# Game Theory: Beware Link's Hookshot in Legend of Zelda!

#### MatthewPatrick13

##### New member
Beware Link's Hookshot in Legend of Zelda!

Link's hookshot from the Legend of Zelda is one of the coolest items in all of gaming. Who WOULDN'T want to fire a grappling hook at any object and instantly get reeled back in. It's AWESOME and is definitely my favorite item from any video game ever. But is it really as awesome as we all think? Is the hookshot in Link's pack of items truly the deadliest thing in the whole Legend of Zelda franchise?

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#### Spyre2k

##### New member
Have they done something different with their video stream? I can't view this or ZP. I haven't had any problems with other videos earlier during the week. It seems similar to the issue I have with blip.tv in that one day it just stop working. So I've just stop watching those podcast.

Lot of the shows I use to watch here have left and many new series are ones just run old episodes of shows I already follow on Youtube.

#### Lightknight

##### Mugwamp Supreme
The chain doesn't have to be steel. It doesn't require the hardness to puncture wood repeatedly so it makes no sense to apply the same logic of the tip to the chain holding it.

Additionally, the weight of the device displaces the force of the shot the same way a gun displaces some of the weight of a bullet being fired to reduce kickback. At the point of firing the device would have all the weight of the chain and the shell itself to absorb the impact before reaching link's arm. That throws a non-trivial amount of the math off. This is why a larger gun with the same caliber as a smaller gun will display less recoil on the user.

Not only that, but most force on the human body is actually transferred to the ground by being transferred through the body rather than directly impacting the body.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoil

So the math is basically treating this as if Link is a statue without any properties that allow a transfer of the force through his body to the ground.

Also, Link isn't human. He's whatever the heck Kokiri is. So using math on human bone density and organ composition doesn't necessarily follow. We can clearly see that his hand doesn't even waver on the thing being fired so the force must either be less than this design or Link's physiology responds differently than a human would. Maybe his body naturally transfers impact over the entire body somehow, easily displacing the impact. That would explain why getting hit with something is a loss of heart rather than a loss of limb.

As for him being pulled that quickly. That is the real danger and how he stops is another. Any reason to explain the magic of how just stops upon reaching the tip or how it so easily comes out after having withstood the force required to pull Link?

Fun video to watch though.

#### Lazy Kitty

##### Evil
Hylians must be made of something tougher than humans.
Makes me wonder what that stuff is.

#### wiersmaster

##### New member
For starters: the force Link experiences when launching the hook is only about tenth of the value calculated in the video. This is because the chain 'unrolls' over a second: after 0.5 seconds, half the chain is still standing still (i.e: didn't accelerate (i.e: didn't exert any force))!

Lightknight said:
The chain doesn't have to be steel. It doesn't require the hardness to puncture wood repeatedly so it makes no sense to apply the same logic of the tip to the chain holding it.
Yeah, the chain could be made of a much lighter material, as long as it is able to take the force required to accelerate Link. Aluminum would probably work, which is an immediate weight reduction of almost a factor 3.

Lightknight said:
Additionally, the weight of the device displaces the force of the shot the same way a gun displaces some of the weight of a bullet being fired to reduce kickback. At the point of firing the device would have all the weight of the chain and the shell itself to absorb the impact before reaching link's arm. That throws a non-trivial amount of the math off. This is why a larger gun with the same caliber as a smaller gun will display less recoil on the user.
As a physics person and not a gun person, this seems not entirely true to me. The longshot doesn't "absorb the impact", and neither does a gun, or at least not in the way you're implying. If you use a bigger (and heavier) gun and you apply the same amount of force (caliber) on it, it will accelerate less suddenly and reach a lower speed (see also: a heavy car with the same engine as a lighter car), reducing the recoil and distance traveled before you have decelerated the gun back to standstill making it easier to control (for a human). The amount of force is still the same (as long as the barrels are the same length).

Do note however, that the forces of firing a gun are a bit more complex because the bullet (actually the gases driving the bullet) exert a (changing) force while the bullet is in the barrel and you move the gun significantly which reduces the recoil experienced.

Lightknight said:
Not only that, but most force on the human body is actually transferred to the ground by being transferred through the body rather than directly impacting the body.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoil

So the math is basically treating this as if Link is a statue without any properties that allow a transfer of the force through his body to the ground.
Actually, the arm still has to take the force. "Recoil is transfered to the ground" simply means that you exert a force on the ground to counteract the recoil and prevent yourself from flying backwards (see also the extinguisher scene from Gravity). The force still has to go through the arm. Taking a proper stance can prevent injury by making sure the forces are "channeled" correctly through the body and mostly taken by stronger bones/muscles/parts, but the shoulder and arm still have to take the force somehow. You can't stop a truck simply because you're "transferring forces to the ground".

A way Link could reduce the force his arm has to resist is to move it from beside him to fully extended when pulled: this way, the acceleration is over a longer time (distance), making the force less. Not sure if that would be significant though...

So, in conclusion: it's a videogame, stop taking it so serious!

#### Lightknight

##### Mugwamp Supreme
wiersmaster said:
For starters: the force Link experiences when launching the hook is only about tenth of the value calculated in the video. This is because the chain 'unrolls' over a second: after 0.5 seconds, half the chain is still standing still (i.e: didn't accelerate (i.e: didn't exert any force))!

Lightknight said:
The chain doesn't have to be steel. It doesn't require the hardness to puncture wood repeatedly so it makes no sense to apply the same logic of the tip to the chain holding it.
Yeah, the chain could be made of a much lighter material, as long as it is able to take the force required to accelerate Link. Aluminum would probably work, which is an immediate weight reduction of almost a factor 3.
Not too shabby.

Lightknight said:
Additionally, the weight of the device displaces the force of the shot the same way a gun displaces some of the weight of a bullet being fired to reduce kickback. At the point of firing the device would have all the weight of the chain and the shell itself to absorb the impact before reaching link's arm. That throws a non-trivial amount of the math off. This is why a larger gun with the same caliber as a smaller gun will display less recoil on the user.
As a physics person and not a gun person, this seems not entirely true to me. The longshot doesn't "absorb the impact", and neither does a gun, or at least not in the way you're implying. If you use a bigger (and heavier) gun and you apply the same amount of force (caliber) on it, it will accelerate less suddenly and reach a lower speed (see also: a heavy car with the same engine as a lighter car), reducing the recoil and distance traveled before you have decelerated the gun back to standstill making it easier to control (for a human). The amount of force is still the same (as long as the barrels are the same length).
Right, there is less recoil the larger the gun to force ratio is. I'm not sure what part of what I said would make that wrong.

Actually, the arm still has to take the force. "Recoil is transfered to the ground" simply means that you exert a force on the ground to counteract the recoil and prevent yourself from flying backwards (see also the extinguisher scene from Gravity). The force still has to go through the arm. Taking a proper stance can prevent injury by making sure the forces are "channeled" correctly through the body and mostly taken by stronger bones/muscles/parts, but the shoulder and arm still have to take the force somehow. You can't stop a truck simply because you're "transferring forces to the ground".
The point isn't that the arm takes no force. It's that the arm doesn't take all of the force. Some of that is absorbed, deflected, and transferred. Even moreso with a free-hanging arm (part of the reason why if you don't have a good grip on a heavy recoil gun it can kick your arm back in a pivoting or slingshot motion as the gun maintains momentum rather than transferring the impact to you).

So, in conclusion: it's a videogame, stop taking it so serious!
Especially since Link being Kokiri and not human throws out all numbers based on the human body that were applied to him in this video.

Also, magic is a thing in this game.

#### Lightknight

##### Mugwamp Supreme
LucasGrimms said:
Theres no point debating the logic of these videos.

These are old videos from youtube reposted from youtube. The comments will have no bearing or influence on the next video, as we allready know what the next video is. The escapist user that uploads these videos does not comment in his threads, so we can infer that he doesnt even read them. Its doubtful that is even Matthew.
We know, we also don't care. Let us have our cake and discuss said cake at our leisure.

#### Avernale

##### New member
The sound cut out halfway through the video, and there doesn't appear to be a way to advance the video other than doubling the speed (correct me if I'm wrong) or rewinding at all. Frankly, doubling the speed isn't fast enough for my taste and just makes the video more annoying. Unless there's a way to skip around the video that I'm not noticing, I don't think I can watch the whole thing.

#### truckspond

##### New member
Spyre2k said:
Have they done something different with their video stream? I can't view this or ZP. I haven't had any problems with other videos earlier during the week. It seems similar to the issue I have with blip.tv in that one day it just stop working. So I've just stop watching those podcast.

Lot of the shows I use to watch here have left and many new series are ones just run old episodes of shows I already follow on Youtube.
It's their new HTML5 player that they managed to screw up in rather craptacular fashion.

##### don't upset the insane catgirl
Oh wow. I hated this video in youtube, but moreso the unbelievably fanboyish backlash I got for daring to question matpat's logic.

There are many issues, but consider for instance the massive reduction in weight that would result from using smaller chain.
There's no need for that diameter of chain, and worse, a pretty large margin of error.

halving the diameter of the chain cuts the weight involved by about 75%
(sorry, I'm being more lazy here than I was back then, when I looked up actual figures)

There's also the slight issue of taking physical measurements of the size of objects literally from a game with graphics limited by technical concerns.

Observe the master sword for instance in OOT and you see a sword that is far too thick and heavy for what it is.

The reasons fir this are limited polygon budgets rather than intent, and assuming this appearance is an accurate representation becomes even more absurd when you consider that presumably, lore-wise, the master sword is the same weapon in each game, and yet later games (with better graphics tech) depict it as a thinner, and thus lighter weapon.

There's every reason to question if the hookshot is as big as it appears, or if it's bulky design is needed because of visibility taking into account OOT'S graphical limitations.

Take the same design with a 5cm hook and a smaller diameter chain, and you suddenly get completely different numbers for weights and forces that seem vastly more reasonable, even presuming it is still steel

frIm memory of my old calcs, It doesn't take much of a change to go from something with a 200+ kg weight to more like 40 kg...
Just from scale changes
Add in different materials, and suddenly you've got an entirely different situation on your hands...

#### daxterx2005

##### New member
Had seen this on Youtube a while back but I loved it so much I merited it another watch here on escapist :3

#### Broderick

##### New member
Lightknight said:
Especially since Link being Kokiri and not human throws out all numbers based on the human body that were applied to him in this video.

Also, magic is a thing in this game.
I agreed with everything you said, but as a small aside, Link is Hylian. The Kokiri are a race of people he grew up with, but he himself is not Kokiri. The main point that proves that(aside from in-game diologue stating so) is that he can grow into an adult. Kokiri stay children forever. Other than that, good series of posts! Pretty educational.

#### Darklupus

##### New member
Well, fantasy or not, the problem is: someone is going to want to create a longshot in the future because it would make getting from place to place a whole lot easier, or a tooth to come out a lot quicker.

#### Joccaren

##### New member
Well, as 1 point, Link isn't Kokiri. The Kokiri were child-like forest elves from the Ocarina of time. They NEVER GROW OLD. Link does. Link is a Hylian, or a human with pointy ears evolved to "Hear the voice of the gods", after the human race was sent up to live in the skies whilst the Goddess Hylia united the other races of the world and ended the tide of monsters making it uninhabitable and all that. The Great Deku Tree explicitly tells link that he is not Kokiri, and says that his mother was fleeing war in the human realm, and entrusted her baby to the Great Deku Tree as she was dying. So, link is human - kind of. Human, but pointy ears.
HOWEVER, Link contains the Triforce of courage, especially in Ocarina of time. Zelda holds the Triforce of Wisdom, Ganondorf the Triforce of Power, and Link the Triforce of courage. This powers link up, as we see countless times during the series where a character initiates triforce power mode and gains stupid powers - like Ganondorf turning into his giant pig demon Ganon form.
Additionally, Link often receives blessings from fairies. One of these halves all damage. I'd say its therefore safe to assume that all these forces are halved, and Link is able to withstand more than the human body would even without the forces being halved.

As has been pointed out, the video author obviously doesn't actually know physics or mechanics beyond a highschool level. The number of mistakes in the video is ridiculous and has already been covered. As has the dodgy math of trying to figure out sizes from in-game assets in a game not scaled to be realistic, and with graphical limitations.
Beyond that, the video picked the example that would best prove its point, rather than the one that would best disprove it. The Longshot may be a stretch to see if it would work, but what about the normal hookshot? A LOT light, a LOT less force, and in all probability its where the calculations started, but it turned out the hookshot was 100% legit, even with the dodgy maths, and thus the long shot had to be resorted to instead.

Basically, would be a good highschool assignment to hand in, but if we're trying to look at this properly, the video fails to do so. Yeah, its for entertainment, but it entertains me pointing out all the flaws in it too =P

#### john heerens

##### New member
I actually think that he would have been better off sticking to the acceleration over distance, and the resulting g-forces, as a thing that is more solid to confirm. He also doesn't mention the damage ariving at your destination at 20 meters per second might do. Link isn't actually bracing for impact after all. When your flying face-first toward a wooden anchor point, you are going to get injured. Wonder why he left that out.

Also going straight for the largest, weightiest version of the hookshot is kinda the opposite of the myth-buster method. There was a show on the escapist not to long ago that did calculations like these all the time. They would usually pick the most favorable version of a thing to prove it still couldn't happen. Makes more sense.

I also don't see why the chain can't be aluminum, fine that the hook needs to made of steel (though you could make a case for titanium or some kind of mythic metal that the mastersword is made off) The chain doesn't actually need the hardness, it just needs to be able to handle the amount of force involved.

Ayway, that's my thoughts. I think he could have done this video and simply used the acceleration alone to prove it is a dangerous weapon to the user.

#### eddyshore6528

##### New member
A little something to think about. If you only shoot the hook, and the chain follows along, don't you only need to measure the weight of the hook in calculations and not the chain? Much like you don't suffer recoil on a harpoon gun from shooting the rope, it just follows the harpoon. Anyway you can't exert linear force thru a chain in this manner, it will just collapse, so the chain is propelled by the hook and not the other way around. In fact, the weight of the chain attached to the device will help to mitigate the recoil because if you are holding something heavier, it's reaction to shooting the hook will be lessened.