This chapter covers the original version of Link’s Awakening DX for the Game Boy Color. If you are playing on the Nintendo Switch version, check out the Catfish’s Maw Walkthrough.

5.1 Raft Ride

~ Manbo’s Mambo ~

There is plenty that we can do and must do before making our way to the next dungeon, Catfish’s Maw. Now that we have the flippers we’ll be able to swim in the deep waters of Koholint Island. From just outside Angler’s Tunnel swim to the left a screen and enter the cave.

Speak to the giant fish here known by the name Manbo, who is the child of the sun fish. He’ll ask you if you have an Ocarina, so answer yes and he’ll teach you the song known as Manbo’s Mambo. This song serves two purposes. Whenever you use it in the overworld you will warp over to Manbo’s Pond, located just east of the Mysterious Forest outside of Crazy Tracy’s house. Additionally, if you play the song while inside of a dungeon, you will immediately warp back to the entrance of the dungeon. With our new song in hand, let’s exit the cave.

~ Two Pieces of Heart ~

Swim to the right four screens and enter the cave found here. You’ll find yourself inside of a cave that is filled with water. Press B to dive under water and swim around the center of the room. Right in the middle of the room you will find Piece of Heart #8, increasing your total life to 9 full heart containers!

Sometime in the next few minutes a Ghost will appear and start to follow you around. All the ghost wants from you is to take him home. We will be doing that in just a bit, but there are a few goodies we can right now.

From outside the cave, swim down a screen, climb out of the water, and then walk left three screens. Get back into the water and swim left three screens and down four screens, making your way around the moat of Kanalet Castle. On this screen, stay against the bottom portion of the water and then dive under. Swim to the right while staying underwater and you’ll find Piece of Heart #9!

~ River Rapids ~

There are a few new areas and collectibles that we can reach at this point in the quest, but if you’d really like you can skip ahead to section 5.3 to continue along the main quest. One of these optional areas is the massive raft ride which takes up a majority of the northeastern portion of Koholint Island. From where we just got the heart piece stay in the water and swim up four screens, right three screens, down six screens, right two screens, up a screen, and climb the ladder. You can bomb the wall that is cracked if you’d like and inside you will find a fairy fountain.

From the fairy fountain get back into the water and go right a screen, then climb out of the water, walk right a screen, and enter the cave. Make your way through the cave and once you get outside, you’ll be back at the northeast part of Koholint Island. Walk down a screen and enter the Raft Shop.

The river rapids raft mini-game costs 100 rupees to play, but along the raft ride you can collect tons of rupees, while also stocking up on some bombs, arrows, and magic powder. If you go along the perfect path and collect all the rupees, you will get 160 rupees, making a profit of 60. You can keep repeating the raft ride a number of times if you’d, stocking up the rupees.

Pay the 100 rupees to the man inside and once you head back out, the raft will be waiting for you. The path below will guide you to getting 160 rupees, the best outcome you could get. Climb on top of the raft and ride it to the left three screens. You’ll pass the first waterfall along the way, but you really want to jump off the second waterfall. Once you jump off the second waterfall, move to the right, using Roc’s feather to jump up and get the first rupee found here and then float to the right a screen.

Stay along the top portion of the screen and jump up to get the second rupee. Continue to the right, holding up as much as you can. Once you reach the next screen, hold up so that you can take the pathway at the top. Continue to the right and stay along the top portion of the screen. Jump up and get the three rupees here and then head down along the right side.

Jump up and get the rupee here and continue down a screen. Jump up and get the three rupees along the right side. Once you start moving to the left, the rapid goes up a bit. Take that short path up, but then hold left as you try to get the lone rupee floating here. This one is the most difficult to get along the raft ride, but continue along the bottom portion of the screen as you head left.

You want to head left along the bottom-portion of the screen. However, if you jump smoothly, you can get the rupee in the center of the screen. Go to the left and you’ll find some recovery hearts, arrows, rupees, and magic powder, so try to jump up and get all four of the goodies. Go down a screen and stay along the top path and continue to the right.

There are three rupees in a row that you can jump and get on this screen, so do so and continue to the right. You’ll find some rupees, bombs, arrows, and magic powder. If you jump smoothly, you can get the rupees, bombs, and then either the arrows or the magic powder. Fall down the waterfall at the end to complete the raft ride.

Our next destination is at Animal Village. There are several ways you can reach it and one of the easiest ways is to do so by water. Continue on the raft two screens to the left and then get back on the land. Jump back into the water and head down one screen, left two screens, down two screens, left a screen, and then resurface using the ladder on the bottom portion of the screen. Walk right a screen, down a screen, and right a screen to get back to Animal Village.

5.2 The Friendly Ghost

~ Trading Sequence, Seashell #18, Upgrades ~

Back in Animal Village, make your way to the top-right of the four screens that comprise of the village. Enter the building on the left to find a female goat by the name of Christine. Speak to her and she’ll be delighted that you brought her a hibiscus. Agree to do her a favor and she will ask you to take a letter to Mr. Write who lives on the border of the Mysterious Forest. Afterwards she will give you the Goat’s Letter, which serves as the 9th item found within the Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence.

Leave Animal Village to the west and go up a screen and left a screen. Jump in the water and swim down two screens and then left two screens. You will pass the location of the next dungeon, Catfish’s Maw. Climb the ladder and then head down two screens. Jump into the water and swim around to the small island. Cut down the bush to find Secret Seashell #18!

From the seashell screen, make your way right a screen and you’ll find a staircase surrounded by bushes. You must equip roc’s feather and your sword at the same time. Jump over the gap and slash one of the bushes to successfully land. If you are having trouble timing the jumping, you could use the Pegasus Boots and roc’s feather once you’ve slashed one of the bushes. Walk down the steps to enter a cave.

Make your way through this rather simply cave, avoiding the fish that are found in the deep water. Resurface and then head left a screen to find some steps. Walk down the steps to find another Mad Batter location. Just like earlier, sprinkle some magic powder on the hole and mad batter will pop out. As a punishment for waking him up he’ll cast a spell which will now allow you to hold up to 60 bombs! Leave the cave and then backtrack through the second cave as well.

~ Taking the Ghost Home ~

Jump back over the gap and head left two screens. Use Roc’s feather and the Pegasus Boots to jump over this large gap and then head left a screen. Finally we have arrived at the home of this ghost. Once you walk inside, the ghost will look around and reminisce about his lovely home. After looking around, he then wants you to take him to his grave at the cemetery.

Once you are outside of the house, pull out the Ocarina and play Manbo’s Mambo. This will warp you Manbo’s Pond, which isn’t too far from the ghost’s grave. Walk left a screen and then down three screens. Climb the steps on the left and head up a screen to reach the grave. The ghost will tell you to look underneath a jar found within his house.

Immediately after you are done with the ghost, the beloved owl will appear and state that you must dive into the water of Martha’s Bay to enter Catfish’s Maw. Once the owl has flow away, walk up right next to the grave and our photographer friend will appear to snap a picture of you and the ghost. This photograph is called ‘I Was Very Afraid‘. If you sprinkle some Magic Powder on ghost’s tombstone, he’ll curse at you; but nothing happen.

5.3 Side-quests Galore

~ More Trading Sequence Items ~

While we want to go to the ghost’s house, there are a few nearby things we can take care of first. Walk down a screen and then walk up three screens. Go left four screens and then up a screen through the Mysterious Forest. Go into the house here to find Mr. Write. Speak to him and you will automatically give him the letter that the goat in Animal Village gave you. It is in the form of a photograph of a girl name Christine. The girl in the picture looks just like Princess Peach from the Super Mario series. This is also homage to the 90’s where e-mail and pen-pals were common, and people frequently used false identities or described themselves differently than what they really were. In this case, the goat is describing herself as a beautiful woman. Nevertheless, Mr. Write will thank you for bringing the letter and in turn, gives you the Broom, the 10th item in the Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence.

Our next step is back in Mabe Village, so make your way through the Mysterious Forest and return to Mabe Village. From Mr. Write’s house, go down a screen, right a screen, down three, left one, and down two. Back in Mabe Village, walk over to Ulrira’s house, located just below where Bow-Wow. Speak to Grandma Ulrira, the woman outside who is just moving back and forth. Agree to give her the broom and in exchange, she will give you the Fishing Hook, the 11th item in the Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence.

It’s now time to make our way over to the Mabe Village shop and purchase the Bow. If you have purchased the bow already or if you have stolen it, then just skip ahead. If not, you should have saved up 980 rupees by now if you have been following along. If not, you can play the Trendy Game over and over to get rupees quickly. Purchase the bow, which can be used along with arrows to shoot enemies, allowing you to hit enemies in the distance. Note: equip both the Bombs and the Bow to the “A” and “B” buttons. Press both buttons at the same time and you will shoot “Bomb Arrows“! This neat weapon has the power of a bomb and an arrow.

~ Level 2 Sword ~

There are two more secret seashells that we can prior to entering the Catfish’s Maw. The next one we want to get back is back at the ghost’s house near Toronbo Shores. From the shop go down a screen, left three, down four, right six, and down a screen. Enter the house and lift the jars at the bottom-right corner to find Secret Seashell #19.

The next seashell is all the way near the entrance to Key Cavern. From the Ghost’s House, go right two screens, up two, right one into the water, up five, left one, down two, and left two screens through the water. Slash at the lone push that is on the small piece of land. Make sure you slash at it from the top, as otherwise the seashell will fall into the water. Grab it to get Secret Seashell #20!

Now that we’ve finally gotten 20 secret seashells, it is time to reclaim our prize. Let’s head to the seashell mansion by going right two screens, up two screens, right one, down two, right one, and up a screen. Enter the seashell mansion and walk to the right. Once the meter fills up some lightening will strike and a brand new sword will drop from the ceiling. Walk over and get the Seashell Sword, which is twice as possible as the original sword. Additionally, if you did get the Red Tunic, your overall sword power will now be 4x its original strength. Whenever you have filled your hearts up completely, slashing with your sword will now deliver a beam blade, allowing you to use your sword as a projectile. NOTE: There are 26 Secret Seashells in total found within the game. If you don’t get the Seashell Sword, then you can still collect the 6 remaining ones, or if you missed some of the earlier ones then you can get them. If you do get the Seashell Sword, all remaining treasure chests with secret seashells will now contain 20 rupees. All 6 of these seashells will still be mentioned within this guide.

~ Even More Trading Sequence Items ~

There are still a few goodies we want to take care of before entering Catfish’s Maw. From the seashell mansion, go down a screen, left a screen, down three screens, and into the water. There is a Mermaid swimming around in the water here and if you talk to her, she says that she is looking for her Necklace. Don’t mind this for now, but continue right a screen and down two screens along the right side. Swim over and dive underneath the bridge.

Use Roc’s Feather to jump onto the small boat and speak to the Fisherman. He wants you to give him the fishing hook that we got in the trading sequence, so agree to do so. In exchange for the fishing hook, he will give you the Mermaid’s Necklace, the 12th item in the Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence.

Swim up two screens and left a screen to speak with the Mermaid once again. Agree to give her the necklace that we just got in exchange, she will let you pull off a Scale, the 13th item in the Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence.

After you have the scale, swim back to the right a screen and down two screens. Dive underneath the bridge once again and this time you’ll see our photographer friend swimming around. The fisherman will grab hold of the photographer with his fishing rod and pull him up. The fisherman then gets pulled into the water and Link will hold up his sword. The photographer gets a great capture of this moment on his camera. This photograph is called ‘Be More Careful Next Time!‘.

Finally, we are ready to enter Catfish’s Maw. From the bridge, swim up a screen and left a screen. Swim over to the left side of the screen and then swim between the rocks. Dive under and move to the right to reach an underwater sequence. Resurface on the next screen and you’ll be right near the mouth of the giant Catfish. Swim into its mouth to enter the fifth dungeon, Catfish’s Maw.

5.4 Catfish's Maw

~ Compass ~

Catfish’s Maw is a bit more difficult than any of the previous dungeons as it is not nearly as linear. There are multiple paths we can throughout the dungeon and if you don’t know exactly where to go, you’ll find yourself backtracking through rooms over and over again. It is also a strange dungeon in that it has multiple mini-bosses, although one of them is a completely optional battle. That being said, it isn’t the most difficult of dungeons and shouldn’t give you too much trouble.

From the dungeon entrance, head left a screen and defeat zol and iron mask. Now that you have the level two sword, one slash will completely defeat a zol, so it won’t divide into smaller gels. Continue left a screen and defeat another iron mask, along with four keese. Go through the door on the left that opens up.

Open the treasure chest found in this room to get the Compass. There are two iron masks in this room, but you don’t need to defeat them yet, so just head down the steps. The two chain platforms here basically work like a teeter totter. When you step on the first one it will go down, but will send the other one up. Carefully use the platforms and jump over to the screen to the left. This room is similar except that it has two of these pairs of platforms. Make your way across and climb the steps at the end to resurface.

Use your sword to defeat the four stalfos that are found in this room and then slash away at the various crystals. There are four blocks in this room. You need to push the two blocks on the top row together, forming a square between the four blocks. Once you’ve done so, a small key will drop from the ceiling. Grab the key and then head back down the steps and through the underground area.

~ Stone Beak ~

Back in the compass room, you’ll have to defeat the two iron masks here to open the door. Do just that and head right a screen. Let’s use the key we just go and go up through the locked door. Avoid the enemies and just head left a screen. You’ll find yourself in a room with two iron masks and several traps around the edges of the room. Defeat the two iron masks and then head left a screen.

There are two more iron masks in this room along with a bubble that is circulating the center of the room. You can lift the jars to free up some space and limit the bubbles reach. Carefully defeat the two iron masks in the room and a treasure chest will appear. Open it up to get the dungeon’s Stone Beak! Be sure to also jump up and grab the bombs that are floating around the room. With the beak in hand, let’s backtrack to the right two screens and then head up a screen.

Defeat the three stalfos that are found in this room and the door above will open up. Before heading up, speak with the owl statue and it gives you some advice about facing the mini-boss ahead. If you cannot destroy it with your sword, then use some bombs instead. With that knowledge in mind, let’s head up a screen to take on one of the dungeon mini-bosses, Master Stalfos.

~ Mini-Boss: Master Stalfos ~

The Master Stalfos will jump around the room trying to land on top of you. When the master stalfos is close by, it will slash at you with its gigantic sword that it wields. The master stalfos also wields a giant shield and it will block most of Link’s attacks from below, to the left, and above him.

Whenever the master stalfos jumps, once he lands he will be vulnerable on his right side. Slash at him and the stalfos will crumble to the ground. At this point you can drop a bomb next to its crumbled body. Alternatively, if you have full power, your level 2 sword will deal damage to the master stalfos. Both methods will wear him town. The stalfos will likely get back on his feet and try to attack you once again. Repeat the same methods until the stalfos has had enough and will flee the room.

Walk to the room to the right and open the treasure chest to find that it is empty. The item that was inside was stolen by the master stalfos, so we’ll have to track him down once again. Walk up a screen and push the block up before heading left a screen.

Immediately head back right a screen and push the center block that has reset. You should now be able to go up a screen. Immediately turn around once again and step on the switch here to open up the door on the right. Push the block and then head right a screen to take on the master stalfos for a second time.

The battle with master stalfos this time is pretty much identical. Use the same strategies that you used the first time and after a few hits, he will have been defeated. Go back left a screen, push the block, and then head up a screen once again.

~ Dungeon Map ~

Defeat the star and shrouded stalfos that are in this room before heading right a screen. There are some enemies here, but there are also some bombs that you can grab. Get the bombs, then head back left a screen and up a screen.

Get rid of more enemies and then head to screen to the left. There are three green zols burrowed underground in this room, one of which is on the left side of the blocks. Defeat the two that are nearby and then lift up the leftmost pot that is on the ground. Once the third zol pops up, defeat it and then head through the door above that opens up.

You will find the master stalfos here for the third time and once again, the battle is pretty much identical. Defeat him and then head left a screen. Open the treasure found here to get the Dungeon Map. We now need to backtrack almost to the entrance of the dungeon. In fact, the easiest way to do this is to simply play Manbo’s Mambo to warp to the dungeon entrance.

~ Hook Shot ~

From the dungeon entrance, make your way left three screens, defeating the enemies in the process. Once again go through the underground passageway found here and resurface in the room with four stalfos. Defeat or ignore them and then head left a screen to take on the master stalfos for the fourth time.

Once again, master stalfos is the same as before, although it seems he has a bit more health this time around. You cannot defeat him just with sword slashes this time around, so just as the owl statue said, use a bomb when his bones have crumbled to the ground. After a few bomb explosions, master stalfos will finally be defeated, leaving the dungeon item, the Hook Shot. The hook shot works just like it did in A Link to the Past, where it can latch onto items in the distance and pull you towards them. Additionally, it can defeat enemies or remove enemy armor.

With the hook shot in hand let’s backtrack right a screen, through the underground passage, and then right two screens. Alternatively you can just play Manbo’s Mambo a second time to warp to the dungeon entrance. Our next stop is the second room in the dungeon, but along the north side of the room. Using the hook shot that we just got, we can latch onto the treasure chest across the gap and open it to get 200 rupees. Hook Shot back across and go left a screen and up a screen.

Walk to the left a screen and then up, defeating the iron masks using the hook shot along the way. Continue to the left another screen and use the hook shot to get across the room. Defeat the two zol that appears and head left through the top portion of the room.

Hook shot over to the treasure chest and open it to get a small key. Defeat the enemies here and then backtrack to the right two screens. You are now at a crossroads as there are multiple things we can do. Catfish’s Maw is one of the strange dungeons in which one of the mini-boss battles is completely optional. From this room, if you use the hook on the right you can grab onto the latch and extend a bridge, allowing you to walk up a screen. From here, if you use the key on the left side of the room, you’ll find yourself in a mini-boss battle with two gohma. Once again, this is completely optional and the only purpose it serves is creating a warp portal so you have easy access to the dungeon boss in case you lose your life.

~ Optional Mini-Boss: Gohma ~

In order to defeat Gohma, you must have purchased the bow and arrow from the shop in Mabe Village. The bottom Gohma will just move back and forth and will eventually do one of two things. One, it will start shaking and then quickly run towards Link, trying to harm him. Gohma’s second attack will be when it stops in place, opens up is giant eye, and shoots a fireball towards Link.

Gohma can only be harmed when it opens its giant eye. Quickly shoot an arrow at its eye and then avoid the fireball. If you are quick enough, you can shoot off two arrows before Gohma closes its eye. There are two gohma in this room and they are identical to one another. Three arrows in each of their eyes will defeat them, causing a warp portal to appear. You could head right a screen along the top portion of the room, but this really just leads to a dead end since we don’t another small key at the moment. So instead, backtrack right and down a screen to get to the room where we created the bridge with the hook shot.

~ Nightmare Key ~

So whether you decided to fight gohma or not, backtrack down a screen, right, and up two screens to get back to where we first fought master stalfos. Continue right a screen and you’ll see a staircase here. If we head down this staircase at this point in time and go through the underground sequence, we will resurface and nearby we’ll find an owl statue that states, ‘Dive under where torchlight beams do cross’. The rest of the area leads to the same dead end that the stairs by Gohma led to. So, backtrack to the room just to the right of where we first fought Master Stalfos.

From here walk up a screen and push the central block once again before heading left a screen. Defeat or avoid the enemies and head up a screen. Defeat the four water tektites found in this room and then if you look at the walls, you’ll see four torchlights. If you were to connect the ones on opposite sides with lines, they’ll meet right in the center of the deep water. So just as the owl statue stated, let’s dive underneath.

Make your way through this underwater area, defeating enemy Bloobers along the way. These are another example of Mario enemies found within this title. Resurface on the next screen to find yourself in a new part of the dungeon. Use the hook shot to grab onto the latch and extend a bridge across. Walk over to the treasure chest and open it to get the Nightmare Key. Backtrack through the underwater area.

Once you resurface walk down a screen and right a screen to get back to the room with the block in the center. Push it to the right and head up a screen. Jump over to the bottom-right part of the screen and use the hook shot to get over to the treasure chest. Open it up to get 50 rupees and then head right a screen.

Hook Shot across the gap and open the treasure chest to get a small key. Note: If you didn’t use the key near the mini-boss battle with Gohma, then you don’t actually need to get this key. Hook Shot back across and head left a screen. Continue up a screen and extend the bridge across to reach the treasure chest. Open it up to get 50 more rupees and hook shot to the block on the left side of the room.

We’ve now gotten everything we’ve need to here in Catfish’s Maw, so it is time to take on the dungeon boss. There are a few ways to reach the boss from here. Either backtrack down three screens, (maneuver around the room with the block in the center), and go down the staircase here. Alternatively, if you did defeat Gohma, you can play Manbo’s Mambo to return to the entrance and then step into the warp portal to reach Gohma’s room. From there head right a screen and down the steps. Both paths are going to lead you to the same area.

If you took the first path, after the underground sequence, you’ll have to walk right three screens and you’ll find a staircase. (This staircase leads to Gohma’s lair). Avoid it and use the key on the locked block found here and then head left a screen. Finally, use the Nightmare Key on the locked door and head up to take on the dungeon boss, Slime Eel.

Slime Eel is annoying. He will make four holes in the walls for his head to pop out. His tail swings around in the big hole in the center of the room. When his head pops out in one of the holes, use your Hook Shot on it. Hit the part of his body with a heart on it. This takes several hits, so this may take you a few attempts to kill him.

Wind Marimba

Also, he tends to come out of the holes every now and then when you reel him out. He will just slither around the room so watch out. It can be rather annoying trying to avoid him when he does this. When he dies, read his last words and collect the Heart Container, increasing your total health to ten heart containers.

Walk up and collect the fifth Instrument of the Sirens’, the Wind Marimba.

“…SHRINE… An island secret in the shrine…”