You open the chest. You deliver the final item of the quest. You slay the ferocious mini-boss, prompting the classic fanfare to ring. You know you’re in for something good. The precision of the Hero’s Bow. The girth of the Biggoron Sword. The sheer magnitude of the Megaton Hammer. These are the items that have defined gameplay for generations of Zelda players. But for all of the epic items that the Zelda creators have given us… some outliers exist. These are the wannabes, the items that just didn’t make the cut.
10. Circus Leader’s Mask (Majora’s Mask)
This item could have been very useful–it stops the crazed Gorman Brothers from ruthlessly assaulting Link and Cremia on their quest to deliver milk. There is only one problem, however: the only way to get this mask is to have already completed the milk delivery! By taking what could have had a nice function and making it completely obsolete, the Circus Leader’s Mask deserves the 10th spot for the lamest item around. Just don’t tell Mario and Luigi.
9. Fairy Ocarina (Ocarina of Time)
Given to you in one of the most heartfelt moments of OoT, this item could have potentially been a relic of lost childhood, forgotten dreams, and the anguish of losing a beloved friend. However, Link immediately discards it when he gets a shinier ocarina from Princess Zelda. Sorry, Saria. We still appreciated it. It does have a cooler fate in the manga: Ganondorf crushes it after realizing it is not the true Ocarina of Time. That would have been preferable to it just disappearing from your inventory.
8. Heart Piece (Twilight Princess)
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While the game most likely justified splitting the Heart Container into fifths due to the high amount of Heart Pieces in the game, the change challenged one of the most satisfying formulas in all of Zelda: it just takes four. This was the golden rule until Twilight Princess, and it’s been the golden rule for every game after. It’ll be interesting to see if the Zelda series ever shakes up the Heart Piece equation again or if they will stay, as the community largely prefers it, quadratic.
7. Goddess’s Harp (Skyward Sword)
The timing of the Wind Waker. The route memorization of the Ocarina. The placement of the Harp of Ages. The decision-making for the Rod of Seasons. We’ve come to expect a small amount of strategy when it comes to the use of our Zelda instruments, and the Goddess’s Harp only gave us complete chaos with our Wii Remotes. Oh well, at least it eventually worked. Can’t say the same about arranging those Boss Keys.
6. Bullet Bag (50) (Ocarina of Time)
The only occasion where this is not lame is for the people with extremely bad aim. While the slingshot is pretty useful for young Link, very seldom is there a reason to use more than five bullets in a single session. The only place where it is conceivable to deplete this many bullets is in the shooting gallery, where you receive unlimited shots.
5. Ooccoo (Twilight Princess)
The Ooccoo does its best Farore’s Wind impersonation, except for one tiny flaw: it does not allow us to return to the point of the dungeon where we warped out! If we wanted to escape, we’d save and quit. Plus, Ooccoo’s are kind of freaky–why does its baby have wings attached to his head?
4. Golden Scale (Ocarina of Time)
It’s the prize for catching a heavy fish. The only problem is… we don’t need it for anything! Diving deep can be accomplished similarly through the use of the Zora Suit and Iron Boots. While acquiring it unlocks the Sinking Lure, the device is prohibited by the owner in competition and thus is just as useless as the scale that earned it.
3. Amber Relic (Skyward Sword)
This item is useful in the sense that it’s possible to create powerful items from it. The not-so-useful part? We are forced to read a description about what it does every time we start up the game! Nintendo, what were you thinking?! Seriously. For all of the perplexing questions the series has asked over the years, this is the one that demands the biggest answer.
2. Slingshot (Twilight Princess)
A key item in OOT turned out to be a complete dud here. The fact that it received an almost perfect replacement in the form of the Gale Boomerang in the first temple did not help matters. While its ultimate purpose is to stun enemies, there are so many other items designed to slay them that its function is quickly forgotten.
1. Cane of Somaria (A Link to the Past, Oracle of Ages)
Expecting a vicious item to vanquish foes? How about an item that can create blocks? Nothing screams anticlimactic like poofing a block into existence so it can be pushed around. While puzzle lovers appreciate its presence in the series, it’s difficult to imagine Link feeling too confident about dragging this into battle.