|Lens of Truth|
Artwork of the Lens of Truth
|First appearance||Ocarina of Time (1998)|
|Appearances||Ocarina of Time|
|Found||(Ocarina of Time)|
Bottom of the Well
Lone Peak Shrine
|Use||Allows the wearer to see through illusions|
- "A long time ago... There was a man in this very village who had an eye they said could see the truth! Now usually, you have to train your mind's eye most strenuously to actually see the truth... But this fella, no, they say he had a different way of doing things... His house stood where the well is now..."
- — Shikashi
The Lens of Truth is a recurring item in the Legend of Zelda series. It is a magical lens crafted by the Sheikah that can see through any illusion, such as hidden doors, pits and other things. It may also be used to ascertain the contents of a large Treasure Chest before opening it, thus allowing Link to avoid trapped chests. The Lens of Truth will slowly drain the user of magic power. It acts only in the middle of the screen, and will also prevent the use of other magical abilities when active. In some regards, it is similar in function to the Cross from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Link is first told of the Lens of Truth by Shikashi in Kakariko Village. He tells Link about a man who had an "eye that could see the truth." His house once stood where the Well of Three Features lies in the present time. As a child, Link must brave the many dangers of the Bottom of the Well in order to obtain it.
While obviously harder, it is possible to complete the game without ever obtaining the Lens of Truth, by simply memorizing where the hidden paths, platforms, and other invisible objects are, or by using trial-and-error to solve such puzzles. This process becomes extremely problematic when Link must cross the Haunted Wasteland, as the maze-like way forward is shown by a Phantom Guide who may be seen only with the Lens of Truth. Another difficulty appears in certain puzzles in the Shadow Temple, involving randomness in the placement of illusory or invisible objects.
Link can also use the Lens of Truth to easily win the Treasure Chest Shop mini-game. When activated, the Lens allows Link to look through a treasure chest and see its contents; using this method, Link can always be certain of which chest contains the Small Key needed to advance to the next room. This field of usage is hinted at by a Gossip Stone.
The Lens of Truth is found in the Lone Peak Shrine, across the chasm from Goron Village in Snowhead. Link must follow Kaepora Gaebora's feathers to safely find the hidden platforms leading to the Shrine. After retrieving the Lens of Truth, Link must now put it to use to locate the hidden platforms leading back to Goron Village, as the owl's feathers are now gone. Upon his return to Goron Village, he is able to see the ghost of Darmani with the Lens of Truth; Darmani's spirit guides Link to the Goron Graveyard, where Link heals Darmani's soul, sealing his spirit inside the Goron Mask.
A Clock Town Soldier named Shiro can be found on the Road to Ikana. He can only be seen with the Lens of Truth, and if Link brings him a Red or Blue Potion, he will give Link the Stone Mask as a reward for enabling him to "stand out". Subsequently, he may be seen without the use of the Lens of Truth.
As the game contains no trapped treasure chests, the capability of the Lens of Truth to reveal their contents is less important than in Ocarina of Time. While the uses for the Lens of Truth are not as pronounced as in Ocarina of Time, unlike in that game, using the Lens of Truth is absolutely mandatory to progress, as it must be active to speak with Darmani's ghost.
Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.