Dungeon transportation, mini-games
Mine Carts, simple vessels with wheels, appear exclusively in dungeons and certain mini-games. They are essential to the navigation of the dungeons in which they appear, as they are able to break open doors that Link cannot. Mine Carts always run automatically along a defined track. Switches that alter the cart's path can often be found near the tracks. In all its appearances except in The Minish Cap, Link can use his items while riding in the cart, either to defeat enemies, or even to flip the switch that will change the cart's path. Mine Carts usually appear in lava/mine-themed dungeons.
Oracle of Seasons
The Mine Cart is first introduced in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. In these games, carts are of a bluish color. They are heavily featured in dungeons throughout the games. In fact, Mine Carts appear in these games more frequently than any other. On occasion, gates will block the cart's path. These gates can be lifted by a nearby switch. Mine Carts are featured in the Wing Dungeon and the Skull Dungeon in Oracle of Ages; and in the Gnarled Root Dungeon, the Dancing Dragon Dungeon, the Unicorn's Cave and the Sword & Shield Maze in Oracle of Seasons.
The Mine Cart is the centerpiece of the Target Carts mini-game on Rolling Ridge in Oracle of Ages. The object of the game is to hit crystal-like targets (using the Seed Shooter) while riding in a mine cart.
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, the Mine Cart appears exclusively in the Cave of Flames. Compared to its other appearances, the Mine Carts in this game travel at an extremely high velocity, practically flinging Link out of the cart when it comes to a stop. Since Link must hold on to the cart with both hands to avoid being thrown out, he cannot use his items while riding in the cart. Occasionally, Mine Carts are found flipped upside-down, and must be righted using the Cane of Pacci.
Oblivious to the speed at which the carts travel, Link and Ezlo are greatly startled and dazed after their first ride in the cart. However, Link smiles afterwards, suggesting that he enjoyed the ride. Contrarily, Ezlo does not share Link's humor.
Spirit Tracks also features Mine Carts. Unlike its past appearances, the mine carts of Spirit Tracks have no wheels and run on one single rail. Therefore, it is more of a monorail than a conventional mine cart. When the cart reaches the end of the track, the cart will dump Link out, causing him to fall face-first to the ground. Switches that alter the cart's tracks are flipped by using Arrows or the Boomerang, the only weapons Link is able to use while riding in the cart.
Reminiscent of The Minish Cap, Mine Carts appear exclusively in the Fire Temple. They are the centerpiece of a puzzle on the final floor of the dungeon, where the Boss Key is obtained. The mine cart is also essential to defeating the dungeon's boss, Cragma. The mine cart also appears in a part of the Pirate Hideout mini-game, where Link must rescue a prisoner kept within the hideout while fighting off Miniblins coming in on their own mine carts.
- Main article: Rickety Coaster
Skyward Sword is the first console Zelda game to feature mine carts. They are found throughout Lanayru Desert, Lanayru Mining Facility and Lanayru Gorge. Link can ride empty carts to traverse the terrain. In the Rickety Coaster minigame, he can control the speed and direction of the cart with the Wii Remote to remain stable on the sharp turns of the track. Other carts carry Timeshift Stones which move and change the surroundings when Link activates them. Mine carts in the Lanayru area levitate, seemingly with magnetism.
- Creating a Champion pg. 296
- "Welcome to Target Carts! Fire your Seed Shooter while riding in a cart. If you hit enough targets, you win a prize!" — Goron (Oracle of Ages)
- "This must be what the humans who built this mine used to get around in here. Maybe we should hop in. Hm? What? After all this, you don't expect me to believe you're scared! There's nothing to be afraid of here! Come on, let's go!" — Ezlo (The Minish Cap)
- "Sweet jumping jellyfish, that was awful! Hey, kid, what are you smiling about? I knew it was madness to risk our lives in that rickety human contraption! From now on, let's just stick to our feet! Well, I mean...your feet." — Ezlo (The Minish Cap)
- "Jump in the cart and keep an arrow ready for when you find the switch." — Gossip Stone (Spirit Tracks)