Arbiter's Grounds

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Arbiter's Grounds
Arbiter's Grounds.jpg
The dungeon's entrance
Location(s) Gerudo Desert
Game(s) Twilight Princess
Other media Link's Crossbow Training
Main Item Spinner
Mini-boss(es) Death Sword
Boss(es) Twilit Fossil: Stallord
Quest Reward(s)Access to the Mirror Chamber
Mirror Shard
Heart Container
Element(s)
Shadow
Desert
Theme Music File:Arbiter's Grounds.ogg

The Arbiter's Grounds is the fourth dungeon in Twilight Princess. The Arbiter's Grounds was a prison built to house the most ruthless criminals while they awaited trial, execution, or exile to the nether realm of the Twilight.[1] The Mirror Chamber, home of an ancient relic known as the Mirror of Twilight, stands atop the ruins of Arbiter's Grounds, where the sacred council of the Sages presides over the cursed grounds, conducting trials and executions of convicted criminals. Its appearance from afar resembles the Roman Colosseum, but inside it resembles an Egyptian tomb.

Contents

Entrance to the Grounds

The dungeon is located at the far end of the Gerudo Desert. Link reaches there after surviving a potential death in the Bulblin Camp during his infiltration in the place and a battle against King Bulblin. The entrance itself to the grounds is uninhabited, except for an Imp Poe that appears at night on one side of it.

Themes and Navigation

The Arbiter's Grounds contain four floors and two basements. The first section of this place is very similar to the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time, as it requires tracking down and destroying four special Poes in order to light four special torches and proceed into the inner sanctums of the prison. Link can become a wolf so that he can follow the scent of the Poes' essence, which helps him to seek them out and destroy each. After destroying each Poe, one of the four torches in the main room will be lit; once all four torches are lit, a door leading deeper into the prison will open and Link will be able to advance to the second part of the dungeon, where new and different types of obstacles await him, including metallic rails that give Link a ride if he has an ancient device known as the Spinner.

The Arbiter's Grounds teems with the undead. Its halls are haunted by vengeful wraiths, from Stalfos and Stalkin to ReDead Knights and Bubbles, and even the occasional pack of Ghoul Rats. Also, Link encounters swarms of Poison Mites, which behave in a somewhat similar fashion to Morths, and can be dispatched in the same way using the Spin Attack, or kept at bay by the light of a Lantern. The item obtained in this temple is the Spinner, an ancient device that can be used to ride along rails to access hard-to-reach areas, as well as spin large gears to move walls and reveal hidden pathways. Link obtains this after defeating the dungeon's mini-boss, Death Sword, a vengeful spirit that haunts the sword it once wielded in life, in the basement of the dungeon.

Deep within the Arbiter's Grounds lay the remains of a fierce beast, the dungeon's boss, Stallord. Its skeleton is reanimated when Zant appears and stabs the Shadow Scimitar through the creature's skull. Link is able to defeat it largely using a combination of the Spinner and the Master Sword. After clearing the dungeon, Link will be able to progress to the Mirror Chamber, where the Mirror of Twilight is found.

Minor Enemies and Traps

Other Appearances

Link's Crossbow Training

Ambiguously Canon Content hide
Link attacking a group of Bulblins in the Ranger mode

The Arbiter's Grounds set the stage for two of the Link's Crossbow Training levels. The first in Stage 1, which is played as a Ranger level. Link can freely roam the area to destroy the 25 Bulblins during the set time allotment. This task takes place outside of the dungeon in a network of fences, towers, gates, and ruined stone walls. The Bulblins wielding clubs will rush towards Link, although are not much of a threat, as one shot eliminates them. Bulblin archers can be found mostly in higher vantage points along walls and in towers.

The second occurrence in Stage 7 is actually set inside a hallway of the dungeon. The targets rotate in and out of range from the ceiling in the first scene. The second moves targets along the spinner rails towards Link. The final area normally encountered is immediately before a door way and Redeads constantly rise from the sand. An alternative end scene can be unlocked by shooting the Scarecrows eight times and bursting the head for 1000 points in the first two scenes. This ends the stage at the opposite end of the chamber's hall facing a wall. No Redeads will appear, but several targets and bonus gold colored targets will fill the screen.

Trivia

  • The Hylian text on the Dungeon Map and the map of Hyrule gives the name of the dungeon as Arbiter's Keep.
  • Gerudo Typography appears commonly on the markings on the walls of the dungeon, implying that the Gerudo were involved in the dungeon's construction. This typography also appears particularly prominent around the resting place of the Spinner and locations where it is designed to be used.
  • Besides the Imp Poe in Jovani's House, the four sub-boss Poes are the only ones that must be defeated in order to proceed in the game.
  • Each Sage residing in the Mirror Chamber corresponds to a Sage from Ocarina of Time regarding their emblems, representing the six Medallions that need to be retrieved in that game, except for the Medallion of the Water Sage, whom Ganondorf had slain.
  • Throughout the dungeon, images of the Triforce can be seen in places such as above the first locked door and above the great door closed by the four Poes. One room also contains three torches in a triangle shape.
  • Throughout the dungeon hieroglyphs can be found, some depicting what may be Stallord or even Ganon.
  • Four of the Medallions' symbols, Water, Spirit, Fire, and Light, are inscribed above the doorways in Arbiter's Grounds. It is unknown why the Forest and Shadow symbols are missing, but the dungeon itself bears many similarities to the Forest Temple and Shadow Temple in regards to enemies and puzzles.
  • A picture of Arbiter's Grounds can be found in the Snowpeak Ruins, in the room Yeta is sitting in.
  • Arbiter's Grounds is the only dungeon in the game (besides Hyrule Castle) where Midna does not create an exit portal after the boss is defeated.
  • The word "arbiter" in Arbiter's Grounds might be a reference to the Hindu deity Hanuman, which looks very similar to the Goddess of the Sand statue found in both Spirit Temple in Ocarina of Time and the Arbiter's Grounds themselves.

Gallery

References

  1. "The Gerudo Desert once held a prison built to hold the worst criminals this land has ever known... The criminals who were sentenced to death were sent directly to the underworld by a cursed mirror that was kept in the prison...Now that prison is condemned, and even the road leading to the desert is impassable." — Auru (Twilight Princess)


Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan 砂漠の処刑場 (Sabaku no Shokeijō) Desert Execution Grounds
Spanish Spain Patíbulo del Desierto Gibbet of the Desert
French France Tour du Jugement
German Germany Wüstenburg
Italian Italy Patibolo del Deserto Scaffold of the Desert

Dungeons in The Legend of Zelda Series

TLoZ Logo.pngAol logo.pngALttP logo.pngWind Fish's Egg.pngOcarina of Time.pngMajorasmask.pngOracle of Ages - Harp of Ages.pngRod of Seasons.pngFS logo.pngWind Waker.pngFourSword Artwork.pngEzlo.pngMidna Icon.pngThe Phantom Hourglass.pngSpirit flute.pngFi Icon.pngALBW Dark Triforce.png