When there’s only one more month to go on the calender until the fabled day of Skyward Sword‘s release, you know it’s time to get excited. Not only is it looking to be one of the best console Zelda games in years, but it’s also going to feature a whole host of new and exciting items like the Beetle– so what better way to start the hype than to cast our eyes back at some of the most best-loved accessories Link has acquired over his 25 years as Hyrule’s courageous hero. Here are my top ten Zelda items:
10. Fierce Deity’s Mask
There is no greater item in Majora’s Mask than the Fierce Deity’s Mask (except entry number three). A treat for only the most dedicated of mask collectors, this transformation into gaming’s most fearsome warrior was your reward for completing Link’s huge mask inventory. Wielding an ethereal double-helix-shaped sword, the original Legend of Zelda‘s premise of a sword that could shoot laser beams was brought to full fruition here. But despite its incredibly overwhelming power, the Fierce Deity’s Mask comes in at number ten due to the fact that you could only wear it during boss battles.
9. Book of Mudora
A book whose sole purpose is to translate ancient Hylian might not seem like a hugely useful item in itself, but not only does this green tome of wisdom contain Hyrule’s long history and creation myths, but it also lets Link read the ancient stone tablets in A Link to the Past. By translating the age old text, Link can gain access to some of his most advanced magical abilities in the series to date, such as the Bombos, Ether and Quake Medallions.
8. Skull Hammer
The spiritual successor to the Ocarina of Time’s Megaton Hammer, the Skull Hammer was both grotesque with its grey and deathly design and incredibly funny as our pint sized hero heaved it over his head and brought it crashing down to the ground. A lot quicker than the Megaton Hammer and a lot more useful than the Magic Hammer in a A Link to the Past, you immediately felt more powerful with this mighty weapon resting in your hands.
More specifically, The Wind Waker’s boomerang. I haven’t always been such a fan of this item, especially when you have access to the vastly superior hookshot, but the introduction of the multiple target system in The Wind Waker made the boomerang practically indispensible.
Now a seemingly ever-present addition to Link’s current mode of transport since The Wind Waker (as well as making a brief appearance in Twilight Princess), the cannon is a force to be reckoned with. Whether it’s a part of Link’s ship or his train, there’s nothing more satisfying than striking your pursurers clean in the face with a well-placed cannon ball.
5. Magic Rod
Although the Magic Rod first appeared in the first Zelda title on NES, the game where it shines most is Link’s Awakening, allowing Link to shoot deadly fireballs at devastating speed. Reserved for the final dungeon, the dreaded Turtle Rock, the Magic Rod was the most advanced weapon of Link’s arsenal. It was also vastly superior to its later incarnations, the Fire Rod and the Ice Rod. While the latter two consumed Link’s magic meter, the Magic Rod required no such burden.
4. Roc’s Feather
What might now be old hat to the Zelda series since its N64 days, earlier incarnations of Link possessed the strange ability of being constantly tied to the ground, unable to even hop up the smallest of ledges. So when Roc’s Feather was first introduced in Link’s Awakening on Game Boy, Link literally jumped into a whole new world of possibilties. Sure, Link had stretched his leg muscles six years earlier in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but Roc’s Feather has made an undeniable mark on the series since its debut, giving rise to both The Minish Cap‘s Roc’s Cape and Roc’s Ring from the Oracle games.
3. Bunny Hood / Pegasus Boots
When time is of the essence and you’ve lost your trusty steed, there’s no way to do the rounds faster in Termina than the Bunny Hood. Pemanently equipped whenever I play Majora’s Mask, the Bunny Hood is my favourite item for getting round Termina Field (or indeed anywhere) quickly. By extension, the super speedy Pegasus Boots also deserve a place alongside the Bunny Hood. While Link doesn’t exactly move at a snail’s pace, the Pegasus Boots sent Link charging forward with his sword ready to strike down any hapless moblin who got in his way. The Bunny Hood, by comparison, finally lent a degree of control to Link’s roadrunner feet, albeit without his sword to skewer oncoming enemies.
2. Bomb Arrows
A Top Ten Zelda items list just wouldn’t be complete without a showing from Link’s trusty bow, but there’s just something about the idea of bomb arrows that dislodges Link’s steadfast partner from claiming this number two slot outright. Being able to shoot arrows while riding Epona in Ocarina of Time was pretty amazing thirteen years ago, but when you can ride a horse and shoot bomb arrows at the same time, there simply isn’t anything more awesome and stylish for horseback combat. Nothing beats racing toward a huge boulder at break-neck speed, nocking a bomb arrow to my bow, letting it fly and riding on through the explosion like the coolest cowgirl in the west (…or Hyrule).
1. Double Clawshot
Just when you thought the hookshot couldn’t get any better, Twilight Princess went ahead and gave you two of them. TWO! With the Double Clawshot, Link could zip his way Spiderman-style across the City in the Sky and other appropriate surfaces with ease and grace. Quite what use the Oocca had for a spare clawshot is anyone’s guess, but the Double Clawshot is the pinnacle of hookshot evolution. Skyward Sword better not disappoint!
Honourable mentions must go to Majora’s Mask’s Zora Mask, the Sand Wand from Spirit Tracks, and, of course, Link’s stalwart collection of empty bottles– who knew a scrap of glass could outperform the Master Sword in a game of Dead Man’s Volley!?
So what do you think? Are your favourite items on this list? If you feel like I’ve missed out an all-important weapon that should take pride of place in this top ten then be sure to make your own lists in the comments below.