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Volvagia

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Volvagia
Volvagia OoT artwork.png
Artwork of Volvagia from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
First appearance Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Latest appearance Ultimate NES Remix
Counterpart(s) Blizzagia
Volga

Volvagia, also known as Barba[1][2][3], is a recurring boss in the The Legend of Zelda games. It is a lengthy lava-dwelling dragon styled after typical Japanese depictions of dragons.

History[edit]

The Legend of Zelda series[edit]

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link[edit]

In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Barba is the boss of the Three-Eye Rock Palace, making it the last boss before the Great Palace. It rises out from one of two lava pits in the room before spitting a trail of fire that has the potential to knock Link back into the lava, costing him a life instantly. Its head is its weak point, and as such he needs to be hit while neither spitting nor being about to. Additionally, Link needs to be careful while jumping lest he fall into one of the pits. Once it is hit enough times, it explodes.

Notably, its graphics are changed between the original Japanese version and the western version. In the Japanese version, Barba's mouth is always open while its neck appears as one rigid line of tiles. In the western versions, it is totally redrawn, its mouth instead only opens while firing, and its neck appears as several segmented round tiles to allow for more fluid-looking movement. Its artwork depicts it as a yellowish green, with long fleshy whiskers, facial hair, ears, and a unicorn-like horn. Of note is that this artwork is also modified for 's artwork.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time[edit]

In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Volvagia (titled Subterranean Lava Dragon: Volvagia) is depicted as an ancient dragon that loves to eat Gorons. Many years before, an ancient Goron hero used the Megaton Hammer to kill it, but Ganondorf resurrected it following his rise to power. He intended to feed the Gorons to it as a warning to the other races, though an additional danger is Volvagia escaping Death Mountain and ravaging the rest of Hyrule. All the Gorons are imprisoned in the Fire Temple for Volvagia to eat, though Link frees each, obtaining the Megaton Hammer in the process. Before this, Darunia goes to fight it without the hammer, but is not seen again until appearing in the Chamber of Sages after Volvagia is defeated.

When Link reaches its room, Volvagia will fly into one of the nine holes on the platform in the center of the room. Volvagia will poke its head out of one of the holes (akin to Whac-A-Mole), indicated by a rumbling in the ground, using its burning hair as a weapon. Link must use the hammer to stun it, and can then continue to attack it using the hammer or certain other weapons, like the Master Sword or Biggoron's Sword. The more damage it takes, the more Volvagia will move around before appearing again. Sometimes, Volvagia slowly flies out of a hole to the ceiling, where it will drop rocks on Link before focusing on the hole it will re-enter. While flying, Volvagia is vulnerable to arrows as long as it is visible.

Once Volvagia has been defeated, it will fly out shakily and screech several times, as its body starts disintegrating starting with the tail, leaving behind only the spine and the mask. These then crumble, with the mask landing on the ground, remaining for a few seconds (while still being targetable) before revealing the Heart Container. Link then warps away while Death Mountain bursts violently and its clouds clear up, signifying it has now become dormant with the evil gone.

Design-wise, Volvagia is still long and snake-like, though it now has a pair of long, spindly arms. It wears a carved mask with two back-pointing horns with curl slightly. The mask glows green when struck. Its body is orange and closely resembles lava, while it has a large mane of fire-like hair on its head. In the original, Link the Goron refers to Volvagia specifically with male pronouns, though in Ocarina of Time 3D he only uses the word "it."

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (manga)[edit]

In the manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time, Volvagia's background is much different. It is shown in a flashback from Link (though not at the time it would have been current) that Volvagia started as a tiny baby dragon in a cage in Hyrule Castle Town's market, for sale at 70 Rupees. Link takes pity on it and buys it, releasing it in Hyrule Field, where he bites Link's arm and breaths fire on him due to Link handling him somewhat roughly. Link storms off and it begins following him around to his annoyance. After it helps him defeat a Stalchild, though, Link realizes it is only lonely and wants a friend, which he decides to be. He then teaches it his name, which it repeats to Navi's amazement, and Link promises that they will always be friends from then on.

In the future, Volvagia has been brainwashed by Ganondorf into attacking the Gorons, infuriating Link. Link tries to get the now-giant Volvagia to remember who he is, but is unsuccessful, forcing him to fight it. Eventually, he manages to cut off his head. In its dying moments, Volvagia regains its lucidity and weakly says Link's name while crying. Link cries as well as Volvagia's head turns to ash. Volvagia makes one more appearance in the desert as an illusion, likely manifested from Link's guilt over having to kill his friend.

NES Remix 2[edit]

In NES Remix 2, one of the objectives is to defeat Volvagia in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Gallery[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Volvagia[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese バルバジア
Barubajia
ヴァルバジア
Varubajia
Barbagia (The Adventure of Link)

Volvagia (Ocarina of Time)

Subterranean Lava Dragon: Volvagia[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 灼熱穴居竜ヴァルバジア
Shakunetsu Kekkyo Ryū Varubajia
Burning Cave Dragon Volvagia

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nintendo Power Volume 4, page 23.
  2. ^ M. Arakawa. NES Game Atlas. Page 70.
  3. ^ Rocha, Garitt, and Nick von Esmarch. Playing With Power: Nintendo NES Classics. Page 173.