- "Conquer yourself!"
- — Navi
Dark Link is the mini-boss of the Water Temple, the sixth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Link's doppelganger, Dark Link appears in an illusionary room within the temple. When Link enters the room, it appears to be a misty pond-like area with a tree in the middle, with a shallow reflective layer of water on the floor. After Link passes the tree, his reflection in the water is then missing. As he reaches the other side of the area, he finds a door that is barred shut. By turning back around he sees Dark Link standing under the tree in the middle. When he approaches Dark Link, or if he hits Dark Link with a weapon from a distance, then the doppelganger becomes hostile, and the battle begins. After defeating Dark Link, Link's reflection returns.
If the player changes Link's name, Dark Link's name will change accordingly.
Dark Link can use some of Link's sword attacks and is considered to be one of the most difficult enemies in the game. He can counter Link's sword attacks easily, and can actually counter Link's stab attack by jumping onto Link's sword, pinning it in place. Additionally, if Dark Link does this while close to his fully opaque form, he'll also attack Link during the brief moment when he jumps onto Link's sword. For approximately one minute he will be semi-transparent and will not attack Link but will still counter his attacks. Whenever a strike is landed on Dark Link he will drop down through the floor and materialize again right behind Link if Link is standing near the island, but will materialize from the island instead of right behind Link if Link is standing near the edge of the room. However, Link can make short work of him using Din's Fire, an unblockable attack.
The easiest way to defeat Dark Link is with the Megaton Hammer, as Dark Link cannot block or mimic its attack. This strategy requires you to slash him once with your sword at the very beginning of the fight. Biggoron's Sword and the Giant's Knife also work well in this fight, as Dark Link cannot block strikes from these long weapons very easily. Using either one can be risky, however, as Link cannot use a Shield when wielding these weapons. The easiest ways to hit him using only the Master Sword is to Z-target him and swing three times rapidly (the third swing will be in the opposite direction of the first two), scoring a hit almost every time, and to attack him without Z-targeting at all. The amount of damage needed to defeat Dark Link is equal to Link's current number of Heart Containers, making the fight easier the fewer Heart Containers Link has. Another easy way to defeat him is to shoot at him with the Hookshot. He will dodge it and will be vulnerable to a sword strike just before he lands from his evasive maneuver.
Upon defeat, Dark Link screams in a lower pitched voice than Link, and falls through the floor, much like the battle against Dark Link in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, leaving behind 15-20 Rupees. When this happens, the illusory tree and pond disappear from the room and it is revealed that the entire battle took place in an ordinary room with no special features, and Link's reflection in the water is restored. The door leading forward unlocks, and Link can proceed into the next room to obtain the Longshot.
In the 3DS remake, Dark Link's model, sword, and shield are more well defined as is the illusionary room he is fought. Additionally, Link can use the Sheikah Stones in Kokiri Forest or the Temple of Time to view a hint video which provides hints on how to defeat Dark Link.
In Breath of the Wild, the design of the Dark Hood, Dark Tunic, and Dark Trousers resemble the Ocarina of Time 3D version of Dark Link and share aspects of their design with the Cap of Time, Tunic of Time, and Trousers of Time which are armor pieces based on Adult Link's Kokiri Tunic and Kokiri Boots. This along with their the Dark Link armor set descriptions implies that Kilton may have based their design on Dark Link from Ocarina of Time through his monster research (with the 3D remake's better detailed design being used as it fit better with graphics and realism of Breath of the Wild). This also fits with Breath of the Wild taking place after the events of Ocarina of Time.
Dark Link appears from the Bottom of the Well in Kakariko Village, in the place of Bongo Bongo, seven years after Link pulled the Master Sword out of the Pedestal of Time. Link battles his doppelganger, and eventually wins; as a reward for his courage, Impa pierces his left ear with a ring as part of a Sheikah tradition, even though Link is not part of the race. Dark Link displays the same abilities as Link like the original game. Being a shadow spirit however, he has displayed additional abilities such as taking on the form of a shapeless mist of darkness and when he is slashed by Link, can also form a dark version of Epona from his own body.