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MM HerosBow.png
The Hero's Bow from Majora's Mask
Game(s) All except The Adventure of Link and the Oracle series
Other media Animated series
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
Soulcalibur II
Hyrule Warriors
Cost(s) 980 Rupees (LA)
Use(s) Used to defeat enemies at a distance and hit switches.
Comparable Item(s) Slingshot, Boomerang, Seed Shooter, Zelda's Bow

The Bow is one of a handful of items that have been around since the original The Legend of Zelda. Bows often go unnamed throughout the Zelda series, but the most common bow name, the Hero's Bow, appears in Majora's Mask,[1] The Wind Waker,[2] and Twilight Princess,[3] while the Fairy Bow is used in Ocarina of Time.[4]



Being a staple item in the Zelda franchise, the bow is found almost always in a dungeon, and frequently among the first four (a rare exception is in 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.

Image Game Location Notes
The Legend of Zelda Level 1Triforce piece.png
Level 5Triforce piece.png
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
FairyBowG Large.png
Ocarina of Time Forest Temple
MM HerosBow.png Majora's Mask Woodfall Temple
The Wind Waker Tower of the Gods
Four Swords Various levels
Bow Sprite FSA.png
Four Swords Adventures Various levels
Bow TMC.gif
The Minish Cap Castor Wilds Upgraded to shoot Light Arrows (optional)
Herosbow tp.png
Twilight Princess Goron Mines
ST Bow Sprite.png
Phantom Hourglass Temple of Courage
ST Bow Sprite.png
Spirit Tracks Fire Temple Upgraded to the Bow of Light
Bow Art SS.png
Skyward Sword Sandship Upgraded to the Iron Bow and then to the Sacred Bow
ALBW Bow.png
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 Arrow, Ice Arrow and the Fire Arrow, all of which are shot from the bow as if normal arrows. However, the Bow will not function without a constant supply of arrows, replenishable items that are, thankfully, found quite abundantly about the many overworlds and dungeons in the Zelda series. For the most part, like many other pivotal plot items, the Bow is found exclusively as a dungeon's main treasure towards the beginning of the game, and rightly so, as many puzzles and obstacles to be solved in later areas and dungeons require the Bow and the accurate piercing of its arrows.

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 even be adapted for use based on the game system a certain Zelda title is formatted for.

Arrow Charging

Link Bow.png

Unique to Four Swords, 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 anyway to retain the power to vanquish evil. Physically, the player must press and hold the button to which the bow is equipped in order 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 Fairy Fountain in the region. Similarly, in Spirit Tracks, a new bow, the Bow of Light, must be found to shoot upgraded arrows.

On Horseback

Link's Awakening - Bow.png

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 in Ocarina of Time.

DS Usage

The Bow is used a bit differently in the DS Zelda 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.

Wii Remote

SS Bow.png

In Skyward Sword, players have to pull back the Nunchuck just like they are pulling back the string on 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 being knocked off of trees; however, dropped items from enemies (such as hearts) can also be shot with the bow, 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 The Minish Cap, but with regard to the Light Arrow, which must be equipped to the bow before firing.

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 it 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.[5] Along with this, the bow in general has an unlimited amount of arrows, an upgrade in itself over the other Zelda titles that retain a replenishment value to arrows.[6] All of the weapons in Four Swords Adventures are capable of upgrading via Fairy Fountain 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 the bow into the Nice Bow, if Link has bought the Bow from Ravio's Shop and has 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 (Skyward Sword).png Iron Bow Increased power and range Tumbleweed (Skyward Sword).png 3 Tumbleweeds
Eldin Ore (Skyward Sword).png 2 Eldin Ores
Monster Claw (Skyward Sword).png 3 Monster Claws
Evil Crystal (Skyward Sword).png 1 Evil Crystal
Rupee (Skyward Sword).png 50 Rupees
Gondo Skyward Sword
Sacred Bow (Skyward Sword).png Sacred Bow Further increased power and range Tumbleweed (Skyward Sword).png 5 Tumbleweeds
Evil Crystal (Skyward Sword).png 2 Evil Crystals
Lizard Tail (Skyward Sword).png 3 Lizard Tails
Goddess Plume (Skyward Sword).png 1 Goddess Plume
Rupee (Skyward Sword).png 100 Rupees
Gondo Skyward Sword
Nice Bow.png 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


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 brandishment. 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 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.

Non-canon Appearances

Non-Canon Information hide

Animated series

Main article: Zelda's Bow

In the animated series, the bow is mostly used by Princess Zelda and by enemies such as Stalfos and Moblins. The bow shoots beam-like arrows instead of the usual arrows, however. Link is only seen using it once in the "Underworld Connections" episode, where he fires an arrow tied to a rope to walk to the princess's alcove.

Super Smash Bros. Series

See SmashWiki's article on Bow for more information.
Link getting ready to fire an arrow from his bow in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, the bow is Link, Young Link's, and Toon Link's Neutral special move. For all the bows used by the Links, the more the bow is charged, the farther the arrow will travel.

In Melee, both Link and Young Link use the Fairy Bow from Ocarina of Time. However, instead of shooting normal Arrows, Young Link's Bow shoots Fire Arrows, although they do not travel as far as Adult Link's and inflict less damage.

The Hero's Bow from Twilight Princess replaces the Fairy Bow in Brawl as Adult Link's bow. The arrows of this bow fly much faster and farther than those in Melee, able to easily clear the wide Bridge of Eldin stage when fully charged. This is more akin to their canon appearances, as arrows in the Legend of Zelda series always fly straight forward and never succumb to the more realistic effects of gravity, as they always do in Super Smash Bros. In addition, The Wind Waker's version of the Hero's Bow is used by Toon Link; however, the Arrows of his bow fly more slowly than those of any previous game, and also have a slight upward arc to their trajectory.

Zelda's Bow from Twilight Princess also appears as a Sticker, although it is referred to as the Hero's Bow.

Name Image Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary Usable by
Hero's Bow Light Bow Sticker.png Twilight Princess [Slash] - Attack +8 All

Soulcalibur II

How to perform: Horizontal Attack ButtonPlusVertical Attack Button

In Soulcalibur II, Link can take out the Fairy Bow by simultaneously pressing the horizontal attack button and the vertical attack button. By holding the vertical attack button, the young hero will charge his Bow. The more time that the Bow is charged, the more powerful the attack becomes. A fully charged bow will allow Link to release a Fire Arrow instead of a normal Arrow. By tilting the control stick upwards or downwards, the young hero can change the direction that the Arrow will take, making the Bow a high, mid, and low attack. A normal arrow will deal at least 40 HP worth of damage, while a fire arrow will deal a maximum of 60 HP damage. A hit from a Bow's Arrow, whether charged or not, will cause Link's opponent to fall to the ground.

Hyrule Warriors

The Bow appears as an item in Hyrule Warriors obtained in the Faron Woods. The Bow is needed to defeat Deku Babas, as they emit a poison aura that makes it impossible to get close enough to defeat them via close combat, as they hide in the ground whenever a different ranged attack is targeted towards them. The Bow is also used to stun Gohma and Ganon when they show their weak spot during the boss battles against them.

The Bow can temporarily be upgraded to fire Light Arrows by finding a item upgrade power up in the stage, increasing its damage and area of effect for its duration, as well as being needed to damage Ganon.


  • Given the name "Hero's Bow", it may well be the same bow 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".[7][8]
  • 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.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, rather than employing a limited number of Arrows, one Rupee is lost every time an Arrow is fired.
  • In Soulcalibur II, Link releases a shot from his Bow as a Special Attack. Like The Legend of Zelda series, the Arrows can be charged; in the case of the Soulcalibur series, it is classified as a "Soul Charge," a technique that all characters can perform to temporarily increase the potency of their attacks. The Boomerang and Bombs that are similarly used by Link do not have this property.



  1. "You got the Hero's Bow! Set it to (C) to equip it." — Item Description (Majora's Mask)
  2. "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)
  3. "You got the Hero's Bow! This Goron treasure once belonged to a hero of legend." — Item Description (Twilight Princess)
  4. "You found the Fairy Bow! On the Select Item Subscreen, you can set it to (<), (v) or (>)." — Item Description (Ocarina of Time)
  5. "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)
  6. "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)
  7. "...Ah! So THAT is why you are here! In that case, take the weapon of the Hero of the past..." — Dangoro (Twilight Princess)
  8. "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)

Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name
Bow Hero's Bow Fairy Bow Rented Bow Nice Bow
Japanese Japan 弓 (Yumi) 勇者の弓 (Yuusha no Yumi) 借りた弓矢 ナイス弓矢
Spanish Spanish-speaking countries Arco
Arco y flechas (ALBW)
Arco del Héroe Arco y flechas alquilados
Spanish Spain Arco y flechas chulos
Latin America Arco de las Hadas (OoT3D) Arco y flechas mejorados
French French-speaking countries Arc Arc du Héros Arc des fées
French France Arc de location Great arc
Canada Arc des fées (OoT3D) Arc loué Arc de luxe
German Germany Bogen Heroen-Bogen Leih-Bogen Super-Bogen
Italian Italy Arco Arco dell'Eroe Arco a noleggio Super arco
Chinese Mainland China (Simplified Chinese) 弓 (Gōng) 勇者之弓 (Yǒngzhě zhi Gōng) 精灵之弓 (Jīnglíng zhi Gōng)

Items in The Wind Waker
InventoryQuest StatusBag Items

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Items in Twilight Princess
ClawshotBall and ChainDominion RodSpinnerBowIron BootsGale BoomerangLanternSlingshotFishing RodHawkeyeWater BombBomblingBombBottleHorse CallTPItemNav.png
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