Level 4: The Snake
Level 4: The Snake is the fourth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda. Link travels here in search of the fourth Triforce Shard after having collecting the first three from each of the first three dungeons in the game, namely The Eagle, The Moon, and The Manji. In order to get to this dungeon, Link must head, from the Starting Screen, one screen north, two screens west, one screen north, and finally use the Raft on the edge of the water area, which takes Link to a small island, where the entrance to The Snake lies. For the first time in The Legend of Zelda, there is a Mini-Boss battle in this dungeon. The Mini-Boss is known as Manhandla, a Boss from a previous dungeon. Also, the Boss of this dungeon is called Gleeok, and it is the guardian of the fourth Triforce Shard, meaning Link has the task of defeating it. Once Gleeok is defeated, Link can collect the fourth Triforce Shard. In addition, this is the first dungeon to have totally dark rooms, which Link must use a Candle to light up.
The main obtainable item in this dungeon is called the Stepladder, and it is used to cross small gaps in the floor that were previously uncrossable. This item is necessary to complete the game, as many later dungeons contain gaps only crossable via the Stepladder. There is also a Heart Container that is only obtainable using the Stepladder. It can be found in the far east of Hyrule. The Stepladder is found in the only side-scrolling section of the dungeon. The entrance to this area is found, from the entrance to the dungeon, two rooms up, one room left, two rooms up, and two rooms right. This room has three different enemies, two of each. These three enemies include Like Likes, Zols, and Bubbles. Killing all the enemies and pushing the left block to the left reveals the staircase.
There are only two new enemies introduced in this dungeon, namely Vires and Like Likes. All other enemies are recurring ones that Link should be accustomed to by now. Below is a list of all the enemies found within The Snake.
- Main article: Manhandla (The Legend of Zelda)
The Mini-Boss of The Snake is known as Manhandla. This plant-like monster appears a little more than halfway through the dungeon, marking its second appearance in the game, after Link defeats it in The Manji. The battle is very similar to the previous one, but the inclusion of four blocks in the room might make it more difficult for Link to maneuver around. After defeating Manhandla, a door opens to the north in which Link can find the Old Man. He gives some advice to Link from there. Curiously, defeating Manhandla is actually not required to advance in the dungeon, as Link can simply avoid it by using a Bomb to blow up the wall to the right, which leads to a secret room that contains twelve Rupees, and a way around Manhandla. This room is not marked on the map, but appears as the 'eye' of the snake.
- Main article: Gleeok (The Legend of Zelda)
The boss of The Snake is a vicious two-headed dragon called Gleeok. It guards the door that leads to the Triforce Shard, and uses its two heads to attack any whom approach it. Link must use his sword to stab the heads in order to separate each head from the main body, which kills Gleeok. It takes ten hits with the original Sword to dispatch the first head and six hits to destroy the next one. Defeating Gleeok results in a Heart Container appearing, as well as the entrance to where the Triforce Shard lies.
Old Man Location
There is, once again, an Old Man located in this dungeon. He occupies the room that is the most north-west on Link's map. Once Link gets inside this room, which requires the defeat of Manhandla, the Old Man gives Link some advice. He says, "WALK INTO THE WATERFALL". This is a reference to a secret cave that lies beyond the waterfall that can be found in the northeast of Hyrule, beneath the cave where another Old Man offers Link the White Sword. Link can go into this cave by simply walking into the waterfall. Inside, the Old Woman offers to give Link hints if he pays her. If Link pays her too little, she says, "THIS AIN'T ENOUGH TO TALK". The only real advantage of this service to Link is the hint she gives him on how to go through the Lost Hills to find the next dungeon.
Compass & Dungeon Map
The Compass and Dungeon Map both make another appearance in this dungeon.
The Compass has one function in this game; to show Link the location of the hidden Triforce Shard on his map via a blinking dot. This helps give Link a sense of direction as he tries to find a way to the end of the dungeon. It can be found in the room that is one room up and one room right from the entrance to the dungeon. Inside this room, Link finds it to be completely dark. He can use his Candle to see, which reveals five Vires and the Compass lying on the floor in the middle of the room.
The Dungeon Map is used to show the layout of the dungeon, which in this dungeon reveals a snake-like shape, hence the name of the dungeon. It can be found in the room that is up two rooms, one room left, three rooms up, and one room right from the entrance to the dungeon. This room containes five Gels and the map on the floor in the bottom right of the room.
Keys & Locked Doors
Throughout the dungeon, Link finds himself bumping into both Small Keys and Locked Doors. He can find all the keys which allow him to open these Locked Doors. In total, there are only four keys that Link can collect in this dungeon. In addition, there are a total of five Locked Doors that require a key to open. Luckily, there are three Locked Doors that are completely optional and can be avoided. The first one leads to a dead end, so it's a waste. The second can be avoided via bombing a certain wall in the Mini-Boss room, creating a shortcut. The third and final one only leads to the Compass, which Link doesn't need if he already knows where Gleeok is.