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General Zelda Breakable Items

A Link In Time

To Overcome Harder Challenges
ZD Legend
Skyward Sword toyed with the idea of item vulnerability. No longer was Link's shield beyond the wooden variant impenetrable; rather, players had to be aware of the shield meter and prevent Link's primary defense mechanism from taking too much damage at once. This could be circumvented by obtaining the Hylian Shield, the only shield in the game which could not be broken.

Other items weren't subject to similar treatment, however. In a dungeon featuring the whip, for example, noting the item's durability and preventing usage from going over a certain limit would add a degree of added strategy. Once the item crumbled, it would be available for purchase in any shop granted Link already obtained it in a treasure chest or purchase it before.

Is durability something which should once again be explored in future Zelda games? Would this add another layer of depth to the experience? Or would this change create a more cumbersome adventure hindering player enjoyment?


i got bored and posted something
Apr 13, 2009
Pacific Northwest
I think it would be interesting, but in the end, I don't think it would appeal to many gamers.

In your example, for the whip: say you were trying it out and such, and you weren't comfortable with it. I wasn't exactly great with the shield bash when I first started. I went through a couple shields before I got it down. Now, the shield is not 100% necessary, but the whip was. Having it crumble on you in the middle of a dungeon, and the only way to get another one would be to go back all the way to a shop and buy a new one? That would just be a waste of time and money, and it would be one of those things that would keep an otherwise great game from being perfect.

The "durability" aspect is taken from more than just the shield aspect. I also think of "durability" as ammo as well, needing arrows and bullets for projectile weapons. If you run out of those, well, go find some more. That I don't mind at all, that's natural. I think that is one take on the "durability" aspect, but you can't just have a bunch of whips popping out of the grass and jars.

Overall, I think it would be an interesting aspect of gameplay if executed correctly, like with the shields, just to add a degree of difficulty, but for necessary or in-dungeon items, it would just be a nuisance, personally.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
omgnuuuu this isn't zelda!!1on1eon1

cough. Item durability is all but necessary for Zelda to evolve. Alongside other elements such as crafting, I believe the Zelda experience could become what is effectively an MMORPG scale for a single player (or two player, since Aonuma is considering changing up the formula) game.

Of course, if the concept is fully introduced, it's imperative that we can regain (necessary) items if they break via crafting or another easy-to-reach method. Purchasing previously-owned items is great, but only if they're available from specific retailers; I can't fathom being able to buy a Bow from every single shop in the game. Surely there aren't THAT MANY fletchers.

Viral Maze

Verb the adjective noun
Feb 5, 2010
What Ventus said.
Every other RPG (WRPG, not sure about JRPG) has been doing item durability for ages. It works.
Jan 2, 2012
Yeah, it could work as long as they don't make it too much of a hindrance. They better not have another tricky gimmick like the giant's Knife in OOT. If only I had known, biggest waste of rupees ever.

Triforce Hermit

Praise the Sun
Mar 2, 2013
While durability would be a good idea to toy around with, I think it should be extremely limited. Maybe give the player items that are better and cheaper then the standard ones, but break. Like say you buy a better Bow and Arrow after discovering them. It is cheaper and stronger then the Bow and Arrows you just discovered, but breaks. But you can get the stronger version permanently by upgrading the original set you got, but it requires items and is more expensive.

Pretty much give the Biggoron Sowrd situation to every item


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
As Alucard said in the Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, I'm gonna go with nooooooooooo.

The shield durability makes sense. It's a defensive item that was previously the bane of most enemy's attacks. Having a drawback on the usage of that kind of item makes players think twice about using it. The Shield Bash prevented it from taking damage, yes, but that required proper timing, so there's still a drawback.

With all the other items... this would become a pain. In full-blown RPG's this kind of thing makes sense, as you can get an infinite amount of the same items from shops (with some exceptions, of course). In a series like Zelda where the same items are required to be dragged out in order to defeat enemies and solve puzzles, though, there's no way it wouldn't be annoying, even if only minorly. It wouldn't be a wise move on Nintendo's part.
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Mellow Ezlo

Spoony Bard
Dec 2, 2012
I agree with JJ. Can you imagine having to go to a store in the middle of a dungeon because an enemy smashed your bow, which you need to defeat the boss? It would be a waste of money and time, and just nothing more than an annoyance.
I like the shield though. Keep the breakable shield, that's OK.


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
Absolutely not. Not only was SS's implementation of this poor, but even if it was fixed, it would add nothing to the game but a minor annoyance.

When Nintendo needlessly adds limits like the magic meter, it just encourages me not to use certain aspects of the gameplay outside of puzzles and takes away from the fun factor.

When Nintendo needlessly adds vulnerability like the shield meter, they only annoy players and offer no challenge. Skilled players were required to play more seriously than laid back but weren't challenged by it. Newbies would lose their shield, but rather than be challenged, they were just forced to bore themselves into getting more rupees. Adding the shield bash mechanic (needing to perform a correct action to make use of your shield) was fine, but the meter itself was pointless.

The RPG argument is poor in my eyes because Zelda is nothing...absolutely nothing...like an RPG. You don't choose your side, shape the story, engage in turn based battles, or effectively level up. Zelda is about as much as a RPG game as Super Mario 64 is.


Staff member
Jun 15, 2010
I'm fine with it returning for the shields. Other items? Meh, rather not. Don't want to be keeping track of different meters for different items. One is plenty in this case and it makes the most sense for it to be seen for the primary defence device. Best the feature not be pushed too far...


Are you serious?!?
Feb 6, 2013
In a bottle
The biggest problem is if an item required to defeat a boss breaks during a boss battle--and there's no way to repair it. That just means you end up having to sit there and let the boss kill you because (a) there's no way out of the room and (b) there's no way to progress without your now-broken weapon.

If this could be implemented with some sort of system that allowed you to repair on the go (like with the shield potion in SS) or only adding it to items that, while making your life easier, aren't totally necessary (like a shield), then I am all for it. I thought it added a nice extra challenge to SS, not being able to simply hide behind your shield while figuring out what to do.
Jan 30, 2011
Honestly, when playing Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess they practically give you unlimited items to use in the areas you need them in. I never seem to get below 5-6 bombs, and I always seem to find 10-20 seeds whenever I need to shoot something.
I think sometimes Nintendo just gives away what item you need to use in specific rooms by giving you a ridiculous amount of ammunition in the said room.

As far as durability goes, I think the shield durability is a bit awkward. I seem to only repair my shield in Skyward Sword because of the annoyance factor that I hate seeing my bar get below 75% lol.

I love the idea of the multiple shields (multiple situations, esp mirror shield in some games!), and I'd like the idea of shield durability more if you got close to breaking your shield every once in a while. I am not great a Zelda games, lately I just find the cues to be really obvious to see... maybe it comes from experience?


The Fierce Deity
Jan 16, 2013
Inside the Moon
I think durability is a bad idea. It never seems like much more than a chore. In other games the shield wasn't invincible, it could be stolen or burnt. It also couldn't defend against numerous different attacks. Durability for the shield was nothing more than me running back to Skyloft over and over to pay that one guy to fix my shield. There's no skill to it, and attempts to make it more involved would probably lead to boring events that take time and don't feel rewarding. I've never seen a game with good durability. Keeping your weapons working is a chore you shouldn't have to do in a game.

Zelda doesn't need durability to evolve. It has most of what it needs in past games, and these ideas need to be implemented into the new technologies of Wii U and beyond.

Night Owl

Oct 3, 2011
Skybound Coil Tree, Noctilum
Been playing much fire emblem lately? ;)

I think that would be neat to experiment with, but it needs to be within reason.

I don't think items should be totally destroyed, weakened yes but not destroyed.
That would eliminate the need to escape a boss room because your item broke.

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