Top Ten Clichés In The Legend of Zelda Series

The Legend of Zelda is an amazing series with many games... but with so many of them, surely there are some concurrent trends in the series. Let it be an idea/concept, a a mechanic, or whatever, this list counts down the biggest clichés in almost 30 years of Zelda tradition.

The Top Ten Clichés In The Legend of Zelda Series

Enter a dungeon, get an item, defeat a boss with the item

This is why Breath of the Wild is my favorite

That's the trend that started with Ocarina of Time. Find bombs in a dungeon? Go fight King Dodongo. Find a bow? Go fight Gohma, Prepare to do this several times. Is the dungeon late in the game? Never use the item again. Don't worry, you can at least pretend to like the Hammer, Spinner, Fire Arrows, etc! - PeterG99

Someone didn't play link between worlds.

Ice, Fire, and Water based dungeons

These three dungeon types are very common. The fire dungeon is usually there to burn you, there is normally an ice-based dungeon to make you slip, and a water dungeon to utilize those swim mechanics! Who even needs variety? - PeterG99

Also forest levels and desert levels, but still, very overused

Waiting for enemies

You hold both shoulder buttons to lock on and shield, and wait about 10 seconds for your enemy to circle around you, come near you, shoot at you, etc. Remember when you just ran in and swiped? - PeterG99

Skyward Sword kinda threw this one out the window. You rarely, if ever, have to wait for enemies to attack. It is just you swinging your remote.

Have you ever played Skyward Sword? In that game, the Wii motion plus makes it so that you can swing your sword at precise angles. This means that you rarely, if EVER, have to wait. There is usually, if not always, a small opening or a trick to defeating certain enemies quickly. Take for example Lizalfos. Some people might just wait for it to taunt and then attack. However, you could attack it and it will block and try to counter attack. If you are quick enough, you can do a backflip and a jump strike to make it fall on its back. Then, fatal blow.

The rest of the 3D Zeldas? Yeah there is a lot of waiting...

Swiping your sword is more mindless than 3d games' combat.

No plot relations to previous games

Not in Spirit Tracks

The only direct sequels in the series are Zelda II, Majora's Mask, and I believe Phantom Hourglass. Everything else has similar characters, but their place on the timeline has led to years of debate! There are 3 branching paths! - PeterG99

Flat out lie. Like you SAID, THREE games did this so your point is invalid.

Yeah, I did say that. Three. Three out of SIXTEEN AND COUNTING. Exceptions exist! Deal with it! - PeterG99

It's not a cliche then.

So what you're saying is that in order for something to be a cliche, EVERY SINGLE GAME NEEDS TO INCORPORATE IT? - PeterG99

Boomerangs, Bows, and Bombs

A lot of items trend in Zelda games, but these three have been around since the beginning and haven't disappeared since. Boomerangs stun enemies, bows and arrows kill them from a distance, and bombs do massive damage. What would the series be without them? - PeterG99

Skyward Sword has a beetle instead of the boomerang so HAH!


Of course, every similar game needs this mechanic. Go back to the Temple of Time to put the sword back! Go back to Clock Town to stop the moon! Go back to... well, anywhere in Skyward Sword! Talk about overstaying your welcome! - PeterG99

You only need to go the temple of time like once before the spirit temple. Clock town is the hub that leads to all other places.

Controversial new mechanics

MM had a very interesting mechanic, but it helped and hindered progress.

You know what I'm talking about: Majora's Mask and the 3 day cycle, Skyward Sword and the motion controls, etc. These mechanics aren't that bad after a while, but the first impressions are too much for some fans. - PeterG99

Only scrubs can't handle Majora's Mask.

Yep, this is the one. Zelda II: Side Scroll. OOT: Z-Targeting. MM: 3-Day Cycle. TP: Alternate Dimensions. SS: Wii MotionPlus. BOTW: Massive world with small dungeons. The list goes on, and on, and on... Of course every one of these was amazing, but Zelda is definitely a "ground-breaking" type of series.

Someone has the hots for Link

Like every girl in Hyrule.

There's always at least one female NPC who is attracted to link, whether it's Ruto, Midna, and Zelda herself of course. It's usually only a small plot device, but it sure is frequent. - PeterG99

"Only Link can defeat Ganon"

Why does this happen? Why, you always happen to be the reincarnation of the Hero of Time, and you even keep your looks and voice! Obviously, others have tried to defeat Ganon, but that would mean the game not existing, of course! - PeterG99

It has to be either an adult or child voice, dude. What else will Link sound like?

There's countless other links and they have very different voices.

Countless other Links? That's what I was implying. Different voices? When? You might hear something different, but personally, I've only ever heard an adult voice and a child voice. - PeterG99

And princess Zelda and the sages.

"Attack the Eye" Enemies

Bruh the final boss in BOTW is a attack the eye enemy

This is more evident in bosses, but especially in the 3D games, it becomes quite apparent that there's a single feature and ONLY that feature that kills an enemy.

There can be good ones like Levias in SS, but most are bad.

My mom walked in on me playing and she was like.
"Honey, what is this? "
" 0-0 well, you don't seem bothered."
"The... Eye... *leaves"

The Contenders

Stealth missions

This is less common than the others, but how many games in the series had stealth missions? There's Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Oracle of Seasons, and I might even be missing one. Some are even in broad daylight! But whatever, Metal Gear Zelda for the win! - PeterG99

There was a stealth mission in a link between worlds that you needed to complete to enter the dark palace. - Skullkid755

You are forgetting the one from Phantom Hourglass.

I liked the stealth mission in Skyward Sword, where the eruption makes you lose all of your items and you have to find them while sneaking past bokoblins.

If there’s one thing I hate it’s stealth missions. I’m an aggressive person, and this just goes contrary to whatever I do. - Fat_Turtle_Gamez

Rescuing Zelda

This is very common in most Zelda games. It starts out with some disaster happening, and then some how involves Zelda and her needing saving from a chosen knight.(hint:Link) a lot of Zelda games concepts are on Link finding a way to save Zelda, like in Skyward Sword, Ocarina of time, Breath of the wild, Twilight Princess, etc.



Inside Jabu Jabu's belly,Earth Temple,Wind Temple. - Lord28

Inside Jabu Jabu's belly(OoT)
Earth temple (WW) - Lord28

Well… too be fair, Medli was really fun to escort, but still. - PeterG99

Breaking Pots
Raising the water levels
Ruins everywhere


Forest Temples
Head with two floating hands
Unbreaking weapons
BAdd New Item