- "Its soft belly is its weak point!"
- — Navi
Skulltulas (スタルチュラ Sutaruchura?, Staltula) are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They are sizable spiders that exist in many dark and discreet places, such as caverns or temples, inhabited by other malevolent creatures. A mark in the shape of a skull appears on their abdomen, which seems to be an admonition all for all those who may come in contact with the creature to stay away if they wish for their own safety. When Skulltulas spot a trespasser, they attack it by dropping down from the ceiling with their web.
In Ocarina of Time, the backsides of Skulltulas are vulnerable to sword strikes; they can also be defeated if Link hits one with his Hookshot or by shooting it using an arrow with his Fairy Bow. A number of Skulltulas are invisible and can be seen only by using the Lens of Truth.
In Majora's Mask, Skulltulas' front sides are invulnerable to Hookshot strikes; however, they can still be dispatched with the Hero's Bow. They are not as frequently encountered as in Ocarina of Time, and invisible ones are encountered only in a single room. However, the first regular enemy encountered in the game is a Skulltula, which appears inside the Bombers' Hideout. In both games, Skulltulas are able to perform a spin attack when Link approaches them.
|“Its soft belly is its weak point!”|
|“It's protected by a hard shell, but its stomach is soft!”|
Skulltulas have a different attack pattern in Twilight Princess. They attack by crawling towards Link and using a biting attack. Also, their exoskeletons offer much more protection than before. However, they can easily be dispatched by attacking their heads, either with stabs of a sword or with basic, non-jump wolf attacks. Once stunned, Skulltulas can be defeated with the Ending Blow. Once Link learns the Back Slice, it can be used to great effect against Skulltulas.
Interestingly, in an early demo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Skulltulas were shown to be able to tie Link up in a web and attack, but this was cut from the final product. However, this idea would later be used for Skulltulas appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Skulltulas appear in the Ghost Ship dungeon. This incarnation of Skulltulas does not feature their trademark hardened shells. While they can be killed, a new one will appear instantly after a Skulltula has been defeated; a room can never fully be cleared of Skulltulas. When Link unknowingly aids the Diabolical Cubus Sisters, they appear to fear these creatures; however, it is unclear whether or not this is part of their act.
Skulltulas appear within the Lost Woods in the Forest Realm, and inside the twisted tunnels of the Sand Realm. As the Spirit Train approaches, they drop down in front of the Spirit Tracks using their webs. If Link does not kill them with the cannon, or scare them away with the train whistle, the train will crash right into them and take damage. They are almost twice as big in this game as the biggest Skulltulas from Ocarina of Time, but are less frequently seen than in most games. There is also a more persistent kind that appears later on, resembling a Gold Skulltula, which will not flee at the sound of the whistle and takes two hits to kill.
Skulltulas appear primarily in the Skyview Temple dungeon. They can be found in webs or hanging from ceilings. If they are on the ground, Link can perform an upward slash to flip the Skulltula onto its back. This makes the Skulltulas vulnerable to Link's Ending Blow. If on a web, Link must use his Beetle to cut the web and get them to fall to the ground. However, if hit by Link's sword while suspended on a single strand of web, they will twirl around on their webs and smash into Link. A horizontal slash and proper timing though can allow for the spider's belly to be exposed to stab attacks; other directional slashes will just cause the spider to swing back and forth like a pendulum while still facing Link. Shield Bashing is useless against these foes because it may cause Link to lose his shield durability and Skulltulas on the ground that bite Link repeatedly will not protect Link even if he times the attack correctly. If Link keeps his distance from the ones on the ground, they may spit out strands of web that can entangle him causing him to break free. It slows Link down, similar to walking into a spider web. If a Skulltula comes in direct contact with water, it is defeated instantly.
Interestingly, if Link knocks a hanging Skulltula down by ramming it with the Hook Beetle while it is carrying a Bomb Flower, after the Skulltula gets back up it will spin a new thread to hang from (however this will only occur if the Skulltula does not notice Link).
| “This giant species of spider inhabits the deepest areas of forests. It attacks with highly adhesive webbing in order to prevent its prey from escaping. It has a tough outer carapace, but its stomach may be vulnerable to attack.
I am currently conducting additional analysis into its movement patterns.
I have observed that it has a tendency to move with its back toward its prey to prevent its weak point from being exposed. Therefore, you must find a way to flip the beast over to access its weak point.
Its lone weak point is the center of its abdomen, but it is surrounded by tough chitin. This leads me to conclude that a fatal blow will be most effective.”
The Skulltula from Twilight Princess appear as enemy targets in the Skulltula Forest: Ranger stage.
A Skulltula from Ocarina of Time is featured as a sticker. Its sticker gives a +7 bonus to arm attacks, and can be applied to any character.
- "These spidery foes form the Legend of Zelda series have skull-like abdomens. In Ocarina of Time, there are 100 Gold Skulltulas to be found in Hyrule's towns and dungeons. Link can collect tokens by defeating them, and a man in Kakariko Village's House of Skulltula will happily trade rewards for the tokens."
- — Trophy Description
Skulltula from Ocarina of Time 3D appear as a Trophy.
Gold Skulltula appear in Hyrule Warriors and serve the same function they did in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, however they drop Illustration Pieces instead of Tokens. They are they only kind of Skulltula to appear in Hyrule Warriors.
"Skulltula" is a portmanteau of the words "skull," referring to their skull-like carapace, and "tarantula," a family of arachnids.
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure Metals · Phantom Hourglass · Spirit Gem|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|
|Anjean · Byrne · Chancellor Cole · Link · Malladus · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Stagnox · Fraaz · Phytops · Cragma · Byrne · Skeldritch · Demon Train · Chancellor Cole · Malladus|
| Fire Realm · Forest Realm · Ocean Realm · Sand Realm · Snow Realm|
—Full list of locations
|Forest Temple · Snow Temple · Ocean Temple · Fire Temple · Sand Temple · Tower of Spirits|
|Lokomo Sword · Rail Map · Recruit's Sword · Recruit Uniform · Spirit Flute · Spirit Tracks · Spirit Train · Stamp Book · Tears of Light|
|Boomerang · Whip · Whirlwind · Bow · Sand Wand · Bow of Light|
|Anouki · Demon · Goron · Hylian · Lokomo|