"Ahem! Really, I must insist that you not bring that awful beast in here! Leave that creature outside and then we can talk! Good Bye!"

Bow-Wows (ワンワン Wan-Wan?) are recurring creatures in the Legend of Zelda series. They are spherical, toothed animals that lunge at their enemies to attack. Depending on the game, Bow-Wows serve as both enemies and allies. Interestingly, Bow-Wows act very similarly to domesticated dogs. The "chain" that is a part of their bodies serve as a sort of leash for the holder. They also occasionally emit sounds similar to a dog's bark.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Bow-Wow (A Link to the Past)

Bow-Wows are enemies. They appear mainly in Turtle Rock, and are completely immune to all of Link's items. Their primary attack is to swiftly lunge at Link, dealing heavy damage. Bow-Wows also appear in the entrance to the Palace of the Four Sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Bow-Wow (Link's Awakening)

Three Bow-Wows are the pets of Madam MeowMeow. After Link completes the first dungeon, Tail Cave, one Bow-Wow is stolen by a pack of Moblins and must be rescued from the Moblin Cave in order to continue onward to the Bottle Grotto. Once rescued, Link can utilize its chain as a leash, and Bow-Wow will attack all that oppose Link. Link can use this effect to destroy the Goponga Flower surrounding the Bottle Grotto. Link must return Bow-Wow to Madam MeowMeow before he can complete the Kanalet Castle side quest, as Richard will not speak to him and Kiki will not accept the Bananas Link offers him until he does so. Bow-Wow will also tell Link to dig if he is standing over an area that has a Secret Seashell.

Other Bow-Wows in the game include a few friendly, miniature yet identical creatures that appear unchained in a couple of buildings. One of these, Mini Bow-Wow, is portrayed as a female who, unusually, can speak and sports a Ribbon in her hair. She gives Link a can of Dog Food in exchange for the ribbon that she wears.

In the DX version, Bow-Wow is also instrumental to the The Travels of Link sidequest, as Link has to approach Bow-Wow and then have the photographer photograph him, with Bow-Wow being left annoyed enough at Link's attempt at getting closer to Bow-Wow that the chain chomp proceeded to attack Link just as the photograph was taken.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

One Bow-Wow appears in Vaati's Palace as an item. Bow-Wow gives one Link an advantage over the others because he can attack enemies and allies. He steals Rupees from the latter.

Another will appear on the Golden Door of the Realm of Memories, in the area where the Bottle Grotto is found in Link's Awakening.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

One Bow-Wow appears to the north of Kakariko Village as an enemy.

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors Gauntlets Power Gloves & Bow-Wow

A Bow-Wow (along with a pair of Power Gloves) appears as Link's Level 3 Gauntlets in Hyrule Warriors, obtainable only in the Adventure Mode.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

The Bow-Wow returns as part of Link's Level 3 Gauntlets. They also appear as part of the Power Gloves + Link's Level 4 Gauntlets.

As part of the Link's Awakening DLC, there is an unlockable Fairy Clothing Headgear option for Companion Fairies, called Bow-Wow Headband, which is a headband in the shape of a Bow-Wow's head.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.


Theory warning: This section contains theoretical information based on the research of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy is disputed.

Bow-Wows are likely a renamed version of the famous Mario series enemy, Chain Chomps, as several enemies (such as Goombas, Piranha Plants, Cheep-Cheeps, Bob-ombs, Boos, Pokeys, Shy Guys, Thwomps, Thwimps, and Wart) from the Mario series appear in Link's Awakening. As a matter of fact, the Chain Chomps were originally intended to debut in the Legend of Zelda series, but ended up debuting in the Mario series first.[1]

Theory warning: Theories end here.

Chain Chomps (and by extension Bow-Wows) were inspired by an incident from Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood, when a fierce dog lunged towards him and almost bit him. However, the dog was tethered by a chain, holding it back (which was the origin of Chain Chomps' signature attack pattern) saving Miyamoto from being harmed.


Notes and references

  1. ^ The Men Who Made Zelda – Staff Interview GlitterBerri's Game Translations. May 28, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
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