Sword Training is a recurring minigame and event in The Legend of Zelda series.
Location and Rules
As a required tutorial
Historically, the first sword training tutorial appears in The Wind Waker, where Link asks veteran swordsman Orca to lend him a sword so that he can investigate the Fairy Woods, where Tetra fell after being freed from Helmaroc King. The practice takes place inside Orca's house, and is divided in the following phases:
- Horizontal Slash: Link must hit Orca eight times with this attack, which is done by pressing B.
- Vertical Slash, Link must hit Orca eight times with this attack, which is done by pressing B while targeting.
- Thrust: Link must hit Orca eight times with this attack, which is done by pressing B while targeting and moving forward the Control Stick.
- Parry Attack: Link must hit Orca twice with this attack, which is done by pressing A when he's about to be attacked.
- Spin Attack: Link must hit Orca twice with this attack, which is done by pressing A while targeting.
Each subsequent 3D game sported similar tutorials. In Twilight Princess, Link shows the children from Ordon Village how to use a sword. The young hero is asked to show the horizontal, vertical, frontal and Spin attacks; respectively, these moves are performed by swinging the Wii Remote horizontally, swinging it while targeting, moving it forward and shaking the Nunchuk in the Wii version. In the GameCube version, the attacks are done in the same way they are in The Wind Waker.
Phantom Hourglass has a sword tutorial short after Link collects Oshus's Sword, whose owner tests his ability to perform an attack by simply touching some wooden targets with the Stylus, then by tracing short lines and finally the Spin Attack (done by tracing a circle around Link himself). In Spirit Tracks, the aforementioned attacks are performed the same way, except Link's tutor in this case is Guard Captain Russell (and the test is based on doing each attack twice towards each of the three pupils that train with him), who starts the practice to approve Link's use of a sword.
In Skyward Sword, Link once again practices sword training, this time after he borrows the sword in the back room of the gym in Skyloft. There are several trunks with scars that indicate the swing direction they must be cut through. Two of the trunks also allow Link practice the Ending Blow and, once he buys the shield, he can practice the Shield Attack with a hanging trunk that will try to hit him back after a sword slash. However, it is optional.
As an optional minigame
Majora's Mask is the first game where sword training takes place, but it's optional. In West Clock Town, Link can pay one Rupee to the Swordsman's School runner to practice his sword techniques, which are the same seen in Ocarina of Time. Before testing swordplay, however, Link is first asked to perform the side and back jumps, as well as the rolling move. The training then proceeds to test the horizontal cut, the vertical cut, the thrust and the jump attack; these moves are done the same way as in Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. Also in Swordsman's School, Link can play a minigame where he has to cut 10 wooden sticks with the Jump Attack, which earns a Piece of Heart.
In the other games, the sword training can be played again as an endurance game. In The Wind Waker, Link can practice with Orca in a minigame where he has to hit him as many times as possible before being hit three times, or until 1000 hits are scored. At least 500 are necessary to gain a Piece of Heart. In addition, once ten Knight's Crests are shown to Orca, he will teach Link the Hurricane Spin through a short training tutorial.
In Twilight Princess, each time Link meets the Ancient Hero, he is taught a new sword technique and puts it into practice by attacking the Spirit with it. There are seven training sessions in total, and each skill will only be passed when it's successfully tested.
In Phantom Hourglass, Link is challenged by Nyeve to test his sword techniques. At first, just one or two attacks will be enough, but later the young hero has to hit him 100 times to receive a Heart Container. In Spirit Tracks, Captain Russell proposes Link to hit his three pupils a combined total of 60 or more times before being hit three times. The prize, once again, is a Heart Container.