Artwork of the Hero's Bow from
|Game(s)|| All games except|
The Adventure of Link
and the Oracle series
|Other media|| Animated series|
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSoulcalibur II
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
|Cost(s)||980 Rupees (LA)|
|Use(s)||Defeat enemies at a distance and hit switches|
|Comparable Item(s)|| Boomerang|
The Bow is a recurring item in The Legend of Zelda series, debuting in the original The Legend of Zelda and appearing in every game since, excluding The Adventure of Link and the Oracle series. Bows often go unnamed throughout the Zelda series, but the most common Bow name, the Hero's Bow, appears in Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess. The Fairy Bow is used in Ocarina of Time.
Being a staple item in the Zelda series, the Bow is found almost always in a dungeon, and frequently among the first four (a rare exception being The Legend of Zelda when played in the Second Quest, where the Bow is found in the fifth dungeon). To date, all of the console 3D installments have the item guarded by mini-bosses. In Link's Awakening, the Bow must be bought from the Town Tool Shop for the price of 980 Rupees, almost as much as Link can carry. It can, however, be simply stolen. In The Minish Cap, it is once again not found in a dungeon, instead found in Castor Wilds.
|The Legend of Zelda||Eagle
|Costs one Rupee to fire an Arrow, upgrades with Silver Arrows|
|A Link to the Past||Eastern Palace||Upgrades with Silver Arrows|
|Link's Awakening||Town Tool Shop||Bought for 980 Rupees after the Shovel is sold|
|Ocarina of Time||Forest Temple|
|Majora's Mask||Woodfall Temple|
|The Wind Waker||Tower of the Gods|
|Four Swords||Various levels|
|Four Swords Adventures||Various levels|
|The Minish Cap||Castor Wilds||Upgraded to shoot Light Arrows (optional)|
|Twilight Princess||Goron Mines|
|Phantom Hourglass||Temple of Courage|
|Spirit Tracks||Fire Temple||Upgraded to the Bow of Light|
|Skyward Sword||Sandship||Upgraded to the Iron Bow and then to the Sacred Bow|
|A Link Between Worlds||Ravio's Shop||Upgraded to the Nice Bow|
Using Arrows as ammunition, the Bow can be used to attack enemies, hit switches, and on occasion, trigger special events. In many of the games, Link starts out carrying a limited number of Arrows, later expanded upon as the game progresses through several Quiver upgrades. Many games also feature magic-infused types of Arrows, such as the Light Arrows, Ice Arrows and the Fire Arrows, all of which are shot from the Bow as if normal Arrows. However, the Bow will not function without a constant supply of Arrows, which can be replenished by finding them in abundant quantities in the overworlds or dungeons, or by purchasing them at shops. The exception to this is Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, in which the Bow can fire an unlimited amount of Arrows. In The Legend of Zelda, Rupees are instead used to fire Arrows. In A Link Between Worlds, similarly to the other weapons, the Bow uses Energy to fire Arrows instead. Many puzzles and obstacles in the Zelda series make great use of the Bow or other long-range weapons. For this reason, the Bow can be found early in most titles, where its use may be necessary to progress through dungeons and later areas.
Though all Bows have the same general purpose, in certain titles, the Bow is given extra traits unique to the style, structure, and plot of the game in question, and can be adapted for use based on the game system a certain Zelda title is formatted for.
Unique to Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, and Spirit Tracks is the Bow's ability to charge an Arrow into a more powerful form, although in the majority of instances, the Arrow in question is undoubtedly the Light Arrow, one that needs to be powered up to retain the power to vanquish evil. The button to which the Bow is equipped to must be pressed and held to charge up the shot. In The Minish Cap, before one can charge the Bow, the Light Arrow must be obtained from Gregal, or the Bow will only continue to shoot standard Arrows. However, in Four Swords Adventures, an entirely upgraded Bow (Level 2) is required to obtain the charged shot; this can be secured at any Great Fairy Fountain in the region. Similarly, in Spirit Tracks, a new Bow, the Bow of Light, must be found to shoot upgraded Arrows.
In paying homage to the horseback archers of the Middle Ages, several games in the series such as Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess enable Link to use his Bow while galloping along on Epona. Not only must Link multi-task, but often he is bombarded with enemy fire during his romp in Twilight Princess especially, since enemies such as Bulblins and Kargaroks are not shy about approaching and attacking Link while he is riding around in Hyrule Field, or even during his transport of Prince Ralis to Kakariko Village. This mode of archery is also incorporated into sidequests, namely the target practice at the Gerudo Archery Range and in hunting Big Poes in Ocarina of Time.
The Bow is used a bit differently in the DS installments, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, as the stylus and the touch screen are dominantly used during all aspects of gameplay. Unlike the manual aiming and shooting of the Bow as seen in the console titles, the Bow is shot simply by tapping the touch screen with the stylus in the direction of an object, or at the object itself. A line may also be drawn from Link to the object to better aim and shoot an Arrow; even if the line does not reach the object in question, Link's vision range will increase, revealing objects previously concealed by the borders of the normal game screen.
In Skyward Sword, the Bow is utilized by pulling back the Nunchuck similarly to how one would pull back the string of a bow. By holding the C button on the Nunchuck, Link can shoot an Arrow by releasing said button. However, the A Button can be pressed instead of using the aforementioned method, although it takes longer for the Arrow to charge up. Normal enemies can be shot with the Bow as well as items that can be knocked off of trees. Dropped items from enemies (such as Hearts) can also be shot with an Arrow, causing them to stick in the side of walls. Doing so will allow Link to reclaim the Heart as well as the Arrow.
Upgrading the Bow
In The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, upon obtaining the Silver Arrow, the Bow will consistently shoot Arrows with the power to repel evil from that point on. The same applies to Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, but with regard to the Light Arrow, which must be equipped to the Bow before firing. Likewise, Ice and Fire Arrows must also be equipped to be used. In The Minish Cap, the Bow can be upgraded to shoot Light Arrows, however, Link would have to charge the Bow to fire them.
Four Swords Adventures highlights a new, arcade-like way of upgrading the Bow into a much stronger version; Link must present his weapon to a Great Fairy at her Fountain, and she will raise the Bow to "Level 2" - a stage at which not only gains the power to charge Arrows, but also can shoot an array of three Arrows at a time, instead of the standard one. All of the weapons in Four Swords Adventures are capable of upgrading via Fairy Fountains to their "Level 2" forms, except for Link's sword and the lantern.
Skyward Sword allows Link to upgrade the Bow at the Skyloft Bazaar for a fee, which increases its range and strength.
In A Link Between Worlds, Mother Maiamai can upgrade the Bow into the Nice Bow, if Link has bought the Bow from Ravio's Shop and has found at least 10 Lost Maiamais. This Bow fires 3 Arrows at once, one in the middle, and the two to diagonal left and right.
|Image||Name||Uses||Upgrade Cost||Upgraded By||Game|
|Iron Bow||Increased power and range|| 3 Tumbleweeds
2 Eldin Ores
3 Monster Claws
1 Evil Crystal
|Sacred Bow||Further increased power and range|| 5 Tumbleweeds
2 Evil Crystals
3 Lizard Tails
1 Goddess Plume
|Nice Bow||Fire three arrows at once||Find 10 Maiamais
Buy the Bow from Ravio's Shop
|Mother Maiamai||A Link Between Worlds|
Arrows and Special Varieties
- Main article: Arrow
Arrows are the most important aspect of the Bow, considering they are the projectiles needed for it to function properly. Unlike the Bow, which must be equipped to use, Arrows are automatically drawn upon its use. However, in many titles, such as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, different Arrow varieties like the Fire Arrow and the Bomb Arrow must be equipped as well, not to mention the different Arrow types that require varying increments of magic power; these Arrows only exist in games like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker that actually incorporate magic into the gameplay.
While in other titles Link must individually equip the Fire Arrow, Ice Arrow or the Light Arrow before the Bow, The Wind Waker implements such Arrow varieties right into the Bow itself as modes, so that Link can easily and instantly switch between any of them (by use of the R button), without needing to go into any subscreens beforehand.
- Given the name "Hero's Bow", it may well be the same Bow used throughout many of the games, or at least inspired by the original Bow. According to Dangoro, the Hero's Bow of Twilight Princess is said to have once belonged to "the Hero of the past".
- In Majora's Mask, all 4 main dungeon items pertain to the Bow. Woodfall Temple features the Bow itself, while the Snowhead Temple has Fire Arrows, the Great Bay Temple has Ice Arrows, and the Stone Tower Temple has Light Arrows.
Concept art for the Twilight Princess Hero's Bow from Hyrule Historia
- "You got the Hero's Bow! Set it to (C) to equip it." — Item Description (Majora's Mask)
- "You got the Hero's Bow! Set it to [Y], [Z], or [X], then use it with the button you've set it to." — Item Description (The Wind Waker)
- "You got the Hero's Bow! This Goron treasure once belonged to a hero of legend." — Item Description (Twilight Princess)
- "You found the Fairy Bow! On the Select Item Subscreen, you can set it to (<), (v) or (>)." — Item Description (Ocarina of Time)
- "The bow has an unlimited supply of arrows." (The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, The Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo of America), pg. 6)
- "Tap A Button to fire three rapid shots. The time that you have to hold the A Button is shorter than that for the normal high-speed arrow." (Four Swords Adventures manual, pg. 29)
- "...Ah! So THAT is why you are here! In that case, take the weapon of the Hero of the past..." — Dangoro (Twilight Princess)
- "You got the Hero's Bow! This treasure of the Gorons is said to have once belonged to a Hero from the past." — N/A (Twilight Princess)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Bow||Hero's Bow||Fairy Bow||Rented Bow||Nice Bow|
|Japanese||弓 (Yumi)||勇者の弓 (Yuusha no Yumi)||借りた弓矢||ナイス弓矢|
Arco y flechas (ALBW)
|Arco del Héroe||Arco y flechas alquilados|
|Spanish||Arco y flechas chulos|
|Arco de las Hadas (OoT3D)||Arco y flechas mejorados|
|French||Arc||Arc du Héros||Arc des fées|
|French||Arc de location||Great arc|
|Arc des fées (OoT3D)||Arc loué||Arc de luxe|
|Italian||Arco||Arco dell'Eroe||Arco a noleggio||Super arco|
|Chinese||弓 (Gōng)||勇者之弓 (Yǒngzhě zhi Gōng)||精灵之弓 (Jīnglíng zhi Gōng)|