This walkthrough will give you all you need to pass The Legend of Zelda. Along the way I will give you tips so that hopefully you won’t need to rely on this guide the entire time you are playing the game. I think it’s important to have a go yourself first, and only use a walkthrough when you’re really stuck. You’ll be much more satisfied when you figure something out for yourself. That said, I hope you find this guide useful.
NOTE: All directions are taken from the start screen, unless stated. This is the screen below:
NOTE: North=Up; South=Down; East=Right; West=Left. I choose to write the directions this way to stay true to the style of the instruction manual and game.
NOTE: I will explain how to defeat the difficult enemies, but if you are having trouble with a particular enemy and there’s not enough help here, please consult the bestiary.
Let the Adventure Begin!
You won’t get very far in this adventure without the single most useful item in this game: the sword. So the very first thing you should do is go into the cave you see on the starting screen. Inside this cave is an old man, who offers you the wooden sword for free. To get the sword, just walk over it.
Now that you have the sword, you are ready to take on the first dungeon of this game, Level 1. Go East 1 screen, North 4, and West 1 (across the bridge).
Hint: To get money, hearts, and other items, kill the enemies you encounter as you go along.
Hint: To make your journey easier for next time, kill all of the enemies on each screen except for one. Next time you visit that screen, only one enemy will appear. It will always be like this until you kill that one enemy. (Note that this trick does not work in the dungeons.)
There is a red Octorok guarding the entrance to Level 1, but I doubt it will bother you. You can defeat it to see if you get an item, like a heart if you need one. Enter the cave.
When you first enter the level, head Right. You will see that one of the Stalfos (the skeletons) in this room is carrying a key. You will need to kill it with 2 hits from the sword. Then walk over the key to pick it up. Now, go 2 screens Left, and kill all of the bats in this room to make a key appear. Pick it up and then go 1 Right, back to the entrance screen. Head 2 screens Up. Kill all of the Stalfos on this screen to get yet another key. Go Left and then Up 1 screen. If you kill all of the Gels (blobs) in this room, you can push the block and the shutter to the left will open. Inside is an old man with a hint about how to get the Triforce in this level, although if you are reading this then you probably don’t need to bother talking to him! But take note of the method of killing all the enemies in the room and then pushing a block to open a shutter. You will need to do this many times during the game.
Fun: If you attack any of the hint-giving old men in the dungeons, the fires start to shoot beams at you. (But they hurt!)
From the room with the Gels and the moving block, go Right.
Hint: In order to create shortcuts from room to room, and sometimes to discover secret rooms, try bombing dungeon walls (always in the middle of the wall).
Pick up the map in your current room if you want it, and then go Up 1 screen. Kill the Stalfos carrying the key and go Up again. Defeat the Goriyas (boomerang throwers) with 3 hits each and a key will appear. Go Left. In this room, you will see a trap positioned in each corner of the room. As you would have just seen, whenever you run into the line of 2 traps, they will charge at you. The best way to get past them is to run forwards into their path to set them off, and quickly run back again before they hit you. The traps move a lot more slowly while they return to their original positions, so make your move then. This room has a passageway in the middle of a group of blocks. Run around to the far left block, and push it either up or down. Go down the passage, and get the bow. It won’t be very useful yet because you still need arrows. You can buy them from shops in the overworld for a one-off fee of 80 rupees, but each time you fire an arrow you will lose 1 rupee, so if you have no money you can’t use your arrows. Go back out of the passage and into the room.
Then go 1 screen Right, 2 Down, and 1 Right. In this room, kill all of the Goriyas and you will get the wooden boomerang, a very useful item. Continue Right. In this room, whenever you touch a wall a Wallmaster (hand) will appear. There are several in the room. Don’t get caught by one, or you will be taken back to the dungeon entrance and it would suck to have to go through it all again when you’re so close to the end! Keep away from the walls, and run forward and touch the wall to make one appear, then run back. Kill the Wallmaster (2 hits), and repeat until you are sure that no more appear, then get the key and go Up.
The Boss: The boss of Level 1 is called Aquamentus. He is a kind of dragon that shoots beams at Link, but he’s not very hard. The best thing to do is position yourself somewhere where you are between the beams. If you have a full sword; i.e. all of your hearts; you can stand where you are and shoot him. It takes 6 hits with the wooden sword to kill it, but you can also bomb him or shoot him with arrows. When Aquamentus is dead, get the heart container and go Right. Pick up the Triforce piece, and congratulations, you have passed Level 1! Piece of cake so far, right?!
So now you have your first Triforce piece and you’re all happy. Time to collect the second. To get to Level 2, from the starting screen go East 4 screens and North 2. On this screen, there are two passages East. Take the top one. Then go East another screen, then North 1, then West 1, then North again. Go into the cave.
In Level 3, go 1 Screen Right from the entrance. Kill all of the Ropes (snakes) to get a key.
Hint: If you need hearts, fairies or money, kill the Ropes. It is one of the fastest and most reliable way to get money.
Go back to the entrance, and then go Up 1 and Left 1. Get the key in this room, and then go 3 screens Right. In the room through the locked door is the compass. Then go Left 1, Up 1 and Right 1. Get the map out of this room. Then go Left 1 and Up 1. Kill the Ropes to get a Key. Then go Left 1. In this room you will need to kill the 3 blue Goriyas in order to get the Magic Boomerang. Watch out for the stone statues in the corners – they shoot beams at you. If you have the magic shield, you can block them from the front.
From the Magic Boomerang room, go Left 1 and Up 1. Kill the 2 Moldorms (worms) to get a key. Then go Up 3 Screens.
The Boss: The Boss of Level 2 is Dodongo. In order to defeat him, you must use bombs. You must place the bombs in Dodongo’s path so that he picks them up. If he does, he will stay on the spot for a second. You can then stab him with your sword. Place another bomb in his path, and this should defeat him. Sometimes it changes though, and you may have to bomb him 3 times, but 2 is usually enough. When he is defeated, he will flash for a few seconds. Pick up your heart container, go Left and get the second piece of Triforce!
Now before you go to Level 3, it is time to get some items that you will need later.
Firstly, the blue candle and magical shield: From the start screen, go North 1, West 1 and go in the cave. There is a shop, and if you have enough rupees, you should buy the blue candle and the magical shield.
Then, the white sword: From the shop go East 2, North 4, West 1, North 1, East 3, North 1. Or if you’re at the start screen it’s East 1, North 5, West 1, North 1, East 3, North 1. On this screen, watch out for the blue Lynel. He’s one of the toughest Overworld enemies. If you have the magic shield, you can block his swords. If not, you’ll lose 2 hearts with each hit so be careful. Go in the cave and get the white sword.
Level 3 is located, from the start screen, North 1, West 4, South 1, East 1.
From the entrance to Level 3, go Right 1 and get the key. Then go Up 1, and kill all of the Zols (blobs) to get another key. Go Up 1, Left 1, and get the compass in this room. Continue Left again, and in this room you must kill all of the Darknuts in order to open the shutter at the bottom. Darknuts are a little tougher than the underworld enemies you have met so far. You can’t attack them from the front, because they carry a shield. And they have an annoying habit of turning around while you are trying to sneak up on them! Red ones aren’t too bad, just wait for the blue ones later. Then go down, and go down the passage in this room and you will get the raft.
Go back out of the passage and go Up 2 screens. Get the key in this room, and then go Right 2. Get the key in this room, and go Right again. Get the map in here. Now you can either go Down 1, Right 1, Up 1 to get to the boss of Level 3, or you can just bomb the right-hand wall in this room to get there, which I recommend.
The Boss: Manhandla is the Boss of Level 3. At first glance he appears somewhat hard, but there is a really easy way to kill him. If you put a bomb in front of his path, timing it so that his middle will go over the bomb when it explodes, he will be killed straight away. If you only manage to remove some of his arms, he will move a lot faster, but just keep trying with the bombs or even sword (with the sword aim for each arm). When you have defeated Manhandla, go up and claim the next piece of Triforce!
Before you go into Level 4, you may like to get the Water of Life, the magic potion that restores your health. Go, from the starting screen go East 4 screens, and North 2. On this screen, there are two ways East. Take the top one. Then go East another screen, then North 4, then East 1, then North again. Go into the cave, and get the blue letter off the man.
You can buy potion from a couple of places in Hyrule, but the closest one to the start is located North 1, West 3 and in the cave on this screen. Red Medicine costs 68 rupees, Blue 40, so make sure you have enough! Also, if you ever already have blue medicine, you can just buy another blue and it will turn red, save you spending a extra 28 rupees.
To get to level 4, go North 1, West 2, North 1 from the start screen. Hop on the platform and take the raft up another screen. There you will be at the entrance to level 4.
Hint: Before entering Level 4 you should have a blue candle, which can be bought from many stores around Hyrule.
When you first enter Level 4, go Left. Kill all of the Keese (bats) in this room and you will get a key. Then go Right 1 screen, Up 1 and Right one again. Get the compass from this room, and then go Left 1, and Up 1 again. Get the key in this room. Go right. Use the candle to light up this room, and then go Up 2 screens, lighting up each room as you go through. Then go Right. Kill all of the Vires (Vampire-things that split into Keese) in this room so that the shutter on the right opens, and go through this. Kill the Zols (blobs) and Like-Likes (tube-monsters) in this room. You cannot kill the Bubbles. When the other monsters are dead, push the left-hand block and a passage will appear. Go down this, get the ladder and go back out.
Now go Left 2 screens. Use the ladder to get across the water and go Up 2 screens. In this room is a Manhandla, same as the boss of Level 3. Kill it and then go Up 1, Right 1. Use the candle to light up this room, and go Right again. Before running into this room, run forwards to set off the traps, and then go back, but not through, the door. While the traps are returning to their places, use the candle and now you will see the blocks that are in your way so that you can make it through the room safely. Go Down 1 and kill all of the Vires in this room. Then go Right and into the boss’s room.
The Boss: In order to kill Gleeok, the 2-headed dragon boss of Level 4, you will need to try and avoid the beams he shoots. I find the easiest way is to use the sword, running around him and stabbing any part of him (head, neck or body) so that you can dodge his beams. However you can also use other weapons. After a few hits, one of his heads comes off and flies around the room. You cannot destroy or get rid of this head, and it will also shoot beams at you. Just ignore it and concentrate on stabbing Gleeok’s remaining head. Remember to use medicine if you find your health running low. After a few more hits, Gleeok will be gone and you can go Up and get the fourth piece of Triforce.
To get to Level 5, from the starting screen go East 1, North 2, East 5, North 3, West 1, North 1, and West 1. You are now in the Lost Hills. Go up 5 times. The screen will repeat itself until the fifth time when you will be at Level 5.
When you first enter Level 5, go right. Kill all of the Pols Voices (ghosts with big ears) and you will get a key. Then go back left to the entry room.
Hint: It takes several hits with a sword, but Pols Voice can be killed with one arrow. One arrow can hit several if they’re in a row. (Remember that each arrow costs 1 rupee to fire, so watch that you don’t run out of money.)
Go up and light up this room with your candle. Kill the Gibdo (mummy) carrying the key to retrieve it. Then bomb the middle of the wall to your left and go through. In this next room also bomb the wall on the left. Go through here and you will be in a room with a secret passage. Before you can go down the passage you will need to kill all of the blue Darknuts. Besides Bosses, Blue Darknuts are some of the toughest enemies you will meet in the underworld. They are just like the red ones, except that they take longer to kill and they tend to move in clusters. Keep moving so that you don’t get caught up in the middle of them. Place bombs near a group of them to take a few hits off several at once. You can hit them from any direction except the front.
Go down the passage and out into the joining room. Go through the door on your left. In this room, once again you will need to kill all of the Blue Darknuts. Once they are all gone, push the stone on the left to make a passage appear. Go down and get the recorder!
Come back out of the passage, go Right, down the passage, and then Right 2. Now go Up 1, Right 1 and Up 1. Get the key in this room. Go Up again and get the compass. Go up one more time, get the key in here, and Go Left. There is also a key in this room. Go left 2 more screens and you are now in the room with the boss!
The Boss: Digdogger is the boss of Level 5 and he is more bark than bite. Get out your recorder, play him a tune and he will shrivel up. He will move faster now, but just stab him a few times and he will be defeated. If you stab him fast enough, he won’t have time to start moving. Now go up and get the Triforce!
You’re now up to Level 6. If you have enough heart containers, 12, you can get the magical sword on the way. If you don’t, you might want to find the ones in the overworld before you head off to Level 6. If you haven’t found any of the hidden ones, you will have 8 hearts, 3 + the ones from levels 1-5. Here’s how to get the other 4:
1. From the starting screen, go East 4 screens (to where the first heart was), then North 5 screens and East one screen. You will need to bomb the rock in the middle on the right hand side, but one square towards the middle.
2. From the start screen, go East one screen, North 3 screens and West one screen. Then use your candle to burn the fifth bush from the right to find a hidden passage.
3. From the starting screen, go East 8 screens, all the way as far as you can go, and then North 2 screens. Use the ladder to get out to the platforms in the ocean.
4. Then, from the heart just mentioned, go North 3 more screens. Use the raft to get across and then go into the cave.
I also recommend buying the blue ring. It’s expensive – 250 rupees – but worth it. If you don’t have many rupees, go into level 2 and walk up and down, killing all the enemies, espeically the Ropes until you have enough. Then from the start screen, go up 1, left 3, up 2 and touch the top middle Armos statue to reveal the shop. The blue ring will make Link wear a white tunic, and means that the damage he takes is reduced by half.
Now you are ready to face Level 6. I highly recommend going into this level with red medicine, and the magical shield (this can be bought from merchants for around 130 – 160 rupees).
To get to Level 6, from the start screen go right one screen, up five, left two, down one, left one, then up onen, left two, down one, left one and finally up one screen.
I won’t lie to you. This level is hard. I find it almost harder than level 9. It’s probably just in my head, but after playing this game for nearly 13 years I still hate when I’m up to it! But don’t fear, I will tell you all you need to pass it!
If you don’t have any spare keys, when you first enter the level, go right. Use the candle to light the room, and then kill the Red Wizzrobes in there to get a key. These guys will appear around you, shoot a spell at you, and disappear. But once they appear, you can just move out of line with them, and they’ll shoot the spell at where you were. Depending on the sword you have, it’ll take only 1 or 2 hits to defeat them, and sometimes they appear on top of each other, so you can kill several at once. Watch out for the spells – you’ll lose 2 hearts with each hit if you have the blue ring, and only your magic shield can stop them.
Then go back to the entrance room, and go left 1 (just go around the Wizzrobes), and up 4 screens. I have to give a special mention to this room, because it’s probably my most hated room in the whole entire game. It’s not really that bad, but when you’re playing this game for the first time, it is a major pain. And it’s stuck with me, so everytime I enter and see that door close behind me, I almost get that feeling of dread!
The room introduces probably the hardest enemy in the game and I’d even say the whole Zelda series. I’m talking about the Blue Wizzrobe. You met his red buddies in earlier rooms and they didn’t seem too bad, but the blue ones are a different story. They stay visible the whole time, and ruthlessly shoot spells whenever Link crosses their line of fire. They also are able to ‘float’ across the screen quickly, passing through walls, blocks and other enemies, often in Link’s direction. If you touch him, it does the same amount of damage as their spells, whereas touching the Red Wizzrobes will do only half as much damage as their spells.
This room also sucks because it contains Bubbles, which will render your sword useless for a short period, and Like Likes. Try and avoid these at all costs, because if they eat you, you’ll lose your shield, making you vulnerable to Wizzrobe’s spells from the front. A tip – if you do get eaten by Like Like, stay inside him, and only stab when a Wizzrobe comes past. You’re actually safe inside him. That way, you’re still hurting the Wizzrobe but protecting yourself. And watch out for the Bubbles because when Link gets hit he is thrown back, and I’ve often been hit back straight into a Like Like. Oh, and did I mention you’re stuck in this room?
Kill all the enemies in this room apart from the bubbles, then push the left block to open the door and continue upwards 2 more screens. You’re faced with Gleeok, the boss of level 4, only this time he has 3 heads instead of 2. Just kill him the same way you did in Level 4, then go right 1 room and up 1. Kill all of the Wizzrobes (sorry!) and then push the block to reveal a secret passage. Go down, and get the magic wand. Then go back up into the main room, and go down three screens, and right 1. This room has a secret passage so go down, and when you emerge, go down 1 and left 1. Then, in this room, equip your arrows before going up to the boss. As soon as you enter the boss’s room, fire off an arrow.
The Boss: The boss is Ghoma, a crab with one eye, and you need to shoot her in the eye with an arrow to kill her. So if you time it right, the arrow you fired when you entered might hit her. Otherwise, just wait until she opens her eye again, and then shoot her. She’s actually quite an easy boss, especially compared to how hard the rest of this level is! And yes, Level 6 is over! Go up and claim your Triforce piece, and you never have to return there again!
Well, after the hardness of Level 6, I have some good news. Level 7 is easy! But you’ll need to take in with you the bait (meat). It’s sold in the same shop that sells the blue ring (from start is up 1, left 3, up 2 and touch the top middle Armos statue to reveal the shop.) And if you’d like to upgrade the number of bombs you can carry, make sure that you take in at least 100 rupees.
Level 7 is located, from the beginning screen, up 1, left 5, and up 2 screens. You’re faced with what looks like an empty pond, but play your recorder, and the level will be revealed.
I’m getting a little bit lazy, so I’m going to assume that by now you know that you can bomb through walls. So if I say “Go left 3″ and there appears to be a dead end after the second, just bomb the wall to keep going.
From the entrance, go up 4 rooms, left 1, and up 1. In this room is a Goriya who says “Grumble, grumble…” He’s hungry, and you need to give him the bait. Just equip it, walk up to him, and place it in front of him. The Goriya will disappear, but unfortunately so has your bait. If you want more, you’ll have to go and buy more.
Then go up 1, left 2 (you need to bomb the second wall to get into this room, even though it doesn’t appear to be a room according to your map, does it??? Then kill all of the enemies in this room and push the block to reveal, you guessed it, a secret passage. Well what were you expecting? Ganon? Go down and get your red candle. This candle’s useful because, unlike the blue candle, you can use it as many times on one screen as you like.
Then go back up, and bomb the right wall and go right 2 screens. Go up 1, then right 1. Kill all of the wall masters and push the block to reveal a passage. Go down, and when you emerge bomb the wall to the right to enter the boss’s lair.
The Boss: Do I even need to tell you how to defeat this guy? No doubt you laughed when you saw him, or at least breathed a sigh of relief! Yep, it’s our friend Aquamentus, boss of level one. And he hasn’t become any tougher at all.
Now it’s time for level 8. From the start screen, go right 4 screens, up 2, right 1. Take the topmost right path, then go down 1, and right 1. There’s a bush that’s blocking your path to the other side of the screen. Burn it, and level 8 is revealed.
In level 8, you can get 2 items. The first is the magic book. It’s not really that useful, all it does it give you a spell so that when you shoot your wand, the spell turns into fire when it hits something. But if you want it, from the entrance go left 1, kill Manhandla, then go left again. Then kill all the enemies in this room, push the block and go down the passage.
From the entrance screen, go up 6 rooms. In the second room you will be trapped in a room with blue darknuts, but remember you faced many of them in level 5, so don’t be intimidated. After going up 6, go right 1 and go down the stairs to get the key. This key is great, because it now means you have infinite keys. Locked doors are never going to trouble you again! If you look at the little key icon on the top of your screen, it now has “keys x A”.
Then go back out, go left 1 and down 2 then right 1. Go through the passage in this room, then when you come out of it bomb the top wall and go up.
The Boss: The boss of Level 8 is the same as in level 4 – Gleeok. In level 4 he had 2 heads, when you met him in level 6 he had 3, and now he has 4. This room used to always seem slow, but now that I think about it, handling a 4-headed Gleeok, it’s beams, and Link was probably pushing my poor old NES to it’s limits! You know how to kill this guy by now, then just head up for your reward.
Now, if you press START and look at the subscreen, all your Triforce pieces have been collected – doesn’t it look cool? Ahead of you now is Level 9 on Death Mountain – Ganon’s lair! By now, make sure you have the magical sword, it is essential to beat the game, as well as red medicine and a magic shield. Level 9 is located, from the begining, right one screen, up 5, left 1, up one screen, then cross the river and go up another screen, then left 2. This screen has 2 boulders – Spectacle Rock – and several enemies. (You may like to try the tip of killing all but 1 enemy here, to make it easier if you have to return.) Bomb the bottom of the left boulders to find the dungeon entrance.
Da da da dum… You’ve finally made it. If you found this level earlier in the game, the little old man wouldn’t let you pass, but now he does!
The strategy guide that came with this game suggested making maps of the levels, and if you want to tackle any part of this by yourself, I strongly suggest you do. Level 9 is probably about 3 times the size of a normal level, and is full of passages, secret rooms, and walls to bomb. Sadly, our favorite friend Blue Wizzrobe is waiting to greet you in many rooms of this level too. Keep your cool and remember that most of the enemies you have defeated before. There are a couple of new ones in Level 9, but nothing to sweat over, and of course Ganon. But we’ll deal with him later!
This level contains 2 very important items – the Red Ring, and the Silver Arrows, which are essential to beat the game with. I suppose the Red Ring isn’t super important, and I often can’t be bothered getting it and just keep the blue ring on. But if you are new to this level, it will prove to be a most useful item. If you are wearing the blue ring, it will reduce the damage you take by half again, 4 times less than when you were green, which makes a huge difference.
To get the red ring, from the entrance go up 2, bomb the left wall and go through. Kill Lanmola the worm and go down the passage. When you emerge go right 2 rooms, down 1 room, then bomb the wall and go right one room, again bomb the walls to go up two rooms. This room has a secret passageway and I’m sure by now you know the way to reveal it. Go down and get the red ring. Link gets to change his clothes!
Now it’s time to get the silver arrows. From the dungeon entrance go up 2 rooms, then left one, down the secret passageway, then right 2 rooms, up one, bomb the wall and go left 1. Kill all of the enemies in this room, then push the block to reveal a passage. Go down it, and then when you re-emerge go left 2 rooms. Go down the stairs in this room, then when you emerge in another room, bomb the top wall to go up one screen. Kill all the enemies in this room, and push a block to reveal a secret staircase. Yay – here are the arrows! You’re now all set to go after Ganon.
I’ll say this direction from the start of the dungeon again, so you don’t get too confused, especially if you get killed along the way and have to start over at any time. First, go up 2, left and through the secret passageway (it’s starting to get familiar now, right?!) Go right 2 rooms, up 1, left 1 and through the secret passageway in this room, then when you come out go left 2, up 1, left 1, and up 2. Kill the enemies and push block to reveal another secret passage. When you emerge, bomb the left wall and go through, and in this room you get to go down another secret passage. If you feel totally confused by now, don’t worry because the room you will emege in now is right under Ganon! You just need to kill the Patra. It’s like an eyeball with wings with lots of baby eyeballs with wings flying around it. You need to kill all of the babies before you can kill the big one. When that’s done, you can go up and finally meet the man who has been terrorizing Hyrule.
The Boss: At first, Ganon will appear to be a really intimidating boss. He’s big, invisible, and can do a bit of damage. You might want to panic and yell “Where is he!” while watching Link get hurt, but relax, you have this guide to help you! There’s actually a strategy you can use to beat him. Yes, Ganon will disappear and start shooting beams at you from different directions. But if you were to watch, as long as you stay in roughly the same spot, Ganon actually circles around you. He’ll shoot at you from the right, then the bottom, then the left… and so on. If you move, you’ll have to wait a second for him to reposition, but again, if you stay where you are, he will keep going around in circles. Of course, I don’t expect you to watch him, or you might lose a lot of life! I’m just telling you what he does. He also gets very close to you, so it can make it hard if you don’t know where he is because you don’t have much time to dodge his beams.
So now I’ve told you how he moves, you will be able to predict where he is. Just try as hard as you can to stay in the one spot. When Ganon has hit you from one direction, stab your sword in the next direction where he will next appear. Ganon’s being big actually helps you here because he’s a nice big target! When you hit him, he will appear for a second, before disappearing and continuing his attack in the same way. Just repeat the process, until finally you will hit him and he will appear red. When he’s red, fire as many silver arrows as you can at him, and if you hit him enough times it will be adios to the big bad pig!
When he’s dead, you can go upwards to rescue your Princess! Don’t worry that she’s surrounded by fire, just stab them to get through. And after long last, and a great adventure, you’ve saved Zelda! As you watch the credits, you might think it’s all over, but this game has an awesome surprise for you – a whole new quest! At first it may look the same as the first, but it is a lot harder, and the levels are completely different. Enjoy!