If I could could get one wish granted, and the wish had no limitations, I'm sure if I thought about it long enough I could make it very useful. In the Legend of Zelda series the Triforce is a mystical relic that can grant any desire. Its power has been used a few times in the series, but after considering most of the wishes, the full potential of its power seems wasted.
According to legend, the Triforce was left behind by the 3 goddesses after they created Hyrule. It was left at the point where they descended down.
"The land where the goddesses descended down became known as the Sacred Realm." - Lanayru, the Light Spirit (TP)
The Triforce is unique, apparently it is the most powerful relic in existence. This being because it makes any desire a reality.
"The old gods created a Supreme Power that gave anyone who possessed it the ability to shape reality and fulfill any desire. They call it the Triforce." - Zelda (SS)
It really does sound like a grand power, one that, as far as I'm aware, has no equal in the canon series. With it one could warp reality, either for good or evil. And notably there are no restrictions on what can be wished for, it will grant "any" desire, meaning even if it was sick, twisted, and demented, it would still have to be granted. This is really the reason why I think the Triforce is overkill. Any wish can be granted, the Triforce could be responsible for some largely impactful wishes, but in retrospect, the wishes on it were pretty basic.
I've counted 6 successful uses of a Triforce. First by SS Link, later by Ganondorf on the Downfall Timeline, followed by Link unwishing Ganon's wish on that same timeline. In A Link Between Worlds, we learn Lorule's Triforce was used by the Lorulian Royal Family, I assume, to destroy their Triforce (it is possible that a wish could be made on the Triforce for its own destruction. I see it as the only possibility that Lorule's Triforce could have been destroyed). Link and Zelda then used Hyrule's Triforce and wished to restore power to Lorule's Triforce. On the Adult Timeline the King of Hyrule also used the Triforce to make a wish. Most of these wishes, and also wishes that others attempted to make, weren't very impactful. SS Link wished for the eradication of Demise in the present. A better wish would have been the eradication of all evil throughout all time. Ganondorf's ambition for the Triforce is usually to rule the entire world. Why not just wish for the death of the gods and ascend to become a god? There are just so many better wishes that could be made. The only intuitive wishes are the ones in A Link Between Worlds. The Lorulian Royal Family wished to destroy their Triforce. As a result, their world began to collapse. Apparently the Triforce is fundamental to worlds that have them. The wish on Hyrule's Triforce to restore power to Lorule's Triforce displays just how far-reaching the Triforce's power can be - it influenced a parallel universe.
It isn't the fault of the mortals who use the Triforce that they don't use it to its fullest potential, they lack higher perception afterall. Only gods could harness the Triforce in ways that'd push the full potential of its power out. Unfortunately gods cannot wield the Triforce.
"For while the Supreme Power of The Triforce was created by gods, all of its power can never be wielded by one." - Zelda (SS)
It's probably a good thing though, by restricting gods from being able to use the Triforce the mortals are spared from what would be a chaotic war of grand proportions. Now if only the mortals could get better insight on their world, and universe, and really grasped the Triforce's power, then they could do some damage.
My conclusion is the Triforce is overkill, it is wasted in mortal hands. I'd be like if we were suddenly swept into the game, hypothetically, and were standing in the Sacred Realm with the Triforce right in front of us. We can wish for literally anything. Immortality, and eternal youth! Sounds good right? We make the wish. Awesome! But then the Triforce disappears, and we end up in Hyrule. We forgot to wish to get back to our own reality, and our own world. Aw shit...
You've hit on a timeless problem. Stories involving ultimate power and/or magical wish fulfillment occur in a great many cultures and times. And the same challenges are there too, about how to have ultimate power in a story without the story ending right there and then. Stories with wish-granting witches get around this problem by granting wishes in a devious or tricksy way, so that the character's wish is their own demise. Witches' prophecies work that way and all. Great Birnham Wood to high Dunsinane Hill and all that. The LoZ series accomplishes it by making the wishers incredibly short-sighted. It kinda gets lost in the detail when you're in the middle of the plot. "Oh he wished to rule Hyrule, yep ok makes sense." But you're right. You'd think characters who obsess so much about the Triforce would have thought up more effective wishes.
One explanation might be the splitting of the Triforce, like in OoT. The Triforce is meant to grant any wish, except somehow by some loophole it doesn't and Ganondorf is left with only the Triforce of Power.
This is an amazing article. Very great read.