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Keese SSword.png
A Keese from Skyward Sword
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Keese (pronounced /kiːs/, kees)[citation needed] are a recurring enemy in The Legend of Zelda series.


Keese artwork from The Legend of Zelda

Keese are bat-like creatures that make their homes in dank, shadowy dungeons or in pitch-black caves similar to their real-life counterparts, and have become a staple of the Zelda series. The Keese is known to inhabit various forms, some adapted from fire and ice, some from the surrounding environment, however, the technique and strategy used to defeat all of their variations stays mostly the same.

Keese often appear in every dungeon in the vast majority of Zelda titles, and often exist in clusters within these dungeons. These creatures fly around the screen, not heading towards anything in particular, and stop for a short amount of time on a neighboring wall, or rock face. However, in games such as A Link to the Past and Four Swords, but not exclusively, Keese are easy to startle, and move about the screen only when Link is within close proximity, otherwise they remain still on the wall. Unlike the commonplace behavior of the Keese, Four Swords Adventures introduces a variety that can be seen and fought in pure daylight, upon the overworld of Hyrule, as well as in their natural dungeon habitats.

The Keese incarnations seen in The Wind Waker and on through Twilight Princess have a slightly different attack strategy in comparison to the random flight seen in the early titles. Instead of flying straight into Link, these bats will hover and pause above him when nearby before hitting him, giving Link a chance to notice and defeat them before they seize the opportunity to cause injury. On another note, the Keese from Twilight Princess, in the same vein with the graphical style of the game, have a much more realistic appearance, and now have a hook-like tail in comparison to the almost non-existent tails of previous incarnations.

Because Keese are standard and often commonplace enemies, they can be dispelled with any variety of weaponry, from Swords, Boomerangs, Arrows to Bombs. It is however often recommended to use ranged weapons to annihilate these foes from a distance, especially in the 3D console games where the Keese may fly too high for other weapons to reach.

In Twilight Princess, whenever Link uses the Hidden Skill Shield Attack on a Keese, it will be forced to the ground, hopping and vulnerable to attack.

Keese and Fire Keese (Figurine from The Wind Waker)
Keese Figurine TWW.png
Habitat: Dragon Roost Cavern
Least Favorite Thing: Projectiles
These bats fly around dark places and attack anything that moves. Great care should be taken around Fire Keeses that appear during times of volcanic activity.
Keese (Figurine from The Minish Cap)
Keese Figurine.gif
Appears in various areas. These bats live in dungeons and caves. Their movement is unpredictable, so use ranged weapons from a safe distance.


There are several variations on the regular Keese:


Main article: Vire

Vires are large humanoid bat devils, who fly and hop around the area, sometimes shooting fireballs. They split into two Red Keese when significantly injured. Vires are one of the more intelligent minions in the series, showing the ability to talk.[1]

Fire Keese

Fire Keese in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
Fire Keese in Twilight Princess

When Keese are exposed to an open flame, they can transform into Fire Keese. In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Keese can be transformed by Fire Arrows or torches. They will light Link on fire, simultaneously putting themselves out. In games with wooden shields, such as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, Fire Keese can also burn away these shields.[2] In Twilight Princess, they are almost identical to Keese. The only difference between the two is that Link does not take damage if he touches a regular Keese when it is not attacking, whereas he will if he touches a Fire Keese. They can be put out with the Gale Boomerang, or any type of Boomerang for that matter, but they do not go out when attacking Link, a trend carried through to Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.

Ice Keese

The Ice Keese as it appears in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
Ice Keese in Twilight Princess

Ice Keese are Keese exposed to cold, such as an Ice Arrow or Blue Fire. In Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, Ice Keese cannot be changed into regular Keese, nor can regular Keese be transformed into Ice Keese. In Spirit Tracks, they act as a mini-boss group before Link obtains the Boomerang.

Ring Keese

Keese Swarm.png

In Four Swords Adventures, Ring Keese lay hidden in bushes in The Swamp and the Lost Woods.[3] They consist of a large red Keese followed by a trail of purple, shadowy Keese it leaves in its wake. If the Links disturb its hiding spot, the Keese will rush out and begin circling the Links. Trapped within the ring of Keese, the only way to escape is by killing the red Keese, who will try to keep a certain distance between itself and the Links. Therefore, the heroes must assume the Long or Wide formation, putting the outermost Link within reach of the leader.[4] Once the red Keese is defeated, the trail of bats is destroyed along with it, leaving a ring of Green Force Gems, while the Ring Keese will drop a Blue Force Gem.

Shadow Keese

The Shadow Keese as it appears in Twilight Princess

Shadow Keese are only found in the Twilight Realm in Twilight Princess. They have draconian-like bodies and strange, funnel shaped heads. Their faces are featureless save for red symbols. They appear to be nearly identical to Shadow Kargaroks except for the fact that they are smaller, weaker and lack the ring of grey plumage around their faces. As with many monsters of Twilight, Shadow Keese have a distinctive cry; rather than the squeaking of the other Keese variations, Shadow Keese make a noise reminiscent of a hammer clashing on metal.

Thunder Keese

Thunder Keese in Skyward Sword

Thunder Keese are found in several locations in Skyward Sword. They are electrified Keese that follow identical attack patterns of all other Keese and can be killed in the same manner. However, like all electrified enemies in the game, Link will become stunned and take damage if he strikes while they are shrouded in electricity. Though Thunder Keese are weak enemies, they can be dangerous in large groups, as they may constantly electrocute Link, giving him little opportunity to defend himself. A safe and effective way to eliminate them is to use the Shield Bash technique, then the Fatal Blow.

Dark Keese

Dark Keese in Skyward Sword

The Dark Keese is a skeletal, dark variant of the regular form in Skyward Sword. Like other cursed monsters, contact with them will result in a Curse, where Link cannot use his items, including his Sword and Shield. The variant is found in the Fire Sanctuary, Eldin Volcano and Volcano Summit, which will drop Evil Crystals every so often. Dark Keese appear to reprise the role of Blue Bubbles, who are absent from the game. They also appear as flying, reanimated skeletons, possessing traits reminiscent of the Stalfos family of enemies.

Non-canon Appearances

Non-Canon Information hide

The Legend of Zelda Game Watch

Bat GW.png

Keese appear in The Legend of Zelda Game Watch, and are referred to as Bats.[5] They can only be defeated with the Sword. They appear from the second dungeon onward, and only once all of the Iron Balls have been defeated. Once all of the Bats in a room are defeated, a Key appears which Link can use to proceed to the next room.

Nintendo Land

Keese appear in Battle Quest in Nintendo Land for the Wii U. They appear in later stages within caves and dungeons, usually in large swarms on the ceiling. When the player gets near, they drop down and fly directly at them, one by one, and must be defended against or defeated before they strike. After attacking, they will pass by and not strike again. They are also summoned by Wizzrobes when playing as an Archer, appearing as pairs or groups of three. They are best shot down with charged shots as they appear.

Keese also appear as one of the 200 Prizes that can be won using the Coins in the main Plaza. Upon touching the Keese Prize in the Plaza using the touch screen or simply jumping against it, the Keese will become animated temporarily and Monita will comment on it.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name
Keese Fire Keese Ice Keese Thunder Keese Dark Keese Big Keese
Japanese link= キース ファイアキース アイスキース サンダーキース ヤミキース ピッコロ [の子分] (LA)
Spanish Spanish-speaking countries Keese Keese de fuego Keese de hielo Keese de trueno Keese oscuro
French French-speaking countries Chauve-souris
Saigneur (OoT, MM)
Chauve-souris de feu
Saigneur ardent (OoT)
Saigneur de Feu (MM)
Chauve-souris de glace
Saigneur givré (OoT)
Chauve-souris de foudre Chauve-souris de ténèbres
French link= Chauve-souris (OoT3D, MM3D) Chauve-souris de feu (OoT3D, MM3D) Chauve-souris de glace (OoT3D, MM3D) Chauve-souris de foudre Chauve-souris de ténèbres
German link= Flederbeißer Feuerflatterer Polarflatterer Donnerflatterer Finsterflatterer
Italian link= Pipistrello Pipistrello Igneo Pipistrello glaciale Pipistrello saetta Pipistrello Malvagio Grande Pipistrello
Chinese link= 蝙蝠 火蝙蝠 冰蝙蝠 电蝙蝠 暗黑蝙蝠


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See Also


  1. "Vire is a devil that splits into Keeses when cut by Link's sword. Keeses have less attacking power." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 35)
  2. "Fire Keese - Destroy it before it flies into you! If you don't, its flames will burn up your Deku Shield!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  3. "As you head into the forest, a Keese swarm will begin to circle you." (The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power), pg. 57)
  4. "You can either move slowly and wait for the pests to get out of the way, or get in the wide formation and hit the red bat when it passes to your right." (The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power), pg. 57)
  5. "Link is attacked by crushing Iron Balls, Ferocious [sic] bats, and a fire breathing Dragons [sic]" (The Legend of Zelda Game Watch manual)