- "This is the Earth Temple. Signs indicate it was built here because of the subterranean caverns below. Just as at Skyview Temple, many defensive mechanisms were built here to discourage would-be intruders."
- — Fi
The Earth Temple (大地の神殿 Daichi no Shinden?) is the second dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The entrance can be found on The Surface, around halfway up Eldin Volcano. Access to the temple is initially blocked, as the gate is closed. Link must find the five parts of the key before he can enter.
While searching for Zelda, Link arrives at Eldin Volcano. He meets the Mogmas, who live in the region. Link begins working his way up the volcano using his dowsing ability to follow Zelda, and discovers that the volcano has been invaded by the Bokoblins. After fighting off various Bokoblins, he receives the Digging Mitts, which allow him to dig at certain locations. Along the way, he hears multiple accounts by the Mogmas of a mysterious figure dressed in black climbing the mountain path with amazing agility. Eventually, Link encounters the figure himself, who tells him to hurry and that Zelda is in danger.
Link eventually reaches the temple, but learns from two treasure-hunting Mogmas named Ledd and Cobal that someone has closed the entrance, and broken the key in five pieces. The two Mogmas also reveal that Zelda was captured by Bokoblins and taken into the temple. By using the dowsing ability of the Goddess Sword, Link is able to to find the pieces, and gains access to the temple.
While exploring the temple, Link once again encounters Cobal, who is concerned for Ledd's safety. Cobal asks Link to look for Ledd. Later, Link finds Ledd. Ledd is lamenting over the loss of his Bomb Bag and requests that Link retrieves it from the monsters for him. Link enters a room where there are two Lizalfos. Link defeats the Lizalfos and receives the Bomb Bag. When Link returns to Ledd, Ledd decides to let Link keep the Bomb Bag and leaves the dungeon.
Upon successfully navigating the temple to the boss chamber, Link discovers a broken chain that evidently bound Zelda, though she had somehow been broken free from it. Link meets Ghirahim for a second time, who expresses his remorse over Zelda's escape prior to his arrival. Ghirahim then dispatches Scaldera to kill Link as a way to "vent his anger" and vanishes.
After defeating Scaldera, Link enters the Earth Temple spring and sees Zelda there. Zelda is overjoyed to see Link, but the mysterious woman Link encountered while climbing the mountain quickly reminds Zelda that she needs to focus on the task at hand. Zelda is teleported away through a beam of light. As soon as Zelda is gone, the woman reproaches Link for being late. She explains that if she had not been there, Zelda would have been lost to Ghirahim. She expresses her doubts of Link being capable of fulfilling his great destiny as the Goddess's chosen hero. She then departs through magical beam of light.
Once Zelda and the unknown woman have left, Link activates a crest of the Goddess with a Skyward Strike to obtain the Ancient Tablet, unlocking the Lanayru Desert and receives a message from the Goddess, telling him that Zelda is heading to the Temple of Time and that he must go there as well to protect her.
The main item of the dungeon is the Bomb Bag. A significant portion of the dungeon is based around navigating the lava by rolling on a large stone sphere. Materials known as Amber Relics can be found lying around in various places inside the Temple. Rarely a Goddess Plume may spawn where Amber Relics usually appear.
- Lizalfos (x2)
The Earth Temple has much in common with Dodongo's Cavern from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Both dungeons are the second in their respective games and are located near volcanoes. The Bomb Bag is the main item and many Bomb Flowers can be found within the dungeons. Also, they both have two Lizalfos as their mini-bosses and both of their bosses are defeated by throwing bombs in their mouths while they are inhaling. Because of this, the Earth Temple and Dodongo's Cavern may share some kind of connection. The first theory may indicate that Dodongo's cavern is a part of the former Earth Temple, or at least why the two areas share a similar ecosystem and have many of the same enemies.
Another possibility is the Earth Temple was a past incarnation of the Fire Temple from Ocarina of Time. During the event of Skyward Sword, volcanic activity had damaged many parts of the Temple. It is possible that at some point after Eldin Volcano became less active and eventually became known Death Mountain, what remained of the Temple was rebuilt and/or converted into the Fire Temple by either the Sages and/or the Gorons.
Another possibility is that it was actually converted into the Fire Temple in order to control and/or decrease the volcanic activity of Eldin Volcano, which later became known as Death Mountain due to the decrease in volcanic activity. This may explain why the volcanic activity increased when Ganondorf revived Volvagia as part of his curse on the Fire Temple, preventing it from fulfilling its role to minimize and/or control the volcanic activity on Death Mountain and it was only after the Hero of Time defeated Volvagia and awoke Darunia as the Sage of Fire was the Fire Temple restored, returning Death Mountain to its normal, less volcanic state.
The Earth Temple is also similar to the Goron Mines from Twilight Princess as both are volcanic cavernous areas. If the Earth Temple was eventually converted into the Fire Temple or later became Dodongo's Cavern, it is likely that either of those where eventually converted into the Goron Mines, by the time of Twilight Princess. One possibly is that eventually either volcanic activity and/or mining by Gorons (and Hylians) lead to the Fire Temple and Dodongo's Cavern (both candidates for the Earth Temple in Ocarina of Time) becoming combined into one massive mine which also served as a temple. It should be noted that when Darbus was transformed into the Fyrus by the Fused Shadow hidden in the mines, the volcanic activity on Death Mountain increased as it did when the Fire Temple was cursed in Ocarina of Time, leading to the possibility that it severed a similar role.
Another possible scenario, is that eventually the Fire Temple (which had previously been the Earth Temple then converted into the Fire Temple to control or decrease the volcanic activity) was unable to contain the volcanic activity of Death Mountain Crater at some point and caused the Fire Temple as well as Death Mountain Crater to merge with Dodongo's Cavern, creating the Goron Mines.