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Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide

Explore the Ancient Cistern and defeat the Ancient Automaton Koloktos

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

To find your first Sacred Flame, you’ll have to head into The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’s Ancient Cistern inside Lake Floria.

In this Skyward Sword HD Ancient Cistern walkthrough, we’ll guide you through the dungeon with tips on finding items, rupees, Goddess Cubes, and collectibles and completing every quest and side quest. We’ll walk you through finding the Secret Order you’ll need to unlock a gem lock to claim your first Small Key. We’ll give tips on the Stalmaster miniboss fight that will reward you with the Whip. We’ll pick up the Dungeon Map and another Small Key on our way to find the Blessed Idol key item. Finally, we’ll give tips on defeating this dungeon’s boss, the Ancient Automaton Koloktos.


Table of contents

Secret Order
Dungeon Map
Ancient Automaton Koloktos boss fight
Sacred Flame

Secret Order

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Inside the Ancient Cistern, walk toward the locked door in the middle of the giant room. To the right of the door, read the tablet. You’ll learn that the inscriptions of gratitude you’ll need are in a secret order and located on the back, rear, right hand, and left hand of the Great Statue.

Back

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Hop into the water and swim to the back of the Great Statue. You’ll find the first symbol just above the waterline. Note the direction of the blue petal? lobe? — top.

Rear

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Swim down to the bottom, and look under the arch for the next symbol — it’s directly below the first. This one shows the bottom.

Right hand

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Swim back to the front of the Great Statue. Its right hand is on the left (west) of the map. Spin to dash across its palm and collect the silver rupee there. The next symbol is on the hand’s knuckles — left.

Left hand

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Repeat the process for the left hand. You’ll get another silver rupee and see the final symbol — right.

Small Key 1

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Head to the east side of the room. Pull the switch to open the gate, and head through the door.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Drop down and climb out of the water to the left. Carefully cut down and dispatch the Skulltulas. In the next hall, there’s a plaque on the left, telling you to hit the gems on the lock in the Secret Order.

Hit the top, bottom, left, and right gems with slashes from those directions.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

In the next room, cut down the two Skulltulas with your Beetle, and then swim over and climb out of the water in the southeast corner.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Face north, and jump off the ledge onto the lily pad below you — this will flip it over and reveal a tunnel.

Dive under and swim through that tunnel on the east wall. Spin through any barricades you come to. At the other end, climb out and go through the door.

Open the chest on the other side for the Small Key.

Drop off the ledge, and head to the southeast corner of the room. Ride the water spout up to the ledge. Cross along this ledge and back into the main room.

Stalmaster mini boss fight

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Take the Small Key to the locked door in the center of the room and step through. Drop down through the hole.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

The fight against the Stalmaster is a lot like fights against regular Stalfoses. You have to attack from the direction it’s not blocking. Stalmaster just has extra arms and swords.

Shield Bashing to parry attacks will knock Stalmaster’s arms off, allowing you to land a couple — but no more than two — free hits.

Once Stalmaster is defeated, smash all the skulls in the room for some hearts, and then head through the door.

Whip

Open the chest in the next room for the Whip.

Back in the center room, equip the Whip, and target the valve. Whip it to attach the Whip to it, and then flick the Whip to spin it. This will open another water spout to ride up to the floor above.

Repeat this process on the next floor, and go through the door to return to the main room.

Dungeon Map

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Swim and hop over to the platform on the outer edge of the room near the bird statue. Follow it around counterclockwise.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Use your new Whip to swing across the gaps until you reach a chest with the Dunegeon Map.

Reach level B1

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Navigate the lily pads over the western side of the room. Look for the upside-down one with the roots sticking up.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Get close, and flip it over with your Whip. Hop onto it, and use your Whip to pull the switch on the wall and shut off the waterfall there.

Dive into the water and head through the tunnel heading west. When you exit, loop around the giant fish head statue to find a chest with a red rupee.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Head to the gate on the west wall. Stand close, and you’ll be able to Whip the switch through the bars. Pull the switch to open the gate and continue through.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Follow the right wall up the ledges there. Whip across to the vines and climb up.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Hop onto the rotating cylinder, and climb up. Ride it around to a platform hidden behind it on the west wall. Catch your breath there, and then continue around to the south.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Face east. Use the Whip to swing from the branch sticking out of the wall. Turn yourself a little to the left so that you’ll jump to the switch instead of the vines. When you land on the switch, you’ll open the gate above you.

Backtrack, and swing from the same branch. Land on the vines this time, and climb into the room you just opened.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Use your Whip on the valve to lower the water in the main room. Step onto the ledge to the northwest. Drop off to the left to find a Goddess Wall.

Hop into the whirlpool, and let it carry you down.

Small Key 2

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

When the pipe spits you out, turn around and climb out of the water to find an Amber Relic and a bird statue.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Use your Beetle to cut down the Skulltulas. When the easternmost one falls, it’ll flip over the lily pad under it and reveal a tunnel. Swim through, and climb out on the right.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Get close to the bars, and Whip the Bokoblin on the other side to steal the Small Key from him. Use it on the locked door to the north.

Follow the tunnel east, and swim through the pipe at the end.

Lower the Great Statue

Swim to the bird statue south of you. Over on the east side of the room, Spin Jump to land on the ledge.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Use your Whip to flip over the lily pad in the southeast corner. Climb the vines above it.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Follow that path north, and drop off the ledge onto the lily pad in the middle of the room. You’ll open a new underwater tunnel.

Dodge the Froaks and follow the tunnel to the end. When you return to the main part of the room, turn right to find a valve. Whip it open.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Retrace your steps to get back to the lily pad you just raised. Use your Whip to flip it over, and then cross to the west side of the room.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Follow the path and Whip the switch to open the gate at the end.

Deal with the Furnix, and then climb onto the vines to your right.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Climb straight down to find a ledge under the one you were just on. Open the chest there for a red rupee.

Climb back onto the vines, and work your way counterclockwise (south) along the wall.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

At the end, Whip open the valve to open a shortcut. Use your Whip to latch onto the branch on the wall. Yank it down. This lowers the Great Statue in the center of the room.

Restore the Great Statue

Head back into the Great Statue through the same door you used earlier. Drop to the bottom, and head through the next door as well.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Turn left and follow the path around to the east, clearing the Cursed Bokoblins as you go.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

At the end, you’ll find a Goddess Wall and a plaque telling you to strike the gemstone in the eye.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Head back to the south, and jump across the lily pads heading west.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

When you reach solid ground, face back to where you came from. Fly your Beetle into the eye socket of the huge face carving and hit the gemstone inside.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Use your Hook Beetle fly through the tunnel you just unblocked — starting to the south and flying north — and pick up the Bomb Flower as you pass. Fly it to the boulder on a pillar north of you (take a right as it exits the tunnel).

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Walk north along the path, and then turn left. Whip-swing across to the platform you just cleared.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Jump onto the vine-covered, rotating pillar and climb to the top. Hop to the next pillar, and ride it around to the platform to its southeast — not the first one you pass, but the second.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Follow that path west and climb the vines. At the top, Whip the lever to the left — this switches the direction everything is spinning.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Drop down onto the spinning disk and ride it to the north. Follow the path up. Ride the pillar around the platform to its southeast. Follow the path and vines up, and throw the same lever.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Return to the pillar and ride it around to the platform to its south.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Drop into the big round room. Climb the rope hanging in the middle.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

At the top, read the plaque. There’s a bird statue and an Amber Relic to your right. Pull the switch on the wall to your left.

Step onto the platform that extends, and Whip the lever up.

Slide back down the rope you just climbed.

Blessed Idol

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin | Sources: Nintendo via Polygon

Exit the room to the east and Whip the valve on your right.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Drop down to the level below, and head north to the chest in the center of the map. Open it for the Blessed Idol.

Many Cursed Bokoblins will claw their way out of the ground as the Great Statue lowers from above you. Ignore the zombies and sprint south. Climb out of the bowl-like depression, and watch as the Statue squishes down.

Head into the Statue, and ride the water spouts up to the very top.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Place the Blessed Idol into the lock — the statue part goes in first.

Turn around and take the stairs to the top. Whip open all four valves there.

Ancient Automaton Koloktos boss fight

When the elevator stops, collect the hearts and save at the bird statue. Head up the stairs to begin the Ancient Automaton Koloktos boss fight.

Phase 1

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

For the first phase of the fight, Koloktos will toss its two blades. They’ll spin around the room, but you can duck behind a pillar for cover.

Try to stay close to Koloktos and watch for an overhead strike. While its arms are stuck, Whip the arm joints to detach the arm. Repeat this a few times until its red weak point in its chest is exposed. Get in close and attack as much as you can.

It’ll reattach its arms. Repeat the process.

Phase 2

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

After a couple rounds of that, Koloktos will lift itself out of the ground.

Avoid its horizontal attacks by running away. It might also summon a few Cursed Bokoblins — do your best to ignore them.

Your only goal here is to draw another overhead strike. When its arms are stuck, detach one. This time, pick up the giant sword it drops.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Approach Koloktos, and do a horizontal swing to detach its legs. Swing vertically to remove its arms. Once it’s safe, lock on and attack its body and chest as many times as you can. You’ll break the cage in its chest and deal some damage to the weak point.

Keep repeating the process until you win.

Sacred Flame

When Koloktos is defeated, grab the Heart Container as you head for the door. On the other side, Skyward Strike the altar.

Ancient Cistern walkthrough – Zelda: Skyward Sword HD guide Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Fi will use the flames of Farore to upgrade your sword to the Goddess Longsword that does double damage.

She’ll also tell you to head back to the Isle of Songs inside the Thunderhead.