From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
Switch Activation Effects
Effects can include:
- Opening doors
- Making Treasure Chests appear (frequently with keys in them)
- Moving walls or other obstacles
- Opening gates to fill areas with water, or drain them
- Turning fans on or off
- Deactivating Armos statues
- Opening skylights
- Making monsters appear (if booby-trapped)
Once pushed, a switch's effect may or may not be permanent:
- Permanent: The switch's action remains in effect indefinitely, or at least until Link leaves the room, which triggers many puzzles in the series to reset.
- Timed: The switch's action only lasts for a short duration, usually with a musical cue or ticking clock sound effect to indicate this.
- Momentary: The switch's action only lasts as long as the switch is depressed, which means that Link may need to push something heavy over the switch to keep it down.
Types of Switches
Mechanical Leverthe Legend of Zelda series, Mechanical Levers are normal, hand-activated levers that perform some function when pushed into a different position. They were fairly common in A Link to the Past, especially in the Swamp Palace, but almost unheard of in most other games.
Floor Switchcarry something with him to depress it or weigh himself down with Iron Boots. Rusty or malfunctioning switches may need to be forced with the Megaton Hammer or similar item. Deku Link is notably too light to depress some switches.
- Main article: Pull Lever
A Pull Lever is a variation on the mechanical switch which is recessed into a wall. Link must pull on a handle to activate it. Pull levers are frequently timed or booby trapped.
A Grapple Switch is a ceiling-mounted variation on the pull lever which is activated by Link hanging from it, either by its handle or by using the Clawshot/Grappling Hook. Sometimes they require Link to wear the Iron Boots for extra weight.
- Main article: Torch
Torches are sometimes used as disguised switches, which are activated by lighting them. Torch switches are frequently timed, their effects lasting only until the flame goes out. When multiple torches are present, Link will usually have to light them all before the first one goes out to trigger the effect. This is much easier with area-effect spells such as Din's Fire, or at least long-range methods like a Fire Arrow.
A Crystal Switch is a small sphere- or obelisk-shaped switch that can be activated by being slashed by a sword or hit by another weapon. It will then change color. Crystal switches are usually a two-position toggle with effects that last until they are hit again, but timed varieties also exist. Sometimes several crystal switches will be connected to the same puzzle, each one acting as a toggle. They frequently move barriers and walls into new positions and affect everything in the dungeon, rather than just the immediate area like other switches. In some cases, a bomb must be used to actiave a crystal switch after a time delay so Link can get ready for its effect.
An Eye Switch is a wall switch that looks like an open eye. When hit by an arrow (or sometimes a slingshot pellet), the eye closes and is activated. Some of these eyeball switches are encased in ice, which must be unfrozen using the Fire Arrow or other flame-based attack. There are two variations: Yellow ones, which are one-time activated, and Silver ones, which could be hit multiple times. They appear in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, Four Swords Adventures, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks. Fire Eyes are identical in appearance to Eye Switches.
Wind Switches, also known as Propellers, are objects shaped like miniature windmill propellers appearing in Skyward Sword. They can be activated by blowing them with the Gust Bellows, causing them to rotate.
Gemstone Switches  are round switches seen in Skyward Sword. They have four gems placed at the top, bottom, right and left of the switch. Link must hit these gems in a certain order to break the lock. This type of switch appears twice in the game, once in the Ancient Cistern and again in the Sandship.
Many rooms are designed so that some invisible effect is triggered when all the monsters in the room are killed. This almost always means opening a door or making a chest (or at least a key) appear. Every non-fairy floor in the Cave of Ordeals in Twilight Princess works this way, but examples can be found dating back all the way to the original Legend of Zelda.
A switch that lowers the water level in Mutoh's Temple
- ↑ "Timeshift Stone Cart and Wind Switch" — Sheikah Stone (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Visual inspection indicates this object is very old. I must conclude that this is a Propeller. It is an object designed to spin in a steady wind," — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "The Correct Gemstone Switch Order" — Sheikah Stone (Skyward Sword)