The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Gauntlet/Boss Rush Mode Guide

So you beat Ganon, saved the Princess and restored peace to Hyrule…but your sword hand’s still twitching? What do you do?

Boss Rush, that’s what. One of the new features added to the 3DS version is the ability to relive boss battles from the game’s eight dungeons. I have delved into this mode to give you tips on defeating the bosses, and in particular how the ‘Gauntlet’ battle mode works.

How do you access Boss Rush Mode?

After completing the Forest Temple and talking to Sheik in the Temple of Time, you can go back to your house in the Kokiri Forest and press A while facing the bed. You will have the option to rest, or ‘Relive a battle’.

How does it work?

You will be presented with a screen that shows all of the bosses you have faced so far. Select any of them and you will be transported to the boss room to face the boss once more. There is no reward per se, beyond bragging rights, but the idea is to try to win in the shortest time possible. The timer begins after the boss appears, but doesn’t end until you step into the blue teleportation ring.

What is Gauntlet Mode?

Gauntlet pits you against all eight bosses in succession, with only one health meter and few chances for recovery. Items (including ammo) are carried over from one battle to the next, and after each victory you get the choice of one of two chests whose contents may help you as you proceed.

How do you unlock Gauntlet?

After setting a time on each of the bosses, you will unlock Gauntlet in the bottom-right corner.

How do the treasure chests work?

After each battle, two chests will appear – a small one and a large one. At first it may appear that the items they give you are random, but I am fairly sure (after many playthroughs) that the selection of possible items in each chest on each stage is fixed. As such, it is generally better to select one chest over the other. Obtainable items at each stage are detailed below:


Small chest

Large chest

1. Gohma Bombs x5,x10,x20 Deku seeds
2. King Dodongo Heart containerBottleRecovery heart x1 Deku nuts
3. Barinade BottleHeart container BottleRecovery heart
4. Phantom Ganon LongshotBig quiver Giant’s knifeHeart containerRecovery heart x1


5. Volvagia LongshotHover bootsBig quiver

Green Potion

Giant’s knifeBlue potionRecovery heart x1
6. Morpha Heart containerHover bootsBig quiver

Blue Potion

Heart containerArrowsRecovery heart x1
7. Bongo Bongo Heart containerRed potion Blue potionPoe

This table may not be complete, and will be updated if I discover more. Additionally, I have only received potions from a chest while I’ve been carrying a bottle.

Gauntlet Guide

This guide will help you with any of the bosses generally, but is specifically designed to help get a fast time for each boss.

1. Gohma

Parasitic Armored Arachnid - Gohma

This battle begins when you look up to the ceiling to see Gohma crawling about up there. Shoot her with the slingshot when her eye is red, then slash her to pieces when she crumples to the floor. When she climbs back to the ceiling, position yourself near the centre of the room and aim your slingshot up at her, shooting when the eye is red. Slash another few times and she’s down.

Large or small?: In this case, it’s always better to choose the small chest. It gives you bombs, which will allow you to do the second boss faster.

2. King Dodongo

Infernal Dinosaur - King Dodongo

This battle begins automatically. Assign the bombs you got from the chest to a button, and throw them in Dodongo’s mouth when it opens. With careful timing you can jump-attack him with your sword just as his head lands, stunned. Raise your shield and hug the wall as he passes, then repeat two more times. If you didn’t get the bombs, you’ll need to use the bomb flowers in the corners of the room.

Large or small?: Again, the small chest is best. A bottle or heart container vs. largely-useless deku nuts.

3. Barinade

Bio-electric Anenome Barinade

Assign the boomerang, then run to the centre and circle round the barinade, targeting and attacking the three veins attaching it to the ceiling. It will then lift to spin its jellyfish around. If you’re fast, you can hit it with the boomerang as its rising, before the jellies form a shield around it. This will detach them from the centre and allow you to destroy them. You can hit the barinade again before it recovers from its stun to make sure you hit them all. It will then lift further to assail you with still more jellies. Again, with good timing you can stop it from blocking you by stunning it just before the jellies start to spin. If you miss these chances, you will have to keep throwing your boomerang in the hopes that it will find a gap. After all its jellyfish are destroyed, you will be able to stun the barinade and attack with your sword. After about two jump-attacks it will recede into the ground and shoot lasers at you, so rotate to avoid them. Repeat twice and it’s dead.

Large or small?: By the information I’ve collected so far, the small one is best, with the possibility of a heart container or a bottle.

4. Phantom Ganon

Evil Spirit from Beyond - Phantom Ganon

To activate this boss, run to the edge of the blue section in the middle of the room, then run back towards the exit. For the first section of the battle, I advise using gyro controls, sitting or standing in a way that allows you to turn in 360 degrees. Look at all the paintings to find the two that the horse is galloping down in. Ready an arrow, and shoot whichever one starts to glow white. The other will turn round and canter back into the painting. You can still make the shot as Phantom Ganon jumps out of the painting, but that’s cutting it close. If you miss, you’ll want to jump aside to avoid the magic attack. Three arrows and the Phantom will abandon his horse and start phase 2. Reflect his orbs back with sword attacks. Sometimes you will miss. Sometimes he will bounce them back again. Eventually he’ll get hit with his own attack and be stunned. You’ll be able to do two jump-attacks before he recovers. Sometimes if you’ve not been able to stun him for a while, you’ll be allowed to do more. Repeat till he’s toast. Very rarely he’ll charge you in a spinning spear attack. It’s quite easy to dodge.

Large or small?: Here’s where things start to get interesting. It’s possible that the small chest has further possible items I’ve not encountered yet (possibly the same as those listed for Morpha’s small chest). The longshot can be sort of useful for Morpha, but the big quiver is probably a waste. The large chest is probably the best here, and has the possiblity of containing the Giant’s Knife. While this weapon will break after two or three hits, it can greatly reduce the length of the Morpha battle.

5. Volvagia

Subterranean Lava Dragon - Volvagia

Jump onto the central platform, put on your red tunic and assign the Megaton hammer. Volvagia will emerge from one of the holes, preceded by a burst of flames. Don’t stand too close as he emerges (he deals hefty damage for your limited health meter) but when he’s out, quickly whack-a-mole him with the hammer before he breathes fire. He’ll fall over, stunned, and you can jump-attack him with the Master sword. The second time he pops up, you can’t attack him in this fashion – he’ll fly around for a bit and breathe fire on you. BUT, if you slash him in the head with your sword as he’s coming out, or hit him with an arrow, he will abandon that plan and make for the nearest hole. You can then repeat the previous steps, though this time a burst of flames will appear from two holes before Volvagia appears. The fourth time he comes out, he’ll fly up to the ceiling and drop poorly-aimed rocks down on your. As far as I can tell, no amount of attacking can make him skip this step. After that, you can whack him a third time (preceded by three bursts of flame) and finish him off.

Large or small?: The agony of choice. Hover boots can make Morpha easier, but aren’t much use elsewhere. The Giant’s Knife would be more useful for cutting that battle time down, and the other items in the large chest probably make it a better choice overall.

6. Morpha

Giant Aquatic Amoeba - Morpha

The battle begins when you jump onto one of the platforms in the middle. If you have the hover boots, you can use these platforms without grab and climb each time. If you have the longshot, you can grab Morpha from a longer distance, but hitting a moving target is easier the closer you are. In any case assign whichever hookshot you have. You can sometimes grab Morpha from underwater, but the angle necessary can make it impossible to hit him once you do – there’s not enough platform to stand on. You also run the risk of getting grabbed by one of the arms, which will do a lot of damage to your health meter. Instead, I advise choosing one of the four platforms, or the other edge of the pool, about half a pool’s length from Morpha, and wait for his water tentacle to emerge with him inside it. Stand far enough back that Morpha will land on the platform when you grab him, and not in the water. When you grab him, you can then slash him with the Master sword. The tricky part is that drawing the sword will do a simple, weak slash. Ideally, you should be able to back away from Morpha quickly, draw the sword, then jump attack. Otherwise this battle will drag on. If you have the Giant’s Knife, I advise using it here. Jump-attacking with the Giant’s Knife is four times more powerful than a regular Master sword strike, and can cut the battle in half. After Morpha has been hit, he’ll bounce away. Sometimes you can slash him again as he bounds over the platforms in the water, especially if you have the hover boots. The more damage you do, the more tendrils of water will begin to attack you. ALWAYS keep an eye on where they are forming – you can see them as bubbles in the water, and should choose where to attack from accordingly. Be aware that they move.

Large or small?: Both contain the possibility for a heart container, but the small chest is probably more likely to contain something useful. Though hover boots are useless after this stage.

7. Bongo Bongo

Phantom Shadow Beast - Bongo Bongo

Jump down the hole to start the battle. Immediately, turn round and target a hand. Shoot it with an arrow to stun it. Bongo Bongo bounces you about on his drum, and you’ll fire more accurately when you’re on the ground than when you’re in the air. As quickly as possible, shoot and stun the second hand as well. If it’s curled into a fist, dodge its incoming attack, because you can’t shoot it when it does that. If it hits you when its palm is flat, it will squeeze a significant chunk of life out of you. When both hands are stunned, the body will charge at you. Charge up a spin attack, and release it just as the hands get close. The body will appear and you can attack the eye with your sword. I find a slash-jump-attack-slash-jump-attack pattern works well. After repeating the process another two times he should fall. (Note: You can use the Lens of Truth to see Bongo Bongo before he’s stunned, but this will prevent you from using a magic spin attack)

Large or small?: I probably haven’t found all the possible items yet, but as things stand the potential to heal up with the small chest’s items is better than the possibility of getting a poe with the large container. The poe can heal you, but it can also harm you, or do nothing at all from what I gather.

8. Twinrova

Sorceress Sisters - Twinrova

Climb up onto the central platform to start the battle. REMEMBER TO SWITCH TO THE MIRROR SHIELD. I failed to do this once and wound up a bit dead. Try to keep both witches in your sights at all times. When one of them charges a magical attack try to position yourself so that you can reflect it back at the other with your shield. Ideally, you can L-target the witch you want to hit with the beam while still facing the witch who’s shooting the beam. Do not target in such a way that you end up with your back to the witch who’s shooting you. You do not need to target to be able to direct the beams at the witches – you can aim the shield a little with the circle pad. After about four successful attacks, the witches will do the fusion dance and you’ll enter phase 2. Absorb three of the same spell (ice or fire), then hold the shield out as the last beam hits and you’ll reflect it back, stunning Twinrova. You can then jump over to their platform, pulling your sword out as you do so for a jump attack. A second jump attack and they’ll recover and attack again. At first, they will usually use three of the same spell in a row until you attack them for the second time. Then they may mix things up. Keep an eye on which spell is coming, and if you’ve already absorbed the opposite spell, dodge out of the way. Absorbing fire when you have ice already in your shield, or vice-versa, will hurt. 6 jump attacks with the Master sword should send them packing. Enter the teleport ring to complete the challenge.

If you have any questions about anything in this article, please submit a comment below. Additionally, if you’ve found other items in any of the chests, please let me know.

Happy hunting!

24 Responses to “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Gauntlet/Boss Rush Mode Guide”
  1. nintymadden says:

    Awesome work James! 🙂


  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey this really does make a good read. Thanks for writing this. I found it very useful.


  3. Shane says:

    Great, we should start sharing times here.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I beat the gauntlet 😀


  5. Joe Lombardo says:

    I beat the gauntlet 😀


  6. morpha give a green potion not a blue


  7. Anonymous says:

    I caught a poe by opening the big chest after beating volvagia, for real!


  8. Chris says:

    When I opened the Big Chest after beating Queen Gohma I recieved Deku Sticks.


  9. Alex says:

    How can you say the hover boots aren’t much use beyond Morpha? They make Bongo Bongo so much easier.


  10. john georgiou says:

    this is really helpful dam took so long to beat but to know what is in chest helped


  11. dillon says:

    i got a bottle from the small chest after Phantom Ganon


  12. MrPinochle says:

    Hey I just found a Poe in the large chest after defeating Volvagia. What do I use it for? 0_o


  13. ronny says:

    for the Volvagia battle when he goes up to the rocks, go to one of the edges and you should be able to climb on it and if you stay there long enough, he should come back down because he doesnt see you.


  14. THE DUDE xD says:

    The chest guide should be the main focus of this article, however, even with making what one would call the “wrong” choice in chests, I still managed to beat the entire gauntlet in 13:00 flat while taking no damage. The chest guide should expediate the process even further, allowing us to achieve very small times, possibly under 10min.



  15. Lulu says:

    Oh, the Small chest in Volvagia also gives Iron boots, just got them now, pretty useless haha :3


  16. Geo says:

    The hover boots do prevent you from being bounced up and down by Bongo-Bongo, but yeah they’re not of much use.


  17. Anonymous says:

    I΄ve got Deku Nuts from the large chest after Queen Gohma.


  18. jeffery says:

    what do you get when you beat it?


  19. Anonymous says:

    You can also get a fairy in a chest


  20. Anonymous says:

    Volvagia’s large chest can give a poe


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