What would the iconic pass-time of smashing pots and cutting people’s lawns be without shops to spend your hard-earned rupees in? Throughout the series, shops in Zelda games have offered all sorts of items to Link to aid him on his quest — from arrows and armour to bottles and bombs. Some are more memorable than others, and there’s one, in particular, I’m sure most Zelda fans can agree is a standout in the series. But there are many others that I personally have fond memories of and I think deserve a shout-out for sticking in my mind over the years.
With that in mind, here are my top 6 favourite shops in 3D Zelda Games!
Honourable mention: Zora’s Shop (Ocarina of Time)
I know I’m cheating by jumping straight into a shop not officially on my list, but I wanted to share a thought about the Zora Shop I often had while playing Ocarina of Time. I was always amused and confused when Adult Link melts the ice block sealing the entrance to the store and finds a Zora inside, stood behind the counter as if nothing ever happened. Was the Zora in there for 7 years? How did they survive? Were they waiting for me all this time to peddle their wares? He’s committed if so.
6: Starlight Memories (Breath of the Wild)
Breath of the Wild is all about that sweet customisable gear, so I was delighted to find this gem of a store in Gerudo Town. Perhaps it’s my girly side swaying me here, but I love the gorgeous jewellery you find on sale in Starlight Memories. It really adds to the Gerudo culture and — let’s all be honest — makes Link look fabulous. Plus, they give great defence and elemental resistances! I also love the design of the Gerudo who runs the store. She’s so radiant.
5: Ravio’s Shop (A Link Between Worlds)
I really like how Ravio’s shop lets you mix and match key items in A Link Between Worlds. It gives you the freedom to face the dungeons and explore the world in whatever order you please, which is always a nice change from linearity. I also find it hilarious how Ravio basically takes over your house in order to rent or sell you items. You should be paying me for running a business in my house!
4: Beedle’s Shop Ship (Wind Waker)
Ah, Beedle’s glorious debut! I love Beedle so much. He’s always so enthusiastic to serve Link and shows up on the Great Ocean just when I need him most. I felt so excited every time I saw his boat in The Wind Waker — I was eager to see what new stock he had. Would it be a heart piece, a bottle, or just bog-standard bait? Plus, the catchy music in his shop always made me want to dance along: I bob Link’s head with the crouch animation or sidestep with Z targeting to the beat of the music. Try it yourself, it’s fun!
3: General Shoppe (Breath of the Wild)
The General Shoppe in Korok Forest is nothing particularly special in terms of what it sells, but I love it so much because of how endearing it is. I talked about this more in another article of mine (The Helpful Little Korok): the Korok that runs this store is so cute because it clearly wants to help me in any way it can. Look at what it sells: a few arrows, some cane sugar, and just one apple and one radish. I love the thought of him doing his best to carry that one apple and one radish through the forest, just so he can put them in his store for me. They’re barely useful as single purchases, but it’s too adorable — I have to buy them!
2: Curiosity Shop (Majora’s Mask)
The Curiosity Shop in Majora’s Mask fascinates me. The piled boxes of unknown wares and the bars that separate you from the vendor create the vibe that it’s basically Termina’s black market. You get the sense that this place has anything and everything that people pawn off for rupees. In any other Zelda game, this would seem thematically out of place, but it fits the sombre tone of Majora’s Mask perfectly. I also love that the vendor is the same guy who runs the general store, except with shades. What an excellent cover.
The rare items you can purchase and the ability to sell random junk really makes it stand out for me. It blew my mind as a kid that anything that pesky bird in Termina Field steals from you eventually ends up in the Curiosity Shop. Plus, it plays a pivotal part in the iconic Anju and Kafei side quest, so that’s an instant bonus point.
1: Malo Mart (Twilight Princess)
You knew Malo Mart was going to be number one! What else could it be? That catchy tune, the dancing customers, Malo’s face plastered everywhere — it’s just too much. You can’t help but laugh and want to buy, buy, buy! It’s got a great selection of items throughout every version of it, including rarities like the Hawkeye Mask and the Magic Armour.
Speaking of every version, I love how you help build the Malo Mart into what it eventually becomes in Hyrule Town. Your generous donations and spending help Malo achieve his dream of dominating the commercial market. And for those who might have missed it, the store in Hyrule Town is pretentious and overpriced before Malo takes over. So it’s really a win-win for everyone.
What are your favourite shops in Zelda games? Do you agree with my list? Share your comments with us below or on social media!