For over 25 years, the Legend of Zelda franchise has enraptured players young and old with its expansive worlds, rich histories, immersive exploration, and delightful music. Whether it’s the very first entry in the series or the latest, breathtaking entry, there’s simply a magic that permeates the very core of each game (except Zelda II) and sets them each apart as something truly special.
That said, the early games can be kind of brutal. Sometimes a dungeon’s puzzles are too devious, or Ganon’s beasts are too formidable. Sometimes even a hero needs some help, and that’s where we come in. Of course, you’ve likely heard plenty of tips and tricks from characters in the games (we’re looking at you, Navi) or friends, so we’ve decided to focus on the more obscure (but still super helpful) tips.
With this, our list of The Legend Of Zelda: 25 Tricks From The Early Games Players Have No Idea About, we’ll be discussing some of the least-known tips and tricks from the earlier eras of the franchise. Plucking entries from multiple games and systems, including the Game Boy, we’ve compiled a comprehensive look at ways to make your treks through Hyrule, Koholint, Termina, and others far more enjoyable.
Truth be told, there are likely a few entries on this list that elite Zelda players will be familiar with, but even if that is the case, they’ll almost certainly prove useful for players who are excited to take their first plunge into this legendary franchise. Let’s get this quest started by learning how to deal with a paralyzing curse quickly and efficiently:
25 How To Quickly End The Bubble Curse
The original Legend of Zelda is a difficult and often harrowing experience. Many monsters do a lot of damage, and one wrong move can spell disaster for an entire dungeon run.
Making matters worse are the Bubbles, which can curse you and stop the use of your sword.
Normally, you’d have to wait until it went away by itself, but you can just play the Recorder and be done with it immediately. This trick will ease at least some of the pain of being stabbed into oblivion by Darknuts.
24 Fix Signs With Zelda's Lullaby
It may seem quaint now, but back when Ocarina of Time first debuted, it was pretty wild for you to be able to “realistically” cut up the rectangular signs around Hyrule. While that was certainly an exciting event, you may have found yourself stricken with guilt due to your violent display of disregard for public property.
No matter: simply playing Zelda’s Lullaby will restore the sign you ruthlessly destroyed.
Hopefully it can find the strength in its wooden heart to forgive you.
23 Magically Open A Door With No Key
In the original Zelda, dungeons operate differently than its sequels. Specifically, in a game like Ocarina of Time, Small Keys are exclusive to their respective dungeons, which isn’t the case in the original. Essentially, you can find a key in one dungeon and take it to another. You’re also allowed to buy generic keys for a hefty fee on the overworld.
But why not save a key by magically opening a door without one?
All you need to do is enter the first dungeon, exit, and head back in, and one of the northern doors will be unlocked.
22 Get Rupees From The Drawbridge
Ocarina of Time’s (at the time) massive world was chockfull of crazy secrets like cows in holes or hearts in trees (that you need to bang your head into to acquire.)
There’s another interesting one right outside Castle Town, specifically on the drawbridge.
Let’s say your short on rupees (which you probably aren’t, since there’s an overabundance in Ocarina, but let’s say it anyway). Simply wait for the drawbridge to start closing in the evening, ride the chain up with it, and you’ll find yourself quite a few rupees richer.
21 Summoning Big Fairies
Fairies play a large role in the N64 Zelda games, with characters like Navi, Tatl, and Tael all major players in the overarching plot. Aside from them, there are also those little restorative fairies you trap in bottles. But what about Big Fairies?
These secret beings need to be summoned through specific means.
In front of any Gossip Stone, or in one of the areas that Navi hovers over for no discernable reason, try playing the Song of Storms or the Sun’s Song. A Big Fairy should appear to restore your health and magic!
20 Keeping Your Bait
In the first Zelda, you might find yourself stopped in your tracks by a grumbling Goriya. Basically, you’re expected to buy this stubborn creature some food to get them to move out of your way.
Rather than waste the bait, why not cheat the beast from his treat?
The second you hear the iconic “secret” chime, go to your inventory and using controller 2, press Up and A to the hidden save screen (more on that later.) When you get back to the game, you’ll still have your expensive bait, but the Goriya is nowhere to be found.
19 Drinking Poes In An Emergency
While most people will fill their bottles with either potions or fairies in Ocarina of Time, you do have the option of picking up defeated Poes. Yeah, you can sell them to the spooky Poe Collector, but what if you drank them? In fact, in an emergency situation, drinking a Poe might be your only option.
Doing so can have restorative effects, but there’s a chance it’ll do the opposite.
That said, if you’re in major trouble, what have you got to lose?
18 The Secret Save Screen
When we spoke about tricking the Goriya and keeping your bait in the original Zelda, we mentioned a certain screen only accessible through the use of a second controller.
That screen, better known as the “secret save screen” is far more important than hoarding bait.
Normally in Zelda, you’ll need to perish before saving, however, using the up and “A” combo on the second controller, you’ll be able to save whenever you please, saving a lot of time (and needless expirations).
17 Making Gossip Stones Do (And Say) Strange Things
Gossip Stones dot the landscape in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, but for many new players, they do nothing but “boing” and tell you the in-game time. They do have a few interesting alternative purposes, though:
First, if you have the Mask of Truth, each one will tell you something, whether it’s a gameplay secret or simply lore.
Secondly, and far more entertaining, using various items on them will cause bizarre effects.
Do yourself a favor and plant a bomb next to one. You won’t be disappointed.
16 Swindling The Old Medicine Woman
Rupees are the common currency in the Zelda series, but their usefulness varies between games. That said, they’re critical to the original Zelda. There are two things hard to come by in the first game: rupees and health, and with this trick, you’ll have a greater amount of both.
Buy a red potion and when you use it once, it turns blue. Buy another blue potion, and you’ll be back to red.
You’ll be healthier (and richer), and the Old Woman will be none the wiser.
15 Using Ice Arrows On Bongo Bongo
Getting the Ice Arrows from the treacherous Gerudo Training Grounds in Ocarina of Time is one of the most delightful challenges in the game, but the arrows themselves are relatively useless, particularly when compared to later games in the series. That said, you’d be surprised at just how effective they are against Bongo Bongo.
Shooting the boss’ hands with an Icre Arrow will freeze it up, causing a unique animation and an easy opening for attack.
This is definitely something worth trying out on your next playthrough if you’ve never experienced it before.
14 Harming Ganon With... A Deku Nut?
The dramatic introduction of the monstrous and intimidating Ganon is one of the best sequences in Ocarina of Time. It perfectly sets the stage for a fateful duel that will decide the future (and past) of Hyrule.
Makes it sort of anti-climactic that you can hurt him with a Deku Nut, though, doesn’t it?
Not only does it hurt it like it would an actual weapon, but you can actually bring him to his knees and beat the game using these all-natural flashbang grenades.
13 Skip To The Second Quest
Beating the first Zelda is a daunting task, thanks not only the mysterious overworld, but the crushing difficulty of the final dungeon. Once you’ve conquered Ganon, you’re then permitted to start the Second Quest… but what if you wanted to skip right to the remixed version of the game?
Easy! Just type in ZELDA as your name and you’ll start with the Second Quest.
Keep in mind that the Second Quest is more difficult than the first, and far more obtuse, so keep your wits about you.
12 Weaponizing The Sun's Song
The Sun’s Song has become so iconic that it’s been used in almost every Zelda game since Ocarina to signify the start of a day.
But did you know that this delightful melody can be used as a weapon against the creatures of darkness?
Hinted at when you first learn the piece, if you play the Sun’s Song in a room full of Gibdos or ReDeads, you’ll freeze them in place! Aside from that, you can abuse this song as much as necessary when seeking out the Gold Skulltulas, as they only appear in the overworld at night.
11 Why Pol's Voice Doesn't Like Loud Noises
Pol’s Voce, the bouncing, rabbit-like enemies in the first Legend of Zelda game can be lethal to newer or unprepared players, who will soon find out that nothing in their arsenal can harm these ghost-like beings. Later on, you’ll discover that a single arrow can smite them, but that doesn’t explain why the manual says they “hate loud noise.”
In the Famicom version of the game, you can yell at the fiends with the built-in microphone to defeat them.
No such luck in the West, but if you’ve got a Famicom, you’re welcome.
10 Making Bomb Arrows In Link's Awakening
Link’s Awakening is one of the most charming and emotionally impactful games in the entire franchise, much like Majora’s Mask. Taking place on the curious island of Koholint, you’ll come across Goombas, Chain Chomps, and others while you seek to destroy the Nightmares that plague the land.
Most interestingly, though, is that you can combine your bombs with your bow to create makeshift bomb arrows.
You don’t need this to beat the game, but it’s an intriguing concept and one worth trying out if you need some extra oomph with your attacks.
9 Dodongo's Hidden Heart
In the first Legend of Zelda, there was an important secret hidden behind a waterfall. Many other games in the series have incorporated at least a few secrets behind waterfalls, but Dodongo’s Cavern decided to put one behind a lavafall, instead.
In the room where you fight the Lizalfos, jump through the lavafall at the correct angle, and you’ll find yourself in a little alcove.
Jumping through the lava won’t harm you, but there’s a nice recovery heart waiting for you anyway.
8 The "Power Crouch Stab"
When Miyamato was helping design Ocarina of Time, he was adamant that the sword combat be extremely advanced and realistic. While that vision didn’t fully pan out, there’s no denying that Ocarina (and Majora’s Mask) have quite a few moves that make the duels immersive and exciting. One of these techniques, the “Power Crouch Stab” is not an intentional move, however.
Taking advantage of a value glitch, you’re able to assign a high damage value to the stab.
For example, doing a jump attack and then stabbing will give your stab the same power as a jump attack.
7 Free Item Upgrades In A Link To The Past
A Link To The Past blew its predecessors out of the water with its unprecedented visual and audio fidelity, along with its two massive worlds and complex dungeons. The game’s realm can be an unforgiving one, though, and some players might need to use all the help they can get. One quick way to get powered up is to go to the Waterfall of Wishing, hidden at the end of the river where you get your flippers, and toss in your shield and boomerang.
When they emerge, they’ll be greatly enhanced!
6 Lowering The Enemy Population
The odds against Link in the original Legend of Zelda can be seriously overwhelming. Enemies may have predictable moments, but one slight error on the player’s end can result in a massive chunk of damage.
Luckily, there is a way to reduce the amount of enemies you encounter at once, making your quest slightly easier, even if only temporarily. Destroy every enemy except one on a given screen, and the next time you enter that screen there will still only be one left, with no others respawning.
5 The Hidden Fast Travel In The Light World
The power of the Super Nintendo afforded an expansive world for Link to explore in A Link To The Past, but it’s one that can be a little too big on occasion. One helpful trick you can use to make transit a little quicker is awakening a magic bird using your flute.
With your flute in hand, go to Kakariko Village and play it in front of the weathercock, causing it to come to life!
Now when you play your flute, the bird will come and you can have it take you to eight separate places.
4 Ganondorf's Secret Supply Room
Ganon’s Castle is a trap-and-puzzle-laden fortress, and it will take everything you’ve learned and acquired throughout the game to destroy the barrier that bars access to the inner sanctum.
In case the treacherous puzzles have left you worse for wear, seek out the hidden supply room to replenish your strength.
Behind a false wall on the main floor (which you’ll need the Lens of Truth to spot), you’ll find a chamber with fairies and Business Scrubs ready to help out.
3 Starting With Full Health
One of the more annoying aspects of the original Legend of Zelda is that after saving the game and playing again later, you’ll always start with three filled hearts, regardless of how many heart containers you have.
This is an annoyance, to say the least, as heart farming is a pain and reaching the nearest Fairy Fountain might be too treacherous. Thankfully, there’s an easy workaround: before you stop playing, visit a Great Fairy and, while you’re being healed, use the Secret Save Screen to save and quit.
Upon starting back up, you’ll be fully charged!
2 Beating Dark Link With Din's Fire
The first ever duel with the shadowy Dark Link was in the oft-maligned Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and it was bone-crushingly difficult (like the entirety of the game). Dark Link would appear again in Ocarina of Time’s Water Temple and, while still difficult, it was an epic duel with all the new-fangled sword attacks and backflips.
But why waste your time dueling when you could just use Din’s Fire repeatedly until Dark Link is nothing more than dust?
Quick, efficient, and much less frustrating if you ask us.
1 Stealing The Bow In Link's Awakening
The bow in Link’s Awakening costs a whopping 980 rupees. The outrageous expense is even more taunting considering the item is required to beat the game. You could pay for it or… well, just between you and us… you could steal it. That’s right, feel free to steal the bow from the shop. The game borderline encourages you to do it, anyway.
There is a consequence, however, and it’s that everyone will call you “THIEF” for the rest of the game.
It’s a small price to pay, however, especially when compared to 980 rupees.