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"Skyward Sword": How to Beat Ancient Automaton Koloktos at Ancient Cistern

I've been playing video games since the tender age of four. As a result, most of my articles are related to video games.



Koloktos is the fifth boss of the game—and quite likely the most involved boss fight you will have in the entire game. The fight itself takes a while to beat and the Ancient Automaton has many ways to punish minute mistakes in your battle strategy.

As usual, I will divide the boss fight into each of its phases and explain them in detail. Read on!

Phase I

The battle with Koloktos starts off with the Ancient Automaton firmly glued to the ground, with two arms protecting its core (and obvious weak spot), and four more free arms. Two have axes and the other two are unarmed (but still quite dangerous). As you may already suspect, your objective is to expose Koloktos' core. To do this, you need to leave it no choice but to use those arms blocking the core.

So, start the fight by walking near the Ancient Automaton. It will attempt to damage you by slamming one of its free arms to the ground near you. Time a backflip to dodge this and then use your Whip on the mechanism on its arm (it looks like the mechanisms you've been activating throughout the dungeon to advance) to rip it off. It will be forcefully separated from Koloktos, which will then proceed to try to smash you with the other free, weaponless, arm. Repeat the same strategy.

Once Koloktos finds itself without two of its arms, it will expose its core, but not before attempting to slam you with both of its now free arms at the same time. Backflip if necessary and then use the Whip to rip both of its arms off. Now that you have opened the way to the core, slash it mercilessly.

Note: Once you have entered Koloktos' range, attack quickly to stun the Ancient Automaton, as it still has its two axe arms that can be used to great effect if you're not careful.

After the first round of punishment, Koloktos will regenerate its limbs. It is the same as the start of the battle with the one difference— it can throw the axes like boomerangs. Dodge or Shield Bash the axes and then use the same strategy as before to bait attacks.

Once you have damaged the core for a second time, Koloktos' axes will break and Phase II will start.

Phase II

Koloktos will rip itself out of the ground, revealing legs. It will materialize a sword for each of its six arms, lock the core with iron bars, and then start walking towards you. Once it reaches a range where it can damage you, it will bring down three of its sword arms simultaneously. Dodge the arm slams with backflips and then use your Whip to rip them all off of Koloktos. The game will then alert you of the swords that are now on the ground. You can actually pick one of these up, and that is crucial to finishing off Koloktos.

Koloktos will follow up its first attack with another one, using its other three arms. This time, however, you will notice that the arm mechanisms are gone, replaced with a circular node that you can't Whip. This is when you have to grab one of Koloktos' oversized swords on the ground and use that to slash the arms off. If you don't do this fast enough, Koloktos will raise the arms off the ground, wait a few moments, and attack again (if you're still within attacking range at that time). There are two possibilities at this point in the battle:

  • You disarmed (pun intended) it. Armless, Koloktos will attempt an easy to dodge charge on you and ram into a nearby wall. This stuns it and facilitates attacking its core by first destroying its legs.
  • It still has arms to attack with. You can either finish disarming Koloktos, or you can bait an attack and then concentrate on its legs.

As you have already noticed, the key to reaching the core is attacking Koloktos' legs to lower the core to your level and then slashing through the iron bars. Once the bars are destroyed, the core is wide open. You can slash it with your Goddess Sword or you can use the sword you borrowed from Koloktos. Either way works just fine.

Once you have damaged the core again. Koloktos will regenerate itself (returning to the state it started this Phase in) and resume its assault.

Now, Koloktos adds another attack to its repertoire. It will swing all of its swords wildly, doing damage to you if you're in the general vicinity. It will do this after losing one or more arms, so the fight will start to drag a bit here. Just stay away from it until it calms down and then use the same strategy as before.

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In addition to the new attack, it will also start summoning Cursed Bokoblins at regular intervals. You can use your Sacred Shield (if you have one by now) to scare them into inaction. Also, a single blow from one of Koloktos' swords will destroy them (or a spin attack from your Goddess Sword), so do keep that in mind.

In any case, once you have damaged the core once again, Koloktos will regenerate itself (again).

This final leg of the fight plays out the same as before. The one crucial difference is that the broadcast for Koloktos' sword slam attack is shorter, so you have to be quicker on your feet. Once you adjust your timing, this fight is finally yours!


After what is probably the lengthiest boss fight in the entire game (at least it felt that way to me, in hindsight), Koloktos will fall, leaving behind a Heart Container for you to collect. You should now have at least 10 Hearts plus any Hearts you've managed to accumulate due to Heart Pieces. Also, you're officially halfway done with the game, so pat yourself on the back!

If you have any questions related to this article or just want to talk about The Legend of Zelda, feel free to post in the comments section.

Until the next time, take care and have fun!


Jasper on July 29, 2014:

Came here after I'd taken him down 4 times, thinking I needed to do something different, took ages!

Jasper on July 29, 2014:

Came here after I'd taken him down 4 times, thinking I needed to do something different, took ages!

monkey on July 19, 2012:

This guide was very helpful!

Thankyou so much!

Dawnzwolf on March 19, 2012:

Trying to beat this boss rigt now. Thanks for the guide! :)

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on December 31, 2011:

Hello JFord1985! Thanks for the praise! :)

Well, I loved the game. It's definitely on my top 5 of all-time best Zelda games. The only thing that really bugged me about the game was the ridiculous amount of backtracking (although the designers did their best to reduce the tedium of the process).

If you haven't played it and have a Wii, I recommend you play it. (Just make sure you have a Motion Plus, as the game is unplayable without it).

JFord1985 from Las Vegas, NV on December 30, 2011:

Hey great guide! Your really pro at posting how to beat these boss fights. How did you like Skyward sword?

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on December 29, 2011:

I had forgotten about that! :)

Nice catch there Chris!

I have to say that this was one of my favorite boss fights in the whole game, right up there with Ghirahim.

Chris Qu on December 29, 2011:

Something I noticed about this fight, which comes in handy particularly when doing the boss rush, is that all of the pillars contain hearts when broken. When you pick up one of Koloktos's swords, you can use it to destroy them and regain some health.

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