Welcome back to the Zelda Game Club, this is where we play through The Legend of Zelda series as a community, and we’ve reached the final part of Link’s Awakening.
Before we get into it, thanks everyone for playing along. I really enjoy going back through these old games, and whether you have played along now and added some comments, or you have played along in the future while watching this on demand, it’s great to play these classic Zelda games with the community.
Let’s pick up from where we left off, and now it’s onto Eagle’s Tower.
Journey to Eagle’s Tower
Now we’ve finished up Face Shrine, it’s time to start our journey to the next Dunegon, and that’s Eagle’s Tower. First of all, we have to make our way to Signpost Maze, which is South East of Mabe Village. You have to follow the signs in Signpost Maze to get through. Follow the signs correctly and you’ll get ‘GREAT, YOU DID IT! YOUR REWARD IS, THIS WAY!’ A staircase appears, then go down. You’ll enter a room with frogs, and they’ll ask for 300 rupees to hear them sing, pay them and they’ll teach you a new song called Song of Soul.
Next, make your way to Mabe Village and go to the town square where Marin used to hang out and sign. We have the upgraded Power Bracelet now, so we can move the Statue in the center of the square. Push it and then walk down the stairs and you’ll find a pile of bones. Play the Song of Soul and the old pile of bones will turn into a Rooster, bringing it back to life. The rooster now follows you around, similar to BowWow earlier in the game.
Once you have the Rooster, you’ll want to make your way to Tal Tal Mountain Range. You’ll find the Owl here and he’ll say go east, this time you’ll want to lift up the rocks and enter the cave. We went through this section earlier in the game, so it should look familiar. Keep going north and east, and you can use your hookshot or the rooster to help you get around. Look out for the tall ladder, go through the cave and use the Rooster to fly across the large gap to pick up the Bird Key. Make your way through the caves and the mountain range and you’ll find yourself at Eagle’s Tower.
Eagle’s Tower is pretty tough, mainly because there are so many rooms in the dungeon. It’s easy to get lost and there is a lot of back tracking. The concept of the dungeon is the floors above the second floor are being held up by pillars, and Link has to use a large ball to knock them down and access the upper floors. As well as a large amount of rooms we have a Red Hinox, The Grim Creeper (mini-boss) and the final boss the Evil Eagle. While it’s complicated, it’s pretty entertaining and the idea behind the dungeon is ambitious and different compared to the others. Once you have defeated the Eagle, then collect the Heart Conatiner, climb down the ladder and go back in the dungeon to collect your instrument, The Organ of Evening Calm.
MASTER KNIGHT DH
I was about to say Eagle Tower would be my favorite dungeon in the game, but between Turtle Rock’s premise that I’ll get to and Eagle Tower itself having dated execution, I’ll say that Turtle Rock, for how it has its own issues, ends up edging out Eagle Tower. Eagle Tower’s own concept does still involve a 4 floor dungeon with a unique map display as far as LA GB(C) goes, and does involve having to bring down the pillars to be able to explore the top floor. The length works out as well for how late in the game it is, but I do have grievances with how there are cheap moments with the Beamos statues that are even faster than they were in LTTP, as well as the issue that the Anti-Kirbys require specific items to destroy. Gibdos having superarmor now works out and also allows the developers to avoid inflating their durability but fighting them in underwhelming spaces with that in mind has its issues.
My least favorite part in Eagle Tower goes to how things play out with the west pillars on repeat playthroughs, which would have been fixed by the shifting blocks around in the room south of the SW pillar allowing for an actual shortcut. Since that is not around, the NW pillar has to be taken out first for efficiency and that means wading through the path involving the Hinox, all fine, but the SW pillar requires throwing the iron ball from within the path with the Hinox and then going through the path for that exclusively. That’s at least two times where the path with the Hinox has to be taken, with one of times involving only being able to escape by falling down to end up back at the level’s entrance. This was never a problem with Gargoyle’s Domain in LTTP; there, you could just beeline for 2F to let the sunlight into the boss room, then go to the “maiden” and bring “her” to the boss room to fight Blind and be done with the entire mess. Destroying the pillars is already not a simple procedure, so a shortcut would have provided good convenience.
Also worth noting is that Grim Creeper personifies the good concept, bad execution issue with Eagle Tower. He does involve only being defeated by destroying all 6 of his Keese buddies simultaneously. This would be an interesting battle if you couldn’t just corner camp with continuous sword swinging that will catch the Keese all swooping at you. However, I will say that Evil Eagle, despite screaming at the player to use the Shield as their non-weapon item to block his feathers during his flapping (by the way, the feathers don’t require the Mirror Shield to block, although the Mirror Shield is still strictly required for reaching Turtle Rock anyway) while being in a side-scroller segment, is actually a good fight, since he has different attacks with distinct tells for what he is doing, so fighting against him is a fair, balanced fight.
Journey to Turtle Rock
Now Eagle’s Tower is complete, it’s time for the final stretch and to make our way to Turtle Rock. Once we get out of Eagle’s Tower, our rooster friend appears to have gone missing. Jump off the ledge, then work your way through the cave network. You’ll meet the rooster once again, leave with him and you’ll find Marin. Hookshot across the gap to help Marin. Marin wants to say something to Link, but Tarin shows up and stops her. The Owl then shows us and talks about The Ballad of the Wind Fish being a Song of Awakening.
You’ll want to make your way to Western Tal Tal Mountain range and find the Giant Turtle. The Owl spoke about this creature and we need to bring it back to life, and we know a song that will do that, the Song of Soul. The Turtle then moves its head, then it charges and you’ll want to jump out of the way and let it crash into the wall. While it’s stunned, use a bomb to break it’s mask off, and repeat until the mask falls off.
Now it’s mask is gone, whack it in the face with your sword and jump using Roc’s Feather to inflict more damage when it tries to move it’s head out of the way. Once you have defeated the Turtle, then it’s onto the final dungeon, Turtle Rock.
Turtle Rock is probably the largest dungeon in the whole game, which is fitting given it’s the last dungeon. It combines pretty much everything you have learnt in the game, and uses most of the items. Overall, the dungeon is good fun, albeit a little long winded, but it’s a decent final dungeon. The final boss is Hot Head. He jumps in and out of lava, hence the name. Hit Hot Head with the magic rod when he jumps out of the lava, break his shell to reveal a smaller head, then continue to do damage. Once he’s dead, he’ll say you cannot wake the Wind Wish, after all, Link is in the dream world too. Collect the final heart container, and get the final instrument of the Sirens, the Thunder Drum. This completes your collection and now you have everything you need to wake the Wind Fish.
MASTER NIGHT DH
In regard to Turtle Rock, while Vire is needlessly erratic (although I suppose that got him promoted to mini-boss in the Oracle games, where I can already tell that he’s easier there too) and there’s a surplus of issues with bombable wall handling that even includes invisible bombable walls to the ONLY crystal switch, which has PLENTY of rant material in its own right, it’s at least nice to refight a lot of the minibosses, a show of how far the player would have come to have a more casual handle on them, almost as if they have become this awesome fighter now, especially helped with the Gibdos on the cracked flooring actually being in an open space for dodging around them. Blaino is appropriate, working as a Glass Cannon in this regard, one who works so much better than Little Mac in Smash Bros., though Hot Head is inexplicably vulnerable strictly to the Fire Rod, so he’s a disappointment of a final dungeon boss.
Wind Fish’s Egg
Next up, we have make our final journey to The Wind Fish’s Egg, however, first of all we have to stop off at Mabe Village. There’s a library where two boys are playing outside, on our way to the beach. In the Library, in the bottom right hand corner, there’s a book with the solution to the maze in the Wind Fish’s Egg, and we have to write down the maze solution. I believe the solution is different for all players, so it’s best to get the magnifying glass, read the instructions and note down the solution to the maze.
Once you have done this, make your way north to Tal Tal Mountains and make your way to the Egg. Then play The Ballad of the Wind Fish, and break a hole in the egg. Then enter for the final showdown.
Make your way through the maze using the solution you picked up in the Library and you’ll drop down to find the nigthmares, who say:
“We were born of nightmares… To take over this world, we made the Wind Fish sleep endlessly! If the Wind Fish doesn’t wake up, this island will never disappear! We would have been the masters of this place… But you had to come here and disrupt our plans! Heh heh! You can never defeat us!!! Let’s rumble!”
Next up is a boss rush, and the battle for Koholint Island. You’ll face a giant blob, which you have to sprinkle magic powder over to defeat. Then it’s Agahnim’s Shadow, which is a similar fight to Link To The Past where you have to reflect his magic back at him. Lanmola is up next where you have to hit it’s tail. DethI is the final form with a big opening and closing eye in the middle of huge swinging arms, jump over the arms and use the bow to fire an arrow into it’s eye. Do that a few times and congrats, and you’ll beat the boss.
You’ll then get a great cutscene for the final moments of the game.
“This island is going to disappear… Our world is going to disappear… Our world… Our… world… ” “…Link , you have beaten all the Nightmares! Climb the stairs before you!”
“Hoot! Young lad, I mean… Link , the hero! You have defeated the Nightmares! You have proven your wisdom, courage and power! … … … … As part of the Wind Fish’s spirit, I am the guardian of his dream world… But one day, the Nightmares entered the dream and began wreaking havoc. Then you, Link, came to rescue the island… I have always trusted in your courage to turn back the Nightmares. Thank you, Link … My work is done… The Wind Fish will wake soon. Good bye…Hoot!”
“… … … … … … … … I AM THE WIND FISH… LONG HAS BEEN MY SLUMBER… IN MY DREAMS… AN EGG APPEARED AND WAS SURROUNDED BY AN ISLAND, WITH PEOPLE, ANIMALS, AN ENTIRE WORLD! … … … … BUT, VERILY, IT BE THE NATURE OF DREAMS TO END! WHEN I DOST AWAKEN, KOHOLINT WILL BE GONE… ONLY THE MEMORY OF THIS DREAM LAND WILL EXIST IN THE WAKING WORLD… SOMEDAY, THOU MAY RECALL THIS ISLAND… THAT MEMORY MUST BE THE REAL DREAM WORLD… … … … … COME, Link … LET US AWAKEN… TOGETHER!!
PLAY THE EIGHT INSTRUMENTS! PLAY THE SONG OF AWAKENING!!”
MASTER KNIGHT DH
Getting into the Wind Fish’s Egg, we do start with a maze where the correct directions are randomized between game files but they just encourage finding the Magnifying Glass to read the book in the library that reveals them. After that is the Shadow Nightmare, and Agahnim, Moldorm, and Ganon are actually a good showcase of the Roc’s Feather being so useful to keep them fair and balanced within space that is ultimately still compact because of Game Boy limitations. And then there’s Death Eye, who ends up being the closing statement on how much Roc’s Feather helps, since all 3 weapons that can even hurt him can be used from within midair. Yes, 3, because the Bombs can also hurt him, which does make things so compromising in a Minimalist Run with only 30 Bombs available to knock off his 16 HPs, with Bombs dealing only 1 damage per hit. Of course, outside Minimalism, the Bow only being strictly necessary for a key in Turtle Rock that is ultimately not fully needed to reach Hot Head isn’t a problem and it is kinetic to be able to move and shoot thanks to the Roc’s Feather.
Of course, no discussion about Link’s Awakening is complete without talking about the ending. It’s a sharp contrast from Link to the Past’s idealism, where Link used the Triforce to resurrect the casualties of the game and all’s well that ends well; here, the player’s actions have doomed the game’s entire involved civilization, and then have subjected Link to be still stranded shipwrecked out in the middle of the open sea. This does pave the way for later Zeldas to involve Tear Jerkers, but even Majora’s Mask involves the salvation of Termina and the clear continuing journey of Link. Link’s Awakening is still trying something new and involving story more actively, though, so how one feels about it ends up being a matter of taste. I obviously was bothered by the ending back in the day, and I find more flaws in the game in recent days, but the story is still unique as far as the Zelda series goes, it’s still an anti-escapism message, and there are merits still in the gameplay as well, especially the Roc’s Feather, so it is fair to look at LA based on it being a game from the early 90s. In that regard, it’s working well enough, which is the most important aspect at the end of the day. I just find LA as the Zelda series’ creative team trying to find their footing, and imagine that the Oracle games will prove to have provided good enough gameplay improvements.
That’s it for Link’s Awakening. It’s been great fun to go back, and thank you for everyone playing along. I played through a portion of the 2019 version of the game, but never finished, and I hadn’t seen the ending to the game since I was a kid, so going back through this one was a great experience, made all the better by playing through with you. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
That’s it for the Zelda Game Cluv for Link’s Awakening, we’ll be back very soon with one of the best games in the series, and that’s Ocarina of Time.