"You borrowed a shovel! You can dig in many places. You never know what you'll find!"
— In-game description from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Shovel is a recurring item in the Legend of Zelda series. This handy tool allows Link to dig holes in the ground to uncover treasures such as hearts, Rupees and various other things.

In some games, it can also serve as a replacement for the shield, since it deflects enemies with the power of a level 1 Shield while Link digs. This can be useful for flipping over Spiked Beetles with correct timing.

So far, it has appeared only in games with a top-down perspective, most likely because of the fact that those games' maps can be divided into squares, and a hole created by digging always uses up one square.


Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Shovel as it appears in-game

The Shovel is given to Link by the transformed Flute Boy in the Haunted Grove in the Dark World. The Flute Boy asks Link to retrieve his flute, which he buried safely in the same location in the Light World, with the help of the Shovel. After Link uncovers the flute, it replaces the Shovel in his inventory — however, in the Game Boy Advance port of the game, Link can keep the Shovel, since the game's menu has four more item slots, used for three of the four bottles.

There is also a digging mini-game found south of the Village of Outcasts in the Dark World. Here, Link is allowed, for a fee, to rent a Shovel and dig as many holes as he can muster within a time limit. A Piece of Heart can be found in a random dig spot.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

The Shovel from Link's Awakening

The Deluxe Shovel can be purchased in the Mabe Village Shop for the price of 200 Rupees. It is needed to dig up the Slime Key in Pothole Field, and some of the Secret Seashells needed to acquire the Ultimate Sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

The Shovel from Oracle of Ages and Seasons

In both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, the Shovel looks exactly the same. The Shovel is necessary to advance in the game, and is also useful to uncover soil for planting Gasha Seeds. It is also possible for Link to unearth an enemy sometimes, either Beetles or Ropes, and in Subrosia, Fire Pokey. Early on in both games, Link can use the Shovel as a good way of getting more Rupees, and it's also possible to dig up big blue rupees worth 100 rupees each, even though they are quite rare.

In Oracle of Ages, the Shovel is given to Link by the Foreman in Ambi's Tower, who mistakes Link for one of his fellow employees. It is necessary to clear the dirt from the entrance to the Maku Path.

In Oracle of Seasons, the Shovel is given to Link by Holly, who lives near Snake's Remains. She "hires" Link to clear the snow blocking the way to her house after he enters the house via the chimney during winter.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

A Shovel Four Swords Adventures

Shovels can be found on Item Podiums and are used to dig holes in the ground, which may uncover Force Gems or a hole leading to a new area. Shovels are most effective when Link is set in either the Wide (horizontal) or the Long (vertical) formation. If Link gives a Shovel to a Great Fairy, she will upgrade the Shovel to Level 2, which will cause Link to hear a faint tinkling sound whenever he is near a spot where he can dig for Force Gems or a hole.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

The Shovel is found on Molida Island inside a room with a wall covering it. The wall can be broken open with the Bomb Flower found nearby. The Shovel can be used to uncover hidden passages, hearts, and Rupees in the game. It can also be used to clear dirt covering fumaroles.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

See also