- "This is a big, heavy shield just like the ones Hylian Knights use. It can stand up to flame attacks!"
- — In-game description
The Hylian Shield (ハイリアの盾 Hairia no Tate?, Hylia Shield) is a recurring shield in the Legend of Zelda series. It is an adult-sized metal heater shield said to be the very same type of shield used by Hylian Knights; though its design varies somewhat between games, one constant is that the Hylian Shield bears the emblem of the Triforce, as well that of a red bird.
After Link is granted passage to Death Mountain by the Keaton Mask Soldier in Kakariko Village, the soldier advises that Link buy a Hylian Shield to protect himself from spontaneous eruptions. If Link buys a shield from the Bazaar after having spoken to the Keaton Mask Soldier, the shopkeeper will give Link a discount, halving its original 80 Rupee selling price. Hylian Shields may also be found in several Treasure Chests throughout Hyrule if Link does not already have a Hylian Shield in his inventory for any reason. If Link already has a shield, these chests will contain five Rupees instead.
Since the shield was designed for use by adults, Link cannot wield the shield properly when he is a child. If used, Link will crouch down, his entire body being protected from attacks due to its sheer size, but cannot move as long as he uses it. In this game, the Hylian Shield is a wooden shield bearing a metal overlay.
Notably, this incarnation of the Hylian Shield features a fourth yellow triangle aside from the Triforce; the significance of this is unknown. This fourth triangle is surrounded with a large theory that there is a fourth piece in the triangle, as the triangle fits directly into the hole in the middle of the Triforce.
Although it is inaccessible within the game, the statue of the Hero of Time in the underwater Hyrule Castle appears to be bearing the Hylian Shield, as Link did in Ocarina of Time.
The Hylian Shield can be purchased from the Malo Mart in Kakariko Village, and a Goron merchant in Hyrule Castle Town. This Hylian Shield is purely metallic; unlike previous metallic shields, this one has the ability to reflect not only physical attacks, but magical ones as well, when Link uses the Shield Attack. The Hylian Shield is particularly useful for traversing the Goron Mines, and is coincidentally first available from Malo Mart just when Link needs to enter them, since the Ordon Shield or Wooden Shield will burn if either is set on fire. Since the Hylian Shield is indestructible, it is generally superior to the Ordon Shield and the Wooden Shield, but take note that the Hylian Shield cannot be used to collect arrows from enemy archers, as any arrows that strike the Hylian Shield will bounce off.
The Hylian Shield is the most powerful shield Link can obtain. While it still has a shield meter, which is slightly longer than the Fortified Shield, it will never decrease, making the shield indestructible. Unlike the other shields, it is not purchased or obtained through the upgrade system. Instead, it is the prize Link receives for defeating eight consecutive bosses in the Lightning Round, which is run by Lanayru in Lanayru Gorge after Link learns his part of the Song of the Hero. The red bird crest found on the shield is strikingly similar to Link's own Crimson Loftwing; as this is the earliest known chronological appearance of the Hylian Shield, it is possible this element of the design was created with reference to the Crimson Loftwing species.
Originally, the Hylian Shield was made to resemble its Twilight Princess counterpart, but in the final version, the Twilight Princess version's metal lines near the bottom of the red crest are not present.
The Hylian Shield can be found in Turtle Rock. Link can use this shield to guard against magical attacks. The Hylian Shield replaces the Shield in Link's inventory when found. Despite its usefulness for defense against magic, it is not necessary to complete the game. Due to it being irreplaceable, it cannot be eaten by Like Likes.
The Hylian Shield appears in the crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros., as well as its sequels Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. It is very helpful in blocking projectile attacks. While it cannot be actively used as in there is no button that will make Link put it up in a defensive posture (although holding down on the control stick will make him crouch in a position similar to his shielding posture in certain Legend of Zelda games), it occupies a small area of his hit box when he is standing still or crouching and will deflect projectiles that hit the small area it covers. He will still be pushed backward slightly by the impact but will not even leave his feet unless he is pushed off a ledge. Keeping with Link's redesign, the Hylian Shield from Twilight Princess appears instead of the Ocarina of Time design in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
Two stickers titled "Hylian Shield" appear in Brawl. One mistakenly depicts the Small Shield from The Minish Cap, and gives a +5 bonus to shield recovery. The other depicts the Hylian Shield from Twilight Princess, and gives a bonus of +10 slash resistance. The latter can only be used by Link, Toon Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf.
Together with the Master Sword, the Hylian Shield is part of Link's default weapon set. It is also present with most of Link's other weapon choices.
The Hylian Shield is paired with the Master Sword in Link's Master Sword moveset. One of the Materials dropped by Hylian Captains is called a Holy Hylian Shield, which is based on the large silver shields wielded by high-ranking soldiers in the Hyrulean Forces.
The Hylian Shield returns as part of Link's Master Sword moveset, while the Holy Hylian Shield returns as one of the shield used by Hylian Captains and one of their material drops.
A Hylian Shield appears on the side of the Master Cycle, a vehicle available via DLC Pack 1.
Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2
In Bayonetta 2 and the Wii U version of Bayonetta, the titular character can equip the Hylian Shield when wearing the Hero of Hyrule costume set. The Hylian Shield can be used to parry enemy attacks even if Bayonetta does not have the accessory that would normally allow her to do so.