Just about every enemy in The Legend of Zelda franchise is either immune to, or only stunned by, a hit from the boomerang. Two consistent exceptions are Keese and Gels, which can be killed with one hit of the boomerang. It is fatal to the Boka Baba plant monsters in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It's also the only way to kill Sparks, which turn into fairies.
In many Zelda games the boomerang is optional, yet extremely useful. Most puzzles that can be solved with the boomerang can be solved another way. Many gamers will play through the game without getting the boomerang or other optional items on a bare bones quest.
However, some puzzles do require the boomerang for its unique abilities. In Wind Waker, the boomerang gains the function of targeting up to five objects at once, which is sometimes necessary for activating five crystal switches in quick succession. In Four Swords Adventures, the boomerang's ability to remain hovering in the air while Link moves can be exploited to hit otherwise unreachable objects.
The Boomerang is also used by Goriya; these monsters appeared in most of the early Zelda games.
- The Legend of Zelda - Found in the first dungeon, Eagle Dungeon, after defeating some Goriyas. The Magic Boomerang upgrade (longer range) is found in the second dungeon, Moon Dungeon.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Found in the dungeon under Hyrule Castle after saving Princess Zelda for the first time.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Given to you by the Goriya at Toronbo Shores in exchange for whatever item you have equipped to your B button.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Found in Jabu-Jabu's Belly. Can only be used by Young Link.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - In this game there is no Boomerang item per se, but when Link transforms into Zora Link he will shoot two boomerang-like fins from his arms that work the same way.
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons - Given to you in Subrosia as a reward for completing the dance minigame. You can also get the Magic Boomerang upgrade (longer range) from The Oracle of Secrets.
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages - Given to you at Rolling Ridge as a prize in either the Target Carts or Target Hitting minigame. You can also get the Magic Boomerang upgrade (longer range) from The Oracle of Secrets.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Found in the Forbidden Woods. In this game, it could be aimed using the first person perspective to lock on to up to five targets before throwing it, and then when thrown, it would hit them all in succession. In addition to retrieving items and activating switches, it could also be used to cut strings, ropes, and vines.
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords - Found on pedestals in various locations.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap - Purchased at the Hyrule Town rupee shop.
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures - Found on pedestals in various locations. In this game, the Boomerang button can be held causing the Boomerang to hover in place. It doesn't return to Link until the player lets go of the button. This very cool, yet extremely unrealistic effect is unofficially called the 'Matrix Boomerang'.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Found in the Forest Temple. For the first time, it's called the Gale Boomerang and can now be charged so that when thrown it creates a whirlwind around it that can pick up heavier objects, such as bombs.