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The Legend of Zelda series holds a special place in many a gamer's heart. On top of the surreal and imaginative faces you meet, places you explore, and dungeons you comb throughout the franchise's many games, there are countless unforgettable items the player obtains to strengthen themselves and progress through the game. Over the past nearly three decades, the series' various protagonists have amassed all manner of awesome weaponry and gadgets. Arrows embedded with the power of light that can kill enemies in a single hit... Two extendable claws that can be used to shoot through the sky as if you were Spiderman... Tunics that allow one to breathe underwater like a fish... Part of the wonder of The Legend of Zelda series lies in the awesome toys Link collects in his many adventures.
Of course...not all the spoils Link has found in a hidden treasure chest through the years were quality ones...In this brief blog, I'd like to journey across the Legend of Zelda series' history to highlight the ten dumbest and most disappointing items Link has hoarded through his travels. These items may have made the list due to their uselessness, menial nature, or cumbersome interface, but make no mistake...they're all dumb. Really, really dumb. So grab a chair and a football helmet, because this is a list that is destined to make many a gamer facepalm as they remember the dumbest weapons in Link's arsenal!
Hyrule Warriors managed to salvage the otherwise useless Spinner item, which is why it will not appear on this list. The ten other items unfortunately did not receive the same treatment...
10) Hint Glasses (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds)
One of the more nifty and under-utilized features of the Nintendo 3DS is its built-in pedometer, which not only keeps track of the player's steps per day, but rewards them with a "Play Coin" for every 200 steps they walk with the 3DS in their pocket (with players able to earn ten per day). There are various games for the system that reward players who at least try to stay active by letting them spend these coins on optional extras, such as trophies.
A Link Between Worlds is one of these many games, but its usage of Play Coins is rather....well, dumb.
In this game, if players visit a Fortune Teller (whom can tell players where to go if they're stuck for a small fee), they will immediately grant the player these glasses, which look like they came straight from a cheap novelty joke shop. Sadly, these dorky goggles are one of the few new items to come from A Link Between Worlds, and their sole purpose is even more pathetic than that prospect. When worn, the goggles will reveal the presence of ghosts who can give Link a hint and help him solve any of the puzzles in the game's various dungeons...for a Play Coin.This doesn't sound SO dumb, but when the average player is stuck, they will either work out the solution on their own, or quickly consult a guide for help. Expecting the player to close the 3DS, throw it in their pocket, pace for a few hundred steps, don dumb-looking goggles, and get a cryptic hint from an undead NPC is foolish and belittling. But then, given the dopey look of the item itself, perhaps that is the point...
To be fair, I'll take this hint system over Fi any day of the week...
9) Dominion Rod (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)Twilight Princess, while a fine Legend of Zelda game, suffers from having an absurdly large inventory, with many items only being used a handful of times in the dungeon they're found and never touched again. And some of those items are...well, dumb.
Perhaps the lamest of the bunch is the so-called "Dominion Rod," which is cool in name alone. This rod allows players to breathe life into statues, who will then emulate the player's movements. While this sounds rather neat, its novelty wears off quickly when you realize how cumbersome it is to move these massive statues around, and are forced to constantly re and de-energize these statues in an attempt to get them to precisely move where you needt hem to! Even more lame is the fact the weapon powers down and becomes completely un-usable after finishing the dungeon where it is found!
The player is then forced to go on a massive and entirely unnecessary fetchquest to breathe life back into the rod that breathes life back into statues, and it's used a total of six or so times before never being touched for the rest of the game. The Dominion Rod had the potential to be a wicked awesome item, but it's ultimately awkward to use, severely under-utilized, and manages to add padding to the game it appears in, ruining its pacing. Which makes it pretty dumb in my book.
The Dominion Rod: Awesome name, dumb item.
8) Flame Lantern (The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap)
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of The Legend of Zelda series is the sense of wonder a player feels when they acquaint themselves with a new dungeon. These enemy lairs drop hints on the identity of the hidden item or weapon the player will discover within its confines, and the guessing game leading up the the tool's ultimate reveal is an exciting one!
This sense of awe was present throughout the forth dungeon of The Minish Cap, an icy domain whose hazards seemed to imply Fire Arrows or the incredibly awesome Fire Red would soon find their way into the player's possession. Instead all players get for their trouble is...a lantern. Not even a special lantern. Just a regular old oil-burning one you could find at a general store. The Flare Lantern has the wonderful ability to melt ice, light up dark rooms, and....light torches. Yay? No... more like dumb.
This rather awesome comic by Awkward Zombie sums up how dumb this item truly is.
7) Book of Mudora (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)A rather interesting thought to digest about the world of The Legend of Zelda series is that while the dialogue and text of the game's various NPCs and signs are displayed in the player's native language, the game boasts its own, unique language known as "Hylian" with other indecipherable ancient languages sprinkled throughout the world as well. Barring Link's progress in his sole SNES outing are ancient stone tablets containing a bizarre, un-translatable language. What could these plaques say?! How will they be translated in a world without Google?Sadly, the means to translate said tablets is all too boring. Link literally strolls into a library and translates the text using the aforementioned book he finds there. That's it. No magical incantations or flashy effects. This dumb item is basically the equivalent of an English to Spanish dictionary. The ancient tablets don't even have any interesting messages or riddles hidden on them in the end! And when your really take a look at them, the only repeat the same three characters ad nauseam, meaning the "language" written on them isn't real at all! For being about as interesting as my 11th grade Spanish textbook, the Book of Mudora is destined to sit among the Zelda series' dumbest items.
I wish this stupid item never existed!
6) Gust Bellows (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)Back in 2005, The Minish Cap introduced the world to the mysterious Gust Jar item, a mysterious pot that could suck in various enemies and objects and forcibly eject them afterwards. Though seemingly mundane, the Gust Jar had surprisingly cool applications in both combat and puzzle solving. In 2011, Skyward Sword sought to emulate the whimsy and wonder of the Gust Jar and...failed miserably.The problem with the Gust Jar is it does NOT suck in anything at all. It merely blows out a constant stream of air. It can't harm even the absolute weakest of the game's various enemies, and its practical uses stop after blowing sand around and pushing fans. The Gust Jar is basically a glorified vacuum cleaner that has lost the ability to suck anything in. It takes talent to create an item as dumb as the Gust Bellows, but someone at Nintendo HQ managed to do so.
Also appears as an annoying item in Super Smash Bros.!
5) Giant's Knife (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)Curious gamers may have found a hidden gigantic Goron within Death Mountain as Young Link early on in Ocarina of Time. He promises he is creating an incredibly powerful weapon, but states it won't be ready for six years or so. It's easy to completely forget about this procrastinating smithy, but if players return to him as an adult, he will give the player the powerful Giant's Knife for the steep, steep price of 200 Rupees.However, this administer of death is most certainly worth the entry price. It's a colossal blade that takes two hands to wield, and is even more powerful than the legendary Master Sword! Oh,and it breaks after roughly three uses. At which point it loses almost all its range and much of its power. The Giant's Knife is the Zelda universe's equivalent of an infomercial product. Its creator sells the item well, and it seems like a great value for the cost. But once you actually have the item in your hands and use it on more than one occasion your realize it's actually...really dumb.
4) Cane of Pacci (The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap)It's pretty hard to follow the act of the amazingly stupid items before it, but somehow, the Cane of Pacci finds a way. Up until this point, Zelda fans were accustomed to cane items with strange names granting the player wicked awesome powers, like summoning blocks to weigh down switches and make puzzles a breeze, or granting nigh-invincibility for a brief period of time.Many of those fans were likely rather excited to unbox the Cane of Pacci, but were soon after quickly let down. What wonderful power does the Cane of Pacci grant the player?! The ability to...flip objects upside down. Do I need to further explain why this item is on this list?
If further explanation IS required, check out this other awesome comic by Awkward Zombie!
3) Stepladder (The Legend of Zelda)The original NES Legend of Zelda game, being the first in the entire series, lacks many of the awesome gadgets that became staples of Link's arsenal, such as the Hookshot and Magic Hammer. Instead, the game has a number of lame items that are only used once or twice to progress, such as a raft, piece of paper, and even a hunk of meat. Perhaps the lamest of these though is the oft-forgotten Stepladder. Everyone knows that water and Link don't mix well. The pint-sized hero has the unfortunately tendency of immediately drowning in any body of water more than four feet deep if he isn't properly equipped with flippers or a boat. This, coupled with his inability to jump at will, means that even small patches of water just a few pixels across are essentially dead-ends for the "Hero of Hyrule."In order to pass these nefarious obstacles, Link needs to acquire a Stepladder, which he then places on the water delicately and walks across. We wouldn't want him to get his boots wet, now would we? I honestly can't tell what's dumber, this sorry excuse for an item, or Link for having to resort to using such dumb item instead of learning how to swim already.
Look at how ugly this thing is too!
2) All-Night Mask (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)
Majora's Mask is unique among the Zelda games in that it has less items at Link's disposal than its predecessors and successors. The game instead places emphasis on 24 collectable masks, which can be obtained from sidequests and grant Link rather cool abilities when worn. These masks can do everything from make our hero invisible to many types of enemies, pacify monsters, or even transform him into different species with new abilities!
Of course like the items themselves, a number of these masks are doomed to be, you guessed it, dumb.
Perhaps the dumbest of the bunch is the "All-Night Mask," which, according to its description, allows the wearer to stay up all night when worn, making it impossible to fall asleep. Right off the bat, the All-Night Mask sets a bad impression for basically being the equivalent of coffee, and when you consider Link never falls asleep at night in the game anyway, things aren't looking up for the unfortunate hunk of plastic.
The All-Night Mask is only used in one area of the game, to ensure Link doesn't fall asleep when listening to an old woman's bedtime story as part of a sidequest. I wish I were making this up. For somehow finding a way to have less uses than the Stepladder, the All-Night Mask has more than earned a spot on this list.
Which is a darn shame, because that item description makes me want to...
1) Spirit Flute (The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks)
It's only fitting that the dumbest item in the franchise comes from arguably its worst non-CDi game. The Spirit Flute continues the franchise's long legacy of having a musical instrument in each installment just for the sake of having one. What makes the Spirit Flute unique is that to play it, the player does not press buttons, but rather blows into the Nintendo DS microphone while moving the pan-flute like item left and right on the touch screen.
Sure, this sounds cool in theory, but in reality, it was rather obnoxious. For starters, the item seldom worked properly for many people, giving them no choice but to forcibly exhale into the system for their input to be detected at all. This also made the experience troublesome if the unlucky gamer in question was playing out in public, at school, on a train, or the like. The Spirit Flute actually discouraged the player from taking the handheld game it appears in outside the privacy of their own house, unless they didn't have a problem being the weird guy angrily blowing at his handheld gaming console on the bus.
Moreover unlike theother musical instruments in the series, like the Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker, the Spirit Flute lacked any sort of cool applications or catchy tunes. Its songs are short and unsatisfying to play, and have boring uses, such as summoning birds or uncovering buried items. The Spirit Flute has no reason to exist. It barely functions right, has lame applications, feels like a forced addition to its game, and worst of all, makes the player look and feel dumb while using. This is an item so dumb, it brings the player down to its level. Go home Spirit Flute. No one loves you.
Huh...I guess it does have a use after all...I was running low on Rupees anyway!
That's all folks! Hopefully reading about so many moronic ideas in such a short frame of time has not lowered your IQ to dangerous levels, as writing this piece did to me. Still, the above items shouldn't totally be condemned, for if it weren't for losers like them, there wouldn't be any trash to compare wonderful contraptions like the Double Clawshot to. So thank you dumb Legend of Zelda items... You exist as proof to not just Nintendo's developers, but developers the world over what NOT to do when creating nifty tools for the player to utilize.
What do YOU think is the dumbest item in The Legend of Zelda series? Sound off in the comments below, and happy gaming!