This page identifies terms in The Legend of Zelda series. This includes terms for words unique to the Zelda universe, or items that need to be identified but are not important enough to have their own article. This also includes any real-world definitions that may be relevant.
2D stands for "two-dimensional", that is, having only two spatial dimensions. Most Zelda games are from a top-down perspective, so these two dimensions are width and depth. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was an exception, as a side-scrolling platformer using width and height instead. Early games in the series, and current portable console games such as The Minish Cap, use this method due to their technical limitations, they either do not have the processing power to render a three-dimensional world or have screen size or interface problems that would make gameplay difficult. Despite these limitations, a third dimension can be simulated with areas of the screen considered to be higher or lower than others by the game engine, tricks of perspective to create the illusion of a third dimension, and staircases and holes that create the illusion of moving up or down. The advantage to a two-dimensional game is simplicity, it's easier both on the console's processor and on the player since aiming only needs to be done in one plane.
3D stands for "three-dimensional", that is, having three spatial dimensions, simulating a complete virtual world. Rendering a three-dimensional world has been prohibitively difficult until the release of the Nintendo 64, and the first Zelda game for this console, Ocarina of Time, ushered in the era of three-dimensional Zelda games, at least on full-sized consoles. Three-dimensional Zelda games feature fully realized, solid character models for all characters, items, and enemies in the game, unlike earlier games such as Doom which used flat sprites for these in a 3D modeled world. 3D Zelda games allow for smooth transitions between higher and lower dungeon levels and greater freedom in movement and aiming with ranged weapons, as well as more realistic, immersive sword battles. However, to provide a quick and easy way to deal with targeting and following enemies that can move in three dimensions on a two-dimensional TV screen, Ocarina of Time introduced the Z-Targeting system which would "lock" Link onto an enemy so he would follow it around. This took the form of a fairy companion named Navi who would fly around targeted enemies. This proved so successful that all of the three-dimensional Zelda games that followed used targeting systems based on this concept.
The term "Boko" is used in the name of a number of forest-related objects. Among them are Boko Sticks, Boko Babas and Boko Baba Pods. The Bokoblins, famous for wielding Boko Sticks, have also inspired their name on it.
The term may have been derived from the term "Deku".
The bush is just like the grass around anywhere else. It can be sliced, it can be diced, and in Majora's Mask, certain patches can move around by themselves. Most weapons in the inventory are capable of destroying bushes. Cutting them down or pulling them up reveals hidden items such as Rupees and Hearts. In A Link to the Past, two types of enemies can be found under bushes: Soldier and Spiny Beetle. A third creature, the Bee, also lives in bushes.
Continue is an option after a Game Over occurs which causes for the player to start at the beginning of the level or the place in the overworld where Link died. It does not completely recover Link's energy.
The term "Deku" (pronounced /ˈdeɪkuː/ DAY-koo or /ˈdɛkuː/ DEK-oo) is used in the name of various kinds of plant life and forest-related items. The term's appearances include the Great Deku Tree, Deku Scrubs, Deku Sticks, Deku Shield, Deku Nuts, Deku Seeds, Deku Babas and Deku Hornets. In The Wind Waker, the term is largely succeeded by the term "Boko."
An odd exception to this usage is the Deku Toad, which does not feature any obvious connection to plant life. The reason for this is that its name is a mistranslation of デグ (degu), a word used to define "big" in many Zelda enemies, such as Giant Bubble, Armos Knight, Moldorm, Trinexx, Digdogger, Giant Ghini, Hot Head, Slime Eye, and Manhandla (in Four Swords) among others.
- Main article: Dungeon
Occasionally, Link will have to escort someone in order to achieve a certain objective. Examples include when Link has to safely escort Telma and Ilia in their carriage to Kakariko Village while riding Epona. He must ride around, defeating Kargaroks and holding back Bulblins riding on Bullbos. If the wagon catches on fire, Link must extinguish it with the Gale Boomerang.
Appearing in every The Legend of Zelda game to date in some form, fireballs are flaming projectiles that do damage and sometimes set things on fire. In The Minish Cap if Link is set on fire, he will run around for a moment until it goes out. Fireballs are commonly found thrown from traps and cast as spells by enemies such as the Wizzrobe. Link can throw fireballs of his own in some games, to damage enemies or light torches, through such methods as Din's Fire, the Fire Rod, or Fire Arrows. Link will frequently need a shield upgrade to safely block fireballs, and a Wooden Shield will often burn up if hit by fire.
In Hylian grammar, "-fos" is a suffix added to the name of an anthropomorphic monster, that is, a monster that has human-like characteristics. Such creatures include Lizalfos, Dinolfos, Dynalfos, Aeralfos, Stalfos, Chilfos, Wolfos, and White Wolfos.
A Game Over occurs when Link's energy becomes depleted. Certain situations, such as the following, will also result in a Game Over:
- Majora's Mask: The Moon crashes into Termina.
- The Minish Cap: Vaati claims the Light Force from Zelda.
- Twilight Princess: Telma's Wagon is burnt while escorting Ralis.
- Spirit Tracks: Carben is captured from the Spirit Train.
- Skyward Sword: The Imprisoned reaches the Sealed Temple.
In nearly every Zelda game, Grass has appeared as a terrain. In most games, Link can cut down tall Grass to receive Rupees, Bombs, Arrows, Hearts, or other items. Grass is commonly found near Bushes, though in later games, Grass is more prominent than Bushes. In 3D console games, Link may sometimes find Rupees or other items when walking through Grass. In Breath of the Wild, Grass does not yield any items when cut.
- Main article: Gyorg
A hole is an empty space in the ground or a dungeon floor; they appear as frequent hazards in The Legend of Zelda series. Most holes will appear black and bottomless; these will almost always injure Link if he falls down one. Since there is no way to get back up, the game will usually send Link back to a previous portion of the maze to try again. Other holes show the ground below in them. These holes can be jumped down into without risking damage, and will take Link to a lower floor of the dungeon. This can be a hazard, sending Link to an earlier portion of the maze, or they can be the only way to get to certain portions of the maze. Once in a while a hole that appears to be a bottomless pit will actually send Link to a lower level. A substantial number of main boss battles are at the bottom of a hole; for example Mothula from A Link to the Past or Bongo Bongo from Ocarina of Time. Deep water will frequently behave like a hole until Link receives Zora's Flippers. In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, the Stone of Agony will rumble whenever a Secret Grotto is nearby.
- See Also: Fire
Lava is molten rock that is usually in the form of thick, fiery liquid that ranges from red, orange to yellow. In most Zelda games, it will cause Link to lose health if he falls in, and sometimes forces him to start the room over in a few 3D games. In some games such as Ocarina of Time, Link is able to walk on the lava and will be constantly taking damage, however wearing the Goron Tunic will significantly reduce the amount of damage received. The same also applies to Majora's Mask, but the amount of damage taken and how it is taken differs from his forms. Link as a Hylian boy will be able to walk on the lava while constantly taking damage. Deku Link and Zora Link will restart a room if they fall into lava, while Goron Link is completely immune to lava.
Lava also appeared in some dungeons as a red tile in The Legend of Zelda, but like water, it cannot be walked on and is thus harmless. The Stepladder however can be used to walk over water and lava. In The Adventure of Link, falling into lava will automatically count as a death and will reduce one of Link's lives.
See also: Lava on
A Leaf Pile is a pile of leaves that can be blown away using the Deku Leaf in The Wind Waker. Underneath these piles are rupees and hearts. In Twilight Princess they can be blown away with the Gale Boomerang or dug at by Wolf Link. In Spirit Tracks they can be blown away with the Whirlwind.
A minefield is a patch of the Great Sea in The Wind Waker that is covered in explosive mines. If Link crashes into one of the mines, he is sent flying out of the King of Red Lions and sustains damage. In A Link to the Past, landmines can sometimes be found under patches of grass. They detonate and cause damage if Link walks over them but Link can avoid the damage by dashing over them using the Pegasus Boots.
Mines are also encountered in A Link to the Past, usually hidden in tall grass.
MSRP stands for "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price." This is the price which a manufacturer (such as Nintendo) suggests that retail stores charge for its product. While many stores follow this price, they have the freedom to charge consumers any price they choose.
An overworld is an area that exists outside of dungeons, and usually outside of other important places such as towns. Overworlds are often large expanses with open landscapes, and are inhabited by enemies. Some prime examples of overworlds include Hyrule Field, Termina Field, the Great Sea, and The Sky.
Pickups are items which Link finds lying around after defeating enemies, cutting grass, breaking objects, etc. They will usually restore his health or magic, replenish him ammunition, or add to his total rupees.
Poison water is an obstacle found in Majora's Mask, Four Swords Adventure, and Twilight Princess. In Majora's Mask it acts like ordinary water, except Link is hurt while swimming in it. In Twilight Princess it is only found in the boss chamber of the forest temple. It hurts Link on contact. Poisonous water itself is not found in Ocarina of Time, however a similar poisonous green liquid that hurts Link on contact appears in shadow-themed areas, notably the Royal Family's Tomb and the Bottom of the Well.
Quicksand is loose, shifting sand that can pose a hazard to Link in deserts and desert dungeons. Without tools such as the Hover Boots or the Spinner, Link will find himself slowly sinking into any quicksand he tries to walk through. If Link is completely engulfed, the game will typically react as though he had fallen into a pit, that is, he will lose a life heart and start over at an earlier point. Enemies (like Ghoul Rats) or items (like Iron Boots) that slow Link down will increase the danger since he won't be able to run as far before being dragged under. Certain techniques such as rolling, dashing, or jumping can provide a head start before Link begins to sink. In Phantom Hourglass, rather than slowly sinking, Link will instantly be quickly dragged in, making escape after contact completely impossible.
Signs are found all over in The Legend of Zelda series. They often provide helpful information or hints on what to do next. Link can often chop them down with his sword. In Ocarina of Time, if he plays "Zelda's Lullaby" in front of a broken sign, it will piece itself back together; signs can also be repaired by playing the "Song of Healing" in Majora's Mask and by playing the "Wind God's Aria" in The Wind Waker. In A Link to the Past, The Minish Cap and the Oracle Series it is possible to pick up a whole sign. In Oracle of Seasons a Subrosian will give you the Sign Ring for breaking 100 signs. In Twilight Princess, it is possible to pick up pieces of a destroyed sign.
Stairs are objects which appear in nearly every Zelda game. Generally, stairs separate one floor of a house, cave, or dungeon from another. Certain staircases in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess will collapse under Link's weight. He must quickly reach the top of the staircase before the stair he is on falls out from beneath him.
In console Zelda games from The Wind Waker onward, Link walks on each individual step of a staircase. This was not possible on the Nintendo 64 due to the limitations of the console.
In Hylian grammar, "Stal-" can be used as a prefix added to a word to indicate it is a living skeleton of a creature; therefore, "Stal" may be a contraction of the word "Skeletal". This can be confirmed by looking at most of the "Stal-" variations in Hyrule such as the Stalfos, Stalchildren, Stals, Stallord, Stalhounds, Staltroops, and Skulltulas, which are called Staltulas in the Japanese version. Some exceptions for this convention are seen with the Skullfish, Desbreko and Bubbles.
- Main article: Targeting System
Targeting is a method of locking onto a foe, person, or object. So far this has only been in the 3D Zelda games. Typically, targeting is activated by a button pressed by the left index finger. The form of targeting is usually named after its relevant button. For example, in the N64 version of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask this was Z-Targeting. Upon porting to the GameCube, this was changed to L-Targeting.
- Main article: Tree
Tree stumps are found in all Zelda games, but the significant ones are found in Oracle of Seasons. They help you to change between the four Seasons if you have the Rod and the power of certain season. In The Minish Cap, these stumps are actually hidden Minish Portals that when activated shrink the user down to Minish size.
In Hylian grammar, the suffix -Tula is used to name the spider-like enemies, such as the Skulltula , Skullwalltula or the Gold Skulltula. The suffix may be a contraction of the word "Tarantula", refering to the real spider species.
A weak spot is a point on an enemy, mainly bosses, that must be hit to hurt, stun, or deal extra damage to an enemy. It is usually an eye or a gem. Not to be confused with Critical Point.
- Main article: Wind
In The Wind Waker, the Wind made its first important appearance as it was crucial for crossing the Great Sea with the King of Red Lions. The direction of the wind could be changed by playing the song Wind's Requiem with the item Wind Waker.
Wind exists on certain islands in Phantom Hourglass and the most famous, not to mention being the most obvious one, is Isle of Gust. Wind can blow Link away but also give him speed to perform a longer jump, an ability that is essential in order to make progress on the Isle of Gust.
- "You will find Rupees and Hearts hidden away in these bushes. Cut them down or pull them up to reveal hidden items." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 29)
- "...and a spear, with the power of the Deku Tree, for Lana." — Hyrule Warriors Direct, YouTube, published August 4, 2014.
- "Great Deku Tree, I ask of you, when he returns, can you please relay this message..." — Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Many have referred to me over the ages as the Deku Tree." — Great Deku Tree (Breath of the Wild)
- "Cutting grass reveals hidden Rupees and hearts." (Phantom Hourglass Official Game Guide (Prima Games), pg. 14)
- "In past Zelda games, Link can take his sword and cut through the grass and then hearts would appear, that doesn't happen In this Zelda game." —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Gameplay with Eiji Aonuma – Nintendo Minute)