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The Shovel is an item found in many The Legend of Zelda titles. It is used to dig patches of soft earth. While digging, Link can find various items such as Rupees, Small Keys, Mystical Seeds, and various trading sequence items.
A Link to the Past
A boy wandered into the Haunted Grove and was transformed into an odd creature. In the Light World, the boy used to play a Flute. The transformed boy will give Link a Shovel if he agrees to help him."
"Link should use the Shovel to find the Flute for the boy. It's buried in the Light World Grove."
In Link's Awakening, the shovel has a more specific name. It is called the Deluxe Shovel, but is exactly the same as other shovels. It is available in the Town Tool Shop for 200 Rupees. It can be used to uncover many objects from the ground and is required to dig up the Slime Key in Pothole Field.
Oracle of Seasons
Link obtains the shovel by falling into a woman's home (via chimney) during the winter. The house is located in the east, near the second dungeon.
Oracle of Ages
Once sent to the past at the start of the game, Link will find the shovel in the tower of Lynna Village. This is given to him by a soldier. It is required to explore the city, as dirt has ruptured everywhere thanks to the on-going construction.