We love Zelda at Dealspwn. Or, at least, I love Zelda and continue to convince the powers-that-be to let me further profess my love in journalistic form. I've recapped on why Ocarina of Time is - still - the Best Game Of All Time, but now I feel it's time to cast our attention on the grander scope of Link's Hylian adventures, namely the dungeon-solving gadgets inexplicably left behind by his foes to solve their respective lairs.
I'm specifically excluding Zelda's many wonderful musical instruments, as they're not unique to each dungeon. So, without further ado, may I present The Top 10 Zelda Gadgets!
Link's trusty childhood Slingshot is an invaluable tool at the beginning of almost all his adventures. Essentially the precursor to the bow, the Slingshot could still hold its own. It's was a pre-requisite necessary to solve the earliest, forest-bound dungeons a young Link finds himself traversing, not to mention it's good old fashioned fun shattering pottery or aiming shots at nearby bee-hives. As long as you run!
Exclusive to Twilight Princess, Link discovers the versatile Spinner while in pursuit of the Mirror of Twilight. The Spinner, as you might expect, spins very fast, generating enough power to hover and allow Link to steer. You can race along repressed tracks in the wall, or just skim across the surface of normally treacherous quick-sand. It's also the key weapon in one of Twilight Princess' most spectacular boss battles.
In some Zelda games, Link can simply purchase Bombs from a store. But in the likes of Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, Link must retrieve the dangerously unstably little balls from whatever inexplicably secret location they've been hidden. Regardless, Bombs have countless uses in the Zelda universe, from blowing up damaged walls to reveal hidden lairs to hurling into a dragon's gaping gob.
The Boomerang has featured in almost every Zelda game to date, most recently in Twilight Princess where it received a major overhaul and a new title, the Gale Boomerang, capable of summoning a magical tornado when thrown. Like all of Link's dungeon-solving items, the Boomerang isn't just for attacking purposes, as its often neccesary to sever ropes or loose cables, and can even retrieve far-off items.
6. Bow & Arrow
What's not to love? It's a Bow and Arrow. It transforms Link from a lowly forest elf to a full-blown Robin Hood, firing off bolts with such rapid succession and accuracy he leaves Legolas looking like a blind shot-putter. The Bow and Arrow also set up further gadgets for Link to enjoy - more on that later - but as a tool itself, it's fantastic and absolutely essential to his travels.
5. Hover Boots
Believe it or not, I'm walking on air! No, really. With the Hover Boots, Link can literally tread thin air for a short amount of time. Not content with aping Hermes, Link can also glide across quick-sand or avoid pressure-sensitive traps. Sadly, Link's Hover Boots never make a return. Which is a pity. As I'd much rather have skipped across Wind Waker's sprawling ocean like the offspring of Usain Bolt and Jesus than stay trapped in that sluggish boat.
4. Ball & Chain
Another Twilight Princess exclusive, the Ball and Chain is exactly as it sounds. It's an enormous metal ball affixed to the end of a chain. And don't let his slight frame fool you, Link can hurl the Ball and Chain over his head as if it were as light as a Deku Leaf. Simply swinging it in a circle will prevent even the most formidable of foes from attacking you, and once you've hurled it, it still has a dangerous whip-back.
It's not particularly powerful and - even today - it's still a little clumsy to control, but the Hookshot is a terrific gadget. Hookshotting across vast gaps or hanging from the ceiling like James Bond impersonating a monkey, the 'Shot can even be used to stun enemies, lining them up for a fatal blow, or disposing enemies of their armour or weaponry.
2. Mirror Shield
In Ocarina of Time, Link discovers the Mirror Shield, setting up some of the finest puzzles in Zelda history. The pinnacle of Hylian engineering, the Mirror Shield can not only deflect projectile attacks like fire or magic, but redirect shafts of sunlight into a zigzagging prism of joy. Not to mention rocking the Mirror Shield on your back makes Link look like the finest elf in Hyrule.
1. Light Arrows
In order to defeat Ganondorf, Link must require two things. One I have already mentioned, the Bow. The second, however, is perhaps the most important gadget Link can possess. Light Arrows. Simple bolts, dipped into magical, benevolent energy that can pierce even Ganon's strongest defenses. I had to plump for Light Arrows as without them, Hyrule would be blackened under the cloud of Ganondorf's influence. Shudder.
An honorable mention goes to Link's trusty Fishing Rod, but what other gadgets did you enjoy tinkering with in your adventures across Zelda history? As always, sign off in the comments below!