From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
The Hero's Bow from Majora's Mask
|Game(s)|| All Zelda games except The Adventure of Link and the Oracle games|
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Other media|| Animated series|
|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, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, while the Fairy Bow is used in Ocarina of Time.
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 first Zelda game 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||Level 1
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
|Name||Image||Uses||Upgrade Cost||Upgraded By|
|Increased power and range|| 3 Tumbleweeds
2 Eldin Ores
3 Monster Claws
1 Evil Crystal
|Further increased power and range|| 5 Tumbleweeds
2 Evil Crystals
3 Lizard Tails
1 Goddess Plume
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.
- 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". This hero is most likely the Hero of Time, who got the bow in Majora's Mask.
- 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.
- The bow from Link's Awakening is extremely expensive as it costs 980 Rupees, thus making this one of the most expensive items for purchase in the whole Zelda series. To avoid paying this exorbitant sum, Link can simply steal it.
- 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 Soul 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.
Concept art for the Twilight Princess Hero's Bow as seen in Hyrule Historia
Official art of Link with the bow in Spirit Tracks
Link using the bow; action figure from The Legend of Zelda
- ↑ "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)
- ↑ "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)
- ↑ "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)
- ↑ "...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|
|Spanish||Arco||Arco del Héroe|
|Spanish||Arco de las Hadas|
|French||Arc||Arc du héros|
|French||Arc des fées|
|Items in The Wind Waker|
|Click on an item|
|Items in Twilight Princess|
|Click on an item|