Lure it close to you and watch its movement carefully! Attack it when it drops its guard!
— Navi on how to defeat a Stalfos.
The Stalfos (sometimes referred to as Stalfos Knights) are skeletal knights that have challenged Link since their debut in the original The Legend of Zelda, and are the only enemy to have appeared in every game in the The Legend of Zelda series to date.

Though the Stalfos has changed quite a bit across titles, the physical and behavioral generalities have, for the most part, remained constant. Stalfos, since the original The Legend of Zelda, are weapon-wielding, undead, skeleton warriors who frequent dungeon locations and stand-in as mini-bosses from time to time. The first The Legend of Zelda as well as the up-coming Skyward Sword provides the Stalfos with swords for each hand, The Adventure of Link provides the shield, and only in the incarnations seen in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess do these foes adapt a strategic, defensive sword-fighting style, living up to the fearsome, powerful name they have built for themselves across the series. Interestingly, the majority of Stalfos enemies in the series do not wield any weapons but use other conventional means of attacking and defending from Link's attacks.

Battle vs. Skrall (By Leolab)

A Skrall notices a door in the wall, and opens it. When he enters, he sees a club against the wall, along with a sword and shield. Curious, he lays down his own club against the wall, and walks further inward to investigate. He hears a noise behind him, and turns to find the door closed and blocked with iron bars. He turns back and spots the Stalfos, sword and shield in hand.

The Skrall, surprised by the Stalfos, is unable to react before the Stalfos slices a gash into the side of his helmet. Gathering himself, the Skrall raises his shield in time to block the next few blows. The Skrall retreats and duels his opponent, eventually parrying a thrust from the Stalfos’s sword before running up the wall and landing to the side, striking at the Stalfos precisely where the hamstring would be on a flesh-and-blood opponent. The Skrall tries to decapitate the downed Stalfos, but it brings up its shield to block the blow. The shield shatters, and the Stalfos jumps to the side and picks up its club. It starts beating the Skrall back, pounding on the shield with the club until the Skrall realizes it’s now useless as a shield, and attempts to exploit the edges by throwing it at the Stalfos. It strikes the Stalfos’s hand, knocking the club out of it. The Skrall executes a combat roll to grab his club, and looks up as the Stalfos starts its jump attack. Reacting on instinct, the Skrall fires a Thornax from its sword and then throws it.

The combination blasts the Stalfos back, and pins it to the wall. The Skrall starts beating it in a wild frenzy with his club, until it burns away. The Skrall picks up the discarded weapons left by the Stalfos, and exits the now-open room.

Winner: Skrall

Expert's Opinion

The Skrall had a better ranged weapon, allowing him to decimate the more close-quarters focused Stalfos.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.