Level 8: The Lion
Level 8: The Lion is the eighth and penultimate Dungeon in The Legend of Zelda. This dungeon hides the final Triforce Shard, which when collected and combined with the rest of the shards creates the full Triforce of Wisdom. Link comes here in search of that final shard after he has collected the first seven. Compared to dungeons before and after it, this dungeon is much easier. Its location is under a bush in eastern Hyrule, and that bush must be burned by the Red or Blue Candle. This bush's location is, from the Starting Screen, four screens right, two screens up, one screen right, one screen down, and finally one screen right. The Boss of this dungeon is known as Gleeok, a previous boss fought in Level 4: The Snake and Level 6: The Dragon.
This dungeon contains two main items that can be obtained by Link. The first is called the Book of Magic. This item is actually an upgrade to the Magical Rod, as with this book Link's Magical Rod creates a flame after its beam hits an object. This book is found in a side-scrolling section of the dungeon. The entrance to the underground area is found two rooms left from the start. The second item is called the Magical Key. This special key acts as a universal key that can unlock any and all Locked Doors found throughout each dungeon. This item makes all keys found or currently owned useless. This item is especially useful in Death Mountain, where Locked Doors are everywhere. This key can be found by traveling six rooms up and one room right from the entrance. Beneath the staircase is the Magical Key. Oddly enough, neither of these items are required to complete the game.
- Main article: Manhandla (The Legend of Zelda)
The Mini-Bosses of The Lion are previous bosses returning as mini-bosses. The first one, called Manhandla, is a plant-like thing that appeared in both Level 3 and Level 4. In this dungeon, Link fights Manhandla three times: Once guarding the Book of Magic, once Guarding the path to the Magical Key, and once guarding the path to the majority of The Lion.
- Main article: Gohma (The Legend of Zelda)
The second Mini-Boss that appears in this dungeon is known as Gohma, and is a spider-like creature that previously appeared in Level 6. However, this version is slightly different then the previous version. This version is blue, while the other was red, so it three hits with the Bow and Arrow to kill while the previous one took only one shot. Link fights Gohma up to two times in this dungeon, once guarding the Magical Key after Manhandla, and once in an optional room guarding an Old Man.
- Main article: Gleeok (The Legend of Zelda)
Also a previous boss returning from a previous dungeon, Gleeok is a multi-headed dragon that guards the final Triforce Shard. This time, Gleeok has four heads in total, while the last two times it had two and three, respectively. Gleeok puts up a very good fight, as even after Link destroys one head the head starts to float around the room and shoot firebeams at Link, making it much harder. Link must destroy each of the four heads in order to defeat Gleeok. Once he has, he can travel to the next room where the eighth and final Triforce Shard awaits him.
Old Man Locations
There are two different Old Man locations that Link can go to in this dungeon. The first location involves the Old Man giving Link a hint about the next dungeon. He says, "SPECTACLE ROCK IS AN ENTRANCE TO DEATH." This is a reference to how the final dungeon, Death Mountain is located behind a bombable wall in Spectacle Rock. The second location also rewards Link with a hint from the Old Man. This time, he says, "10TH ENEMY HAS THE BOMB." This cryptic clue means that if Link defeats nine enemies in a row without taking damage and uses a bomb to defeat the next enemy, it will drop a bomb for him to collect.
Compass & Dungeon Map
The Compass and Dungeon Map both appear in this dungeon.
The Compass is used by Link in this dungeon to show him where the final Triforce Shard is via a blinking spot on his map. The room the Compass is found in contains a total of eight Pols Voices guarding it. This room is found only two rooms up and one room right from the entrance.
The Dungeon Map shows Link the layout of the dungeon after he has collected it. This assists Link in exploring all the rooms in the dungeon. The Dungeon Map is found in a room that contains one of the Mini-Bosses of the dungeon, a Manhandla. After Link has defeated Manhandla the Map appears on the floor. This room is found by going up five rooms from the entrance of the dungeon.
Keys & Locked Doors
This dungeon contains its fair share of Locked Doors and Small Keys. In total, there are six Small Keys available to be collected and only four Locked Doors that need to be unlocked. This dungeon thus gives Link two extra keys that he can use in the next dungeon. However, because the Magical Key is found in this dungeon, all keys collected after it are not acknowledged by the game. If Link chooses not to collect the Magical Key, he can ignore the Locked Doors leading to the Compass and both Gohmas, since the first one can be accessed from an unlocked door to the south and the second one guards nothing but the Magical Key itself. In this way, Link only needs to use one key in this dungeon, leaving him with five extra keys to use in Death Mountain.