- "Link, the ▲ on your left hand is the mark of a hero. We cannot let Veran do as she pleases! Only you can thwart Twinrova and save the world! Please, Link, chase the darkness away with your mighty hand and protect this land!"
- — Impa
The Mark of a Hero is a recurring symbol in the Legend of Zelda series. It is a set of three triangles, similar to the reunited Triforce, that appear on the hand of a hero who is destined to save Hyrule. Unlike the Triforce, however, it does not appear to give its user any added powers, apart from the ability to manipulate certain objects. Similar marks appear on the backs of the hands of those chosen by the Triforce, with the specific Triforce that person was chosen by glowing gold while the other two are a duller yellow.
According to the prologue, the Mark of a Hero appears on Link's hand as he approaches his sixteenth birthday. Link showed the mark to Impa who brought him to The Door That Does Not Open and used the Mark of a Hero to open the door. Inside Link encounters the sleeping Princess Zelda while Impa retells the events that put her into the enchanted sleep. She then gave Link a scroll that only he was able to read. The scroll was a message from the deceased King of Hyrule who had cast a spell so that the Mark of a Hero would appear on the person with the right qualities to obtain the Triforce of Courage. The King also revealed how to enter the Great Palace where the Triforce of Courage was kept.
The Mark of a Hero appears on Link's hand when he first approaches the Triforce, which sends him into the worlds of the respective games. The purpose and specifics of the Mark of a Hero is not elaborated upon in these games, but it is recognized by many characters who state that, according to Hyrulean legends, the mark appears on the back of the hand of a hero who will save the land of Hyrule.
At the outset of Oracle of Ages, upon arriving in Labrynna, Link encounters Impa , who is under attack by a group of Octoroks, which promptly flee upon seeing him. Impa explains that this is due to the mark on his hand. Shortly thereafter, Link is able to use the power of the mark to move a stone blocking the entrance to the Forest of Time. Impa is later revealed to have been under the possession of Veran, Sorceress of Shadows; due to her evil nature, she was not able to move the stone herself, and thus possessed Impa in order to trick Link into moving it for her. This, in turn, allowed her to enter the Forest of Time, and possess Nayru.
Although it is never referenced in-game, Link has a Triforce-shaped mark on his left hand (right hand in the Wii version). Whether this is truly the Mark of a Hero, the Triforce of Courage, merely a birthmark, or a tattoo is unknown. It is heavily hinted to be the Triforce of Courage however, as it was shown glowing once in the story. As a human, the mark is only visible while Link is wearing his Ordon clothes early on in the game, or during sumo matches. When a wolf, the glowing mark is seen briefly before he passes out and is taken away to Hyrule Castle. At all other times, Link is wearing his Hero's Clothes or other tunics, all of which incorporate gloves that conceal the mark.
The Mark shows emphasis on the Triforce of Courage like the mark shown in games where Link possesses the Triforce of Courage itself. Princess Zelda and Ganondorf also possess similar marks, each representing their respective pieces of the Triforce.
The Mark of a Hero appears on the back of Link's right hand due to the gameplay, which is designed for right-handed use. It is possible though, that the game was mirror imaged like the Wii version of Twilight Princess and thus the mark is actually on his left hand. The Mark appears after he collects Farore's Flame from the Ancient Cistern. Over the course of the game, the Mark is "completed"; as the other Sacred Flames are gathered, the piece associated with its Golden Goddess lights up. References to the Mark of a Hero are made by the Three Dragons and Levias at various points.
|Dark Link · Ganon · Link · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Horsehead · Helmethead · Rebonack · Carock · Gooma · Barba · Thunderbird · Dark Link|
|Western Hyrule · Eastern Hyrule · Lesser Hyrule · Maze Island|
—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|