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Filed under: Eiji Aonuma, Industry People, Super Smash Bros. Series

Dream Arenas – The Temples of Time

The Zelda series has seen a lot of love in the stage department of Super Smash Brothers. This should’ve recently become apparent to you all with Macargoman’s analysis of all the Zelda stages. Here at Source Gaming we don’t see or want this love for Zelda’s various locales to stop anytime soon, evident by our frequent expectation/desire for a Breath of the Wild stage in Smash for Switch. Of all of the Zelda games that Smash has tackled, the title that seems to get the most love is Ocarina of Time. This shouldn’t be a surprise, it was the latest Zelda at the time of the original Super Smash Bros and is one of the most popular games of all time, as it definitely deserves it. So, in this edition of Dream Arena’s we are going back to that game to tackle not one but six of the game’s most important areas: the dungeons.

Dungeons are a key part of the Zelda series and have been since the very first game. So it seems only fair that as one of the series most important locations they should get a stage in Super Smash Bros. at some point. Well, they already have in Super Smash Bros. Melee and beyond with the stage fittingly titled: Temple. Temple is a stage that takes inspiration from Zelda II and the whole concept of dungeons and so is not based on any one game or dungeon in particular. This could leave it to feel a bit plain, a bit like the dungeons of Zelda II. Since that game dungeons have usually come themed to a certain environment like a forest or volcano and this made them far more memorable. It is these kinds of dungeons that today’s article hopes to tackle.

Now, before I continue, I need to give credit where it is due. The original conception of this arena was not by me but by Source Gaming fan Kenith. He originally told us the idea in the Source Gaming discord channel and I loved it. I wanted to make it into a Dream Arena and with his blessing, I am now doing just that. Now, this article is not a one-to-one version of his original idea. I have taken the core concept and expanded on it while trying to fit it into the Smash Bros series as best as I can, both from a technical and design standpoint. Now, without further-ado let us take a look at the Temples (notice the plural) of Time.


Temples of Time: Music and Statistics

Before we get into the actual layout of the stage here are a couple of tracks you might expect to find in this level (and might like to listen to as you read the article). Unsurprisingly they are all based around Dungeon themes or tracks found in Ocarina of Time!

As per usual we also have some statistics about the level, essential formalities before we get into the nitty-gritty of this stage.

Game The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
Series Legend of Zelda
Home to Sheik, Ganondorf
Stage Size Various (mostly Medium)
Niche Dungeon types
Blast Zones Various
Gimmick Transporting Stage

Temple of Time

NOTE: the green and black show the plane which you can fight on. In the actual game, it would not be there.

So we begin our stage journey with the most basic layout possible: The Temple of Time. While the order of dungeons visited after this will be random, the Temple of Time is always first as it acts as a safe space for people to warm-up and gets into the swing of battling. The stage is mostly flat with no platforms and walk-offs on either side. In the background, you have the 3 stones and the entryway to the Master Swords room (where the sword is absent as this is the future Hyrule).

The most important part of this room is in the centre of the battlefield and that is the Triforce pedestal. These are found in front of every dungeon in the game and allow Link to warp to them to quickly jump between dungeons. That functionality will continue on here as this pedestal will be the only constant in every stage layout. While players can stand anywhere between transitions like in Castle Siege, this Pedestal will be a constant safe space, no matter the layout anyone in this area won’t be dropped into the abyss when the stage forms. After about 15 seconds the scene will shift and we will go to one of the randomly chosen 5 other dungeons. It is possible to go back to the Temple of Time later on though and you will know it is coming when you hear the Prelude of Light play and are greeted by a yellow transition background.

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Forest Temple

Upon hearing the Minuet of Forest and a flash of green you and all the other players will find themselves in the Phantom Ganon boss room in the Forest Temple. This room has a similar layout to that of the Temple of Time except here there are no walk-offs but a drop on both sides. The central platform is big enough for eight players and doubles-up as this stages Omega Form as well. But what makes it unique in its normal form? Well, that would be the appearance of Phantom Ganon himself who emerges from the paintings in the background and fires balls of light down at the player. These can be knocked back with a good hit but Phantom Ganon is not a boss in this stage so there is no benefit to trying to take him out.

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Fire Temple

When the Bolero of Fire plays, all players are whisked away in a transition of red to the central room of the Fire Temple. This massive room contains a bridge as its centrepiece and has lava all around. For Smash there is a rock platform between two bridges where the pedestal rests and at either edge of the screen are more rocks showing where the bridges end. These rocks are the safe-spaces (although this part is a walk-off so hanging by these rocks could get you killed) for the lava under the bridges is known for spewing hot fire up towards the sky and these two bridges won’t protect you from getting burnt.

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Water Temple

So it is at this temple where you will find the biggest difference between my idea for the stage and Kenith’s original vision. While I wouldn’t usually include multiple options in an article such as this I feel that it is only respectful of me to let you all know the original creator’s intention. So for that, let us look at Dark Link’s room in the Water Temple.

This room is certainly the most unique area in the whole dungeon. A strange, abstract, room where you stand on the water and only have a small island in the centre, housing a small tree. You’ll enter this room like every other dungeon. You hear that dungeons tune, Serenade of Water in this case, and are taken away by the dungeons colour of choice, this time it is Blue. This arena is flat with the tree acting as another platform and that is it. Pretty simple. I don’t know if Kenith intended for this to be a walk-off or not and whether he hoped Dark Link would make an appearance somewhere. Perhaps if he is reading this he can let us all know in the comments below!

Now onto my pick for this dungeon, which is the main chamber of the Water Temple, specifically the top two floors. I wanted to try and represent the rising and draining water of this temple as it is so important so in this stage you have the pedestal on a big block in the centre that is disconnected from the two platforms on either side. Then on the edges are water where players can swim, effectively making this a walk-off. However a cue will go off and the water will drain leaving both sides and the centre block, where the Triforce Pedestal was, completely empty. In their place are pits that will KO anyone who falls into them. Of course, the stage cannot transition until the water rises back up again and when it does it will only go up to the top platform meaning fighters will need to move to the top in order to survive.

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Shadow Temple

The next temple on the list is the Shadow Temple, reached when the Nocturne of Shadows is played alongside a transition of purple. This level is set on the ship of the dead that can be found towards the end of the dungeon, as that is certainly its most memorable part. The ship moves from left to right and bobs up and down as players fight on it. The stage is mostly flat with the pedestal in the centre, over the Triforce symbol on the boat. If players are knocked off they fall in the water and can be killed in similar ways to the pirate ship stage. The only major hazards are two Stalfos enemies that drop down from the sky and act similar to the Stalfos from Smash Run. They don’t appear when playing with more than 8-players however.

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Spirit Temple

NOTE: the red & black on the edge of the stage represent the blast-zones.

The final, and biggest part of the stage, is the one associated with the Spirit Temple. The Requiem of Spirits will play and an orange transition covers the screen as you turn up on the statue in the central room. The pedestal appears on the statue’s lap which acts as the main platform. On either side are the hands of the statues that act like floating platforms while underneath is a bottomless pit (instead of the floor like in the actual game). Higher up and on each side of the room are solid platforms that have walk-offs giving this stage both options. On the occasion Koume & Kotake show up just like in Gerudo Valley where they will either freeze or set fire to one-half of the room, forcing players to the other.

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With that done we come to a close on this multi-layered stage. With Ocarina of Time being so old it is highly unlikely to get another stage based on it but if for some miraculous reason Sakurai, or whoever is working on it, decides to reach back into the past then I hope that the iconic dungeons Link face get to see some love. Once again I want to give thanks to Source Gaming fan Kenith for the original idea and for allowing me to make an article on it. Who I really need to thank fo this article though is the absolute MVP Fire_Voyager who made all of the 3D models you saw here. A man with amazing talent! Let me know what you thought of my ideas in the comments below. Happy Zelda week everyone!

  1. Looking forward ti dream smashers for Zelda Week,
    I hope we see Tingle. However if not, it’d be nice if you reported or interviewed the team which are translating Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love

    tempahrelapse on February 24 |
  2. Kenith here. Thanks for using my idea! You guys really ran with it and added a lot of little touches that bring it together. Props to the dioramas once again, and also the idea of having the triforce “base” as a safe, consistent spot (and Temples of Time is a great name).
    Firstly yes, the Water Temple section was supposed to be a walkoff, and no, there’s no Dark Link hazard. It’s supposed to be “downtime” since all the other transitions are so active. I guess Temple of Time sort of fits that and that your idea is better but it’s such a good room.
    Here’s some things I think could be changed to improve this even further. First, the Fire Temple room should be set in the temple itself, not in the crater. There’s a room in the dungeon that has geometry very similar to what your layout of it looks like, so there’s no reason not to use it. Plus because that room is so massive there could be other things in the background like submerged blocks and fire keese.
    Second, the ghost ship in the Shadow Temple doesn’t float on water. It floats through the abyss. So you should remove that for authenticity.
    Third, the Triforce warp point is supposed to be a safe spot in every dungeon transition, yet it falls past the blastlines in the Water Temple section. I think it would be better to have a rising/falling platform of either side of the Triforce base, with it being in the middle of the stage. Less accurate to the original game but more consistent with the rest of the stage. Lastly, minor addition – in the Spirit Temple section, having the chained platform you use to shine light on the statue’s face drop down from the ceiling at some point in the fight would be a nice touch for some extra terrain.

    Good job overall though! I am thoroughly impressed with what you guys did with this.

    • Also, very minor and I forgot to mention it, but my headcanon is that this stage doesn’t use the same basic visual standards of OOT/OOT3D. In my mind, every stage transition is filled with new details and geographic refinements that make each transition fun to play on, but very fun to look at as well. Stuff like pillars and statues added where there weren’t any before, ornate patterns on platforms, etc. And objects from the dungeons (enemies, torches, chests and such) would get moved around to be within view of the camera in the background just to liven the place up a bit. Ocarina of Time 3D did a lot to make OOT’s old polygonal environments a sight to see, but this would take it even further. That’s it from me. 😛

  3. This is the very interesting stage you made! I really like it! Although I’m not familiar with any dungeons since I haven’t played Ocarina of Time before, using the dungeons as the battle stage for Smash is something we needed for the Zelda representative stages. Yes, the game may be old, but we had stages that has been old but brought it up in Smash many times, since Smash is all about learning video game history.

    But this is the very well made stage. Great job!

    zoniken on February 27 |
  4. Can you make Crash Bandicoot, Sparkster from Rocket Knight or Earthworm Jim as a Dream Smasher, please?

    Toni Leppänen on March 13 |
    • Or Rayman too… darn I would like to see these four characters in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch alongside Bomberman and Banjo & Kazooie!

      Toni Leppänen on March 13 |