Forsaken Fortress

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Forsaken Fortress
The fortress as viewed from a distance
Location(s) Forsaken Fortress
Game(s) The Wind Waker
Main Item SwordTriforce piece.png
Skull HammerTriforce piece.png
Piece of HeartTriforce piece.png
Mini-boss(es) BokoblinTriforce piece.png
Phantom GanonTriforce piece.png
Boss(es) Helmaroc KingTriforce piece.png
Quest Reward(s)Aryll, Maggie and Mila rescued
Heart ContainerTriforce piece.png
Theme Music File:Forsaken Fortress.ogg

Forsaken Fortress is the first dungeon Link visits in The Wind Waker. It's an ominous island, and most people tend to avoid it.[1] The stone fortress is well-guarded with cannons, searchlights, and hordes of Miniblins, Bokoblins, and Moblins, who patrol and attack any would-be invaders.[2] The Helmaroc King has made his home on the Forsaken Fortress as Ganondorf's servant.[3] It was also the place where Link's sister, Aryll, was held prisoner, along with Mila and Maggie.[4][5][6]

Tetra briefly mentions to Link that the fortress previously belonged to another clan of pirates.[7] This may refer to the Gerudo tribe, and would make the Forsaken Fortress the Great Sea version of the Gerudo Fortress. Additionally, the eye and teardrop symbol of the Sheikah tribe can be seen on the ship perched atop the Fortress.


Entrance to the Fortress

The dungeon is located in the far northwest quadrant of the Great Sea, and it is where Ganondorf has constructed his temporary lair by using a portal from Hyrule under the sea.[8] Link is taken there by Tetra and her pirate crew,[9][10] but he has to visit the place alone with the King of Red Lions later on.

Whilst inhabited by Ganondorf and his minions, the fortress is held in perpetual night. If it is approached during the day, the sun will rapidly fall below the horizon.

Themes and Navigation

The inside of the fortress

First Visit

During his first visit, Link is catapulted to the fortress by Tetra and her crew. Upon landing, he loses his sword and is left with only his shield to defend himself.[11] In order to reach the room where Aryll is being held, he must travel to each tower and use Boko Sticks to defeat the Bokoblins operating the searchlights.[12] He must also practice stealth while navigating the fortress, as there are Moblins that patrol the fortress who will throw Link in the fortress jail if spotted. Thankfully, the dim-witted nature of the Moblins allows Link to navigate around without being seen by hiding under Barrels. Once he is outside the room where Aryll is being held, he gets his sword back and fights a shielded Bokoblin. Before Link is able to save his sister and the other girls, the Helmaroc King swoops in, grabs Link with his beak, and brings him before Ganondorf. Ganondorf then tells the bird to discard him, ergo his rescue attempt failed and Link ends up unconscious in the Great Sea.

Second Visit

Link beset by Miniblins in the fortress

After Link finds the Master Sword, he pays a second visit to the Fortress, where he confronts Phantom Ganon to gain the Skull Hammer, then the Bokoblins who once more use the searchlights, and finally the dreaded Helmaroc King to rescue his sister and the girls from Windfall Island, with the help of Tetra and the pirates.[13] Although he succeeds in the rescue mission this time, he now fails to defeat Ganondorf because the blade of the evil's bane lost its power,[14] and when Link removed it from its pedestal in Hyrule Castle, he lifted the seal that prevented Ganondorf from taking control of Hyrule again;[15] because of this, the Fortress is eventually abandoned and the enemies (Ganondorf included) now move to Hyrule.[16] After Link clears the Wind Temple, it's revealed that the Fortress is indeed uninhabited.

As Link has his sword during the second visit, he is able to defend himself and does not need to use stealth as in the first visit. Moblins will now simply attack him, instead of bringing him to the jail. Also, searchlights that are trained on Link will cause Bombs to be fired at him and will also attract Miniblins. The hero can still be imprisoned if he is caught by the Floormaster that appears in a certain area of the fortress, though Link can now use either the Boomerang or Arrows to activate a switch located outside his cell that causes the door to open permanently, allowing for increased ease of escape should he be captured again. The switch is found near the ceiling and is beyond the reach of melee weapons, hence why Link cannot make use of it during his first infiltration of the fortress.

Third Visit (optional)

As Link explores the game's final dungeon, he can find a way to open the warp spot that Ganondorf and his followers used previously in the Fortress to use it as a shortcut to return to the Great Sea. Should Link return to the fortress after the second visit, he will find that it is no longer in endless night.

Contrary to popular belief, if Link misses the Heart Container gained after defeating Helmaroc King, he still can find it anytime in front of the main wooden gate, near the chest that guarded the Skull Hammer.


Theory Warning hide

It is interesting to note that along with the other relative locations between some of the islands in The Wind Waker with some of the locations in Ocarina of Time, that the Forsaken Fortress is located in the northwest, just as Gerudo Desert was in Ocarina of Time - both the "home bases" of Ganondorf. The fact that the fortress was inhabited by pirates before Ganondorf's arrival, and in knowing the Gerudo race were pirates themselves, Ganondorf himself leading a gang of thieves before the events of Ocarina of Time, it only emphasizes the possibility that the Forsaken Fortress was the tallest portion of the Gerudo Fortress that survived the Goddesses' flood.

Minor Enemies and Traps


Sheikah Eye TWW.png
  • A modified version of the Sheikah Eye Symbol makes a small appearance near the top of the Forsaken Fortress.
  • This is also one of the only two dungeons without a Warp Jar. The other is Tower of the Gods.
  • This dungeon is unique in that, like Skull Woods in A Link to the Past, it has multiple entrances and exits, given the fact that only the interior is considered to be the dungeon itself (as seen in the Dungeon Map), and the exterior territory belongs to the Great Sea overworld. For the same reason, this fortress is the only dungeon in the game whose boss is fought and defeated outside.
  • The tune that plays as Link is thrown in jail also plays in Four Swords Adventures in the Infiltration of Hyrule Castle when the Links are thrown in jail after being spotted by the searchlights.
  • Despite seagulls appearing near Aryll's cell room, Link is not able to control them using a Hyoi Pear.
  • At any time after defeating the Helmaroc King and discovering Tetra's true identity, Link can choose to return to the fortress and will henceforth find it abandoned. However, the King of Red Lions does not seem troubled by this until the Fishman tells him after Link clears the Wind Temple, even if he was apparently aware of its abandonment beforehand.



  1. "Even if I were to consider it... Lately, I've heard nothing but evil rumors about this Forsaken Fortress..." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  2. "Listen up, Link... There's a monster running the searchlight up there! If you can slay the monster, then just maybe it'll shut the searchlight down." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  3. "The Monstrous Helmaroc King. Habitat: Forsaken Fortress. Master: Ganondorf." — Helmaroc King Figurine (The Wind Waker)
  4. "I may as well tell you that the bird that kidnapped both you and Link's sister has made its foul nest to the north, on the heights of the Forsaken Fortress." — Quill (The Wind Waker)
  5. "I...was once the richest little debutante in this town. Did you know that? But one day, a monstrous bird came and took me away to a terrible place called the Forsaken Fortress, where I was locked up and held captive. Oh, it was awful!" — Mila (The Wind Waker)
  6. "Ooh, hoo hoo! My sweet, sweet daughter! My only daughter! Poor Maggie... She was captured by a bunch of villains and taken to the Forsaken Fortress!" — Maggie's Father (The Wind Waker)
  7. "There are all sorts of strange rumors about this place. What I do know is that long ago, it used to be the hideout of a no-good group of pirates we used to compete with...But they were just small-time. Now, the place looks like it's pretty dangerous." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  8. "I see... So this is the portal through which Ganon was able to seep into the unsuspecting world above..." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
  9. "I'll call you when we reach the Forsaken Fortress, so until then, just go talk to Niko and do whatever he tells you." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  10. "Even if I were to consider it... Lately, I've heard nothing but evil rumors about this Forsaken Fortress... Tell you what. If you come back with something like that, we'll let you stow away on our ship." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  11. "Your sword landed all the way up there? Shoot! I'm sorry! I apologize! I guess my aim was off by a little bit." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  12. "Those searchlights are a real pain, huh? You're going to have to deal with them somehow, I'm afraid... If you can slay the monster, then just maybe it'll shut the searchlight down." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  13. "Hmm... Well, never mind about that. For now, we'll just take these girls. I'm sure their fathers back in town will pay a handsome reward for their return. If you're worried about your sister...don't be. I promise I'll deliver her safely back to your little island." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  14. "You cannot defeat me with a blade that does not sparkle with the power to repel evil! What you hold is useless. Go back to the world below, and tell that to the pathetic fools who made this blade! Its power is gone, and its edges are dull!" — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
  15. "Foolish child. While that sword is indeed the blade of evil's bane, at the same time, it has long played another role... You see, it is also a sort of key... a most wretched little key that has kept the seal on me and my magic intact! By withdrawing the blade, you have broken that seal..." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
  16. "Ganon has not shown himself above the seas since Valoo unleashed his fiery wrath upon him. And what's worse, there is not a creature stirring in his base of operations in this world...the Forsaken Fortress." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)

Islands in The Wind Waker
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Forsaken FortressStar IslandNorthern Fairy IslandGale IsleCrescent Moon IslandSeven-Star IslesOverlook IslandFour-Eye ReefMother and Child IslesSpectacle IslandWindfall IslandPawprint IsleDragon Roost IslandFlight Control PlatformWestern Fairy IslandRock Spire IsleTingle IslandNorthern Triangle IslandEastern Fairy IslandFire MountainStar Belt ArchipelagoThree-Eye ReefGreatfish IsleCyclops ReefSix-Eye ReefTower of the GodsEastern Triangle IslandThorned Fairy IslandNeedle Rock IsleIslet of SteelStone Watcher IslandSouthern Triangle IslandPrivate OasisBomb IslandBird's Peak RockDiamond Steppe IslandFive-Eye ReefShark IslandSouthern Fairy IslandIce Ring IsleForest HavenCliff Plateau IslesHorseshoe IslandOutset IslandHeadstone IslandTwo-Eye ReefAngular IslesBoating CourseFive-Star IslesGreat Sea Map TWW.png

Click on an island

Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan 魔獣島 (Majūtō) Demon Beast Island
Spanish Spanish-speaking countries Isla del Diablo Isle of the Devil
French French-speaking countries Forteresse Maudite Cursed Fortress
German Germany Verwunschene Bastion Execrated Bastion
Italian Italy Fortezza dei Demoni Fortress of the Demons
Korean South Korea 마수도 Transliteration of Japanese name

Dungeons in The Legend of Zelda Series

TLoZ Logo.pngAol logo.pngALttP logo.pngWind Fish's Egg.pngOcarina of Time.pngMajorasmask.pngOracle of Ages - Harp of Ages.pngRod of Seasons.pngFS logo.pngWind Waker.pngFourSword Artwork.pngEzlo.pngMidna Icon.pngThe Phantom Hourglass.pngSpirit flute.pngFi Icon.pngALBW Dark Triforce.png