Various barrels that appear in The Legend of Zelda
Activating Floor Switches
First seen in Majora's Mask, Barrels are common objects that have appeared in most of the more recent titles of the Legend of Zelda series. Like Jars, they usually reveal pickups such as Rupees, Hearts, Arrows and Bombs when broken. Depending on the game, barrels may also have particular purposes or roles. In Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, an explosive variation of the barrel, sometimes known as the Powder Keg, also exists.
Appearances and Function
Barrels make their debut in Majora's Mask, where they appear exclusively within the Pirates' Fortress and the Great Bay Temple. Appearing as large kegs, barrels in Majora's Mask cannot be lifted, although they can be broken with Bombs, by rolling into them, or by punching them in Goron form. One particular Stray Fairy of the Great Bay Temple can be found inside a barrel. Barrels, being made of wood, can be latched onto with the Hookshot.
The Wind Waker
Barrels appear once again in The Wind Waker, although they are somewhat smaller and can be lifted (and thrown) by Link. As in Majora's Mask, they can be broken to reveal pickups. Since they can be picked up, barrels can be placed on Floor Switches to activate them. This technique must be used to obtain a Piece of Heart in the Forsaken Fortress, found in a Treasure Chest in a jail cell. In this, barrels in The Wind Waker play a similar role to the smaller Crates. Barrels are found all across the Great Sea, namely in the Forsaken Fortress (where they play their must important role), inside Dungeons, Submarines (which resemble floating barrels themselves), and other indoor areas. Barrels also appear floating on the Great Sea, and are an important element in certain minigames.
As Link travels to the Forsaken Fortress for the first time with Tetra's Pirate Crew, he is (unwillingly) placed inside a barrel and catapulted into to the fortress. The barrel shatters against the wall of the fortress, causing Link to lose his sword and drop down into the interior of the stronghold. This is, in fact, the first barrel encountered in the game, though many more are found in the fortress. Barrels become an essential element of Link's first visit to the Forsaken Fortress; as he lost his sword getting into the fortress, he cannot attack the Moblins roaming the fortress head-on. He must instead use stealth, hiding under open-bottomed barrels to avoid detection from the dim-witted Moblins, who will not suspect Link is in the barrel (even if located in unlikely places) if he stays still when they face the barrel. Once the Moblin puts his back to Link, he can again start walking under the barrel, although he must keep a distance between himself and the Moblin. Hiding under a barrel also allows Link to evade detection from Searchlights.
When Link meets Tingle at the Town Jail on Windfall Island, he must open the jail cell by activating a Floor Switch hidden behind some barrels. Later on, when the Tetra's Pirate Crew weighs anchor on Windfall to collect Bombs, Link will find that the hull of Tetra's Ship has been filled with barrels supposedly containing the bombs.
Barrels also appear floating on the Great Sea, either on their side or upright. Barrels on their side can simply be sailed over, while upright barrels must either be avoided or jumped over to avoid smashing into them and being thrown off the King of Red Lions. While sailing, Link will oftentimes encounter two barrels adorned with flags. Passing through these two flags triggers a mini-game where barrels, placed on their side, begin to appear with Rupees above them. The value of the Rupee increases as Link plays the mini-game, though getting the Rupee will become increasingly difficult as the game progresses. The mini-game ends when Link misses a barrel or approaches an island. A similar, more organized minigame can be played at the Boating Course. This minigame is a timed race in which Link must gather as many Rupees (found on barrels that are either on their side or upright) as possible on the course. Barrels also serve as targets for the Barrel Shoot minigame run by Salvatore on Spectacle Island.
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, barrels only appear in areas where Link is in Minish-form, thus appearing to be large structures. There are only two barrels in the entire game. The first is a house in the Minish Village that contains the Jabber Nut and Pico Blooms. The second serves as the central hub and main puzzle of the Deepwood Shrine. Walking in a set direction (up or down) causes the barrel to roll, revealing different exits that allow access to different areas of the dungeon. Some exits are blocked by cobwebs that can be removed using the Gust Jar. To use the barrel, Link must first burn the vines holding it in place by lighting a switch-activated torch.
In an optional sidequest, Link must carry a barrel of Hot Spring Water from Gor Liggs across the Eldin Province to the Goron outside the east entrance of Hyrule Castle Town who runs a Hot Spring Water shop in the town. While transporting the barrel, Link must take care to avoid having it destroyed by enemies who will attempt to attack him or else he will have to start over. He must also avoid dropping the barrel in cold water, which will turn the spring water cold. The barrel of spring water will also go cold if Link takes too long to bring it to the Goron.
Barrels in the World of the Ocean King play a similar role to the ones of The Wind Waker. Regular barrels can be found on various islands (such as Mercay Island), and can be broken for pickups by lifting and throwing them.
In Spirit Tracks, barrels can be found floating on the waters of the Ocean Realm. Like the rocks of the other realms, these barrels can be destroyed using the cannon for Recovery Hearts and Rupees. Ocean Rabbits will hide behind these barrels; destroying them prompts the rabbit-catching mini-game.
Link's Crossbow Training
In Link's Crossbow Training, barrels appear as background objects in several stages. They can be shot at for a minor amount of points. In both the Skull Shooting and Fruit Balloons stages, one particular barrel holds an Orange Rupee worth a maximum of 1000 points. Link must destroy the barrel to reveal the Rupee. Barrels take three shots to destroy; Link receives one point for hitting the barrel and 5 for destroying it, for a total of 7 points per barrel.
First appearing as a usable item called the Powder Keg in Majora's Mask, explosive barrels are kegs filled with explosive powder which will detonate on contact or after a certain amount of time thanks to a fuse. Explosive barrels, or powder kegs, can be distinguished by the skull and crossbones on their front (except in Twilight Princess, where the barrels have white X's painted on them). With the exception of The Minish Cap, explosive barrels appear in all the same games as regular barrels.
In Majora's Mask, explosive barrels make their debut as a usable item called Powder Kegs. Powder Kegs, which can only be used by Goron Link, are used to blow up large boulders. Powder Kegs are triggered by a fuse, but can be detonated from afar by piercing them with an Arrow.
After Majora's Mask, powder kegs appear only as objects. In The Wind Waker, they appear floating on the Great Sea near the Forsaken Fortress. Similar to Bombs, explosive barrels flash red with increasing rapidness as its fuse burns out, giving an indication as to when the barrel is about to explode. If in close proximity of an explosive barrel when in detonates, Link will be thrown off his boat. Direct collision with the barrel will also cause it to explode. Explosive barrels also appear as obstacles on the sea in the World of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass. They can be detonated from a distance using the Cannon.
In Twilight Princess, explosive barrels appear in an outside room of the Goron Mines. In this open room, several Bulblin archers will shoot at Link with fire-tipped Arrows, which may detonate the barrels scattered across the room. Exploding barrels also appear in certain stages in Link's Crossbow Training, such as in the Hidden Village Bulblin shootout in Stage 5. These barrels can be used to Link's advantage, as detonating them will kill any nearby Bulblins.
Exploding barrels in Spirit Tracks can be found protruding from the walls in the caverns where the Rocktite is fought. Exploding a barrel with the Cannon while the Rocktite is nearby harms it and forces its eye open, leaving it vulnerable to direct attacks from the cannon. Spirit Tracks is the latest game in which explosive (and regular) barrels appear.
A barrel from Telma's Bar in Twilight Princess
The barrel of Hot Spring Water in Twilight Princess
The Barrel Shack in Phantom Hourglass
An explosive barrel on the Great Sea
The house made from a barrel in Minish Village
The room with the barrel in the Deepwood Shrine
Link preparing to be catapulted into the Forsaken Fortress
- "There's two kinds of floatin' barrels you gotta watch out for: the ones that float on their sides and the ones that float upright. You can get the Rupees above the barrels floatin' on their sides by just sailin' right over the barrels... But if you run into the barrels floatin' upright in the water, they'll rough you up." — Loot (The Wind Waker)
- "The deal is, you take your boat and sail over the barrels floatin' in the water and see how many Rupees you can bring to the finish line within the time limit." — Loot (The Wind Waker)
- "If you can manage to sink the 5 pirate ships you see off on the horizon, we'll acknowledge your skills with a cannon, you shrimpy little landlubber! HOWEVER! We won't tolerate any comments about how the pirate ships look like barrels!" — Salvatore (The Wind Waker)
- "Wow! Look at the size of that barrel! Hm? Oh, right! Right! How silly of me! It's not big we're just small!" — Ezlo (The Minish Cap)
- "You could use a Jabber Nut. It will allow you to understand our tongue. You should be able to find one in the barrel house just south of here." — Festari (The Minish Cap)
- "Hot springwater cools as time passes, so if you do not hurry, you will end up with plain old cold water, my brother!" — Gor Liggs (Twilight Princess)
- "If you shoot [Powder Kegs] with an arrow, they'll explode as soon as they're hit, so be careful." — Medigoron (Majora's Mask)
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