The Legend Of Zelda: Every Gimmick, Ranked

From going back in time to turning into a picture, these are the coolest tricks in The Legend of Zelda games!

In the history of video games, The Legend of Zelda is one of the most famous and successful series. Many other popular video game series, on the other hand, put out new games more often than this one.

Instead, each game in the long-running series adds something new to Link’s experiences that makes them more interesting. Adding new gameplay elements is a common way to change things up in Zelda games. Other ways include using a different visual style, a different way to handle the game, or a story that isn’t what you’d expect.

The Loftwing – Skyward Sword

Link and Zelda ride Loftwings together in the sky

From the start of Skyward Sword, the Loftwing seems like it should be a lot more important than it is. Some of the first missions that use the Loftwing can be fun, but after a few hours of Skyward Sword, it just feels like a waste of time to move from place to place and play games that aren’t very interesting.

This gets really annoying as the game goes on because some of Link’s flights get longer, making the flying feel even more routine. It also doesn’t help that the sky area gets some new places that look interesting early in the game, but these end way too soon and nothing new is added later in the game.

The Train – Spirit Tracks

Link and Zelda ride a train through a field in TLOZ:Spirit Tracks.

When it comes to getting from one part of the world to another, the train in Spirit Tracks works a lot like the helicopter in Skyward Sword. This is an interesting way to narrow down the world of Spirit Tracks so that it works better on the DS, but it felt a bit awkward.

In Spirit Tracks, you can do things while taking the train that can make some trips more interesting. But most of the time, you just have to wait. It’s also not helpful that many of the enemy battles on the train are awkward and take too much time to enjoy.

Midna and Wolf Link in TLOZ:Twilight Princess.

The best thing about Wolf Link in Twilight Princess is how the change makes the world feel. The mood in Twilight Princess is very real, which is one of the things that makes the game so memorable. Wolf Link helps with this.

It’s too bad that the way you interact with the world as Wolf Link gets old and feels more limited than the rest of the game. Some parts of Wolf Link are easier to remember than others. But the main game is so much fun that you’ll spend most of your time just waiting for it to end.

Changing Seasons – Oracle of Seasons

Split Image Of Fall and Winter in TLOZ: Oracle Of Seasons.

The seasons change in Oracle of Seasons, which is a one-off Zelda feature from one of the 2D Zelda games. This feature works pretty well. Link can change the seasons in some parts of Oracle of Seasons. This can also change the world around him, which helps him figure out tasks and find new areas.

It’s too bad that Oracle of Seasons will always be compared to its partner game, Oracle of Ages. Oracle of Ages has a mechanic that is a little more fun and leads to puzzles that are more interesting and have more creative answers. It can be fun to see the seasons change. But it always feels a little less exciting than its twin trick.

Link bunny in the dark world in TLOZ:A Link To The Past.

A Link to the Past, the third game in the series, is the first Zelda game with a unique feature. It has a parallel dark world that Link can hop in and out of to get to new places and solve new puzzles. This concept came back as Lorule in A Link Between Worlds, which is a new take on A Link to the Past.

This is a famous trick for a reason, and it’s a great way to give the player more options and make your own parallel tones. But the idea of a parallel world has been used in more interesting ways in other Zelda games. And the fact that A Link Between Worlds’ dark world isn’t as interesting as another feature doesn’t help.

Sailing – The Wind Waker & Phantom Hourglass

link and the king of red lions in the legend of zelda wind waker

Going around in a sailboat seems like a lot more fun and interesting for Link than taking trains or Loftwings. In Wind Waker, this mechanic was added. It was a great way to make the world feel both big and linked.

There were more interesting parts of the map than others. But sailing was still a fun way to get around, and Wind Waker HD makes it even better. Phantom Hourglass kept the trick going but made it easier to understand. The world was much smaller, but it was still fun to move around.

Shrinking – The Minish Cap

Link And Ezlo With The Minish in TLOZ: Minish Cap.

The Minish Cap changes the way the secondary world works by making it much smaller. Link can join this world by shrinking in some places. This is used for unique ways to get around to solve puzzles, reach new places, and even go to Minish settlements.

The best thing about Tunnel Rush is how it looks, even though the mechanics aren’t the most complicated and the puzzles are pretty easy to solve. The Game Boy Advance’s unique pixel art and color palette make the Minish settlements look especially beautiful, making these places stand out.

Time Travel – Ocarina of Time & Oracle of Ages

Link Pulling the Master Sword from the temple stone in The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time

One of the main ideas in many Zelda games is time travel. And it plays a big part in the stories of Skyward Sword and The Wind Waker. However, time travel is only really used as a gameplay concept in Ocarina of Time and Oracle of Ages.

This is another way to use parallel worlds, but the time travel makes it a lot more fun to play. The ability to change the future from the past is used in Oracle of Ages in a lot more interesting ways than in Ocarina of Time. One thing that is always nice about games is being able to see the world at two different times.

Masks – Majora’s Mask

Cover art for TLOZ: Majora's Mask.

The different kinds of masks in Majora’s Mask are both its strength and weakness. During the story, you can unlock masks that are fun to use and change how Link plays. The transformation masks are a great example of this.

But some masks are just fancy keys that help you finish a side quest and don’t do anything else. When the game is over, being able to give up all of your masks for the Fierce Deity Mask is always a satisfying prize that makes collecting them all worth it.

Runes – Breath of the Wild & Tears of the Kingdom

Link using magnesis to get treasure in TLOZ: The Breath of The Wild.

It might be too simple to call runes a trick, but when you look at Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom next to other games in the series, they really stand out. These skills completely change how Link discovers the world in each game. Which makes it feel like there are endless things that can happen.

The only possible downside is that these all unlock early on, taking the place of dungeon things that were spread out over the storylines of previous games. However, this was a necessary sacrifice to make these games what they are.

Link as a painting in TLOZ: A Link Between Worlds.

When you unlock them, the best Zelda tricks are the ones that make you rethink how you interact with the world. In A Link Between Worlds, being able to turn them into a picture is a great example of this.

Now you know the main difference between A Link Between Worlds and A Link to the Past. This is also why people love the new version so much. The way problems are solved and the world is explored changes in a way that hasn’t been seen in any other game since painting is unlocked.

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