The Legend of Zelda: All Items and Upgrades

The Legend of Zelda items

The Legend of Zelda: All Items and Upgrades

Considering that it’s almost 40 years old, the fact that The Legend of Zelda continues to hold up as well as it does is a testament to the brilliance of its design. A key part of that brilliance lies in the useful set of tools, equipment, and item upgrades that players have at their disposal throughout the adventure’s duration, allowing players to take on each of the game’s challenges in a variety of ways or end up using a specific tool for a very specific purpose. In Zelda, it’s all about having the right tool for the job, and several of Link’s most iconic and enduring pieces of equipment are introduced in his original 1986 adventure.

The following is a comprehensive overview of all items in The Legend of Zelda, including their location and how each is intended for use within the context of the game’s main quest. Note that the locations of these items change in the second quest and that the information below is in reference to the original quest that players undertake when starting a new game. Whether key items, weapons, upgrades to existing equipment, or consumables, each of the items below represents the totality of Link’s potential equipment in his very first appearance.


Wooden Sword

The Legend of Zelda wooden swordImmediately after dropping into The Legend of Zelda‘s version of Hyrule, players will notice a cave just due north. Entering this cave will see Link greeted by a mysterious hermit who warns him that “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this”. With that, Link has the first of the three available swords in the game. It is the weakest sword in Legend of Zelda.

White Sword

The Legend of Zelda white swordPlayers can obtain the White Sword after earning a total of 5 Heart Containers and venturing to the cave at the top of the ladder that runs parallel to a waterfall. Going one screen up and then one screen left from the Lost Hills area will land players in the correct area. This sword is actually obtainable before completing the first dungeon and is a substantial upgrade over the Wooden Sword.

Magical Sword

The Legend of Zelda magical swordThe third and final sword that Link can obtain in the game. The Magical Sword is located underneath one of the tombstones in the Graveyard. Before being able to wield the sword, Link must have 12 Heart Containers. The Magical Sword is the most powerful weapon in the game and an essential piece of equipment to have before facing off against Ganon.


Wooden Shield

The Legend of Zelda wooden shieldLink begins the game with the Wooden Shield as the only item in his possession. While this shield is serviceable enough to block arrows, boomerangs, and pellets from the Octorok enemies, it cannot withstand fireballs or magic blasts. Link will definitely need to upgrade to the Magical Shield before attempting some of the later dungeons.

Magical Shield

The Legend of Zelda magical shieldThe Magical Sheild is the one and only shield upgrade available to Link in The Legend of Zelda. As such, it is the most powerful shield in the game and is capable of blocking any attack, provided that Link is not mid-action while attempting to block. Unlike the Wooden Shield, the Magical Shield can withstand the attacks from Wizzrobes and Zora. Players can find this shield at a variety of shops dotting the landscape around Hyrule, and it can be purchased for 90, 130, or 160 Rupees.



The Legend of Zelda boomerangThe Boomerang is one of Link’s most iconic pieces of equipment for several reasons. First, players discover this useful item in the very first dungeon in Legend of Zelda. Second, this item is traditionally most players’ default key item assignment throughout most of the adventure. The Boomerang can stun most enemies and occasionally eliminate smaller ones like Keese. However, it can only travel half the length of the screen, limiting its use compared to its more powerful upgrade.

Magical Boomerang

The Legend of Zelda magical boomerangThe only upgrade available for the Boomerang, the Magical Boomerang has all of the same utility as the standard one with the added benefit of being able to travel the full length of the screen. Players will discover this item as one of the treasures available in the second dungeon of the game.


The Legend of Zelda bowSimilar to the Boomerang, Link will acquire the Bow as one of the available treasures in the first dungeon in The Legend of Zelda, The Eagle. However, unlike other games in the series, Link will not be able to collect arrows and then use the bow. Instead, Link must purchase the arrows from a shop in Hyrule and then each shot costs 1 Rupee. Still, an incredibly useful item and one necessary to beat the game when combined with the Silver Arrow.


The Legend of Zelda blue candleThe Legend of Zelda red candleBoth the Blue and Red Candles in The Legend of Zelda are used to kill weaker enemies, reveal hidden staircases, or light dark rooms. The Blue Candle needs to be purchased from a shopkeeper for 60 Rupees and can only fire once per screen. The Red Candle is one of the treasures available in the 7th dungeon and can fire multiple times per screen.


The Legend of Zelda recorderThe Recorder is a curious item and one that has 3 specific uses in The Legend of Zelda. This musical instrument is the main treasure of the game’s 5th dungeon, The Lizard, and is necessary to defeat the dungeon’s boss Digdogger. Link must also use the Recorder to reveal the entrance to the 7th dungeon. Anytime Link plays the Recorder on the Hyrule map, it will transport the player to the last visited dungeon.

Magical Rod

The Legend of Zelda magical rodThe Magical Rod is an excellent optional item that players discover in the 6th dungeon. It shoots a beam across the screen with the same power as the White Sword. However, Link does not need to be at full health to shoot the Magical Rod like he does to shoot the White Sword’s beam. In addition to being a great tool against regular enemies like Wizzrobes, the Magical Rod is very effective against certain bosses.


The Legend of Zelda letterPlayers obtain the Letter by taking Link to the area far northeast of the Lost Hills. Here, a staircase leads up to a lone cave entrance with a hermit waiting inside. The hermit gives Link the Letter, and he can then visit any of Potion Shops and exchange the Letter for one of the Old Woman’s health potions. Though obtaining the Letter is technically optional, players will absolutely want to complete getting the Letter and bringing it to the Old Woman so that they have healing capabilities on demand.



The Legend of Zelda bombThe Bomb is one of Link’s most versatile and useful consumable items in The Legend of Zelda. Players use Bombs to reveal hidden caves in the Hyrule overworld, open up secret shortcuts within dungeons, eliminate smaller enemies, harm tougher enemies or bosses, and outright kill the Dodongo boss. Although Link can only carry 8 Bombs initially, players can spend 100 Rupees to upgrade his carrying capacity in the 5th and 7th dungeons.


The Legend of Zelda arrowBefore Link can use the Bow that he acquires as the key item in the 1st dungeon, The Eagle, he must visit a shop in Hyrule and purchase Arrows for 80 Rupees. Once Link buys the Arrows, each shot from the Bow costs 1 Rupee, meaning you’ll need to keep his wallet reasonably full to keep using the Bow and Arrow. Arrows are extremely useful against certain enemies (such as Pols Voices) and are necessary to defeat Gohma.

Silver Arrow

The Legend of Zelda silver arrowThe Silver Arrow is arguably the most important item in the entire game as it is the only weapon capable of killing Ganon in the final boss battle within Death Mountain. As Death Mountain’s ultimate treasure, obtaining the Silver Arrow requires careful routing through the labyrinthine final dungeon, but with Link having it in his possession, players can proceed to the final boss room and complete The Legend of Zelda. Just like normal Arrows, firing a Silver Arrow requires 1 Rupee per shot.


The Legend of Zelda foodFood is an interesting item in that it only appears in the original Legend of Zelda and cannot be acquired through any means other than purchase. Available for 60 or 100 Rupees depending on which shop you visit, Food has two very specific uses. Link can drop Food on the screen and use it to distract enemies, but its much more important and necessary use is as a gift to Goriya in order to be able to progress past his screen and complete the 7th dungeon.

Life Potion

The Legend of Zelda life potionGiving the Letter to the Old Woman residing in one of several caves around Hyrule will turn these locations into Potion Shops. The first of the two healing potions available, the Life Potion, will set you back 40 Rupees and is a one-time use item to fully restore all of Link’s hearts.

2nd Potion

The Legend of Zelda 2nd potionThe best deal available in the Potion Shops is the 2nd Potion. Costing Link 68 Rupees, this potion has two uses, each of which fills Link’s health. Considering that a one-time use Life Potion is 40 Rupees and the 2nd Potion costs less than two Life Potions, players should only purchase 2nd Potions when in need of healing capabilities. 2nd Potions are practically essential before venturing into Death Mountain.

Key Items


The Legend of Zelda raftLink finds the Raft as the treasure of the 3rd dungeon, The Manji, and uses it to cross large bodies of water around Hyrule. In the two locations that players spot a lone dock on top of a body of water, it’s possible to step out onto the surface and have the Raft materialize to take you to a new destination. One of these is the 4th dungeon, and the other is a cave housing a Heart Container.

Book of Magic

The Legend of Zelda book of magicThe Book of Magic is one of the treasures contained within the 8th dungeon and transforms the Magical Rod into producing flames with its beam. As a result, the Book of Magic and Magical Rod together make the Red Candle obsolete as they shoot a more powerful beam that is capable of both eliminating enemies and illuminating dark rooms.

Blue Ring

The Legend of Zelda blue ringHeading west of Lake Hylia (where players find both the 1st and 4th dungeons) in the original Legend of Zelda‘s Hyrule and then heading north will bring players to a screen with two rows of Armos knights. Eliminating the middle Armos in the top row reveals a hidden shop, in which the salesman is peddling a Blue Ring. Even though it costs nearly the entire contents of a full wallet, getting this ring is essential and should be done as soon as possible, as it grants Link the blue tunic. With this tunic, Link only takes half damage from enemies.

Red Ring

The Legend of Zelda red ringThe Red Ring is the third and final armor upgrade in the game, transforming Link’s tunic into the reddish/brown tunic. This new tunic takes only a quarter of the damage from enemies, granting Link the best defense possible against some of the game’s more challenging foes. The Red Ring is one of the treasures hidden within the final dungeon, Death Mountain.


The Legend of Zelda stepladderThe Stepladder is similar to the Raft in that Link will use it to cross previously inaccessible areas. Both in the overworld of Hyrule and within its many dungeons, players will come across gaps that they’ll need to cross using the Stepladder, which is located in the 4th dungeon. Also like the Raft, players will need to use the Stepladder to access one of the game’s additional Heart Containers.

Power Bracelet

The Legend of Zelda power braceletPlayers can find the Power Bracelet underneath one of the Armos knights in the field east of the Graveyard. These completely optional item is used to move the heavy boulders that block each of the map’s warp points.

Magical Key

The Legend of Zelda magical keyPlayers can find the Magical Key inside of the 8th dungeon along with the Book of Magic. This item acts as the game’s master key, capable of opening any lock within dungeons and rendering Small Keys useless. Although players acquire it late in the game, it helps to make the final dungeon of Death Mountain much more manageable without needing to hunt for Small Keys.

Dungeon Items


The Legend of Zelda compassThe Compass is located within each of the game’s 9 dungeons and is used to pinpoint the location of the dungeon’s Triforce Shard on the map. This location appears as a small blinking dot that can guide the player towards where they should be heading within each dungeon. In Death Mountain, the Compass directs Link toward the location of Princess Zelda and the antechamber where he will fight Ganon.

Dungeon Map

The Legend of Zelda dungeon mapThe Dungeon Map is also an item that players can find within each dungeon. This item will give players a layout of the dungeon in which it’s found, showing the amount of rooms and how they are connected. With the Dungeon Map in tow, Link can more easily discover destructible walls and locations of the dungeons’ hidden items.

Small Key

The Legend of Zelda small keyLink uses Small Keys to unlock the locked doors inside each dungeon. Unlike the Compass and Dungeon Map, Small Keys that Link collects will carry from dungeon to dungeon, meaning it’s possible to utilize bombs and shortcuts to hoard them. They can be obtained through clearing rooms of enemies and occasionally are found on the floors of rooms in dungeons.

Triforce Shard

The Legend of Zelda triforce shardThe Triforce Shards are located in the first 8 dungeons in the chamber behind each dungeon’s boss. These key items are necessary to collect before being able to enter and complete the final dungeon, Death Mountain. Each dungeon’s Compass will highlight the location of its Triforce Shard.



The Legend of Zelda clockThe clock is an item that enemies will randomly drop after defeat. When Link picks up the clock, it automatically freezes enemies in place, making them easy targets for Link to eliminate.


The Legend of Zelda rupeeThe Legend of Zelda blue rupeeRupees are the official currency of Hyrule and the item that Link will mostly find left behind after defeating enemies. The orange version will add 1 Rupee to Link’s wallet, while the rarer blue Rupees are worth 5. Collecting and saving Rupees is necessary not only to purchase some of the game’s items, but also to be able to use the Bow and Arrow since each Arrow costs 1 Rupee.

Recovery Heart

Legend of Zelda recovery heart artworkDefeating enemies will sometimes drop small red hearts for Link to pick up. These Recovery Hearts will refill some of Link’s Heart Containers. 1 Recovery Heart will fill 1 Heart Container.

Heart Container

Legend of Zelda heart containerHeart Containers increase Link’s maximum health and are some of the most valuable items in the game as a result. Each dungeon boss drops a Heart Container for Link to collect, but there are also 5 other Heart Containers hidden throughout Hyrule. In these locations an Old Man will offer Link to take either a Heart Container or a 2nd Potion, and players should take the Heart Container without question. Link can obtain a total of 16 hearts by collecting all the Heart Containers.
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