I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a major Zelda fan! I love the stories, the gameplay, the way they manage to mix in a bit of the familiar with something new for each entry in the series. It’s usually everything I could want in a game.
What’s intrigued me about the series for a long time is how they manage to keep the dungeons feeling fresh in each and every game, since it’s always the same formula. Link enters dungeon, finds unique item, uses item to progress through dungeon. It’s a simple construct, so you’d think it would tire easily. However, the series has been going strong for over 15 years now, so I suppose it’s not as fragile as it appears at first glance.
It has to be the items. If the items weren’t fun to use, then we wouldn’t be playing would we? And while the mainstay items and weapons are excellent, there’s nothing quite like the novelty of those items that are only seen once or twice in the series. We understand how the usual suspects are supposed to work, but something new opens up a world of possibility! New equipment means figuring out new challenges, and the following items are those I feel made the best tweaks to their respective games. With that, let’s dive in!
5. The Magnetic Gloves (Oracle of Seasons)
Oracle of Seasons does a lot of things well; it has excellent boss fights, puzzles that can still give a veteran player pause after more than 10 years, and it has the Magnetic Gloves. While they weren’t utilized much out of their particular dungeon, these incredible gloves were associated with some of the best puzzles to be found in the game! How could they not be excellent? They were gloves the pushed and pulled Link through the air! I remember this idea being so much fun for me that I whenever I encountered one of those large, open pits that you’re supposed to traverse with the gloves, I would just keep going around or see how many times I could quick-change direction without falling. Finally that boss battle for Unicorn’s Cave was exceptional thanks to those gloves! What else besides powerful magnets could manipulate a giant spiked ball well enough to turn it into a viable weapon? Nothing, that’s what!
4. The Stone’s Mask (Majora’s Mask)
I love this Mask because of what it does and what it implies. It renders you invisible to all enemies except bosses, sub-bosses, and a couple of special cases. It’s essentially the Zelda version of a Pokemon Repel potion. However, making you invisible is only half the fun. The best part is about it is why you’re essentially invisible. To explain, you get the mask from a guy who considers himself so plain, that everyone else couldn’t help but ignore him. So what that means is that the mask isn’t making you invisible, it’s rendering you into someone so plain, so boring, that enemies don’t see you as a threat! Yes, they do still see you. If the mask is used to sneak around the pirate fort in Great Bay, the pirates will still look at you. The difference is that they just don’t care! The Stone’s Mask, turning Zelda players into the most inconsequential people in the world since 2000.
3. The Cane of Somaria (A Link to the Past)
In a game full of Hookshots, invisibility capes, and Quake Medallions, one would think the star item of two dungeons would be more…action oriented. Instead we have the Cane of Somaria! And what does it do? Why make a magic block of course! The cane is an oddity to say the least, and especially so because it gets quite a bit of use for such an odd item, making it doubly odd! I remember being quite glad after making it out of the Ice Palace, thinking I’d never have to deal with it again, but sure enough it came back with a vengeance as the key item in Turtle Rock. To this day I dread having to go through those knuckle-crackingly frustrating Fire Rod mazes! All thanks to that stupid red cane…
2. The Spinner (Twilight Princess)
Neither before nor after Twilight Princess have we seen the likes of the Spinner. It’s a giant top that you can ride on walls and over quicksand! How do you not try to work that into another game?! The Spinner may not have gotten much use outside of the Arbiter’s Grounds, but it single-handedly makes it the best dungeon in the game. There is not a single other dungeon in any other Zelda game where you essentially build yourself a roller coaster in order to progress through it! And the battle against the Stallord? Epic! (shh! it applies here!) The first phase was good enough, but that high-speed, mid-air duel? Unmatched. When I first took on this boss I must have spent that entire second phase in a stupor. I don’t remember thinking anything during the fight, but once it was done, I couldn’t believe that just happened. Never before or since has Zelda had such a high-octane boss fight. Simply epic. (seriously, it applies here!)
And now we reach the number one spot, and I’ll say right now that those of you who frequent the site won’t be too surprised, I have to do it, I would be lying if I didn’t.
1. Fierce Deity’s Mask (Majora’s Mask)
It was always going to be this way! As incredible as the Stallord fight was thanks to the Spinner (Epic!), donning the Fierce Deity’s Mask is just downright satisfying! It takes the entire game and tracking down each and every Happy Mask to get it, and man is it worth it. First, it transforms Link into what is arguably his coolest and most mysterious form, a white-haired, black-armored giant wielding an impossible sword (I defy to tell how that isn’t freaking awesome!). And second? It ends everything. Wielding the Fierce Deity Mask enable you to take out the most powerful evil Termina has ever seen…effortlessly! It doesn’t defeat Majora, it annihilates it! What’s more, you can return to any of those old bosses that were so much trouble the first couple times through and exact your revenge!
It also raises questions. Where did it come from? If it can destroy Majora itself in seconds, how powerful was the entity from which the mask draws its power, and what happened to it? Was the entity truly a force for good (since even though you use it for good, it’s described as having dark powers) and what are the consequences of unleashing it? For all this and maybe a bit more, the Fierce Deity’s Mask is my top pick for unusual Zelda items.
There may be more useful and crazy items in the games, but they’re not these items! What are your Top Unusual Zelda items? What makes them more awesome than the rest? I must know!