A single arrow
|Game(s)||Every game except The Adventure of Link|
|Cost(s)||Sold by bundles, varies, free when found|
|Use(s)||Ammunition for Bow|
|Comparable Item(s)||Slingshot Pellets|
Arrows set the standard for projectiles and are usually the fastest, most penetrating weapons in the Zelda franchise. Arrows come as a combo package with the bow, its counterpart and a premier dungeon item in one of the first couple temples of every Zelda game; the amount of arrows Link can hold can usually be upgraded during the adventure with a new arrow quiver The rudimentary arrow has many functions, but its most prevalent is in the piercing of objects and in the injuring of enemies with a greater strength and accuracy than the previous projectile shooter. The arrow is a replenishable item, and obviously, the bow will not function without a constant supply of arrows. They can be found cheaply at shops, from Business Scrubs, or freely gathered in small grasses, after defeating enemies, or in small chests scattered about the overworld of Hyrule. Like many other weapons in the Zelda series, arrows can be upgraded, all of which serving specific, often non-plot-required, functions that enhance the game experience nonetheless.
In the Zelda series, standard arrows are used in several, general ways.
Activation of Switches
Arrows, in their most important function, are often the only projectile object piercing enough to penetrate and activate eye switches within dungeons and across the overworld of Hyrule. A single shot into the center of the switch by a standard arrow is enough to activate it, and while the arrow does this with ease, the Hookshot or even the Slingshot Pellets cannot budge the hard metallic shell of these switches like the arrow can, despite being projectile weapons in their own right.
Games like Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess incorporate the feasibility and the flexibility of the arrow in its most traditional, war-like use: on horseback. Because enemies like Bulblins ride alongside Link at sporadic and sometimes far intervals, the sword is not always a reliable weapon to use when it comes to such fights. The arrow, with its long-range capabilities, can sling and force these enemies off of their steeds from afar, which not only helps to preserve Link's health, but also saves time instead of chasing these foes down otherwise to nail them with a closer-ranged weapon.
As Another Weapon
The arrow, like the sword and the bomb, can also be simply used as another weapon against unarmored enemies, in the name of variety and distance. Like on horseback, Link can use the arrow as a long range killer, knocking out large enemies, such as Moblins in a couple shots from far away, without physically involving himself. The arrows come in handy in this way, especially when Link is low in health - Link can stay feet away and still deliver sword-strength hits, without compromising the last few hearts he may have left. And in terms of strength, arrows come in third in many Zelda games only to bombs, and Link's sword, so the amount of damage dealt, especially for a projectile weapon, is still nothing to laugh at.
The Zelda games would be incomplete without the various arrow upgrades Link can achieve over the course of his journey, all of which better the gaming experience even if they aren't all required to complete the game. These arrows, because they require magic to operate, use magic power, and usually Light Arrows consume the most magic per arrow as compared to other upgrades.
The Fire Arrow is one of the two most common equippable arrow upgrades in the Zelda franchise, the other being the Ice Arrow. This flame-tipped arrow helps in the melting of journey-impeding ice, as one may easily have guessed, and in torch lighting, as well as being a scalding, powerful weapon in battle. Enemies like Anubis require fire to be dispelled, so fire arrows are often the weapon of choice when it comes to foes like these, even though there is often an activatable fire ring in the room, in case one does not have such fire elements at their disposal.
In most, if not all, 3D Zelda games, shooting a standard arrow through a torch lights the arrow into a Fire Arrow. This technique is used to set off heat-activated switches in dungeons before Link obtains the Fire Arrows, or whenever Link has exhausted his magic meter.
The Ice Arrow is one of the two most commonly equippable arrow upgrades in Zelda, the other being the Fire Arrow. This arrow functions primarily to freeze objects and enemies, acting as a stronger, longer, life-sapping stun, as compared to other simple stunners like the Boomerang and the Deku Nut. Usually, this arrow is optional to the game, however, Majora's Mask incorporates it as a plot-required item in the Great Bay Temple, as its use is necessary to complete the dungeon.
The Silver Arrow is a trademark of the early Zelda games, from The Legend of Zelda to A Link to the Past, instrumental in Ganon's defeat, and akin to the Light Arrow in later games, especially the ones of the 3D variety, such as Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker. This arrow is infused with a mystic evil-piercing power that is quite effective in the slaying of Ganon in his dark pig form at the climax of many of these early Zelda games. However, even though it is equippable, this arrow acts like a standard arrow to all other enemies besides Ganon, who shows a severe reaction towards any wounding that has come as a product of its piercing power.
Like the Silver Arrow, the Light Arrow is the end-all weapon when it comes down to defeating Ganon, but is sometimes brandished by Princess Zelda, instead of Link. These holy arrows are infused with a similar evil-brandishing light as the Master Sword, and by extention, have equal power against dark beasts and the like, destroying most any enemy of Link in one shot, even large foes, like Darknuts and Moblins, as seen in The Wind Waker and The Minish Cap.
The Bomb Arrow is a little-seen, highly-usable arrow upgrade that only exists in two games: Link's Awakening and Twilight Princess, but to great success and game interest. This arrow is eponymously described: a bomb is melded with an arrow to create an exploding projectile, similar to the Bombchu in its intention, but unique: it can be shot far to a selected target before exploding. This arrow is quite useful when it comes to removing wall obstacles from afar, and in blowing foes from their steeds and/or lookout points during battle.
- Strangely, in The Legend of Zelda, Link does not buy or find arrows. Instead, whenever he shoots an arrow, one Rupee is lost.
- Four Swords Adventures and Link's Crossbow Training both feature bows with unlimited arrows, therefore do not have arrows as items.
Bow and Arrow artwork from The Legend of Zelda
Arrows as seen in A Link to the Past
Artwork of an Arrow in The Wind Waker
Arrows as seen in The Minish Cap
Arrows as seen in Spirit Tracks
Concept art from Hyrule Historia
- "You traded for a Large Quiver! Now you can carry up to 40 arrows!" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "You do not have a bow, Brother. You cannot use arrows even if you do buy them!" — Goron Salesman (Twilight Princess)
- "You can buy arrows at a shop only if you have a bow. Have you got one, mister?" — Fado (Ocarina of Time)
- "Knock it off! Leave me alone, and I will sell you Arrows! 30 pieces 70 Rupees they are!" — Business Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
- "Set to it to (C) to arm your bow with arrows that burst into flame." — N/A (Majora's Mask)
- "Set it to (C) to arm your bow with arrows that freeze." — N/A (Majora's Mask)
- "Now you can freeze enemies and objects!" — N/A (Majora's Mask)
- "When Ganon is stunned, give him his last moment with a Silver Arrow! Do you understand, Link?" — Princess Zelda (A Link to the Past)
- "These are the Silver Arrows you need to defeat Ganon!" — N/A (A Link to the Past)
- "I'll try to slow Ganondorf with my light arrows!" — Princess Zelda (Twilight Princess)
- "Set it to (C) to arm your bow. Aim its sacred light at evil..." — N/A (Majora's Mask)
- "After setting the Hero's Bow, use [R] on the Items screen to combine them to make bomb arrows." — N/A (Twilight Princess)
- "And you can combine bombs and arrows to make bomb arrows for when you need ranged explosives!" — Barnes (Twilight Princess)
- "I'll give you some bombs and arrows, so you just put 'em together and shoot bomb arrows at that thing." — Iza (Twilight Princess)
|Names in Other Regions|