Top-10 Items in Zelda

I’m currently playing through The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and decided I should list some of my favorite items from the Zelda franchise. These are the items without which Link wouldn’t get very far and also the items that are the most multi-purpose and useful out of the bunch.

10. Goron Mask

One of two masks from Majora’s Mask which I have to give a shout-out to. The Goron Mask just kicks massive ass. The main reason for loving the Goron Mask is obviously that before you free Epona in the game, this is the fastest way to get around, by rolling through the fields of Termina. Even better, with the magic power you can spawn spikes and mow down your enemies like Sonic the Hedgehog.

In addition to these awesome features, the Goron Mask comes free with an awesome drum-set and, for the first and only time in a Zelda game, the ability to attack both with your bare fists and your butt. Plus, you can walk on lava. Any item that makes Link resistant to fire and fiery things is cool in my book, since the skinny Hylian tends to go up in flames like he’s made out of frickin’ tinder.

However, the only downside of the Goron Mask is that your regular walking pace is ridiculously slow and you can’t even jump small gaps without the combined strength of your roll ability and a magic bottle.

9. Fire Arrow

Introduced in Ocarina of Time and still the best projectile weapon of all. Now, unless you’ve gotten pissed off at how a burning Keese has swooped straight at you and caused you to lose your wooden shield, then there’s no describing the feeling of enjoyment that you get from fighting those flying bastards with their own weapon: fighting fire with fire.

Now, the arrow would probably be enough to kill most enemies, but it’s the thought of additionally causing your foes to catch fire that counts. It’s a shame that the fire arrow hasn’t made that many appearances in Zelda games, since it was easily the most useful and multi-purposed of the three magic arrows in OoT. What about the Light Arrow? What fucking use is it beyond destroying dark foes, blasting magical power cores and fighting Ganondorf. Not much else. The ice arrow? What a waste of space, why would I want to freeze my enemies when I can just watch them burn.

Plus, you can light torches with it from afar which is just bitchin’.

8. Water Bomb

This is just frickin’ genius. The bomb-arrow from Twilight Princess was close to getting on the list, but I have to give Nintendo credit for finally making bombs useful elsewhere except for land and air. Finally, Link had the power to blow shit underwater (unfortunately the Water Bomb didn’t return for Skyward Sword).

It’s not only super practical, it’s also really cool looking. Remember all those times in Zelda when there was something in the water and you wish you could just blow the fucker up and be done with it. The Water Bomb finally let you do that.

The only annoying thing about the Water Bomb was that it cost so much more than your regular bombs and you could carry fewer of them. (Why is there an item limit on anything in Zelda? Really?)

7. Clawshots

Here’s another way in which Nintendo keeps making the Zelda games awesome. You take the Hookshot, already a pretty dandy gadget that’s been around since A Link to the Past and give the player a second one so they can feel like Spider-Man and whoosh their way from one side of a room to the next. The Clawshots, first introduced in Twilight Princess was the new twist on an old classic that really worked and gave a new dimension of 3D movement to Zelda where you could have complex dungeons and shoot your way through them on powerful spring-loaded chains.

Unfortunately, the Clawshots removed the Hookshot’s ability to hurt and stun enemies which was a definite bummer, but the added coolness factor more than makes up for it.

6. The Red Tunic

As should be evident from before, anything that makes Link resistant to fire is cool in my book. It should therefore not come as any surprise why I love the red tunic. Not only does it protect you from heat, for once you got to play through a dungeon where Link was wearing something other than green.

Ever wanted to visit the inside of an active volcano without fear of  heat exhaustion or passing out from the sulfurous air. No worries, just put on your magical red tunic and you’re off to the races. In fact, the Red Tunic is so great there’s no reason to take it off except when underwater.

The only sad thing about the Red Tunic is how underused it’s been. In Skyward Sword all they gave you were a pair of magical, fire-resistance ear-rings. Great, as if ‘t Link didn look effeminate enough from his redesign in Twilight Princess, now you have to give him magical ear-jewellery. =P

 5. The Master Sword

Of course, I have to give recognition to “the Blade of Evil’s Bane”. The Master Sword has appeared in practically every Zelda game since A Link to the Past. Not only is it twice as long as your regular sword, it also deals twice as much damage. Plus, you get to pull it out of a stone like the frickin’ Excalibur which is always an awesome moment, no matter which game it happens in.

Plus, if you’re 13 and happen to be the Hero of Time, one pull of the Master Sword from its pedestal means instant maturity. Now you are legally old enough to drink and get freaky with princesses.

However, because the Master Sword is so omnipresent (to the point of monotony for some) I can’t put it any higher on the list.

4. Bombchu

Cute and destructive. What’s there not to love about a Bombchu. You sick this little bugger on an unsuspecting monster and watch it go up walls and ceilings until it reaches its target. The Bombchu was my weapon of choise when dealing with super-annoying enemies I didn’t want to go near in Ocarina of Time and it’s easily the most memorable of the items found in that particular game.

Unfortunately the Bombchu hasn’t been featured very prominently in the post-N64 era Zeldas and the sadistic bastards at Nintendo even used it as a source of inspiration for the “real” Bombchu, the single most annoying enemy character from Majora’s Mask.

A lot of good did come out from the Bombchu but not nearly as much as I would have wanted to.

3. The Beetle

So far my absolute favorite new item from Skyward Sword. At first I didn’t really understand how a mechanical, remote-controlled bug could be useful, but the Beetle has since become my absolute favorite companion in the newest Zelda adventure. It’s initial purpose as a flying scout which can ben used to cut down hanging objects and activate hidden switches is pretty nifty to start with.

But then once the pincers start to get used for carrying items, such as bomb-flowers, to unsuspecting distant foes, all of a sudden the Beetle finds itself in a whole new category of cool. This is the first time in a Zelda game where you get to do actual aerial bombardment on monsters and that’s just plain awesome.

With its versatility and usefulness, I really wish the Beetle will become a Zelda mainstay and not just another one-game wonder.

2. Fairies

Fairies and Zelda are sort of permanently attached, but you can’t deny the universal usefulness of a Fairy in a Bottle. Why? Fairies are essentially your extra-lives in a Zelda game. Having a hard time with a boss? Just jam some Fairies in all of your bottles and head off into battle. Fairies are literal life-savers. The first thing I do in any Zelda game, once I get an empty bottle, is look for an easy supply of fairies and bottle me at least as many as I can carry.

Their practicality is also constant source of frustration for me. Some Zelda games don’t just let you buy Fairies from a store or at least give you hidden Fairy Springs as a source of easy Fairy access. Plus, whenever there’s a puzzle that requires me to empty up a bottle just so I can carry something else, I feel a little part inside me dying, having to release the fairy from its bottle.

No doubt about it, Fairies have clearly deserved their spot as one of the most useful Zelda items.

1. The Zora Mask

Everyone hates the Water Temples and levels in Zelda games. Why? Because no Zelda game has really good swim mechanics to allow you to explore them without too much difficulty… except for one. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask had the ultimate underwater exploration tool, an enchanted mask that allowed you to inhabit the body of a dead Zora guitar-player.

How many uses are there for the Zora Mask, let me count:

  1. You can swim like a fish, smoothly and without stopping.
  2. You have the power to walk at the bottom of the water as well without the use of those stupid Iron Boots.
  3. You can attack enemies while swimming
  4. You can defend yourself whiled descending
  5. You can use your own fins as mêlée weapons.
  6. You can use your own fins as ranged weapons.
  7. You can use your own fins as a shield.
  8. You get a cool guitar for free.

As long as you stay out of cold areas and ice, the Zora Mask is about the best item from any Zelda game ever. The Blue Tunic, Zora Armour or that Gill thingy that teaches Link to dive in Skyward Sword, don’t hold a candle to the awesomeness and usefulness of the Zora Mask.

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