What’s this? A Zelda-themed post that isn’t a link to Zelda Dungeon? I wanted to feature one of my favorite Zelda monsters, and a post like this wouldn’t really fit in over there, so here you go. Scaldera, boss of the Earth Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. During all the pre-release info about the game, I saw Scaldera and thought he was going to be awesome. I ended up predicting that he would be one of my favorites of the game… and in the end the only boss I enjoyed more was Lord Ghirahim. But Ghirahim isn’t a monster! Scaldera is! Clearly this was not obvious enough to prevent me from saying it!
Scaldera is an epic creature, and the fight against him is just as epic. Pictures of Scaldera don’t do him justice; you can only get the full picture of how cool Scaldera is by watching him in motion. The official artwork of Scaldera is nice, but I always thought he looked best in-game, with the minimalist design; instead of being a multi-legged eyeball monster, most of the time he’s just a ball of rock or lava with a toad-like mouth and legs that charges at you. When he first rolls onto his feet, his legs twitched around wildly like those of a spider, and it’s just an epic pattern of movement.
What I love about Scaldera isn’t just how simple and quirky he is, but also how fearsome he is. Zelda games often have big, intimidating rock or fire bosses that radiate power, but this is one of the few times that type of boss is practically ridiculous. Scaldera is a silly ball of rock with a mouth and legs, but the battle plays out mostly as a chase scene, with Scaldera peppering you with massive fireballs, intense heat, and his own fiery, rocky body. No song could have fit him more than his own fight song, one of the most intimidating battle themes of the series in my eyes.
Scaldera’s a great example of a virtually flawless creature. There’s plenty going on with it, but the design and concept are still kept simple to avoid it being convoluted. Not too much, not too little, and great presentation alongside a unique battle. People equate Scaldera with King Dodongo and other bosses in the series, but the only real similarities are that they both roll and swallow bombs; the battles play out entirely differently, and Scaldera’s battlefield itself is unlike any other in the series. My second favorite boss of Skyward Sword and one of my favorite creatures of the entire series. I wish the battle never ended; at least the fight was pretty challenging when I first fought this Pyroclastic Fiend.