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Video Game / The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

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The Hero, the Lilliputians, and the eponymous cap.
"But there is one thing you must know: being Minish-sized is full of dangers! Mere puddles at your normal size are bottomless swamps to the Minish."

The Minish Cap, released in 2004 in Japan & Europe and 2005 in North America & Australia, is the twelfth game in The Legend of Zelda series and the first completely new single-player Zelda adventure on the Game Boy Advance. The game acts as a prequel to Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, as it goes in depth about the origin of the titular weapon as well as who Vaati is.

Every 100 years, a festival is held to celebrate the Picori (later revealed to actually be called the Minish), tiny creatures who can only be seen by children that granted man a special treasure known as the Picori Blade. A sorcerer by the name of Vaati has come to the festival seeking a power known as the Light Force, believing it to hide with the Picori Blade. He breaks the sword and instead finds it to hold a seal that unleashes monsters onto the world when broken, and also turns Zelda to stone before leaving to continue his search. Wanting to save his childhood friend, Link goes on a journey to find the Picori to reforge the Picori Blade, save Zelda, and defeat Vaati. Along the way he meets Ezlo, a hat-like creature who also has a beef with the sorcerer and the power to shrink down.


The game's main mechanic is Link's ability to shrink down to Minish size at special portals. This gives him access to new areas or re-contextualizes preexisting ones, allowing him traverse the world from a new perspective and to uncover secrets. There's also the "Kinstone" mechanism, by which Link can collect pieces of medallions and fuse them with NPCs. These Kinstone fusions unlock secrets, ranging from highly important bonus items, to shortcuts, to rooms full of rupees, to simple chests of more Kinstones.

According to Hyrule Historia, this game is second in the overall timeline of the series, preceded only by The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.


This game provides examples of:

  • Adipose Rex: King Daltus had a large belly, and is nice and cheerful (when not possessed by the villain). As King Gustaf uses the same character model as a ghost, it can be reasonably assumed he was the same.
  • Alertness Blink: When characters wake up, often ! with a clink! sound effect is seen.
  • Always Night: Royal Valley. Made all the more jarring by it being one screen away from (and only accessible via) another overworld area that's in bright daylight.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Vaati's second and third forms each get one.
  • Animal Talk: You can talk to animals while in Minish form, probably thanks to your Jabber Nut.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: This game reveals the reason why Link always finds helpful items and Rupees under grass and rocks all over the world: The Forest Minish leave them for humans to find, because making humans happy gives them energy.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Kinstone fusions result in a variety of new things, like treasure chests, gold enemies, opened passageways, etc., and there are 100 fusions to keep track of. Since you can't always drop what you're currently doing to run off and claim whatever new prize has been revealed (or you might not be able to reach it yet), the game places a marker on your map to remind you that it's there. There's also the gold Kinstone pieces, which only appear in set locations instead of being a Random Drop like the other colors because these fusions are required to complete the game.
  • Back That Light Up: Several color settings were included to account for the different ways the game could be played. On television with the GameCube's Game Boy Player, on Game Boy Advance, on Game Boy Advance SP, etc.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Ezlo is revealed to be a Minish sage, whom Vaati cursed to become a talking hat.
  • Big Bad: Vaati, making the game a rare aversion of Hijacked by Ganon.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Royal Valley is the series standard cemetery full of ghosts.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Vaati is defeated by Link, the curse on Ezlo is broken, and Zelda restores Hyrule to normal. However, Link must say goodbye to Ezlo and he will never see the Minish again due to the door connecting their worlds opening every one hundred years. Ezlo is kind enough to leave Link with his own hat as a way of remembering Ezlo and the Minish.
  • Blatant Item Placement: A canon explanation for the Zelda verse! All those items under grass, pots, and jars get there by way of the Minish, helpful gnome style.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • Swiftblade's Swordsman's Newsletter has two errors: First, he claims to have eight brothers, when he actually has six. He also claims Moblins drop more Rupees than the usual enemy when they don't.
    • The ghost in the cemetery is labeled "Spookter" in the Kinstone fusion screen. As shown by his figurine and the cutscene after the second fusion, his actual name is "Spekter" and "Spookter" is his brother.
    • The Moblin figurine and Swordsman's Newsletter both claim they mostly appear in Minish Woods. They actually appear in Western Wood.
    • The PAL translation of the Ice Wizzrobe's figurine says they are vulnerable to the Fire Rod, an item that was meant to exist in this game, but was scrapped. Their actual weakness is the Flame Lantern.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Strangely, Vaati doesn't do a whole lot of this. Hyrule Historia finally explains this as Vaati no longer remembering being a Minish, and so used his new form to become a wind sorcerer.
    • Link, on the other hand, does quite a bit with the Gust Jar.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Getting all of the figurines rewards you with a large number of Rupees—but by that point in the game, you don't really need them anymore. However, you DO get a Piece of Heart and the sound test.
    • The "Tingle Trophy" is the reward you get for fusing all the Kinstones. The trophy itself is useless, but you get some form of reward for each Kinstone you fuse.
    • The Mirror Shield, which you can only get after you have beaten the game. It does make hunting Golden Beasts (mainly Octorocks because of its reflective beam) easier, but there's no real use for rupees that late unless you are purchasing mysterious shells to use with the figurine sidequest. It does allow you to block the Cyclone Stab that the Red Darknuts and Black Knight use in the final boss gauntlet, but as you've already beaten them before, there's nothing it is really required for.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Castor Wilds is full of bogs and puddles.
  • Captain Obvious: Ezlo, though not as much as Navi the Fairy. He'll usually mix in some snarky dialogue or insight as well, but it mostly serves to bring the player up to speed after loading a save, in case it's been a while and the player needs to remember where they were at.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Musical ones:
    • The ability to shrink with Ezlo alludes to the "Gnat Hat" in the first Four Swords. The Minish Cap itself also looks like one.
  • Cats Are Mean: Unlike the friendlier dogs and birds, some cats will actively attack you while in Minish form. You can still Kinstone fuse with some of them.
  • Chest Monster: Royal Crypt and the final dungeon contain Door Mimics, which look like locked doors but will fall on top of Link if he approaches them.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: It's mentioned on the Young Couple figurine that Romio and Julietta grew up as next door neighbors and are planning on getting married once they get their pets' approval.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Ezlo gives Link his Nice Hat in the ending.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The Fire and Water Elements are fairly standard red and blue throughout the Four Swords series. The Wind Element is green in this game and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, although it was purple in its brief appearance in the intro to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. Conversely and rather unusually, the Earth Element is purple in this game and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures but green in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. Of course, regardless of which Element has which color, the group must share the red, blue, green, and purple color scheme of the four Links in the multiplayer titles, and purple is not commonly used to represent any of the four classical elements.
  • Convection Schmonvection: This being a non-Metroid Nintendo/Capcom game, the player floats over lava and walks on rocks floating on lava with the expected lack of damage.
  • Dark Reprise: A minor version of Zelda's theme plays in the aftermath of the battle with Vaati, emphasizing the extent of the destruction and the lives lost. And of course, the Dark Hyrule Castle theme is one of these to the original Hyrule Castle theme from A Link to the Past.
  • Degraded Boss: A tougher version of the first dungeon boss (by virtue of being electrified) appears as a miniboss in the Temple of Droplets. To be fair, both of these are just regular enemies that Link happens to encounter while Minish-sized, the former a Green ChuChu and the latter a Blue ChuChu.
  • Demoted to Extra: To date, this is the only game in the series where Epona appears (hitched to a cart and politely asking Link to purchase milk from Malon) but cannot be ridden.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Very common in the overworld. Some of these become accessible in a more direct fashion later in the game (e.g. the part of the Minish Woods near Syrup's hut), while others remain only indirectly accessible (e.g. a piece of land at the bottom of Veil Falls which can only be reached via neighboring regions).
  • Double-Meaning Title: The "Minish Cap" in the title may refer to either of two caps: Ezlo, who is a Minish wizard transformed into a hat, or the Mage's Cap, the wish-granting hat invented by Ezlo and stolen by Vaati, who was himself a Minish prior to wishing himself a human body.
  • Dual Boss: The Gyorg Pair, the boss of the Palace of Winds, with the twist that you have to jump between the larger and smaller flying creatures. Also, the Temple of Droplets has you fight two Madderpillars (the Mini-Boss of the first dungeon) at once.
  • Easter Egg: There's a lady in pink who appears and sits at the exterior tables at Mama's Cafe. However, she only appears in town after you meet up with the ghost of King Gustaf in the Royal Crypt and leaves once you trip further Event Flags. Bits of her dialogue lampshade her being so obscure as to become an Easter Egg:
    I have to say, good job on meeting me! Seriously, you'll be able to brag about this to your friends forever!
  • Eldritch Abomination: Vaati has five forms (only three of which you battle). First and second aren't too bad, third is pretty nasty, and then the fourth and fifth are basically a giant floating eyeball with more eyeballs attached and eyeballs on the inside too. His garish colour scheme and the way his magic makes the screen flicker seems quite determined to bring on a seizure.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Vaati will require many of the tricks and items you got over the game.
  • Fine, You Can Just Wait Here Alone: Upon arriving at the first dungeon, the Deepwood Shrine, Ezlo remembers earlier information about there being monsters inside, and says he'll wait for Link at the entrance. The very next snippet has Ezlo retracting that and saying he won't let Link leave him all alone.
  • Flying Seafood Special: In a strange example, Cloud Piranha swim through the clouds in Cloud Tops, even though said clouds are apparently solid enough for Link to stand on. The boss Gyorg Pair is a more traditional example, a pair of giant flying manta-like rays.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Vaati's ceremony to absorb the Light Force from Princess Zelda's petrified body ends with three bell chimes. The first two happen at scripted rooms in the final dungeon, but the third is a Timed Mission where if the player takes too long, the bell rings a final time and Vaati absorbs all the Light Force from Zelda and becomes a god, with Zelda dying in the process.
  • For Happiness: It's revealed the Picori/Minish adore humans and delight in making them happy, for it gives them energy to help make their lives even happier. Many have moved from their native home-world to Hyrule to be closer to them, and those from the Minish Village also moved to Hyrule Town to help them in their daily lives due to their love for humans.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Smith and King Daltus had one when they were young men, having fought a sword duel during a past Picori Festival that ended in a draw. It's probably the reason why Link and Zelda are Childhood Friends.
  • Frigid Water Is Harmless: The Temple of Droplets is an icy dungeon that has pools of water Link can swim in safely. In fact, Link has to shrink to enter that dungeon, so he should be freezing even more quickly than he would at normal size.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Vaati. From adorable Minish apprentice to Ezlo, to Wind Sorcerer trying to extract the Light Force from Zelda.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: Mazaal. Also, the Floormasters and Wallmasters. And on Vaati's final form.
  • Giant Mook: Not actually giant, but some of the bosses are normal-sized enemies that you fight while small. The boss of the Deepwood Shrine is a Green ChuChu, and the Temple of Droplets has a Blue ChuChu as a miniboss and an Octorok as the main boss.
  • A God Am I: Once Vaati obtains the Light Force he proclaims himself a god. He does it again when he takes on his final form and right before he dies, leading to a This Cannot Be! declaration.
  • Go for the Eye: Vaati's weak spots are his eyes. Sadly, he's got lots of them.
  • Harmless Freezing: You fight the boss of the Temple of Droplets immediately after it is thawed out from being frozen solid. It even partially re-freezes itself as a defensive tactic for part of the battle.
  • Herding Mission: In what is probably the most elaborate version in the series, Link has to help Anju gather up her Cuccos scattered across Hyrule Town within a time limit a total of ten times. It isn't even possible to complete the higher levels without some later game equipment.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The boss of the Temple Of Winds takes place on high flying mantas.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: A rare aversion for the Zelda series.
  • Honest Axe: A fairy fountain on Mount Crenel has a sign outside it reading "No bomb throwing!" If you disregard the sign and throw a bomb into the fountain, a Great Fairy pops out and asks you if you threw a Gold Bomb or Silver Bomb into her fountain. Answering "neither" nets you an expansion to your bomb bag.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: One of the game's gimmicks is to make Link as small as the Minish people.
  • Inevitable Tournament: Averted. It's over at the beginning of the game, and no other tournaments occur during the game's duration.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Occurs if you fail the Timed Mission at the end of the game, in which Vaati will drain all the Light Force from Zelda's petrified body, leaving her as lifeless stone and himself a god.
  • Journey to the Sky: Link has to climb to the top of the Veil Falls to find a tornado that takes him to the Cloud Tops. There, he has to traverse thrugh a maze-like area (and hovering from one part to another with mini-tornadoes in the process) to find another big tornado and reach the Palace of Winds, where the last Plot Coupon (the Wind Element) can be found.
  • Jump Physics: When using the cape, Link can hop and float short distances.
  • Leaf Boat: While Link is tiny, he can go on top of a leaf and use his Gust Jar to propel himself across the body of water.
  • Legacy Character: Like The Wind Waker, this game shows a hero, who could be a previous Link, in the prologue.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The aptly named Cave of Flames, an abandoned mine that has partially filled with lava.
  • Level in the Clouds: Cloud Tops, several layers of clouds that can be walked on and even dug through with the Mole Mitts in places. The Palace of Winds is a five-story dungeon floating above a tower built on the highest of these cloud decks. And as if that isn't high enough, the boss battle appears to take place a very long distance above the dungeon. Also, Ezlo is afraid of heights.
  • Level of Tedious Enemies: There are a number of enemies that serve to prevent Link from using items in any capacity, such as Bubbles or Beetles, or enemies like Like Likes/Rupee Likes will trap Link and eat his shield or rupees while doing no damage to him. For the most part, these enemies are spread throughout levels so that they're one-room obstacles, but several Mole Mitts caves only contain these enemies and place them in extremely cramped sections so that there's no chance Link doesn't get grabbed by one.
  • Life Energy: The Light Force is directly tied to Princess Zelda's life. If Vaati succeeds in draining the Light Force from her, she will die. This can happen.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Killing Vaati's second form causes the castle to collapse.
  • MacGuffin: The Light Force, within Princess Zelda, which Vaati wants so he can ascend to even greater heights of power than his already-considerable level. For Link, it's the Picori Blade/the Four Sword, which will allow him to fight off Vaati's curses on everyone.
  • Macro Zone: Any time you shrink around human sized areas, they become these kinds of levels.
  • Magic Music: Playing a song on the Ocarina of Wind summons a bird to take you throughout Hyrule.
  • Marathon Level: The Palace of Winds. You don't even get the compass or map until you're roughly halfway through it. Ezlo even lampshades this with his comment of "How much farther do we have to go!? This place goes on forever!"
  • Meaningful Name: The cobbler who sleeps a lot is named Rem (as in, REM sleep). The Minish who lives in the library is named, creatively, Librari.
  • Men Like Dogs, Women Like Cats: Romio and Julietta have a pet dog and cat respectively.
  • Mine Cart Madness: Cave of Flames has sections like this.
  • Mini-Dungeon: Royal Crypt. Upon completion, Link receives a gold Kinstone from King Gustaf to open the Source of the Flow, enter the Veil Falls and reach the Cloud Top to access the Palace of Winds.
  • Missing Secret: You can only find homes for two of the three Oracles from Gorman. In the European version, Gorman even says that he can build a third house south of the library if he could get rid of the stray cats on the lot. The cats disappear late in the game, but so does Gorman.
  • Mook Bouncer: Both the Wallmaster and the Floormaster will take Link to the beginning of the dungeon if they grab him.
  • Mouse World: When Link is small, the world is explicitly portrayed as such, with the Minish living in the rafters of buildings, out of sight of humans.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Since this game was developed by Capcom, by the same team that developed the Oracle games, we see the three Oracles from those games as NPCs in town.
    • Syrup's figurine mentions how she's looking for an apprentice, referencing her granddaughter Maple (also from the Oracle games).
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The game recycles a lot of sprite-work from the Four Swords games. This makes sense, as this game is a prequel to said sub-series.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: At the end of the game, if Link can't get to Vaati before the three bells ring, Vaati will have taken all of the Light Force from Zelda, killing her and making Vaati invincible. Ezlo states that it's all over and you see the Game Over screen.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: How the hell do you pronounce "pacci"? Pah-ksee? Pah-kee? Chances are that it's a direct Romanization of "pachi", the Japanese onomatopoeia for "snap", and you're supposed to pronounce the double c as a ch, like in Italian or liturgical Latin.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: ChuChus are among the first Mooks you encounter in the game, and they go down in a few sword swings. A lone ChuChu serves as a boss in Deepwood Shrine, but because you traverse through the dungeon while tiny, this normally non-threatening Mook becomes a dangerous Giant Mook that's harder to take down.
  • Numerological Motif: The number 4: four Elements, Four Sword...
  • Obvious Beta: The European version has some regional differences that seem to indicate it being based on an earlier build than the Japanese and North American versions. For example, Eenie's Kinstone Fusion can become lost due to a bug, a few minor features are missing (such as the shop's Bomb Bag upgrade), and the Ice Wizzrobe's figurine's description references the Fire Rod, which only exists in Dummied Out form (and doesn't behave as intended if hacked in):
    European version: "Appears in the Palace of Winds & Dark Hyrule Castle. They wield ice magic. They're weak against fire, so hit them with your Fire Rod!"
    North American version: "Appears in the Palace of Winds. They wield ice magic. They're weak against fire, so attack with fire for a quick battle!"
  • Oddball in the Series: Not to the series as a whole, but rather the Four Swords trilogy, since it's a single-player installment in a trilogy that previously had much of its focus on multiplayer gameplay.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Most of Vaati's music makes use of this.
  • One-Winged Angel: Vaati's "floating eyeball-cloud" form.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: Link can't get the Pegasus Boots until trying and failing to wade through the muck of Castor Wilds. Also, the Hyrule Town library doesn't open until a Minish tells Link about the Minish elder who lives there.
  • Origins Episode: The backstory is this for Vaati and the game itself focuses on the origin of the Four Sword, which started out as the Picori Blade.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Crosses over with Neglected Sidequest Consequence. If you don't save a certain NPC early on, you can never get the Light Arrows.
  • Piñata Enemy: Gold enemies, which are gold palette swaps of relatively weak overworld enemies with tons more hit points and more aggressive AI that drop large amounts of money when killed. They appear as a result of certain Kinstone fusions.
  • Pokémon Speak:
    • The Minish speak exclusively using parts of the word "Picori". "Picori" is the human name for "Minish".
    • Averted in the original Japanese and the German, French and Italian versions, where they talk backwards instead. This reveals that most of the Minish's unreadable dialogue in the beginning of the game is actually... just telling you that you are human and that they don't understand you.
  • Prequel: To Four Swords, explaining the history of the Four Sword and Vaati.
  • Purple Is the New Black: Vaati is described by an NPC as being dressed all in black, even though his clothes are purple.
  • Reforged Blade: The Picori Blade which is broken, fixed, and eventually upgraded to become the Four Sword.
  • Retired Badass: Link's grandfather and the king were both swordsmen in their youth and had a Friendly Rivalry (they once fought each other to a draw in a previous Picori Festival). Neither of them show any combat skills in the present day.
  • Rump Roast: Some fire attacks cause Link's behind to catch on fire, making him run at top speed, making you be careful to not run into any more damage.
  • Scenery Porn: The view you see of a river valley while you climb up one of the beanstalks that grow once you've fused the correct Kinstones.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The chest containing all of the monsters in the world, which Vaati frees.
  • Sequential Boss: Taking down Vaati in the end requires you to fight him in three different forms. (Luckily, between two and three, you can duck into a small room in the castle and reload your health.)
  • Shout-Out:
    • The game is positively loaded with nods to nearly every previous game in the series via character cameos and familiar leitmotifs. Some sound effects are also directly lifted from Link's Awakening.
    • The cobbler tells you that his shoes are being finished while he sleeps. By this point, you're aware of the existence of the Minish, and possibly that they like to make humans happy because it gives them energy, but that they do so in secret (you'd have to talk to a random NPC to learn this.) Furthermore, there's a vase that lets you shrink in the shop, and if you climb up onto the cobbler's desk, you can see a Minish there. Obviously, this is a reference to the tale of the cobbler and the elves.
    • Later, in Melari's mines, one of the Minish tells you that "the mine belongs to Melari and us, his seven apprentices", the seven miners being reminiscent of the seven dwarfs.
    • Later still, after you can flip stuff (and therefore shrink in several more places in Hyrule Town,) you can get into the rafters of the bar. The forest Minish are visiting there, and remarking about how city life is so exciting, like the tale of the country mouse and the city mouse.
    • At one point in the game, you meet an Absent-Minded Professor named Dr. Left. As opposed to Dr. Wright/Mr. Write, as one presumes judging by his hair.
    • One of the books in the library is titled "Married to the Moblin".
    • You can cause a beanstalk to grow on Mt. Crenel, allowing you to climb up into the clouds, recalling Jack and the Beanstalk. Smaller beanstalks on Mt. Crenel make the same sound that growing a beanstalk in Super Mario Bros. makes.
    • One that would pass over the heads of most child players: in Hyrule Town, there are two houses next to each-other. The house on the left belongs to a man named 'Romio' living with his dog, and the house on the right belongs to a woman named 'Julietta' who lives with her cat and her mother named 'Verona', This is an obvious reference to Romeo and Juliet, whom both live in the Italian town of Verona. According to their collectible figurine, they are in love with each-other and will be married once they have their pets' approval.
  • Side Quest: As this game has one of the least amount of dungeons out of all Zelda games, it has an emphasis on sidequests to help balance out the time, similar to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Temple of Droplets is primarily this, although liquid water is abundant as well.
  • Solid Clouds: In one of the later dungeons, there are clouds you can walk on. Also, there are such clouds you need to explore in order to get to the dungeon in the first place.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: The petrified Zelda is kept next to the king's throne in Hyrule Castle, one of the first areas you visit. The rest of the game involves reforging the Picori Blade and upgrading it into the Four Sword in order to free her.
  • Sound Test: This is one of the few games in the series to have one. In this one, it's unlocked by getting every figurine and using a phonograph in a house whose entrance is blocked until they're collected.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": For some reason, Darknuts are called "Dark Nuts" in this game.
  • Springy Spores: The game features both the traditional bouncy type that breaks Link's fall when he shrinks down to Minish size as well as elastic ones that he (or the Gust Jar) can pull on to slingshot himself across gaps.
  • Start of Darkness: Vaati put on a wishing cap, wished to be a powerful sorcerer, and turned his mentor into a living hat.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: At one point, while Vaati has taken control of or rather, has cast an illusion to look like the king, you have to sneak past the guards in order to reach the Elemental Sanctuary.
  • Stealth Prequel: The game introduces Vaati right off the bat and clearly serves as his origin story, but it's not until you've completely reforged and upgraded the Minish sword that it becomes clear you've actually created and are wielding the very Four Sword used to fight Vaati in the future.
  • Stealth Pun: Diminish Cap!
  • Sword Beam:
    • Unlike the other games that either give you one or no sword beams, you get two. One at maximum health and one when you have one heart. If you learned how to do it, that is.
    • This is in addition to the curse-breaking Spin Attack beam that you use when you unlock the Four Sword.
  • Taken for Granite: Zelda from the first few minutes of the game onward, as well as many of Vaati's other victims later on. In the Non Standard Game Over, Vaati drains the life from Zelda's petrified form, leaving her as lifeless stone permanently.
  • Take Your Time: The Timed Mission in the final dungeon hinges on three bell chimes before Zelda is beyond saving. Only the first two chimes are scripted, and you can take all the time you like. Unfortunately, the third really is on a timer, which the game does not inform you of, so take too long....
  • Temple of Doom: The Fortress of Winds, which is located in an obscure corner of Hyrule and full of functioning traps.
  • Tennis Boss: Vaati's final form requires you to hit back four energy balls at a time before you can actually hurt him, but he was nice enough to leave Link some magic panels that let him use his Me's a Crowd powers.
  • This Cannot Be!: To Vaati's horror when you, in his eyes, a mere child, vanquish his second mighty form in the final battle.
  • Timed Mission: The Cucco minigame. Also, when you're trying to rescue Zelda from Vaati's extraction process, there's a bell that, when rung three times, tells you the extraction process is complete, with Zelda dead and Vaati at full power. The first two rings are not really timed—but the third one is. That means if you take too long to defeat the Darknuts on that level...
  • Translator Microbes: The Jabber Nut, which lets Link understand the Minish language.
  • Two-Teacher School: The Funday School explicitly only has two teachers, twin sisters Tina and Dina.
  • Underground Level: Aside from the Cave of Flames, there are walls scattered throughout Hyrule that can be dug into with the Mole Mitts, leading into tunnel mazes of diggable earth that may serve as shortcuts to other aboveground locations or hide secrets. Many of them are quite extensive.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There is only one Blue Tektite. He hops around Mt. Crenel same as the red ones, albeit more aggressively.
    • The Black Knight is a special case. There's only one, but you fight him twice, both times in the Dark Hyrule Castle, one of which is alone, the other is alongside red Darknuts during the gauntlet to the final boss.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In order to finish all Kinstones fusions, you must fuse with few things that try to kill you like the cat Scratcher in Hyrule Town.
  • Voodoo Shark: The Jabber Nut doesn't really make much sense. Introduced as a way to bridge the language barrier with the Minish and give Link an excuse for understanding animals, it ends up raising further questions. First, nowhere does the game even hint that Ezlo ate any of it, so how does he manage to go from barely understanding any of the local dialect to full fluency? Second, why does it only let Link understand animals while he's small?
  • Warp Whistle: Much like the Ocarina (originally localized as the more generic Flute) in A Link to the Past, the Ocarina of Wind calls a bird that carries Link to one of eight fixed locations in the overworld.
  • World-Healing Wave: In the ending, Hyrule Castle is utterly destroyed, smashing, and thus killing most of the people inside turned to statues. Ezlo tells them not to mourn, and he and Zelda combine their powers to undo all of Vaati's deeds. They restore Hyrule to its former peace and purge the world of the monsters terrorizing it as well.
  • You Are Too Late: In the Non Standard Game Over, Ezlo exclaims they're too late to save Zelda, who is now lifeless stone after Vaati steals the Light Force from her.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: One of the hidden sword skills allows Link to... break pots with his sword. Sure, the technique itself is called the Rock Breaker and it also allows the ability to break rocks, but it doesn't explain why he can't just do what other Links have been able to do without training. The Oracle games and Link's Awakening required Link to have a level 2 sword to smash pots, so it seems to be thematically tied except that the Rock Breaker doesn't increase the amount of damage Link deals (though the sword he uses does, and it's required to learn the technique).
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Sword-fighting moves use variations of the sword button, but need to be taught when you have the right scroll, and show them to the town's sensei.

Alternative Title(s): The Minish Cap