Nintendo is known for making some of the best video games ever made. The Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda series are some of the most popular and profitable video game franchises of all time. With that being said, even the greatest games are not spared from bugs and glitches. Nintendo titles are no exception to this. If anything, the high quality of their titles tends to make the glitches stand out even more.
We are here today to look into the craziest glitches from The Legend of Zelda series. The dark dungeons and scary monsters that Link encounters in Hyrule are no match for the horrors that await him at the boundaries of his own reality. From the sword that won’t stop swinging, to the secret path to the Triforce.
Here are the 15 Most Insane Legend of Zelda Glitches!
15. The Infinite Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brought the series into the 3rd dimension. One of the main aspects of the gameplay was the new and improved sword fighting mechanics. Link could now target foes so that he could circle around them, and all of his attacks would be aimed in their direction.
There was a way to vastly increase the power of Link’s sword in the game. By inputting a precise set of commands while interacting with an object, Link could trick the game into thinking that his sword was constantly swinging. This is known as the “Infinite Sword” glitch, and it will cause Link’s blade to have a faint white glow. The game will act as if Link’s blade is actively swinging at all times, even when it is stationary. This means that Link only needs to stand near an enemy or boss for them to constantly be stuck by sword attacks. The Infinite Sword glitch is a common bug used by speedrunners, due to how easy it is to perform and how simple it makes some of the boss battles in the game.
14. The Glitch Town
Those of you who are familiar with the Pokémon franchise will no doubt have heard of Missingno. In Pokémon Red & Blue, it was possible to make the game spawn a wild Pokémon in an area that had no corresponding data to load any from. This would cause the game to create a Pokémon from scratch, using nearby available data. The name of this Pokémon was often Missingno, as all of the Pokémon were listed in the internal memory of the game by number, and what you just summoned was missing it.
The Legend of Zelda series has its own equivalent to Missingno. In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, you can access a completely random city by activating the Fairy spell while jumping above the boundaries of the screen. This will dump Link in a “Glitch Town“. This is a town composed of random buildings, enemies and NPCs, who will speak lines of dialogue that come from various points in the game.
13. The Ghosts Of Misery Mire
When you reach the Dark World of A Link to the Past, you are tasked with conquering the dungeons of this twisted land and freeing the Seven Maidens from imprisonment. Link must eventually travel to the Swamp of Evil, which is a marshland area that is overrun with aquatic enemies. In the early days of the Internet, there were many Zelda websites that detailed an enemy known as the “Ghost of Misery Mire“. By using certain weapons, you could destroy an invisible enemy that would drop an item. It was later discovered that there were more than one of these invisible monsters hidden in the swamp.
The identity of the ghosts was later discovered through hacking the ROM file of A Link to the Past. The invisible monsters are actually Fireball Zoras, which had been placed on the map in an area where they couldn’t spawn. The game was detecting their presence, but couldn’t actually load them.
12. The Madness Of Fisherman’s World
Along with Missingno and the other glitch Pokémon, the first generation of Pokémon games is home to a far more visually disturbing bug. It is known as “Glitch City”, which can be accessed by screwing around with the Safari Zone. If performed correctly, you can be trapped in a world of random objects and buildings. You better bring a Pokémon that can use or Fly or Teleport, otherwise, you will be stuck in this city forever.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening also had a Glitch City of its own, which is referred to as the “Fisherman’s World” by fans. It can be entered by visiting the Fisherman and warping a single screen down. Talk to the Fisherman (who should now be stuck in a tree) and pay him to play the fishing minigame. This will cause a glitched out version of the fishing game to start, which will you allow you to access a world of utter madness. The Fisherman’s World is a totally random collection of game assets. You will enter dungeons that are filled with beds, and enter shops that are staffed by wild animals. The sprite data will be messed up, with all of the residents of the island being turned into horrible Missingno-like abominations.
11. Unleashing The Fierce Diety
One of the main goals of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is to collect masks that will grant you special abilities. Once you have collected all of the non-essential masks, you can trade them for the Fierce Deity Mask. When Link puts this on, he transforms into an unstoppable warrior. He gains a massive increase in strength and trades his regular weapon for a new sword that can fire beams of energy. This form would appear as a costume for Link in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U.
While the Fierce Deity Mask is awesome, it comes with a severe restriction. You can only use this form when facing off against bosses, of which there are only a few of in the game. By rapidly switching masks whilst standing in the water, it is possible for Link to equip the Fierce Deity Mask at any time. Link is now free to terrorise the wild beasts of Termina with his most powerful form.
10. The Dancing Goron
The Goron race contains some of the friendliest residents of Hyrule. They are huge creatures, that live in the mountain regions of the world. The Goron respect strength, and will lend their aid to anyone who opposes the forces of evil. Link befriends many different Gorons across the series.
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the Gorons are not so friendly when you first meet them. They will attack you on sight when you try and enter their homeland. You must eventually defeat one of their number in a sumo match.
If the Gorons of Twilight Princess are giving you trouble, then you can glitch them into behaving. If you ask one of the Goron’s to give you a lift up the mountain, you can back up and then run into it at the last second. This will cause the Goron to be stuck in its turning animation, which makes it look like it is dancing.
9. The Clone Bottle Saga
One of the most curious aspects of the Zelda series is the scarcity of bottles. A simple glass bottle is actually one of the most useful items in the game, as it can be used to carry a Fairy. Should you fall in battle, the Fairy will revive you. It is due to game balance issues that Link will only be able to acquire around four or five bottles in the whole world.
The Link from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask need not be held to the limitations of the other heroes of Hyrule. It is possible to change certain items in the inventory (like the masks) into bottles. This can be done by catching something in the bottle, You have to pause the game whilst Link is swinging the bottle and switch it out for the item that you want to change. When you unpause the game, the item will now be changed into a bottle. This glitch is very easy to perform and is a favourite of speedrunners in Majora’s Mask, as it makes it easier to rescue the Zora Eggs from the Pirate Fortress.
8. Haunted By The Boomerang
Those of you who have seen Suicide Squad should be familiar with Captain Boomerang. His only power is being really skilled with a boomerang. The problem is, he is mainly an enemy of the Flash. As the Flash is the fastest man alive, he can easily outrun a boomerang (or even a bullet). This has made Captain Boomerang something of a joke character in the DC universe.
It is a shame that Captain Boomerang doesn’t live in Hyrule, as the boomerangs there know how to deal with people that run away from them. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, if you throw the Magic Boomerang and run away with the Pegasus Boots, then the game glitches out. The Magic Boomerang will just keep zooming across the screen, and cannot be caught by Link. This endlessly spawning boomerang can destroy certain items, like bushes and signs, but it won’t damage any enemies.
7. The Endless Moonwalk
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time introduced Epona the horse to the series. Link’s trusty steed helped him to quickly traverse the land of Hyrule (and later, Termina). Epona would go on to become a fan favourite, which also had the effect of causing backlash against other modes of transport that replaced her in later games. The boat from Wind Waker & Phantom Hourglass, the bird from Skyward Sword and the train from Spirit Tracks would all be disliked by fans, for no other reason than the fact that they weren’t Epona.
There are more effective methods for Link to cross Hyrule Field than his horse. You can use the “SuperSlide” glitch to quickly zip across the land. You do this by casting Nayru’s Love, dropping a bomb, equipping your sword & shield, using the Z-target, and pressing A, followed by B. If done correctly, then Link will shoot backwards as if he is doing an extended version of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. He will keep moving until he hits an obstacle.
6. Playing The Title Screen
A lot of arcade games have something called an attract mode. When the game isn’t being played, it will play a cutscene that shows exciting clips of the gameplay. This is meant to entice people who might pass the machine into playing the game. Attract modes have also appeared in console games and will usually play if you stay on the main menu for too long.
Attract modes have appeared in some of the 3D Zelda games as well. If you don’t press any buttons on the title menu of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, then the attract mode will show an empty version of the Skyloft region of the game.
It is possible to access the empty version of Skyloft in Skyward Sword. You can do this by killing yourself, choosing to continue, and then quickly resetting the game. When you reach the title screen, you will now be able to control Link on the empty Skyloft. This glitch is highly useful for speedrunners, as you can use this version of Skyloft to skip parts of the game (like the notoriously frustrating first battle against the Imprisoned).
5. The Original Bomb Arrows
The creators of the Zelda series are well aware of the numerous bugs and glitches that have appeared in the games. We know this because of statements that were made before the release of Ocarina of Time 3D. The developers mentioned that they had the opportunity to fix all of the bugs, but were convinced not to by certain staff members who enjoyed them in the original version of the game. The same is true for Majora’s Mask 3D. All of the glitches on this list that happen in those games can also be used in their 3DS remakes.
Some of the glitches in the Zelda games were so popular that they actually became a proper part of the series. In Link’s Awakening, it is possible to drop a bomb and fire an arrow at the same time. This will cause the bomb to be fired across the screen, turning it into a powerful projectile weapon. This glitch became known as the “Bomb Arrow“. In Twilight Princess, the Bomb Arrow would become a legitimate part of Link’s arsenal.
4. The Fused Dungeons
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is considered by many to be the black sheep of the Zelda franchise. While the game has its fans, it is often criticised for its side-on perspective and brutal difficulty. The Palaces are notorious for being especially hard to finish, due to the sheer number of enemies you have to face within.
The Fairy spell in The Adventure of Link allows you to turn into a small sprite, which can fly around the screen. This Fairy seems to be the cause of a lot of glitches. You can use the Fairy spell to enter the Glitch Town (mentioned above) and to enter a corrupted version of the first dungeon.
If you enter the fifth Palace and climb to the top of the screen, you can use the Fairy spell to return to the first Palace of the game. This will change the palette of the dungeon, in order to make it match that of the fifth Palace. The most interesting part of this glitch is that it will turn the sprite of the Horsehead boss into a jumbled up mixture of Gooma’s body parts.
3. Ocarina Of Fire
The Legend of Zelda series has often had its names & artwork censored due to their resemblance to real world religious symbols & iconography. A Link to the Past was a name that was made up for the international versions of the game, as it was originally called Triforce of the Gods in Japan.
The Fire Temple that is found in Ocarina of Time would turn out to be one of the most controversial areas in the series. This dungeon needed to have its music changed between versions of the game, as it contained Islamic prayers within the song that can be heard throughout the level. The original song can only be found in the earliest versions of the game.
All of the controversies aside, the Fire Temple isn’t a very interesting dungeon. There is one thing you can do to make it more exciting. If you perform some very precise button presses whilst falling from a ledge, it is possible for Link to play the Ocarina whilst standing in Magma. You can happily play some jaunty tunes, all while Link is on fire.
2. Swimming On Land
The Iron Boots are some of the most inadvertently annoying items in the Zelda series. This is due to the fact that they are needed to traverse Ocarina Of Time‘s Water Temple, which is often regarded as the worst dungeon in the series. You need to equip the Iron Boots at many different points throughout the Water Temple, as they will allow you to sink to the bottom of the ground. This involves having to open the menu, in order to switch the boots, which takes several seconds of time. Switching boots became a lot less tedious in the 3DS remake of the game, as you can now do it by tapping the touch screen.
With the help of glitches, the Iron Boots can serve another purpose in the game. If you enter a body of water, equip the Iron Boots and then quickly save the game, it is possible to leave the water whilst still swimming. Link can then swim above the ground and travel across Hyrule like a mime who is trying to act out Jaws.
1. The Wall Road To The Triforce
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo, and is a strong contender for the greatest game ever made. Link must take on an epic quest, where he travels to the Dark World that lingers in the shadow of Hyrule. You will need all of your wits about you, as you conquer the many deadly dungeons that dot the landscape. It will take all of your gaming skills, as well as many hours of your life, to save Princess Zelda once more.
Well, you could go through all of that bother, or could just finish the game in five minutes.
At the start of the game, you need to enter Hyrule Castle and jump from the first ledge you see. Whilst still in the air, you then have to pause the game and select “Save and Quit”. When you load your save file, the game will think that you are on a higher level than you actually are. This means that it is possible to walk through the walls. You can do this by being struck by an enemy whilst pressing against a wall.
All of the locations in A Link to the Past are set out on a grid. When you are knocked outside the normal boundaries of the game world, you can walk up a few screens and enter the Triforce chamber. Congratulations! You have just completed A Link to the Past before you even had a chance to meet Princess Zelda.