Link is roused by the voice of Princess Zelda – Or so he believes. He awakens in a soft bed in a strange room. Beside him stands Marin, whom he had mistaken for Zelda. She tells him she found him washed up on the beach, and brought him to safety. After recovering his shield from Marin’s father, Tarin, Link departs for the beach. There, he finds his sword, and a mysterious owl greets him as he holds his sword up triumphantly. The Owl tells him that the only way to leave Koholit Island is to recover the eight Siren Instruments and awaken the Wind Fish. The Owl directs Link to the Mysterious Forest, and subsequently flies away. Link continues to the Mysterious Forest. Little does he know he is embarking on the greatest adventure he has ever had…
Marin is the most important character Link meets on Koholit Island. She is the only daughter of Tarin, and lives with him in a small house in Mabe Village. Marin is extremely good-willed. This is shown when she discovers Link on the beach and nurses him back to health. Marin grows very fond of Link throughout the game, and she believes he has come to bring her away on adventures. This is something she longs for, and wishes she could become a seagull and fly to far away places, sing for many people. This is a talent of hers, singing. Before Link came, and the monsters began acting violently, Marin often went to the Animal Village to sing her trademark piece, “The Ballad of the Wind Fish.” She has an enchanting voice and it is her song alone that can open the Wind Fish’s Egg. If you can finish Link’s Awakening without dying, a secret ending is revealed after the credits roll. It shows Marin having her wish fulfilled; She is transformed into a seagull, and she flies into the distance.
The Wind Fish and the Shadow of Nightmares
The Wind Fish resembles a flying whale, bejewelled and tattooed. It is not unlike a God, and sleeps for long periods at a time. In his dreams, he was surrounded by an egg, and Koholint Island with all its inhabitants was created. It is said that if the Wind Fish’s slumber is interrupted, the Island and everything on it will disappear. During the Wind Fish’s slumber, the Shadow Nightmares were born of the bad dreams of the Wind Fish. The Shadow Nightmares were deathly afraid of the Wind Fish awakening.
And so they assumed control of Koholint Island and prevented the Wind Fish from ever waking up, thus postponing their eventual demise. The Nightmares realised that the only way to enter the egg on Mt. Tamaranch was the collect the eight “Instruments of Sirens”. They hid the instruments in eight dungeons scattered throughout Koholint Island, guarded by a Nightmare boss. The Shadow Nightmares can manifest themselves into physical entities, usually in the form of the beholder’s worst nightmare.
Tarin is Marin’s father. A chubby, cheerful chap, Tarin is thought to be based on Mario, and serves as a character of comic relief. Tarin keeps Link’s shield while he rests, and tells him where to find his sword. Later in the game, it is revealed that Tarin is fond of mushrooms, and his search for them in the Mysterious Forest has led to his becoming a raccoon. Despite these minor shortcomings, Tarin is caring and is always quick to offer Link advice.
The Owl is a part of the Wind Fish’s spirit and acts as a caretaker and guardian of Koholint Island. It is he who informs Link of the troubles afflicting the island and how to resolve them. The owl appears at numerous times throughout the game and offers Link advice and tips. The Owl would later serve as an inspiration for Kaepora Gaebora of Ocarina of Time.
Richard is the prince of Kanalet Castle. After his guards went berserk, Richard was forced to move to a villa in Pothole Field. Richard is in possession of the Slime Key, the only way into Key Cavern, and trades this key to Link in exchange for his five golden leaves he left at Kanalet Castle. Richard often speaks French phrases.. The inspiration for Richard comes form the Japan-only Game-Boy title, Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (For the Frog the Bell Tolls). This explains why he lives with several frogs.
Mr. and Mrs. Ulrira
Mr. and Mrs. Ulrira are an old couple living in Mabe Village. Mr. Ulrira has become shy with age, and so only talks to people via the telephone. Link can call him at any point in his adventure in search of advice. Mrs. Ulrira is somewhat of Mr. Ulrira’s opposite, as she is very loud and outgoing. This is shown by her willingness to sweep outside all the time, and her excursions to Animal Village.
Papahl, Mamahl and the Quadruplets
Papahl, Mamahl and the Quadruplets are a family living in Mabe Village. Mamahl is driven demented having to care for four children, and so needs the Yoshi Doll from the Trendy Game to placate them. Papahl helps, but is often found skiving off on treks into the TalTal mountains, presumably in search of flowers.
Mamu is a large toad living underground signpost maze. He claims to be a famous singer, and in exchange for 300 rupees, will teach you The Frog’s Song of Soul, which is needed to bring life back to Turtle Rock and the Rooster. Mamu looks remarkably similar to Wart, the villain from Super Mario Bros. 2, which, interestingly, also took place in a dream.