|Spoiler Alert! This article describes a subject that is sensitive to plot development.|
The Shadow Nightmares are the collective final boss forms in Link's Awakening. The final Nightmare is a collection of multiple Nightmares which takes on six forms known as Shadows that Link has previously fought in his adventures around Hyrule and Koholint Island. The Nightmares are the primary antagonist on the island of Koholint in the Wind Fish's dream who are responsible for the Wind Fish's forced, continued slumber.
The Awakening of the Wind Fish
"We were born of nightmares... To take over this world, we made the Wind Fish sleep endlessly! If the Wind Fish doesn't wake up, this island will never disappear! We would have been the masters of this place... But you had to come here and disrupt our plans! Heh heh! You can never defeat us!!! Let's rumble!"
Wind Fish's Egg
After defeating each of the eight Nightmares and receiving the Eight Instruments of the Sirens, Link can finally enter the Wind Fish's Egg located on Mt. Tamaranch by playing the Ballad of the Wind Fish with the Ocarina and the Instruments of the Sirens. After navigating through the maze-like area and falling down a hole at the end of the maze, Link encounters The Shadow Nightmares.
The Six Shadows
Also known as Giant Zol and Shadow Bot, the Giant Gel is the first shadow Link must fight. Like the name describes, it is a giant Gel, a common enemy encountered previously in Link's adventures through Hyrule, Koholint Island, and other lands. Like any Gel, it bounces after Link while trying to harm him. However, contact with the Giant Gel will harm Link with only half a heart. Occasionally, it disappears into the ground only to appear elsewhere. Unlike Gels, though, the Giant Gel cannot be harmed with Link's sword as striking it will simply cause it to shatter and reappear elsewhere. Sprinkling the Magic Powder on it whenever the opportunity arises will harm the shadow. When sprinkled with Magic Powder three times, the shadow transforms into its next shadow.
Agahnim's Shadow resembles the evil wizard and one of the main antagonists from A Link to the Past, Agahnim. This shadow can attack with two different projectiles. One is a large ball of magic while the other projectile is an X-shaped blast of magic that cannot be reflected and can only be dodged. If Link tries to reflect this blast of magic, this will cause it to scatter, splitting into smaller bolts of magic traveling around the room. Both of these types of magic can inflict one heart of damage to Link. Unlike Agahnim, Agahnim's Shadow doesn't use other attacks such as lightning or summon clones of itself against Link. In order to defeat Agahnim's Shadow, Link must use the same method to defeat the true Agahnim, a game of Dead Man's Volley, by reflecting its own magic back at it with the sword. After being hit a few times by its own magic, Agahnim's Shadow will spin around, similar to Agahnim being defeated in A Link to the Past, at the same spot and breaks apart before transforming into its next form.
Moldorm's Shadow is the third shadow that resembles Moldorm, the first boss fought in Tail Cave from Link's Awakening. While the technique and attack strategy of the two are the same, the hazardous pits that had surrounded the arena in the first battle are now gone, and it takes Link more hits from his sword to defeat Moldorm's Shadow. Like most of the Shadows, it inflicts one heart of damage upon contact with Link. Similar to the Nightmare's first battle, it can only be damaged by using the sword to hit the tail of Moldorm's Shadow. Another way for Link to defeat Moldorm's Shadow easier is while the Shadow Nightmares are transforming from Agahnim to Moldorm, Link can quickly attack it, which can make the transformation become slower and eventually stop the process. This will cause the head of Moldorm's Shadow to be the only successful body part to form, letting Link be able to easily defeat Moldorm. After Link has defeated Moldorm's Shadow, it will transform into its fourth shadow.
Shadow of Ganon
The Shadow of Ganon resembles the main villain of the The Legend of Zelda series, Ganon, while taking the appearance of him from A Link to the Past. Being similar to the first phase of Ganon in A Link to the Past, it attacks by twirling its Trident to summon a flurry of Blazing Bats in Link's direction to aid him as he moves across the room. After summoning the Blazing Bats, the Shadow of Ganon will throw its trident at Link. Link will take one heart of damage from all of its attacks. In order for Link to defeat the Shadow of Ganon, he should either equip his Pegasus Boots and charge at it with his sword or avoid its attacks and use the Spin Attack. Once Link has defeated the Shadow of Ganon, it will transform into Lanmola.
Unlike the Lanmolas encountered in A Link to the Past and the Desert Lanmola in Link's Awakening, this Lanmola, also referred to as Lanmola's Shadow, doesn't have distinctions/relations with them. Seemingly appearing as the Shadow Nightmares' collective form that Link catches a glimpse of in between each form, Lanmola serves as a last ditch attempt to defeat Link. While moving around the room, Lanmola leaves trails of itself behind it. While its only attack is to come into contact with Link, it moves quickly around the room taking one heart of damage to Link every time it comes in contact with him. Lanmola is invulnerable to Link's sword, but unlike previous forms, Lanmola can be defeated with most of Link's items including the Magic Rod, a Spin Attack, the Hookshot, a Bomb, the Pegasus Boots, or the Boomerang. Only a single strike is needed which causes Lanmola to stop its movement and transform into The Shadows Nightmares' final, deadly form.
Nightmare's final form is that of an original design consisting of two long, muscular arms, and a central eye, which is his only weak point. He proceeds this battle by swinging his arms about the stage, which take out one and a half hearts if hit. This can easily be avoided though by using the Roc's Feather and jumping over them when the time is right. The only way to damage this form is to wait for Nightmare to open his eye, which can then be damaged by using the Bow. It takes a healthy 16 arrows to bring down this beast once and for all.
There is also a quicker means of dispatching Dethl by using the Boomerang if Link acquired it earlier. If so, he only needs to be hit once to bring down the final boss.
Awakening the Wind Fish
Once Link has defeated The Shadow Nightmares, a stairway appears that leads to the sky. Here Link meets with the Owl once again who explains to him that he is an essence of the Wind Fish's spirit. Link will be led up to the now awakened Wind Fish, who explains that the world of Koholint Island and all of its people are nothing more than a dream. After this, Koholint Island vanishes, where Link finds himself awake in the middle of the sea on a piece of his wrecked ship. As he continues to wake up, he looks up at the sky to see the Wind Fish flying above him, with Koholint only a part of his memories now.
- ↑ "The Shadow Nightmares" — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.103
- ↑ "The Shadow Nightmares" — Nintendo Power Issue 116, pg. 104
- ↑ "During Link's final battle in Koholint Island's Wind Fish Egg, he faced a series of dark guardians. The fist of these monsters was Shadow Bot, a massive blob of evil which wildly bounced around the room." — The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Shadow Bot
- ↑ "The Giant Gel is the easiest of the six Shadows to defeat." — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.84
- ↑ "Agahnim's Shadow can be defeated by hitting his fireball shots back at him like a tennis ball." — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.84
- ↑ "Hit the Moldorm's Shadow in the tail." — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.103
- ↑ "The Shadow of Ganon will remind heroes of their final battle in A Link to the Past." — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.84
- ↑ "The Lanmola looks menacing, but it can't take the heat of the battle, especially if you attack it with the Magic Rod." — Link's Awakening Nintendo Player's Guide, pg.84
- ↑ "During Link's final battle in Koholint Island's Wind Fish Egg, he faced a series of dark guardians which were shadows of his former foes. The fifth of these creatures to appear was Lanmola's Shadow, which Link defeated by attacking it with the Magic Rod." — The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Lanmola's Shadow
- ↑ "Hoot! Young lad, I mean... Link , the hero! You have defeated the Nightmares! You have proven your wisdom, courage and power! ... ... ... ... As part of the Wind Fish's spirit, I am the guardian of his dream world... But one day, the Nightmares entered the dream and began wreaking havoc. Then you, Link , came to rescue the island... I have always trusted in your courage to turn back the Night- mares. Thank you, Link ... My work is done... The Wind Fish will wake soon. Good bye...Hoot!" — Owl, Link's Awakening.
- ↑ " ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I AM THE WIND FISH... LONG HAS BEEN MY SLUMBER... IN MY DREAMS... AN EGG APPEARED AND WAS SURROUNDED BY AN ISLAND, WITH PEOPLE, ANIMALS, AN ENTIRE WORLD! ... ... ... ... BUT, VERILY, IT BE THE NATURE OF DREAMS TO END! WHEN I DOST AWAKEN, KOHOLINT WILL BE GONE... ONLY THE MEMORY OF THIS DREAM LAND WILL EXIST IN THE WAKING WORLD... SOMEDAY, THOU MAY RECALL THIS ISLAND... THAT MEMORY MUST BE THE REAL DREAM WORLD... ... ... ... ... COME, Link ... LET US AWAKEN... TOGETHER!!" — Wind Fish, Link's Awakening.