- 0.1 Find the secret code
- 0.2 Journey to the cemetery
- 0.3 Obtain the Stone Beak and Compass
- 0.4 Fight the Giant Buzz Blob for the Nightmare Key
- 0.5 Defeat the Stone Hinox
- 0.6 Get the Map and the final key
- 0.7 Reach the boss’ lair
- 0.8 Conquer the Evil Orb
0.1 Find the secret code
Depending upon your personal philosophy, it is possible to enter the Color Dungeon immediately after Bottle Grotto, the second dungeon, once you’ve returned BowWow to Madam MeowMeow in Mabe Village. However, you can only do this if you look up the details of how to unlock the dungeon on the Internet. If you look up the code to access the dungeon, the only things you will need to actually defeat the dungeon are Roc’s Feather, the Power Bracelet (L-1), and some Magic Powder. However, the truly legitimate way to enter the dungeon without any foreknowledge requires the Pegasus Boots from Level 3: Key Cavern.
You can only enter the Color Dungeon, naturally, with the color-enhanced DX version of the game while on any system other than the original Game Boy.
Return to Mabe Village. Two screens west and one screen south from Marin and Tarin’s house is the town library, and just outside you’ll see two of the four quadruplet’s playing ball outside. Enter the library, and you’ll see eight books propped up on stands. However, you’ll also see, in the DX version, a ninth book resting high atop the shelves in the back.
Use the Pegasus Boots to run and dash into the northern wall of the library. Doing so will cause the room to shake, and it will knock the book off the shelves and onto the ground. Walk to it and read it, and you will discover the secret to gaining the power of color. The code doesn’t change from game to game; it’s fixed, so if you know what the code is, you won’t need the Pegasus Boots past here.
0.2 Journey to the cemetery
To enter the dungeon, you’ll need to do as the book says and find a place where there are exactly five gravestones on the screen, no more and no less. To reach the graveyard, exit the library and head north one screen; then turn eastward. Head all the way until you get to the field of bushes, then jaunt quickly to the north towards the Mabe Village shop before continuing east to leave the village.
Heading east twice more will bring the Ukuku Prairie teleportation point into view. From there, head north, up the staircase onto the ledge. Lift up the rock and continue walking northward. Zombies will start to spawn on the screen, but since they’re on an infinite spawn loop, you should just bypass them. Once you reach the Witch’s Hut, turn east to enter the Cemetery.
Ghini, one-eyed ghosts, will be flying about this area. Ghini are extremely tough creatures, but they still can be killed with the sword, so take out any that happen to get into your way. The five-gravestone screen is one screen south and one screen east of the position in which you entered the Cemetery. There you’ll find one more Ghini roaming around the screen. It’s best to kill it as it will likely get in the way elsewise.
It’s here where the code comes in. You’ll need to push the gravestones in the order the book specified in the respective directions. When doing this, this may cause another Ghini to spawn the moment you touch a gravestone, and you might want to kill it before continuing onward. In order, here’s how to solve the puzzle:
Opening the Color Dungeon
0.3 Obtain the Stone Beak and Compass
The Color Dungeon’s main theme is color. Surprise! Pretty much every puzzle involves color in some capacity. For now, the first “puzzle” is talking to the skeletons guarding the only exit out of the first room, and you’ll need to talk to both. They’ll ask you to identify if each of them is colored red or blue, as if to verify that you are indeed not playing this on an original Game Boy (as otherwise this dungeon would be unplayable). Answer them truthfully to proceed on, though heed their warning that you will need some Magic Powder.
The next room will house a very common enemy type in this dungeon: the Camo Goblin. These goblins come in several colors—though that’s their only difference—will all start camouflaged on a tile of their same color. If you get close to them, they will start to follow you in hot pursuit. After a fixed amount of time, they will eventually pop out of the ground to try to attack you. Only then can you use your sword to slay them. It doesn’t matter if they’re on their color or not; you can only attack them when they pop out of the ground. Once you’ve killed all three, proceed east.
The next room contains four eye switches, two red and two blue. Before attempting to solve this puzzle, however, you should use a Bomb to blow a hole in the middle of the southern wall. Doing that will open up the Rupee Farm room, a room that contains 140 Rupees that respawn every time you leave the dungeon. Pick them up and then immediately return.
You don’t have the Stone Beak yet, but, if you did, it would ask you to make all the red things blue. When you strike any given eye switch, it will flip the color of both itself and any adjacent eye switches as connected by the purple floor tiles. To make all four switches blue, strike the upper-left and lower-right eye switches (in any order). Doing so will cause a chest to appear, and inside it you’ll find the Compass.
From there, head east. You will see a series of colored platforms—green, yellow, and red—with a new enemy flying above them. The enemy is a Bone Putter; whilst flying, it’s a major threat as it can drop Bombs below it and can do significant damage to you. However, if you manage to damage it while in the air, it will lose its wings, causing it to hop around across the colored tiles.
As for the colored tiles, whenever you step onto one, you will be launched into the air for a short moment. If you step onto a green tile, it will be converted to a yellow one. Yellows will become reds, and reds will fade away and become black pits that you can fall into. Simply just hop across the room, avoiding the Bone Putter, to continue east.
You’ll uncover yet another new enemy here: the Orb Monster. Orb Monsters are colored, and occasionally they will spin about the room. Hit them with your sword, and they will immediately contract and become a collapsed ball. You’ll then need to lift them up with the Power Bracelet and hurl them across the room into the pit whose color matches the Orb Monster. Make sure you stand far back as you can throw a good distance. Once you get the two monsters into their correct pits, they’ll disappear and reveal a chest containing the Stone Beak.
0.4 Fight the Giant Buzz Blob for the Nightmare Key
Proceed northward. You’ll find two Bone Putters flying over a small set of colored tiles. Just bypass them as quickly as you can and continue north. It’s in the next room where you’ll discover yet another eye statue puzzle, except this time a third color has been introduced. Hit a red statue to make it yellow, a yellow statue to become blue, and a blue statue to become red. Again, the trick is to make everything blue.
Reaching the Giant Buzz Blob
The first of two mini-bosses in this room is the Giant Buzz Blob. It will taunt you when you come into the room as your sword cannot directly damage it.
However, if you remember the clue from the dungeon’s entrance, the Magic Powder is the thing that will do the trick—at least initially.
Sprinkle some Magic Powder on the Giant Buzz Blob. This will cause it to shrink down and become flaccid. When the enemy is in this state, it is vulnerable to your sword, so strike it once. This will cause it to rise up again and continue its onslaught. While the Giant Buzz Blob is rushing you, it will occasionally hurl lightning bolts. Avoid them and keep alternating between Magic Powder and the sword. Before long, it will quickly be destroyed.
“BOO! I am no weakling! Your pitiful sword is no match for me!”
Head westward through the open door to obtain the Nightmare Key.
0.5 Defeat the Stone Hinox
With the Nightmare Key in your pocket, it’s time to retreat backward. Head east, south, and then west to get back to the second eye statue room. Then head south as far as you can. Once you can no longer continue southward, you’ll encounter four Camo Goblins—two red and two green—that will thwart you from going forward. Kill them and enter the door to the west.
Two Bone Putters will be here, but, unlike the ones you’ve seen thus far, they won’t be flying, meaning that the tiled path to the island holding the treasure chest will fast be disappearing. Quickly navigate your way to the chest to get a Small Key.
Ideally you will have saved a path to get off the island; worst case, you’ll fall into a pit and return to the room’s entrance, just with one less heart. Head north through the one-way door, and then continue north past the next Bone Putter to unlock the door here.
This will lead you to the second mini-boss of the dungeon, the Stone Hinox. The Stone Hinox is very similar to the regular Hinox that you encountered in Bottle Grotto; however, this enemy has a lot more going on for it than the original. The Stone Hinox moves slowly and thus will generally stay towards the top of the screen. This is troublesome because it will occasionally jump and stomp the ground, causing a torrent of boulders to come down from the upper part of the room, cascading towards the bottom.
“What a greedy fool! You want more power?! A buffoon like you might as well give up and go home!”
More troublesome are the spikes on the floor. Whenever you strike the Stone Hinox with your sword, you will be knocked back considerably. This may cause you to be knocked back into the spikes, trading damage with your enemy.
There are two different strategies for taking out the Stone Hinox. The first is that the Stone Hinox is extremely vulnerable to Bombs. Just dropping two of them near the Stone Hinox will defeat it, and thus this is probably the easier strategy if you can get your timings correct.
You can still use the sword, but it will be a lot trickier and riskier. The best strategy for this is to position yourself just up and right of the Stone Hinox such that, when you get knocked back, you’ll be propelled into the upper-right corner of the room, just north of the top spike on the eastern wall. While boulders can spawn from there, the corners tend to be safer than the rest of the wall, so it’s really a matter of luck. From there, it’s a simple matter of getting enough strikes in.
0.6 Get the Map and the final key
Head west from the Hinox’s room. You’ll encounter one last room with colored tiles and Bone Putters. Quickly hop along the tiles to reach the left side of the room; then, lift up the lone clay pot you find to reveal a switch. This switch will open the sealed door leading north. Either use Roc’s Feather or hop along the colored tiles to enter that door.
You’re finally due for a “normal” room, so use this to take a slight breather. The only enemies here are red Zols and their corresponding Gels. Defeat them as you travel around the blocks and jars in the center of the room. When you defeat all the Zols that pop out, a treasure chest will appear containing the dungeon Map. It’s a little late to be getting it, but better late than never.
Head east, and you’ll find four Orb Monsters milling about. This time there are two greens, one red, and one blue. The green Orb Monsters are, of course, interchangeable; so long as you match color against color, it doesn’t matter where they go. Use your sword and the Power Bracelet to pocket each of the monsters in their respective holes, and you’ll be rewarded with the final Small Key.
0.7 Reach the boss’ lair
Reaching the boss’ lair isn’t too tricky at this point. Head back west and south to reach the last colored tile room. Then head west through the open door. There’s one last eye statue puzzle, and this one is pretty simple:
Solving the last eye statue puzzle
There are four green Zols within this room and a bunch of pots that might have hidden treasures beneath them. But the most important thing is the locked door to the left, so use the last Small Key to go through it. You’ll find a Crystal Switch in the lower-left of the room. Walk out onto the lowered blocks and strike it with your sword. This will cause the lower blocks to rise while the upper blocks fall. From there, it’s a simple matter of walking to the locked door.
0.8 Conquer the Evil Orb
The final boss is the Evil Orb, sometimes called the Giant Hardhat Beetle. This boss is, admittedly, something of a troll and might confuse most players who haven’t encountered it before. Of course the final boss involves color, and in its message to the players, it indicates that blue is a safe color while red is a color full of danger.
“Blue is safe. Yellow is caution. Red is danger.”
What’s important to recognize here is that this is the boss speaking about itself rather than advice being given to you. It’s not that blue is safe for you; it’s that blue is safe for the boss. Therefore, it’s your job to turn the boss from blue to red.
Every time you strike the Evil Orb with your sword, it will shift one color shade towards red. The progression goes thusly: blue, aqua, green, gold, yellow, orange, red. However, if you leave the boss alone for even a short amount of time, it will begin to heal its own damage and push itself back towards the blue end of the spectrum. You have to continually damage it in fast succession to defeat it.
What makes it troublesome is that the boss, like a normal Hardhat Beetle, will knock you back. As such, if you have any sort of ranged attack at all, such as using arrows or the Magic Rod, that is the easiest way to stack on the damage quickly. However, without those things, you’re left with the sword. Equip Roc’s Feather and strike at him. Once you get knocked back, make a short approach and then jump into the air and slash with your sword. This will help because, as the Evil Orb approaches yellow, it will start to fling magic at Link, and the Feather will generally let you avoid getting hit so that the boss can’t heal.
Once you manage to strike the boss when it’s colored red, it will be destroyed, and the path east will open up.
Head through, and you will meet a Great Fairy hovering over the pond. She will give you the choice of red or blue, saying that red will improve your offence while blue will increase your defence. The choice is actually about what colored tunic you wish to wear. The Blue Tunic will, in effect, double your defence as if you permanently had a Guardian Acorn, halving all damage you take. The Red Tunic, on the other hand, is a permanent Piece of Power, causing all enemies you strike with the sword to suffer extreme knockback.
The choice of which color to go is entirely yours. Even better is that you can always traverse the dungeon once again to revisit the Great Fairy if you’d like to change your mind later on (such as when you get more hearts and thus better longevity). Once you make your choice, the Great Fairy will helpfully see you out of the dungeon.