- 8.1 Travel to the Skeleton Woods
- 8.2 Drop into Skull Woods
- 8.3 Get the Compass
- 8.4 Find the Map
- 8.5 Grab the Big Key
- 8.6 Retrieve the Fire Rod
- 8.7 Enter the dungeon’s third section
- 8.8 Find the boss’ pit
- 8.9 Defeat Mothula
8.1Travel to the Skeleton Woods
As you’re heading out of the Swamp Palace, head into your inventory and select the Magic Mirror. Currently there’s no contiguous route from the Swamp Palace to Skull Woods that runs strictly through the Dark World. So instead you’ll have to warp out to the Light World and warp back in. In the Light World, step away from the portal and then pull out your Flute, naturally the fastest path between two points. Use it, and then select Point #3 when the duck picks you up.
This will plop you down directly in front of the statue where the duck used to live. From the statue, head north and eventually up the staircase up the side of the cliff when you reach it. Turn left at the solitary tree and head all the way past the short pink trees until you find a pathway into the outskirts of the forest.
There will be a few Soldiers patrolling this narrow inlet into the Lost Woods, three in fact. They’ll probably be in your way, so you might as well kill them before attempting to proceed. Eventually you’ll find an opening into the thick woods, so head on in.
The trip into the actual Lost Woods won’t be very long. Very early on you’ll see a fork that heads to the right, blocked only by a single bush. Head along that fork, clearing the bush out of your way. Once you finally reach another fork with a log heading north and an exit to the forest south, head through the exit back to the outskirts. If you continue along this corridor, you’ll eventually find a small fenced off area protected by stakes. Use the Magic Hammer on the stakes, and eventually you’ll find a Magical Warp Tile that takes you back into the Dark World.
8.2Drop into Skull Woods
The dungeon is very close now. Seeing as you can’t head south due to the ultra-heavy stone, head northward, clearing your way through the bushes and skirting past the skeletal Cucco. Enter beneath the canopy overhead to enter into the Skeleton Woods.
This dungeon is actually spread out over a large area. It doesn’t feature just one primary entrance to the dungeon but instead eight separate entrances—four of which are caves that you can walk into and four are holes that you can drop down into. Many of the doorways between rooms are unidirectional, meaning that many rooms only can be reached from a single entrance of the dungeon. It also means that this dungeon is divided into three discontinuous separate segments.
As you enter into the woods, you’ll first see a Ropa at the ready to attack. Kill that and begin heading to the right. After you get rid of the bushes and skulls in your way, head further to the right carefully as there’s a Pikit at the next intersection, and you’ll want to be careful around it lest you lose your shield now. Unfortunately, it is difficult to attack the Pikit given the multitude of petrified skulls nearby, so just skirt around it and head north. It won’t be long until you’ll soon find a pit in the ground. This is one of the eight entrances to the dungeon, so fall on in.
Welcome to Skull Woods.
Get the Compass
You’ll fall into a dead end, and immediately you’ll have Bari and Hardhat Beetles on all sides of you. The Hardhat Beetle is of course the bigger threat, so dispatch it as soon as possible. Then you can get rid of the Bari in case it gets in the way later. As you walk south, two more Beetles are going to swarm you further along. Once you’re passed the three Beetles, you’ll need to avoid the rotating Guruguru Bar before heading off to the east.
This room seems simple enough; there’s only two Hardhat Beetles and a Guruguru Bar to worry about. Kill the two Beetles and then start wandering north. You’ll find a treasure chest halfway up the room. Open it up, and you’ll have the Compass in your possession.
Find the Map
However, there is one more surprise that comes with the Compass. Somehow, it will be as if you stepped on a Star Switch because a myriad of pits will open in the floor the moment you open the chest. You technically have a choice about whether to head north or east from here; both rooms will get you to where you want to go. However, the room to the east is slightly easier to traverse, so head that way.
The door will seal behind you as you enter. A few immobile Traps are strewn about the room, so be careful as you wander about. However, you will want to keep moving as you’ll encounter two new enemies in this room. First, there are the Gibdo; Gibdo are extremely resilient enemies; it will take a lot of damage to kill them. They’re actually very vulnerable to the dungeon item, but, since you don’t have it yet, you’ll just have to make do with what you have. Secondly you need to face the Wallmaster. Every so often, a shadow will appear on the floor, and perhaps a second or two later an orange hand will drop from the ceiling to that spot. You will not want to be caught in that hand when it comes down; if it catches you, you won’t lose damage, but you will be returned back to the entrance of the dungeon that you entered into. They’re pretty tough, taking multiple sword hits to kill, and even killing them won’t get rid of them permanently as they will respawn.
Navigate around the blocks and Traps, and if you head to the right when you reach the Bumper, you’ll see a treasure chest with three skulls in front of it. Wait for the Wallmaster to drop before you make a rush for the chest to give you plenty of time since it’s close quarters in that narrow gap. Once you have your opportunity, grab the chest for a Small Key, which is exactly what you’ll need to get out of this room. As soon as you can, leave the narrow gap and then head to the northeast corner of the room. Unlock the door and head through.
You’ll meet two Hardhat Beetles in the next room. Get rid of them before trying to go for the chest in the corner. Once you have a chance, you’ll notice that the chest is surrounded by black pits. Wander up and hit the Star Switch to reposition the pits, and this should enable you to get the chest. Open it up and discover the Map.
Grab the Big Key
The Big Key, unfortunately isn’t in this section of the dungeon, so you’ll have to leave in order to get it. Head through the door to the west, and in the next room you’ll see both the Big Chest and one of the entrances to the dungeon. Avoid the red Bari you find and head out the door; you’ll have to come back for the dungeon item.
Retrieving the Big Key from the dungeon’s second section
Retrieve the Fire Rod
With the Big Key in your hand, it’s time to head back to collect the Fire Rod. But you’ll have to head back to the first section of the dungeon. So head south from the current room and then immediately out the front door to head back outside. Alternatively, you could use the Magic Mirror to return to the dungeon entrance, or you could even allow yourself to be captured by a Wallmaster, much to the same effect.
You’ll have to traverse the two sections of bone tunnel until you arrive back in the initial area, but this time you’ll have to jump into a different section of the dungeon. Look for the 3×3 square of bushes that you ignored earlier, and cut them down with your sword to reveal a secret hole under the center bush. You’ll want to fall down straight into that pit.
Back in the dungeon, you’ll fall into a ring of skulls protecting you from the Hardhat Beetle and the Helmasaur rushing at you from outside. You can use the skulls to defeat them both quite handily. Once the two are destroyed, head over to the crack in the western wall. Place a Bomb on it to blow it open. Before entering the room, however, if you haven’t accidentally done so already, press the topmost Star Switch to reorient the pits in both this room and the next.
It will look as if you’ve reached a dead end, but there is a curious little Pull Lever set into the wall. Yank it back, and you’ll unleash a powerful explosion that will blow open the wall to the south of you. Beware as two Mini-moldorms will rush forward, now free from their pen around the Big Chest. Get past them and soon you’ll be able to claim the Fire Rod for your very own.
Enter the dungeon’s third section
You need to escape the dungeon, but unfortunately you can’t just head out the door right away, even if it’s right there in the room with you. You’ll have to head back up through the door you came in. You’ll then have to travel south through the gap in the room, hitting every Star Switch as you travel south. You’ll enter the room with the Map and the two Hardhat Beetles. You can totally bypass them on your way through the exit door to the west. Once you’re there, you’re back to the entrance and can head outside.
Of course, now you’ll have to head back to the second section as it’s the only way to get back to the last third. So you’ll need to head back through the two sections of bone tunnel and re-enter the door you entered when getting the Big Key.
This time, you don’t need to worry about dealing with any of the enemies, though you can deal with them if you’d like. Once you’re ready, head back to the west. The next room has a single Hardhat Beetle and the Winder (at least on your side of the divider). You can safely dodge these guys and continue on westward.
You’ll see another dungeon exit in the next room, but before heading out the door, there’s one Small Key that’s worth getting. You technically can get a key later in the third section of the dungeon, but that key requires much more work to get, so you might as well grab this one. Kill the Hardhat Beetle as quickly as you can and beware for the Wallmaster in this room. You’ll need to lift up the skull in the upper-left of the room, and you can find the Small Key there. Once you’ve got the key, you have clearance to leave.
Outside two Ropa will stand guard around the exit to the dungeon. Kill them with your sword and then head northward through the westernmost bone tunnel off to the left. If you picked the correct one, you’ll eventually find a large skeletal spine that’s resting in front of a large skull with a gaping wide mouth. Take the Fire Rod out of your inventory and hurl a fire blast towards the tip of the spine. The spine will disintegrate, giving you access to the final third of Skull Woods. Enter if you dare and prepare for the final gauntlet.
Find the boss’ pit
The final section of the dungeon is a long gauntlet to reach the boss. Not only will you have many enemies that will attempt to thwart you, but you will have several traps and puzzles as well. Worst of all, the entirety of this section of the dungeon is haunted by Wallmasters. Getting caught by one will reset you to the very beginning of this section; every room you conquer will make being caught by those sneaky Wallmasters all the more perilous, so as you continue deeper and deeper, you will need to be all the more careful. In general, if you have to choose between taking damage or getting trapped by a Wallmaster, almost always it’s preferable to take the damage.
Reaching Mothula’s lair
Mothula is a gigantic butterfly that will flutter about the room. To be honest, other than its rather erratic flight pattern, the only real attack it has is spewing out a trio of energy beams every once and a while. But generally it will occupy the northern half of the room, leaving Link the lower half of the room to freely move.
The fight starts with a series of Traps all bordering the edge of the room. However, before long the floor will start to slide randomly, both horizontally and vertically. Thus if you’re not always on the move, you’ll invariably be pulled into one of the Traps or Mothula itself. However even if you are moving, the Traps themselves will start to move from their spots across the room, so you’re almost guaranteed to take damage from them whether you like it or not.
Mothula is most susceptible to the Fire Rod; not only is it really vulnerable to fire but it also allows you to keep your distance from it, not having to worry about the effects of the moving floor. However, the Fire Rod consumes a lot of magic; if you haven’t gotten the Double Magic upgrade, you’ll probably run out before the end of the battle. Should you run out, you’ll have to resort to using your sword. It’ll take a while, but eventually Mothula will run out of steam and erupt in a fire.
“If the evil one destroys the Hero, nothing can save the world from his wicked reign.”