You’ll come across many useable items in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. However, you can only have 2 equipped at the same time. To switch what you have in your equipment slots, you’ll need to open the Items menu.
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What You Need to Know About the Items Menu
Overall, the Items menu is pretty neat and tidy—especially in the beginning. However, the further you get into Link’s Awakening, the more cluttered this screen will get. Thankfully, all items that you collect in this game have a useful purpose as well as their own place in your Items menu.
Equipment Slots and Useable Items
The only part of this menu that you’ll directly interact with are the circular brown item slots on the right. Here, you’ll find all items that you can use in combat or on things in the environment. Items in this part of the menu are the only ones that you can set to either of your 2 equipment slots. You can see what items are currently equipped in the green circles at the top-right. To switch items you have set, simply hover over the one you want to equip and press either the X or Y button to assign them to the corresponding input.
You can also see how many Rupees you have next to the green gem just beneath the green equipment slot circles.
In the top-left of this screen, you’ll see a small gray heart with a white outline. This is a Heart Container and will show you how close you are to increasing your maximum number of Hearts. Each time you pick up a Heart Piece, this Heart Container will fill up by 25%. Every 4 Heart Pieces you collect will fully fill the Heart Container and grant you +1 max Hearts. You can also keep track of how many Heart Pieces you’ve collected overall by checking out the Memories sub-menu from the Map screen.
In the 2 by 1 vertical bar below the Heart Container, you will see your Wearable Equipment inventory. There are permanent bits of gear that are always active—you don’t need to worry about equipping or unequipping them. To start, you’ll notice your Green Tunic and Shield, but you’ll get other important equipment soon enough. Trade items and a special auto-revive item will be placed here as well.
In the big square section with the image of an egg, there is a ring with 8 nodes. Each of these nodes represents one of the Siren Instruments that you need to collect from each dungeon. Your main goal in Link’s Awakening is to collect these 8 instruments, so being able to view them on command can be satisfying.
You’ll see a horizontal bar with 5 nodes below where the Siren Instruments are. This is where the 5 Dungeon Keys you’ll need are kept. Not all of the dungeons in Link’s Awakening need keys to be entered, but most do, so being able to keep track of them all is handy.
The last part of this menu that will hold items is the thin vertical bar between the Siren Instruments and the round slots for equipable items. This is where the game will store unique treasures that you can pick up, such as Seashells and Mushrooms. Items can come and go from this section as you will sometimes need to use them for specific tasks.