What’s Your Favorite ‘shot Item?

Axle the BeastDecember 4th, 2012 by Axle the Beast

The Hookshot has been a mainstay of Link’s arsenal ever since it first appeared in A Link to the Past, where, like the Longshot upgrade in Ocarina of Time, it was the main item of a water-themed dungeon: The Swamp Palace. Same story when it reappeared in the aquatic Catfish’s Maw in Link’s Awakening. In fact the only version of the regular Hookshot that wasn’t somehow tied to a water area was the one in The Wind Waker, and although it was the item for the Wind Temple, that whole game was kinda filled with water! Weird, huh?

Other variants exist like the Clawshot from the Lakebed Temple in Twilight Princess, of which a second is found in the City in the Sky (the Clawshots reappear in Lanayru Desert in Skyward Sword as well), and the Switch Hook from Oracle of Ages, which switches places with the target instead of pulling you to them. Arguably the Grappling Hook in The Wind Waker, but especially Phantom Hourglass, was also a Hookshot item of sorts.

These different ‘shot items, regardless of their specific mechanics, have been recurring items for a long time now. Needless to say, because of that, they’re familiar to most fans and even come up in discussions about other Zelda topics, like having firearms in Zelda games; they’re referenced to counter the notion that guns are too advanced, because the Hookshot is impossible with modern technology.

So it’s a super-advanced hand-held machine that fires out a hook (where’s the hook???) on a chain and pulls you to stuff. I can dig. But which one is the best?

Honestly, I have no preference really. I’ve enjoyed all the variants and would love to see new ones. I’ve tried to devise my own special Hookshots for fangame ideas in the past. A “Spearshot” that can pierce objects and hurt enemies? A “Snakeshot” that can curve and weave in the air? I think seeing more things like the Switch Hook would be awesome, especially if they function as improved upgrades to the regular Hookshot, like the Longshot was. But that’s just me, and I definitely don’t want to see the absence of the regular Hookshot.

I did think that the Clawshots shouldn’t have been in Skyward Sword and that for once, a new item (the Whip, with its swinging) should have totally replaced the Hookshot for one game… just for the sake of some variety and doing something different. This is what Spirit Tracks did with its whip, and it was nice. Skyward Sword could have done it even cooler in 3D. The reason I like the idea of without the Hookshot for a while is that I like variety in Zelda, even with the standard arsenal of items. But, like I said, I don’t want the Hookshot to go away for very long, and having interesting variants is pretty awesome too.

If I had to pick a favorite, then I’d pick the Grappling Hook from Phantom Hourglass, if it counts. I loved that it was essentially a basic Hookshot, but with a lot of added functionality. It could create tightropes you could walk on, bounce things off, or even use to spring you across gaps or up cliffs. It was a sweet item that I had a lot of fun with, and that really enhanced the puzzle-solving and area navigation in the game, unlike in some other games (cough, The Wind Waker, cough), where all I feel it does is overly simplify navigation.

So how about you? Which is your favorite ‘shot item? Have you seen or played all of the games they can be found in? Do you have any ideas on what Nintendo could or should do with this item? Tell me in the comments!

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  • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

    Why does only the clawshot get the doubling treatment? How long will it be before Nintendo realizes that what the Zelda community wants are double boomerangs, double bows, and double ball-and-chains?

  • Veronica Wheeler

    I have always had a little rush from the bow and arrow. so maybe some more extras could be added into that. or maybe, combining the clawshot/hookshot with it. Think of it like this; Link is on a high cliff/building with no where else to go. He is being chased by Ganondorf or who ever else wants to kill him (Evil giant monster maybe). As I said, he is cornered with no where else to go. So, BAM he pulls out his Bowshot (name suggestions?) He shoots a clawshot like ‘arrow’ down to the building below, and zip lines his way down to safety. This Bowshot could also help him reach up to higer places. So that would be cool right?

  • sdfdfs

    OoT hookshot.

    I simply think this was the best designed “shot” item. The reason being it could attach itself to anything wood. Anything from trees, to the roofs of Kakriko village, to gerudo bridge and even treasure chests. The hookshot was versitile. This is far superior to subsequent “shot” weapons because it provided players with a challenge and something interesting. One had to think about how to use the hookshot, it wasn’t merely aimed at the appropriate targets so that one could reach a set out area, it had the ability to provide you with short cuts and offered exploration bait. Also, it was not immediately apparant that one needed to use the hookshot, chests were placed everywhere, trees were everywhere. The great thing about the hookshot was that seemingly innocuous doodads were actually relevant at times, now days all the puzzles seem to be spelt out for you with conveniantly placed switches and targets.

  • FierceDeityFan

    Axle the Beast: you should make an article about what you would do if certain zelda items were real!

  • zjamz

    skyward swords double clawshot its so accurate of where you want to shoot it

  • Oracle of Secrets

    The switch shot was a pretty cool item, it would also add a lot of puzzle possibilities in a 3D game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.gensler Peter Gensler

    While using the clawshots to leap around is fun, I did miss having a spear-head rather than a lame claw. So I will say the regular / longshot.

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  • faror

    I like how the hookshot looked in MM. I open the chest at the gerudo piaret fortress and dododooddodododododododo da da da dun!!!!! holy crap ya!!!!!!

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