Level 9: Death Mountain
Level 9: Death Mountain is the ninth and final dungeon found in The Legend of Zelda. It is here where Ganon has imprisoned Princess Zelda. Link can only enter this dungeon if he has already collected all eight Triforce Shards, making the Triforce of Wisdom. This dungeon is one of the hardest dungeons in the entire The Legend of Zelda series, and easily the hardest dungeon in the game. This dungeon's entrance is found in Spectacle Rock by bombing the left eye on this screen. Spectacle Rock is found by going right one screen, up five screens, left one screen, up two screens, and left two screens from the Starting Screen. The Boss of this dungeon is Ganon, who is also the main antagonist of the game. Defeating Ganon allows Link to free Princess Zelda and save Hyrule.
A rarity for final dungeons, Death Mountain has not one, but two main items that Link can collect as he searches for Ganon. The first is optional, and is called the Red Ring. This Ring cuts damage taken by Link by a quarter compared to his original Green Tunic. This is helpful to Link because of the fact that this dungeon is full of the hardest enemies this game has to offer. The ring is found in a side-scrolling section of the dungeon whose entrance is found in the room in the very top-right corner of the dungeon. Surprisingly, the Dungeon Map does not display this room on it, making it quite difficult to find. The second item is required to complete the game, and it is known as the Silver Arrow. This upgrade of the common Arrow is used by Link to deliver the final strike to Ganon. Opposite to the Red Ring, this item is found in the very top-left room of the dungeon.
The boss of Death Mountain is also the main antagonist of the game, Ganon. Ganon is a pig-like monster that attacks Link by warping around the room, while invisible, shooting fireballs at Link. Before the battle, Link walks into the room and shows off his Triforce of Wisdom. With this in hand, Ganon becomes visible and snarls at Link. This begins the battle. After Link has hit Ganon with the Sword enough times, Ganon becomes brownish in color, and this is Link's chance to shoot it with the Silver Arrow. Doing so turns Ganon into ashes, leaving behind the Triforce of Power. After collecting the Triforce of Power, Link can continue into the next room, where Princess Zelda awaits to be freed.
Old Man Location
In total, there are four Old Man locations in this dungeon. The first is in the second room of the dungeon. However, the Old Man only appears in this room if Link hasn't collected all eight Triforce Shards. If that is the case, the Old Man says to Link, "ONES WHO DOES NOT HAVE TRIFORCE CAN'T GO IN." If Link has collected all the shards, this room is empty, and Link can advance into the rest of the dungeon. The second location is located further along in the dungeon. The Old Man at this location says, "GO TO THE NEXT ROOM." This is a reference to the fact that although this room looks like a dead end, it is possible to bomb the left wall, revealing a hole that leads further into the dungeon. The third location involves a simple hint given to Link. The hint is, "PATRA HAS THE MAP." This is a reference to how a particular Patra has to be killed to obtain the Dungeon Map. The fourth and final Old Man Location is also a hint given by the Old Man. This hint is, "EYES OF SKULL HAS A SECRET." This is a reference to how each eye of the skull does contain a secret; the right eye hides the Compass and the left eye hides Princess Zelda.
Compass & Dungeon Map
The Compass and Dungeon Map both can be obtained and used by Link in Death Mountain, similarly to previous dungeons.
The Compass appears in this dungeon, but has a different use then that of previous dungeons. It shows Link the location of Princess Zelda via a blinking spot on the map. This item leads Link right to his goal; Princess Zelda. It is found in an unmarked room; the left eye of the skull. This room can only be entered by traveling up from the room below it. The Compass is not required to complete the game.
Different than the Compass, the Dungeon Map has the exact same use that it has had throughout the entire game. It shows Link the layout of the dungeon. This shows Link the sheer size of this dungeon. It is guarded by a Patra, a new enemy introduced in Level 9. After defeating this specific Patra, Link can grab the Dungeon Map and use it however he wants.
Keys & Locked Doors
There is a very odd mix of Small Keys and Locked Doors in Level 9: Death Mountain. There are only four total Small Keys that can be found throughout the dungeon. However, there is a total of sixteen Locked Doors that block Link's path through the dungeon. If Link did not collect the Magical Key from the previous dungeon, it makes Death Mountain much more difficult. With the Magical Key, getting past those Locked Doors is a breeze. Alternatively, if Link already knows where to go, he can collect the Compass, Dungeon Map, Red Ring, Silver Arrow, and all four Small Keys, as well as enter Ganon's lair, by only opening three Locked Doors.