- "That's the cursed isle known as the Forsaken Fortress. There are all sorts of strange rumors about this place. Long ago, it used to be the hideout of a no-good group of pirates we used to compete with... But they were just small-time. Now, the place looks like it's pretty dangerous."
- — Tetra
The Forsaken Fortress (魔獣島 Ma Kedamono Shima?, Demon Beast Island) is a dungeon from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This fortress, located in the far northwest of the Great Sea is where Ganondorf has constructed his lair. It was once the base of operations for a group of pirates that competed with Tetra and her pirates.
Inhospitable and heavily guarded, the Forsaken Fortress is generally avoided by inhabitants of the Great Sea at all costs. The fortress is replete with Cannon Turrets, searchlights, and hordes of Bokoblins, Miniblins and Moblins, most of which regularly patrol all areas of the fortress at any and all times. The fortress is also the home of Ganondorf's direct servant, the Helmaroc King. The fortress and surrounding area is locked in a state of perpetual night, a result of Ganondorf's wicked magic.
At the outset of the game, Aryll, the sister of Link, is kidnapped by the Helmaroc King and taken to the Forsaken Fortress. Link teams up with Tetra and her pirates in order to rescue her. When they arrive at their destination, the only way for Link to enter the fortress proper is by way of a catapult, from which he is launched. He is sent crashing into a wall, causing him to drop his Hero's Sword, leaving him defenseless in the water. Stealthily, Link navigates the Forsaken Fortress and retrieves his sword right in front of the chamber in which Aryll and the other Hylian girls have been imprisoned. Just as he is about to set them free, however, the Helmaroc King grabs hold of him; he catches a glimpse of Ganondorf before the Helmaroc King throws him out to sea, where he is rescued from drowning by the King of Red Lions.
Later, after enduring many trials and obtaining the Master Sword, Link makes his return to the Forsaken Fortress. Unbeknownst to Link, the pirates distract the Helmaroc King while he attempts to sneak in again. After defeating Phantom Ganon and retrieving the Skull Hammer, he scales the fortress once more. At the top, he does battle with the Helmaroc King and heads to Ganondorf's lair. Link charges at him, but is easily defeated, as the sword has lost its power to repel evil. Just as Ganondorf raises his sword to deal a fatal blow, Tetra appears and jumps at Ganondorf; she too is defeated. As he is choking her, his Triforce of Power resonates, and he realizes that Tetra is the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom and calls her Princess Zelda. Before any further harm befalls the two, Quill and Prince Komali appear and take them to safety. Valoo sets Ganondorf's lair ablaze; Ganondorf himself, however, survives the attack and abandons the Forsaken Fortress.
If Link returns to the fortress after this has occurred, he will find it utterly abandoned, inhabited only by rats and Keese. The searchlights have been shut off, the curse of eternal night has been dispelled, and the path to the central tower has been blocked by rubble so Link cannot get past (with the exeption of a glitch). In Ganon's Tower, the final dungeon of the game, Link can open a portal to the Forsaken Fortress, which is the same portal Ganondorf used to escape the sealed Hyrule.
The fortress requires stealth the first time it is visited. This is due to the searchlights and the loss of Link's sword. To sneak around, Link had to hide under barrels to avoid the notice of Moblins. If Link is discovered by a Moblin or a searchlight, or captured by the Floormaster, then he would be sent to a cell at the second floor, which luckily, has a hidden passage for escape. Also, if either a Moblin or a searchlight catches Link moving while inside a barrel, they will know something is wrong and send him to the cell. On his second trip, this time with a sword, Link had no need to be stealthy, and enemies would now attack him and searchlights would attract the attention of Cannon Turrets and hoards of Miniblins.
In addition to the areas Link needs to explore, the Fortress has several rooms on the 1st floor that are optional to visit, though most contain nothing and are best left for the second trip, there is a Piece of Heart. Interestingly enough, this is the first Piece of Heart in the entire series to be found within the depths of a dungeon. On the second trip, Link almost immediately finds Phantom Ganon and fights him to get the skull hammer. When he reaches the top of the tower and goes in the door, Tetra's Pirates come and take Aryll, Mila and Maggie. Link fights the Helmaroc King with the skull hammer and then proceeds to confront Ganondorf in his lair.
- Cannon Turret
- Floormaster (second trip)
- Moblin Statue
- Real Bombchu (second trip)
- Helmaroc King (second trip)
The Forsaken Fortress may once have been the Gerudo's Fortress from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as they are both in the same area of Hyrule, both are thieves' hideouts, and in both Link can be imprisoned if he is caught by guards. Also, it makes sense that Ganondorf would set up his fortress in the same place he used to live. As the Gerudo were pirates in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, they may have become pirates once again after the Great Flood.
Forsaken Fortress appears as a stage from the Era of the Great Sea. Due to Phantom Ganon's use of the Triforce of Power to warp time and space, Forsaken Fortress has apparently merged with Dragon Roost Island, Windfall Island, and several other islands from the Great Sea. It appears as the stage for the story scenario Wind Waker: A New Disturbance, where it is taken over by the Monster Forces lead by Big Blin, after they manage to drive Helmaroc King from its nest within the Fortress. After taking command of the Fortress, Boss Blin uses the Fortress as the Monster Forces base, sending Big Blins and Ruffians to attack the Hyrulean Forces and Tetra in Windfall. However Link and Tetra manage to capture three of the Fortresses Keeps, stopping the flow of Big Blin and Ruffian reinforcements. Boss Blin is eventually defeated forcing the Monster Forces to abandon the Fortress.