Zelda Sword Skills brings more adventure to your Minecraft world. Long ago, I wrote about the potential of an Adventure mode in Minecraft. Though Mojang never doubled-down on that idea, mods have taken up that mantle. Modder coolAlias has a very interesting approach to the adventure formula: use the possibly most well-known instance of it for inspiration – Zelda…
Zelda Sword Skills is an implementation of Zelda combat, items, locations, and mobs into Minecraft. While mods like this usually don’t fit into the regular Minecraft experience and focus on their own thing and fan service, Zelda Sword Skills fits in extremely well due to the nature of Minecraft’s world and Zelda’s gameplay mechanics. Simply put, it’s a match made in heaven.
In this article I’ll go over the four major aspects of the mod and describe them while not delving too deep. For a deeper look, check out the official Zelda Sword Skills guide in .pdf form which covers everything I will say in greater detail, along with instructions on how to properly play the mod (crafting recipes, controls, etc). This article isn’t a guide, it’s a showcase of the features and ideas in the mod. Let’s start with combat.
Zelda Sword Skills Combat
Combat is a very large part of Minecraft that is surprisingly simple and underdeveloped in the vanilla game, though it is now the focus of the upcoming patch. Zelda Sword Skills applies the lessons learned from Zelda to Minecraft combat by providing a large array of skills you learn over your adventure, that all add unique elements to combat and help make it less dull. Bound by default to the P key is the skill book – a new interface where you will find all special skills and their detailed descriptions.
Obtaining a new skill is as easy as getting the orb that represents it and right clicking which will teach you the skill or upgrade it by a level, up to 10. You will then find it in the skill book where you will also find instructions on how to use it. You may also find that info in the official Zelda Sword Skills guide. There’s chaining attacks, dodging, armor breaks, parries and all kinds of high-damage attacks. Most of them require you to be locked onto the enemy, which is easily done and makes the camera always center on the enemy, which changes combat to a more tactical view, encouraging you to approach with care and use dodging and the other new skills to defeat enemies.
If combat is the only thing that interests you, you can find it in a separate mod called Dynamic Sword Skills, which the creator kindly provides for those that do not want all the Zelda stuff in their game, but still want the more exciting combat.
Zelda Sword Skills Items
The second part of this adventure are items. The mod adds a huge variety of new items, most of which are found in the world through loot or trading rather than simply crafted, encouraging exploration. While swords and armors work as you’d expect them, the mod also adds shields which have a limited use unless you’re using another mod alongside this one, that mod being Battlegear 2 which allows you to carry shields in the offhand. This is a strong recommendation as the current version of Minecraft does not support dual wielding, however, I imagine that once 1.9 brings that exact feature to vanilla we’ll see this semi-dependency dropped.
The more important part of the new arsenal of items at your disposal are utility items which allow for increased mobility and other cool things that just work so well within the Minecraft world. There’s bombs and boomerangs, truly staple items in the Zelda universe. There’s a hookshot that lets you grapple to things. There’s even an ocarina, and that’s just a drop in the sea of new items that will let you progress through the world, constantly unlocking new challenges just like in the Zelda games.
Progression is tied to these items, so if you’re lost you can check the achievement menu for a hint on what to do next. Just like with the combat, if you’d like to know more detailed info about the mentioned items and more, check out the official Zelda Sword Skills guide.
Zelda Sword Skills Locations
To help you get started on your adventure, once you start a new world you’re given a seed which will spawn a small hut (Link’s house) if you right click a viable large flat location for it. But, that’s just the beginning of the locations you’ll see in Zelda Sword Skills.
The world will be littered with dungeons and other locations of interest for the up and coming adventurer. Some of these will be locked behind a specific utility item you need, but all will provide challenge and reward.
Alongside the dungeons are other landmarks added to the world generator, and additions to NPC villages that allow you to trade for new stuff and meet new creatures.
Zelda Sword Skill Creatures
The mod adds lots of new friendly creatures to the world. Some of those require “activation” by doing a specific action that turns a named villager into a special villager, for example, to “activate” the Bomb Shop one must right click on an NPC named “Barnes” with gunpowder.
However, the lands are not occupied by just friendly creatures, and the mod does add a variety of that other type – enemy mobs. All of these are Zelda-inspired mobs that look and behave like their Zelda counterparts. Some have different types that will fight differently and require a different tactic to defeat. There’s also bosses in dungeons, naturally.
Finally, there’s lots and lots of smash-able pottery for the true Zelda experience.
That’s about it for our broad look at what Zelda Sword Skills provides. Once again I recommend you check the official Zelda Sword Skills guide if you need specifics on any of the things I mentioned about the mod.
Personally, I enjoyed this mod, but I do feel it lacks polish. The content it adds is amazing and there’s tons of it, it’s just not logically arranged and it can be hard to grasp the idea of what you’re supposed to do next or what something does unless you’re a Zelda veteran and have read the guide from cover to cover. I feel like that’s a shame since the Zelda mechanics provide for an amazing gaming experience that makes Minecraft much better but the required knowledge to be able to take advantage of the new stuff will drive a lot of people away. I recommend you give it a whirl and stick with it until you, hopefully, get a grip on how it all works.
You can get the mod yourself here:
Download the Zelda Sword Skills mod here!
- Install the Forge API.
- Run Minecraft at least once.
- Put the .jar file in the mods folder located in your .minecraft folder.
- For any additional info, head to our big Mod Installation Guide.
- Ready to go! Enjoy.
Like always, feel free to leave any feedback you might have in the comment section below.
Version of mod reviewed: v3.0.3b for Minecraft 1.8.