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Bows, also known as Hero's Bows or Fairy Bows, are recurring items in The Legend of Zelda series.

Locations and uses

Bows are used as Link's primary ranged weapon, using Arrows as ammunition; these projectiles must be equipped in order to use the Bow, and are consumed upon firing. With the Bow, Link can snipe faraway Switches, enemies, and other objects. Sometimes, Link will be able to use different types of Arrows with the Bow, such as Fire Arrows or Bomb Arrows.

Being a staple item in the series, the Bow is almost always a dungeon item; in the 3D games, the Bow is typically guarded by a Sub-Boss. In 2D games, the Bow can shoort Arrows in any cardinal direction, while in the 3D games, Link will typically switch to a first-person view when aiming the Bow and can fire at any angle. Since its debut, the Bow has received several different upgrades, as well as different types of Arrows to use in conjunction with it.

A recurring, upgraded Bow, the Bow of Light, has the ability to fire Arrows comprised of sacred light. A variant of the Bow, the Crossbow, also appears in ambiguous and non-canon media, firing Arrows from a wider angle.

The Legend of Zelda

In The Legend of Zelda, the Bow is one of the dungeon items of Level 1: The Eagle, although it is instead found in Level 5: The Lizard in the Second Quest. Once Link has purchased an Arrow from a Shop for 80 Rupees, he can use the Bow to fire Arrows; each shot consumes 1 Rupee. Arrows shot from the Bow deal 2 damage, instantly kill Pols Voices, and are the only weapon capable of damaging Gohma. Link can later upgrade his Arrows to the Silver Arrows, which deal double damage and are required to defeat Ganon.

A Link to the Past

"Link later became known as the most skilled archer in all of Hyrule, and historians believe that he found and first used the Bow and Arrow in the Eastern Palace. They were the most effective weapons to use against the fierce Armos Knights and several other enemies."

"Bow & Arrows
When Link acquires the Bow from the Big Chest in the Eastern Palace, he will need to begin building his supply of Arrows. Arrows can most easily be obtained by defeating enemies who use Arrows as their primary weapon. It's possible for him to carry many more than 30 Arrows, but he must visit the Fountain of Happiness.

In A Link to the Past, the Bow is the dungeon item of the Eastern Palace; Arrows are now introduced as their own, separate resource, enabling Link to shoot the Bow without spending Rupees. Arrows shot from the Bow deal piercing damage, making it stronger than the Fighter's Sword, and is the only weapon capable of damaging certain enemies, e.g. the Eyegores. Like in the previous game, Link can upgrade his Arrows to Silver Arrows, which deal double damage compared to regular Arrows and are required to defeat Ganon. The Bow is also required to play the Shooting Gallery at the Village of Outcasts.

Link's Awakening

Bow model from Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch

In Link's Awakening, the Bow is purchased from the Town Tool Shop in Mabe Village for 980 Rupees; however, Link can steal it instead. Link must first have purchased the Shovel before he can obtain the Bow.

The Bow functions mostly identically to its previous appearances, being able to shoot strong Arrows that damage certain enemies the Sword cannot. Additionally, if Link uses the Bow at the same time as Bombs, he can shoot Bomb Arrows to blow things up from afar. However, the Bow is mostly optional in this game, only being required to obtain a key in Turtle Rock or defeat the Shadow Nightmares without the Boomerang. The Bow is also one of the items that Link can trade to the Secret Goriya for the Boomerang.

Ocarina of Time

Main article: Fairy Bow

In Ocarina of Time, the Fairy Bow is the dungeon item of the Forest Temple. It is the first Bow to shift Link into a first-person view while aiming it, and is an overall upgrade to the Fairy Slingshot - Link can use it to snipe faraway enemies and Switches, and its shots are more powerful than those of the Slingshot. This is the first Bow to be able to use multiple types of Arrows, as Link can obtain the Fire Arrows, Ice Arrows, and Light Arrows to use in place of regular Arrows.

Majora's Mask

Main article: Hero's Bow

In Majora's Mask, the Hero's Bow is the dungeon item of the Woodfall Temple. It functions almost identically to the Fairy Bow in Ocarina of Time, but with an altered appearance. Link can obtain the Fire, Ice, and Light Arrows to use with it.

Four Swords

In Four Swords, the Bow can be obtained as a temporary item in certain stages. It functions mostly identically to the Bow in A Link to the Past, although Link can charge shots to increase their speed.

The Wind Waker

Main article: Hero's Bow

In The Wind Waker, the Hero's Bow is the dungeon item of the Tower of the Gods. It functions identically to its previous 3D appearances, except now Arrows fly in a completely straight line. Link can obtain the Fire, Ice, and Light Arrows to use with it.

Four Swords Adventures

Similarly to Four Swords, the Bow in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures can be randomly found as a temporary item in certain stages. It is often used to solve puzzles, but also works as a ranged weapon. Link can present the Bow to the Great Fairy to upgrade it to the Level 2 Bow, which shoots three Arrows at once.[1]

The Minish Cap

Link obtaining the Bow in The Minish Cap

In The Minish Cap, the Bow is located in northwest Castor Wilds, through a small hole that Link can only pass through at Minish size. The Bow is used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, and is required to activate (and thus defeat) Eyegore Statues. Unlike in previous games, the Bow is much less powerful, and is overshadowed by the completed Four Sword.

Link can also obtain the Light Arrows to use with the Bow; however, they must be obtained before Link travels to the Palace of Winds.

Twilight Princess

Main article: Hero's Bow

In Twilight Princess, the Bow is called the Hero's Bow and is obtained in the Goron Mines. Depending on what system the game is being played on, the controls regarding the Bow vary. In the GameCube version, the aiming system is the same as in previous 3D Zelda titles. On the Wii, Link must aim the Wii Remote at the point where they want to shoot. The camera can be rotated using the joystick, allowing for simultaneous movement and aiming. The quiver upgrades can be obtained by completing the STAR Game in Castle Town with the Clawshot, or, to make it easier, the Double Clawshots. These upgrades allow Link to hold 60 and 100 arrows, respectively.

This game features Bomb Arrows, which are projectile explosives that can destroy faraway obstacles. They can be equipped by first making Link equip his Bow, and then moving the cursor over a Bomb Bag, and pressing the appropriate button.

Phantom Hourglass

The Bow in Phantom Hourglass is found in the Temple of Courage. Because this game features touch screen controls, here you touch the screen where you want to shoot and release to fire. Link starts out with a quiver that can hold 20 arrows. After completing the Temple of Courage, Link gets a Letter from Romanos, which tells Link about his new Shooting Gallery. Playing his mini-game and scoring between 1,700 and 1,990 points awards Link with a larger quiver; one that can hold 30 arrows. Purchasing the final upgrade for 1,000 rupees from the Molida or Mercay island item shops allows Link to hold 50 arrows.

Spirit Tracks

The Bow is found in the Fire Temple, and is fired in the same way as it was in Phantom Hourglass. In the Sand Temple Link obtains the Bow of Light, which he must use to activate certain switches and defeat Malladus. After completing the Fire Temple, Link can purchase the first quiver upgrade at the shop in Goron Village for 2,000 rupees, allowing Link to hold 30 arrows. For an upgrade to 50 arrows, score between 3,500 and 4,000 points in the Pirate Hideout Mini-Game.

Skyward Sword

Link drawing the Bow in Skyward Sword

The Bow is received in the Sandship, and can be used to defeat far-off enemies, activate Timeshift Stones, and more. In Skyward Sword (Wii), it is used with the Wii Remote in the right hand and the Nunchuck in the left. After holding C to nock an arrow, Link can pull back the Nunchuck, as if Link is pulling back the string on an actual bow, and release the C-button to shoot an arrow. This is the same control scheme that can be found in Wii Sports Resort for archery. As usual, Link can shoot enemies with the Bow, and items can be knocked off trees and other objects. Additionally, items dropped by enemies (such as hearts) can also be shot with the Bow and pinned to walls. By doing this, Link can reclaim his dropped heart as well as his arrow.

After getting the Bow from the Sandship, Link can upgrade it to the Iron Bow and then the Sacred Bow at the Scrap Shop in the Bazaar in Skyloft.

A Link Between Worlds

In A Link Between Worlds, the Bow can be rented (50 rupees) or purchased (800 rupees) from Ravio's Shop. However, there are no arrows - instead, every time Link uses the Bow, his Energy Gauge depletes; this is the first game since the original The Legend of Zelda to feature the Bow, but not collectible arrows.

The Bow is first made available while Link is in search of the first dungeon of the game, the Eastern Palace. While Link is in the Eastern Ruins, he comes upon a dead end, with signs that have a picture of the Bow on them. If Link returns to his home, he tells Ravio about what he saw. Ravio asks Link what was the picture on the signs, and when Link answers correctly, Ravio lets Link borrow his Bow. With the Bow in hand, Link can get past the dead end and make his way into the Eastern Palace, where the Bow is used frequently.

The first time Link gets a Game Over, Sheerow comes in and takes the Bow back from Link, meaning if he needs it again, he must pay the rental fee of 50 rupees. However, if Link dies before completing the Eastern Palace, he can rent the Bow for 10 rupees instead of the 50 rupees.

Later on in the game, Link can upgrade the Bow into the Nice Bow. This upgraded version shoots three arrows at a time instead of one, dealing three times as much damage. It can be acquired by returning ten Maiamais to Mother Maiamai, and then giving her the Bow. However, Mother Maiamai can only do the upgrade on the Bow if Link has purchased it, not rented.

Tri Force Heroes

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In Tri Force Heroes the bow can be obtained on select stages. Wearing the Kokiri Clothes will allow you to shoot three arrows at once.

Breath of the Wild

Main article: Breath of the Wild Bows
This section is a stub. You can help the Zelda Dungeon Wiki by expanding it.

Numerous types of bow are available for Link in Breath of the Wild, but all lose durability with use until they ultimately break.

Non-Canon Appearances

This section describes a subject that is or may be outside the core Zelda canon.

BS The Legend of Zelda

Bow sprite from BS The Legend of Zelda

The Bow is found in both Level 1 of MAP1 and Level 1 of MAP2. As in The Legend of Zelda, it is useless until arrows are purchased from an Item Shop, after which each arrow costs 1 rupee to fire. The bow and Silver Arrows are required to defeat Ganon at the end of Week 4.

Hyrule Warriors

The Bow is found in the The Sorceress of the Woods Legend Mode scenario. It is required primarily to destroy Deku Babas.

Cadence of Hyrule

In Cadence of Hyrule, the Bow is a modular permanent item. After acquiring it, players can find Fire Arrows, Ice Arrows, Lightning Arrows, Poison Arrows, and the Great Bow scattered across Hyrule. The Bow starts with a maximum capacity of ten arrows, but can be upgraded to hold 20 arrows.

Battle Quest

Main article: Hero's Bow

The Bow is featured in Battle Quest, one of 12 attractions that make up Nintendo Land, a launch title for the Wii U. It is specifically called the Hero's Bow. It is the weapon of choice for Link who is using the GamePad. It is used by holding down the right control stick to load the shot, and then releasing to let the arrow fire. The GamePad's gyroscope is used to aim.

Super Mario Maker 2

Link drawing the Bow in Super Mario Maker 2

In Super Mario Maker 2, when Mario uses the Master Sword power-up to transform into Link, Link can use the bow to shoot either straight ahead, up diagonally or down diagonally. The resulting arrow is strongly affected by gravity, and shoots in a ballistic trajectory.



  1. "You got a level 2 bow! It shoots 3 arrows in a row with blazing speed! It comes with unlimited arrows, too!" — In-game description, Four Swords Adventures.