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To start a new game, move the fairy to the save slot (top, middle, or bottom) and press any button. You will be prompted to type a name for the game. This name will appear in game in various dialogues so choose wisely! You can continue a game by selecting an existing slot. You may also delete saved games here so be careful!
- Health: Link starts with 3 hearts. Each heart represents 2 HP. When 1 HP worth of damage is received, the heart shrinks to half its size. After 2 HP worth of damage, it turns black (meaning it is empty). When all hearts are empty, Link will die if he isn't carrying a Fairy in a bottle.
- Magic: the magic bar will come into play quickly. To fill it, defeat enemies or break open objects to find green magical pots. Some items will use up magic and if you don't have enough you won't be able to use the item. Be frugal with your magic as it is easy to expend.
- Equipped item: this shows which item you have equipped.
- Rupees: this shows how many Rupees you currently have. Rupees are Hyrule's currency. You will need a lot of it to afford special items, ammo refills, new equipment, and upgrades.
Link can move in 8 directions: up/down, left/right, and diagonals. He cannot face diagonally but will instead face one direction and strafe in the other. For example, while walking downwards he can slide to the left or right. This is easier to see when you hold his sword out front.
Interacting with characters and signs
A Triforce block. Press A to speak with NPCs, read signs, speak telepathically through Triforce blocks.
Picking up and throwing
Link may also pick up some objects, as long as he is strong enough. You may upgrade his strength later on by finding powerful artifacts. Objects that can be picked up are:
- Some characters
Pushing and pulling
Link can push and pull some objects. Sometimes the object can only be pushed, or only pulled. For example, you will encounter levers early on in the game that can only be pulled. Likewise, there are secret blocks that can only be pushed in certain directions. Statues can often be pushed or pulled in order to put weight on switches to unlock doors in a dungeon.
Link can open chests by pressing A while facing them from below. He cannot open them from the sides or top. To open very large chests you will need the Boss Key of the dungeon you are in.
To attack, Link can swing his sword, hold it out front and touch an enemy, or power up a swing and spin around. He may also use items from his inventory to attack enemies. Each enemy has their own weaknesses, so study each enemy as you encounter them by reading about them here.
Saving and loading
Every dungeon in the game will behave similarly. When you enter a dungeon, the screen will close to black as you go through the doorway. When you arrive, you will have reached a checkpoint. You will return here if you die and choose "Save and Continue".