- This article is about the recurring enemy. For the Four Swords Adventures character, see Shadow Link.
Artwork of Dark Link from The Adventure of Link
|First appearance||The Adventure of Link (1988)|
|Appearances||The Adventure of Link|
A Link to the Past
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
|Location(s)||(The Adventure of Link)|
(A Link to the Past)
Palace of the Four Sword
(Ocarina of Time)
(Oracle of Ages)
Take 'Em All On
|Attack method||Mimicking Link's attacks|
|Effective weapon(s)||(Multiple games)|
(Ocarina of Time)
|Spoils||(The Adventure of Link)|
Triforce of Courage
(Ocarina of Time)
- "Conquer yourself!"
- — Navi
Dark Link (ダークリンク Dāku Rinku?) is a recurring antagonist in the Legend of Zelda series. This shadow doppelgänger of Link is able to utilize many of Link's own attacks, often mimicking him. It is unknown if any of Dark Link's appearances across games represent the same entity, or if each game features its own unique Dark Link (although considering how most incarnations of Link are different to one another, it seems safe to assume that the same applies to his doppelganger). It is also never revealed whether he serves some master, or fights of his own accord. It isn't even confirmed whether he is sapient or even sentient in the first place. Multiple Dark Links occasionally appear together; it is unclear if each of these possesses an individual consciousness, or if they are all just aspects of the same being.
Dark Link serves as the final boss of the game, found inside the Great Palace. After the defeat of Thunderbird, Link enters the final chamber of the palace, where the Triforce Keeper holds the Triforce of Courage. Suddenly the lights go out, and Link's shadow jumps away from his body and proceeds to attack with its sword. It is eventually defeated by Link, who awakens Princess Zelda after the ordeal. Dark Link is never described as one of Ganon's servants; the more likely scenario is that it was a final test left by the King of Hyrule who hid the Triforce of Courage. It should also be noted that Dark Link is never referred to as such in The Adventure of Link; most official documentation that refers to it at all identifies it as Link's shadow, suggesting that it might be a different entity from other Dark Links.
Dark Link is the mini-boss of the Water Temple, appearing as a shadow-like Link in a strange, illusionary room. Its voice is the same as Link's, only with a much deeper pitch. It acts as a mirror of Link, mimicking all of his sword attacks, making it infamously hard to damage it using the Master Sword. As the battle continues, Dark Link gradually becomes less transparent until it is completely opaque. When Link defeats it, the illusionary tree and pond disappear, and the door forward opens. The next room holds the treasure that Dark Link was guarding, the Longshot.
The game's main antagonist and final boss, Veran, summons four Dark Links at the start of the second phase of the final battle. These copies are significantly weaker than the real Link, and are mainly used by Veran as a distraction. They move in the opposite direction to the one Link is walking in, much like Arm Mimics. They cannot attack save for bumping into Link, and always drop a heart upon defeat.
In a flashback sequence told to Link by Lanayru, what appear to be three Dark Links are used to symbolize the Interlopers that once attempted to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm. Dark Link is not fought in this game, however, and is merely a visual tool.
Dark Link appears as the final enemy of the Take 'Em All On mini-game in Castle Town. It is able to use the Great Spin Attack, the Bow, and bombs, while Link is limited to using his sword. Dark Link appears as a literal shadow, and becomes more transparent as he is damaged, fading away entirely upon defeat.
Dark Link makes a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee as the opponent of the event match "Link's Adventure". It is depicted as an entirely black version of Link's character model. Interestingly, Link appears in his red palette swap for this battle, possibly as a nod to the Shield Spell from The Adventure of Link.
Dark Link is available as a palette swap for both Link and Toon Link in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. This skin closely resembles the representation of the Interlopers seen in Twilight Princess. Interestingly, it affects the color of Link's Hylian Shield, but does not affect the Master Sword. Dark Link also appears as a boss in the event mode in Brawl, where it has 200HP. Despite the event mode Dark Link displaying a picture of the palette swap version over its damage meter, it appears completely black, similar to the Dark Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Dark Link appears in the manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time. While Link is training with Impa in Kakariko Village, Dark Link appears from the well and attacks Link. It appears to know every technique Link uses, but is eventually defeated when Link performs a new move he learned by watching Impa. The battle continues when Dark Link quickly reappears astride a dark horse, but Link dispatches his foe yet again with the help of Epona.
In the Valiant Comics story "Coming Home," Link returns to his home country Calatia to find that a tyrant identical to him has usurped the throne. Seline, the rightful queen, demands that Link be allowed to battle this impostor—and backed by the will of the people, her wish is granted. During the battle, both Link and his lookalike end up hanging off the edge of a bridge, and Link realizes that his opponent is the shadow of himself he had fought before.
During this story, the impostor also assumes Zelda's likeness, implying that it can assume the form of anyone it wishes.
Dark Link appears in the spinoff Hyrule Warriors, he represents the darkness in Link's own soul.
When Link finally obtains the Master Sword, he starts to become overconfident in his own abilities. Sensing this, Cia takes advantage of this and pulls out the darkness in his heart to create the doppelganger out of his shadow. He fights one, but then four more appear, as Link still harbors arrogance in his heart, which also obstructs the Master Sword's true power. Eventually, he becomes trapped in a room where he is nearly overwhelmed by Dark Links, but is saved by his allies at the last minute. Link then realizes his limits and discovers the power of friendship and cooperation (the character of a true hero), and thus, Cia is no longer able to summon more of them from his heart, and the Master Sword shows its true power.
Dark Link also appears as an alternate costume for Link, which is obtainable by purchasing the Hero of Hyrule DLC pack. Cia (as a playable character) is able to summon Dark Links with her Scepter moveset.
|Dark Link · Ganon · Link · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Horsehead · Helmethead · Rebonack · Carock · Gooma · Barba · Thunderbird · Dark Link|
|North Castle · Mountain Town of Darunia · Kasuto · Harbor Town of Mido · Hidden Town of Kasuto · Town of Nabooru · Town of Rauru · Town of Ruto · Water Town of Saria|
—Full list of locations
|Parapa Palace · Midoro Palace · Island Palace · Maze Island Palace · Ocean Palace · Hidden Palace · Great Palace|
|P Bag · 1-up Doll · Magical Sword · Magical Shield · Candle · Flute · Handy Glove · Hammer · Raft · Boots · Magical Key · Cross|
|Fairy Spell · Fire Spell · Jump Spell · Life Spell · Reflect Spell · Shield Spell · Spell Spell · Thunder Spell|
|Trophy · Water of Life · Kidnapped Child · Six Crystals · Triforce of Courage|
|Fairy · Hylian|
|Anjean · Byrne · Chancellor Cole · Link · Malladus · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Stagnox · Fraaz · Phytops · Cragma · Byrne · Skeldritch · Demon Train · Chancellor Cole · Malladus|
| Fire Realm · Forest Realm · Ocean Realm · Sand Realm · Snow Realm|
—Full list of locations
|Forest Temple · Snow Temple · Ocean Temple · Fire Temple · Sand Temple · Tower of Spirits|
|Lokomo Sword · Rail Map · Recruit's Sword · Recruit Uniform · Spirit Flute · Spirit Tracks · Spirit Train · Stamp Book · Tears of Light|
|Boomerang · Whip · Whirlwind · Bow · Sand Wand · Bow of Light|
|Anouki · Demon · Goron · Hylian · Lokomo|