Artwork of Link holding the Bow from
Breath of the Wild
|Other media||Animated series|
Ancient Stone Tablets
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
|Cost(s)||980 Rupees (LA)|
|Use(s)||Defeating enemies at a distance and hitting Switches|
The Bow is a recurring item in The Legend of Zelda series. It is an item that allows Link to fire Arrows as its main ammunition, allowing him to snipe enemies and faraway objects such as switches from a distance. The Bow is a very common item throughout the Zelda series, having debuted 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 series, but the most common Bow name, the Hero's Bow, appears in Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess.
Being a staple item in the Zelda series, the Bow is almost always found in a dungeon, and frequently among the first four. Typically the item is often guarded by a mini-boss, most commonly within the console Zelda games with a few exceptions. In the top-down styled Zelda games, the Bow can shoot Arrows at any cardinal direction. In the 3D console games, the Bow instead switches to a first-person view and can fire Arrows at any angle. Since its debut, the Bow has been expanded to be equipped with and fire other varieties of Arrows, such as the Fire and Ice Arrows, among a few others.
The Bow of Light is a recurring upgraded form of the Bow, which fires Arrows of sacred light. The Crossbow is a variant of the regular Bow, which instead fires Arrows from a wide angle, and has only appeared in ambiguous and non-canon media.
- 1 Location and Uses
- 1.1 The Legend of Zelda
- 1.2 A Link to the Past
- 1.3 Link's Awakening
- 1.4 Ocarina of Time
- 1.5 Majora's Mask
- 1.6 Four Swords
- 1.7 The Wind Waker
- 1.8 Four Swords Adventures
- 1.9 The Minish Cap
- 1.10 Twilight Princess
- 1.11 Phantom Hourglass
- 1.12 Spirit Tracks
- 1.13 Skyward Sword
- 1.14 A Link Between Worlds
- 1.15 Tri Force Heroes
- 1.16 Breath of the Wild
- 2 Arrows
- 3 Other Appearances
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Etymology
- 6 Gallery
- 7 See Also
- 8 References
Location and Uses
The Legend of Zelda
In The Legend of Zelda, the Bow is found in Level-1 in the first quest, and in Level-5 in the Second Quest. Unlike later Bows in the series, the Bow in The Legend of Zelda cannot initially fire Arrows when first obtained. The Arrow must first be purchased from a Merchant before the Bow can be used. Different from other games, the Bow uses Rupees as its ammunition to fire Arrows; if Link runs out of Rupees, he will not be able to use the Bow. The Bow becomes required to defeat Ganon, as it is necessary to fire a Silver Arrow at him to land the finishing blow.
A Link to the Past
In A Link to the Past, the Bow is found in the Eastern Palace. Arrows are now introduced as ammunition items, allowing the Bow to fire Arrows without using Rupees. The Bow is a powerful weapon whose Arrows inflict piercing damage to most enemies, making it a stronger weapon than the starting Sword. In some situations it is the only weapon that can damage certain enemies, namely the Eyegores. Aside from attacking enemies at a distance, it can also be used to hit and activate switches that are out-of-reach. While mostly used to solve puzzles, the Bow is also necessary to defeat Ganon by shooting a Silver Arrow when he is weakened.
In Link's Awakening, the Bow is not found in any dungeon but is instead bought from the Town Tool Shop in Mabe Village for 980 Rupees, making it one of the most expensive items in the Zelda series. It can, however, simply be stolen. The Bow becomes available once Link has bought the Deluxe Shovel from the store. Like the Bow in A Link to the Past, the Bow is able to inflict heavy damage onto most enemies, and in some cases is one of the very few items that can damage certain enemies, such as the Armos who are normally invincible to the Sword. Despite its usefulness, the Bow is not actually required up to a certain point. It becomes necessary to shoot at a cyclops statue in Turtle Rock to make a Key drop.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, the Bow is called the Fairy Bow. It is found in the Forest Temple, awarded after Link defeats the three Stalfos. As an item obtained when Link is an adult, it is cannot be used in the past as a child. As in previous games, the Bow is used to snipe enemies as well as objects such as switches, especially Eye Switches. Most notably, the Bow is used to engage the first three Poe Sisters in combat by firing Arrows at their portraits, although they do not actually require the Bow to be defeated. The Bow is also used to fight Phantom Ganon, although it is not necessarily required either. The Bow becomes necessary to fight Ganon at his castle by shooting Light Arrows at him when he is stunned.
Ocarina of Time introduces horseback archery, in which Link can ride Epona and fire Arrows while galloping along. This method of archery is used to great extent in hunting Big Poes in Hyrule Field, which can only be attacked by shooting Arrows at them while riding Epona, as they will vanish if Link attempts to approach them himself. Link must also ride Epona to participate in the Horseback Archery Range near the Gerudo Fortress, where Link must shoot at targets while Epona automatically gallops along the track.
Another Shooting Gallery game can be played in Kakariko Village when Link is an adult, and is even provided a Bow to use if he does not already have the Fairy Bow. The prize for winning the game is a larger Quiver, however, Link will only be rewarded 50 Rupees if he is using a rented Bow.
Ocarina of Time also introduces three new Arrows that the Bow can be equipped with: the Fire Arrow, Ice Arrow and the aforementioned Light Arrow. These Arrows produce different effects when shot, making the Bow more useful in defeating certain enemies and solving puzzles. These Arrows must first be equipped to the Bow to be used.
In Majora's Mask, the Hero's Bow is found in the Woodfall Temple, guarded by a lone Dinolfos. The Bow becomes required to solve puzzles and defeat certain enemies and mini-bosses, including Gekko, the Wizzrobes, Mad Jelly and Eyegores. As in Ocarina of Time, Link obtains the Fire, Ice and Light Arrows to equip his Bow with, all of which are found in the subsequent temples.
Horseback archery returns in Majora's Mask, made possible by riding Epona once Link has retrieved her. Horseback archery plays a much less significant role in Majora's Mask as it is not required to complete anything, although it can be used as a strategy to fend off the Ghosts at Romani Ranch during the night of the First Day.
The Bow can also be used to play a variety of archery games found throughout Termina. It is used to play the Shooting Galleries found in East Clock Town and the Southern Swamp, as well as the archery game sponsored by the Swamp Tourist Center, in which Link must shoot at Koume's hanging target without actually shooting her. A fourth target-shooting game is provided in Honey and Darling's Shop, although the Bow is not necessarily required to play it.
In Four Swords, the Bow can be obtained as a temporary item in certain areas of Stages.
The Wind Waker
In The Wind Waker, the Hero's Bow is found in the Tower of the Gods. The Bow is used to shoot targets such as Eye Switches to activate doors and platforms. Some enemies, such as Beamos as well as Gohdan, can only be defeated using the Bow. Link also receives the Fire, Ice and Light Arrows during his quest. Unlike previous games, 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.
The Bow is also used to play a shooting mini-game with the Fishman, provided if Link has already had a portion of his Sea Chart filled. The game requires Link to shoot Arrows at the Fishman to help relieve his body aches.
During the final battle against Ganondorf, Princess Zelda uses Link's Bow to cover for him by shooting Light Arrows at Ganondorf, stunning him and allowing Link to strike him with the Master Sword.
Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, the Bow appears as a temporary item in certain Stages, similarly to Four Swords. It is most often used to solve certain puzzles, but can also be used to attack enemies from afar. The Links can also upgrade their Bow by presenting it to a Great Fairy at her fountain, which she will raise 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.
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, the Bow is found in the northwestern section of Castor Wilds. Link obtains it by shrinking to Minish-size and entering a small hole beyond a puddle of water, where he fights a group of five Mulldozers that relinquish the Bow once defeated. The Bow is used to defeat enemies and activate switches, most notably the wall-mounted Eye Switches. It is also required to fight Eyegore Statues, which are initially inactive and will only move once an Arrow is shot into their eye. Unlike previous games, the Bow is not nearly as powerful as it once was, and the upgraded Four Sword is usually stronger in most circumstances.
Link can also get his Bow upgraded to shoot Light Arrows, provided if he does so before traveling to the Palace of Winds. Once Link has fused Kinstones with the Stranger at Hyrule Town, he will be able to enter the tower settlement of the Wind Tribe via a portal. Link then has to use the Gust Jar to remove a ghost from Gregal, curing him of his possession and preventing his death. When Link later revisits him, he will receive the Light Arrows. The upgrade allows Link to charge his Bow by holding the button it is equipped to, which will allow it to shoot stronger Light Arrows.
In Twilight Princess, the Hero's Bow is kept in the Goron Mines. It is the treasure of the Gorons and once belonged to the hero of legend. The item is guarded by the Goron Dangoro, who suspects that Link has come to steal the weapon. Dangoro realizes after being defeated that Link has come to save Darbus, and allows him to take the weapon provided if he saves the Goron patriarch. While Link cannot obtain specialized Arrows in this game, he can combine his Arrows and Bombs together to create explosive Bomb Arrows.
The Hawkeye can be used in conjunction with the Bow as a sniper scope, which adds a crosshair for better aim. The Hawkeye can be received by playing a target-shooting game with Talo and Malo in Kakariko Village.
As in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Link can also fire the Bow while riding Epona. This is used to great extent while escorting Telma and her wagon through Hyrule Field, as archer Bulblins will attempt to set fire onto the wagon with Fire Arrows from afar, and as Kargaroks disrupt the journey by dropping explosives to scare Telma's horse. Horseback archery is also used to fight King Bulblin when he is encountered at the Great Bridge of Hylia during the escort; Link must fire Arrows at the weak points in his armor to proceed.
In Phantom Hourglass, the Bow is found in the Temple of Courage. The Bow is used differently in this installment, as the stylus and touch screen are dominantly used during all aspects of gameplay. Unlike the manual aiming and shooting of the Bow as seen in previous titles, the Bow is shot simply by tapping the touch screen with the stylus in the direction of a target, or at the target itself. A line may also be drawn from Link to the target to better aim and shoot an Arrow; even if the line does not reach the target in question, Link's vision range will increase, revealing targets previously concealed by the borders of the normal game screen. As in previous games, the Bow is used mainly to snipe enemies and far off objects, especially Eye Switches. Arrow Orbs are used to redirect Arrows to whichever direction they are pointing at, by shooting an Arrow into the orb. These Orbs allow Link to strike objects that are obscured at an angle.
The Bow is also used to play a target-shooting game at Molida Island.
In Spirit Tracks, the Bow is obtained at the Fire Temple. The Bow uses the same control scheme as in Phantom Hourglass, by using the stylus and touch screen to aim and fire an Arrow. Arrow Orbs return and are again used to redirect Arrows to other directions.
An upgrade to the Bow, called the Bow of Light, is obtained at the Sand Temple after the defeat of Skeldritch. The Bow is able to charge its Arrows and fire bolts of sacred light, producing a stronger attack. It was once used by the Spirits of Good against the Demon King Malladus, and Link and Zelda are urged to find it as a means of driving his spirit from Zelda's body. Aside from shooting stronger Arrows, the Bow plays a pivotal role in the final battle against Malladus. After reconnecting her spirit with her body, Zelda takes the Bow of Light and uses it to stun Malladus in Cole's body, allowing Link to strike him.
In Skyward Sword, the Bow is kept at the Sandship and obtained after defeating Scervo. 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.
|Bow||Uses||Upgrade Cost||Upgraded By||Game|
|Increased power and range||3×||Tumbleweeds||Gondo||Skyward Sword|
|Further increased power and range||5×||Tumbleweeds||Gondo||Skyward Sword|
A Link Between Worlds
In A Link Between Worlds, the Rented Bow can be rented from Ravio at his shop. It is one of the first items that Ravio rents to Link, initially for free so he can enter the Eastern Palace. Afterwards the Bow can be rented for a fee of 10 Rupees, followed by 50 Rupees once the Eastern Palace is cleared. Like Ravio's other rented items, Link will lose the Bow if he collapses during battle, in which Ravio's bird Sheerow will appear to recollect the Bow, forcing Link to rent the item again. Once Link obtains all three Pendants of Virtue, he will be able to purchase the Bow to keep for 800 Rupees. The Bow is used similarly in past 2D Zelda games, but now no longer uses ammunition and instead uses Stamina to fire Arrows.
Link is also given the Bow of Light by Zelda during the last phases of the final battle against Yuga, when he merges into the wall. This Bow is unique as it allows Link to fire Arrows when he has wall merged, which becomes necessary to distract Yuga in order to strike him from behind.
Tri Force Heroes
In Tri Force Heroes, the Bow appears as a temporary item obtained in certain Levels, similarly to those in Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Bow is used identically to the one from A Link Between Worlds, as it uses Stamina instead of actual ammunition to launch Arrows. The Bow is primarily used in solving puzzles; some unique puzzles require the Links to form a Totem so that the top Link can fire an Arrow at a target. This can also be used as a strategy in fighting enemies who are stacked on top of each other. The Kokiri Clothes can be worn to upgrade the wearer's Bow, allowing it to shoot an array of three Arrows.
Breath of the Wild
- Main article: Bows in Breath of the Wild
In Breath of the Wild, the Bow is no longer a singular item, but an entire class of weapons Link can equip, with varying stats. As such, Bows can be found much earlier and more easily than in previous games. However in this game, Bows have a durability system, and will break after repeated uses. To counteract this, several Bows can be carried and switched between as needed. Different types of Arrows, such as Fire Arrows, can also be obtained and used with Link's currently equipped Bow.
A slow-down effect will occur when Link aims with a Bow while airborne. While aiming, Link's Stamina will be drained quickly and he will not be able to aim anymore once it runs out. Link can stop the slow-down effect by pulling out the Paraglider or canceling it by pressing "B" twice.
- 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. While Arrows are the stable ammunition of the Bow, there also exists different varieties like the Fire Arrow and Bomb Arrow. These Arrows usually must be equipped to the Bow in order to use them. Some varieties require varying increments of Magic Power; these Arrows only exist in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker, which actually incorporate Magic into the gameplay.
- The Bow has also been used as a weapon by several enemies, including Bow Moblins, Bow Soldiers, Bulblins, Bokoblins and Stalkoblins. Generic Moblins and Shrouded Stalfos are also implied to carry Bows, as they shoot projectiles that resemble Arrows.
- 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".
- In Majora's Mask, all four 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.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Bow||Hero's Bow||Fairy Bow||Rented Bow||Nice Bow|
|Japanese||弓 (Yumi)||勇者の弓 (Yuusha no Yumi)||借りた弓矢||ナイス弓矢|
Arco y flechas (ALBW)
|Arco del Héroe||Arco y flechas alquilados|
|SpanishEU||Arco y flechas chulos|
|SpanishLA||Arco del héroe (MM3D)||Arco de las Hadas (OoT3D)||Arco y flechas mejorados|
|French||Arc||Arc du Héros||Arc des fées|
|FrenchEU||Arc de location||Great arc|
|FrenchCA||Arc des fées (OoT3D)||Arc loué||Arc de luxe|
|Italian||Arco||Arco dell'Eroe||Arco magico||Arco a noleggio||Super arco|
|ChineseSI||弓 (Gōng)||勇者之弓 (Yǒngzhě zhi Gōng)||精灵之弓 (Jīnglíng zhi Gōng)|
Concept art for the Twilight Princess Hero's Bow from Hyrule Historia
- "After you pick up the Bow, you can shoot Arrows over great distances. Arrows can be used to attack enemies from safety or target their weak spots, such as their faces or symbols on their back. You can also use Arrows to trigger switches." (Phantom Hourglass Official Game Guide (Prima Games), pg. 11)
- "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)
- "That's a fine-looking bow you got there! Where'd you get that? If you're not in any kind of hurry, why don't you stop and play with me a bit?" — Fishman (The Wind Waker)
- "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)
- "...Ah! So THAT is why you are here! In that case, take the weapon of the Hero of the past..." — Dangoro (Twilight Princess)
- "Whoa... Human?! What business does a human have coming here?! None! No business! This is a forbidden place! I will protect this treasure from you!" — Dangoro (Twilight Princess)
- "In the battle between the Demon King and the spirits, there was a weapon called the Bow of Light... Perhaps it can drive his spirit from your body." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
- "Oh dear... Look at you. Does this happen a lot? The hero business seems like awfully tough work. I'm not cut out for that kind of life. But I guess you just gotta get up off the floor and start again! You'll be needing the bow again? All right then! But this time, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask for my rental fee. It's 10 Rupees, OK?" — Ravio (A Link Between Worlds)
- "Shakalo... I can expand your bow stash no further." — Hestu (Breath of the Wild)