Artwork of Link gazing out at Death Mountain from The Legend of Zelda
|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda (1986)|
|Latest appearance||Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda (2019)|
Death Mountain is a large, recurring part of Hyrule's geography. It has made more appearances than any other specific location in The Legend of Zelda series, although its importance in its appearances varies greatly. Every incarnation of Death Mountain is always quite prominent and visible from miles away. True to its name, Death Mountain tends to be very hazardous, although the Goron race have made it their primary home. Death Mountain makes its debut appearance in the first game, The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda series
The Legend of Zelda
In The Legend of Zelda, the base of Death Mountain makes up the upper third of the overworld map and is infested with dangerous Lynels. The interior of Death Mountain, accessed through Spectacle Rock, acts as the final dungeon of the game. Until Link has collected all eight Triforce fragments, an old man will block him from continuing past the third room. The dungeon is massive, shaped like a skull, and filled with many types of dangerous enemies such as Wizzrobes, Darknuts, Like Likes, Bubbles, and two types of enemies unique to it, Lanmolas and Patras. There are additionally a number of one-way doors and locked doors. Unlike most dungeons, this one has three old men offering advice and two dungeon items, being the defense-boosting Red Ring and the Silver Arrow needed to defeat Ganon. Ganon himself resides in one of the map's "eyes," and defeating him recovers the Triforce with power and unlocks the room Princess Zelda is kept in.
In the Second Quest, Death Mountain's interior is now accessed from the northwest corner of the map. The same types of enemies appear, though there are now several outright invisible passages in the walls needing gone through. The dungeon map is also in the shape of Ganon's head, with Ganon's room being on one of its "ears."
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Death Mountain appears south of the Water Town of Saria. It is made up of a large network of tunnels filled with magma and many enemies, including Bits, Bots, Aches, red Octoroks and Moblins, blue Goriyas, orange and red Dairas, and Bago-Bagos. Some tunnels have elevators and some lead to dead ends, but if successfully navigated, Link will end up in Death Mountain Area, the setting of the first game, and be able to go back into the mountain through Spectacle Rock. Through the right entrance is a cave with Dairas, Lowders, Achemen, Megmats, Octoroks, and a Myu that eventually leads to the Hammer. With it he can access the other entrance and receive a Magic Container.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Death Mountain is a prominent feature of both Hyrule and the Dark World, though in the Japanese script the Hyrule version is variably referred to as either Death Mountain or Hebra Mountain, and has a gate to the Golden Land that is sought by many. The Hyrule version can be reached by going through a cave near the twin lumberjacks' house that requires the Power Glove to reach, and in this cave Link meets a lost old man who gives him a Magic Mirror to escape the Dark World.
The western half of Hyrule's Death Mountain is where Link enters from, and is filled with Deadrocks and falling boulders. Spectacle Rock can be found at the top, blocking the path to the Tower of Hera. Spectacle Rock is not present in the Dark World, so the gateway between worlds can be used to reach the tower. The eastern half is inaccessible until later, and has Deadrocks and Tektites. Many caves can be found, many of which lead to different items, but also tend to have other types of enemies and only be accessible by warping from the Dark World.
In the Dark World, Death Mountain is closed off from the rest of the realm, and as such can only be entered via the gates in the Light World. Through the gate to bypass Spectacle Rock, it is the first portion of the Dark World to be visited. Aside from gloomier colors and a small amount of volcanic activity visible from small lava flows, this Death Mountain closely resembles the one in the Light World. The western half is devoid of enemies, with its only inhabitants outside being a bully and his ball-shaped friend, though the eastern half has a small amount of Lynels. The Tower of Hera's counterpart is Ganon's Tower, while the eastern half has its own monster-filled network of caverns and a dungeon called Turtle Rock.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Death Mountain is located in northeastern Hyrule, with Kakariko Village at its base. Since this game, Death Mountain is depicted as a large volcano that is the home of the Goron race, and its relation to Ganon was removed. It can be seen from most of Hyrule, and is first pointed out to Link by Impa in Hyrule Field. It is made up of three smaller locations, being Death Mountain Trail climbing up its exterior, Goron City midway up, and Death Mountain Crater all the way at the top. Two dungeons are located inside of Death Mountain, Dodongo's Cavern and the Fire Temple, both being associated with the Gorons. In order to access Death Mountain as a child, Link must show Zelda's Letter to a guard in Kakariko Village. Eruptions occur in an upper portion of Death Mountain Trail, but otherwise there is little seismic activity.
Normally, Death Mountain has a white smoke ring around the top. However, after Ganondorf takes over, the ring becomes more yellow due to his revival of the ancient dragon Volvagia, which dwells in the Fire Temple. Once it is defeated, an explosion comes from the crater, the smoke ring returns to normal, and further eruptions stop.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, Death Mountain appears as a stage, and is the only one to have appeared in the earlier games. It is entirely lava-themed, and even the cuttable grass found in most locations is replaced with fire. Fire Wizzrobes, Blazing Watch Towers, Tektites, and Tails prominently appear here, and is also the only place in the original version that Traps and Bubbling Lava can be found. Its boss is a giant flame creature named Gouen. Like the other stages, it has three difficulty-based routes for collecting a Silver Key, a Golden Key, and a Hero's Key.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Death Mountain appears as the third level, and features a combination of traits from A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. The stages are Death Mountain Foothills, where the Links must pass a large number of Deadrocks, Hinoxes, and soldiers, the Mountain Path, where they help the Gorons with damage caused by the Helmaroc King, and the Tower of Flames, where they save the Green Maiden from the eponymous tower. Notably, the last of these features a variation on the Death Mountain labyrinth music from the first game.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Death Mountain is the defining feature of Eldin province, appearing on the east side of Hyrule in both the Nintendo GameCube version and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD's main mode, but on the west side in the Wii version and Twilight Princess HD's Hero Mode. It once again encompasses both Death Mountain Trail and Goron City, with the latter having a path inside the mountain to Goron Mines. Initially, the mountain is erupting due to the tremors caused by Fyrus inside, though once he is defeated, the mountain calms again. This game introduces hot springs to Death Mountain's landscape, with some being found in Goron City and some in Kakariko Village.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Death Mountain is based primarily off its appearance in A Link to the Past, though its volcanic nature in later games is mixed in. The boulders from before are now falling rocks shot from the top of Spectacle Rock, itself now a volcano crater. The east side features a hazardous cave elevator sequence leading down to Rosso's Ore Mine, where a rift to Lorule exists.
Unlike the Dark World's version, the Lorulean version of Death Mountain is in a constant blizzard, with Hinoxes and Zirros that launch freezing snowballs instead of explosives. The east side also features Lynels and Ice Gimos. Ganon's Tower is replaced with a minigame dungeon known as the Treacherous Tower, and Turtle Rock's original location has gone to the Ice Ruins.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Death Mountain is again the centerpiece of Eldin. It can be seen as early as the Great Plateau, and can be seen from a very large amount of Hyrule. While almost the entirety of central Eldin is volcanic in some capacity, "Death Mountain" is specifically used to refer to the conical mass surrounded by the lava "moat" of Death Caldera. Initially, its outside is being climbed around by the rogue Divine Beast Vah Rudania, which can also be seen from a great distance, albeit less clearly. Vah Rudania has been causing it to erupt constantly, raising the ambient temperature to dangerous levels even for Gorons. Link and the cowardly Goron Yunobo cross the Bridge of Eldin to reach the volcano and climb its spiraling exterior trail while avoiding Vah Rudania's Sentries, eventually using three cannons to weaken it, knocking it into the crater. Link follows it and boards it, with it staying in the crater until Fireblight Ganon is defeated.
In Hyrule Warriors, Death Mountain appears as a stage based on Death Mountain Trail and Goron City in Ocarina of Time. In Legend Mode, it only appears in the Land of Myth scenario. Unlike most other stages, it is entirely symmetrical from left to right. In Land of Myth and most Adventure Mode stages featuring it, the Allied Base is located in the lower central keep.
Names in other languages
Hebura Yama (Desumaunten)
Hebra Mountain (Death Mountain) (Kamigami no Triforce, Light World)
Hebra Mountain (Kamigami no Triforce and Kamigami no Triforce 2, Hyrule)
|Spanish||Montaña de la Muerte
Tres Volcanes (Four Swords)
|French||Montagne de la Mort
Mont de la Mort
- During development of The Legend of Zelda, the game was known as 「デス・マウンテン」 (Desu Maunten, Death Mountain).
- December 1, 1998. 照井啓司さんのコメントコーナー. Retrieved September 16, 2020.