As Stalfos appears in every Zelda game, he has used almost every weapon type, including: Swords, Shields, Maces, Daggers, and even his own bones! Stalfos has always been a medium-difficulty enemy for Link, that would use different weapons and armor, causing him to diversify his tactics.
Differences Among Stalfos
Stalfos Knights began wearing armor and throwing their own bones in Zelda 2. Stalfos would even vary in color which would signify it's difficulty or expertise to the player in Zelda 2, as well. The two colors, red and blue, would go on to signify which type of Stalfos the player was up against. Blue Stalfos were usually the ones that tossed their bones (ranged), and red Stalfos would attack directly (sword).
Blue Stalfos would even later become a mini-boss in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons in the last dungeon - Ancient Tomb. In the Gameboy title Link's Awakening, players were first introduced to the Master Stalfos, a miniboss from the stage Catfish Maw, that had to be defeated four times.
In The Minish Cap, it was possible for link to decapitate the Stalfos which would cause them to walk around blindly, and only caused link damage when he touched them. Furthermore, in The Spirit Tracks, Stalfos would occasionally drop Stalfos Skulls which were a form of treasure that could be sold for rupees.
In the upcoming Zelda game, Skyward Sword, Stalfos appears dual wielding swords which, when held at different angles, has the player strike in different patterns to defeat it. A four-armed Stalfos is even hinted at in a pre-release trailer.
Becoming a Stalfos (Myths and Legends)
Not only did Stalfos get its first 3D appearance in Ocarina of Time, but some backstory as to why he existed was also hinted at by Fado. Fado, a kokiri, stated that all travelers who are lost in the woods become Stalfos, and even the popular Grog had suffered the same fate.
This myth was somewhat expanded upon when Cap'n and his crew made their appearance in Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons. Cap'n was the king and husband of Queen Ambi when he decided to become a sailor, bent on exploring the unknown, but went missing and somehow he and his crew became Stalfos.
- Stalfos has even appeared in the Legend of Zelda animated TV series. In the series, a single Stalfos is referred to as a Stalfo, where groups are called Stalfos. It is not certain whether this is 'canon', because they are usually just referred to as Stalfos in game.