- "Watch out for its infinite hands! If it grabs you, tap any button to escape! Aim for its head!"
- — Navi
Dead Hand (デドハンド Dedo Hando?) is a mini-boss from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Dead Hand is a horrifying monster found at the Bottom of the Well and within the Shadow Temple. Upon defeat, the Dead Hand yields the Lens of Truth in the Bottom of the Well and the Hover Boots in the Shadow Temple.
Dead Hand's central body is a flabby, almost tumorous mass — covered in patches of something that looks like blood — with two tiny arms that terminate in sharp red spines rather than hands, and a head with a gigantic, gaping mouth armed with huge teeth. Its eyes are black and expressionless, and its jaw can open incredibly wide. It is commonly encountered with several Infinite Hands. It is not known if the Infinite Hands are part of its body or separate entities altogether. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest, both Dead Hand and Infinite Hands appear without the other.
Link first must lure the creature to attack him, as its limbs are invulnerable. When he wanders too close to a hand, it will grab him and hold him in place while its body erupts from the ground. It will slowly wriggle toward Link, and he will have to struggle to escape the grip before it delivers a horrific bite.
Once Link obtains the Lens of Truth, however, he can locate where a Dead Hand is hiding by using the Lens of Truth to find an invisible black spot on the ground. Link must then place a bomb on the black spot. This will cause the Dead Hand to emerge, allowing Link to attack without being snared by an infinite hand. In the Master Quest re-releases, Link has to battle a Dead Hand that does not rely on its arms, leaving this method as the only way of defeating it.
Whether he is snared or not, it will still try to bite Link. It is impervious to all weaponry besides Link's sword and keeps its head pointed upwards as it moves into an attacking position. However, when it bends over to attack, Link must swing his sword and slice its face many times before it turns around and retreats to the safety of its hiding place (it is possible to prevent it from burrowing, but it will not move from the spot from where it tried to burrow, and dirt will surround it). Eventually, Link defeats Dead Hand, and it topples over and lets out one last dying groan.
|“Watch out for its infinite hands! If it grabs you, tap any button to escape! Aim for its head!”|
Dead Hand is likely based on zombies of classic literature. Further supporting this is that the German translation of the Dead Hand is "Brain-Feeder".
In the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time, the small speckles of red upon its body are toned down; its overall change in coloration may suggest that Nintendo toned down the somewhat violent appearance of Dead Hand in order to make it less frightening. However, this could be a minor side effect of the purple haze Nintendo has included in the temple's 3DS remake as the exterior of the creature seems to be tainted in a strange mixture of purple, with only a few visible patches of what looks like blood.