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Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide: Hyrule Castle and Calamity Ganon walkthrough

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s final boss, Calamity Ganon, is tough, but so is getting through Hyrule Castle. Though you could head directly there as soon as you leave the Great Plateau, it’s not exactly practical. There are many things you should do before facing Calamity Ganon. None of them are required, but they’ll make your journey much easier, have an effect on the final boss battle, make defeating enemies quick and give you the best ending.

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to prepare for Hyrule Castle, how to get through it — and how to defeat Calamity Ganon.

Table of contents

There are several ways to approach Hyrule Castle. Our walkthrough takes you on a path that offers the least resistance and backtracking. As a bonus, it also allows you to enter and exit Hyrule Castle easily. Here’s an overview of our guide, so that you know what to expect.

Preparing for Hyrule Castle and Calamity Ganon

Hyrule Castle walkthrough

Preparing for Hyrule Castle

In this section, we’ll tell you about a handful of things you should do before making your final journey into Hyrule Castle.

Defeat the Divine Beasts

Here’s why Divine Beasts matter: You’ll get the special powers that each Divine Beast offers, which will be helpful in and outside of the castle. More importantly, for every Divine Beast you defeat, you’ll also chip away at an eighth of Calamity Ganon’s health. Defeat all four Divine Beasts, and Calamity Ganon will begin the battle with half of his health bar drained. Worse: If you don’t defeat a Divine Beast, you’ll need to defeat its associated boss before fighting Calamity Ganon.

There are four Divine Beasts, begging to be defeated. We have guides for every one of them:

Complete the Captured Memories main quest

You should complete the Captured Memories main quest — the one re re you need to find the picture locations throughout Hyrule. We even have a guide that will show you how and where to find all picture locations. Doing so will get you the best ending.

Upgrade your armor

Great Fairy fountains are located throughout Hyrule, and our guide will show you where they are and what you need to unlock them. Before fighting Calamity Ganon, upgrade your armor of choice to the max.

Get the Master Sword

There’s nowhere in Hyrule where the Master Sword is more effective than Hyrule Castle. Why? You’ll get a damage bonus, making the Master Sword twice as powerful as it is in other areas. If you don’t have it yet, check out our guide to getting the Master Sword.

Buy ancient arrows

Hyrule Castle is filled with Guardians, who are among the most deadly enemies in Breath of the Wild. Travel to Akkala Ancient Tech lab, and purchase as many ancient arrows as you can afford.

Yes, you can absolutely block Guardians’ attacks or whack away at them with other weapons. In fact, sometimes that’s your best option. But because Guardians of all sizes patrol Hyrule Castle and target you from great distances, exploration is often difficult. Your best bet is to kill every Guardian you come across. Shoot a Guardian’s eye with an ancient arrow, and it’s a one-shot kill. Ancient arrows are worth the investment.

Complete shrines for health

There are 120 shrines in Breath of the Wild, and by no means do you need to complete them all before fighting Calamity Ganon. We did, though. Check out our shrine guide to find them all and maximize your hearts before the final battle.

Cook the best meals and elixirs in Breath of the Wild

The path through Hyrule Castle is fraught with danger, and its evil overlord packs a heck of a punch, so you should have plenty of heart-restoring and stat-boosting meals and elixirs in your inventory. Check out our guide to learn 10 meals worth remembering. Also, remember the unbelievably helpful Hearty Durian.

Hyrule Castle maps

Hyrule Castle isn’t linear. You can wind you way through its serpentine paths in any way you like. This makes exploring the castle somewhat confusing. That's why we created maps to show you where everything is. Use these to get your bearings.

We’ve come up with a way to get through that minimizes backtracking and maximizes treasure collection, but the maps will still help.

You'll notice that there are two maps: one for the exterior and one for the interior. The exterior map shows you where each door into Hyrule Castle takes you. (The doors are all pink on the map.) The interior map shows you where the rooms are.

Things to do in Hyrule Castle

We can’t be absolutely sure, but it certainly feels like there are more items hidden in crates and pots and wooden barrels than anywhere else in Hyrule. Don’t pass up anything. Pick it up, throw it against the wall or use remote bombs to break everything. You’re likely to get arrows and health-restoring items.

Also, before you begin, get the Hylian Shield. It’s in the depths of Hyrule Castle, away from your ultimately destination. Our guide will show you how get the most powerful shield in Breath of the Wild — and one that can deflect Guardian laser beams.

North shore to Docks to Saas Ko'sah shrine

Our journey into Hyrule Castle begins on the north shore of Hyrule Castle Moat. (Browse the gallery below for the precise location.)

Finding Saas Ko'sah shrine is tough. It’s in Hyrule Castle’s Docks. The quickest path there is to head northwest of Hyrule Castle, and look for … well, something like a large cave heading into the rocks surrounding the castle. (Browse the gallery above to see what you’re looking for.) The gallery above will show you the precise place to stand. From the position you can see above, you can paraglide over the moat and onto the path that takes you into the Docks.

Your trouble is just beginning, though. Between you and the shrine, there are several notably difficult Black Lizalfos monsters. Then again, there’s also a Flameblade you can pick up on your way in.

Saas Ko'sah shrine is also hidden. To get in, you’ll need to climb the staircase and ignite the giant urn … thing. (A swing of the Flameblade will do the trick.) Doing so will cause Saas Ko'sah shrine to rise from its … grave?

Inside, you’ll find A Major Test of Strength, which you can see in the video below.

Saas Ko'sah shrine to the Library

Behind Saas Ko’sah shrine is a staircase. Follow it up, and use magnesis to move the crate and the wall blocking your way. You’ll enter the Library, where there are several Lizalfos. Make your way around the Library to defeat your enemies first. Doing so will make exploring that much easier.

Library: Old recipe books for the Royal Recipe side quest

Inside the Library, you can find two recipe books, which allow you to complete Breath of the Wild’s "A Royal Recipe" side quest. You can read our full walkthrough for the details. In short, though, one is on a table in the middle of the first floor, and one is on a book stand on the upper level where you have to use magnesis to create a path to its far side.

Library: Hidden corridors

Use magnesis to scan the walls of the Library’s first floor and move bookshelves to reveal a hidden passageway. Behind one bookcase, you’ll find a corridor with a Stone Smasher, a stone to smash for gems and a treasure chest with a silver rupee (worth 100 rupees).

Behind a bookcase underneath staircases, you’ll find the King’s Study, where you can get a Royal Guard’s Shield, a treasure chest with a gold rupee (worth 300 rupees) and read King Rhoam’s Journal.

Speaking of staircases, you can also find a treasure chest on top of one, with a silver rupee (worth 100 rupees).

From the Library to Princess Zelda’s Room

There are two ways to exit the Library — one on either side of the room. Take the path up the staircases that leads outside.

Veer right when you get outside, so that you see a cave to walk through in the distance. Ultimately, we’ll head through that, but it’s time for a detour for Korok seeds and ancient arrows.

Instead of going through the cave, climb the outer right wall. There’s a platform just above the cave, with a rock. Lift it to get a Korok seed.

Continue climbing until you reach the upper levels of Hyrule Castle. Look up, and you’ll see your destination — the spires that tower atop the castle. In the gallery above, you’ll see the path to:

  • A Korok challenge (you need to paraglide over to the spire, grab on and climb up to get a Korok seed).
  • Above that, there are two ladders that you can climb to find a treasure chest with five ancient arrows.
  • Above that, at the highest point of Hyrule Castle, you’ll find a Korok seed.

To Princess Zelda’s Room

Make your way back down, and head through the cave. Your path will take you across Guardians. Destroy them. There’s also a tower just beyond the cave to the right, where you can defeat a Guardian and climb on top for a treasure chest with five ice arrows. Continue forward, take the staircases on your right, and keep climbing until you reach Princess Zelda’s Room.

In the room, you’ll find a powerful Silver Moblin. Kill it, and explore the room to find Zelda’s Diary, a Royal Guard’s Bow above the fireplace, a Korok on the balcony and a treasure chest with a silver rupee (worth 100 rupees).

Before you leave, if you haven’t gotten the Captured Memory in Hyrule Castle, you can climb the walls outside of Princess Zelda’s Room to Princess Zelda’s Study above, where you can find it.

From Princess Zelda’s Room to the Dining Hall

Return to the Library (going backward through the cave), and take the stairs on the opposite side of the room. (You need to go across a path using magnesis to create a makeshift bridge.)

Continue forward into the room with a Moblin. Kill it, and break every wooden crate and barrel in the room to get some treasure. If you’re looking for weapons, there are plenty sitting against the walls.

Climb the wooden post near the staircase to get to the next door.

In the hallways beyond the door, there are two Lizalfos to defeat. There are also multiple walls that you can break with a remote bomb. Inside the first on your right, you’ll find a Royal Guard’s Sword, which you can use to complete the "Royal Guard’s Gear" side quest.

At the right of the hallway is the Dining Hall, and inside there are four Black Moblins. Defeat them all (kite them to the hallway if you need to), and explore the room for a bunch of items you can use to cook meals. Inside the Dining Hall, you’ll also find a cooking pot.

From the Dining Hall to the Observation Room

Walk to the Dining Hall balcony, turn left and follow the road. Ahead on your left in a pool of water, use magnesis to lift a treasure chest for five bomb arrows.

Return to the Dining Hall, exit to the hallways, and turn left. Go down the stairs, and shoot the eye covered in malice goo. Enter the room at the end of the hallway, and kill the Black Moblin.

Take the stairs up and out of the room (not the way you came in), and fight another Black Moblin. Kill another eye in malice goo, too. This is the Observation Room.

Just before the balcony, you can get a Thunderblade. On the balcony, you’ll find a royal bow, a treasure chest with three ancient arrows and a Korok puzzle. (You need to shoot the ballon in the distance with an arrow.)

From the Observation Room balcony to the Second Gatehouse

(This paragraph is optional. We’ll be back for the two Guardians soon, even if you don’t kill them now.) Beyond the Observation Room’s balcony, there are two Guardians. You can use your bow and arrow to kill them from a distance, or paraglide to where they are and take them down with melee weapons. Just make sure you’re hiding from one when you’re fighting the other. Climb to the top of the tower for a treasure chest with five ice arrows. From the tower, climb your way back to the Observation Room balcony.

Standing on the Observation Room balcony, climb up the wall above, and you’ll see another pinwheel with balloons to hit to get another Korok seed.

Malice goo blocks your path to the area above the balcony, so return to the Observation Room balcony, then make your way back to the Dining Hall.

Walk to its balcony, turn right, and follow the road until you enter a courtyard where you’ll see another eyeball in malice goo. Kill it to open a path that (bearing west) leads to the First Gatehouse and (bearing west and then north) leads to the cave and the entrance to the Library. Instead of taking it, though, turn around and head to the Second Gatehouse.

The Second Gatehouse and the White-Maned Lynel

To be clear: You don’t have to fight the White-Maned Lynel. It’s entirely optional, and if you're not up for it, just skip to the next section. Before you go, though, you should know that it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. (In fact, we’d argue that it’s easier than fighting a Lynel in the wild.) There are only a few things you need to know and do.

  • When you walk into the Second Gatehouse, the doors will close. You can still climb to escape if you want to.
  • There are eyeballs covered in malice goo at the top of the room. They spawn nuisances that mostly just get in the way of your fight. They’re optional kills. Even if you don’t defeat them, you can still beat the White-Maned Lynel. (In the video above, for example, we only killed one, and it was fine.)
  • The trick is to use the limited space inside of the Second Gatehouse to your advantage. Keep your distance from the White-Maned Lynel, block at every opportunity, and convince the Lynel to charge you. As it does, run out of the way. When it hits the wall, it will be momentarily stunned. Run up to it, hit A to mount it, and swing away.
  • You can also shoot the White-Maned Lynel in the face with an arrow to stun it, though we didn’t have much luck with that.
  • The White-Maned Lynel only has a few attacks. Keeping your distance and blocking them will mitigate everything.
  • When the White-Maned Lynel starts hurling fireballs your way, run as far away as you can and move left to right (or right to left) to avoid the attacks. You don’t even have to run to, uh, outrun them.

Watch the video above, and you’ll see every move and how to avoid them. The treasure you get for defeating the White-Maned Lynel includes Shock Arrows, Lynel Horns, Lynel Guts, Lynel Hoofs, the Savage Lynel Sword, the Savage Lynel Bow, the Savage Lynel Shield and a treasure chest with three ancient arrows.

The East Passage and back to the Library

Stand where you destroyed the eyeball in malice goo, in the courtyard between the gatehouses. (It’s labeled 1 in the map in the gallery above.). Head south, taking the road that leads east and north to the northeast of Hyrule Castle. (It’s labeled 2 and 3 in the gallery above.)

On your way, you’ll run underneath the Observation Room. Defeat the Guardians along the way, and climb the towers, where you’ll find treasure chests with five shock arrows, five fire arrows and five ice arrows. (This area is labeled 2 on the map above.) Buy the northern tower, use stasis or an octo balloon to lift the rock slab hiding a treasure chest, where you can get a silver rupee (worth 100 rupees). (Fun fact: The slab is on top of the door that leads to the Library.)

Continue along the path, and enter the East Passage (at the point labeled 3 on the map in the gallery above.) Inside, you’ll find a mine cart that you can use stasis on and whack to ride.

About halfway through your ride, you’ll see a few blocks of ice sitting in water. Jump off the mine cart, and equip a fire-based weapon to melt the largest one. When it melts, you’ll get a Korok seed. Use remote bombs to destroy the ore deposits in the immediate area, and note that by the track above, there’s a cooking pot.

At the end of the path, there’s a Stone Talus. Hit the shiny ore deposit on its back to knock it down, and keep hitting it to deplete its health, Collect the numerous gems that appear when it dies. A few Stone Pebbits appear after it dies, so use remote bombs to kill them, too.

With the stone talus defeated, you’ll see an updraft. Deploy your paraglider, and ride it up. Don’t exit, though. Rotate until you see a little alcove with a treasure chest that you can open for a Shard of Farosh’s Fang.

Now paraglide to the other side, destroy the eyeball in malice goo, and walk through the path it was blocking. You’re back in the Library.

From the Library to the First Gatehouse and the Blue-Maned Lynel

As we wrote above regarding the Second Gatehouse: You don’t have to fight the Blue-Maned Lynel. It’s entirely optional. Again, though, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. There are only a few things you need to know and do.

  • When you walk into the First Gatehouse, the doors will close. You can still climb to escape if you want to.
  • There’s an eyeball covered in malice goo at the top of the room. It’s an optional kill. Its floating skull spawns will mostly just get in the way.
  • The trick is to use the limited space inside of the First Gatehouse to your advantage. Keep your distance from the Blue-Maned Lynel, block at every opportunity, and convince the Blue-Maned Lynel to charge you. As it does, run out of the way. When it hits the wall, it will be momentarily stunned. Run up to it, hit A to mount it, and swing away.
  • The Lynel only has a few attacks. Keeping your distance and blocking them will mitigate everything.
  • You can shoot the Blue-Maned Lynel in the face with an arrow to stun it, but we didn’t have much luck with this.
  • When the Blue-Maned Lynel starts hurling fireballs your way, run as far away as you can and move left to right (or right to left) to avoid the attacks. You don’t even have to run to, uh, outrun them.

Watch the video above, and you’ll see every move and how to avoid them — and the treasure you get for defeating the Blue-Maned Lynel, which includes Shock Arrows, Lynel Horns, Lynel Hoofs and a treasure chest with 10 bomb arrows.

From the First Gatehouse to the Guards’ Chamber

On the southeastern side of the First Gatehouse is a path that winds its way west, east and ultimately south to the front gate of Hyrule Castle. There’s another eyeball in malice goo blocking your path, and Guardians protecting the path. Defeat the Guardians and the eyeball, and continue down the path that the eyeball once blocked.

Down the path on your left, you’ll find a door that leads to the Guards’ Chamber. You just have to use cryonis to lift the gate blocking your path first.

Before you enter the chamber proper, look at the wall near the entry door. Use a remote bomb on the cracked portion, and you’ll unveil a treasure chest with three ancient arrows.

Inside the Guards’ Chamber, you’ll find two Silver Lizalfos and a Black Moblin. They’re all difficult to defeat, but each has worthy rewards (including gems).If you’re having trouble defeating your enemies, note that the room is filled with exploding barrels that you can use to inflict more damage.

Before you leave, make sure you check the following places for hidden items:

  • Underneath the staircases on the each level of the Guards’ Chamber. One looks like a wall, but it’s just leaves. The other requires you to destroy a few wooden cubes, and you’ll find a treasure chest with a Savage Lynel Shield.
  • Climb a wooden pillar to reach the highest level of the room (farthest away from where you entered).

To exit, place a barrel onto the switch near where you entered. That’ll keep the switch down and open a door at the top of a staircase. (If you destroyed every barrel, just stand on the switch and use stasis to keep it down while you run out.)

Make your way out, and you’ll be back in the courtyard that leads up to the First Gatehouse. Instead of heading up, head back down the path and jump down off the ledges to your right until you find the entrance to the West Passage. (You can see the exact location in the first image in the gallery in the next section.)

From the Guards’ Chamber to the West Passage

Destroy everything you see in the cave that leads to the West Passage, and open the treasure chest for a diamond.

Inside the next room, kill a few Frost Pebbits, and get into the mine cart. Use stasis on the mine cart to propel you forward. Eventually, you’ll enter a room with a pool of water that restores you health while you stand inside. Take advantage of that, and while you’re here, collect the bird’s eggs from the nest next to the broken mine cart, and put one in front of the statue missing an egg to get a Korok seed.

The West Passage leads to two areas: a secret path to the courtyard surrounding the First and Second Gatehouses, as well as north to the Library. You can also take the West Passage to Lockup. We’ll create the shortcut first, and then we’ll tackle Lockup.

The West Passage shortcut

Instead of heading into Lockup, turn right and head into the tall room with a Silver Moblin. (You can see the exact location in the gallery above.) Defeat it, and gather your treasure.

Now it’s time to do a few things that will get you treasure, a Korok seed and quick access to the courtyard with the two Gatehouses, as well as the Guards’ Chamber and the Observation Room.

  • Climb a post, and look on the walls for your opportunity to get a Korok seed. (Check the gallery above for the exact location.)
  • Keep climbing and looking for things to break like barrels and wooden boxes. There’s loot all around.
  • Back on the ground, scan the walls for a ladder surrounded by malice goo. Climb the walls, avoiding the goo, and climb the ladder.
  • Enter the room at the top of the ladder, destroy the cracked wall with a remote bomb, and defeat the Silver Lizalfos inside. Open the treasure chest there for a Shard of Dinraal’s Fang. Hit the wooden switch with your weapon, and you’ll create an updraft within the room below you. Use your paraglider to take that updraft as high as you can go.

At the top of the room, you can exit Hyrule Castle and find yourself beneath Princess Zelda’s Room and Study. Instead, follow the path inside Hyrule Castle, destroying the eyeballs in malice goo along the way. Some of the goo was hiding a spiral staircase that leads to the courtyard with the two Gatehouses.

From the West Passage to Lockup

Paraglide back down the tall room where you uncovered the updraft. Now head out of the room and straight ahead into Lockup, Hyrule Castle’s jail.

At first, you’ll find yourself in a locked cell. Look for bent bars, and shoot the eyeball in malice goo in the cell directly across from you. Exit the cell, and collect the Blizzard Rod in the room where the eyeball was.

The path to Hylian Shield

If you don’t already have the Hylian Shield, you can collect it by going left out of the cell where you entered. You’ll need to fight a Stalnox, and you’ll receive Breath of the Wild’s most powerful shield as a reward.

The path out of Lockup

To get out of Lockup, you’ll need to defeat several enemies and flip several wooden switches in the middle of the corridor.

In the farthest cell on your left before the malice goo, use a remote bomb to destroy the wall. In the next room, shoot the eyeball in goo to clear the malice goo. Leave the room, hit the wooden switch in the middle of the hall, and walk into the newly opened cell. Use a remote bomb to clear a path to the next cell. Kill the Lizalfos in the next cell, and open the treasure chest for a silver rupee (worth 100 rupees). Follow the path out of Lockup, and use cryonis to lift the gate blocking your way out.

Now it’s time to finish the fight. You can feel free to explore more or take the greenish roads that lead directly to the Sanctum, where you’ll fight Calamity Ganon.

The Sanctum and Calamity Ganon boss fight

If you’ve followed along with our walkthrough, there’s nothing between you and Calamity Ganon. Follow the green(ish) roads through Hyrule Castle’s exterior, past the Gatehouses and up to the Sanctuary, where you’ll confront Breath of the Wild’s final boss.

How to defeat Calamity Ganon: Attack and defense overview

Calamity Ganon’s attacks should look familiar if you’ve completed the Divine Beasts. The creator of their bosses — Fireblight Ganon, Windblight Ganon, Waterblight Ganon and Thunderblight Ganon — and uses the attacks he created for his minions. As ever, keeping your distance offers you an advantage.

Beyond running away, there are a few things to do:

  • His Fireblight Ganon-like fire sword attacks are easy to avoid from a distance. If you’re confident in your parrying skills, wait for his arm to move, then parry to unleash a flurry rush. They also leave him vulnerable to attack, which we show in the animated GIF below.
  • His Windblight Ganon-like tornado attacks are easy to avoid, as long as you run as far away as you can. That makes them easy to see and run away from. The same applies to the wind-based attack that shoots a vortex your way. Run way, and move left to right (or right to left … you know, laterally) so it can’t target you.
  • His Thunderblight Ganon-like attack tosses metal pillars into the arena. Just get away from them so that you don’t get electrocuted.
  • His Waterblight Ganon-like attack hurls blocks of ice your way. It’s easy to avoid at a distance, but you could also use cryonis to break the blocks as they tumble through the air.
  • His guardian sword attacks are much faster and more difficult to counter. Blocking is almost certainly your best bet.

Calamity Ganon: Ground attacks

So, yeah. Calamity Ganon’s attacks aren’t particularly difficult to avoid, but causing him damage can be confusing. The best way we found to reliably damage Calamity Ganon is to concentrate on his little back legs. Wait for him to attack, and run around the the back, where you can swing away.

Calamity Ganon: Perfect guard and the laser attack

Calamity Ganon has a laser gun. He uses it when he climbs the wall like a spider, and he uses it on the ground. Just be glad that he’s using it, because this is where your perfect guard skills come in handy.

Back away, lock on and, when he fires his laser, perform a perfect guard. That’ll send the laser back to him, damage and stun him, and give you a window to whack away.

How to defeat Dark Beast Ganon

Surprise! There’s a form of Ganon to deal with!

Frankly, the most difficult part of the first phase is your horse, who (at least in our game was) difficult to control. Avoid trees whenever possible, because our horse sure liked to run into them and stop. As long as you keep riding your horse around Dark Beast Ganon, you’ll be able to hit the highlighted areas with your bow and arrow.

The somewhat confusing part of the battle begins at the end. When you need to target Dark Beast Ganon’s head, abandon your horse at the front of your enemy. Use the updraft created when he attacks to fly up, pull your bow and arrow and, while the world goes to slow motion, unleash an arrow.