By trading a long list of items, the player will eventually be rewarded with a useful item such as a better sword, new tools or even numerous Pieces of Heart. However, due to their status as sidequests, they are not necessary to complete the game, except in the case of Link's Awakening, where several items, including the final reward, are mandatory.
As Link tries to help a character, he may receive an item that becomes useful for someone else; when Link gives the newer item to the right character, he receives in turn another item that is destined to yet another character; a trade sequence takes form when this process is repeated continuously, thus resulting into a long string of exchanges that ultimately lead to a powerful item. For natural reasons, the traded items generally have one-time uses, and therefore one-time appearances.
In Link's Awakening, the Trading Quest begins by obtaining the Yoshi Doll from the Trendy Game in Mabe Village. It eventually ends with Link obtaining the Magnifying Lens that allows him to read the Book Dark Secrets And Mysteries Of Koholint inside the Library which tells him the directions to navigate the Egg Maze.
Ocarina of Time
|Cucco Lady||Kakariko Village||—|
|—||—||Waiting a day after obtaining the Pocket Egg.|
|Cucco Lady||Kakariko Village||Waking up Talon with the Pocket Cucco.|
|Master Craftsman's Son||Lost Woods||—|
|Granny||Granny's Potion Shop||Bringing the Odd Mushroom within three minutes of obtention.|
Broken Goron's Sword
|Master Craftsman||Gerudo Valley||Having Epona or the Longshot.|
|King Zora||Zora's Domain||—|
World's Finest Eye Drops
|Lake Scientist||Lakeside Laboratory||Bringing the Eyeball Frog within three minutes of obtention.|
|Biggoron||Death Mountain||Bringing the World's Finest Eye Drops within four minutes of obtention.|
|Biggoron||Death Mountain||Waiting three days after obtaining the Claim Check.|
In Majora's Mask, there are Business Scrubs desiring to move to new places, yet they're unable to do so because they need documents of property from their destinations. In exchange, they accept to sell their own Deku Flowers before moving to other places, every time enabling Link to reach a Piece of Heart.
|—||Astral Observatory||Looking at the Skull Kid through the telescope.|
Town Title Deed
|Business Scrub||Clock Town||—|
Swamp Title Deed
|Business Scrub||Southern Swamp||—|
Mountain Title Deed
|Business Scrub||Goron Village||Being Deku Link.|
Ocean Title Deed
|Business Scrub||Zora Hall||Being Goron Link.|
Piece of Heart
|Business Scrub||Ikana Canyon||Being Zora Link.|
Oracle of Seasons
|Dr. Left||Horon Village||Lighting the Torch inside Dr. Left's house.|
Lon Lon Egg
|Old Man||Eyeglass Pond||—|
|Syrup||Syrup's Potion Shop||—|
|Tick Tock||Horon Village||—|
|Business Scrub||Lost Woods||Navigating the Lost Woods by following the Business Scrub's instructions.|
Oracle of Ages
In Oracle of Ages, completing the Trading Quest rewards Link with the Noble Sword.
Hero's New Clothes
|Man of Smiles||Traveler's Ship||Defeating all the enemies on the Traveler's Ship.|
|Nyeve||Prince of Red Lions||—|
|Hoiger Howgendoogen||Traveler's Ship||—|
|Old Wayfarer||Bannan Island||Bringing Joanne to the Old Wayfarer's house.|
- The Trading Quests were inspired by the Japanese Buddhist tale, "Straw Millionaire". "Straw Millionaire" is a tale about a poor man who becomes rich through trading various items.
- "THE TRADING QUEST" — Explore Koholint Island, the setting of the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening game., Zelda.com, retrieved September 21, 2019.
- Majora's Mask manual, pg. 33
- "We had (Kensuke) Tanabe-san join early on. He thought up the sub-events and stuff like the "Straw Millionaire" parts." — Takashi Tezuka, Iwata Asks : The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks : Kirby and Chomps in ..., Nintendo.com, published n.d., retrieved January 24, 2020.