The Top 7 Legend of Zelda Items (2019)
Being one of Nintendo’s most popular and profitable franchises must be like becoming a made man in the gangster movies – every door gets opened for you. Such is the case for The Legend of Zelda, a series that’s had so much love and affection poured into it over the past 25 years that it makes you wonder whether the developers even look at their husbands, wives and kids the same way.
When you’re discussing games, particularly retro games, with other members of the gaming crème de la crème over expensive cocktails, it’s obligatory to mention one of the games of the Zelda series at some stage – it shows that you have at least a tiny clue. But you gotta be careful to get things right, for many’s the time a young hotshot gamer found themselves blackballed from swanky establishments for thinking that Zelda was the guy you played as.
Of course, the protagonist of all Zelda games worth mentioning is a pointy-haired grunter named Link. He takes on many incarnations, although these days he tends to gravitate between dashing young man and cat-eyed cartoon with eyebrows stuck onto his fringe. Link’s bravery and strength are considerable, but he can never do it alone. Yes, if there’s one thing that gets Zelda fans salivating, it’s the many weird and wonderful items Link finds on his quest to save Princess Zelda from doom.
Here, we take a look at seven of the greatest items that Link’s had in his possession over the years. Not that it matters much anyway, since he loses all of his items mere seconds after he routs the villain and establishes temporary world peace, before the next adventure begins. But we might as well spend an afternoon looking at the classics.
7. Bombos Medallion (A Link to the Past)
Din’s Fire, eat your heart out. The Bombos Medallion is without doubt one of Link’s most impressive weapons to date. Drawing power from this mysterious relic, Link summons a spiral of flames around him – and he certainly looks happy about it. After spending a bit of Magic, the pyromaniac Link quickly has the entire area engulfed in a flurry of thrillingly loud explosions, killing nearly everything that’s unfortunate enough to be nearby.
Unlike the other two Medallions you obtain in Link to the Past, the Bombos Medallion isn’t needed to complete the game – the other two are employed as ways of opening dungeons, which is pretty demeaning really. The Quake and Ether Medallions have their uses, but Bombos is clearly the most lethal and visually impressive of the three. And I love the fact that it’s optional – if you want to turn Link into a walking nuke for no good reason at all, then go right ahead.
6. Clawshots (Twilight Princess)
The regular Hookshot is another classic item that’s appeared frequently throughout Zelda’s history. Although it originated in Link to the Past, it really shines in Twilight Princess, where it’s undergone some slight changes and come out as the Clawshot. It’s one of the best items in terms of utility: it helps you scale walls and vines effortlessly, it allows you to cross gaps that far outmatch Link’s poor jumping ability, and you can even pull enemy faces off with it.
Even better, later in the game you’ll find another Clawshot, giving you the Double Clawshots and allowing Link to channel the spirit of Spiderman. The Clawshots see so much use that they’ll probably find a permanent home in whatever button you assign it to. And who could blame you? They’re the kind of items that you desperately want to be real. Inexplicibly, the pair of them even returned for Skyward Sword.
5. Rod of Seasons (Oracle of Seasons)
Really, the Rod of Seasons is one of the most powerful items Link has ever been given. Throughout the series, Link has travelled through time, journeyed to parallel worlds, even found himself in a different reality. Never before, however, has he been able to manipulate his environment on a global scale. That is, until the Rod of Seasons was entrusted to him. The Rod of Seasons can change the very course of nature in an instant, going through the four seasons of the year in seconds. Climate change? You better believe it.
It’s not really its importance in Link’s quest that puts this incredible item on the list, however. Nor did it make the list through sheer power alone. What makes this item so great is the visual effect of the changing seasons. The Oracle games are some of the best looking GBC games out there, and Oracle of Seasons takes this a step further than its twin brother, Ages. With each season comes a distinct, vibrant take on the land of Holodrum, and your eyes will never get tired of the constantly changing environments. This item is symbolic of a fabulous game.
4. Pegasus Boots (A Link to the Past)
It looks like the top notch Link to the Past pulls double duty. The Pegasus Boots only need to be used a few times to complete the game, but odds are it’ll be the item you use the most, by far. That’s because the Pegasus Boots provide a convenience that’s applicable in almost every situation – faster running speed. This was before the days of horses, or sidestepping and rolling through Hyrule Field. The Boots make both exploring and pretty much everything else in the game just a lot more fun. My favourite thing to do with them is crash into innocent villagers at max speed.
In addition to being a faster method of travel, it also functions as an attack – the dash attack. Weaker enemies who are unfortunate enough to get in the way of your dash attack will be obliterated by the sheer power of your momentum, and you’ll even gain nightclub-bouncer-power and push back the big boys as well.
What’s more, the Pegasus Boots are automatically assigned a button, so you don’t have to constantly switch them out from your inventory to use them (although you did in Link’s Awakening). Iron Boots, hang your head in shame. Now that’s a sure sign of their importance, isn’t it? Having their own button? Don’t you wish every Zelda game had the Pegasus Boots?
3. Roc’s Feather (Link’s Awakening)
The Roc’s Feather does a simple job, but it does it very well – it bestows Link with the ability to do a front flip. Wow, finally it’s a proper jump. Well, he could jump in the side-scrolling Zelda II: Adventure of Link, and you spend more time in the air than on the ground in Breath of the Wild. But for a top-down adventure, jumping really was a revelation. The Feather allows Link to jump over small holes. And there are holes all over Koholint Island, so it’ll be seeing a fair bit of use. Maybe the mayor of the island wasn’t investing enough tax revenue in the island, and so the ground started breaking up, Sim City-style.
What makes the Roc’s Feather so special? It completely changes the way Link fights. Normally, Link stops moving to swing his sword. But when using the sword in conjunction with the Roc’s Feather, you can move and swing at the same time. This small change in fighting style has impressive effects. Link will be dancing on the battlefield, doing flips and bebopping and scatting and dabbing on his enemies as he strikes them down from the air.
And what’s more, almost every item at Link’s disposal can be used with the Roc’s Feather. It is the ultimate partner for whatever item you have set to the other item slot. Forget shields! Use the Roc’s Feather offensively or defensively, and you’ll not be disappointed either way. Later games even gave us the Roc’s Cape for further aerial ability, but the Feather came first.
2. Transformation Masks (Majora’s Mask)
Is it shameless cheating to take a whole class of items rather than one item by itself? Consider this a four way tie. The Deku Mask, the Goron Mask, the Zora Mask, and of course, the Fierce Deity’s Mask, are all very much deserving of the number one spot in this list. These items, much like the Roc’s Feather, changes the very nature of Link’s combat.
They don’t stop there though; they change everything, from his appearance to his abilities. Deku Link is light and can glide in the air with the help of a Deku Flower. Goron Link is powerful and can travel at high speeds. Zora Link swims effortlessly in the water (effortlessly if you’re not using the N64 Control Stick) and can use his fins as boomerangs. Barring Fierce Deity Link, you essentially have four totally different characters that can be switched at any time. Plus, Link’s Fierce Deity form is arguably the coolest he has ever looked.
1. Ocarina of Time (Ocarina of Time)
The MacGuffin of Time is a rather interesting item, as it plays vastly different roles depending on the song you play. It can be used to warp instantly to temples, it can summon rain (via the eternally catchy Song of Storms), change night into day, send Princess Zelda to sleep… and many more things. What’s really great about the Ocarina of Time is that can also be used as a regular instrument, just for fun. Using the control stick, the Z and the R buttons in conjunction with the A and C buttons that normally control the Ocarina, you can get a decent range of notes to experiment with.
All the different uses that the Ocarina of Time has in-game are enough to give it a spot on this list. Yet there is something more about the Ocarina that puts it in a calibre of its own. What makes this item truly stand out is its ability to captivate those who have experienced it firsthand. The melodies of the Ocarina of Time are classics. You are not likely to forget them, even long after you’re done playing. It’s no coincidence that there was a huge surge in Ocarina sales after the release of this seminal game – those Ocarina peddlers (I wonder can I become an Ocarina peddler?) who specifically modelled theirs after either of the two Ocarinas in this game probably made a killing.
Later in the series, the music that Link could play became sadly diminished. The Ocarina returned in Majora’s Mask, and you had the beats of the Wind Waker, which was OK but limited. Then you had the disappointingly routine wolf howls of Twilight Princess. And let’s not even get us started on Skyward Sword’s ridiculous harp.
15 October 2019