- "Welcome Link! I am the Great Fairy of Courage! I'm going to enhance your defensive power. Receive it now!"
- — Great Fairy of Courage
Enhanced Defense is a recurring feature in The Legend of Zelda series. When activated, the amount of damage taken from enemy attacks is reduced.
Link can obtain Enhanced Defense from the Great Fairy of Courage, who resides in a Great Fairy Fountain found in the wasteland surrounding Ganon's Castle. The entrance to the fountain is blocked by a gigantic stone block, which can only be removed with the Golden Gauntlets. After Link has obtained it, all of Link's Heart Containers are covered with a white outline, indicating that Link has Enhanced Defense, halving all damage taken. Once obtained, it cannot be deactivated.
Enhanced Defense is obtained from the Great Fairy of Courage, who resides in a fountain on Great Bay Coast. Once Link collects all fifteen Stray Fairies from Great Bay Temple and brings them back to the fountain, the Great Fairy of Courage is restored. Like in Ocarina of Time, Enhanced Defense reduces all damage taken by half, is indicated by a white outline surrounding Link's Heart Containers, and once obtained, cannot be undone.
Link can enhance his defensive power by collecting ten Wisdom Gems and powering up the Neri, the Spirit of Wisdom. When equipped, a blue ring surrounds Link's Heart Containers and all damage done is halved. When all twenty Wisdom Gems have been obtained, Link only takes one-fourth damage. Link's shield also acquires the power to stun enemies upon contact. Enhanced Defense is active for as long as Link has Neri equipped. While Link is using Neri, Phantoms take away less time than usual.
In Breath of the Wild, Link can increase his defensive power by consuming Tough Elixir or "Tough" food dishes such as Tough Meat-Stuffed Pumpkin. "Tough" elixirs can be created by cooking Rugged Rhino Beetles with monster or guardian parts together or with other "Tough" ingredients such as Armoranth, Armored Carp, Armored Porgy, Fortified Pumpkin, Ironshell Crab, or Ironshroom. The "Tough" effect grants Defense Up represented by a armor icon under Link's Heart gauge which also features a timer telling the duration of the effect. The number of armor icons indicates the Defense Up level which goes from Level 1 to Level 3. Defense Up has a temporary duration though Link can make food dishes and elixirs with longer duration based on the ingredients used and how it is cooked (e.g. whether or not critical success occurred while cooking it). Link can also prevent it from running out by consuming more "Tough" food dishes or elixir with the same level, as consuming one with a lower or higher Defense Up level will overwrite it. Other effects will overwrite it such as Fireproof Elixir, "Chilly", "Spicy", "Mighty", "Hasty", or "Sneaky". However Link can wear Armor that grant additional effects when worn and they will not overwrite the Defense Up as their effect is not temporary and remains in effect as long as the armor that grants it is being worn. There is no armor in Breath of the Wild that grants the Defense Up effect, as armor increases Link's base armor defensive stats when worn based on its armor stat. Damage is reduced by a quarter heart for each point of armor defense, but at least one quarter of damage is received when taking damage. Defense Up and Link's armor stat are interconnected thus Link can wear armor with high armor defense stat with his boosted defensive power from the Defense Up. Conversely Link can use Defense Up to increase his defense allowing him to wear armor with a lower armor stat but grants other effects such as Attack Up when worn. Consuming "Tough" raw materials only restores health or are unuseable (such as Rugged Rhino Beetle and Armoranth which have no healing effect) as they must be cooked into a dish or Tough Elixir for their "Tough" effect to be released. Additionally roasting or freezing "Tough" ingredients that can be roasted or frozen will remove its "Tough" effect.
Horses lack a proper defense statistic as they only have three stats Strength (attack power), Speed (movement speed), and Stamina (number of Spurs) though the description for the Knight's Bridle implies its armor sections increase defense though there is no indication it Enhances Defense from a gameplay standpoint and the description Knight's Saddle which also has armored sections makes no indication it is anything other than purely cosmetic. Thus it is likely both the bridle and saddle are purely cosmetic as there is no proper defense statistic for horses to enhance. The only horse equipment that does effect a horses stats is the DLC Ancient Bridle which enhances stamina, as the Ancient Saddle simply allows horses to teleport to Link when he Whistles. There is no indication that the other bridles and saddles are anything but cosmetic equipment. As Wolf Link cannot consume dishes or elixirs only raw, roasted, or frozen food off the ground his defense cannot be enhanced though he can eat food to restore lost health and his number of Heart Containers is based upon how far he has gotten in the Cave of Shadows in Twilight Princess HD.
in Breath of the Wild, Link can also increase his resistance to certain types of damage such as his resistance to Shock damage caused by electric attacks and enemy Shock Arrows or Guardian Resist which grants resistance to ancient Guardian weaponry. The "Electro" effect from Electro Elixirs and "Electro" food dishes grants Shock Resistance though it will overwrite Defense Up granted by Tough food and Tough Elixirs. The "Rubber" Armor set and Topaz Earrings grant Shock Resistance while the "Desert Voe" set grants the Shock Damage Resist set bonus when upgraded to two stars or higher. Guardian Resist is granted exclusively by armor such as the Ancient Helm, Ancient Cuirass, Ancient Greaves, Diamond Circlet, and Midna's Helmet. Other resistances protect Link from hazardous variations in temperature preventing them from sapping health.
In Breath of the Wild, the game introduces an armor system that increases Link defense and decreases the damage he takes from attacks. Link can wear three types of armor: Head, Body, & Leg. Each armor piece he wears adds to Link's armor points to his defense. Once upgraded completely the Soldier's Helm/Ancient Helm, Ancient Cuirass/Soldier's Armor, Ancient Greaves/Soldier's Greaves grant 28 points for each three pieces which adds up to 84 points. However the fully upgraded Champion's Tunic has a max armor stat of 32 thus has the highest armor stat of any single piece of armor in Breath of the Wild. High armor stats can used in conjunction Defense Up and Yellow Extra Hearts obtained from "Hearty" Food (which does not overwrite "Tough" food) to increase Link's chances of survival allowing him to survive various dangers.
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure Metals · Phantom Hourglass · Spirit Gem|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|