- "Ganon captured us because he couldn't break the seal of the wise men with his power alone. And then, using the wizard Agahnim as his pawn, he drew us to the Dark World. After cracking the seal with our powers, he sealed us inside of these crystals."
- — Maiden
Crystals are recurring items in the Legend of Zelda series. The purposes of crystals vary widely among the different games, although a prevalence throughout the appearances of crystals is that they are used as a means of imprisoning or sealing away characters.
Impa, Princess Zelda's nursemaid, gives Link six crystals which must be placed in the foreheads of six statues, each hidden in a different palace in Hyrule. Each statue is guarded by the Palace Boss. Link will receive enough Experience to guarantee a level up after returning a crystal to a palace. Once all six crystals are in place, the Binding Force protecting the Great Palace is dispelled. Link is then able to enter the Great Palace, obtain the Triforce of Courage, and awaken Zelda's progenitor.
The Seven Maidens, descendants of the Seven Wise Men who originally sealed Ganon away, have been kidnapped and sealed in crystal prisons by the evil Agahnim. In order to free them, Link must defeat the bosses of the Dark World's seven dungeons. Once he assembles all of the imprisoned maidens, they combine their powers to remove the barrier on Ganon's Tower. In the Nintendo Power comic based on the game, it was explained the Dark World's effect was the polar opposite of what happened to Ganon: whereas criminals who went to the Dark World were transformed into monsters because of their sinful thoughts and selfish deeds, the minds of Zelda and the other six maidens were so pure and virtuous they retained their forms and were imprisoned in a crystal cocoon.
Crystal formations can be found blocking Link's path in some of the Hidden Holes and dungeons of Koholint Island. To break them, Link must charge through them using the Pegasus Boots while holding his sword.
In both games, crystals appear as a means to warp Link out of the boss room of a dungeon once a dungeon's boss has been defeated. Interestingly, in Ocarina of Time, this only occurs when Link is an adult; as a child, Link's exit is aided by a mystical light rather than a crystal. If Link has the Biggoron's Sword out when he leaves the dungeon, it will stick out of the crystal. Near the end of Ocarina of Time, Princess Zelda is imprisoned in a pink crystal by Ganondorf. The three spells, Din's Fire, Farore's Wind, and Nayru's Love all take the form of crystals in Link's inventory.
Four crystals appear in the dungeon Moonlit Grotto on Crescent Island. They are vulnerable to Link's sword and the Seed Shooter. Once Link destroys all four crystals, the middle section of the dungeon comes loose and falls to the floor below, allowing Link to explore more of the dungeon.
After General Onox kidnaps Din, the Oracle of Seasons, he imprisons her within a blue crystal. During the battle with General Onox, he uses the imprisoned Din as a shield. Din's crystal will move to remain between Onox and Link, and electrocutes Link if he touches it or strikes it with his sword. Link can safely repel Din's crystal with the Rod of Seasons, leaving Onox open to attack.
Several clusters of crystals appear in Sword and Shield Maze. Link can carry them between rooms and use them as projectiles, and must eventually throw them through holes into lava pits in the floor bellow. Doing so will solidify the lava so that Link can safely walk over it and proceed through the dungeon. If Link loses one of the crystals, he can return to its original location and find another in its place.
Zelda uses the Gate of Time upon regaining her memories as the Goddess Hylia to travel to the past. After explaining to Link the history of Hylia and Demise she seals herself in a Crystal in order to reinforce the seal placed upon Demise. She remains there for many years until Link uses the Triforce to destroy Demise, allowing Zelda to leave her own seal.
|Dark Link · Ganon · Link · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Horsehead · Helmethead · Rebonack · Carock · Gooma · Barba · Thunderbird · Dark Link|
|North Castle · Mountain Town of Darunia · Kasuto · Harbor Town of Mido · Hidden Town of Kasuto · Town of Nabooru · Town of Rauru · Town of Ruto · Water Town of Saria|
—Full list of locations
|Parapa Palace · Midoro Palace · Island Palace · Maze Island Palace · Ocean Palace · Hidden Palace · Great Palace|
|P Bag · 1-up Doll · Magical Sword · Magical Shield · Candle · Flute · Handy Glove · Hammer · Raft · Boots · Magical Key · Cross|
|Fairy Spell · Fire Spell · Jump Spell · Life Spell · Reflect Spell · Shield Spell · Spell Spell · Thunder Spell|
|Trophy · Water of Life · Kidnapped Child · Six Crystals · Triforce of Courage|
|Fairy · Hylian|
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Six Maidens · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Phantom Ganon · Helmaroc King · Stone Arrghus · Jalhalla · Dagtail · Frostare · Big Dodongo · Vaati · Ganon|
| Whereabouts of the Wind · Eastern Hyrule · Death Mountain · Near the Fields · The Dark World · The Desert of Doubt · Frozen Hyrule · Realm of the Heavens|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Bombos Medallion · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Rod · Four Sword · Lantern · Magic Hammer · Quake Medallion · Shield · Slingshot|
|Blue Bracelet · Carrot · Force Gem · Force Fairy · Heart · Heart Container · Moon Pearl · Pegasus Boots · Power Bracelet · Roc's Feather · Shovel · Small Key|
|Knight Mark · Letter · Magic Book · Royal Jewels · Vaati Barrier|
|Gerudo · Goron · Hylian · Zuna|