The Master Sword from The Wind Waker
|Game(s)||Every Zelda game|
|Use(s)||Attack; reflects certain attacks; cuts and breaks Grass and Pots|
|Comparable Item(s)||Darknut Sword|
The Sword is perhaps the most famous weapon in The Legend of Zelda series. It is often one of the first items Link will come across in his travels, alongside the Shield. A Sword is Link's primary and most crucial weapon as it is adequate in defeating most foes Link will encounter, though some enemies may be immune or resistant to it. However, it is also useful for breaking Pots, cutting Grass, and triggering Switches. In some Zelda titles, a Sword can help detect if a wall can be destroyed by Bombs via the hollow clang it makes when hitting said wall. Link traditionally holds his sword in his left hand, but he has used his right hand for swordplay in the Wii version of Twilight Princess, in Skyward Sword and in Breath of the Wild. Some swords, like the Giant's Knife, Biggoron's Sword and the Great Fairy's Sword require both hands to wield. There are many different Swords Link may use in his quest, as well as many swordsman techniques he can master.
Vareties of Swords
Throughout the Zelda series, Link acquires many Swords. Sometimes he will find a more powerful Sword that will replace his previous one. In other cases, like in The Adventure of Link and Four Swords Adventures, Link will use the same Swords from the beginning to the end of his journey with a few options to improve their capacities. There is a great range in the strength and significance of these swords, many of which are obtained through progression of the storyline or fulfillment of side-quests.
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The first Sword Link gains will usually be the weakest of any he can use. If Link does not begin his journey with a Sword in hand, he will likely receive one early on. These basic swords will either be given to him, as in the case of the Wooden Sword in The Legend of Zelda, or must be searched for, as with the Kokiri Sword in Ocarina of Time. These Swords are mostly sufficient to start with, but upgrading to stronger blades is recommended, and often times required, as Link faces gradually stronger enemies.
Link may often need a Sword strong enough to take on mightier enemies. For the purpose of fighting great evils, the Master Sword, the so-called "blade of evil's bane," and other legendary Swords like it exist. These swords are endowed with divine powers, and Link may need their abilities to continue on his quest. Some foes and obstacles can only be overcome with a special Sword. While the Four Sword can be used to purge evil, its ability to split Link into four people can help him do things he cannot as one person. The Phantom Sword is the only known blade capable of slaying Phantoms, and the Lokomo Sword may be the only one permanently endowed with the power of Tears of Light. While swords of this type are very powerful, they are not always the strongest Link can use in a given game.
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Some swords are not necessary for Link's quest, but earning them is highly recommended as some are even more powerful than legendary swords. Such swords can be received through side-quests such as Trading Sequences, but finding them is usually no simple task.
Some swords in The Legend of Zelda series can only be used a number of times before their blades break. They can be obtained by paying select blacksmiths for what they promise to be powerful weapons. The Giant’s Knife of Ocarina of Time, which is equal to the Biggoron's Sword except in durability, can only strike eight times before it is reduced to only its hilt. In Majora's Mask, the Razor Sword, the former state of the Gilded Sword, can last 100 attacks until it returns to its original form as the Kokiri Sword.
In The Legend of Zelda, Link's only sword attack is a mere stab, unless he is at full health, in which case the young hero can shoot Sword Beams. As the Zelda series evolved, many different Sword techniques became gameplay features, some of which Link can learn from other swordsmen.
Link begins with his journey with a few basic Sword skills. In the early two-dimensional Zelda titles, he's been known to use very few attacks, but with the addition of a third dimension, swordplay has since become more complex.
- Horizontal Slice - As Link's most basic Sword technique, this requires a quick swing of his Sword. This is usually only referred to as a the "horizontal slice" in 3D Zelda titles, but this movement is clearly seen in A Link to the Past and succeeding 2D titles. In Twilight Princess, Link can use this technique while running.
- Vertical Slice - While targeting an enemy in the 3D games, Link can cut his opponent down the middle with a simple vertical slice.
- Stab - Also known as the "thrust", this attack can be done when Link targets an enemy while advancing toward them and attacking.
- Jump Attack - With this devastating attack, Link targets his opponent and leaps at them with a vertical swing of his sword. This attack is more powerful than most others.
- Spin Attack - If Link stores power in his blade, he can unleash a Spin Attack which will encompass the area around him. In more recent titles, he can instantly use this move; sometimes in quick succession. The Spin Attack is especially useful when Link is surrounded by multiple foes.
Some skills can only be used at certain times, with a particular sword, or after they are learned.
- Sword Beam - The Sword Beam appears as a beam of light shooting from the tip of Link's blade. Most commonly, as seen in its debut in the original The Legend of Zelda, Link is required to be at his maximum health to use this technique. However, this is not always the case; sometimes, Link must learn this technique or have a certain sword to use it.
- Dead Man's Volley - The Dead Man's Volley, which first appeared in A Link to the Past, is a technique with which Link will typically swing his sword to send magical attacks back at his attacker.
- Parry - With certain cues, Link can Parry to counter enemy attacks when timed properly. It is taught to him by Orca at the beginning of The Wind Waker, but it returns in Twilight Princess in the form of the Back Slice and Helm Splitter.
- Up Thrust and Down Thrust - The Up Thrust and Down Thrust can be used as Link jumps through the air and while either stabbing up or down. Link first learns these moves in The Adventure of Link from a couple of swordsmen. The Ending Blow seems to be similar to the Down Thrust.
- Dash Attack - In conjunction with the Pegasus Boots, Link can perform the Dash Attack when charging into enemies while instinctively holding his Sword forward. In Tri Force Heroes, Link can perform a Dash Attack by default, and even without a Sword.
- Great Spin Attack - Also known as the Hurricane Spin, the Great Spin Attack is Link's ultimate sword skill. It is usually a stream of consecutive Spin Attacks or an extra powerful spin that releases a wave of energy.
Some of the skills Link can learn are passed down from master swordsmen and archived in scrolls. Link must be in possession of said scrolls to use their secrets. Some of the attacks contained in these scrolls have been mentioned above.
- Tiger Scrolls - In The Minish Cap, Tiger Scrolls are received from the Blade Brothers after Link masters each of their techniques. Techniques like the Spin Attack and Sword Beam can be learned from them.
- Hidden Skills - When confronting the mysterious Hero's Spirit of Twilight Princess, Link will receive lessons on numerous Hidden Skills. Though not explicitly depicted to be contained in scrolls, the subscreen icons for Hidden Skills depict scrolls.
- Swordsman's Scrolls - After completing extensive side-quests in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, Link can earn the Swordsman's Scrolls. The former has one scroll, but the latter has two.
There are many options Link can take to improve the capabilities of his Sword without changing its form, commonly done through gathering the proper items.
- Attack Leveling - Gaining experience in The Adventure of Link allows Link to level up his attack power, as well as life and magic, a total of eight times.
- Handy Glove - The Handy Glove, an item from The Adventure of Link, allows Link to break through stone blocks with his sword.
- Fire Spell - Among the many Spells in The Adventure of Link, the Fire Spell can shoot balls of fire from Link's Sword to help penetrate enemy defenses.
- Piece of Power - The Piece of Power is an item dropped by foes in Link's Awakening that increases Link's striking power, sometimes causing enemies to recoil when struck.
- Red Clothes - When completing the optional Color Dungeon of Link's Awakening DX, Link may receive Red Clothes that will act in much the same way as the Piece of Power, but with permanent effects.
- Magical Rings - In Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, select Magical Rings can augment a Sword's abilities, namely the Power Rings, Red Ring, Green Ring, Double Edged Ring, and Whimsical Ring.
- Sage Prayers - To return the Master Sword's power to destroy evil, Medli and Makar pray to bless the blade with divine powers once again.
- Razor Seed - Razor Seeds are occasionally found within stages in Four Swords and increases the attack of whichever Link holds it.
- Force Gems - When Force Gems first appeared in Four Swords Adventures, after 2,000 are gathered, they will empower the Four Sword to be able to break seals and perform the Great Spin Attack.
- Elements - In The Minish Cap, after Link infuses the power of the Elements into the White Sword, it will allow Link to create a copy of himself when standing upon a magical tile. Infusing all four Elements will change the White Sword into the Four Sword.
- Charm - If Link finds either Din or Farore a house, they will each provide him with their own Charm that will increase his attack. Din's Charm will increase Link's power more than Farore's Charm, which will boost both attack and defense. Nayru's Charm only adds to defense.
- Elixir Soup and Great Fairy's Tears -
- Sols - The Sols of Twilight Princess Twilight Realm, once brought together, can be absorbed into the Master Sword, strengthening it against Shadow Beasts and allowing it to repel Dark Fog.
- Spirit of Power - In Phantom Hourglass, with ten Power Gems, Link can equip the Spirit of Power to increase attack power. Twenty Power Gems will help double it.
- Tears of Light - Within the Tower of Spirits in Spirit Tracks, Link can find Tears of Light that he can use to give his Sword the ability to stun a Phantom so Princess Zelda can control it.
Enemies that Use Swords
- Darknuts (see Darknut Sword)
- Demise (see Anti-Master Sword)
- Ganondorf (see Ganon's Sword)
- Gerudo warriors
- Igos du Ikana
- Phantom Ganon (see Phantom Ganon's Sword)
- ReDead Knights
- Stalfos in most of their game appearances
- Zant in the final stage of his boss battle
- "Swinging Your Sword / During your travels you will find a sword. Of course, you can attack enemies by swinging your sword, but you can also cut grass, break pots, and flip switches as well." (Phantom Hourglass manual, pg. 17)
- "Here's a secret for saving me! A wall that you can destroy with the Goron's "special crop" will sound different than a regular wall if you hit it with your sword" — Goron (Ocarina of Time)
- "You got the Giant's Knife! Hold it with both hands and use B to attack! It's so long, you can't use it with a shield." — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 19
- "IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS." — Old Man (The Legend of Zelda)
- "You got the Kokiri Sword! On the Equipment Subscreen, select it with the cursor and equip it with A. This is a hidden treasure of the Kokiri, but you can borrow it for a while." — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Now, take the sword that lies before you. It is none other than the Master Sword... The blade of evil's bane. It is the only sword that can banish Ganon from the world above!" — Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "According to the legends, when the boy drew his sword, he split into four, the four-who-are-one worked together to vanquish Vaati. The hero used his sword to bind Vaati in a remote area of Hyrule. The people christened the blade the Four Sword and built a shrine around it." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "This is the last thing I can teach you... Phantoms can be slain with one strike of the Phantom Sword... But even I don't know what will happen if you strike from the front..." — Ghost (Phantom Hourglass)
- "This Lokomo Sword was a gift from one of the spirits. As such, it is filled with sacred energy. It has felled many evil creatures in its lifetime. Until now, only the spirits have wielded this blade..." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
- "The three elements that link possesses can go up to level 8. / Attack / When you raise this level, you can inflict more damage on the enemy in an attack." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 25)
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