Chapter 3: Desert Palace
  1. 3.1 Return to Sahasrahla
  2. 3.2 Borrow the Book of Mudora
  3. 3.3 Seek the Ice Rod
  4. 3.4 Journey to the Desert Palace
  5. 3.5 Obtain the Map
  6. 3.6 Retrieve the Compass and Big Key
  7. 3.7 Collect the Power Glove
  8. 3.8 Explore the upper floor
  9. 3.9 Defeat the Lanmolas

3.1 Return to Sahasrahla

With the Pendant of Courage in hand, you’ll be returned to the entrance of the Eastern Palace, and your first task should be to visit Sahasrahla again in order to pick up the reward he promised. From the Eastern Palace, his house is located pretty much due west. After descending the first steps, turn west and avoid the Armos guarding the palace. Hop off the ledge to the lower level, and then hop westward off the next ledge to descend again. There’s only one way out of this little dead end, so head northwest to follow the tiled path. From there, drop down one more level and you’ll see the elder’s house. Head ‘round to the front and pay him a visit.

Upon seeing you with the Pendant, Sahasrahla will wax philosophical about the Knights of Hylia and the ancient war that culminated with the Seven Wise Men’s seal. But he believes that there will be a hero coming from the remnants of that bloodline, and perhaps you could be just that hero. To those ends, he will give you the Pegasus Boots to aid you on your way.

“These Knights of Hyrule were also guardians of the Pendant of Courage.”

Before you go, he will tell you that there’s an item hidden away near Lake Hylia. You can go get that in just a bit; for now, there’s more treasure to be found in the elder’s hut. Use your new Pegasus Boots to ram into the crack on the back wall; this will bust down the wall and, inside, you’ll find chests containing 100 Rupees and some Bombs.

Piece of Heart
At this point, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can now get your seventh Piece of Heart.

3.2 Borrow the Book of Mudora

Before you race off to get that treasure the elder was talking about, there’s something else you’ll need to gain entrance to the next dungeon, which happens to hold the second Pendant. You need to leave eastern Hyrule and head back in the direction of your house. Exit Sahasrahla’s house and head north to get to the staircase leading out of his secret valley. Then make your way generally southward past Armos and Octoroks until you escape the valley.

Your destination now is the library just south of Kakariko Village. So once you see trees and water again, go west and cross the bridge heading southward, either avoiding or defeating the mindless Soldiers as you pass by. Continue heading west until you transition to the next screen, at which point you will be directly south of Link’s House. Continue heading west until you run into a thicket of trees impeding your path, at which point head south into the screen transition. More Soldiers will try to fight you as you continue your way westward along the dirt path, just as before, but eventually you’ll reach the outskirts of Kakariko Village.

The library is in this section of outskirts, and you can recognise it as the red-roofed house with a wooden image of a book and quill over the door. It will be the house just up and to the left of the first house you see upon your entry in the village. Once you see it, head up the staircase in front and enter the library.

Inside, you will find a bright, green book lying high atop one of the bookshelves, all but forgotten to the world. You wouldn’t have been able to reach it before now, but now you don’t have to. Use your Pegasus Boots to dash attack the bookcase from the south, and the green book will fly off the shelf into the aisle beyond it. Go pick it up, and now you’ll add the Book of Mudora to your inventory, which will allow you to read some of the ancient Hylian writings scattered about the world. It’s perhaps not the most utilitarian or fun item in the game, but it’s absolutely crucial to getting a few key items that you will need later.

3.3 Seek the Ice Rod

With the Book of Mudora in your possession, now it’s finally time to go get that secret treasure Sahasrahla told you about. However, you will need to backtrack to Link’s House. You’ve taken this road several times by now, so you should be familiar with it. Once you arrive at your house, you’ll see a gap in the mountains heading south, and you should follow that in order to enter the Great Swamp for the first time.

Beware! Soldiers and other enemies hide within the marshes.

Beware! Soldiers and other enemies hide within the marshes.

The swamp is mostly marshlands, covered with a marshy mossy surface which acts like a bush (in that it can be cut down to reveal hearts and rupees) that can be walked through. Using the Pegasus Boots over it will cut an entire path through the terrain and will often reveal some Soldiers hiding in secret. Head generally southward through the marsh, bearing slightly eastward as you traverse, and you’ll eventually find browned, dry land at the corner of the marsh in the southeast. There’ll be a passageway leading to a screen transition east, so follow the path.

You’ll now be south of Lake Hylia en route to the mysterious prize at the end. It’s around here where you’ll start to see new enemies crop up. Of course, you’ve already seen the Octoroks, but new here are the Sand Crabs, which move quickly left and right but slowly up and down; the Zora, water-dwellers which spit at passing heroes; Buzz Blobs, pickle-shaped enemies that will electrocute you if you slash them with his sword without first stunning them; and the rare Octoballoon, a variant of the Octorok that explodes into several smaller versions of itself after being struck or a short period of time.

Follow the path around Lake Hylia counterclockwise until you reach the end of the path. There you’ll find a cave entrance and, just to its west, a crack in the wall. Use a bomb to crack open the mountainside to reveal a second cave entrance. Head inside, and keep heading north until you find a treasure chest within. Finally, the prized possession east of Lake Hylia is yours: the Ice Rod!

3.4 Journey to the Desert Palace

Now that all of the errands have been taken care of, it’s time to get your second Pendant. Head back clockwise around Lake Hylia, traversing the same terrain you took to get here until you manage to reach the Great Swamp again. Once you’re in the marshlands, head due west. Dash if you don’t want to deal with any of the enemies along the way. Eventually the marshlands will cease and change terrain to grasslands. Once you transition the screen once more, you’ll be just outside the Desert of Mystery.

However, to get there, you’ll have to travel between some sheer cliffs the constrain travel east and west. You’ll also see a handful of rocks that are strewn about the path along with some new enemies to fight. The first one that you’ll encounter is the Hoarder; they live either under bushes or under rocks (as these do here). Normally, killing these guys is counterproductive as, if you manage to pull off their covering, they’ll drop Rupees as they dance about the terrain, and even if they run into you they won’t damage you. However, you’re not strong enough to unearth these rocks yet, so there’s nothing you can do but avoid them. The other enemy here is the Crow; these birds are fairly unfriendly and will dart for you not once but twice should you get too close to them; be on the lookout and be ready when you get within range.

Travel between the cliffs and then exit towards the southwest, and you’ll be in the throes of the desert. And you’ll be greeted very soon by Vultures; these guys will, as you approach, fly in wide circles around you, making them extremely difficult to get rid of. However, given enough time, they will come and attack directly. You will also find Geldmen here as well, a creature made out of sand that will pop up out of the desert and slowly make their way towards you in an attack. They’re generally pushovers and give fairly good warning, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them, especially if you’re dashing.

“something is happening in the Golden Land… This must be an omen of the Great Cataclysm…

The desert is largely a wide, open space, though there are a few cacti and buried bombs posing as landmines to watch out for. If you do head to the north first, you will happen to find a cave belonging to Aginah, also one of the Seven Wise Men, though he won’t have much of interest to tell you if you already have the Book of Mudora in your possession.

The next palace is all the way at the northwest corner of the desert, so use the Boots to clear that distance in no time. You will know you’re at the Desert Palace when you see a large antechamber with the three statues of heads surrounding a large monolith. Trying to read the monolith will be like looking at unintelligible hieroglyphics, but that’s why you went to get the Book of Mudora. Select that from your inventory and use it to decipher the clue on the monolith. Turns out that all you have to do is make a solemn wish to enter, and so after a brief, touching cutscene, the statues about the antechamber will rotate around you and give you entry. Of course, they’ll also block the way out, so hopefully you’re ready. Head north and into the Desert Palace.

3.5 Obtain the Map


The foyer of the Desert Palace is immense. It’s also highly connected to the surrounding rooms, though it’s also a little misleading as there are a few dead ends thanks to some well-placed walls. Immediately upon entering, you’ll notice a few plant-like creatures emerging from the sands; these are Leevers, and other than their tendency to appear and disappear from the sands and slowly scuttle their way toward Link, they’re not much of a threat. However, what is a significant threat is the large green statue further up in the center of the room. This dungeon is riddled with Beamos; these statues have a rotating eye that, should it ever have line of sight with Link, will immediately shoot a fast-moving laser his direction. Link can hide behind pillars and statues to either avoid detection or (even better) block the laser beam even if he is seen.

As the eyes of Beamos travel counterclockwise, it’s best to shimmy up the eastern wall of the room to give yourself a little more breathing room when sneaking past the all-seeing eye. As you dispatch Leevers and avoid the lasers, you’ll see a pair of pots leading to a passageway east. Make yourself a path by removing some of that pottery, take a short hike east, but then continue heading up north through the next hallway. You will eventually meet up with a Develant blocking the hallway. These guys will create large sinkholes that will cause Link to get stuck, allowing them to attack and possibly spit fire at Link. They are vulnerable to the Ice Rod and of course swords and arrows, but they can be avoided as they’ll dive back into the sand just like Leevers. Regardless, once you’re past him, continue into the open doorway just north of you.

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This room will let you have fun with a pair of Leevers and some familiar friends from the Eastern Palace: a couple of Eyegore. You don’t have to kill any of these enemies, but you will have an easier time of getting things done if you do. Thankfully, there’s pottery around to tackle the Eyegores, and the Leevers can be simply dispatched with the sword. Once they’re taken care of, there’s a floor switch resting underneath the central pot at the top of the room. Step on it to cause a treasure chest to be revealed, and open that up to find the Map of the dungeon.

3.6 Retrieve the Compass and Big Key


With the Map, leave the room through the southwestern exit. Your next goal will be to get the Big Key and, since it’s along the way, the Compass. There are some new puzzles that will be introduced along the way as well, but all of them can be generally solved using some intuition.

Negotiating the traps leading to the Big Key

Step One Head one room to the west of the Map room.

Step One Head one room to the west of the Map room.

Step Two Use the Pegasus Boots to knock the Small Key off of the pedestal.

Step Two Use the Pegasus Boots to knock the Small Key off of the pedestal.

Step Three Continue east until you reach the end of the hall.

Step Three Continue east until you reach the end of the hall.

Step Four Head south and use your key on the locked door.

Step Four Head south and use your key on the locked door.

Step Five Kill all of the enemies in the room in order to open the door northward.

Step Five Kill all of the Popo in the room in order to open the door northward.

Step Six Avoid the Beamos' eye in order to get the Compass.

Step Six Avoid the Beamos’ eye in order to get the Compass.

Step Seven Dodge the medicine balls from the Wall Turrets.

Step Seven Dodge the medicine balls from the Wall Turrets.

Step Eight Finally retrieve the Big Key from the chest at the end of the room.

Step Eight Finally retrieve the Big Key from the chest at the end of the room.

3.7 Collect the Power Glove


Where does the Big Key go? Of course, that goes to the Big Chest. Where’s the Big Chest? Pretty much back where you found the Small Key. So it’s time to backtrack. Head south out of this room into the Beamos room, and then head west.

Once you’re back in the eastern hallway, head back north until you reach the far northern wall, and then head west all the way until you reach a door on the western wall. Head through it.

Within you’ll be greeted with yet another Beamos. And this one will be the most annoying one yet as there’s absolutely no cover and protection from its laser-shooting eye. Yes, the Beamos may be surrounded by pots, but its lasers will shoot over them. It’d be too simple to just head north; that door is sealed shut, and there’s a secret switch resting under one of those 12 pots. If you think of the pots as a clock, you’ll find the switch under the one located at 10 o’clock. The rest of the pots will have Hearts, Rupees, and Magic Jars, but it’s not really worth it when you can be fired upon when you least expect it. Step on the switch and head north.

There’s no tricks or traps here waiting for you thankfully. All there is in this room is the Big Chest, which you can open to retrieve the Power Glove. It’s so bad. The Power Glove can lift up light-colored rocks in the overworld, allowing you to access those places that have been mysteriously sealed away by those well-placed rocks. But best of all, this thing will allow you to gain entrance to the second half of the dungeon where the boss resides.

3.8 Explore the upper floor


To reach that second half the dungeon, you’re going to have to leave the dungeon. However, since you can’t leave the way you came in, you’ll need to use one of the alternate entrances (or are they exits?). Head south back to the room with the Beamos and immediately flee eastward. Make your way southward, being careful of the sheer number of Leevers and Develants that will litter the path along the way. Eventually you will see a door leading west near the southern wall; head through there.

There’s another Beamos in this room, but the alternate dungeon entrance is in sight! You can move the third block on the left side up one space if you want to explore the room just to the north to get some Fairies, but otherwise, there’s no use sticking around. Head outside.

Follow the steps south, being extremely careful not to jump off the ledge below; if you do, you’ll have to make your way back through the main entrance and out the side entrance. Otherwise, head back up towards the cliff above you, and you’ll see a cave entrance against the wall surrounded by rocks and with a creepy trio of eyes decorating it. Move the rocks out of the way and head inside.

Piece of Heart
While you’re outside the dungeon between floors, you can obtain your eighth Piece of Heart since it’s rather convenient.

Similar to the Eastern Palace, the second half of the dungeon is navigationally very straightforward. There aren’t any branches or multiple paths to confuse you. However, it is a long slog of traps, puzzles, and enemies until you reach the boss. There are traps and puzzles both familiar and new that will become common themes for the rest of the game.

Solving the puzzles of the upper floors

Step One Avoid the Beamos' lasers and push the center block on the right side down one square to open the door.

Step One Avoid the Beamos’ lasers and push the center block on the right side down one square to open the door.

Step Two This room features Flying Tiles, which unearth from the floor before flying directly at Link. You can use your Sword to attack them or just dodge them. In this room, you just need to find the Small Key, hidden under a pot to escape instead of having to endure their onslaught.

Step Two This room features Flying Tiles, which unearth from the floor before flying directly at Link. You can use your Sword to attack them or just dodge them. In this room, you just need to find the Small Key, hidden under a pot to escape instead of having to endure their onslaught.

Step Three After a small respite, you need to kill the enemies in this room while avoiding the Beamos.

Step Three After a small respite, you need to kill the enemies in this room while avoiding the Beamos.

Step Four This long room features three Beamos. Nearly everywhere in the room has light of sight to one of the Beamos, so always be on the move. The Small Key is found under the third of the four pots towards the end of the room.

Step Four This long room features three Beamos. Nearly everywhere in the room has light of sight to one of the Beamos, so always be on the move. The Small Key is found under the third of the four pots towards the end of the room.

Step Five You'll face another room with a locked door and Flying Tiles. This time, the key is in the upper right pot.

Step Five You’ll face another room with a locked door and Flying Tiles. This time, the key is in the upper right pot.

Step Six You'll want to dispatch the Eyegore in this room with your Bow and Arrows before dealing with the puzzle. Two arrows will be sufficient.

Step Six You’ll want to dispatch the Eyegore in this room with your Bow and Arrows before dealing with the puzzle. Two arrows will be sufficient.

Step Seven Use your Lantern to light up four torches when you reach a dead end.

Step Seven Use your Lantern to light up four torches when you reach a dead end.

Once you do so, there will be a huge rumbling as the western wall slowly shifts to the left, revealing the Big Door that leads to the boss. Once you’re all good and ready, unlock the door and head on in.

3.9 Defeat the Lanmolas

The Lanmolas aren’t so much one boss but rather three separate bosses in one. Lanmolas are giant wormlike creatures that will erupt out of the sand, fly around for a bit, and then dive back in. The Lanmolas, while flying through the air, are difficult to hit. Instead, the best times you can hit them are immediately after they emerge and immediately when the head is falling back into the ground. Out of those two times, the former is by far the easier as it’s the most predictable; you will see a shifting of the sands that lands for a few seconds before the Lanmola unearths itself, and so it’s easy to get ready for your moment of opportunity.

Stand in one of the four cardinal directions when a Lanmola starts to surface.

Stand in one of the four cardinal directions when a Lanmola starts to surface.

However, hitting them then is also the more dangerous time because, as they emerge from the sands, rocks will scatter from the earth where they emerge. Thankfully, these are generally pretty easy to avoid as, for the first part of the fight, Lanmolas only launch four rocks, each along the four diagonal directions. The general strategy to fight these guys is to charge up a spin attack with your sword and position yourself just north, south, east, or west from one of the patches of rumbling earth. When a Lanmola launches out, release the spin attack. There will be a decent amount of knockback from the hit, which will easily keep you out of harm’s way from the spray of the rocks, though take caution not to be launched into the spray of a different Lanmola’s scattershot.

The Lanmolas are pretty hardy and will require a lot of damage before dying, but eventually you’ll kill two of them, leaving one left over. However, once there’s only one on his own, the last Lanmola will enrage; this will cause him to move faster, become slightly more hardy, and launch more rocks upon emerging. Instead of the standard four, there will now be eight rocks, both four in the cardinal directions and four in the diagonals. You’ll now want to position yourself slightly in between the diagonals and the cardinals and hope that the knockback from your spin attack will send you in between the rocks that come out.

Keep up the effort, and eventually the third Lanmola will go down. For your effort, you will be handed another Heart Container and the Pendant of Power. With two Pendants down and one to go, you might feel that the worst is behind you. But that’s not true; after all, the last Pendant is on Death Mountain, and they don’t call it that lightly.

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