Palaces are predominant in The Adventure of Link and A Link to the Past. In the former game, palaces house sacred lecterns where Link must place magic crystals that lift the seal blocking the entrance to the Great Palace, which itself houses the long-missing Triforce of Courage. In the latter game, palaces guard either sacred pendants that are the key for obtaining the Master Sword or crystals where imprisoned Maidens are encased.
In The Adventure of Link, the palaces are explored with a side-scrolling format and, like the labyrinths in The Legend of Zelda, can be distinguished by the color of the bricks they were built with; they usually require Link using magic spells to be conquered, and fighting enemies is now optional (as long as they're easy to overlook, of course). In A Link to the Past, the palaces are explored in top-view perspective, and have a more elaborate interior than the previously cited dungeons, having more hazards, obstacles and traps; as with all other dungeons in the game, a Big Key is required in each palace to meet the boss.
List of Palaces
The Adventure of Link
Palaces appear primarily in The Adventure of Link, and are the dungeons of the game. In order, these are:
- Parapa Palace
- Midoro Palace
- Island Palace
- Maze Island Palace
- Palace on the Sea
- Three-Eye Rock Palace
- Great Palace
A Link to the Past
The term Palace is also used to refer to certain dungeons in A Link to the Past:
- Eastern Palace
- Desert Palace
- Palace of Darkness
- Swamp Palace
- Ice Palace
- Palace of the Four Sword (GBA remake only)
A Link Between Worlds
The term Palace is also used to refer to certain dungeons in A Link Between Worlds:
- In The Adventure of Link, and in some cases in A Link to the Past (i.e., East Palace, Desert Palace, and the Dark Palace), the term "palace" is used as a translation of the Japanese term 神殿 (shinden); in the Japanese version of the former, the term "sanctuary" is used instead. This may be related to the policy of Nintendo of America to remove overt religious references from games. From Ocarina of Time onward, however, this policy was no longer applied to locations in this series, and so 神殿 is given its literal translation of "temple".
- Nintendo's Era of Censorship, Filibuster Cartoons.