First Chapter Available: Chapter 10
Items Required: Titan’s Mitt, Magic Hammer, Magic Cape, some combination of 13 Hearts, Blue Mail, Double Magic, and/or Potions
Entering the secret cavern
Just east of Spectacle Rock and south of the Tower of Hera, there is a Magical Warp Tile that will take you to the Dark World; this is the very tile that will lead you to the Monster and the Ball creatures trapped in the Dark World along with the pathway that will allow you to climb Spectacle Rock and reach the Tower of Hera. If you enter that Magical Warp Tile and then head due south from there, you will find a small gap in the ledge that you can leap off of. Jump off of the ledge, and you will find a cavern nestled against the cliff. Head on in.
Obtaining the Cane and getting out alive
This cavern is unlike practically any other cavern in the game. This trial isn’t one of puzzles or of combat skills; it’s about your capacity to absorb or defer damage. At the very beginning of the cave are Moles that must be knocked down with the Magic Hammer; at the very end of the cave is a heavy stone that must be lifted with the Titan’s Mitt. Everywhere in between, however, is a floor made up of spikes. You will travel up a fair distance and then do a U-turn to the left, followed by yet another U-turn back up.
There are a few ways to make it through this gruelling torture chamber alive:
(1) You can use the Magic Cape to render yourself incorporeal for the leg to the Cane of Byrna. Wearing the Magic Cape will cause Link to not take any damage from the nails on the floor. However, the Magic Cape will all but drain Link’s magic on one leg of the trip, even if you have the Double Magic upgrade! In the GBA Four Swords remake; getting the Cane of Byrna will refill your Magic Meter, so you won’t need a potion, but every other version will leave you hanging on the far end, meaning you’ll need a Green Potion to fill your Magic Meter to use the Cane of Byrna on the way back or enough life to take the hits from the floor. If you choose to take it as damage, you’ll take about 12 Hearts of damage if you have the Blue Mail on.
(2) You can suck it up and eat the whole thing as damage. Unfortunately, the Pegasus Boots won’t do you any good here as, every time Link takes damage, the Boots will stop their dashing instantly. If you walk as fast as you can, you will take approximately 14 Hearts’ worth of damage on the way there with the Blue Mail on; this means you’ll need at least 15 Hearts. The skulls at the far end will restore eight of those 14, but you’ll be free to use the Cane of Byrna on the way out.
(3) If you have the Magic Cape, split the damage 50/50. Walk out onto the bed of spikes and continue until you take 8 Hearts’ worth of damage. Once you take that damage (or perhaps a little more), throw on the Magic Cape. You’ll save a little bit of magic—enough to make use of the Cane of Byrna on the way out—and you’ll be able to replenish every last heart you lost on the way there.
The Cane of Byrna is, in effect, an upgrade to the Magic Cape. Everything the Cape does, the Cane does better. While it won’t make you invisible (and therefore invisible to enemies), it does make you impervious to all normal damage. (Things like falling into pits are excepted.) Furthermore, the shining spark that swirls around Link will actually deal damage to enemies as well. Lastly, it uses a fraction of the magical power that the Magic Cape uses. So unless you need to really turn invisible, use the Cane of Byrna over the Cape.