Link and Ezlo emerge from the Elemental Sanctuary after completing the Four Sword and inadvertently letting Vaati discover the location of the Light Force to discover that Hyrule Castle has been altered by Vaati's magic. Vaati changes the original Hyrule Castle, turning its inhabitants into stone and bringing in many of his fiercest monster minions. The initial portion of this Dungeon takes place in the Castle's basement, where Link must free the Castle's staff and King Daltus from Vaati's petrification spell with the power of the Four Sword. Once King Daltus has been freed, he gives Link a Key that allows Link to escape from the basement and take on the rest of the Castle, as well as allowing him to exit the Castle and prepare if desired. This is the final Dungeon of The Minish Cap, and as such has no direct in-game reward, although completing it initiates the ending, and visiting Biggoron after having completed the game at least once (there is an option to save after the end of the credits) allows Link to create the Mirror Shield.
Dark Hyrule Castle is among the larger Dungeons in the game, with several floors. It includes puzzles from every prior Dungeon, as well as some new varieties, such as sets of floor tiles that must each be stepped on exactly once. As many of the routes in the castle have been blocked off, progressing through the Dungeon requires flying around the outside of the Castle with Ezlo at some points. There are multiple Sub-Bosses. Early on, Link must fight a Red Darknut to proceed. Somewhat later, Link must fight a Black Knight, the strongest of all Darknuts, to open the way to the room containing the Big Key. The Big Key is located behind a block that must be pushed by four Link clones but is itself blocked by four key blocks. Each of the four Small Keys required is guarded by one or two Darknuts located in one of the Castle's four corner towers. These Darknuts appear after the Black Knight is defeated. For some reason, the symbol on the banners of Dark Hyrule Castle resembles the Crest of the Sheikah, though it is most likely a reference to Vaati, whose monstrous shape in this and other games has a single immense eye.
Once Link enters the central keep through the Big Key door, a countdown starts. As Vaati announces, Link must interrupt Vaati's extraction ceremony before a bell tolls three times, or Vaati will acquire the Light Force, Princess Zelda will die, and the game will end. Along the way to Vaati, Link encounters a Ball and Chain Soldier, a group of ten Purple Keatons, and a group composed of two Red Darknuts and a second Black Knight. The first two tolls of the bell are scripted to occur as soon as Link passes through the doors following the first two challenges, but the third battle is in fact timed (although the game gives no indication that it is different from the others) and if Link takes too long fighting the Darknuts the bell will toll for a third time, resulting in a Game Over.
Once Link makes it to Vaati in time, Vaati calls on the incomplete power he has been able to extract from Princess Zelda thus far and the game's final battle commences.
Minor Enemies and Traps
- Moblins and Purple Keatons appear with different palettes in Dark Hyrule Castle, but although generally this implies a stronger or in some way different enemy, these are functionally identical to their counterparts found elsewhere in Hyrule, having the same amount of health, dealing the same amount of damage to Link, and exhibiting the same behaviors.
- Unlike the other Sub-Bosses in the Castle, and in The Minish Cap in general, the first Black Knight has the background music normally heard during fights with main Bosses. It shares this trait with the Big Blue Chuchu in the Temple of Droplets.
- The Dungeon's theme music is a remixed version of the Hyrule Castle theme from A Link to the Past.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||闇ハイラル城 (Yami Hairaru-Jō)||Dark Hyrule Castle|
|FrenchEU||Château des Ténèbres||Castle of Darkness|
|German||Dunkles Schloss Hyrule||Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Italian||Castello di Hyrule nelle tenebre||Dark Hyrule Castle|
|SpanishEU||Castillo de Hyrule tenebroso||Dark Hyrule Castle|
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 272 (TMC)
- "So, you've come to stop my little ceremony. Well, you're too late. A mere three more chimes of the bell will bring the ceremony to its end! And with the third toll of the bell, I will become like a god! And your precious Princess Zelda will be nothing more than cold, dead, stone." — Vaati (The Minish Cap)
- "I have not yet drained all of the light force housed in Princess Zelda. But what I have should suffice... I shall be transformed! Unstoppable! But let me first attend to the pesky worms who would trifle with me..." — Vaati (The Minish Cap)