Skyward Sword: How To Beat Pyroclastic Fiend Scaldera at Earth Temple
This hub is going to explain how to beat the Pyroclastic Fiend, Scaldera, in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Scaldera is the second boss of the game and more annoying than difficult once you get the hang of the battle's rhythm. Scaldera is also the first boss of the game where you have to use an item besides your trusty Sword to secure victory.
I will start this hub out by talking a bit about the arena, as it has relevance in the boss fight. Afterwards, I will break down the fight itself into each of its distinct phases.
So, please read on and see how this boss can be beaten!
This battle is fought deep within the recesses of the Earth Temple, the game's second dungeon. The arena itself is a long, inclined corridor that looks like the back of a dragon. While the bottom half of the corridor is rather plain, the top half has Bomb Flowers lining both sides of the corridor, and the very top opens up into a circular area that contains some Heart Flowers in case you need some healing during the fight.
After a few words with Ghirahim, he transforms a boulder into the Pyroclastic Fiend, Scaldera. This fiendish beast starts at the bottom of the corridor and starts moving upwards, stopping (or rather, rolling back down the corridor as a result of the explosion's shock) only if a Bomb blows up in its vicinity. It's body temperature is so high that it can set nearby Bomb Flowers off, which you're probably going to see a lot of during the fight, and that will also send Scaldera rolling down the corridor.
An analysis of Scaldera by your sword spirit (Fi) will tip you off to the fact that the monster's inner body is vulnerable to bombs. However, since the outer body is immune to explosions (well, except for the knockback, but that deals no damage) you have to find a way to get a bomb inside of Scaldera. This is much easier done than said, as one of Scaldera's attacks is a fireball. To unleash said fireball, Scaldera takes a deep breath. As you may have already figured out, the objective is to bait a fireball attack and then throw a Bomb inside the Fiend's mouth so it swallows it.
The easiest way to make Scaldera attack with a fireball is by throwing a Bomb at it (or letting it trigger a Bomb Flower). This will cause Scaldera to roll down the corridor. Once it reaches the bottom, it will start taking a deep breath. It is during this window that you throw a Bomb into its mouth, which it will greedily swallow and promptly have it explode in its stomach, stunning it and allowing access to its weak spot (its eye).
Once you damage Scaldera by slashing its eye, it will ignite itself and start chasing you down. While its body is ignited, Bombs will just harmlessly explode without affecting the outer body (so no rolling down the corridor). Just dash up the corridor until Scaldera cools down a bit, and then you can resume your attack. Another thing that Scaldera will do as you damage him is shoot more fireballs consecutively. A completely healthy Scaldera shoots at most two fireballs. Once you've done one round of damage (three slashes or so), Scaldera will shoot up to five, forcing you to move left and right to dodge them (while also taking care to not be next to a Bomb Flower as fire and bombs don't mix).
After you've dealt another round of damage to Scaldera, it will switch into Phase II...
Scaldera will now start using fireballs more frequently. Case in point, it will move a little up the corridor, then inhale deeply, shoot out fireballs, then keep moving. You can interrupt this sequence by throwing a Bomb while Scaldera is moving, sending it rolling down the corridor and making it prepare a fireball attack, which you already know how to counter. Alternately, you can play on the dangerous side and stay at a close distance while Scaldera is moving, waiting for it to stop and inhale, and throw the Bomb at that time. Either way works, but one is riskier than the other.
The other difference in Scaldera's style in Phase II is that its weak spot may start moving in response to your slashes (which can stop you from landing consecutive hits with your sword if you're unlucky). If the eye manages to hide inside of the outer body's crust (the part of the body you haven't exposed with damage), thrust attacks may be the only thing that can hit it.
In any case, deal more damage to Scaldera and it will go into the third, and final, phase of the fight.
In the third and final phase of the fight, Scaldera will extend its legs, giving it the appearance of a "War of the Worlds" walker (feel free to Google that; I swear they look similar!). Scaldera will walk over you (the gap between the legs is more than enough for you to not take damage from this) until it reaches the top of the arena, and will then roll down in an attempt to crush you. Wait till it does this and then dash towards the side Scaldera is not favoring (the boss likes to roll in such a way that it leaves one side open for you to run past).
Once Scaldera reaches the bottom, it will inhale and shoot fireballs. Should you not be able to reach it in time, it will start marching up the corridor again. To stop it from walking over you, throw a Bomb at its body when it approaches you to force it to roll down the corridor.
Once you have the weak spot exposed again, it's just a matter of time before you win the fight. The eye, however, won't go down without a fight. In this phase, the eye moves almost constantly when Scaldera is downed, forcing you to time your slashes to land a hit. Of course, since Scaldera is near-death (Scaldera's body color even dims at this point; neat little graphical touch) at this part of the fight, it should be little more than a nuisance.
After what seems like an eternity, you can claim victory!
Scaldera will die in spectacular fashion and you will get a Heart Container for you troubles, as well as crucial plot exposition (and scolding by a certain someone to boot!).
That's about it for this hub. If you feel like there's something to add, or want to talk about Skyward Sword in general (while keeping spoilers to a minimum, if you will), then please comment in the appropriate section. While I may not always answer the comments, I do always read them!
Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)