The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Dungeon Review (The Ancient Cistern)

Hello! This time, I was marathoning the game, and made it to the Ancient Cistern, the fourth dungeon in the game. You get to the Cistern by completing a series of ventures and quests, all leading to the Water Dragon, who lets you in to the dungeon itself.

Ancient Cistern Foyer
The main chamber in the Ancient Cistern, and the first room that you enter.

The Cistern is a water dungeon, and the only one for Skyward Sword. Previous water temples in the Zelda series have been challenging and tedious, or so I’ve heard. My only other experience with water dungeons were from Twilight Princess, from the Lakebed Temple. That temple wasn’t very fun.

In the Lakebed Temple, you got the Clawshot (also know as the Hookshot in other Zelda games), but in the Cistern, you got the Whip, which has only been used in Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks, from 2009.

Original Whip
The original concept for the whip, from 2010, with a skull design on the hilt.

I was actually very excited to use the Whip, and I wasn’t let down. This an instance where the Wii’s motion controls made the game so much better. Flicking the Wiimote to crack the Whip, and flicking it back to activate switches and doors was really satisfying and fun to do, and like the Gust Bellow, the Whip had some really interesting puzzling aspects, especially when you get down to the basement section of the dungeon, which I enjoyed more than the first floor.

Speaking of basements, this was the first dungeon in Skyward Sword to have multiple floors. This was a bit odd, considering Twilight Princess seems to have no mercy when it comes to dungeons. The second dungeon in Twilight Princess, the Goron Mines, had two floors, and the third, the Lakebed Temple, had six, as well as the fourth, the Arbiter’s Grounds.

The basement had poison that you had to avoid, so it had some cool “find a way across” aspects to it, as well as the gigantic rotating columns of doom, that you could climb using vines on the sides. Those columns, and a circular treadmill (if you were dragged to the back, you would hit spikes that would fling you some 20 feet into a bottomless pit) were all controlled by a lever that you could pull with your whip, which could be reached at certain points.

Holy crap!

Another thing that I loved was the final boss. Koloktos is most likely the best Zelda boss I’ve ever faced down, and I had a lot of fun fighting him. First, he throws gigantic boomerang blades at you, and you have to hit his weak point (which he actually has the sense to cover, and is not his eyes), and then, for the second form, he pulls himself out of the ground and starts smashing up the arena with gigantic swords. You whip his arms off, and then proceed to smash him to bits with his own giant sword.

The Ancient Cistern went back to the good old Arbiters Grounds feeling for me. I really felt like Indiana Jones or someone, climbing up ropes and vines, whipping stuff, pulling off cool escapes, finding treasure (the Blessed Idol), and running away from Cursed Bokoblins. 9 out of 10.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Ancient Cistern

Item Acquired: Whip

Final Boss: Koloktos, the Ancient Automaton


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