The Shadow Temple
supposed someone did request this. But I really only thought through the Forest Temple a lot, not so much the Shadow Temple, or any other Temple for that matter. They simply don’t have as much to tell, IMO.
Shadow Temple, a mausoleum in the back of the Graveyard, quite literally a house of the dead. Everywhere inside the Shadow Temple (ST from this point on), there are ghouls in the walls and fake walls that tell you about the blood of Hylians from ages past.
The walls in some of the rooms are made of the bones of the dead, mostly skulls. Most importantly, Dead Hand’s room. It attacks by biting you, as if trying to eat you. It seems as though, then, that Dead Hand was fed people. Basically, the preceding rooms would scare captives, destroying their nerves, with skulls on the walls, a few of them with glowing eyes. Then, they would be forced into Dead Hand’s room, bars preventing their escape. Dead Hand would eventually rise up and feast on their bodies, probably adding it to the walls (I get the feeling that the room is supposed to actually be surrounded by mounds of bones, not walls, but N64 texture is so limited). The red wounds on Dead Hand were most likely caused by captives who tried to retaliate, cutting Dead Hand’s body and arms.
To progress, one must go to a giant head with arms, his tongue as a platform to reach with the Sacred Feet. Why is it a tongue and mouth? Demons in many cultures are said to devour the living and quite literally, you are entering the darkness, to be consumed by it. However, in the end, I feel this was, once again, just a decoration.
We find dual reapers with giant scythes. This room may have been used to behead captives in droves, but considering how easy it is to avoid the scythes, it is unlikely. There is a shortcut to the ferry from this room, and that was probably the main purpose. The second time we find scythes, they are invisible.
Then there’s the Rain of Pain. Potentially a very useful killing device, it would stab through everyone below. It that did not kill them, the shear weight of the Rain of Pain probably would. There seem to be a few jails in here as well. I wonder what they might serve. Why would Hylians jail people here? I’ll answer this later.
Gigantic skulls can be found. They would most likely strike terror into anyone’s heart. Why is there fire inside? Why, to throw bodies into it, of course. Anyone thrown inside would be burned alive, without any chance of crawling out. Perhaps a cremation device, although I’m not sure how Hylians would empty it.
Finally, we reach the ferry, and everything will soon start to come together. The ferry is simply a ride across Styx to reach the Hell at the end. We see the giant bird, although why it is here is still unknown. There is, ironically, a symbol of the Triforce on the ferry. The ST is the domain of the Goddesses? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just the domain for those who worship the Goddesses.
At the very end of the ferry, there is a large gap. It looks as though there used to be a bird statue that acted as a bridge across. It has most likely fallen apart and crumbled into the abyss. The bird, I suppose I should say now, is likely either a raven or crow, two birds often associated with the darkness. I personally think it’s a crow, as the name of a flock of crow is “murder.” It has appeared as a statue at the very beginning, on the ferry, and here as another tall statue.
Finally, I can start pulling threads together. In the very back, there is a small maze. We have three rooms. One has closing spiked walls, a dirty way to kill off captives; another has three spinning giant skulls, more cremation devices (?). But the last room is the most interesting. There’s a bloody cross in the middle, and lots of blood everywhere. Unlike the other rooms and devices (the dual reapers, the Rain of Pain, the spiked walls), people were killed here by other people. There’s no special device or anything. Hylian hands basked in the blood of others. This is likely either a torture room, a twisted crucifixion, or just a murdering chamber in general.
I’m personally guessing it’s an interrogation room. Captives were tied or crucified onto the wooden stakes and then questioned to help gain vital information for the long war. Perhaps then, all the other rooms weren’t for any practical purpose besides one: to strike ultimate terror into the hearts of the captives of war. First, they are eaten by a giant demon head. Then a few captives would have to be examples. A couple beheaded by the dual scythes (even scarier when a person’s head just flies off, as you can’t see the scythes), a few impaled by the Rain, some thrown into the spiked wall room (most likely trying to claw their way out, screaming for help, and then their voices dying off as their tracheas are stabbed and crushed). Those guillotines, so improperly placed along the path, were meant to strike fear, not heads. Even the ferry was meant to remind captives that they were going straight to Hell. This would all lead to more efficient interrogation.
And that would make the Hylians keepers of Hell, that Triforce symbol so symbolic of this. Zelda’s ancestors were likely to be sadists, who, after winning the war, likely toyed with their prisoners. Any bodies were at first likely cremated or fed to Dead Hand. Eventually, the Hylians most likely just threw them into the abysses.
This is why evil began to emanate from the ST. Of course, the ST was probably never meant for this. It is a mausoleum, first and foremost. A mausoleum is traditionally a tomb for important people, respected people. The respected people would be the warriors who died protecting their land. Suddenly, it is filled with the blood of the enemy, the captives thrown in here at the whim of the sadist Hylians. This burial is now defiled. The spirits of the dead soldiers most likely rose up to retaliate. They came back as Gibdos and ReDeads (not Link-humping fangirls, I swear). The Stalfos are probably a few of the armored soldiers, pissed off at the desecration.The manifestation of hate towards the Hylians is Bongo Bongo. A faceless monster, he represents the faceless warrriors who have died, anonymous to the Royal Family, their bodies lost in Hell. He has a singular red eye that scowls at you. Red is the color of blood and death, flesh and life. That single red eye nearly looks like it’s blooming. A red rose, perhaps? A red rose is a symbol of socialism; I suppose that would refer to all the souls of the angered warriors, joining their hate together as one. Finally, Bongo Bongo’s hands beat a drum, maybe a war drum, to call to action the dead spirits to kill all the noble Hylians who have disgraced the dead.
This is why the ST was sealed off. Sheikah, who are not Hylians, could probably more freely enter the ST, as the hatred wasn’t totally directed towards them. That is how Impa could probably seal off the evil. But, interestingly, there are a few seals. First off, the actual passage to the ST is inaccessable; one generally needs a teleportation song to reach it. Secondly, a giant door seals the actual interest (sealed with the symbol of the Sheikah, no doubt, it is their magic). Finally, the only way to open the door is with a Fire spell, whose conveniently found within Hyrule Castle gates, behind a giant boulder. The sign next to the boulder even attempts to discourage others from approaching by merely listing it as a dead end. This provides a few hurtles to leap before releasing the evil in the Shadow Temple.
But, of course, Bongo Bongo was sealed in the well, not in the Shadow Temple. The well was probably an extension of the Shadow Temple, as there are torture rooms down there. There aren’t many abysses, so the Dead Hand here probably feasted on more flesh than the one in the Shadow Temple. The very bottom of the well, the claw-shaped caves, were probably death pits to throw prisoners into.Although we are not told the actual seal the Sheikah used to contain Bongo Bongo, one could have been the water of the well. Perhaps a vain attempt to wash away the blood on the hands of the Hylians, the Royal Family.
IMO, I pile of garbage lays before my eyes. I truly can’t think of anything dark, evil, witty, entertaining, or anything about the Shadow Temple. The only interesting observations I make would be the origin of Bongo Bongo, but besides that, I really don’t know. The Forest Temple actually looked like a true castle, and is much more interesting to write about. A mausoleum is just another big tomb. If possible, I would have loved to relate this to Egyptian tombs, but nothing indicates that, despite the Arabic motif of the Zelda games.
Bleh, I suppose I’ll only write about dungeons which I feel have some deep, not-so-easily recognizable secrets. Most of the this was stating the obvious. I would GREATLY appreciate other’s interpretations, I think mine just plain sucks.