The Legend of Zelda franchise includes great mysteries through magic, lore, and hidden pieces of information. However, some gaps in storytelling are clearly mistakes rather than intentional mysteries. These plot holes disrupt narratives within individual games as well as the entire franchise: some plot holes occur because of discontinuities between games. While Zelda usually expands its universe instead of changing it, certain moments contradict previously established lore.
Every Zelda game possesses plot holes, but some mistakes are more harmful and obvious than others. Even though it’s one of the best games in the series, Twilight Princess has the most plot holes on this list. We usually love the games on this list, but we cringe whenever we encounter their glaring plot holes.
Most of the plot holes on this list involve story, but some come from gameplay. Some gameplay elements contradict story or defy logic—even in the most surreal Zelda games. Other gameplay-related plot holes stem from poor level design and incomplete programming.
Some of these plot holes can only be found in special circumstances. When you find them, though, we guarantee they will break your immersion and faith in Nintendo. No matter how much you love The Legend of Zelda, you can’t ignore these 15 glaring plot holes.
15 Link Doesn’t Touch The Triforce (Skyward Sword)
At the end of Wind Waker, Ganondorf finally acquires the Triforce. After hundreds of years, Ganondorf achieves his dream and makes a wish—but his wish doesn’t come true. While Ganondorf speaks to the Triforce without touching it, the King of Hyrule touches the Triforce and gains its power.
This ending disappointed us from the beginning. Nintendo ruins one of the most exciting moments in the franchise with an anticlimactic play on words (Ganondorf says only “he who touches” the Triforce may use it). Several years later, Nintendo completely discarded this ending and made us hate it even more. In Skyward Sword, Link completes the Triforce and prays to the Triforce without touching it. His wish comes true—which completely nullifies the ending of Wind Waker.
14 Bulblins Take Kids But Not Link (Twilight Princess)
The kidnapping in Twilight Princess makes little sense. The Bulblins guard Kakariko Village and its Spirit Spring, yet they leave Ordon Village alone (after seizing the Spirit Spring and kidnapping the children). Instead of evenly dividing the children, the Bulblins place Ilia in the Hidden Village and the other kids in Kakariko.
While we can forgive the above details, we can’t excuse the Bulblins’ abandonment of Link. Link looks like the other Ordon children, yet the Bulblins leave Link after knocking him out.
Although we enjoy saving the children, we wish Nintendo had separated us from the kids without a glaring plot hole. The Bulblins should have kidnapped the children offscreen or at a distance; instead, they knock every character unconscious and take everyone except Link.
13 The Forsaken Fortress Prison (Wind Waker)
See anything wrong with this picture? Both Link and Aryll can clearly fit between the “bars” of this prison cell. The other two prisoners, Maggie and Mila, are children like Aryll and could easily escape the prison. Despite the massive gaps in the prison cell, Link looks confounded. He eventually finds the locked door, which the pirates break down.
Nintendo probably built wide visual gaps so we could easily see characters, but they sacrificed logic for aesthetics. A regular prison would have been perfectly fine—with smaller and more frequent bars, we could’ve watched the characters without questioning their confinement. As it is, we don’t understand why the prisoners stay in their prison or why their saviors need to use the door. After solving so many puzzles with Link, we’re disappointed that this terribly designed prison defeats him.
12 Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
Rauru confuses us in multiple ways. As one of the ancient Sages who built the Temple of Time, Rauru protects the Temple of Time—but what happened to the other ancient Sages? Ganondorf may have killed the other Sages in their respective temples, but why wouldn’t he kill the Sage in the Temple of Time, the first temple he ever visited?
Only Rauru can “leave” the Chamber of Sages at will. While the other Sages wait in the Chamber, Rauru wanders Hyrule in the form of an owl named Kaepora Gaebora. Kaepora assists you throughout your journey, yet the other Sages never appear as animals. Perhaps Rauru possesses special abilities as an ancient Sage: we’ll never know because Nintendo never explains his illogical existence.
11 Teleporting Out Of Dungeons
Several Zelda games explain teleportation out of dungeons or exclude it, but the others forget to fill in this simple plot hole. In the first three Zelda games (as well as Skyward Sword), Link simply walks out of the dungeon. Most of the other games include teleportation and show you exactly who magically teleports you or associate teleportation with magical objects.
Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Minish Cap use mysterious, illogical portals. These portals appear out of nowhere, and Link trusts them without hesitation. Nintendo usually justifies portals and teleportation, but these four games include magic without explanation. Perhaps gods or spirits are helping Link, but they chose oddly specific times to help Link. We appreciate the help, but we wish Nintendo had included believable teleportation like in other Zelda games.
10 Ilia’s Memory Loss (Twilight Princess)
Ilia’s memory loss perfectly suspends the romance between her and Link. However, the game never explains the source of her amnesia. Even though Nintendo devotes a lot of time to Ilia, Twilight Princess never justifies her missing memories.
The Bulblins knock Ilia unconscious when they first kidnap her, so you might assume she lost her memories at that point. However, we later learn Ilia remembered Link during her captivity in the Hidden Village. Ilia must have lost her memories sometime between the Hidden Village and Castle Town. Having escaped the Bulblins and rescued Prince Ralis, Ilia would have been safer and less traumatized after leaving the Hidden Village.
Nintendo tried to make Ilia’s amnesia an unexplained mystery, but her amnesia makes so little sense that it’s more of a plot hole than a mystery.
9 Soldiers Let You Pass Without A Sword (Majora’s Mask)
Soldiers guard all four exits of Clock Town. If you approach the soldiers as a Goron or Zora, they pay no attention to you because they perceive you as an adult capable of protecting yourself. If you speak to them as a Deku or human, they bar your path and claim the outside world is too dangerous for a child. Only a child with a weapon may leave.
Since human Link usually carries a sword, the guards notice the weapon and apologize for their behavior. However, the soldiers say this even if you don’t have a sword. You can leave your sword at a forge or lose your sword in battle. Nintendo obviously forgot to program new dialogue for these special circumstances, creating a small but blatant plot hole.
8 Waking The Sages (Ocarina of Time)
We love the temples in Ocarina of Time and the Sages within them, but the game never fully explains why you wake the Sages in the first place. Zelda claims that the Sacred Realm only awaken the Sages when “evil rules all,” but why wouldn’t the Sages protect the world from evil beforehand? Rauru and Zelda already protect the world as Sages, yet you need to wake the other Sages—even though Zelda knows exactly who the other Sages are.
We also don’t understand why the five Sages wait in the Chamber of Sages. You see these characters before the temples, but they disappear from the physical world after becoming Sages. A great fan theory proposes that the characters die just before becoming Sages. We see Darunia, Ruto, and Nabooru head toward the boss before mysteriously disappearing, and Zelda states Impa had the same intent. We never see Saria, but she likely challenged Phantom Ganon to protect her village.
7 The Ancient Sages (Twilight Princess)
As if the Sages of Ocarina of Time weren’t confusing enough, Nintendo replaced them with ancient Sages that defeat Ganondorf before his rise to power. Nintendo abandons the lore established in Ocarina of Timeline by including Sages before “evil rules all.” Perhaps the ancient Sages exist apart from the other Sages; Ganondorf may have killed all the ancient Sages except Rauru, thus spreading evil over the world and forcing new Sages to awaken.
Regardless of their connection to other Sages, the ancient Sages make no sense because of Nintendo’s confusing timeline. According to this timeline, all Zelda games exist in the same world, and the same Ganondorf demonizes Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. At the end of Ocarina of Time, Link travels back in time and warns Zelda about Ganondorf. The ancient Sages respond by executing Ganondorf. The timeline makes no sense because the ancient Sages don’t exist in Ocarina of Time—except Rauru, who looks nothing like the ancient Sage of Light in Twilight Princess.
6 Midna’s Weapons (Twilight Princess)
You spend a good while collecting a sword and shield for Midna—all while scaring your neighbors half to death. Despite your efforts, Midna rejects the weapons. She decides to “hang on to them for you” and abandons the search for weapons.
Nintendo obviously just wanted a “fun” quest where you terrify your neighbors as a wolf. However, Nintendo fails to justify the pointless search. If Midna truly wanted weapons, she would have continued searching; if she wanted weapons for you, she should have waited for you to become human. Perhaps Midna simply pulled a prank, but we doubt it. Although she teases you throughout the game, even Midna isn’t sadistic enough to risk your life for a few laughs.
5 Link’s Seven-Year Slumber (Ocarina of Time)
We love the use of time travel in Ocarina of Time, but the mechanic makes no narrative sense. Rauru claims that only someone worthy of the Master Sword may wield it. Since Link is “too young to be the Hero of Time,” the Master Sword traps him in the Sacred Realm for seven years.
If Link can’t wield the Master Sword, shouldn’t he just continue his normal life until he’s old enough to wield it? Breath of the Wild certainly treats Link this way: instead of trapping him in the Sacred Realm, the Master Sword requires Link to actively strengthen himself (by increasing your health bar).
The nature of the Master Sword changes throughout The Legend of Zelda. Ocarina of Time contradicts other games, but the Master Sword would create a plot hole even if Ocarina of Time was the only game in the franchise.
4 King Bulblin (Twilight Princess)
Unless you constantly talk to Midna, you might not realize there’s only one King Bulblin in Twilight Princess. You battle King Bulblin four times; if you speak to Midna, she comments on his reappearances. You could easily mistake King Bulblin for four identical mini-bosses—and we wouldn’t blame you. King Bulblin illogically survives your first battle, where he falls into an endless abyss. His survival makes more sense in the second and third battles (he falls into a lake during your second encounter and escapes the third battle), but we still have trouble believing we’re fighting a single character.
King Bulblin creates more plot holes during his final battle. After surrendering, he says he follows “the strongest side” and supports you instead of Ganondorf. If that’s true, wouldn’t he surrender after your first fight? Did he fight Zant and Ganondorf multiple times before supporting them? King Bulblin’s survival and motives make no sense: Nintendo should have replaced him with multiple Bulblin leaders.
3 Running With The Iron Boots (Twilight Princess)
In Twilight Princess’ cutscenes, Link wears whatever clothing you last equipped. Link may wear the Hero’s clothes, Zora Armor, or Magic Armor. Items disappear during cutscenes—except for the Iron Boots. We’d expect the Iron Boots and clothing to only serve a visual purpose during cutscenes, but the Iron Boots still make their signature stomping noise every time Link takes a step.
Link normally moves very little during cutscenes, but he sprints to Midna at the end of the game—even if he’s wearing the Iron Boots. Although he can barely walk with the Iron Boots earlier, he sprints without a problem.
We’re actually really happy Nintendo missed this plot hole. The Iron Boots clomp noisily as Link runs across Hyrule Field, turning the dramatic scene into a hilarious bug.
2 Aryll Stays With The Pirates (Wind Waker)
The pirates in Wind Waker immediately return Mila and Maggie to Windfall Island, yet Aryll remains with the pirates until the end of the game. Perhaps the pirates want to protect Aryll in case the Helmaroc King ever returns for her. Whatever their reasoning, the pirates (and Nintendo) seem to have forgotten that Aryll’s grandma eagerly awaits her return. If you don’t heal your grandma with a Fairy, she shudders within her house wishing her grandchildren would return. The scene is absolutely devastating, particularly with the sad music playing in the background.
You can, fortunately, help your grandma feel better, but we nonetheless hate the pirates for worsening her condition. She deserves happiness with her family, yet the pirates illogically keep Aryll away from her.
1 So Many Links
Normally we wouldn’t care that so many Links populate the world of Zelda. Nintendo’s simply having fun with a single formula, so they keep renaming characters like Zelda, Ganondorf, and Link…right? Wrong. Because of Zelda’s convoluted timeline, Nintendo has actually justified certain names. Every Ganondorf we see—except the one in Four Swords Adventures—is the same character, so Nintendo only reuses his name once. Zelda has multiple incarnations, but she embodies the spirit of Hylia within her royal lineage, so we understand why her ancestors pass on the “Zelda” title.
Link, on the other hand, has no connection to other Links. The gods pick different individuals as their chosen hero: it’s only coincidence that every hero shares a single name. Maybe “Link” is just a really popular name in Hyrule.