Breath of the Wild – Vah Ruta Dungeon and Defeating Water Blight Ganon


Without a doubt, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a worthy entry in the Zelda franchise.  Building on established standards from the series, Breath of the Wild features some of the best boss battles in the series. One of the most memorable of these is against Waterblight Ganon. The powerful guardian of the Divine Beast Vah Ruta Dungeon, this enemy can easily dispatch Link if you are not prepared to take it on.

BOTW Vah Ruta Shock Arrow
Shock Arrows will be key to reaching and battling Waterblight Ganon!

Not to worry! This guide provides a comprehensive look into getting to Waterblight Ganon and defeating this incarnation of Link’s greatest enemy once more!

Getting to Waterblight Ganon

Waterblight Ganon is the main boss of the Vah Ruta dungeon. This is part of the Free the Divine Beasts main quest line. Link will need to travel to Zora in the Lanayru Region. Once you are within close proximity of the Zora River and cross the Great Zora Bridge, the Reach Zora’s Domain quest will be triggered. Prince Sidon will be waiting at the Inogo bridge to meet up and ask for Link’s help.

BOTW Zora Domain
Getting to the Zora's Domain is just the start of your path to Waterblight Ganon!

Zora’s Domain and the Zora Armor

Sidon will then lead Link to the castle throne room and introduce him to King Dorephan, the ruler of Zora’s Domain. The king will provide Link with the Zora Armor. Mipha created this armor for Link as a sign of her affection to the Hylian hero. This armor allows Link to swiftly swim up waterfalls. The Zora Armor is necessary for entering and stopping the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. This allows you to take the eastern waterfall of Zora’s Domain to quickly get where you need to go.

BOTW Muzu
Muzu doesn't trust Hylians like Link. What can you use to show Mipah's faith in you?

But before that, Link will need to acquire the assistance of Muzu. Muzu is the only one who knows where to acquire Shock Arrows, another essential tool in pursuing and accomplishing the Vah Ruta quest. Muzu is reluctant to help because Link is a Hylian. But he will change his mind if you can convince him that Mipha values Link. Perhaps that Zora Armor made especially by Mipha will be proof enough?

Once you have convinced Muzu to assist you, he will point you to Ploymus Mountain.

Ploymous Mountain and Shock Arrows

You can get to Ploymous Mountain by traversing the aforementioned waterfall east of Zora’s Domain. Here, you will find the Red-Maned Lynel which has the Shock Arrows that you will need for your quest. Note that you can acquire Shock Arrows elsewhere. The area itself is littered with these arrows, so be sure to look closely at the ground and nearby trees.

If you choose to fight the Red-Maned Lynel, note that this beast is particularly strong. It is armed with a Lynel Sword, Lynel Shield, and Lynel Bow. Understandably, it fires Shock Arrows. They are supposed to be immediately fatal to Zoras, but even a Hylian like Link will take huge damage from these. These arrows are difficult to dodge, but the Red-Maned Lynel follows similar patterns to other Lynels in the game. Better to keep the fight in close and use stun and mounting attacks liberally to take it down. Be wary of its charge attack (you can tell it is preparing for this attack when it rears on all four legs).

BOTW RedMane Lynel
Get Perfect Dodges and attack the Red-Maned Lynel with a flurry!

Once you have at least 20 Shock Arrows collected, you can proceed to Shatterback Point further up the mountain and reach the East Reservoir Lake. From this vantage point, you will see the Divine Beast Vah Ruta.

Divine Beast Vah Ruta

Link will be assisted by Prince Sidon by letting him ride on his back, swimming around the Divine Beast. The mighty Vah Ruta will be firing ice projectiles that Link needs to intercept with normal arrows. You may also use the Cryonis Rune here, thanks to the body of water in the surrounding area.

After dealing with this volley of projectiles, Prince Sidon will circle the Divine Beast. You will be prompted to swim up Vah Ruta’s waterfalls at its side and reaching the peak will launch Link to a glide. This will allow you to aim at the pink orbs using the Shock Arrows as Link descends back. If you are a good enough shot, you can aim and shoot at more than one orb during this time.

BOTW Vah Ruta Open the Dungeon
Use the Shock Arrows to activate the pink switches on Vah Ruta... but watch out for ice blocks!

Prince Sidon will be awaiting Link to repeat the process until all pink orbs have been shot with a Shock Arrow. Once this is accomplished, you can now enter the elephant-like Divine Beast Vah Ruta. However, it would probably be wise to replenish your supplies. Fortunately, there will be a fast travel point here to make it easier for you.

Terminals

Once inside the Divine Beast Vah Ruta, there will be 5 terminals that need activation. These need to be activated first before using the main control unit. Below is the rundown of each terminal to be activated:

  1. You will be dealing with Malice sludge and a Guardian Scout. Aim for the glowing eyeball that creates the Malice sludge. The Guardian Scout can be easily defeated by using your shield against its attacks and counterattacking with swordswipes. You will need Magnesis to move the cogs on the wall and raise the platform.

There is a Guidance Stone at the far side to enable the map function on your Slate. This will also allow you to control Vah Ruta’s trunk and alter the flow of water within the dungeon. You will need to destroy the Malice and use Cryonis to enable use of the gate. And don’t neglect the chest under the water. Use Magnesis to raise it up to produce an Ancient Spring.

BOTW Vah Ruta Trunk Control
Unlock the controls to Vah Ruta's trunk. You'll need it to reach and activate terminals!
  1. To the right of the Guidance Stone room, head to the doorway and go up the ramp. A Guardian Scout awaits. After dispatching it, you will need Cryonis again for the waterwheel. The terminal is in the waterwheel, but you can access it by using the Cryonis rune to stop the flow of water.
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You can also use Cryonis to create a jumping point to reach a chest near the entrance.

  1. Just past the waterwheel is the way to the third terminal. More Malice sludge will be waiting here as well as floating enemies. Destroy the glowing eye located at the upper left to halt this flow of enemies.

Use the Slate function of altering Vah Ruta’s trunk so that it pours the water into the waterwheel, thus activating it. This will in turn raise the orange ball, which will then open the gate and allow access to the terminal at this level. Freeze it in place using Stasis so you can freely use the terminal.

You can acquire the chest by pushing the trunk all the way to the top, forcing the wheel to turn around. The block surrounding the chest can be frozen with Stasis briefly, but be quick to claim the contents.

BOTW Vah Ruta Waterwheel
The Waterwheel makes for a good makeshift elevator!
  1. The fourth terminal requires Link to ride the waterwheel as an escalator, of sorts. You can manipulate Vah Ruta’s trunk to facilitate this. Tilt it to provide a way to get to the ledge and head to the lower wheel in the direction of the second terminal prior. You should be able to reach one of the cogs.

Leap towards the other ledge. Be careful as there is a Guardian that awaits. You will notice a button to the side. Press this and it will create a waterfall, which will be useful for getting back up using the Zora Armor if you miss a ledge and fall back to the start.

From here, you will find a small passage facing the water wheel. Enter this and you will find yourself outside standing on Vah Ruta’s trunk. You can now manipulate the trunk to stretch it out as far as it can go. Glide to the tip of the trunk where there is a platform. Now, tilt the trunk while staying on a flat part of the surface, walking around to the source of the water stream until the terminal is upright. Be careful not to get blown off the surface by the water.

  1. The fifth and final terminal can be reached by jumping to the left edge. Check that you can see another Guardian Scout with a nearby chest at the target location before leaping and gliding to it. Once you reach it and dispatched the Guardian, you will be able to see Vah Ruta’s head and a small hole that you can fit through. Another glowing eye of Malice is here to be destroyed. You will also see the terminal, but is inaccessible due to the flames engulfing it.
BOTW Vah Ruta Top
The Menace sludge will be blocking your progress... and valuable chests!

After destroying the eye, check for a lever that opens a hatch from the roof. Open the hatch and angle Vah Ruta’s trunk in such a way that it lets water through the hatch. This will douse the flames, finally allowing you to use the terminal.

With all 5 terminals activated, you can now glide back to the very first room and access the main control room to the right. Activate it and prepare for the Waterblight Ganon fight!

Waterblight Ganon Tactics

BOTW Vah Ruta Waterblight Ganon Phase 2
Waterblight Ganon starts hanging up the ceiling in phase 2 of the battle!

The good news is this fight happens in a fairly open space, giving you room to maneuver. You will need to leverage every advantage. Waterblight Ganon uses his massive spear for thrust attacks in close, wide sweeps in mid-range, and spear throws at long range. By now, you should be comfortable with dodging. It is best to keep the fight at close range in order to get an opening for your flurry swipes.

If you choose a mid-range approach in this battle, pay attention to his behavior patterns. If you are still close enough for a stab attack, he will telegraph his thrust by raising the spear from the right and thrust toward the left. If you are unable to dodge, use your shield to block the attack.

If you stay at long range, dodging his spear throw is easier, but it also puts you too far for your melee attacks. You can try strafing with ranged weapons, but it is better to charge towards him during the few moments that he is recovering his spear. This should be enough time to get a few hits in. If you do use range weapons, aim for his eye to get critical hits in (though drawing the bow for this will likely leave you open to attack).

Once Waterblight Ganon’s drops to 50% or below, the area will start flooding with water. There will be 4 platforms that Link can stand on. Waterblight Ganon will hang from different points, hurling ice projectiles. These are similar to the earlier Vah Ruta attacks, so deal with them either with your Cryonis rune or with normal arrows.

When you see an opening, attack him with your arrows. Use your most damaging ammunition, such as Bomb Arrows and leftover Shock Arrows. Aim for the head for critical damage. If you time this right, Waterblight Ganon will drop from where he is hanging and near enough to a platform. There should be just enough time to get some hits in, but you will need to jump, glide, and dash in quick succession.

BOTW Vah Ruta Waterblight Ganon
Waterblight Ganon can be tough if you're not prepared!

After taking more hits, Waterblight Ganon will switch to a beam attack. This is significantly harder to dodge, but can be blocked and deflected with a Perfect Guard. Use this to your advantage!

Defeated Waterblight Ganon Rewards

Defeating Waterblight Ganon does not only free the Divine Beast Vah Ruta to progress your main quest. It also rewards Link with a Heart Container and a new blessing called Mipha’s Grace. This acts like an automatic resurrection. When fully charged, the blessing triggers as soon as Link runs out of hearts. It then fills the heart meter and adds temporary hearts, boosting Link’s survivability. Very useful at later tougher battles!

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.