Ball and Chain Trooper

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Not to be confused with Darkhammer, the mini-boss of Snowpeak Ruins.

Ball and Chain Troopers,(ALttP | LA)[1][2] also known as Ball and Chain Soldiers,(OoS | OoA | FS | FSA | TMC | ALBW | TFH)[1] and Ball 'N Chain Guards,(CoH)[3] are recurring Enemies in The Legend of Zelda series. They are a variation of the enemy Soldiers that wield a massive spiked ball on a chain which they use to attack with. They are among the strongest of enemy Soldiers, whose whirling flails makes them difficult to approach and can inflict heavy damage. Of all the enemy Soldiers, they are also the most common throughout the series.

The attack pattern of Ball and Chain Troopers can vary between games; in some games they will only periodically fling their maces, while in other games they will constantly spin it around them, stopping only to toss it at Link. These are crucial times for Link to strike back. In some games, a stronger variant appears wielding a ball and chain on fire, which may seriously burn Link if he is struck by it.


A Link to the Past

In A Link to the Past, like other Soldiers, Ball and Chain Troopers are Hyrulean guards that have been brainwashed by Agahnim and are under his control. They attack by swinging their flail whenever Link is close, but will only swing it around periodically, allowing Link to quickly move in and strike back when the Soldier is not wielding his weapon. A unique, grey Ball and Chain Trooper first appears in the prison dungeon of Hyrule Castle, where he is guarding the Big Key to Princess Zelda's prison cell. Link can use the Boomerang to stun him, allowing him to get an easy strike, but the Soldier will soon recover. The Ball and Chain Trooper is also notably weak to thrown Pots, which can be picked up from the open cell and thrown back at him. Two thrown Pots are enough defeat him.

Later, when Link infiltrates the Hyrule Castle Tower on his way to face Agahnim, he encounters gold-colored Ball and Chain Troopers. These Troopers have the same strength as the grey one previously encountered (caused by room palette ID's) , but come in pairs which makes fighting them harder. By the time they are encountered, Link has more items at his arsenal that he can use to fight them with. Link can place Bombs to explode when they are close, or fire Arrows from a safe distance with his Bow.

The Ball, and Chain was noted to be a popular weapon among Ganon's forces used for sharp and powerful attacks that could greatly damage enemies.[4]

Link's Awakening

In Link's Awakening, a single Ball and Chain Trooper known as a Knight appears in the final room of Kanalet Castle. Like the other occupants, it was one of Prince Richard's servants until going berserk, and turning on its liege.[5] It will swing its mace in its hand before tossing it at Link, which when struck, saps one whole Heart from Link's life meter. Like the Ball and Chain Trooper from A Link to the Past, it can be attacked when it is not tossing its mace. Link also needs to be careful while fighting it, as the ground along the walls are cracked and will crumble if stood on for too long. Once defeated, the Ball and Chain Soldier will drop one of the Golden Leaves. Despite being unique, the Knight will respawn.

Oracle of Seasons

In Oracle of Seasons, Ball and Chain Soldiers can be found in the Ancient Ruins and the Sword & Shield Maze. They are one of the few enemies that are immune to the effect of Gale Seeds when shot from the Seed Shooter or Slingshot, and cannot be blown back by them.

With the Master Sword and the Red Ring equipped, the Ball and Chain Soldiers can be defeated in one fell swoop.

Oracle of Ages

In Oracle of Ages, Ball and Chain Soldiers can be found in the Crown Dungeon. They are one of the few enemies that are immune to the effect of Gale Seeds when shot from the Seed Shooter or Slingshot, and cannot be blown back by them.

With the Master Sword and the Red Ring equipped, the Ball and Chain Soldiers can be defeated in one fell swoop.

Four Swords

In Four Swords, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear as gold knights wielding spinning flails. Unlike previous games, they will continuously swing their maces around them, protecting them from most attacks, before tossing it at the Links. The moment they toss it leaves the rest of their body vulnerable to attacks. They appear in Talus Cave and Vaati's Palace.

Four Swords Adventures

Four Swords Adventures offers a number of different types of Ball and Chain Soldiers, characterized by their armor's color. The common gold variety swings its ball and chain in a constant large loop that increases speed when hit. The black variety is similar to the original soldier from A Link to the Past, in that it aims its flail directly at the Links as before, and smashes through obstacles in the process. Just like A Link to the Past, they are corrupted Hyrulean guards.[6]

A newer variety is the red-colored Ball and Chain Soldier, which adds a new twist in the form of a fiery mace that leaves behind a huge trail of flames. The only safe method of bypassing this flaming barrier is to use the Roc's Feather to jump over it.

The blue variety is extremely rare and only appears in the Tingle's Tower multiplayer gallery during the "Monster Hunting Returns" minigame. These soldiers swing their flails in a loop similar to the gold soldiers, but will switch between swinging in a small loop around their head, to a huge lashing swipe that travels far.

The Ball and Chain Soldiers are often seen alone or in pairs, usually appearing as the last in a swarm of regular Soldiers. They are also quite common in the Palace of Winds, and one final trooper is summoned by Ganon right before the final battle.

The Minish Cap

In The Minish Cap, Ball and Chain Soldiers appear the same as in Four Swords, as gold Soldiers that swing flails around them. As in previous games, they can be attacked after their maces are tossed. A unique attack strategy incorporates the use of the Roc's Cape to inflict damage from above with the Sword, all the while evading the lateral toss of the ball and chain. They have a tendency of dropping Big Green Rupees when defeated. They appear in the Palace of Winds, Dark Hyrule Castle and Simon's Simulations.

A Link Between Worlds

Ball and Chain Soldiers in A Link Between Worlds are strongly based on their A Link to the Past incarnation. Like other enemy Soldiers, the Ball and Chain Soldiers were originally Paintings that were painted by and brought to life by Yuga. Unlike the Troopers from A Link to the Past, these enemies constantly swing their flails around them as opposed to only periodically, and will toss their flails at Link twice before swinging them again. They will also begin to use their flails as shields if Link fires repeated Sword Beams or Arrows at them. Both Grey and Gold colored variants exist; while they behave identically, the Gold variant takes more hits to defeat. They appear Inside Hyrule Castle and Treacherous Tower.

In Lorule Castle, two Lorule Ball and Chain Soldiers wielding fiery maces appear as Sub-Bosses. They are fought in dark rooms, which their fiery weapons can light as they are spun. One also appears in Treacherous Tower on the 39th floor of the Advanced level.

Tri Force Heroes

Ball and Chain Soldiers appear in the Fortress Area of the Drablands in Tri Force Heroes, and seem to be servants of Lady Maud. They appear the same as in A Link Between Worlds, as they will actively spin their maces around them before tossing it at the Links. Both regular and fire Ball and Chain Soldiers appear. Regular Ball and Chain Soldiers appear in the Sealed Gateway and in the Training Ground, where one appears riding a Totem Armos, and will pursue the Links while swinging its mace. A Ball and Chain Soldier wielding a fire mace appears in The Lady's Lair.

In the Sky Realm, a golden variety called Sky Ball & Chain Soldiers also appear, as well as a variant wielding a fiery ball and chain called a Sky Fire Chain Soldier. These varieties are much stronger than the ordinary Ball and Chain Soldiers, and take more hits to defeat. Sky Ball & Chain Soldiers appear in Deception Castle and in the Sky Temple, while a Sky Fire Chain Soldier exclusively appears in the Sky Temple.

Other Appearances

A Link to the Past (Ishinomori)

Ball and Chain Troopers appear briefly in Chapters 2 and 5 in the A Link to the Past comic by Shotaro Ishinomori. In Chapter 2, Link encounters one of these foes after visiting Sahasrahla's Wife in Kakariko Village. However, after the Ball and Chain Trooper swings his weapon at the young hero, Link falls into a bush, and the Trooper misses sight of him. Later in Chapter 5, after Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, he is ambushed by three Ball and Chain Troopers that the young hero quickly defeats with a single Spin Attack.

A Link to the Past (Himekawa)

In the A Link to the Past manga by Akira Himekawa, Link faces the Ball and Chain Trooper on his way to rescue Zelda in much the same way he does in the game. Upon orders from Agahnim, the soldier smashes through a wall to reach Link, and attacks him with his giant weapon. Link manages to avoid getting struck, but is caught by the chain around his neck and dragged across the room. He lands near some jars, and with quick thinking, he grabs one and throws it at the Trooper, which knocks the helmet off, revealing nothing underneath. A black mist emerges from the armor as it collapses, and as Link sits shocked, Zelda explains that the soldier was not human and was living darkness controlled by Agahnim.[7]

Cadence of Hyrule

Ball 'N Chain Guards appear as enemies who move to the rhythm in Cadence of Hyrule. They move on every second music beat, usually crouching before hopping onto an adjacent tile. When Cadence, Link, Yves, or Zelda get too close, they will pause for one music beat before swinging their flails on the next beat, dealing damage to any heroes or enemies that stand within a 3x3 square radius.

A stronger pair of Ball 'N Chain Guards wearing black armor also appear as a Minibosses in the Future World. The chains of their flails are connected and only sever when they are defeated. They possess more health and attack power than their green counterparts.


Names in Other Regions
  • 鉄球兵士 (Tekkyū Heishi) (ALttP)[11]
  • 鉄球兵士(黒) (Tekkyū Heishi (Kuro)) (ALttP)[12]
  • Iron Ball Soldier
  • Iron Ball Soldier (Black)
Soldat à fléau (CoH)[16]Flail soldier
The French Republic
Soldat à fléau (CoH)[14]Flail soldier
The Federal Republic of Germany
Morgensternwache (CoH)[13]Morning star guard; portmanteau of morgenstern (morning star) and wache (guard).
The Italian Republic
  • Soldato di Ferro (ALttP | LA | LADX | OoS | OoA | FS | FSA | ALBW)[10]
  • Soldato di Ferro (Grigio) (ALttP)[10]
  • Soldato di ferro (ALBW | CoH)[8][9]
  • Iron Soldier
  • Iron Soldier (Grey)
  • Iron soldier
Latin America
Guardia con mangual (CoH)[15]Flail guard
The Kingdom of Spain
Guardia con mangual (CoH)[17]Flail guard
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.

Other Names

These names, though from official English sources, are not considered Canon by Zelda Wiki as they contradict a name or names from a higher-priority source.


See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 164 (ALttP | LA | LADX | OoS | OoA | FS | FSA | TMC | ALBW | TFH)
  2. Dreamer Art Book, Nintendo Co., Ltd., pg. 50
  3. "Defeated By: Ball 'N Chain Guard" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule)
  4. "Many of Ganon's soldiers used these spiked balls on chains for a sharp and powerful attack. A square hit could greatly damage a warrior." (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past—Nintendo Player's Guide, Nintendo of America, pg. 65)
  5. "Salutations! You wouldn't know by the look of me, but I used to live in the castle! My servants went berserk and I was forced to flee to my villa... So, you want the key to Ukuku Prairie, do you? I may be able to help you... Let's make... a deal, shall we? I want you to retrieve the Golden Leaf I left behind in the castle when I fled..." — Prince Richard (Link's Awakening DX, 398)
  6. "The soldiers in the castle were behaving so oddly, and I couldn't get past them. They were moving the old cannons around...and they even aimed their bows at me!" — Malon (Four Swords Adventures)
  7. "That warrior was living darkness controlled by Agahnim's magic. It wasn't human." (A Link to the Past (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 23)
  8. L'arte di una leggenda, Magazzini Salani, pg. 358
  9. "Causa della sconfitta: Soldato di ferro" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, Italian localization)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Enciclopedia di Hyrule, Magazzini Salani, pg. 164
  11. A Link to the Past manual, pg. 50
  12. Nintendo Official Guidebook: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Vol. 1, Shogakukan, pg. 124Nintendo Official Guidebook—The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords, Shogakukan, pg. 22
  13. "Besiegt von: Morgernsternwache" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, German localization)
  14. "Défaite causée par: Soldat à fléau" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, European French localization)
  15. "¡Fin de la partida! Causa: Guardia con mangual" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, Latin American Spanish localization)
  16. "Défaite causée par: Soldat à fléau" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, Canadian French localization)
  17. "¡Fin de la partida! Causa: Guardia con mangual" — Game Over (Cadence of Hyrule, European Spanish localization)
  18. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages—Official Strategy Guide (Pocket Guide), BradyGames, pg. 48 (OoA)
  19. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures—The Official Nintendo Player's Guide, Nintendo of America, pg. 83