learns of Koholint Island's secret and informs him that only the Wind Fish knows for certain if it is true.

Minor Enemies
Link's AwakeningLink's Awakening DXLink's Awakening for Nintendo Switch

Oracle of Seasons

Entrance to the Ruins

The Dungeon is located in the Tarm Ruins and holds the Blowing Wind, the sixth Essence of Nature. After retrieving the Nurturing Warmth from the Unicorn's Cave, Link receives a telepathic message from the Maku Tree, who will direct him towards the Tarm Ruins in the search of the next Essence of Nature.[6] If in a Linked Game, shortly after, a cutscene shows Twinrova within the Room of Rites. As the resurrection of Ganon draws near, the Flame of Destruction is lit by the chaos and destruction reverberating from Holodrum.[7] At this point, only the Flame of Despair remains unlit. This turn of events inspires a new sense of urgency to collect the remaining Essences of Nature.

The entrance to the Ancient Ruins is found atop Tarm Ruins, at the north-westernmost peak. The Dungeon itself is a tall tower, and is the highest point in all of Holodrum. In order to unlock the gate barring Link from the Ancient Ruins, he must gather the four Jewels scattered across Holodrum. Navigating the Tarm Ruins requires extensive use of the Rod of Seasons.

Themes and Navigation

The Ancient Ruins are five stories high, the most of any Dungeon in Holodrum. They feature sand-colored floors and walls, giving it the feel of an ancient Egyptian crypt. There are many sections of flooring throughout the Dungeon that crumbles under Link's weight, causing him to plummet to his death if he stands in one spot for too long. There is also a section where the walls begin to close in when Link enters, upon which will result in an instant Game Over if Link is crushed by the walls.

There are many bombable walls throughout the Dungeon. One of these walls leads to an unmarked room on the map where a total of 100 Rupees are strewn across the floor. Progressing through the Dungeon requires extensive use of the Roc's Feather, Magnetic Gloves, and the Magical Boomerang. The Sub-Boss of the Dungeon is Vire, Onox's loyal henchman. Using the Boss Key found within the Dungeon, Link faces Manhandla on the top floor of the Dungeon. After defeating Manhandla and obtaining the Heart Container, a staircase to the very top of the tower appears. It is here, at the highest point in all of Holodrum, that Link obtains his sixth Essence of Nature.

Minor Enemies


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
CanadaFrenchCATemple du Sud (LANS)Southern Temple
FranceFrenchEUTemple du Sud (LANS)Southern Temple
ItalyItalianAntiche rovine (LANS)Ancient Ruins
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


See Also


  1. The Ancient Ruins were referred to as the Southern Face Shrine in all versions of Link's Awakening prior to Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch.[3] However, as this contradicts the name given in Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch, it is not considered Canon.


  1. "Ancient Ruins" — Map (Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch)
  2. Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 151 (OoS)
  3. Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 234
  4. "Hoot! There are two shrines, one to the north, the other to the south. First, head south, where ancient ruins speak of the Wind Fish... You will learn much there..." — Owl (Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch)
  6. "Nurturing Warmth has brought me strength! I saw a dream of Link inside vast ruins. Perhaps an essence is hidden in some." — Maku Tree (Oracle of Seasons)
  7. "Eee hee hee hee! Despair, Link... Your struggles are fruitless! Decay, seasons! Steal the fruits of the ravaged lands of Holodrum... Raze the earth! Oh ho ho ho! The lands rot, and the Flame of Destruction burns!" — Twinrova (Oracle of Seasons)
The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between WorldsTri Force HeroesBreath of the WildLink's Crossbow TrainingHyrule Warriors

Breath of the Wild

Divine Beasts

Divine Beast Vah Ruta  · Divine Beast Vah Rudania  · Divine Beast Vah Medoh  · Divine Beast Vah Naboris  · Final Trial (TCB)

Other Dungeons

Trial of the Sword (TMT ) · Hyrule Castle

Ancient Shrines

Akh Va'quot · Bosh Kala · Chaas Qeta · Daag Chokah · Dagah Keek · Dah Kaso · Dah Hesho · Daka Tuss · Dako Tah · Daqa Koh ·
Daqo Chisay · Dila Maag · Dow Na'eh  · Dunba Taag · Gee Ha'rah · Gorae Torr · Ha Dahamar · Hawa Koth · Hia Miu · Hila Rao · Ishto Soh ·
Ja Baij · Jee Noh · Jitan Sa'mi · Joloo Nah · Ka'o Makagh · Kaam Ya'tak · Kah Mael Shrine · Kah Okeo Shrine · Kah Yah Shrine · Kam Urog Shrine · Katah Chuki · Katosa Aug  · Kay Noh · Kaya Wan · Kayra Mah · Ke'nai Shakah · Keeha Yoog · Keh Namut · Kema Kosassa ·
Kema Zoos · Keo Ruug · Ketoh Wawai · Korgu Chideh · Korsh O'hu · Kuh Takkar · Kuhn Sidajj · Lakna Rokee · Lanno Kooh · Maag Halan · Maag No'rah · Maka Rah · Mezza Lo · Mijah Rokee · Mirro Shaz · Misae Suma · Mo'a Keet · Mogg Latan · Monya Toma · Mozo Shenno ·
Muwo Jeem · Myahm Agana · Namika Ozz · Ne'ez Yohma · Noya Neha · Oman Au · Owa Daim · Pumaag Nitae · Qua Raym · Qaza Tokki · Qukah Nata · Raqa Zunzo · Ree Dahee · Rin Oyaa · Ritaag Zumo · Rok Uwog · Rona Kachta · Rota Ooh · Rucco Maag · Saas Ko'sah ·
Sah Dahaj · Sasa Kai · Sha Gehma · Sha Warvo · Shada Naw · Shae Katha · Shae Loya · Shae Mo'sah · Shai Utoh · Shai Yota · Shee Vaneer · Shee Venath · Sheem Dagoze · Sheh Rata · Sho Dantu · Shoda Sah · Shoqa Tatone · Shora Hah · Soh Kofi · Suma Sahma · Ta'loh Naeg ·
Tah Muhl · Tahno O'ah · Tawa Jinn · Tena Ko'sah · Tho Kayu · To Quomo · Toh Yahsa · Toto Sah · Tu Ka'loh · Tutsuwa Nima · Voo Lota ·
Wahgo Katta · Ya Naga · Yah Rin · Zalta Wa · Ze Kahso · Zuna Kai

Ancient Shrines (TCB)

Etsu Korima · Kamia Omuna · Kee Dafunia · Keive Tala · Kiah Toza · Kihiro Moh · Mah Eliya · Noe Rajee · Rinu Honika · Rohta Chigah · Ruvo Korbah · Sato Koda · Sharo Lun · Shira Gomar · Takama Shiri · Yowaka Ita