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Game(s) All
Cost(s) 80-100 RupeesTriforce piece.png
Use(s) Unlock doors, blocks, and chests
Comparable Item(s) Boss Keys
Dungeon Keys
Small Keys
Boss Door Objects

Keys are items found in the dungeons of every Zelda game. They are necessary for advancing through locked doors. Keys can be obtained through a variety of different puzzles. For example, sometimes Link may need to defeat all the enemies in a room. Other times, busting a hole into a wall with Bombs will do the trick, as many keys throughout the titles are hidden in hard-to-reach areas. Once a key is used, it disappears from Link's Inventory.

There are roughly three different keys: Small Keys (the most common keys), Boss Keys (big keys that grant access to the dungeon's boss), Dungeon Keys (needed to enter their respective dungeons).


Types of Keys

Small Keys

MM SmallKey.png

The Small Key is featured in many Zelda games. It can be found in small chests and by defeating enemies, such as Rats in A Link to the Past, but could actually be bought from a Merchant in The Legend of Zelda. A Small Key can be used to open locked doors that have chains around them[1] and key blocks. In every Zelda game, except The Legend of Zelda, they can only be used in the dungeon where they're found.

In game such as Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask, having the compass will alert Link to a hidden key in a room, via the dungeon map. The alert could be a tone, sounded upon entering the room, as in Link's Awakening, or a colored blip on the map as seen in The Wind Waker.[2]

Boss Key

MM BossKey.png
Big Key in The Wind Waker*
Completed Goron Mines Big Key

The Boss Key is one of the three standard dungeon items, the other two being the Compass and the Dungeon Map. It is also called the Big Key in A Link to the Past, The Wind Waker, The Minish Cap and Twilight Princess,[3][4][5][6] and is specifically known as the Nightmare Key in Link's Awakening.[7] It is generally used to open the big door leading to the boss' chamber. In A Link to the Past, the Big Keys also are necessary to open the treasure chests containing a dungeon's special item, and doors unlocked by the Big Key may not necessarily lead directly to the boss. In Twilight Princess, the Big Key from the Goron Mines had to be put together by obtaining the three Key Shards from the Goron Elders; in the Snowpeak Ruins, the Big Key is replaced by the Bedroom Key, as said dungeon is actually the mansion residence of Yeto and Yeta. In Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, Link must carry the Boss Key in his hands rather than inventory. In certain instances in Spirit Tracks, the key is electrified and Link must have his Phantom partner carry it for him.

*A similar design is also used in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.

Dungeon Key

Dungeon keys allow access to a dungeon. Not all dungeons in games that feature dungeon keys require a dungeon key to open. Alternatively, dungeon keys are specific to which dungeon they open.

Other Types

Great Keys are special keys given to the player upon completing a mission in Four Swords. They are required to unlock the final mission in the game, as well as to unlock bonus content.

Phantom Hourglass featured three keys needed to open special doors spread across the islands of the World of the Ocean King: the Sun Key, the Ghost Key, and the King's Key.

Boss Door Objects in Skyward Sword are special types of keys with unique three-dimensional structures. The objects must be rotated until it glows gold, indicating that it is in the correct orientation. The object is then inserted into the lock and the door opens automatically.


Small Keys

Boss Keys

See also


  1. "You found a Small Key! This key will open a locked door. You can use it only in this dungeon." — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
  2. "You've got the Compass! Now, you can see where the chests and Nightmare are hidden! This Compass has a new feature — a tone will tell you if a key is hidden in a room when you enter!" — N/A (Link's Awakening)
  3. "You got the Big Key! This is the master key of the dungeon. It can open many locks that small keys cannot." — N/A (A Link to the Past))
  4. "You got the Big Key! Use it to gain entrance to the room where the dungeon's boss lurks!" — N/A (The Wind Waker)
  5. "You got the Big Key! Use it to open big doors!" — N/A
  6. "You got the big key! Use it to gain access to the lair of this dungeon's boss!" — N/A (Twilight Princess)
  7. "Eh? It's locked! You can open the door with the Nightmare Key." — N/A (Link's Awakening)

Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan カギ (Kagi) Key
Spanish Latin America Llave Triforce piece.png
Llave pequeña Triforce piece.png
Gran llave Triforce piece.png
Llave del jefe Triforce piece.png
Gran Llave Triforce piece.png
Small Key
Large key
Boss's Key
Large Key
French French-speaking countries Clé Triforce piece.png
Petite clé Triforce piece.png
Grande clé, Clé du Boss Triforce piece.png
French Canada Clé Triforce piece.png
Petite clé Triforce piece.png
Grande clé Triforce piece.png
Small Key
Large Key
German Germany Schlüssel Key