Real-life Legend of Zelda shield could withstand a medieval battle

"Man at Arms: Reforged" tackles Link's Hylian Shield and creates a masterpiece fit for a medieval armory.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Hylian Shield and sword
A shield fit for a real-world Hyrulian warrior. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Video games generally involve a lot of fighting. With that comes a whole array of weaponry and armor. Though the field is vast, the most famous video game shield of all time may very well be the one wielded by Link, the hero of the Legend of Zelda series.

The Hylian Shield features the Triforce, an arrangement of three triangles along with the Hylian Crest showing a Crimson Loftwing, a type of bird from the series. It's iconic. It's one of Link's constant companions. And now it's real.

"Man at Arms: Reforged" visits with Baltimore Knife & Sword Co. for an adventurous romp through the creation of a Hylian Shield. A team of master swordsmiths and armorers follows it through from initial freehand design to completion. The process involves flames, hammers, an anvil, a plasma cutter and an MIG welder.

The shield is inlaid with real amber set in silver bezels for the Triforce. The shield is heat-treated for strength before the finishing design is hand-painted on the front. The result is not only a beautiful replica of the video game shield, it's also incredibly sturdy.

No "Man at Arms" video is complete without a real-world test run. Link's shield withstands a fruit attack, destroys a jug and handily fends off a series of water balloons. Arrows bounce right off. Sure, it's not quite the same as taking on a sword-carrying skeleton, but it's highly entertaining.