Bongo Bongo

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Bongo Bongo
Bongo Bongo OoT.png
TitlePhantom Shadow Beast
Game(s)Ocarina of Time
Dungeon(s)Shadow Temple
Weakness(es)Its hands and "eye" on neck
Long-range weapons
Reward(s)Heart Container, Shadow Medallion

Phantom Shadow Beast: Bongo Bongo is a mysterious Cyclopean shadow spirit with two large disembodied hands, and it serves as the Boss of the Shadow Temple. Once sealed deep in the darkness at the bottom of Kakariko Well,[1] the true origin of the beast is unknown. After Ganondorf came to power, the beast was able to escape its prison within the well and retreat to the Shadow Temple, where Impa went to try to seal it again.[2][3]

Contents

Characteristics

Official artwork of Bongo Bongo

Bongo Bongo is noted as being one of the strangest bosses in the Zelda series. Some features that contribute to its oddity are its abilities to become invisible, to sink into a shadow and travel across surfaces, and to manifest itself as a mysterious dark energy (though the remake suggests these latter two abilities are the same). Despite its hands being separated from the main body, it still retains full control over them from a distance, allowing the creature to punch, slap, grab, and squeeze the life out of its victims. It also can shield its susceptible red eye by folding the flaps over it. It is also thought by some to be the hardest boss in Ocarina of Time, even harder than Ganon. Some even believe it is the hardest boss in the whole series, while others believe it is easy due to the systematic way of killing it. Adding to this is the fact that Bongo Bongo has the highest amount of health of any bosses in Ocarina of Time. The easiest way to defeat Bongo Bongo is to have the Biggoron's Sword, which makes the fight much easier.

When Link encounters Bongo Bongo, the battle occurs on a giant drum (most likely a Bongo, given the name) surrounded by a very poisonous purple gunge (best to be avoided). Not only does it beat on the drum, but the creature sings throughout the battle with a strange voice much like the Four Giants in Termina.

Strategy

After reaching the basement of the temple, Link drops down a hole and lands on a bongo drum. A brief cutscene shows a large, dark pair of hands banging on the drum, which is revealed as Phantom Shadow Beast: Bongo Bongo's, who then fades into the darkness of the room. The camera moves back to Link, and the battle begins.

To defeat this beast, Link can equip the Lens of Truth[4][5] when it becomes invisible in order to see it, and avoid its hands when they attempt to attack him. He proceeds to stun its hands with arrows (he can use other objects, as well)[6] to force it to reveal its gigantic eye, which is protected by the flaps. If he doesn't have the Lens of Truth equipped already, doing so is key, as he sees the gigantic eye charging at him. Next for him is to either shoot an arrow while he's charging at him or to time it with another weapon. If Link doesn't time it right, Bongo Bongo can ram into him, causing damage resulting in the loss of three hearts. With good timing, he can then hack Bongo Bongo's eye with his sword.[7] Once repeating this process enough times, Link wins over this evil entity. As a trick, if the young hero manages to complete several Quick Spins in succession flawlessly, he can effectively pin Bongo Bongo under his sword and defeat him in one down.[8]

Bongo Bongo's hand is frozen by an Ice Arrow

A tip while facing Bongo Bongo is to use the Hover Boots to avoid being knocked back and forth from the drum.

Bongo Bongo’s arsenal consists of seven attacks, five of which only require one hand and his sixth attack requires both. Bongo Bongo’s seventh move is scripted, and will only be utilised if Link had stunned both hands. Three out of five of his one handed attacks are simply contact moves, but it should be noted that his clench fist cannot be stunned regularly. His other two moves contain grappling Link and either throwing him (in some cases off the drum) or crushing him, where he won’t escape until he taps the A-Button repeatedly. His two handed move claps Link between his palms, but only dealing two hearts damage. Each time Link stuns a hand it will drop either a small Magic Jar or a small bundle of ten Arrows.

Attempting to stun during Bongo Bongo’s drumming phase with either the Longshot or the Fairy Bow without Z-Targeting causes first person aiming to revert due to Link being tossed slightly into the air, using the Hover Boots allows more time as he will float momentarily. However, when Bongo Bongo attacks he often stops drumming altogether and Link can fire into whichever hand, provided it isn’t a clenched fist. Additional methods of stunning can be to hold a bomb while one of his hands perform the crush grapple, the explosion will set off inside the hand.

It is possible to freeze one of Bongo Bongo’s hands in any position (including fist) by firing an Ice Arrow into one, causing his eye to open as he attempts to break the frozen hand free by smashing his opposite fist into the ice. This gives Link opportunity to prematurely fire into Bongo Bongo's eye before his scripted Charge attack; however, to attempt with an Ice Arrow means a low firing rate (two chances to hit target) and a bind shot because Link cannot access the Lens of Truth due to the inability of equipping two Magic Meter draining items at once. Despite not being able to see the eye, it is still nonetheless possible to fire at it, skipping the charge phase and allowing immediate damage to Bongo Bongo's eye via Sword, the only way to inflict damage.

If Link stuns one hand and then freezes the other, the stunned hand will revert and immediately begin attempting to break the ice. Bongo Bongo does not take any damage from being stunned let alone additional damage from Ice or Fire Arrows, so it is wise to conserve the Magic Meter and switch into a Lens of Truth and Fairy Bow (the Longshot is ineffective on stunning the eye) combination once Link has frozen one of his hands (with the Lens of Truth, Link can Z-Target the eye). It takes Bongo Bongo five hits to break the ice surrounding the hand, which is plenty of time for Link to fire into Bongo Bongo's weak point. Once it is down and the eye is exposed without the Lens of Truth, Link can port to Bongo Bongo's eye quickly by firing the Longshot at it. It takes ten hits from the Biggoron's Sword, and twenty from the Master Sword to defeat Bongo Bongo.

Origins

Theory Warning hide

It is speculated that Bongo Bongo's hands are separate from its body because they were cut off as a punishment for stealing the Lens of Truth (which is found in the well, where its house used to be, if it is indeed the same person the Old Man was referring to),[9] because cutting off the hands of thieves was a common punishment in medieval times. Its head also seems to have been cut off, suggesting it was executed, as there are guillotine type obstacles in the Shadow Temple.

There is some speculation regarding Bongo Bongo's appearance being somewhat similar to that of the Twili. Nothing can be known for sure, though there are some arguments against this since it is explicitly told that Bongo Bongo was sealed inside the Bottom of the Well and not inside the Twilight Realm.

It is also thought by many fans that Bongo Bongo is a Shape Shifter, allowing it to take on any form, and that the one Link fought it in was just one of many that it chose from. The form Link sees it escaping from the well in (with Sheik while the village is in flames) is its "true form". It has an appearance slightly similar to Gohdan, and it is possibly based on a mutated Wallmaster.

An Old Man in Kakariko Village (located near the House of Skulltula) tells of how a man had the ability to see the truth, and his house was where the well is today (in the future).[9] It is possible that Bongo Bongo is this person, as it manifests itself as having one great red eye, and the Lens of Truth is needed to see it. In addition, its eye bears a strong resemblance to the Lens of Truth. If Bongo Bongo is this man, then it is possible that the man was executed for some reason, given that the creature's hands are separated with stumps showing the flesh of its arms, and that its head is missing, replaced by a stump with the eye supposedly being its neck. It may have been executed for being a murderer, as both the Shadow Temple and Bottom of the Well are filled with undead and have various torture devices. Bongo Bongo may have been a powerful Sheikah (as the Lens of Truth, which is related to the Sheikah, is in his house, and it inhabits the Shadow Temple) who went mad and killed several people. The Sheikah then executed him and put the tear on the Sheikah symbol. In that same line of thought, Bongo Bongo may have also created the Mask of Truth, seeing as how the Sheikah symbol is found on it. The mask, defined as being powerful and unsettling, could be attributed to a powerful and eccentric or crazed creator, befitting of the character of the outlawed Sheikah who became Bongo Bongo.

Due to the fact that this battle is fought on a large bongo drum which Bongo Bongo 'plays', and that it seems to hum or chant during the battle, it is possible that Bongo Bongo was musically inclined in life.

Trivia

  • Bongo Bongo is the only regular boss in Ocarina of Time that does not actually require the item Link finds in its dungeon to be used during its fight. The Hover Boots can be used, but are not a necessity for victory.
  • Bongo Bongo bears similarities to several bosses in the Zelda series, apparent in the battles with Gohdan from The Wind Waker, Ramrock from Oracle of Ages, and Mazaal from The Minish Cap.
  • If an Ice Arrow hits Bongo Bongo's hand, it will freeze, and the other one will try to break it.
  • The song that Bongo Bongo sings during its battle is highly similar to the song that plays when the Ghosts invade Romani Ranch in Majora's Mask.
  • Bongo Bongo "sings" the same rhythm as its drumming.
  • Bongo Bongo shares many similarities with Gabora from Majora's Mask: both don't speak but grunt, Gabora wears a mask filled with straw where Bongo Bongo has no head, Gabora wears gloves where Bongo Bongo has its hands separated from its arms, and official artworks show them with the same gray color and muscular body.
  • Once Bongo Bongo grabs and begins crushing Link, it takes precisely twenty-one taps of the A-Button to escape.
  • When Bongo Bongo's eye is successfully stunned he will make an uncanny screech alike to Queen Gohma when she is stunned. Both bosses weak points are their Cyclopean eye.

References

  1. "That monster! It came out of the well in the village! Let's go check out the well!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  2. "Link.... A terrible thing has happened! The evil shadow spirit has been released! Impa, the leader of Kakariko Village, had sealed the evil shadow spirit in the bottom of the well.... But the force of the evil spirit got so strong, the seal of the well broke, and it escaped into the world!!" — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
  3. "I believe Impa has gone to the Shadow Temple to seal it again, but...she will be in danger without any help! Link! Impa is one of the six Sages. Destroy the evil shadow spirit and save Impa!" — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
  4. "Bongo Bongo Boss of the Shadow Temple, revived from the well. Look at it with the eye of truth!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  5. "Use the Lens of Truth to reveal the beast behind the hands" (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Ocarina of Time walk-through included) (Prima Games), pg. 189)
  6. "Avoid being struck by the hands and use the Fairy Bow and Longshot to incapacitate both." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Ocarina of Time walk-through included) (Prima Games), pg. 189)
  7. "Bongo Bongo falls to the ground; so, move up and attack with your sword." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Ocarina of Time walk-through included) (Prima Games), pg. 189)
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfoyQTWucCs
  9. 9.0 9.1 "A long time ago... There was a man in this very village who had an eye they said could see the truth! Now usually, you have to train your mind's eye most strenuously to actually see the truth... But this fella, no, they say he had a different way of doing things... His house stood where the well is now..." — Old Man in Kakariko Village (Ocarina of Time)


Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan 暗黒幻影獣ボンゴボンゴ (Ankoku Geneijū Bongo Bongo) Obscure Phantom Beast: Bongo Bongo
Spanish Spain Alimaña oscura espectral: Bongo Bongo Dark Spectral Vermin: Bongo Bongo
Latin America Bestia espectral de las sombras: Bongo Bongo Triforce piece.png
French French-speaking countries Monstre de l'Ombre : Bongo Bongo
French Canada Bongo Bongo: Monstre de l'ombre Triforce piece.png
German Germany Bongo Bongo
Korean South Korea 암흑환영수 봉고봉고 (Am'heuk Hwan'yeongsu Bongobongo) Dark Phantom Beast: Bongobongo
Chinese Mainland China (Simplified Chinese) 暗黑幻影兽崩鼓崩鼓 Obscure Phantom Beast, 崩鼓崩鼓 is transliteration of "Bongo Bongo",means "Banging drums"

Bosses in The Legend of Zelda series

The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between Worlds