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Darknut

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Majora's Mask Artwork
Darknut
Darknut (The Wind Waker)
Artwork of a Darknut from The Wind Waker
First appearance The Legend of Zelda (1987)
Appearances The Legend of Zelda
Link's Awakening
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords
The Wind Waker
Four Swords Adventures
The Minish Cap
Twilight Princess
Location(s) Dungeons
Hidden Holes
Weapon(s) (Multiple games)
Sword
Shield
(The Wind Waker)
Darknut Sword
(Twilight Princess)
Broadsword
Mace
Rapier
Effective weapon(s) (All games)
Sword
(The Legend of Zelda)
Bombs
(The Minish Cap)
Remote Bombs
Spoils (The Wind Waker)
Hero's Bow
Knight's Crest
(Twilight Princess)
Dominion Rod
"These armor-clad soldiers are tough. Use your shield and rolling skills to find an opening in their defenses..."
Figurine

Darknuts (タートナック Tātonakku?, Tartnuc), also known as Dark Nuts, are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They are slow moving yet powerful knights, best known for their defensive capabilities. Typically, the thick armor and sturdy shields of Darknuts render them nearly impervious to frontal attacks, forcing their opponents to circle around and strike from behind. Their erratic movement patterns also tend to be quite a challenge, one that is only compounded when they appear in groups. Occasionally, their armor may be removed, revealing the creature underneath, which changes from game to game.

Appearances

The Legend of Zelda

Red Darknut (The Legend of Zelda)
Blue Darknut (The Legend of Zelda)

Darknuts resemble caped knights. They come in red and blue varieties and are only a danger when Link comes in direct contact with them. Red Darknuts move slowly, deal one heart of damage if Link has no rings equipped, and require four hits from the Wooden Sword to be defeated. Blue Darknuts move much more rapidly, require twice as many hits to defeat, and deal twice as much damage. Darknuts are impervious to attacks from the front, which are blocked by their shields, but are easily weakened by bombs.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Darknut (Link's Awakening)

Darknuts are heavily-armored soldiers that have guarded the exterior and interior of Kanalet Castle since they chased off their liege, Richard. Due to their more civil role, it is unknown whether Darknuts are human or monster in this installment.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Red Darknut (Oracle of Ages and Seasons)
Blue Darknut (Oracle of Ages and Seasons)

Darknuts come in red and blue varieties. There are two subtypes: some wield a sword and charge toward Link when they see him; others throw spears from a distance. The latter do not wield swords, and cannot block attacks from the front.

In Oracle of Seasons, Darknuts can be pushed and pulled using the Magnetic Gloves, their heavy armor reacting to the magnetism. Additionally, a Golden Darknut appears on the Western Coast during spring.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

Darknut (Four Swords)

Darknuts appear as mini-bosses. They are vulnerable only to strikes from the side or rear, as their front is well-guarded. Darknuts tend to be quite nimble, making them considerably difficult opponents.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Darknuts are first encountered within the Tower of the Gods, where one serves as a mini-boss guarding the Hero's Bow. They are next seen in Hyrule Castle in the sunken land of Hyrule, caught in stasis. They are also found throughout the Great Sea in Hidden Holes. Some are armed only with large swords, others bear shields, and some even wear protective capes that must be burned or cut off. These enemies can be stripped of their armor and helmets by parrying or sneaking up behind them. With the fully powered Master Sword just hitting their armor can get rid of it. Once Darknuts have lost their armor, their defensive capabilities are weakened, but they gain more dexterity. Their true appearance is also revealed upon losing their helmets; underneath their armor, they bear physical similarities to canines.

When disarmed, Darknuts utilize a simple form of martial arts that includes a straight-palm punch and a roundhouse kick. If given the chance, a Darknut will run and pick up the sword it dropped, the sword of another disarmed Darknut, or even the weapon of another type of enemy. If a disarmed Darknut has not yet retrieved its sword, Link can pick it up and use it himself. A quick way to slay unarmored Darknuts is to shoot one with an Ice Arrow and then immediately swing the Skull Hammer sideways, shattering the ice and subsequently defeating the Darknut. This must be done quickly, as Darknuts can break out of ice much more quickly than other enemies. Darknuts can also be stunned with the Boomerang after their helmet is knocked off. Upon defeat, Darknuts drop Knight's Crests, which they wear as belts. Knight's Crests can also be obtained by using the Grappling Hook on Darknuts, but only after their helmets have been removed.

Despite their burly appearance and bulky bodies, unarmored Darknuts are astoundingly nimble. They remain impressively strong, able to break the stone pillars found in the Tower of the Gods and the Savage Labyrinth in two with their bare hands. If Link tries to charge up a Spin Attack, armed Darknuts will attempt to do the same; they can even imitate the Hurricane Spin. In fact, Link can exploit this ability by grouping Darknuts together and performing the Hurricane Spin nearby, causing the Darknuts to imitate it and possibly cut each other's capes and armor straps in the process.

Interestingly, on the armor and shield of the Darknut is an emblem that resembles two Magtails. Also, they are much faster than their Twilight variant, armored or unarmored.

Video

Darknut (The Wind Waker)02:17

Darknut (The Wind Waker)

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Darknuts appeared in Four Swords Adventures.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Dark Nut (The Minish Cap)
Red Dark Nut (The Minish Cap)

Dark Nuts are heavily armored, dwarfing Link in size and coming in many varieties. They are similar in appearance to the Darknuts from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. They can be stunned with bombs or with a sword hit to their only vulnerable spot, their caped backs. The Great Spin Attack can be used to defeat them relatively easily. Remote Bombs are especially useful when battling Dark Nuts; interestingly, Link can throw Remote Bombs without detonating them to easily inflict damage. Dark Nuts can also easily be defeated by utilizing the Dash Attack and running straight through them; Link can then turn around and run through them again while their backs are facing him to deal damage. If Link has learned the Great Spin Attack, he can use this to force the Dark Nuts to raise their shields, then edge around their open sides as he continues spinning.

Red Dark Nuts have a powerful sword thrust attack. A special classification of Dark Nut, the Royal Dark Nut, is only seen in Dark Hyrule Castle. The strongest of these is the Black Knight, who appears first as a mini-boss, and again in the company of several other Royal Dark Nuts, in an attempt to prevent Link from interrupting Vaati's ritual. After encountering them, he may randomly see them in Simon's Simulations.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Darknut (Twilight Princess)

Darknuts are encountered in the later stages of the game. They wield broad swords or large maces, and are clad in plate armor that must be sliced off, piece by piece, in order to deal any real damage to them; they also wield shields to block frontal attacks. Fully armored Darknuts are capable of blocking any attack or weapon that Link employs, and can only be hit with direct strikes immediately before or after they attack. For example, if Link L-targets, jumps back when a Darknut performs a vertical slice, and executes a Jump Attack before the Darknut lifts his sword again, he should be able to connect with several strikes. Also, if a Bomb Arrow, bomb, or Bombling detonates to a Darknut's side or back, the Darknut typically does not attempt to block the explosion, which can remove much of its armor.

When all of their plate armor has been removed, Darknuts' true, decidedly humanoid appearance is revealed. Now clad only in chain mail, they throw their large weapon at Link and draw a smaller longsword. With these lighter weapons and armor, Darknuts' defenses are not as impenetrable as before, but their decreased weight allows them dexterity and agility rivaling that of Link, whom they still outrange. This allows Darknuts to block or evade almost every attack Link can use. The easiest way to defeat them is to use a strong attack that knocks them off balance, such as a Jump Attack or Back Slice, opening their defenses for Link to connect with several ordinary sword strikes. This is especially easy if Link starts out with a faster move such as a regular sword strike or a Shield Attack; this is a safe way to force a Darknut to block, thus giving Link a chance to perform a Jump Attack without risk of the Darknut dodging and counterattacking. Additionally, explosives such as Bomb Arrows continue to be effective if aimed at a Darknut's side or back. Also, Wolf Link can deliver blows to them with his speed and agility during the second stage, thus making it slightly quicker.

The first Darknut Link encounters serves as the mini-boss of the Temple of Time. After that, several others appear as enemies in some forced battles in the Cave of Ordeals and in Hyrule Castle. They fight alone, or in groups of two, three, or even four. These Darknuts individually have much less health than the mini-boss, but when they fight together, they become much more dangerous.

Interestingly, Darknuts display various colors and styles of armor. This may indicate different ranks among them.

Video

Darknut (Twilight Princess)04:53

Darknut (Twilight Princess)

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

The Legend of Zelda animated series

In the episode "That Sinking Feeling", Link and Zelda encounter a Darknut as they journey through the Underworld. The Darknut blocks most of Link's sword attacks and strikes him, knocking Link to the ground. As the Darknut is poised to finish him, Link kicks the Darknut's ankle causing it to fall and allowing Link to deliver the finishing blow. The Darknut leaves behind a Magic Bracelet, which proves to be useful later on in the battle against Ganon.

Link's Crossbow Training

A Darknut appears as the boss of the Darknut Battle stage. It looks exactly the same as Darknuts from Twilight Princess, but has a different set of attacks. As in Twilight Princess, its armor gradually falls off as it sustains damage. However, it also splits into hundreds of bat-like pieces, some of which seem to be luminous, and give Link more points if he shoots them. Additionally, when in humanoid form, the Darknut has the ability to send bats flying at Link by slashing with its sword. It also sends a small number of larger flying creatures worth 100 points each at Link.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

A Darknut from The Wind Waker is featured as a sticker. Its sticker gives a +13 bonus to slash attacks, and can only be applied to Link, Toon Link, Princess Zelda, and Ganondorf. Also, a Darknut from Twilight Princess appears as a trophy.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Darknuts appear as enemies in the Smash Run game mode with their Twilight Princess design. A Darknut also appears as a trophy.

Hyrule Warriors

Darknuts appear as enemy captains, and resemble their Twilight Princess incarnations. The Darknut's armor cannot be knocked off in this appearance, and they are powerful enemies once again.

Like several other enemies in Hyrule Warriors, Darknuts are allied to the player in some parts of either the story or Adventure Mode. Additionally Darknuts have dialogue for the first time.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

Etymology

Theory warning: This section contains theoretical information based on the research of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy is disputed.

It is possible that the Japanese for Darknut, タートナック (Tātonakku), was intended to represent the English words "Dark Knight," especially considering the nature of the enemy in question and Japanese conventions for representing English with katakana. The localization team may not have realized what the katakana was attempting to borrow from English, with the series recycling the original mistranslation throughout the games rather than correcting it. However, this raises the question of why ダークナイト (Dākunaito) was not simply used instead, as it more accurately represents "Dark Knight" phonetically.

It should also be noted that Darknut and Iron Knuckle アイアンナック (Aiannakku) share the same katakana ending. This poses further questions as to the translations of both names: Darknut could have been "Dark Knuckle", and Iron Knuckle could have been "Iron Nut" or "Iron Knight".

Theory warning: Theories end here.

Gallery

See also

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