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OoT Z Targeting.jpg
Z-Targeting in Ocarina of Time
Main appearance(s)
Other appearance(s)
Focusing on enemies

Targeting,[1] also known as Locking On in Hyrule Warriors, is a staple combat and environmental interaction ability in The Legend of Zelda series, predominately appearing in 3D titles.


Targeting is used to direct Link's focus onto a single enemy or target, typically through either the Z or L Buttons, depending on the controller used. Prior to the release of the Nintendo 64, all Zelda games were 2D with a clear view of everything on the screen. To accommodate for the third dimension, the targeting system was introduced.

In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Link can only target with the help of a Fairy, though this is rarely acknowledged (for example, during the battle with Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time,[2] Link cannot target him as his dark magic drives Navi away). In Majora's Mask, targeting is achieved with Tatl, and her light is used to guide Dampé through the catacombs of the Ikana Graveyard.

In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Poes will turn invisible when targeted. When this happens, Link can no longer target or attack them until they turn visible again. The accuracy of this is disputable, as oftentimes, Navi will continue to target the invisible Poe. Certain enemies, like the Gold Skulltula, cannot be targeted for unknown reasons, forcing Link to manually aim his weapons at them. In both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, unused targeting text for Gold Skulltulas exists but is never used.[3][4]

The targeting system of Ocarina of Time was originally meant to be more like the one in The Wind Waker or Twilight Princess; with an upside down triangle above the targeted object, but the character designer, Yoshiaki Koizumi, thought it too simple and opted for a Fairy.[5] He proposed using a cute girl-like Fairy, though the design proved too difficult for the system to display, so it was reworked to being a glowing ball with wings.


Ocarina of Time marked the beginning of Z-Targeting. Once an enemy is Z-Targeted, Navi flies to the selected enemy and all of Link's attacks are directed at the targeted enemy. Navi can give Link useful information about enemies that are targeted. The interface was carried over to Majora's Mask (with the help of a new Fairy, Tatl), the Wii version of Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.


The layout of the Nintendo GameCube controller lacks a conveniently located Z Button. In order to carry the popular targeting system over to the GameCube, the button used for targeting was switched from Z to L. Implementation is the same, but with a different button. The L Button is used in the GameCube titles The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, as well as Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask in the GameCube collection Collector's Edition and The Wind Waker Bonus Disc. Due to the changed button, in-game text was changed accordingly in the Nintendo 64 games.

Since the Nintendo 3DS lacks a Z Button whatsoever, the L Button is also used in Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora's Mask 3D.

Other Targeting Methods

In The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD, Targeting is achieved by pressing the ZL Button.[6] due to its more natural position in the Wii U GamePad.

L-Targeting is present in Hyrule Warriors. It is possible to switch a Warrior's attention to another enemy by pressing the Right Stick in whichever direction the enemy of choice is located relative to the current target.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese 注目 (Chūmoku) (HW) Notice (HW)

See Also


  1. "Use L Button Targeting to always look in the proper direction." — Navi (Ocarina of Time 3D)
  2. "Link! I can't help you! Because of the waves of darkness, I can't get close! I'm sorry, Link!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  3. "Gold Skulltula
    This is also known as a Spider of the Curse. If you defeat it, you'll get a token as proof!"
    — Sheeza, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Unused text, The Cutting Room Floor, published September 23, 2012, retrieved October 22, 2014.
  4. "黄金のスタルチュラも知らないの? 呪いのクモと恐れられ、呪われた人は 全部倒さないと元に戻らないの" — Rightman, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask/Unused text, The Cutting Room Floor, published September 3, 2014‎, retrieved October 22, 2014.
  5. "Right. Usually, if you were to make a fairy, you would make a cute girl, but that wasn't possible with the Nintendo 64 system, so I just made a ball of light with wings." — Yoshiaki Koizumi, Iwata Asks : The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D : Where the Name Navi Came From, Iwata Asks, retrieved September 18, 2015.
  6. "You, my friend, have just targeted me. You see, when you press [ZL], you can target certain objects. I, for one, use it quite often to talk to folks who are far away from me. Of course, even if there isn't anything around to target, you can press [ZL] to face forward, you know. It's quite handy indeed." — Sturgeon (The Wind Waker HD)