Since its debut in 1986, “Legend of Zelda” has become one of Nintendo’s most iconic properties, spanning 18 games over its illustrious run. Its most recent game, “Breath of the Wild,” is making its worldwide debut alongside the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
One common theme in each game is the diversity of items Link, the main protagonist, makes use of. From his trusty sword and shield to magical staffs and even bombs, each item is critical in his never-ending quests to save Hyrule from destruction. Coupled with its fantasy and open world setting, the creative use of these items is a huge aspect of what has made “Legend of Zelda” so beloved. To further celebrate its success, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the most powerful and iconic items to come within Link’s possession.
17. MAGIC ARMOR
Every warrior needs cool armor, and Link’s Magic Armor happens to fit that category. Notably found in both “Wind Waker” and “Twilight Princess,” this unique set of armor makes Link invulnerable to most forms of damage. Instead of draining his normal health, it converts whatever damage he would take towards his rupee count. So, as long as Link has rupees in his wallet, he’s safe.
The armor can be purchased in “Twilight Princess,” but reducing its hefty price tag will require Link to complete certain tasks. In “Wind Waker,” it can be obtained through certain side quests. However, such an item isn’t without its drawbacks. Should Link not have enough rupees when wearing it, it grows heavy and renders him immobile. Each moment you wear it also drains your rupee count by two, which makes it something you can’t wear often. Since the armor can be equipped and deactivated at any time, making strategic use of when to don it is key, particularly when going against major opponents who can inflict massive amounts of damage.
16. ROC’S CAPE
A unique magic item within some “Legend of Zelda” Game Boy games like “Four Swords” and “Minish Cap,” this stylish cape gives Link the ability to leap and glide great distances. Given that jumping of any kind is not a default trait in this franchise, Roc’s Cape provides an essential tool many often take for granted. The tool is especially useful in the “Minish Cap” in helping Link obtain the Wind Element while also allowing himself to reach higher places that were unreachable to him before.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful in combat, as Roc’s Cape is also needed for Link to learn the Down Thrust technique, which allows him to bring down the full force of his sword from the sky, sending a shockwave through the ground in the process. The move is useful for when you’re surrounded by multiple enemies and for smashing items as well. The ability to jump great heights has its merits, and Roc’s Cape gives Link the much-needed ability to ride the winds as he pleases.
The Hookshot, which can be found in games like “Ocarina of Time” and “Link to the Past,” has the ability to shoot out a grappling hook that can allow Link to reach certain platforms and reel in treasure chests. As long as it’s within grappling range, the Hookshot can also pull Link across places he couldn’t normally traverse, like rivers or chasms. It can be used to stun and damage enemies as well, making it a diverse tool that can stay equipped often.
One of the special ranged items in “Legend of Zelda,” the Hookshot is one of the iconic items within the earlier games. It would be replaced by the Clawshot in games like “Twilight Princess” and “Skyward Sword,” which, while not being as combat savvy as their Hookshot counterpart, allowed Link the pleasure of hanging from the ceiling and gave him the ability to raise and lower himself from high places. Both the Hookshot and Clawshot are important tools in Link’s arsenal, especially when it comes to traversing the variety of dungeons throughout Hyrule.
14. DOMINION ROD
“Twilight Princess” was a game that had some rather unique items all its own, and the Dominion Rod is such an item. Found within the Temple of Time, the Rod gives its user the ability to animate certain statues and bring them to life, allowing them to be controlled and giving the user complete “dominion” over them. This is especially useful for standing on certain switches that require heavier amounts of weight to stay active or for reaching areas that would be out of reach otherwise.
Unfortunately, while it can bring certain statues to life, these statues cannot be used for offensive purposes, nor is the Rod itself of much use in any real fight. Outside of its use in providing Link a route to the Sky City, its use becomes rather limited as the game’s journey goes on. So for those hoping that Link would be able to pull a Professor McGonagall from “Deathly Hallows” are going to be rather disappointed. Regardless, the Dominion Rod remains a powerful artifact in Link’s journey and one that still should not be underestimated.
Another staple item found within most of the “Legend of Zelda” games, the boomerang is an item that serves its purpose both in and out of combat. By throwing it, Link can reclaim items that are far away, making it useful in obtaining heart containers or rupees on stray areas. It can also activate switches that the Clawshot or Hookshot are unable to. In combat, it is an effective weapon for stunning enemies, allowing Link to get the jump on them without difficulty.
In games like “Link to the Past” and “Minish Cap,” the boomerang can be upgraded to the magical boomerang. While not necessarily increasing damage, the magical boomerang grants a greater boost in speed and the distance it can travel when thrown. It even allows Link to control its path, allowing for greater versatility and giving him an ability to achieve multiple objects or activate multiple switches at once. Ever-reliable, players will find themselves making constant use of this item, making it an invaluable part of Link’s arsenal.
One of the items found in literally every “Legend of Zelda” game, bombs are the crucial element that serves Link well. Whether it’s blowing up walls and various obstacles to expose secret caves or using them in combat against various enemies, Link should never be without a few trusty bombs. All it takes is a Bomb Bag to hold them. From there, merchants are willing to sell you plenty of what they have in stock.
At first, bombs are set to blow up within a few seconds of getting one out, so it’s a good idea to place it and back away swiftly, lest you damage yourself. This didn’t make it practical for combat. Eventually, a special upgrade allows Link to detonate his bombs remotely, making them much more useful in various combat situations, as some well-placed bombs can help whittle down an enemy’s health. Outside of Link’s sword, bombs are perhaps the most useful means of offensive attack in the franchise, making them a necessity to keep well-stocked at all times.
11. PHANTOM HOURGLASS
An item unique to “Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass,” it is one that Link would literally die without. As one of the final items in the game, the Phantom Hourglass allows Link to traverse the Temple of the Ocean King and protects him from the life-draining curse within its walls. This is thanks to the magical sand contained within it known as the Sand of Hours.
However, the sand is constantly draining from the Hourglass and is by no means unlimited. The only ways to replenish the sand is by defeating certain enemies or finding it within various treasure chests. This makes possessing it a constant race against time, though Link would not be able to explore the deep ocean dungeon without this powerful artifact. Like the Dominion Rod, it doesn’t have much use in combat, but both its power and influence make it a definite must for this list.
10. POWER BRACELET
Great heroes need to have great strength, and the Power Bracelets are the first step in providing such strength. Found notably within games like “The Minish Cap” and “Wind Waker,” these items allow Link to lift items bigger and heavier than himself that he wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This includes certain boulders and various other objects. Unlike other items in his inventory, these bracelets become a default part of Link’s profile and don’t need to be equipped and deactivated in the same manner most of his other items do.
Such a tool is crucial in “The Minish Cap,” as they allow Link even at his microscopic size among the Minish population, to move much larger objects like dressers and bookshelves to reveal hidden passageways and complete quests to advance the story. Thanks to the Power Bracelets, Link is akin to the Ant-Man of Hyrule, able to hold great strength even while being so small. Unfortunately, these bracelets serve the purpose of only moving large things, and aren’t made for the purpose of combat. Regardless, that doesn’t take away from the great strength they’re able to grant the protector of Hyrule.
9. PEGASUS BOOTS
Barry Allen claims to be the fastest man alive in DC, but when it comes to Nintendo, Link claims that title, thanks to his vaunted Pegasus Boots. Found within games like “A Link to the Past,” “The Minish Cap” and “Link’s Awakening,” these boots allow Link to run at fast speeds and traverse land much faster. Running at such speed has its uses, as it allows him to traverse more hazardous areas like swamps and quicksand more quickly without fear of sinking.
It also aids him in knocking items off of high places he is unable to jump on, especially when it comes to indoor spaces or retrieving items from precarious places like trees. Most of the games with the Pegasus Boots also allow Link to learn the Dash Attack, which allows him to use his sword extended in front of him to tear through enemies. The shoes, while making him faster, only give Link straight-line speed, so he can’t change directions quickly. This means it’s important to make sure and map out where he’s going to go before strapping them on, lest you run headlong into a wall you didn’t plan on running into.
8. MEGATON HAMMER
For those who find sword-wielding a little stale and want to show off your inner Thor (minus the lightning), the Megaton Hammer is the weapon you’re looking for. An item unique to “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” it is used in place of both Link’s standard sword and shield, requiring his entire attention to use it. Unfortunately, such an offensive-minded approach leaves Link without much defense, making him a softer target in the process.
Found within the Fire Temple, the Megaton hammer is good for more than bashing enemies’ heads in. It can destroy various obstacles and reveal hidden entrances while also activating switches that would be impossible to do through other means. It is also powerful enough to slay Volvagia, a legendary dragon that dwells within the Fire Temple. It is not often in Zelda games that the traditional sword and shield are replaced with another weapon, but the Megaton Hammer still holds up beyond its time. If future “Legend of Zelda” games ever consider the use of other main weapons besides the sword, creators would do well to resurrect the Megaton Hammer.
7. GORON KNIFE
It’s no secret that the Gorons within the “Legend of Zelda” make some pretty powerful weapons, and the Goron Knife is one of them. Originally made for the gigantic Gorons, the knife is more like an actual sword in Link’s hands, as he needs both to grip it. In that way, it’s similar to the Megaton Hammer, sacrificing defense for greater offensive power.
One of the most powerful “swords” in “Ocarina of Time,” the knife does has a major drawback: its blade is rather fragile, as it breaks after a certain number of hits. Even when it breaks, it can still be used as a primary weapon, though it still requires both hands. Its shortened range also makes it a bit harder to use practically in combat. Its power does remain, despite the broken blade, and it has become a memorable aspect of “Ocarina of Time,” making it quite popular in gaming mods. Through a special quest, it can be upgraded to the Biggoron Sword, whose blade will not break, but it says a lot that a broken blade still has as much power as an unbroken one, putting this item in a class all its own.
6. MIRROR SHIELD
Through and through, no matter how many tools Link makes use of, he is never seen without making primary use of his shield. As one of the few (if only) defensive items in his arsenal, his shield protects him from a variety of attacks. One of the most powerful and iconic shields in the franchise is the Mirror Shield, which is often one of the last kinds to be obtained in most games. Other types of shields tend not to hold up
The Mirror Shield, however, specializes at deflecting light, magical attacks and other methods of attack that would normally bypass weaker shields. It’s especially useful for reflecting sunlight, which allows Link to turn a purely defensive tool into an offensive attack. Its special properties also make it useful for reflecting projectiles directly back at enemies, as well, turning Link into a more unpredictable foe and giving him a wider variety of ways to attack people. When facing more mystical foes who cast magic as a means of attack, the Mirror Shield is the perfect means to counter.
5. OCARINA OF TIME
One of the most beautiful and iconic items originating from the game bearing its namesake, the Ocarina of Time holds a variety of special magical powers at its disposal. While none of its functions serve any combat purpose, there’s no understating the power that this artifact possesses. After all, without the Ocarina of Time, Link would be unable to obtain the Triforce from the Sacred Realm.
One of the most amazing aspects of the Ocarina of Time is the various notes that the item allows the player to use and play. It is through playing these different melodies that its true power is realized. Some of its powers include allowing Link to teleport, as well as, in certain circumstances, manipulating the environment. It is one of the items that are deeply connected to the puzzle-centric dungeons that have become a staple of “Legend of Zelda,” and is perhaps what made “Ocarina of Time” one of the most lauded games in the franchise’s history.
4. HERO’S BOW
Link is a multi-faceted individual capable of many skills. While better known for his swordsmanship, he is quite skilled in archery, and the Hero’s Bow is the weapon of choice for him. A specially-crafted bow by the Goron, the Hero’s Bow offers a chance for those archery lovers to put down the sword in favor of some classic sniping and picking off targets from a distance. For some, there’s no better feeling than showing off your skill and precision as an archer.
The Hero’s Bow has become more of a staple over the years. In games like “Twilight Princess,” it can be used while riding Epona and even combined with bombs to make explosive arrows. In “Wind Waker,” it can be upgraded to use Fire and Ice arrows, making it a dangerous weapon in the right wielder’s hands who takes advantage of its versatility. These can be further upgraded to Light Arrows, which are the most powerful kind of arrow in Link’s quiver. These are especially effective against fiends of darkness like Ganondorf, providing its user solid means of ranged offensive attack.
3. HYLIAN SHIELD
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense, and just as the Mirror Shield was effective in guarding against magic attacks, the Hylian Shield is the ultimate form of defense a hero like Link can ask for. With the Triforce sigil and red bird standing together as an iconic mark of this shield, it bears the user protection from any form of attack they could expect to encounter.
In most “Legend of Zelda” games, the Hylian Shield is usually the most powerful shield the player can get and is nigh-indestructible, able to withstand both physical and magical attacks. In a game like “Twilight Princess,” for example, the shield becomes especially useful in both guarding and attacking, especially when Link learns the Shield Attack from the warrior spirit. It is the shield most associated with Link and the one he is most often seen using, thanks to its indestructible nature. With the aid of his trusty sword, the Hylian Shield is a main part of Link’s fighting style in close range combat and he is never without it.
2. FOUR SWORD
Sometimes, the evils that threaten Hyrule are too great, and not even Link is able to withstand them alone. Thus, the Four Sword was created to allow the hero to split himself into four equal parts to save the world from everlasting darkness. The sword is sealed within a special pedestal and is only drawn by a chosen hero during troubled times.
When drawn in “Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures,” the sword splits Link into four separate (and different colored) copies, who all work together in various ways on their journey. Having four Links fighting bosses and large groups of enemies made for a more engaging and increased tactical element of sword fighting. In “The Minish Cap,” the Four Sword plays quite a unique role, as it contains the ability for Link to charge it up and unleash a special beam of light that has the ability to dissolve curses. This allowed Link to heal both Zelda and the King of Hyrule, who had both turned to stone by the evil sorcerer, Vaati.
1. Master Sword
It’s clear which item claims the top spot on this list. The pinnacle of weapon in many “Legend of Zelda” games, the Master Sword is an item wielded by the strongest of heroes. Like the Four Sword, it is often sealed within its signature pedestal and can only be wielded by those it deems worthy. A powerful sword created to repel all evil, the Master Sword is often the only weapon capable of slaying Ganondorf, the main antagonist within many “Legend of Zelda” games.
It also possesses the ability to ward off magic and curses, as possessing it in “Twilight Princess” allows Link to switch between wolf and human form at will. The protections provided by the sword are unlike any items, imbuing Link with an array of abilities no other item in his arsenal can match. It can also absorb and release energy to attack enemies while also possessing the ability to break certain magical seals and barriers. Just as it possesses the ability to unseal barriers and curses, it has the ability to seal away evil, which is often why, once it’s used, it is returned to its place until it is needed once again.
What are some of your favorite items from “Legend of Zelda?” Let us know in the comments!
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