Zelda franchise strategy guide/Items/Master Sword

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The Master Sword (マスターソード, Masutā Sōdo) is a fictional magic sword from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. The series' enduring popularity has led to many incarnations of the Zelda story and of the Master Sword itself. It was first fully introduced in the third game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The sword traditionally rests in sacrosanct locations indigenous to Hyrule, such as the Temple of Time or the Lost Woods. It is alternatively known as "The Blade of Evil's Bane". In the French versions of the games, the Master Sword has always been named after legendary sword Excalibur. In general, it acts as the ultimate weapon for the chief protagonist, Link. It has a tendency to either decrease in power between games, as in The Wind Waker and the Oracle series, needing to be "recharged" in some way, or increase in power during the games beyond its standard level, as in Twilight Princess and A Link to the Past.

The sword also doubles as a key to the Sacred Realm. While it impedes evil's ability to act, its seal is not inviolable. A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker all begin just as Ganon is finding a way around the sword's power. In the latter two games, drawing the sword from its pedestal releases the seal completely, allowing evil to act. However, it also anoints the hero, and with the sword in hand, he is ultimately able to defeat Ganon.

The Master Sword has the power to "repel evil", which enables it to overcome powerful dark magic, curses and so on. Evil people and beings cannot touch or wield the sword.

Identification[edit | edit source]

The Master Sword (a.k.a Blade of Evil's Bane) is a double-edged one-handed sword created by the Sages of Hyrule. The blade cross-section is hexagonal with no fuller. On the flats of the blade near the hilt is a Triforce symbol, etched into the steel or emblazoned in gold. The section of the blade nearest the hilt (between the Triforce and the crossguard) is narrowed, possibly for use as an extra grip though Link never uses it this way. The crossguard is blue/purple and curved slightly away from the hilt. A jewel resembling a yellow cat's eye is set where the hilt meets the crossguard. The hilt is often padded red with a non-ornate blue pommel. In Twilight Princess (and Super Smash Bros. Brawl), the hilt is purple rather than blue. In The Wind Waker, the sword is considerably shorter in length (probably to fit the younger Link's hands) and the edges of hilt are close together until the sword has been charged. When fully charged, the blade glows and the jewel on the hilt is a bright yellow. The glowing effect is retained in Twilight Princess, though to a lesser extent.

When not in use by Link, the sword is either stored in a scabbard across Link's back or in a sacred location within Hyrule. In Ocarina of Time, it was originally stored in the Temple of Time, protected by the Door of Time. Later, in Twilight Princess, the sword is retrieved from the ruins of the same temple in the Sacred Grove. Finally, in A Link to the Past, the sword is once again found in a pedestal in the Sacred Grove, though no other ruins are present. The grove is proportioned similar to the Temple of Time from Ocarina of Time, with the pedestal occupying the same position. In The Wind Waker, the sword is stored within a secret chamber in Hyrule Castle at the bottom of the ocean.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

A Link to the Past[edit | edit source]

See also: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The sword that was destined to slay Ganon was sealed in a pedestal deep within the Lost Woods. This pedestal would only relinquish the Master Sword to one who had shown true courage (similar in nature to the legend of the Sword in the Stone). After gathering the Pendants of Courage, Wisdom, and Power, Link was able to draw the blade and use it to fight the forces of darkness. When Link's health was full, the sword allowed Link to shoot spiraling waves of magic energy from it in an attack called the Beam Attack, and does twice as much damage as Link's starting sword (the beams are no more powerful than the starting blade). The Dwarven Smithies turned the Master Sword into the Tempered Sword, and the Great Fairy in the Pyramid of Power, upon having the Tempered Sword thrown into her Fairy Fountain, transformed it into the stronger Golden Sword, giving it unknown mystical abilities for future heroes to discover. After defeating Ganon at the end of the game, Link returned the sword to its pedestal, where it rested forever, according to the text at the end of the game. (Though the "forever" part was removed in the GBA version.)

In the Japanese language version, the Tempered and Golden Swords are simply called the "Level 3" and "Level 4" Master Sword.

Link's Awakening[edit | edit source]

See also: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

There is no mention of the Master Sword in this game. However, Link can obtain the Seashell Blade, also noted as the Level-2 sword; the DX version of the game names this the Master Sword, and depicts it using a different sprite. It is otherwise the same.

Ocarina of Time[edit | edit source]

See also: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Spiritual Stones — the Kokiri's Emerald, the Goron's Ruby, and the Zora's Sapphire — along with the Ocarina of Time and Song of Time, are the keys to the Door of Time which protects the Master Sword. The sword serves both as an entryway to the Sacred Realm, and as a controller of the flow of time, allowing Link to travel between the future and the past. Its magical properties are the key to locking the King of Evil, Ganondorf, into exile.

As in A Link to the Past, the Master Sword has the ability to deflect magical bolts (notably in the battle with Phantom Ganon and Ganondorf). However, it does not fire bolts unless Link is at full health, the feature was implemented in the beta version, but removed.

Only the Biggoron's Sword is stronger, but it must be wielded with both hands and cannot be used with a shield. In addition, in the final boss battle, it does not matter how many times players strike Ganon with any weapon, he cannot be defeated until the last blow is struck with the Master Sword.

The pedestal before the door of the chamber that holds the sword bears the following inscription:

Ye who owns 3 Spiritual Stones,
Stand with the Ocarina of Time and play the Song of Time.

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages[edit | edit source]

In a password-linked game, players are able to give their sword new power, and it is renamed from the Noble Sword to the Master Sword. The Master Sword is initially found broken in two, or hidden deep within the Lost Woods, depending on which game was played first. The Master Sword is the Level 3 Sword of the game, second only to the Biggoron's Sword in attack power. The Master Sword is the only weapon capable of damaging Ganon without charging a spin attack.

In Oracle of Ages, the Noble Sword is an heirloom given to the Zoras, and if this game is played first, then it can be "sharpened" by Zoran royalty to become the Master Sword, indicating that the Noble Sword may be a weakened Master Sword, much like its appearance in The Wind Waker. In Oracle of Seasons, the Noble Sword is found in a shrine hidden in the Lost Woods, echoing its location in A Link to the Past, and if this game is played first, an old man living under the Clock Shop will give it "new power" if Link completes a monster slaying mini-game.

Because the Master Sword has no role in the plot, and is only available through exchanging passwords, its canonicity, is uncertain, as is its relationship (if any) to the Master Sword of the other games.

The Wind Waker[edit | edit source]

See also: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

After Link has proven his worth, the gods open the way to Hyrule and its castle, Hyrule Castle, now located deep beneath the sea. When he first arrives there, the entire castle is frozen in time, a whole army of enemies locked in one moment during an attack on the castle. The Master Sword is located in a hidden chamber in the basement of the castle (located underneath the statue of the Link in Ocarina of Time) and, when removed, this army is unfrozen. Ganon soon reveals that the sword was sealing back his powers, and that furthermore, the sword has lost its power, and is unable to harm him. A major part of the quest in The Wind Waker involves restoring the power of the Master Sword by returning sages to the temples, the Earth Temple and the Wind Temple, in order to pray for the Master Sword and the hero who wields it. When the two sages have been returned, the Master Sword returns to its full power and enables Link to break the barrier between the castle and the path to Ganon's lair, the final dungeon of the game. At the very end, Link plunges the Master Sword into Ganon's forehead, which turns him to stone. The Master Sword is then seemingly lost in the ocean, still stuck in Ganon's head as he is swallowed by the rising water.

When the Master Sword is first acquired, its hilt guard is locked upwards and the gem in the center is black (also being much smaller than other Master Sword incarnations). Later on in the game, the guards are extended outwards, the gem becomes yellow, and the sword glows when unsheathed. The sword is notably shorter than previous interpretations, most likely due to the art style.

Twilight Princess[edit | edit source]

In Twilight Princess, the Master Sword is found at the Sacred Grove, in the ruins of the Temple of Time. It is used to purge the curse on Link, allowing him to return to his human form after he has been locked in his wolf form by Zant (and, once again, to give him the power to defeat Ganon, like in previous games). After that, he has the ability to change between his two forms which includes the human, and wolf form at his own will. It is later upgraded to hold the light of a Sol, the equivalent of a sun in the Twilight Realm, which glows with an evil-destroying aura which can break Shadow Crystals. It shines brightest in the Twilight Realm, where it can dissipate the fog that previously required Link to be in wolf form to navigate. In addition, the light-infused Master Sword has its power multiplied many times against creatures of twilight, slaying most if not all of them in a single blow.

The sword also has a few cosmetic changes done to it in the game similar to the aesthetics in the Temple of Time dungeon. In addition to the fact that the metal comprising the weapon appears completely immune to corrosion, (as per being exposed to the elements for centuries) while the Temple of Time had crumbled into ruins in the Faron Woods, it is also noted that the Master Sword in Twilight Princess appears comparatively longer than the Master Sword wielded by Link in Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, and again gives of a glow of light similar to in The Wind Waker. Also, there appears to be zig-zagging gold trim upon the blade, near its Triforce symbol.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit | edit source]

In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link is similar to his appearance in Ocarina of Time, armed with the Master Sword. In Melee, "Young Link" is also available as a playable character and appears as he does in Ocarina of Time, armed with the Kokiri Sword. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Link appears as he does in Twilight Princess, again with the Master Sword, and "Toon Link", based on Link's The Wind Waker appearance, wields the The Wind Waker version of the Master Sword. It is interesting to note, however, that the fairy following Twilight Princess Link as he pulls the Master sword in Subspace Emissary mode bears a striking resemblance to Navi, the fairy from Ocarina of Time, and that the place he pulls it from looks nothing like the Sacred Grove from Twilight Princess, resembling more of the Lost Woods from A Link to the Past.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure Mode, the Underground Maze stage involves the player searching for the Triforce in a labyrinth. There are seven rooms in the labyrinth where it may be found at which point the stage ends. The location is random; instead of the Triforce, one is more likely to come across the Master Sword set into a small pedestal. It vanishes when approached, at which point Link appears and forces a battle. There are five such swords in this stage, and thus up to five battles with Link (in every possible color, unless the player is playing as Link) that the player may experience.

The description of the Master Sword trophy in the NTSC version erroneously states that the Master Sword first appears in Ocarina of Time, as the game was intended to be, at that time, the earliest in the storyline.[citation needed] The first game released that features the "Master Sword" is A Link to the Past. This error was corrected in the PAL and NTSC Player's Choice versions.

Appearances in other media[edit | edit source]

  • In Soulcalibur II, the Master Sword is Link's basic and most balanced weapon and companion to the Hylian Shield. The Magical Sword from the original The Legend of Zelda is also available as a weapon. The Master Sword is also used as the sword when the Mirror Shield is selected.
  • There is a piece of furniture called the Master Sword in Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube and Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS. On the DS game, if the player touches the sword, the trademark Zelda "new item" sound plays.
  • There is a microgame in WarioWare: Smooth Moves where the player re-enacts the drawing of the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time. While the scene plays out normally on level 1, on level 2 Link is turned into an old man and level 3 Link is turned into a Cucco.
  • In the MMORPG World of Warcraft, there is a character named Linken, a left-handed Gnome who dresses in a green hat and tunic. Through the quest "It's dangerous to go alone" (a tribute to the first The Legend of Zelda) it is possible to obtain "Linken's Sword of Mastery", a nod from Blizzard Entertainment's developers to Link's Master Sword and the Legend of Zelda series. Players that complete the quest also obtain "Linken's Boomerang", a nod to the boomerang Link uses in nearly every game.
  • The Master Sword appears in Shining Soul II, and it can only be wielded by Warrior and Ninja classes.
  • In Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, a dark cave with paths leading back to the beginning (similar to the Lost Woods) hides a pedestal with three missing jewels (marbles) in the center (resembling the Spiritual Stones of Ocarina of Time), and when all three are placed, a sword can be removed from the pedestal, revealing it to be but a spoon with a fancy hilt.

References[edit | edit source]