Iron Knuckle Guide

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I remember the first time I encountered an Iron Knuckle when playing Ocarina of Time. These hard-hitting, heavily-armored mini-bosses gave me fits. They are strong and powerful, able to take four hearts with a single swipe.

It took me some time to figure out how to defeat them, but even then I preferred to avoid them instead of engaging in battle with them. Why? Because they aren’t easy to defeat!

In our Iron Knuckle guide, we’ll tell you all about Iron Knuckles, how they attack, how to defeat them, and where you’ll find them. Read on to learn all about these powerful Legend of Zelda enemies!

Key Details Up Front

Iron Knuckles are some of the most durable enemies in all of Hyrule. They’re heavily armored from head to toe and will take a lot of hits before going down for good.

Iron Knuckles are slow, but they make up for it with their powerful attacks. When you fight one, expect to find yourself very damaged at the end of the battle!

Iron Knuckles are tough, but there is one thing you can exploit to make the fight much easier: their armor. Once they lower their defense by removing their armor, they become very easy to defeat.

Iron Knuckle Appearance

Iron Knuckle Guide
Image from Zeldapedia

Iron Knuckles are enemies that appear throughout the Legend of Zelda series. Though they vary from game to game, most Iron Knuckles wield an enormous sword and shield.

Though their appearance varies between games, Iron Knuckles typically have metal armor with some kind of horned helmet that conceals any facial features. Their bodies are bulky and their skin color ranges from grey to brown. Their eyes are often red, yellowish-green or blue.

Iron Knuckle Minions

Not all Iron Knuckles are independent creatures. Some games feature groups of smaller enemies called “Imp Poes” which can summon an Iron Knuckle as a boss fight for Link. Even when an Iron Knuckle is not a boss, some games feature them as summonable enemies.

Iron Knuckle Attributes

iron knuckle

Iron Knuckles can be very difficult opponents for Link to defeat. They wield powerful weapons and their bulky size makes them hard to knock over. Some games include projectile attacks that the player must dodge.

Iron Knuckles often have some kind of attack that causes them to charge forward. This attack is dangerous for Link because it can knock him off his feet and leave him vulnerable to subsequent attacks.

Iron Knuckles are usually slow enemies, but they have no problem with close-quarters combat. They sometimes appear in small corridors where their large shields take up much of the room. In these cases, Link must find a way to slip past or defeat them without getting hit.

Iron knuckles are typically strong enemies, but they have one crucial weakness: They can’t swim. Whenever an Iron Knuckle appears in a water-based area, the player must use this fact to their advantage.

Iron Knuckles are usually very slow and can’t jump, making them easy targets for projectile weapons such as the bow. If Link finds himself without a ranged weapon, he might be able to run past or stun an Iron Knuckle with his sword before it has time to attack.

Iron Armor: Iron Knuckle’s armor is made of Iron. Arrows shot at an Iron Knuckle with a bow will lose power and cannot pierce its armor. Swords, bombs, boomerangs, magic rods, and wands inflict less damage to Iron Knuckles than other enemies.

Iron Shield: An Iron Knuckle’s shield can block most attacks from the front. It cannot defend against attacks from above or below, nor can it block fireballs or other projectile attacks. Iron Knuckles are often found in small corridors where their shields take up most of the space and Link must find a way to slip past them without getting hit.

Iron Body: An Iron Knuckle’s body is made of iron. Arrows shot at an Iron Knuckle with a bow will lose power and cannot pierce its armor. Swords, bombs, boomerangs, magic rods, and wands inflict less damage to Iron Knuckles than other enemies.

Iron Helmet: An Iron Knuckle’s helmet is made of iron. It can withstand most attacks from the front but not from above or below. An Iron Knuckle’s helmet can block fireballs and most projectile attacks with ease.

Poison: If Link gets close enough to an Iron Knuckle, it may attempt to poison him with a red puff of smoke. This attack can be dodged or blocked by the Hylian Shield.

Tempered Iron: In some games, such as Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, Iron Knuckles are very powerful enemies that can only be killed using the Master Sword or a similar weapon.

Iron Knuckle Attacks

Iron Knuckle has many attacks:

– A quick stab to the gut followed by either a slash or overhead smash, depending on player location.

– An overhead smash that projects shockwaves through the floor.

– A double sword slash that projects shockwaves through the floor.

– A ground pound attack that creates a pillar of fire around him.

– And an overhead smash that breaks any pillars of fire he has created on the screen, sending out more shockwaves through the floor.

Defeating Iron Knuckles

Iron Knuckle is vulnerable to bombs thrown into its armor or onto its body. However, Iron Knuckle is resistant to arrows shot into its armor but not on his body. Iron Knuckle has a high tolerance to most physical attacks with swords or fists, but not bombs. If the Iron Knuckle is wearing armor, it will have to be destroyed before Link can attack its vulnerable areas.

When in close combat, Iron Knuckles have a tendency to slash or stab repeatedly rather than attempt an overhead smash. If they do perform an overhead smash, they will usually slash in front of them before smashing downwards. Try to stay behind an Iron Knuckle when attacking and move away quickly after inflicting a blow.

Iron Knuckle is also often found in groups with other enemies, such as Darknuts. Try to kill the weaker enemies first before taking on Iron Knuckle – this will make it easier for Link to avoid enemy attacks and the threat of poisoning.

An iron shield may protect their front side from damage, but try attacking them from behind or overhead to knock their armor off.

Iron Knuckles are one of the most powerful enemies in the Legend of Zelda series and must be approached with care. It is best to use projectile weapons bombs or bombchus before approaching melee range.



You’ll only encounter Iron Knuckles in two Legend of Zelda games: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

Ocarina of Time

You’ll first encounter Iron Knuckles in the Spirit Temple. After navigating a series of rooms and defeating a Stalfos, you will come to a room with three Iron Knuckles. Two will be in a line and one will be below them. You can defeat them by shooting arrows into their armor or throwing a bomb into their armor.

If you throw the bomb at them, it will explode causing massive damage. If you hit them with arrows, it will destroy part of their armor, which looks like overlapping metal scales. After destroying half its armor, they may use more powerful attacks to kill you.

Iron Knuckles are also found in Ganon’s Castle, the final level of Ocarina of Time. In this area, you will have to jump from platform to platform while dodging other enemies and a barrage of fireballs thrown by a dragon. If Link falls off, he’ll have to start at the beginning of the dungeon again.

Majora’s Mask

Majora's Mask

Iron Knuckles are found in Stone Tower Temple. In order to reach the Iron Knuckle mini-boss, Link must make it through a series of puzzle rooms which include puzzles similar to those found in Ocarina of Time. You will have to battle two Iron Knuckles in this mini-boss battle, which is much the same as Ocarina of Time.

You’ll find two Iron Knuckles within the tombs in Ikana Graveyard. This is the only time in Majora’s Mask where you can find Iron Knuckles outside of a mini-boss battle. You are unable to damage them because you don’t have any arrows, so you must simply avoid them until the end of the mini-game.

The last place you’ll find an Iron Knuckle in Majoras Mask is in Link’s Dungeon inside the Moon. This battle takes place while Link is in his Hylian form and is part of a hide-and-seek game.

Link is unable to damage the Iron Knuckle in this battle, but he must find a way through the maze of rooms. If you can navigate throughout the maze and complete certain puzzles, you’ll have enough time before the Moon crushes Termina to claim one final Boss Key.


If you’re interested in learning more about Iron Knuckles, these frequently asked questions may be useful to you.

Question: Where do I Find Iron Knuckles?

Answer: You’ll encounter Iron Knuckles in two different Zelda games, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. They are usually fought as mini-boss battles after exploring several rooms filled with other enemies.

Question: What are Iron Knuckles?

Answer: Iron Knuckles are some of the most powerful enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They appear in two different Zelda games: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

Question: How do I Defeat Iron Knuckles?

Answer: Usually, you’ll have to fight an Iron Knuckle in a mini-boss battle. They are tough enemies that can spam powerful attacks to kill Link if he isn’t careful. The best way to defeat them is to use bombs or other types of projectiles because these can be shot from a safe distance.

Question: What do Iron Knuckles Look Like?

Answer: In Ocarina of Time, an Iron Knuckle’s armor is mostly brown and grey with gold lining it. There are blue shoulder pads that have golden spikes on top of them. Their helmets also have golden spikes. The Iron Knuckle in Majora’s Mask is similar but with some slight differences.

Question: How Much Damage Does an Iron Knuckle do?

Answer: In Ocarina of Time, the first Iron Knuckle Link encounters only has one attack. This is a spinning double sword slash that can also hit players from behind if they’re not careful. When it’s about to attack, its blade will emit a faint blue glow. Its other attack is the same double sword slash but with an orange glow instead of blue.
The Iron Knuckles in Majora’s Mask are much more difficult than those in Ocarina of Time. They have three attacks which include two different types of single sword slashes, and a powerful jumping attack.

Tough Nuts to Crack

When it comes to mini-bosses, Iron Knuckles are among the most difficult to defeat. Whether you’re playing Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask, you’ll have to stay on your toes and be careful how you approach them. Their attacks can take a toll on Link, so it’s important that you know what you’re getting into before attempting to fight one.

So strap on your Master Sword, put on your Hylian Shields, and take a few bombs with you as you prepare to do battle with these formidable foes!

Check more guides below:

Legends of Zelda Game Guides

Zelda Bosses Guide – Everything You Need to Know

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Game Overview

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