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  • "Death Mountain" in Legend Mode. Your base is under constant attack right from the start, including from two rock-bombarding keeps that are around the middle of the map. Capturing these keeps does not stop the rock attacks for good: if they get recaptured later, they'll go right back to bombarding your base. The boss, Darunia, can be fought up to three times over the course of the battle. The first time, he charges your base directly, while the second time, he'll attack the boulder keeps you have (or your base again if they are in his control). After he retreats a second time, any keeps in the Gorons' control will spawn Bombchus to attack the boulder keeps and your base. However, you can take out the Bombchu Operators and use the Bombchus against them. The third and final time you face the boss, you still have to defeat two minor bosses before you can even damage him. To summarize: For most of the battle, you'll be fighting on at least two fronts. The boulder keeps, the boss, the boulder keeps, Bombchus, the boulder keeps, the minor bosses, and the boss. In comparison, the following scenario, the Water Temple, is much easier for many, which is very ironic considering it holds this status in its source material.
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  • From Legends we have "Powers Collide", one of Linkle's campaign levels. Here's the gist of it: Darunia decides to go off after Volga by himself and it's up to you to keep him from dying. In other words, it's an escort mission. Not only that, but there are slews of Dinolfos on both sides of the Water Temple. That's not even getting to the things you have to do; the chapter starts off with Darunia deciding it'd be a good idea to break the door, and you need to get some Engineers to repair it. Problem is, you have to escort all three Engineers to the door. It's an escort mission inside of an escort mission. And then you find out just how bad a basic soldier's (and therefore an Engineer's) AI really is; they'll keep fighting any enemy in their midst instead of the ones directly in their paths, and you have to kill everything you can just so the Engineers will stop acting like moths attracted to Bokoblin-shaped lights. After you open the door, the rest of it isn't so bad... unless you're going for the second Gold Skulltula of this stage, which requires that you keep Darunia or the Allied Base from reaching "In Danger" status. Due to the problems with escorting the Engineers earlier, Darunia's likely already at "In Trouble" status by the time you get there, so you have to move on over to Darunia before he reaches critical condition; if he does even once, you lose your Gold Skulltula. And what's more is that there's always something knocking at your base, so you have to keep someone there to guard it. This level is hard enough when you're just trying to beat it, let alone complete it.
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  • "March of the Demon King" in Legend mode in Legends and Definitive Edition. At first it starts out as standard minus the fact that Ganondorf need to save Ghirahim and Zant from an ambush near the start. However, after you find and defeat Lana before she can escape, it turns out she's found out a way to divide herself in a way that means all the doubles are equally real, meaning if one escapes, Ganondorf loses the Triforce of Power. In the original game, she split herself into two, which was mildly frustrating. In the 3DS and Switch ports, because of the new Command feature, she splits herself into three. They start out in the middle of the map and move outward, and you need to command the AIs to intercept them, then swap characters when the one closest to you is taken care of to start juggling them away from the gates. To make it even worse, the Lanas are smart enough to try and ignore Zant and Ghirahim unless they're player controlled, it's possible for you and your companions to be in unhelpful locations when the checkpoint loads, (meaning it's likely someone has to move almost the entire length of the map to intercept after every retry), and each Lana that's defeated raises the power of the remaining doubles.
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  • Any of the Mêlée à Trois missions in Adventure Mode that pit you against both Enemy and Rogue forces. The Allied Base is invariably stuck between the two of them, so while you're off trying to fulfill the objectives by killing officers with defense buffs, the rest of their armies are sandwiching your camp and dwindling its health dangerously low, forcing you to babysit it. The worst part is that even once you start reducing one of the armies' numbers, the other one gets a morale boost as a result, and thus increased attack power that won't help you or your base's survival in the slightest.
  • The "KO 100n enemies in 10 minutes" (n being a multiple from 3 to 10) missions, once they start requiring over 600, become viciously brutal if you don't have a character who can clear out large amounts of enemies in little time. They start out simple enough, but as you keep defeating enemies, increasing amounts of Giant Bosses and captains start to appear. On the higher-KO maps, you have no time to fight these captains. In the end, it boils down to being chased by 2-4 Giant Bosses at once while all the captains you left alone give all the enemies morale boosts that allow the Giant Bosses to kill you in two hits if they reach you. Fun. Thankfully, Legends lessens the blow with My Fairy and allowing an extra playable warrior on the missions, which allows you to essentially breeze through hordes of enemies relatively fast and provide a distraction for the Giant Bosses respectively.
  • Three words: Don't Get Hit. It's bad enough putting that restriction on levels involving boss runs or trial missions. But when that restriction is on with standard battles, then it's a nightmare. Any one hit will kill your chances for an A-Rank, which is quite likely to happen, due to some random mook getting a cheap shot when you're locked in an attack. And if the enemy happens to be Cuccos... The only silver lining is that they don't judge you on how many enemies you've KO'd; aside from that, you're still judged based on how fast you can complete the mission. So you still have to make a Sadistic Choice between risking your health to take out the other captains, or making a beeline to completing the mission in what little time you have left. Thankfully, in addition to Damage Taken now being calculated based on the percentage of your character's health and having taken notes from the Fire Emblem Warriors grading system, Definitive Edition has adjusted the score requirements based on the Adventure squares' color, allowing you to take at least one hit on "Don't Get Hit!" battles (which are typically on any squares except for the starting ones) without losing your A-Rank.
  • "Guard the Allied Keeps with your life!" missions. At the very least, they're incredibly easy to A-Rank if you beat them; the problem is actually beating them. You guard a few keeps, but they're all a few mooks' deaths away from being taken and you can't let any of them fall. All the while, several bigger mooks will constantly storm your keeps. Even the smaller ones are just a hair's breath away from making you lose the entire mission. Your goal is to take out a certain number of elite mooks (ReDead Knights, Big Blins, etc.) before any keeps get taken. Said elite mooks can be given reinforcements by way of Messengers, and for the most part it's borderline impossible to take all of them out before one of them makes it to its destination. What's more is that there will be an assortment of at least 2-3 of these guys on each end of the map you're on, and it's almost impossible to keep your keeps completely enemy-free for long. If you only have to beat 3-6 captains then you'll at least have a fairly alright time. But if you have to kill nine captains, then you better have a lot of patience when dealing with these missions since the captains will constantly appear and throw off your strategy. Compounding the problem is if the mission happens to take place on the Sealed Grounds: for some reason, the keeps you have to defend are incredibly spaced out compared to the other maps, and by the time you make it to a keep to defend it, it's probably already too late.
  • The KO Competitions in the Majora's Mask DLC. You are one character trying to out-KO at least three Rogue characters who can up their score to at least 50 in the first ten seconds. Add in the 8-minute duration and this gets really frustrating really fast. Though once again, this is made easier with My Fairy in Legends and Definitive Edition.
  • For Adventure Mode, square A-1 on Adventure Map. As the pinnacle of the kill count missions, you have to kill 1000 enemies in 10 minutes, and there are four Imprisoneds hounding you for it. Even worse, getting the treasure requires you to beat it with Agitha, well known for her inability to handle groups of enemies well. The only saving grace is you don't have to A-Rank it to get it. Thankfully made easier since the update which added the "Item Power-Up" mixture. This mixture will permanently power-up items in the mission in which it is used: being able to throw giant bombs compensates for Agitha's shortcomings. And of course, Legends giving us My Fairy to work with makes it pretty much a breeze.
  • Square A-15 is made into one in Legends, in such a way that it almost seems like trolling on Koei's part. It's a "Quiz" mission, wherein there's three keeps with two enemies each and you must KO the correct one to progress. The third keep contains Ganondorf and Midna in the Wii U version, and you must defeat the former. In Legends it contains Ganondorf and a Bokoblin, one of the weakest mooks in the game who'll usually go down in 1-2 hits. What really makes it a troll is that the character you must use is Zant, who almost entirely uses area of effect moves. It's incredibly difficult to KO Ganondorf without accidentally killing the weak Bokoblin first, unless you exploit a bug where the other keep enemy won't attack if the camera isn't focused on it for any length of time. And the best part? You have to do this mission a second time on the Master Quest Map. The only saving grace this time is that the character required is Tetra, who usually hits the area in front of her. Other than that, you're fresh outta luck.
  • A-16 on the Adventure Map requires you to play as Lana with her Summoning Gate and get an A-Rank to unlock her Rank 3 Summoning Gate, which requires 1200 KOs at less than 10,000 Damage in less than 15 Minutes. Even at Level 100, Lana's strength still isn't enough to compensate for the Summoning Gate's slow attack speed, leaving you to struggle in reaching the snake person mark with enough time to spare in defeating Link. Thankfully made easier since the update which added the "Item Power-Up" mixture: throwing giant bombs will allow you to save lots of precious time by demolishing the hordes of regular and elite mooks very quickly.
  • Zant's Level 3 Weapon mission on Square C-3 can be an absolute pain. It's bad enough that Zant's moveset is fairly slow and unsafe, but in this mission up to six captains will gang up on you at the same time when you're trying to just kill one health-boosted captain to unlock the enemy base. This gives you the choice of either getting pelted by the captains' projectiles and being attacked from the back just to kill that one important captain, which risks not meeting the damage requirement, or to carefully pick them off one at a time, which risks not meeting the time requirement. And you have to deal with both a trio of Manhandla Stalks (forcing you to run from one end to another just to pick them off) and a morale-boosted assault troop that will go for your commander, which wastes even more time. All in all, by the time you're done taking out the enemy commander, you're more likely than not going to get a B-Rank for your troubles.
  • Square G-6 on Adventure Map "Defeat All Enemies", with its A-Rank reward being a Heart Container for Fi. The first problem is that Fi is one of the weaker characters in the game to play, though she gets unlocked in Legend Mode at Level 16. This square is also really early onward, so unless one manages to get Fi to a decent level (through grinding with her or using the Training Dojo at the bazaar), she'll be pretty weak for this. Upside, the player isn't locked into using Fi, so they can do this mission with a different character and come back later. The battles themselves pit the player against enemies in three keeps. The first has 2 Dinolfos and 1 Darknut, and the second has 2 Aerolfos; mildly annoying to battle with Fi, but manageable. The third keep pits the player against The Imprisoned and 2 Baby Imprisoned! The babies are easily enough to get rid of, as long as one doesn't let the camera mess them up too much. The problem comes with The Imprisoned himself, who is already notorious for not having a Weak-Point Gauge that can be emptied in one go — though this was changed in Legends and Definitive Edition. The keep is tiny and The Imprisoned is huge, so there's not a lot of room to move around in. To get an A-Rank, the player also has to have Fi take less than 4000 damage and manage to defeat all the enemies within 7 minutes. And a good half of that time can be spent on The Imprisoned himself. Good luck!
  • Square F-16 on Adventure Map, which requires you to play as Ruto (who you unlock in Adventure Mode, and only starts at Level 20) and get an A-Rank to unlock her Rank 3 weapon. Chances are you won't have a strong enough Level 2 weapon to easily fend off the Aeralfos and Icy Big Poes, and even then, while you're fighting them, the game will constantly chime in that two Cuccoos are having a territory war (at a random base, typically ones farther away from the allied base, but they also spawn in the bases close to the allied base), all while you're trying to fend off three powerful Aeralfos from going to town on your Allied Base (because Impa will not do anything to protect it despite just standing in there doing nothing); go to stop the Cuccoos, and they'll lock you in the room until you either beat them or they run away, all while pecking you to death (each peck taking 2-3 hearts off at a time). Even worse, Cuccos appear on the map three times and are insanely fast and powerful, which is bad news for slow squishy Ruto. And after you kill all those enemy captains, you still have to defeat Zant, who has a lot of health and typically doesn't show his weakness, all while getting 1,200 KOs (which shouldn't be too hard, considering that beating up the Aeralfos will probably get you at least 800 KOs just from killing the Bokoblins that surround them) and running under 15 minutes. And even then, you might just take too much damage because a Cuccoo Raid Captain decided it wanted to run to the Enemy Base and you just get caught in its crossfire while dealing with Zant. Sure, you could go in with two characters and just park Ruto in the Allied Base while having a stronger character take care of everything else, but if you try to take care of the Cuccoos, they won't lock you in and trigger the event unless both characters go into the base they appear in, so you could kill both Cuccoos and because the event of being locked in never happens, the game will assume they were left alone and a dead Cuccoo will somehow capture the base.
  • Square H-2 on Adventure Map, the "battle against two armies" mission that unlocks Zelda's Level 2 Baton. On the enemy side, you have Wizzro and Ghirahim, with your good old friend Volga, who has Moblins with morale boosts acting as bodyguards, making a beeline for the Allied Base. Volga can also give himself a morale boost after a time. On the rogue side, you have an endless amount of Gibdos and two Fiery Aeralfos with approximately ten times as much HP as normal as both the captain you need to defeat first and the commander. Not even a minute into the fight, messengers appear, and if not stopped, then the enemy side will spawn in ridiculous amounts of enemies. If you defeat Wizzro first, you only need to worry about one of the messengers, because the other one will get stuck in the temple area and never advance, but if you decide to take out the Fiery Aeralfos first, then both of them will go and request reinforcements. There's one thing you have going for you: Ghirahim will automatically head towards the Allied Base after too long, saving the time needed to run over to the base and allowing you to chip away at the Fiery Aeralfos commander. And because it's a "battle against two armies" mission, every time you defeat a captain of one side, the other grows stronger. Also, the game expects you to use the Baton for this mission. The mission is changed in Legends, which brings both good news bad news: the good news is that you don't have to rely on said Baton to beat the mission. In addition to that, the Level 2 Baton is moved to the Great Sea Map, and the reward instead is Zelda's Skyward Sword outfit which you don't even have to A-Rank to unlock. The bad news is that you still have to beat this mission with an A-Rank to get to the next square, which has Link's Great Fairy weapon. You also have to do the mission solo unlike most missions in Legends, which typically have you bring in 1-2 extra warriors to make things a little easier.
  • B-13 of Master Quest, a level that requires Volga and has the special rules "don't get hit". It's littered with Dinolfos and Aerolfos everywhere, both of which get an upgrade to Demonic Spiders because of their fireball spamming. After you complete the main mission, what army is remaining begins to bear down on your forces, either putting you on a time limit or risking your health to stop it, and Wizzro will start attacking the commander, meaning you have to deal with his magic spamming no matter what. And to finish it off, Ruto (who happens to be notorious for hitting large areas without leaving herself very vulnerable) is the commander. If you're simply beating the level, it's not that bad because of the overabundance of hearts, but A-Ranking requires dealing with all of this without getting hit once, otherwise your hard work goes down the drain. Volga's inherent brokenness won't be enough to ace this level alone, and if you want a shortcut to his Level 2 weapon you'll have to ace it to get there. Legends manages to make it even worse by having two different character rewards for the level, meaning you'll have to play it at least twice and A-Rank it once to reap all the rewards. The silver lining is that one of the characters is Wizzro, who excels in ranged attacks. The other character you need to use is Young Link who, even though he's among one of the most reliable at taking out groups of enemies fairly quickly with his Focus Spirit, still has to work up to that level. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you could either have the Focus Spirit ready, or not have it at all. If you don't, you have to deal with his rather short range while waiting for Ruto to reveal her weak point gauge, and possibly Wizzro if you decided to go for him first. Even when playing as Wizzro, you're not totally safe; if you decide to go for the other captain, your opponent is Volga (ironic, isn't it?) who is still as broken as ever. The only actual advantage Wizzro has is that he's not the one who needs the A-Rank; Young Link is. Even if you take damage as Wizzro, your main goal will be to keep him alive; Young Link has no such luck. The score adjustments in Definitive Edition make it a little more forgiving.
  • Were you hoping to get Link's Level 3 Spinner and Zelda's Level 3 Dominion Rod in Legends? Best perfect your dodging skills because they're locked behind B-16 and F-15 on the Master Quest Map, pretty standard missions with one caveat: They both have the "Don't Get Hit!" requirement, and lock you into using that character and weapon exclusively until you A-Rank them. Both of these squares have their differences that make them different beasts altogether; Zelda's Dominion Rod leaves little attack room up close, and requires you to keep your distance at all times. This can be seen as a good thing, since one hit means no A-Rank, but not being able to do much up close limits you to faraway attacks the entire mission. On top of that, however, you also have to deal with a Cucco fight breaking out in a random keep, and we all know about those now, don't we? Link's Spinner, on the other hand, pretty much requires you to get up close and personal, and against ranged fighters like Lana and versatile opponents like Sheik, you will lose your A-Rank. A lot. Once again, the damage score adjustments in Definitive Edition cut down on the frustration.
  • Most of the Twilight and Termina DLC Adventure Maps are this for a single reason: even with ridiculously high-leveled characters, you take tons of damage per hit from basically every enemy, there's little to no recommended elements which would allow you to make use of the respective badges to reduce the damage, and the A-Ranks for damage aren't adjusted to compensate for the massive amounts of damage you'll be taking. The Termina Map mitigates this with the addition of the Mask of Truth Item Card, which halves damage taken. But if you decide you want to save your masks for the last squares on the map... well, good luck. Definitive Edition mitigates this for both maps thanks to the revamped damage scoring system now being based on the percentage of your health, so while you may still take a lot of damage, you won't be as heavily penalized for taking a few hits if you've been grinding up on extra heart containers.
  • Young Link's Level 2 Weapon mission (Square D-9 on the Great Sea Map) in Legends is a nightmare for most players, which is ironic considering his game breaking abilities. The problem here is that it's a mission where certain officers with high morale will raise the morale of the rest whenever they beat one of your officers, which will happen, and Young Link typically doesn't have the badges required to stay in Focus Spirit indefinitely or to get a good defense against morale-boosted enemy attacks, or a good enough weapon to actually swiftly kill the foes he's supposed to kill. So the whole thing boils down to how quickly Young Link is able to kill the officers and mooks that he needs to kill before he takes too much damage, or you can kiss that A-Rank goodbye. It's even worse if you're going for the second Skulltula on this stage: the second Gold Skulltula of a given stage requires you do a certain task and beat the first mission while not taking four or more hearts of damage. In this mission, the goal is to kill 150 enemies with Special Attacks. In other words, for the first part of the mission, your damage limit is 1,600, you have to defeat the five enemy captains (one of which is Tingle, an easy foe to get hit by), and you are discouraged from making use of Young Link's primary advantage of converting his Special Attack gauge into his Focus Meternote .
  • The Rewards Map has some pretty tough challenges, but none are as difficult as "Boss Rush". On the surface, it seems simple: it's a battle between you and all the giant bosses (sans the Helmaroc King and Phantom Ganon in Legends) and you have to beat them all. But every time you kill a boss, every enemy's morale gets a boost. And it's not even a minor boost for each one; the minute a boss goes down, each one of its allies gets a boost that pretty much makes it borderline impossible to A-Rank even with defense badges. Not only that, but you also have to deal with protecting Zelda, who is bound to flee if you're not careful. In addition to that, the damage cap for A-Ranks is still 4,000, so you're essentially playing a disguised "Don't Get Hit" mission. And the best part? If you're playing Legends or Definitive Edition, you have to A-Rank this level in order to get Zelda's Boss Pack costume. Basically, the word to describe this challenge is "cheap".
  • Square B-14 on the Adventure Map. First of all, it takes place in the Twilight Field, one of the largest and most open levels in the game, meaning that every keep and outpost is spread as far away from each other as possible. Secondly, you can only use Ganondorf. Why is this a problem? Because all the enemy Captains in this level are Gibdos and Stalmasters, and they have such high amounts of health that unless you do substantial grinding with him, you'll barely be able to do more than Scratch Damage against them. Finally, every single Stalmaster automatically gains maximum morale at the start of the stage, meaning their defenses will be even higher and they will be able to make mincemeat out of your allies, and several of them spawn directly outside your paltry three keeps, both of which are directly connected to the Allied Base.
  • Square D-2 on the Adventure Map. You have to play as Lana on the Eldin Caves map with the allied base being sandwiched between the Rouge Forces and the Enemy Forces which regularly throw several strong enemies at the allied base which means that spending any significant amount of time away from the base will result in a loss. Add to the fact that the enemies that show up the most are Gibdos, Stalmasters, and Aeralfos means that the player will be either paralyzed half of the time, trying to avoid the areal attacks, or trying to bait the Stalmasters into exposing their weak point gauge. In addition, most of the powerful enemies are powered up and take much more damage. On top of this the Enemy Base has a fire barrier, meaning the player has to make a long run to the opposite side of the map in order to get the fairy and then make a run back to take over the base. At the end the commander of your forces makes an assault on the rouge forces commander, meaning the player has to run between the commanders and the allied base in order to make sure neither of them fall.
  • Square H-15 on the Lorule map. It's a "Defeat all enemies!" mission with one of the first opponents being The Imprisoned who usually starts off with his red lightning field. That alone would make it a pain to go through, but then the second battle pits you up against Lizalfos and Dinolfos, and the third battle has you going against Ganondorf, Skull Kid, and Yuga all at the same time, each with tricky to avoid attacks to keep you on your toes. Now, something like this could be simplified down to using a character with a light element, or someone you've been grinding with, to make this mission a breeze; however, the A rank reward pretty much says otherwise. In order to get the Heart Container here, you need to use Ravio, who's most likely underleveled for it by the time you get to this mission. Even though Ravio is admittedly pretty fast and can cover a lot of ground, the fact that you have to go through the whole mission with someone that you've only recently obtained (and likely don't know all that well) just spells trouble.
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