ZeldaBlog

Iron Boots? No Iron Boots Here. Honest!

November 22nd, 2006 at 11:49 pm by The Missing Link

Let’s be completely frank; Link carries a lot of stuff around. No human being (or Hylian, for that matter) could honestly violate physics so badly as to have all that stuff at a moment’s notice and get away with it. (Physics is a harsh mistress, after all.) Even if we were to just imagine that there indeed was this satchel over Link’s shoulder in which he lugged around all those items he’s not currently using (there’s not, but we’re pretending!), well… dang, it’d have to be the biggest bag I’ve ever seen. (Can you even something the size of just the Bomb Bag, a sack that is designed to carry 30 bombs, each one the size of a decent-sized stone!? Just how big are these standard-issue Bomb Bag anyways!? Probably the size of Liechtenstein or something!)

But for the moment let’s put all of that aside and focus on just a single item: the Iron Boots.

The Iron Boots have just about been a console staple since Ocarina of Time. Wind Waker had ‘em. And yes, as we’ve seen from the Twilight Princess trailers, the Iron Boots are back in the newest Zelda title too. And from experience we all know what these beauties do for our verdant-clothed hero. For starters, they allow you to sink to the bottom of whatever liquid you should so happen to end up in, allowing you to trudge across the bottom of the pool of whatever in hopes of slaying enemies, finding treasure, and getting the girl. (Don’t laugh about that last part. Remember Ruto? Wink wink nudge nudge? ;) ) The other historical use, of course, is preventing yourself from getting utterly blown away by fans, steam vents, water spouts, or whatever other force of nature might blow our hero off course. And as we’ve seen in the Twilight trailers, they allow you to walk along walls and ceilings that are lined with this electromagnetic substance. (Who put it there and for what inane purpose is left as an exercise for the reader.) So the Iron Boots are useful, hurrah! and we’re all very glad their in our Zelda games.

To boot (pun intended), any Zelda player will be able to tell you that Link is able to sink in water and not get swept away by the winds because the sheer weight of the darn boots. (Non-Zelda players often call this magic.) The same goes for walking on the walls; they’re magnets, and magnets attract each other and stuff. (Also magic to some.) It makes some sort of physcisense, and life is wonderful and such. I dig it. (Besides, who’d want to spend all day analysing the principles of gravity on a fictional universe? That’s worse than doing timelines on fictional universes!)

But there’s absolutely one thing that just drives me batty. Let’s say I’m in Lake Hylia with my ultra-cool boots… and then I take them off. What happens? I float, as any good Link without Iron Boots should do. When I’m in a wind storm and I take them off? I get blown away. Magnetic strips on the ceiling? Mr. Link gets very friendly with Mr. Floor. But here’s the rub: Link didn’t throw the boots away. He’s still got them! (The inventory list does not lie!) They’re, as we all know, stuffed into the Imaginary Country-Sized Sack o’ Weaponry that Link carries around wherever he goes… which means… he’s still carrying around the weight; it just so happens to be in a different place, slung over his shoulder (like a Continental soldier).

Now I realising that I’m quibbling over something that’s less important than the price of tea in China, but every time I see a new puzzle that is predicated solely upon making sure you’ve got the proper boots equipped (such as to sink or float on cue), my suspension of disbelief in a game cracks a little bit further. The boots are still with Link, after all. (And then worst of all, they have the audacity to make me do weight balancing puzzles on a set of scales. So totally unfair!) Now, granted, we can solve this quite easily by converting that invisible, magical bag that Link is holding is some glorified portable hole (that can be folded up for easy storage!) straight from the Looney Tunes cartoons so that Link can store his hundreds of pounds of junk in it without actually encumbering him an ounce. (It’s as wonderful an invention as our beloved Hyrulian Velcro.) Such are the numerous illogical wonders of cartoon physics.

Of course, the real trick about this is that I wouldn’t want Nintendo to implement the inventory system any differently. I don’t want to have to leave my Iron Boots at the bottom of the lake and/or drag them to the shore every time I wear them. It’s, dare I say it, convenient to forget those pesky rules of physics when playing a Zelda title because, well, it makes us feel cooler. Heck, if we get a feeling of joy because we solve a simple block puzzle, the fact that we can go Reggie on hundreds of enemies with tens of weapons (thousands of combinations!) without care of whether we REALLY could do it or not… well, that’s heroic! That’s epic! That’s hardcore! And who doesn’t want that and a bag of potato chips, hm? Sign me up for two!

So I’m going to have to deal with the fact that Zelda isn’t at the threshold of absolute realism. It’s always been that way, and it will never change (or so I hope!). I guess that I have to check my knowledge of physics at the door when I step inside Hyrule and believe that the world—no matter its form—is filled with the cartoon laws that were so easy to accept with Wind Waker. (After all, what other Zelda game would make you believe that you could shoot yourself out of a cannon and live to tell the tale about it? Am I right, or am I right?)

Filed under Twilight Princess, Editorials, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker

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44 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “Iron Boots? No Iron Boots Here. Honest!”

    Comments

    That is a conundrum that I have pondered over for sometime myself, and I have to agree with your portable hole idea. How else could he do it? Excellent article, as always TML.

    Ayup. Although I realize most of us don’t really regard the old Zelda cartoons as a reliable source for canon information on Zelda, it supported the idea of a reality-altering inventory with a magic bag that allowed Link to shrink items down before putting them in the bag. And as long as we’re going that far, why not assume the bag was a portal to some sort of pocket dimension, thus displacing the weight of its “contents” and allowing the owner to “carry” huge amounts of stuff without being dragged down? In a fantasy universe, for every physics problem, there is an engineering magic solution. ;)

    That’s a puzzle that has been bothering me! The weight of the bonb bag alone should make him sink to the botom of the lake.. I like your “portable” hole Idea.

    I realize some of you don’t consider the cartoon canon, but it really did answer the question of this inventory bag thing. Link carried a satchel on his belt and when he opened it he thought of what he wanted to take out and it came out in a flash of white light and a noise similar to the noise made when he vanquished one of Ganon’s goonies.

    Why not just stuff Ganondorf into this ultimate portable hole and never worry about him again? l’ve always thought the physics of iron boot storage odd. But what really annoys me is how OoT Link could do backflips even with iron boots equipped. Anyone ever tried to do a backflip with weights attached?

    I wanna ponder on this as I am typing it. Ok, soo…

    TML said: Can you even something the size of just the Bomb Bag, a sack that is designed to carry 30 bombs, each one the size of a decent-sized stone!? Just how big are these standard-issue Bomb Bag anyways!? Probably the size of Liechtenstein or something!

    I learned of Liehtenstein recently, and, if you think about it, that’s not a possibility, but the bag where all of Link’s stuff would be house-sized (like my house) and would vary sizes in each game.

    [T]hey allow you to sink to the bottom of whatever liquid you should so happen to end up in…

    The rest of Link’s invetory should’ve done that, not just the boots. I do think they are denser than what the game tells you. I figure iron is lighter than gold, and the boots have like an iron plating, so they must be very dense to keep one from flying with the wind, or sleeping with the fishes.

    [T]hey allow you to sink to the bottom of whatever liquid you should so happen to end up in, allowing you to… getting the girl. (Don’t laugh about that last part. Remember Ruto? Wink wink nudge nudge? )

    He has to beat Robert, first :D Just kidding.

    Now, granted, we can solve this quite easily by converting that invisible, magical bag that Link is holding is some glorified portable hole (that can be folded up for easy storage!) straight from the Looney Tunes cartoons so that Link can store his hundreds of pounds of junk in it without actually encumbering him an ounce. (It’s as wonderful an invention as our beloved Hyrulian Velcro.) Such are the numerous illogical wonders of cartoon physics.

    You rarely see a Hylian without a shirt or something, what if Hylians had grown those portable holes on their back, and considered a birth defect if someone is missing one (like that one guy in OoT who appears in Hyrule Town in child Link’s time, and Kakariko Village in adult Link’s time) and the holes open up or close by will.

    Maybe theres a little “Pocket Universe” that Link/s can access at any time, in that said “Pocket Universe” he keeps every item in his inventory and that is why his Bottles dont break when he rolls around.

    BTW Does anyone know how many Bottles are in twilight Princess… And is the horrific Tingle in the game, please dont let him be.

    Finally, a post with no spoilers. Isn’t Hyrulean Velcro just things taped to cats, which then latch onto you?

    Tsornin said:

    …But what really annoys me is how OoT Link could do backflips even with iron boots equipped. Anyone ever tried to do a backflip with weights attached?

    Link can do backflips with iron boots on because he’s amazing like that. It’s very similar to how Sephiroth can commit the worst crimes ever and still be loved by everyone.

    MAGIK!!!111!!!1

    *ahem* Yeah. Images of the hole in the back are scaring me now. You could just put Hyrule in there. I bet it’s got little teeth and everything.

    Or maybe it’s cause it’s a game, and Nintendo likes to think the general audience don’t think about this sort of stuff. Which is true, it’s only us weirdos.

    According to the cartoons he uses magic to shrink them and then he puts them in his belt.

    Portable cartoon carrying holes that Hylians grow on their backs that lead to paralell universes that create an absence of weight for objects that have been put inside it. Good theory. :P

    But in all reality, when you think about it, most video games have an unlimited, but more towards this topic, unweighted inventory now a days.

    Jumanji Shishioh said:

    [T]hey allow you to sink to the bottom of whatever liquid you should so happen to end up in, allowing you to… getting the girl. (Don’t laugh about that last part. Remember Ruto? Wink wink nudge nudge? )

    He has to beat Robert, first :D Just kidding.

    LOL :) .

    Majorasblaze said:

    Images of the hole in the back are scaring me now. You could just put Hyrule in there. I bet it’s got little teeth and everything.

    That reminds me way too much of this: https://zeldablog.com/2005/12/26/that-new-hyrulian-math/

    Great post as usual TML! There’s just one little problem with your portable hole theory. If Link opens the portable hole underwater to stick his Iron Boots in, wouldn’t the hole suck in all the water? :D

    Nevira Shadowfire said:

    Great post as usual TML! There’s just one little problem with your portable hole theory. If Link opens the portable hole underwater to stick his Iron Boots in, wouldn’t the hole suck in all the water? :D

    OH NOES! I am defeated!

    The Missing Link said:

    Nevira Shadowfire said:

    Great post as usual TML! There’s just one little problem with your portable hole theory. If Link opens the portable hole underwater to stick his Iron Boots in, wouldn’t the hole suck in all the water? :D

    OH NOES! I am defeated!

    Oh no, that’s easy. It’s obviously MIND CONTROLLED! =D (and magic)

    i always wondered that… maybe he uses the changing chopsticks from xiaolin showdown ;)

    SS4 Kurama said:

    i always wondered that… maybe he uses the changing chopsticks from xiaolin showdown ;)

    That cartoon is AWXOME!!!! The person who voices Omi also voces Presea in ToS.

    he gives the boots to his weight lifting side-kicks :P .you know;navi,uh…the boat,remember :? .seriously,that and the ladder and raft always drove me crazy.the hole theory reminds me of the wind tunel in inuyasha though :) .

    The hole opening in the back theory of mine would beat the flooding of the portable hole fact by, creating an air bubble that Link can stick his stuff in, by magic. With magic, the space inside the “Hylian Hole” is bigger, because it acts as a seperate dimension, and it’s pretty much like Jabu-Jabu insides, all disgusting, so never ask to borrow a Hylian’s stuff, it may have fluids with unknown purposes in the “Hylian Hole”

    If there was a hole on the backs of the Hylians, then all of Hyrule would be sucked in. ;)

    The Deku Master said:

    If there was a hole on the backs of the Hylians, then all of Hyrule would be sucked in. ;)

    like the wind tunel :) .anyways,isnt it kind of an easy way out to say that some hylians just arent born with it? you could atleast say something like “only the hero of time has one” ;) .and maybe he has to learn how to control it properly.hmm,but now were starting to sound like naruto or something.meh,im going to go try to draw an anime -_- .

    The Deku Master said:

    If there was a hole on the backs of the Hylians, then all of Hyrule would be sucked in. ;)

    Good grief, to get to understand this, I need to understand physics of dimension and what not. I need help :’(

    i am very,very confuzzled…….. :(

    WOW.
    I haven’t seen the portable hole cartoon in YEARS..yet I knew exactly what you were referring to. Nice.

    You know if you think about it, in the Zelda world, there is magic.(Fairies, Dark and light powers, the Triforce, etc.) They say Hylians are magical beings so they have magical abilities. So why not use the magic to good use, make portable bags that can hold anything in them without weighing down the owner. So Link has those type of bags! Make sense?

    Well, there’s a piece of artwork from the original LoZ showing Link facing the “Camera” with all his items strapped to his back and sticking out the sides, including the raft and stepladder (No wonder he couldn’t roll back then!) I think bombs are like Pokeballs were in the Pokemon cartoon, in that they’re ultra-tiny (like when you find them after cutting grass etc) and then when ready to use they expand to their full size. I like the portable hole idea, but the Hylian-hole theory is pretty disgusting :S

    sure……

    I”M SO CONFUSED!!!HELP ME!!!(gets sucked in a wind tunnel

    omg stop complaining its a game who cares…just play it and have a good time

    i luv wii g-unit said:

    omg stop complaining its a game who cares…just play it and have a good time

    no ones complaining.besides,what else is there to say in such an article? the answer:nothing more then whats being said.

    back to subject,if we are to find where link keeps all his weapons that should be illegal,we must also consider the begining of MM.there we see skullkid (or whatever you want to call him),going through links things.exept…I cant remember were he gets/looks for the stuff :( .well it should be kind of a helpful hint.at the very least it should help disprove the hylian back hole theory ;) .

    Maybe if we want to persue the subject of Link’s “Magic Santa Bag” we should really look into the Science of Quantum Physics, Wormholes, and posibilites of portals to alternate realities. Maybe then, some of our little physics questions can be solved. The Great Land of Hyrule may be a little more technologically advanced that we all that it was!!! LOL :)

    Zen Blade said:

    Maybe if we want to persue the subject of Link’s “Magic Santa Bag” we should really look into the Science of Quantum Physics, Wormholes, and posibilites of portals to alternate realities. Maybe then, some of our little physics questions can be solved. The Great Land of Hyrule may be a little more technologically advanced that we all that it was!!! LOL :)

    but who knows if hyrule follows the same principles ;) .

    It is better than Link walkng around like this for an entire game.

    i luv wii g-unit said:

    omg stop complaining its a game who cares…just play it and have a good time

    True,true,very true…..
    man…i hate not knowing these things,wait,lemme read it again….

    YES YES YES!!!I FIGURED OUT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!

    i personally like the iron boots.they’re like the octorock,because they have been in every darn zelda game except this one!!-glares at nintendo-so,they are a staple to this games.it’s sad that they went away :(

    Off subject: Hey everyone, remember to check your spam boxes every now and then, someone from ZeldaBlog may try to contact you.
    Back to subject: How are they like the octorok? Sorry, I just don’t see it.

    The Emerald Wind said:

    It is better than Link walkng around like this for an entire game.

    That’s the old Link. Hmm, TP Link sorta looks like him.

    Wow.. Thats so true. Portable hole.. exactly! Like, how does Link hold his Bomb bag and his Quiver, his extra tunics, his weapons, his equipment and all his other nick-nacks, trinkets and doo-dads? Portable Hole Device? Why, that is absolutely brilliant! Great Discovery, TML! Kudos.
    (Whenever you get an item, it floats above your hands.. And then you slide it into your magic hole. :D )

    Yes, you’re right. Lol. I just think that the hover boots and iron boots are more like boot covers, that, with a little fairy dust(navi could be like tinkerbell), can do their selected tasks.

    Jumanji Shishioh said:

    Off subject: Hey everyone, remember to check your spam boxes every now and then, someone from ZeldaBlog may try to contact you.
    Back to subject: How are they like the octorok? Sorry, I just don’t see it.

    The Emerald Wind said:

    It is better than Link walkng around like this for an entire game.

    That’s the old Link. Hmm, TP Link sorta looks like him.

    were are our spam boxs?

    I meant your e-mail spam boxes ;)

    Everyone ignores my theory…(I’ve been asking almost all year how to make the *NAVI* faces!)

    M Warrior said:

    Everyone ignores my theory…(I’ve been asking almost all year how to make the *NAVI* faces!)

    this? :

    You know if you think about it, in the Zelda world, there is magic.(Fairies, Dark and light powers, the Triforce, etc.) They say Hylians are magical beings so they have magical abilities. So why not use the magic to good use, make portable bags that can hold anything in them without weighing down the owner. So Link has those type of bags! Make sense?

    I dont think anyones ignoring it,theres probably just nothing to say about it (if no one replys it usually means theres no heh…holes in it :P ).and if your refering to the yellow smiley faces;you have to make sure theres nothing on either side of the original.heres an example: :) = :) :( = :( 8) = 8) :P = :P .so you pretty much just have to make sure nothing is touching the smile you put in.(I hope all those work o_O ).

    sorry for the double post but my last didnt work so good (actually…it worked too good if you know what I mean).if you need to know the combinations for a certain smiley,just underline one.the rest of the info is valid that I gave you though.

    I think that his “bag” is actually a wormhole portal that appears in the new hero’s chest tight before a crisis happens. So, if one day you find a hole in your chest with a room the size of Liechtenstein inside, sharpen your sword and get ready to do battle!
    This was a warped mind announcment.

    Jumanji Shishioh said:
    The rest of Link’s invetory should’ve done that, not just the boots. I do think they are denser than what the game tells you. I figure iron is lighter than gold, and the boots have like an iron plating, so they must be very dense to keep one from flying with the wind, or sleeping with the fishes.

    Actually…. I’m pretty sure gold weighs less. It’s time for an “Interesting Atomic structure fact”! Pure gold is 24 karrots, but because that is too soft, jewlry-makers often add a stronger metal into it, making it retain its gold-like color, but making it less subject to break. Typacally, the stronger something is, the heavier that thing is. (unless you’re using those new-fangled metals scientists just discovered) Thus my theory that gold weighs less than Iron. Don’t ask how I know this. We’re studying it in science.

    “…… PLAY?” dog from the over the hedge movie.

    what? you expected an actual post? you guys expect waaaaaaaaay too much of me.

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