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Switch

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This article is about the recurring objects in the series. For the game console, see Nintendo Switch.
Switch
TPHD Heavy Floor Switch.png
A floor switch in Twilight Princess HD
Game(s)
All games except The Adventure of Link
Use(s) Various

Switches in the The Legend of Zelda series can mean one of many types of floor or wall switches found in dungeons and temples as puzzles.

Function

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)

Effect Permanence

Lever(TMC).gif

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: Only applies to floor switches. Will stay activated as long as something is on top of it to hold it down, otherwise it will immediately deactivate when something gets off the switch.

Types of Switches

Mechanical Lever

LttP switch.gif
Strangely rare in the 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 Switch

LttP floorswitch.gif
Floor Switch

Floor Switches normally take the form of a large button or plate, which can be activated by being stepped on by Link, or sometimes by placing a heavy object on top. Some floor switches are less sensitive than others, so Link has to carry 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.

Pull Lever

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.

Grapple Switch

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.

Torch Switch

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.

Crystal Switch

Link's Awakening - Crystal Switch.png
MM CrystalSwitchActivated.png

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 activate a crystal switch after a time delay so Link can get ready for its effect.

Eye Switch

The Eye Switch in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks

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, Spirit Tracks, and Skyward Sword. Fire Eyes are identical in appearance to Eye Switches.

In Phantom Hourglass some Eye Switches will "flip" to protect themselves from being activated when Link faces north, so Link have to face south and have something that changes the arrow's direction like an Arrow Orb or a Grappling Hook so Link can activate them when they are open. They appear in the Temple of the Ocean King and the Temple of Ice.

Sun Switch

Sun Switch TWW.png

A Sun Switch is activated by having Light Beam shone at it, usually by rotating a mirror or by using the Mirror Shield. When activated, they sometimes evaporate. Like Pull Levers, they can sometimes be trapped.

Wind Switch

Propeller.png

Wind Switches,[1] also known as Propellers,[2] 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 Switch

Gemstone Switches are round switches seen in Skyward Sword.[3] 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.

Monster Switch

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 The Legend of Zelda.

Etymology

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Mecanismo Mechanism
French-speaking countries French Interrupteur
Italian Republic Italian Interruttore

Gallery

References

  1. "Timeshift Stone Cart and Wind Switch" — Sheikah Stone (Skyward Sword)
  2. "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)
  3. "The Correct Gemstone Switch Order" — Sheikah Stone (Skyward Sword)