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

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,[1] The Wind Waker,[2] and Twilight Princess.[3] The Fairy Bow is used in Ocarina of Time.[4]


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.

Image Game Location Notes
The Legend of Zelda Eagle Triforce piece.png
Lizard Triforce 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 Icon.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 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.[5] 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.

Arrow Charging

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.

On Horseback

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.

DS Usage

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.

Wii Remote

SS Bow.png

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.[6] 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.

Bow Uses Upgrade Cost Upgraded By Game
Iron Bow (Skyward Sword).png
Iron Bow
Increased power and range Tumbleweed (Skyward Sword).png Tumbleweeds Gondo Skyward Sword
Eldin Ore (Skyward Sword).png Eldin Ores
Monster Claw (Skyward Sword).png Monster Claws
Evil Crystal (Skyward Sword).png Evil Crystal
Rupee (Skyward Sword).png 50 Rupees
Sacred Bow (Skyward Sword).png
Sacred Bow
Further increased power and range Tumbleweed (Skyward Sword).png Tumbleweeds Gondo Skyward Sword
Evil Crystal (Skyward Sword).png Evil Crystal
Lizard Tail (Skyward Sword).png Lizard Tails
Goddess Plume (Skyward Sword).png Goddess Plume
Rupee (Skyward Sword).png 100 Rupees
ALBW Nice Bow Icon.png
Nice Bow
Fire three Arrows at once Find 10 Maiamais Mother Maiamai A Link Between Worlds
Buy the Bow from Ravio's Shop

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.

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.

Zelda's Adventure

In Zelda's Adventure, the Bow & Arrow appears as a Spell which lets Zelda fire arrows with her Wand. It is dropped by a swarm of Loccasins early in the Shrine of Air. The Spell costs 1 Rupee to use.

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's, 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 and the more damage it will do.

In Super Mario Bros. 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 Link's and inflict less damage.

The Hero's Bow from Twilight Princess replaces the Fairy Bow in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as Link's Bow. The Arrows of this Bow fly much faster and farther than those in Super Smash Bros. 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 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, he 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, Link 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

In Hyrule Warriors, the Bow appears as an item obtained in the "The Sorceress of the Woods" Scenario. The Bow is used to fire Arrows that inflict minor damage, but can also be used to stun or instantly kill certain enemies. The Bow can temporarily be upgraded to fire Light Arrows by finding a item upgrade power-up in battles, increasing its damage and area of effect for its duration. Its duration can be extended by crafting Hawkeye Badges for Warriors. It is the only weapon that can kill Deku Babas, which first appear in "The Sorceress of the Woods", as they emit a poisonous aura that they hide in whenever another attack is directed towards them, thus requiring the use of the Bow. The Bow is also used to stun Gohma when it shows its weak spot during the boss battles against it.

A different kind of upgrade that fires Light Arrows is also temporarily granted to Link by Zelda during "Liberation of the Triforce", where its use is necessary to stun and defeat Ganon. In the battles in Adventure Mode where Ganon is fought, the regular Bow is instead capable of stunning him.

Princess Zelda also uses a Bow that fires Light Arrows as part of her Rapier moveset. This Bow is different compared to the Bow item, as it is instead executed by pressing the Strong Attack button, used in her Special Attack, and also used as a finishing attack after depleting an enemy's Weak Point Gauge.


  • 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".[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.


See Also


  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. "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)
  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)
  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 del héroe (MM3D) 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 Legend of Zelda Series

TLoZ Logo.pngAol logo.pngALttP logo.pngWind Fish's Egg.pngOcarina of Time.pngMajorasmask.pngOracle of Ages - Harp of Ages.pngRod of Seasons.pngFS logo.pngWind Waker.pngFourSword Artwork.pngTMC Ezlo Artwork.pngMidna Icon.pngThe Phantom Hourglass.pngSpirit flute.pngFi Icon.png