Stalfos artwork from Twilight Princess
|Non-canon Appearances||The Legend of Zelda animated series|
Captain N: The Game Master
The Legend of Zelda comic
The Shadow Prince
A Link to the Past comic
Link: The Faces of Evil
Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
Ocarina of Time manga
Oracle of Seasons manga
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
Ball and Chain
|EXP Points||30 |
Stalfos are recurring enemies in The Legend of Zelda series. They are skeletal knights or soldiers common to dungeons and tombs. Stalfos vary differently in appearance and behavior in each installment, but generally share similar traits as undead enemies wielding Swords and sometimes Shields, or as athletic skeletons that attack with their bones or even skulls.
In the 2D Zelda games, Stalfos are usually depicted as common, weak enemies. Often they will jump away to evade Link's Sword when he attempts to swipe at them with it, and others may even throw their bones at him to retaliate. In the 3D console Zelda games, Stalfos are instead depicted as elite enemies or even mini-bosses, who skillfully wield weapons they use to attack Link with. These Stalfos usually take much more effort to take down.
Numerous variants of Stalfos, and other similar skeletal enemies, have appeared throughout the series. Notable variants include the Parutamu, Stalfos Knights, Shrouded Stalfos, Stalchildren, Big Dark Stalfos, and Staltroop. Several Stalfos bosses have also appeared, including Master Stalfos, Igos du Ikana, Blue Stalfos, Stalmaster, and several others.
In many games, particularly the 2D-styled Zelda games, Gibdos can have their bandages burned away to reveal a Stalfos underneath.
Characteristics and Weaknesses
The Legend of Zelda
In The Legend of Zelda, Stalfos appear as common enemies in dungeons that wield dual swords. They are, however, weak monsters that wander in a random path and can be killed in a single strike by even the weakest of Link's Swords. They appear in the Eagle and the Demon dungeons. In the Second Quest, they appear in the Eagle, Manji, and Lion dungeons.
The Adventure of Link
In The Adventure of Link, Stalfos appear wielding a sword and a basic shield. They use their shield to block Link's attacks from their upper body, however as they do not move their shields, their legs are vulnerable to attacks while crouching. Some Stalfos fall from above and attempt to attack Link with a Down Thrust. Red and blue Stalfos appear, with the blue variant being the stronger one. They appear in the Parapa Palace, Midoro Palace and Palace on the Sea.
An even stronger variant, called a Parutamu, also appears. These warriors look and fight identically to the Stalfos, but wear horned helmets. Red and blue Parutamu appear.
A Link to the Past
In A Link to the Past, Stalfos appear in dungeons in both the Light World and the Dark World, with the earliest being the Eastern Palace. Stalfos differ from their previous incarnations as they no longer wield weapons, and instead, most are able to jump into the air whenever Link tries to swipe at them with his Sword, dodging his attack. Stalfos in A Link to the Past also vary with different characteristics, as indicated by the color of their skull.
Blue Stalfos are the most simple, as they will only attempt to jump away from Link's attacks. They can be defeated with very quick Sword strikes, especially when they are cornered to a wall, although it usually takes a couple strikes to defeat them. They can also be defeated instantly by picking up and throwing a nearby pot at them, which they will not dodge.
Yellow Stalfos are much different as they detach and throw their skulls at Link to attack. These skulls fly through the air and cannot be destroyed, and must simply be avoided. These Stalfos will not attempt to jump away from Link's attacks, and will instead crumble to a pile of bones when hit. If let alone, their bodies will fly away.
Red Stalfos behave similarly to blue Stalfos as they will jump from Link's attacks, but will also retaliate by throwing bones at him. Green Stalfos are nothing more but floating skulls. They will slowly float towards Link, but unlike the yellow Stalfos, their heads can be defeated. in Turtle Rock, their heads appear yellow.
In Link's Awakening, Stalfos appear in two distinct varities: normal Stalfos and Shrouded Stalfos, the latter which also comes in another variant known as Sword Stalfos. Ordinary Stalfos behave like the Stalfos of A Link to the Past, as they possess the ability to jump away. The most basic Stalfos will only dodge Link's attacks, but other types with different characteristics are later encountered. Other Stalfos will actively pursue Link and jump in an attempt to crash down on him from above. Another type throws their bones at him, in addition to jumping away.
In Catfish's Maw, a Stalfos called Master Stalfos appears as one of the dungeon's mini-bosses, and is encountered four times. This Stalfos moves to a different room each time it is defeated, and drops the Hookshot once it is defeated the fourth time.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, Stalfos appear as armored soldiers carrying a sword and a shield. They are skilled sword masters, who are able to block Link's attacks with their shield and retaliate with a powerful Jump Attack. Often they are encountered in pairs or small groups. Link can attack Stalfos by striking their unprotected backsides, especially after dodging their attack which leaves the Stalfos vulnerable. Stalfos are also susceptible to Deku Nuts, which will briefly stun them and allow Link an easy opportunity to strike. They typically take several hits of the Master Sword to defeat.
Stalfos appear in the Forest Temple, where Link faces a pair in one room, and later a group of three in another. This later group will crumble into a pile of bones once defeated, requiring that Link defeat all of them before they can regenerate. Stalfos also appear in the Shadow Temple, Spirit Temple, Gerudo Training Ground, and Ganon's Castle. In Master Quest, they also appear in the Fire Temple, Water Temple, and the Ice Cavern.
In Majora's Mask, Stalfos are the long-dead skeleton knights of the Ikana Kingdom. Link faces Igos du Ikana and his his two soldiers inside Ikana Castle. Both knights fight similarly to the Stalfos of Ocarina of Time, however, when defeated, their bodies will crumble and eventually regenerate. To defeat both soldiers, Link must use Fire Arrows to burn away the curtains that blot out the light, and reflect that light with his Mirror Shield onto their remains. Once they are defeated, Igos du Ikana challenges Link himself.
In the Oracle series, Stalfos, Shrouded Stalfos and Sword Stalfos all appear, and look and behave much like their Link's Awakening counterparts. The ordinary Stalfos are slightly more diverse, and are distinguished by their coloration.
Blue-colored Stalfos are the most basic Stalfos who simply walk around and pose little threat. Orange Stalfos, however, act more like their Link's Awakening counterpart as they will jump to avoid Link's attacks, and have the ability to toss bones at him. Red Stalfos will also jump to avoid Link, but do not throw bones. Green-colored Stalfos are more aggressive and will attempt to jump and land on top of Link. The red and green varieties exclusively appear in Oracle of Seasons, which features all four colored Stalfos. Gibdos can have their bandages burned by Ember Seeds to reveal an orange Stalfos.
In Four Swords, Stalfos appear in various stages. They attack by throwing their bones at the Links. Their movement is slow and their defenses are not particularly strong, but they are able to leap out of the way of the Links' attacks. They commonly appear in small groups and are particularly prolific in areas with lava, such as Death Mountain.
The Wind Waker
In The Wind Waker, Stalfos appear as large skeletons wielding heavy clubs. Stalfos attack by swinging their clubs around, but because of how heavy they are, they are often left vulnerable while trying to lift it. After attacking them enough times with the Sword, they fall apart to pieces and their head jumps around. Eventually their body will regenerate, but if the head is struck enough times, it will be defeated. Once defeated, their club can be picked up and used against other enemies. Stalfos can be made to immediately crumble if a Bomb is detonated near them, and they can be instantly destroyed by smashing their head with the Skull Hammer.
|Stalfos (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Earth Temple|
Weakness: Its head
These skeleton warriors attack by violently swinging their gigantic maces around. Even if they're shattered to pieces, they'll reform unless their heads are destroyed.
Four Swords Adventures
Four Swords Adventures features three types of Stalfos: ordinary Stalfos, as well as two related variants called "Dark Stalfos" and Big Dark Stalfos; the former being a smaller variant of the Big Dark Stalfos, but has no English name. Like previous incarnations, ordinary Stalfos will jump from the Links' attacks. They can be cornered by the Links to make fighting them easier. Dark Stalfos and Big Dark Stalfos wield large, green swords they use to attack the Links with. Big Dark Stalfos are significantly larger, and are actually the Knights of Hyrule who were cursed and transformed by Ganon.
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, Stalfos appear in blue and red varieties. The blue variety jumps to dodge Link's attacks, and will also attempt to jump onto him. The red ones throw bones as their primary weapon. If the Gust Jar is used on them, it will remove their heads and cause the Stalfos to walk blindly. They will stop attacking Link and jumping away from his attacks. If a Gibdo's bandages are burned with the Lantern, they are revealed to be Stalfos underneath.
|Stalfos (Figurine from The Minish Cap)|
||Appears in dungeons. Blue ones jump, and red ones throw bones. See what happens when you remove their heads with the Gust Jar.|
Like Ocarina of Time, Stalfos in Twilight Princess wield swords and carry shields. They use their shields to block Link's attacks, leaving only their unprotected sides vulnerable. However, Link can perform a Shield Bash to leave them open for an attack. Once vulnerable, Link can then perform a Helm Splitter to break them apart. When they are defeated, they become a pile of bones and will eventually regenerate if left alone. To completely destroy them, Link must place a Bomb near their remains to demolish them, or shoot a Bomb Arrow at them. It is also possible to destroy a Stalfos while it is whole by shooting a Bomb Arrow at it while it is open to attack. They are frequently encountered in Arbiter's Grounds, and later appear in Hyrule Castle and the Cave of Ordeals.
In addition to these Stalfos, several other skeletal enemies are encountered, including Stalhounds, Stalkins and Staltroops. Stallord is a giant, dragon-like skeletal beast that is fought as the boss of Arbiter's Grounds.
In Phantom Hourglass, Stalfos appear in two variants. The common variety initially appear as a pile of bones on the ground, but emerge and become whole when Link approaches near. They attack by throwing bones at him, and will jump away when Link attempts to swipe at them. The Stalfos can be defeated by performing several quick Jump Attacks against them. Alternately, they can also be defeated instantly by throwing Bombs at them.
Stalfos Warriors are an armored variant carrying swords. Like the common variety, they rise when Link approaches. They are far more aggressive and attack Link by repeatedly swinging their swords at him. They will also jump away if Link tries to strike back. They can only be defeated by throwing Bombs at them.
In Spirit Tracks, both common and Stalfos Warriors appear, and are the same as in Phantom Hourglass. They are especially common to the Sand Temple, where some of the Stalfos may rise from certain sand pits.
A giant Stalfos skull, Skeldritch, is fought as the boss of the Sand Temple.
In Skyward Sword, Stalfos appear as armed warriors wielding a pair of swords. Like the Stalfos of previous 3D console games, they are skilled swordmasters who, in absense of a shield, use their swords to block Link's attacks in addition to attacking him with powerful strikes and blows. Stalfos hold their swords either vertically or horizontally, which will block Link's sword if he attempts to strike them from adjacent angles. When held vertically, their swords will block attacks from the side, and when held horizontally, they block strikes coming up or down. The Stalfos will alternate between the two. They can be damaged by striking them from an angle between their blades where their fronts are unprotected. Stalfos can also be attacked by bashing into them with Link's shield as they move to attack, which will break off their arms and allow for several strikes. Their arms will soon regenerate, however. A Stalfos first appears as the mini-boss of the Skyview Temple. They also later appear in the Sky Keep, and are summoned by Ghirahim during the Horde Battle.
Stalmaster, a four-armed Stalfos carrying an assortment of weapons, appears as the mini-boss of Ancient Cistern and as one of the mini-bosses of Sky Temple. Scervo and Dreadfuse are robotic, skeletal-like enemies that are closely similar to Stalfos, and are fought in the Sandship and Sky Keep as mini-bosses, respectively.
A Link Between Worlds
In A Link Between Worlds, Stalfos are closely based on those from A Link to the Past, however, only two types exist. Common Stalfos will repeatedly jump from Link's attacks. They are a little more aggressive than their past incarnation as they will also pursue after Link. In certain dungeon rooms where Link is required to fight them, they first appear as piles of bones and rise the moment Link enters. Red-colored Stalfos throw their bones at Link as well.
Tri Force Heroes
Stalfos in Tri Force Heroes behave mostly the same as in A Link Between Worlds, but come in only the most basic variety. When they see the Links, they will charge after them. A Stalfos will evade the Links' attacks, but will jump behind them as opposed to away from them, in an attempt to attack them from behind. They are able to evade most items, with the exception of the Fire Gloves, which deals minimal damage against them. Stalfos can easily be defeated when cornered by the Links. They are common enemies to The Dunes. The bandages of a Gibdo can be burned away with the Fire Gloves to reveal a Stalfos.
|Ambiguously Canon Content||hide|
- Stalfos in their Ocarina of Time incarnation appear as Captains in Hyrule Warriors, however they are incorrectly referred to as Stalchildren, which serve as their infantry troops.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese|| スタルフォス (Sutarufosu)
スタルフォン (Sutarufon) (TAoL)
Portmanteau of "Stalfos" and "osso", bone
|Chinese||骷髅战士 (Kūlóu Zhànshi)||Skeleton Warrior|
- "Anybody who comes into the forest will be lost. Everybody will become a Stalfos. Everybody, Stalfos." — Fado (Ocarina of Time)
- "Trick the king into thinking he's seeing a child-sized version of Captain Keeta by wearing the Captain's Hat during your bone-rattling battle with the skeletal Stalfos knights and Igos himself." (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power), pg. 134)
- "Captain Keeta—the giant skull captain in Ikana Graveyard—once served under the Ikana King, Igos du Ikana." (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power), pg. 134)
- "Since my teleportation powers are limited in the upper world, I'll have to travel in style." — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda, Episode 1 )
- Stalfos carrying Ganon in "The Missing Link"
- "You mean to disturb our masters?!" — Stalfos (Captain N: The Game Master, Episode Having a Ball )
- "This map has to be fake, Link says. Why else would it be in such an easy hiding place? Follow me! I'll get us out of here! But Link! Zelda cries. Maybe it's-- It's too late. Link has already disappeared down the nearest tunnel." (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 80)
- "Then Link looks up to see the pale bones of the Stalfos whipping toward them. Oh, Link! Zelda cries. You picked the wrong path. We're done for!" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 81)
- "Link hears the howling of Stalfos rushing toward them. He takes a deep breath. Let's hope this map is real, he says to Zelda and Charles. Quickly, he unfolds it and searches for a route out." (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 48)
- "This way! he calls. [...] In minutes they're back outside. The skeletons stop at the mouth of the tunnel, howling." (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 48)
- "It's impossible to keep them down! Aaaargh!! I've had enough!" (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power), pg. 7)