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Ball and Chain Soldier

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Not to be confused with Darkhammer, the mini-boss of Snowpeak Ruins.
Ball and Chain Soldier
TFH Silver Ball and Chain Soldier.png
Ball and Chain Soldier from Tri Force Heroes
Game(s)
Other Media
Effective Weapon(s)Sword
Boomerang
Pot
Bow

Ball and Chain Soldiers, also known as Ball and Chain Troopers in A Link to the Past, are recurring enemies in The Legend of Zelda series. They are a variation of the enemy Soldiers that wield a massive spiked ball on a chain which they use to attack with. They are among the most strongest of enemy Soldiers, whose whirling flails makes them difficult to approach and can inflict heavy damage. Of all the enemy Soldiers, they are also the most common throughout the series.

The attack pattern of Ball and Chain Soldiers can vary between games; in some games they will only periodically fling their maces, while in other games they will constantly spin it around them, stopping only to toss it at Link. These are crucial times for Link to strike back. In some games, a stronger variant appears wielding a ball and chain on fire, which may seriously burn Link if he is struck by it.

A Link to the Past Manual Comment

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Ball and Chain Trooper

Agahnim controls all of Hyrule Castle's soldiers, including this strong and skilled fighter. He guards Zelda's cell and other important areas of the Castle and attacks with a whirling ball and chain.

Characteristics

A Link to the Past

MaceKnightGrey ALttP.png

In A Link to the Past, like other Soldiers, Ball and Chain Troopers are Hyrulean guards that have been brainwashed by Agahnim and are under his control. They attack by swinging their flail whenever Link is close, but will only swing it around periodically, allowing Link to quickly move in and strike back when the Soldier is not wielding his weapon. A unique, grey Ball and Chain Trooper first appears in the prison dungeon of Hyrule Castle, where he is guarding the Big Key to Princess Zelda's prison cell. Link can use the Boomerang to stun him, allowing him to get an easy strike, but the Soldier will soon recover. The Ball and Chain Trooper is also notably weak to thrown Pots, which can be picked up from the open cell and thrown back at him. Two thrown Pots are enough defeat him.

Later, when Link infiltrates the Hyrule Castle Tower on his way to face Agahnim, he encounters gold-colored Ball and Chain Troopers. These Troopers have the same strength as the grey one previously encountered, but come in pairs which makes fighting them harder. By the time they are encountered, Link has more items at his arsenal that he can use to fight them with. Link can place Bombs to explode when they are close, or fire Arrows from a safe distance with his Bow.

The Ball, and Chain was noted to be a popular weapon among Ganon's forces used for sharp and powerful attacks that could greatly damage enemies.[1]

Link's Awakening

BallChainTrooper.png

In Link's Awakening, a single Ball and Chain Trooper known as a Knight appears in the final room of Kanalet Castle. Like the other occupants, it was one of Richard's servants until going berserk, and turning on its liege.[2] It will swing its mace in its hand before tossing it at Link, which when struck, saps one whole Heart from Link's life meter. Like the Ball and Chain Trooper from A Link to the Past, it can be attacked when it is not tossing its mace. Link also needs to be careful while fighting it, as the ground along the walls are cracked and will crumble if stood on for too long. Once defeated, the Ball and Chain Soldier will drop one of the Golden Leaves. Despite being unique, the Knight will respawn.

Oracle Series

In the Oracle series, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear the same as in Link's Awakening but are no longer a single miniboss. In Oracle of Seasons, they can be found in the Ancient Ruins and the Sword & Shield Maze. In Oracle of Ages, they can be found in the Crown Dungeon. They are one of the few enemies that are immune to the effect of Gale Seeds when shot from the Seed Shooter or Slingshot, and cannot be blown back by them.

With the Master Sword and the Red Ring equipped, the Ball and Chain Soldiers can be defeated in one fell swoop.

Four Swords

BallandChainSoldierFS.png

In Four Swords, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear as gold knights wielding spinning flails. Unlike previous games, they will continuously swing their maces around them, protecting them from most attacks, before tossing it at the Links. The moment they toss it leaves the rest of their body vulnerable to attacks. They appear in Talus Cave and Vaati's Palace.

Four Swords Adventures

FSA Mace Knight.png

Four Swords Adventures offers a number of different types of Ball and Chain Soldiers, characterized by their armor's color. The common gold variety swings its ball and chain in a constant large loop that increases speed when hit. The black variety is similar to the original soldier from A Link to the Past, in that it aims its flail directly at the Links as before, and smashes through obstacles in the process. Just like A Link to the Past, they are corrupted Hyrulean guards.[3]

A newer variety is the red-colored Ball and Chain Soldier, which adds a new twist in the form of a fiery mace that leaves behind a huge trail of flames. The only safe method of bypassing this flaming barrier is to use the Roc's Feather to jump over it.

The blue variety is extremely rare and only appears in the Tingle's Tower multiplayer gallery during the "Monster Hunting Returns" minigame. These soldiers swing their flails in a loop similar to the gold soldiers, but will switch between swinging in a small loop around their head, to a huge lashing swipe that travels far.

The Ball and Chain Soldiers are often seen alone or in pairs, usually appearing as the last in a swarm of regular Soldiers. They are also quite common in the Palace of Winds, and one final trooper is summoned by Ganon right before the final battle.

The Minish Cap

In The Minish Cap, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear the same as in Four Swords, as gold Soldiers that swing flails around them. As in previous games, they can be attacked after their maces are tossed. A unique attack strategy incorporates the use of the Roc's Cape to inflict damage from above with the Sword, all the while evading the lateral toss of the ball and chain. They have a tendency of dropping Big Green Rupees when defeated. They appear in the Palace of Winds, Dark Hyrule Castle and Simon's Simulation.

Ball and Chain Soldier (Figurine from The Minish Cap)
Ball and Chain Soldier Figurine.gif
Appears in the Palace of Winds and Dark Hyrule Castle. They're not fast, but that iron ball is a bruiser! Try to hit them after they swing the ball.

A Link Between Worlds

Ball & Chain Soldier Gold ALBW.png

Ball and Chain Soldiers in A Link Between Worlds are strongly based on their A Link to the Past incarnation. Like other enemy Soldiers, the Ball and Chain Soldiers were originally Paintings that were painted by and brought to life by Yuga. Unlike the Troopers from A Link to the Past, these enemies constantly swing their flails around them as opposed to only periodically, and will toss their flails at Link twice before swinging them again. Both grey and gold colored variations appear. They appear Inside Hyrule Castle.

In Lorule Castle, two Lorulean Ball and Chain Soldiers wielding fiery maces appear as mini-bosses. They are fought in dark rooms, which their fiery weapons can light as they are spun. This becomes problematic in the second encounter, as the lighting will make the stone pathways in the room appear invisible, and the Soldier's spinning mace can potentially knock Link off the platform.

Tri Force Heroes

In Tri Force Heroes, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear in the Fortress Area of the Drablands, and seem to be servants of Lady Maud. They appear the same as in A Link Between Worlds, as they will actively spin their maces around them before tossing it at the Links. Both regular and fire Ball and Chain Soldiers appear. Regular Ball and Chain Soldiers appear in the Sealed Gateway and in the Training Ground, where one appears riding a Totem Armos, and will pursue the Links while swinging its mace. A Ball and Chain Soldier wielding a fire mace appears in The Lady's Lair.

In the Sky Realm, a golden variety called Sky Ball & Chain Soldiers also appear, as well as a variant wielding a fiery ball and chain called a Sky Fire Chain Soldier. These varieties are much stronger than the ordinary Ball and Chain Soldiers, and take more hits to defeat. Sky Ball & Chain Soldiers appear in Deception Castle and in the Sky Temple, while a Sky Fire Chain Soldier exclusively appears in the Sky Temple.

Non-canon Appearances

A Link to the Past (Ishinomori)

Ball and Chain Troopers appear briefly in Chapters 2 and 5 in the A Link to the Past comic by Shotaro Ishinomori. In Chapter 2, Link encounters one of these foes after visiting Sahasrahla's Wife in Kakariko Village. However, after the Ball and Chain Trooper swings his weapon at the young hero, Link falls into a bush, and the Trooper misses sight of him. Later in Chapter 5, after Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, he is ambushed by three Ball and Chain Troopers that the young hero quickly defeats with a single Spin Attack.

A Link to the Past (Himekawa)

In the A Link to the Past manga by Akira Himekawa, Link faces the Ball and Chain Trooper on his way to rescue Zelda in much the same way he does in the game. Upon orders from Agahnim, the soldier smashes through a wall to reach Link, and attacks him with his giant weapon. Link manages to avoid getting struck, but is caught by the chain around his neck and dragged across the room. He lands near some jars, and with quick thinking, he grabs one and throws it at the Trooper, which knocks the helmet off, revealing nothing underneath. A black mist emerges from the armor as it collapses, and as Link sits shocked, Zelda explains that the soldier was not human and was living darkness controlled by Agahnim.[4]

Trivia

  • Onox, the boss of Oracle of Seasons, wields a flail and attacks much like a Ball and Chain Soldier in his normal form, but also uses other attacks unique to his character.

Nomenclature

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese 鉄球兵士 (Tekkyū Heishi) (ALttP, LA)
てっきゅうへいし (Tekkyū Heishi) (TMC)
Iron Ball Soldier
French Republic FrenchEU Chevalier Fléau
Federal Republic of Germany German Morgenstern-Truppe
Eisenkugel-Soldat
Ball and Chain Force
Iron Ball Soldier
Italian Republic Italian Soldato di Ferro
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Ferrobola Ferro-Ball

Gallery

See Also

References

  1. "Many of Ganon's soldiers used these spiked balls on chains for a sharp and powerful attack. A square hit could greatly damage a warrior." (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power), pg. 65)
  2. "Salutations! You wouldn't know by the look of me, but I used to live in the castle! My servants went berserk and I was forced to flee to my villa...." — Richard (Link's Awakening)
  3. "The soldiers in the castle were behaving so oddly, and I couldn't get past them. They were moving the old cannons around...and they even aimed their bows at me!" — Malon (Four Swords Adventures)
  4. "That warrior was living darkness controlled by Agahnim's magic. It wasn't human." (A Link to the Past (Himekawa) (VIZ Media), pg. 23)
The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between WorldsTri Force HeroesBreath of the Wild