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- This article is about thievery by the hands of Link. For a list of all thieves in the series, see Category:Thieves. For the enemy in A Link to the Past, see Thief.
Photo of Link stealing from the Town Tool Shop
Obtaining free Shop items and enemy spoils
Thievery is a recurring action that Link can commit in The Legend of Zelda series. Throughout the series, Link is capable of stealing from shops and specific individuals. Usually he does so for his own benefit, but on two occasions, he has no choice in the matter and does so for the greater good. He can also rob certain enemies of their Treasures. Link's acts of theft can be divided into three types: shoplifting (stealing from shops), burglary (from characters' homes), and looting (from enemies).
In Link's Awakening, the exorbitant pricing of the Bow at 980 Rupees may entice Link to steal the item from the Town Tool Shop in Mabe Village. It is possible to shoplift any item in the store by simply picking it up and walking out the door while the owner is looking in a different direction. This can be achieved by moving in circles around him. However, stealing an item from the shop causes Link's name to be replaced with the title "THIEF." He will be called as such by every character in the game—even the Wind Fish—for the remainder of his journey. Additionally, if Link attempts to re-enter the shop, the owner will exact his revenge by firing a magical electric attack that instantly kills him. In Link's Awakening DX, the Photographer happens to take a photo of the very moment Link sneaks out of the shop, which means the hero will need to accept the penalty of thievery in order to complete the The Travels of Link album.
In Twilight Princess, after scooping the necessary refills in a Bottle in Trill's Shop in Faron Woods, Link is expected to pay for his refill near Trill in a box he provides. If Link leaves without paying, the bird will label Link as a "thief" and peck him every time he enters his store. Link can come back to the store anytime and scoop Trill's wares without payment, however, the bird will stop pecking Link when he finally pays for what he took. Link can avoid this by paying a single Rupee, but Trill will call him stingy and ask that he pay full price next time.
At the very beginning of Twilight Princess, after Wolf Link escapes from the Twilight in Hyrule Castle, Midna has him steal the Ordon Sword and Shield from his hometown, Ordon Village. When he approaches the village, Hanch, acting as a sentry, will send a Hawk after him if he is spotted. After scaring Hanch away by creeping up behind him, Wolf Link must break into Rusl and Jaggle's homes to steal the sword and shield, respectively. These weapons are later used by Link once he recovers his original form. This is one of the only occasions in the series where stealing is essential to the progression of the game and it not optional. It is also the only occasion where Link is not stealing directly for his own benefit; Midna coerces him into doing it.
Though stealing items from evil creatures may not be considered a crime, it is nevertheless an act of theft that Link can carry out if he chooses. Link can filch an enemy's treasure using the Grappling Hook in The Wind Waker and the Whip in Skyward Sword. Looting enemies that drop specific spoils (like the horn-wielding Bokoblins in Skyward Sword) presents an advantage in that it is a surefire method of obtaining the spoil, as opposed to killing the enemy right away and having it only drop the spoil occasionally. In Skyward Sword, Link can only steal Bokoblins' Monster Horns, but in The Wind Waker he can steal from basically any enemy. Link can continually loot one single enemy to obtain pickups such as Bombs, Hearts, Magic Jars, and small amounts of Rupees until the enemy no longer has anything to be looted. The following is a list of enemies carrying specific spoils that can be looted in The Wind Waker:
|Boko Baba||Boko Baba Seed|
Link can only steal from Darknuts if their head is exposed. If they have a shield, they may also use it to block the Grappling Hook. The green Bokoblins in The Wind Waker use their shields in the same manner once Link has stolen their Joy Pendant. In this game, looting can be used as a battle strategy against the slow-witted Moblins. They are momentarily caught off-guard when they see their Skull Necklace disappear from around their necks, giving Link an opportunity to strike. One Bokoblin must be robbed of a Small Key in Skyward Sword in order to complete the Ancient Cistern.
- Looting is visually more apparent in Skyward Sword, as the whip can be seen latching onto a Bokoblin's horn and physically pulling it away.
- In Ocarina of Time, when the Gerudo at the Horseback Archery Range sees Epona, she assumes that Link stole her.
- "Hey! THIEF! STOP!" — Trill (Twilight Princess)
- "Guess what? You got it for free. Are you proud of yourself?" — Town Tool Shopkeeper (Link's Awakening DX)
- "I wasn't kidding when I said pay! Now, you'll pay the ultimate price!" — Shopkeeper (Link's Awakening)
- "Pfft! Stingy! Cheap!" — Trill (Twilight Princess)
- "...Pay like you're supposed to next time, you cheapskate..." — Trill (Twilight Princess)
- "Sera's husband, Hanch, will see you from the bluff near the shop as you skulk about town, and he'll attempt to sic the falcon on you." (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power) pg. 40)
- "So you really have no choice but to do what I say. [...] Right now, I want a sword and shield that'll suit me. You do understand me, don't you? Eee hee hee!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- "I hear you can throw that thing at monsters and use it to grab treasure they've hidden in their pockets. Talk about cool." — Fishman (The Wind Waker)
- "Hey newcomer, you have a fine horse! I don't know where you stole it from, but..." — Gerudo (Ocarina of Time)