Link Z-targeting a Mad Scrub in Ocarina of Time
|First appearance||Ocarina of Time (1998)|
|Appearances||Ocarina of Time|
The Wind Waker
|Purpose||Allows locking onto targets|
|Requirements||(Ocarina of Time)|
- "They say that players who select the "HOLD" option for "Z TARGETING" are real "Zelda players!""
- — Gossip Stone
Z-targeting, also known as L-targeting, is a recurring skill in the Legend of Zelda series. Z-targeting is the system of "locking on" to enemies, characters, and objects using a specific button; L or Z, depending on the game. This is used to interact with them in an easier fashion, or from a distance. When Z-targeting an enemy and attacking, all of Link's attacks will be directed towards the enemy. When Link is targeting an enemy, character, or object, the camera remains focused on that target, and Link can freely strafe around the target, so he can face the target continuously. Also, the camera creates a letterbox, or widescreen, view to confirm that Z-targeting is being used. Some techniques, such as thrusting or the Jump Attack, as well as backflips and sidestep hops, can only be completed while Z-targeting. If Link Z-targets when no enemy, character, and/or object is in front of him, the camera will remain fixed behind Link until the button is released.
There are two settings for Z-targeting, which can be selected on the Name Registration screen: "SWITCH" and "HOLD." "SWITCH" causes the target to stay locked onto after the Z-button is released, and pressing the Z-button a second time will change the target, or exit targeting if no other target is present. To remove targeting when others are present, Link must pull away from the enemy. "HOLD" requires the player to hold down the Z-button to target an enemy; releasing the button will disengage the lock. These settings can be reached by going to the option menu on the main menu. L-targeting supports the same settings, and functions the same way.
Z-targeting is performed with the help of Link's fairy companion; Navi and Tatl in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, respectively. It is necessary for performing the Jump Attack, among other techniques. Link cannot Z-target Ganondorf as Navi is unable to approach his overwhelming evil aura, until Link stuns Ganondorf with a Light Arrow. Twinmold can not be Z-targeted while Link is using the Giant's Mask, as Tatl does not grow along with Link. When wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask, Link can fire Sword Beams only while Z-targeting.
Interestingly, despite Link under normal circumstances never being without his fairy companion, Z-targeting as an in game mechanic is dependent on Link having his fairy with him. As a result if Link is hacked to an area before the opening cinematic in which he gains Navi or Tatl, he will be unable to Z-target enemies.
L-targeting can be performed from the very beginning of the game, with no requirements. It is necessary for performing the Parry and Jump Attacks.
L-targeting, known as Z-targeting in the Wii version, can be performed without any prerequisites right from the beginning of the game. Since there is no button for simply raising the Shield, it is automatically raised whenever Link uses L-targeting. L-Targeting is also necessary for performing most of the Hidden Skills, the exceptions being the Mortal Draw and Great Spin Attack.
Z-targeting is performed with the Z button on the Nunchuk. Unlike in previous games, Z-targeting will not automatically aim Link's projectile weapons at the target; they must instead be aimed manually using the Wii Remote. Z-targeting is required to perform the Ending Blow.