- "I'm in the Forest Temple! The forest spirits were calling for help, so I went to check it out... But it's full of evil monsters! Help me, Link!"
- — Saria
The Forest Temple (森の神殿 Mori no Shinden?) is the fourth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was originally a Hylian fortress or mansion, but after being abandoned and overtaken by the forest it was repurposed by the Kokiri and Fairies into a temple. Link requires the Hookshot to latch onto a nearby tree branch and enter the temple as the stairway originally leading up to it has long since crumbled.
When Link awakens from his seven-year slumber in the Sacred Realm and acquires the Light Medallion from Rauru, the mysterious Sheik tells Link that he must now awaken the remaining five sages, the first of which can be found in a temple in the forest. Sheik tells Link he should know who that sage is. Sheik tells Link that he requires a special item to be able to enter the temple and is advised to go to Kakariko Village. Link finds the grave of Dampé the gravekeeper in the Kakariko Graveyard and enters the tomb. Inside, Link meets Dampé's ghost, who asks Link to race him. After being able to keep up with him, Dampé presents Link with the Hookshot.
Hookshot in hand, Link travels into Kokiri Forest only to discover that it has been overrun by monsters. He presses on to the Lost Woods, but Mido blocks his path, saying that he promised Saria he would not let anybody pass. Link manages to convince Mido to let him pass, however, by playing "Saria's Song". Link continues until he reaches the Sacred Forest Meadow, now overrun by Moblins and makes his way to where he last saw Saria. However, Saria is nowhere to be found. Instead, Link is greeted by Sheik, who teaches him the "Minuet of Forest" before departing in a flash of blinding light. Link then uses his newly acquired Hookshot to grapple onto a tree branch overhead, allowing him to enter the Forest Temple.
The Forest Temple is a large labyrinth with many complex puzzles and Small Keys found in abstruse places. It is also haunted by the four Poe Sisters, who have sealed the way to the boss's lair by stealing the colored flame from four golden Torches. In order to return the flame, Link must first find the Fairy Bow, the dungeon's main item. Once he has it, he can duel each Poe Sister, returning the flame each had stolen to its respective torch upon their defeat. Link can then solve a final puzzle to gain access to the boss lair, where Phantom Ganon resides.
The strange chanting and the flute that accompanies it that can be heard within the temple is from a sample named "098-B".
- Big Deku Baba
- Big Skulltula
- Blue Bubble
- Deku Baba
- Gold Skulltula
- Green Bubble
In the Master Quest re-releases, several changes have been made to the dungeon, including puzzles and the order in which rooms are visited. The main difference is the addition of extra small keys and locked doors. Unlike most dungeons in Master Quest, the main weapon of the dungeon, the Fairy Bow, is found in the same area. The only new enemy is a single ReDead. Stones of Time play a bigger part in puzzles and the switch used to change the first winding passage is now a Crystal Switch, not an Eye Switch.
Unlike the other four temples in the game, the Forest Temple does not seem to have a recurring statue found throughout the dungeon. There is the totem pole, dragon, raven and snake statues within the Fire Temple, Water Temple, Shadow Temple and Spirit Temple, respectively. These statues could indeed represent some sort of temple guardian, but if that is true, the Forest Temple is left without any representation. Despite the lack of statues, however, Link does come across several paintings of the Poe Sisters, the temple's mini-bosses. Seeing as the Poe Sisters act as guardians of the Forest Temple in their own right, this could indeed make them the Forest Temple's complement to the other temples. There is also a massive hallway which is shaped like a gargantuan spider on the Dungeon Map, and seeing as the temple represents the forest, the deity could possibly be a spider or some kind of insect.
Not a Temple, but a Mansion
The Forest Temple bears close resemblance to a vast, ruined mansion. Because of this it may not actually be a temple of worship, but may have once been a home to a wealthy family that met a tragic fate. The Poe Sisters could very well be the ghosts of said family. Since the mansion has become overgrown with plant life it has probably been lying dormant for many years. If this theory is correct, this would explain the above point about the lack of an image of a possible deity, as the temple would not be meant to worship anything. More evidence of this is in the Portraits on the walls throughout the temple and in the room with Phantom Ganon, although this may be merely a means for the Poe Sisters to disguise themselves. The Forest Temple's name does imply however that it is used as an actual temple, at least at the time Link visits it.