Guide Dang It / The Legend of Zelda

Every The Legend of Zelda game is almost contractually obliged to have a Guide Dang It in it somewhere.
  • Several Zelda games require the usage of a battle tactic that they've christened "Dead Man's Volley." Essentially, it's playing tennis with Ganon or some manifestation of him by bouncing his projectiles back with your sword. The sword in Zelda does not reflect projectiles any other time, and you're never informed that this time is different. If you don't remember it from a past game (or stumble on the customary joke item that works too, like an empty bottle), you're out of luck.
    • Most of the time however, you're given an Exposition Fairy that can give you information on enemies you're currently fighting. Those instances don't count, but not all Dead Man's Volley fights give you this luxury.
  • The NES original as a whole. It has many things, such as shops, heart containers, and free rupees behind bomb squares and burned trees. Sometimes these are required (such as Level 8), and sometimes they are optional (heart containers). Unlike later Zelda games, there is no visible indication that you can bomb or burn any particular square. Without using a guide or collaborating with another playernote , the only way to find these spots are to bomb and burn every single square on every single screen. (And you can only carry a limited number of bombs, and the candle can only be used once per screen unless you have the red candle.)
    • It's made arguably worse by the fact that the only hints you got for these puzzles were from talking to the memetically-Engrishy old men in the caves, one of which ("10th enemy has the bomb") wasn't fully deciphered until 20 years later.note 
    • The second quest of the original - items get moved around, and every level's entrance is now hidden, with the exception of Levels 1 and 5. It also throws fake walls at you. You'd be stuck in a dungeon, having bombed every wall and been unable to find a way out, until you realized that some walls let you just pass through if you walked up to them.
    • Level 5 in the first quest, where you have to go through a looping screen (the original Lost Woods) several times. Level 8 is accessed by burning a conspicuous tree with the candle. And Level 7, how would they know the whistle does more than just warp you around? (Also, to beat Level 7, you have to make your way to the room in the upper right corner, kill all the Wallmasters, then move a block to open a secret passageway, making it a Guide Dang It within a Guide Dang It.) There's also a tombstone in the second quest graveyard that is opened with the whistle.
      • There is an in-game Player Nudge for how to find Levels 5 and 7. The old woman by the waterfall tells you to "GO UP, UP, UP THE MOUNTAIN AHEAD" if you pay her the middle amount (a Guide Dang It! in itself, since by that point most players are conditioned to pay the maximum amount), and an old man in another dungeon reminds you that "THERE ARE SECRETS WHERE FAIRIES DON'T LIVE," but you were still on your own for figuring out to use the whistle there.
    • Then, of course, is the angry Goriya who blocks your path in several dungeons, doing nothing except going "GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE". Players were apparently supposed to realize this was his stomach growling, but this would have been a lot more transparent if he'd said "I'M HUNGRY" or something along those lines.
    • If you touch a Bubble in the original Zelda, it makes you unable to use any of your items for a few seconds. Annoying, but not unmanageable. Red Bubbles, on the other hand, make you completely unable to use your items until you either: A) use a potion or go to a fairy spring, or B) run into a Blue Bubble. Granted, it could make sense having one effect cancel out the other, but there is no indication that touching the weaker of the two also completely removes the stronger's effect.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is mostly fairly simple, except for the vague hints people give you (which isn't TOO much of a problem).
    • There's also Thunderbird, the 2nd to last boss. The only way to remove its invincibility is to use a certain spell. Which one is it, though? Someone told you "If all else fails, use fire", how about that? WRONG! The mysterious "Spell" spell has to have some use besides turning enemies into Bots and revealing a hidden door. Again, wrong. No, it's the Thunder spell, which costs a majority of your magic bar and is almost completely useless because of it. Not many people suspect the "kill everything on screen for 50% of your magic bar" spell is the one that makes the boss vulnerable.
      • And yes, the boss' name is Thunderbird, but neither the game nor the instruction manual tells you that, which means you'd have to read a guide.
      • And it would be more logical to assume that a Thunderbird would resist electricity...
    • Let's not forget about the bridge man for the town of Saria, which caused a lot of people grief when they became stuck after only one dungeon! All you are told is "Only townspeople may cross". So do you lure a townsperson over? Do you talk to people around there to be sworn in? Do you have to come back after finding a second dungeon? How about wander randomly in the forest to the north to find a man named Bagu, despite the fact he is never mentioned otherwise? Oh, and his house is hidden, so you have to comb all of those trees, even with the forced battle areas. To top this all off, you need to talk to Bagu, or else you can't get the hammer, which you need to reach the next dungeon! Averted somewhat by a monster in one house. He's asleep, but if you bother him enough times, he tells you to see his 'master' in the woods north of Saria. (But you have to bug him enough times. Your average newcomer to the series might not think to try to talk to him a third or fourth time after only getting "z z z z" from him.)
    • Worse is the Hidden Town of Kasuto. The hammer that lets you break rocks also lets you 'knock down' tiles of forest in the overworld. Beneath one of these tiles - one! - is a town tile. There is nothing anywhere to hint that the hammer does this, or that you'll ever need to do it, or that one of these tiles could hide something, especially since you discover other places hidden in the woods just by walking into them. In Old Kasuto, you are told "THE TOWN IS DEAD LOOK EAST IN WOODS." That is all you are getting.
  • Link's Awakening has doors that will only open if you throw a pot at them. Aside from not being very intuitive in the first place, this logic doesn't work in any other game in the series, so veteran players are even less likely to think of it and just assume they missed a switch or something. At least the DX version added hints to help.
    • Accessing the Color Dungeon in DX. Sure, the game tells you where to push the stones, but it gives the instructions in an ambiguous way. The game gives you "3↑ 4→ 5↑ [line break] 2→ 1↓". This three-then-two pattern matches the arrangement of the gravestones, and you're supposed to mentally superimpose the two, then push the graves in the order of the numbers. Those who don't notice the similar pattern and read straight across (third grave up, fourth grave right, etc.) will be stuck.
    • At one point in Turtle Rock, you have to shoot a statue with an arrow - which you never have to do at any other point in the game.
    • A puzzle in the second dungeon requires you to kill three enemies in a specific order to reveal a key required to progress. There is a hint earlier in the level which refers to the enemies by name, but the enemies' names are nowhere in the game or the manual. The only way you'd know them is from the manual of a previous Zelda game on a console you might not even own.
  • In Ocarina of Time, there are 100 Gold Skulltullas for you to find. The manual mentions that Skulltullas can sometimes be found in trees, and dislodged by rolling into said tree. If you hadn't read that, you're unlikely to try it, as the trees are small and barren and clearly could not be hiding a Skulltulla. Let's not get into the Skulltullas that only appear at a certain time of day, or only exist in one time period...
    • The father of the cursed family will mention Skulltulas that only appear at night or inside soil patches, but he will no longer give this hint once all of his children are freed, so if you never talk to him between getting your tenth and fiftieth token, you're on your own.
    • In the Master Quest version, you have to bomb something you've never bombed before, that matches the rest of the scenery in the room (and entire dungeon), and has no indication that it can be destroyed, in order to progress through The Well and acquire the Lens of Truth. And not even the compass tells you that the room contains anything.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is more or less Guide Dang It!: The Game. Certain masks are obtained by going to a completely random spot at an arbitrarily specific time, or by using an item or mask in a completely irrelevant location. And then there's the Thieves' Hideout. Go and find six bottles, no clues whatsoever!
    • The 3DS version is largely an aversion of this trope, however, as there is a Sheikah Stone near the Mask Salesman which you can interact without any special means. It contains little videos telling how to beat every event of the main quest, plus pictures of every Heart Piece and Stray Fairy in the whole game. The Bombers will also tell you about most side-quests in the game, and they're added to your Notebook as "Rumored events".
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracle games have 64 Rings for you to collect, and gives you a list of 64 to fill. And the game does not tell you how to find any of them. It does not tell you that Rings have 5 different classes, and events that give you random rings only give you rings from certain specific classes. For example, some events only give you rings from class 1-3, and others only give you rings from class 3-5. But you would never know that because the game doesn't tell you anything about ring classes.
    • The Advance Time Ring and the Advance Nature Ring can only be found if you play the games on Game Boy Advance. Otherwise, the shop that they are sold in is simply a closed door that you can't get into. And again, the game never tells you that you have to play both games on an entirely different system to get those rings. And if you bought the game from the Nintendo eShop? Tough luck, you're never getting in.
    • The Red Ring in Oracle of Seasons is probably one of the biggest offenders. It requires you to slay 4 different "Golden" monsters in 4 completely different locations in the game. And those monsters only show up in a specific season in that location. And the game gives you absolutely no hints as to where the monsters are or what season they are found in. And, of course, those "Golden" monsters don't even show up until you've first talked to an NPC that definitely won't be found if you're just running through the main quest. The entrance to finding the NPC is also only found in a specific season. And again, the game gives you no hints to finding him.
    • The Oracle games also require you to guess that jars are pushable, which they weren't in any previous Zelda game. This returns in The Minish Cap, so whichever one you play first will probably give you trouble, but at least you'll know what to do in the other.
    • An even more subtle point in Oracle of Ages involves the seeds that grow into vines. They generally act like bottles: you can pick them up but can't put them down safely, so to move them to a particular place, you have to push them (and they also break if you land on them from a high ledge). But there's one key difference: the Switch Hook breaks bottles but leaves seeds intact. You won't get into the sixth dungeon without figuring this out.
    • In Oracle of Seasons, one thing that even tripped up the official guide is that you can fill holes with leaves during autumn.
    • Also in Oracle of Seasons, at one point, Onox holds Din as a Human Shield, and what you are supposed to do is bat her away with the rod of seasons. There are two problems with this:
      • 1) Nothing tells you to even consider this - the only way for the player to have figured out that the Rod of Seasons could be used to knock enemies away is if they had experimented with it previously and discovered that small enemies can be pushed with it.
      • 2) You are never required to have used the Rod of Seasons like this before.
    • In a linked The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages game is the Hero's Cave. In one room, there's a puzzle to turn blue floor tiles into red ones like in some other dungeons in the game. You can spend hours of trying to solve the puzzle with at least one tile being left. The solution? Using your Cane of Somaria to create a block on the tile counts as turning it red.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has the Tingle Statues sidequest. You're required to bomb a specific point in each of the major five dungeons to cause a treasure chest to appear. There is no indication that bombing causes chests to appear (and no other chests in the game require this), there is no indication of what points you need to bomb (the Compass doesn't even indicate that these chests exist), and there is no hint ingame that this quest even exists. Your reward for clearing it is causing Knuckle to appear on Tingle Island - and he's necessary for the Nintendo Gallery in this version, despite not being necessary in the original - the only version that gives any hints toward this sidequest, and only if you actually used the Tingle Tuner.
    • One Piece of Heart is found by destroying a very specific Cannon Boat that appears in one specific section of the Great Sea. Said Cannon Boat is completely unmarked and indistinguishable from every other Cannon Boat in the game. Though in some fairness, enough treasure hunting could yield the chart that shows where all of the Pieces of Heart in the game are.
    • At one point, the game also requires you to play tag with a bunch of kids (yes, requires; it's the first step of many in a side quest that will lead to something vital to finishing the game), one of whom is on top of a tree. You have to roll into it and knock him down — but if you have the Deku Leaf, it's natural to try flying over to him. You can get right up in his face, which ought to count as tagging him out, but the game ignores it. Worse, this is just tricky enough to make you waste a lot of time trying it before you realize you're not doing it wrong, it just won't work.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap you have to scoop up water with a bottle and pour it on a seed... except the game gave no indication that you could scoop up water with a bottle or that pouring water on the seed would immediately make it grow.
    • Immediately after that you have to get to the green water spring...by blowing up part of the wall which does not look bombable or different from any other part of the wall in the slightest.
    • Later in the game you have to use water in a bottle to put out fireplaces in Hyrule Town so you can go through them when minish sized. Your only hint are the minish passageways that can be seen going into the chimneys.
    • Some of the Kinstone fusions can be this, since some are lost over the course of the game, while some can be lost if you fuse in the wrong order. Others are shared by two different NPC's and there is no indication of who they are or when the fusion switches between them, some people have two different fusions (one of which is often a shared one) and some require backtracking to areas that you have no story reason to go to. Reaching a certain point in the game without doing a specific fusion makes the Light Arrows unobtainable, a rare situation in Zelda games (especially for one of Link's most iconic items), and if you don't do this there aren't any obvious clues that you missed anything.
    • The first and final phases of Vaati are this. For the first one, you need to use the Gust Jar to suck up his projectiles so you can attack, and for the last one you need the Cane of Pacci to flip his arms over and then enter them. There are no indications for either of those two.
  • The Zelda Spin-off, Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, has the character paying money to people. If you don't offer them enough, they'll tell you to get lost. Offer them too much and you'll have wasted a bunch of money. It's even worse when you're selling items because trying to charge too much may make you lose the opportunity to sell that item at all!
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, the secret to getting that mark in the Temple of the Ocean King onto your sea chart definitely qualifies, but it can become Fridge Brilliance if you manage to work it out or a Crowning Moment of Funny if you accidentally stumble on it. You have to close the DS to transfer the stamp from one screen to the next.
  • Spirit Tracks:
    • Beedle's Air Shop is a store run out of a hot-air balloon, and is the only place to carry the Bomb Bag, which as in previous Zelda games is the only way to carry bombs. Of course, you'll need to get him to land first. He tells you how by mailing you a letter, which you will not receive for some time. Until then, have fun chasing him around like an idiot!
    • Getting all the stamps is a pain. The Sand Sanctuary one, for example, requires you to go back after you complete the Sand Temple just so Rael would tell you he needs cuccos delivered to him. You need to use those cuccos to reach the tiny island where the stamp station is.
    • Phantom Zelda can pick up bombs and arrow orbs, and she never lets you know about it. This is very convenient when trying to get through the fifth level in the Tower of Spirits.
    • Near the end of the spirit tower pseudo-dungeon, there's a bizarre and non-optional stumbling block. A sign hidden in a dark area, which you can only read while Zelda is inhabiting a flame-sworded phantom, gives you a cryptic clue: "only those with no special powers know the secret." Controlling one of the regular phantoms in the room won't help. The solution is to make Zelda talk to one of them, making them spill the beans about a weak spot in the wall (i.e. something you can bomb open). All other phantoms say nothing of substance, and it was already established that Zelda only talks to phantoms to distract them while Link sneaks by. It's probably easier to talk to one by accident while stumbling around in the dark than to actually solve the puzzle.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild generally does a pretty good job of explaining the mechanics, but figuring out how to cook things can be difficult if you don't already know how to do it. Specifically, before interacting with the cooking pot, you have to go into the inventory to have Link hold the items you plan on cooking. Once you've done that, you can exit the inventory to dump the items into the pot.
    • There are lanterns you can light with blue flame in more than one place. Players of previous Zelda games would figure that you could get a prize by lighting all the lanterns. A common search is 'where is the last lantern?' as people have run all around town trying to find it and get the reward. The twist is- there is no prize. You get absolutely nothing for lighting them all, and many only find this out from looking it up.
    • Finding all the Koroks. There are multiple different methods needed to find them (though once you find one of them it is safe to assume the same thing will work for others). Except the things you need to do include lifting up random rocks, jumping into random circles of lilypads and jumping into clumps of leaves. There are also 900 of these things so good luck finding them all even if you do know all the ways to find them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GuideDangIt/TheLegendOfZelda