Darknut from Twilight Princess
|Game(s)||The Legend of Zelda|
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
The Wind Waker
Four Swords Adventures
The Minish Cap
|Non-canon Appearances||Animated series|
The Legend of Zelda comic
The Crystal Trap
The Shadow Prince
Link's Crossbow Training
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Link: The Faces of Evil
Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
|Effective Weapons||Sword and Shield|
|TWW Spoils||Knight's Crest|
The Darknut resembles a large knight, equipped with heavy armor and a large sword, and a wide shield. Darknuts are notoriously difficult to defeat, and are considered by many fans as the hardest non-boss/non-mini-boss enemy in games in which they appear. These foes share trite similarities to the Iron Knuckle, though there are a few discernible differences, one being the Gothic appearance of Darknut's armor as opposed to the somewhat Eastern appearance of the Iron Knuckle's armor. Apart from that, the two have never appeared in a game together (aside from the non-canon Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, where Darknuts are a common enemy and an Iron Knuckle is a boss). Additionally, since Ocarina of Time, Iron Knuckles have wielded two-handed axes while Darknuts prefer swords or maces.
These enemies, though sometimes denoted in strength by differences in coloration, are all masters of swordfighting, seen most vividly during battles fought with them in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, where the differences in size between Link and the Darknut in three dimensions further emphasizes this accurate behavior. Darknuts are known to charge at Link, as in Link's Awakening, parry and block his sword strikes, as in The Wind Waker, and even possess a highly mobile second form, most notable in Twilight Princess.
|Dark Nut (Figurine from The Minish Cap)|
||Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. These armor-clad soldiers are tough. Use your shield and rolling skills to find an opening in their defenses...|
|Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Tower of the Gods|
Spoils: Knight's Crest
These mighty knights are protected by heavy-duty armor. Rather than attacking from the front, it might be best to slip around behind them and cut their armor off.
|Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Earth Temple|
Spoil: Knight's Crest
These knights are well protected by their round bucklers and mighty armor. If you use a parry attack to jump up and knock off their helmets, it'll spell their doom.
Coloration and Weaponry
In The Legend of Zelda and the Oracle series, these enemies come in red and blue types, with blue being the stronger of the two. They move slowly and were only a danger when Link came in direct contact with them. Only attacking them from behind or the side will hurt them, and touching them causes Link a lot of damage. However, in The Legend of Zelda, if Link has the Magical Sword, he can defeat a red Darknut with one strike with the sword, regardless of where he strikes it. In Oracle of Seasons, a Gold Darknut exists and is twice as powerful as any other Darknut in the game.
In Link's Awakening and the Oracle titles, the Darknuts vary from carrying a shield and sword to a bow. The Darknuts with a bow are generally less aggressive than Darknuts that carry a sword and shield, as they don't charge Link like the sword-carriers do. Both types are more common in Labrynna than they are in Holodrum. However, only in the Oracle titles can Link use the Magnetic Glove to repel and attract Darknuts, the blue edge having an Northern charge and the red having a Southern charge.
The Redesign of The Wind Waker and The Minish Cap
In its first appearance in a 3D Zelda, the Darknut increases lethality tenfold in The Wind Waker. Wielding a thick-bladed flamberge, and wearing strong armor, they are one of the most difficult non-boss enemies in the game. The Darknut is also resourceful. If it drops its sword, it can pick up fallen weapons, such as a Moblin's polearm, or engage in hand-to-hand combat. They also tend to perform the Great Spin attack if they see Link charging said attack. Another thing that makes unarmored Darknuts difficult to fight is that they cannot be attacked normally as they can dodge Link's sword and the Grappling Hook. These unarmored Darknuts use counterattacks that can take two full Hearts of health if landed. Their martial arts skills are formidable; unarmed Darknuts attack with either a flurry of quick karate chops or a spinning jump kick that can send Link reeling. Underneath their helmet, they resemble a humanoid Doberman Pinscher but with a more felid snout and nose. Finding a Darknut normally means the presence of the enemy scenario.
Its only weak point is the back, where a seam in its armor leaves it vulnerable. The best way to deal with these powerful enemies is the Parry Attack, which avoids the sword and allows easy removal of the helmet or armor. Depending on where the hit landed, either its body armor or helmet falls off, leaving either their head vulnerable to a boomerang, or their body open to sword hits. Darknut armor can also be destroyed by repeated sword strikes, but this strategy is hazardous.
Darknuts in this game have varying armor, which may denote ranks. The armor colors are silver, gold, black and red. Most Darknuts use round bucklers, although there are some that don't. Highly ranked black and red armored Darknuts sometimes wear differently shaped helmets. It will also be revealed that they have a beard and doberman-like features if Link removes the helmet with a parry technique. Darknuts are also the only enemy to carry Knight's Crests with them. Once the main body armor is off, Link can use the Grappling Hook to steal them. Collecting ten crests and taking them to Orca on Outset Island will earn Link the right to learn the Hurricane Spin.
The first Darknut that is fought serves as a mini-boss in Tower of the Gods, and it guards the Hero's Bow. It should also be mentioned that shooting Light Arrows at a Darknut, even in full armor, will instantly kill the unfortunate Darknut, suggesting that Darknuts are followers, or perhaps even creations of, Ganondorf, seeing as regular, fire, and ice arrows will simply bounce off a Darknut's armor.
Mighty Darknut and Black Knight
Mighty Darknuts are captains, and are essentially stronger, more heavily armored versions of lower-ranking Darknuts. They have a different appearance than the original, with shining red or black armor and a long red cape with a black tunic underneath. In The Minish Cap, Mighty Darknuts are called Red Dark Nuts and have an extra electrical attack that is capable of sending Link reeling.
It should be noted that although the Nintendo Gallery mentions that only "some" wear capes, only caped Darknuts are considered to be acceptable for a Mighty Darknut figurine. Other Darknut captains can be found in places such as the Savage Labyrinth, the Wind Temple and Ice Ring Isle, but they are not considered a Mighty Darknut unless they are wearing a cape. Caped Darknuts are only found in Hyrule Castle (after Princess Zelda has been captured) and Ganon's Tower.
The Black Knight appears exclusively in The Minish Cap, and only in Dark Hyrule Castle. Its endurance and strength exceeds all others, and it recovers from attacks and blocks much quicker than regular Darknuts, but it still features the same moves and attack patterns as the other Darknuts in The Minish Cap. The Black Knight also uses a powerful electricity attack. Link encounters the Black Knight twice, once as the sub-boss of Dark Hyrule Castle, and again, along with two Royal Darknuts, to attempt to stop Link from interrupting Vaati's ritual.
|Black Knight (Figurine from The Minish Cap)|
||Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. This is the strongest Dark Nut, with a good balance of attack and defense. They will do anything to stop you.|
|Red Dark Nut (Figurine from The Minish Cap)|
||Appears in Dark Hyrule Castle. These Dark Nut commanders are strong, but if you relax and find an opening you can still defeat them.|
|Mighty Darknut (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Hyrule Castle|
Spoil: Knight's Crest
These are Darknut captains. Some wear capes that must be burned or cut off before their armor straps can be cut.
Darknuts in Twilight Princess
In Twilight Princess, Darknuts remain one of the most powerful enemies in the game, becoming even harder than their The Wind Waker counterparts. They still retain some of their characteristics like removable armor and high defense, but now have increased speed and more sword techniques. Its armor has become less bulky and more streamlined like a medieval knight. They still use a large Sword and Shield. Midna does not know how to beat them, but suggests to Link he try using all of his sword techniques.
Darknuts come in two phases, the first being armored. The best strategy is for Link to draw it towards him, backflip when they plunge their sword down, and then land a Jump Strike. The Back Slice, Helm Splitter and Mortal Draw are also effective. Bomb Arrows can be used to remove a Darknut's armor from afar (or Bomblings provided Link angles them so as to not hit the Darknut head-on), but the Darknut's shield will soak up any arrows aimed at it directly. Link must instead target the ground immediately next to or behind the Darknut. When Link lands a hit on it, some of its armor strips off, though not as quickly or in as large amounts as in The Wind Waker.
Chain Mail Phase
Eventually, when all its armor is off, revealing its under-armor chain mail, it proceeds to jump back and throw its weapon at Link. It then pulls out a smaller sword (a longsword), granting it different attacks, and becomes much more agile, having shed its bulky armor. An unarmored Darknut tends to attack with two cuts in succession, which give Link a split-second opening to counterattack; a thrust; or a kick which can briefly throw Link off balance. The Darknut also becomes far more adept at blocking Link's attacks and can dodge explosions and arrows effortlessly. Jump attacks, jump strikes, and back slices can send a Darknut reeling just long enough to attack.
One Darknut with a different helmet, sword and shield is the mini-boss in the Temple of Time, while others commonly guard items such as keys or new areas. Red and blue variants of the Darknut are also found in the Cave of Ordeals. However, the differently colored equipment does not denote any change in the Darknut's physical attributes.
|Ambiguously Canon Content||hide|
- These enemies are called Soldiers in the English guide for Link's Awakening, but were always known as Darknuts in the Japanese version.
- Shooting Fire or Ice Arrows at a Darknut's back and/or cape in The Wind Waker is amongst the easiest and most life-preserving ways to eliminate a Darknut.
- Darknuts in The Minish Cap generally carry their shields with their left hands, but their shield-hand changes when they face east. This is because the Darknut's sprite is being horizontally flipped, mirroring the graphic. This may be so Link can constantly attack Darknuts from the top instead of having to alternate between top and bottom every time they turn left or right.
- Chief Soldiers are known as Darknuts in the Japanese version of Four Swords Adventures. In the English guide, Soldiers are sometimes erroneously called Darknuts.
- The Darknut in the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess has a Sword that resembles Ganondorf's Sword from the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- The Japanese name for a Darknut can be translated as "Tart Knuckle", implying some relation between Darknuts and Iron Knuckles.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Darknut||Black Knight||Red Dark Nut||Mighty Darknut|
|French||Darknut||Darknut Noir||Darknut Rouge|
- "The knight who lives in the labyrinths. He has lots of attacking power. He repels Link's attacks from the front with his shield." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 36)
- "These knights are well-protected by their round bucklers and mighty armor. If you use a parry attack to jump up and knock off their helmets, it'll spell their doom" — Darknut Figurine (The Wind Waker)
- "These are Darknut captains. Some wear capes that must be burned off before their armor straps can be cut." — Mighty Darknut Figurine (The Wind Waker)
- "I have no idea what to do against these knight things! Just try using the sword techniques you know, Link!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- "The only thing to do is try all your sword techniques on it until you find one that works! Don't worry! You have what it takes to beat him, Link!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- "Look! It dropped a magic bracelet!" — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda, Episode 6 )
- "HA! You flee in FEAR from the might of the Darknut Prime!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2 [The Power])
- "I just need a little DISTANCE to throw this bomb! Cave in!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2 [The Power])
- "Yield, Princess Zelda! You are so weary from running you can barely lift that bow! You are no match for Darknut!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
- "He's right. The magic spell I cast to escape Ganon...almost destroyed me... My life force is nearly gone! I'm in no shape to fight one of Ganon's knights!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
- "But NOTHING is going to stop me." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
- "'Welcome!' an inhuman voice whispers from the shadows. 'Who's there?' Zelda demands, pulling back on her bowstring. A tall, armored figure steps into the moonlight. 'A darknut!' Zelda whispers. Without another word, the evil knight charges, his shield held high, his long blade slicing the air." (The Crystal Trap (Archway), pg. 49)
- "'Word came last night that an entire gang of Darknuts were spotted in the Jungle of Favors.'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 5)
- "'And then there's the matter of Darknuts in the woods. I've never heard of a Darknut appearing outside of a cave or a castle. Why are they turning up in our forest all of a sudden?'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 92)
- "'I believe Ganon is after our Triforce of Wisdom again. It's in danger here. We must move it.' [...] To the Fifth Castle of Ancient Hyrule.'" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 6)