- Optional Item: Seashell Sword
- 1 The Mabe Village bush field
- 2 The glade in the forest
- 3 The secret room in Tail Cave
- 4 Buried in the doghouse
- 5 On Key Cavern’s rooftop
- 6 The first bonus Seashell
- 7 The lazy Seashell near the mansion
- 8 The rock in the doughnut field
- 9 The doughnut field overlook
- 10 The outlook near the mermaid statue
- 11 The second bonus Seashell
- 12 The bush by the solitary grave
- 13 Richard’s secret storeroom
- 14 The tree near the telephone booth
- 15 The tree outside Tail Cave
- 16 The owl on Martha’s Island
- 17 Beneath the Southern Shrine Armos
- 18 The corner of the desert
- 19 The small island off the shore
- 20 The island near Key Cavern
- 21 Next to the mountain home
- 22 The secret cave in the mountains
- 23 The ghost’s reward
- 24 The Face Shrine interstitial
- 25 The long gap outside Kanalet Castle
- 26 The chest in Eagle’s Tower
Optional Item: Seashell Sword
The Secret Seashells that you find strewn about the isle of Koholint serve a purpose. They say that something good will happen to those who find enough, but is it really worth hunting high and low for enough of them? And just how many is enough of them?
The answer is yes, and the number is 20. You will need 20 of the 26 Secret Seashells to get the reward waiting for you at the end. (Be warned that three of those 26 are able to be missed if you don’t time them correctly, but that’s why there are three other spare ones.) If you’re particularly aggressive about collecting the Secret Seashells, you can obtain the requisite 20 before you set foot inside the fifth dungeon Catfish’s Maw as, with the Flippers, you are able to snag 23 of the possible Seashells.
Once you’ve managed to collect 20 Secret Seashells, return to the Seashell Mansion that’s just one screen south and one screen east from the gate of Kanalet Castle. Enter the house you see there and step through the gates. The meter will completely fill up, and it will then drop for you a large sword, which happens to be the Seashell Sword or the Level-2 Sword.
This sword has a few nice perks. First, it’s naturally more powerful than the original sword, cutting through enemies in half the time. Second, when you are at full health, beams will be shot from the tip of the sword whenever Link swings it, thus making it a ranged weapon as well as a melee one. Lastly, some enemies in the game (most notably the Arm-mimic and the fourth form of the final boss) cannot be damaged with the starting sword unless you use the Dash Attack or the Spin Attack; this sword will negate that invulnerability and allow you to damage them with just a simple swing.
1 The Mabe Village bush field
Once you’ve retrieve your sword from the Toronbo Shores, head back to Mabe Village. Just to the east of Marin and Tarin’s house is a 5×6 rectangular field of bushes surrounded by grass on all sides. If you start mowing down the second row from the top of this field of bushes, about halfway in you will discover the first Secret Seashell hiding underneath.
2 The glade in the forest
Requires: Power Bracelet
After you’ve bested the Genie in Bottle Grotto, you’ll need to make your way back to Mabe Village to return BowWow to Madam MeowMeow. Why not take the familiar route back through the Mysterious Woods to do so?
One screen directly north of the Mabe Village fishing hole is this chest that’s been hidden away behind a heavy rock. Now that you have the Power Bracelet around your wrist, that old rock’s no match for the hero. Pick it up, and then deal with the red Zols (and their resulting Gels). Once they’re out of the way, you can open the treasure chest for a Secret Seashell.
3 The secret room in Tail Cave
You might spot this cracked wall in Tail Cave during your first trek through Tail Cave. Just after you encountered the Mini-moldorms for the first time, you will find yourself unable to make this passageway reveal its secrets. However, the Mabe Village general store doesn’t sell Bombs until after the first dungeon, so have to come back to it later.
The best time to come back to it is after the second dungeon when you have the necessary cash to buy both the Shovel and the Bombs. With your trusty Bomb Bag, return to Tail Cave and place a Bomb on the cracked wall. It’ll disintegrate and leave you a rough passageway to travel west. Therein you’ll find a treasure chest with a Secret Seashell.
4 Buried in the doghouse
If you manage to farm for Rupees early enough, you can buy the Shovel well before hacking through the Bottle Grotto; however, it’s easiest to delay that purchase until after the second dungeon since there are some nice chests with Rupees inside them waiting.
There’s an adjacent dwelling attached to Madam MeowMeow’s house where BowWow normally stands guard. Enter into that right house, which presumably is a doghouse for BowWow to go in. Inside is a smaller, more feminine BowWow that loves high fashion. The buried bones in the middle of the room is an indication of what to do. In the lower-right corner of the doghouse, a Secret Seashell has been buried. Use the Shovel to dig it up.
5 On Key Cavern’s rooftop
Requirements: Roc’s Feather and Shovel
Just north of Richard’s Villa is Key Cavern; the only way to actually reach it is to head around Richard’s estate counterclockwise until you can sneak around the barrier to the lake. Then head south so that you can a small set of islands that you can use Roc’s Feather to jump across. This will lead you to the third dungeon, but that’s not your real destination.
Off to the side of Key Cavern is a staircase set into the hillside that covers Key Cavern. At the top are two Flying Octoroks, both of which will give you a nasty time. Get rid of them, but try to keep the four blocks of grass pristine. If you can’t, just head back east and then return west to reset the screen. Those four grass squares are a hint that something is hidden between them.
Bring out the Shovel and dig in the center of those squares; a Secret Seashell will be revealed.
6 The first bonus Seashell
Requirements: Exactly five seashells
Some of the Secret Seashells are skippable, and this is the first one that can be flat out missed and therefore never collected later in the game. You must have EXACTLY five Seashells in your inventory when coming to collect this one. Once you obtain your sixth, this one is locked away forever.
It’s been said that Secret Seashells are lucky, but at first no one tells you why they’re lucky. The reason is because, near the center of Koholint Island just south of Kanalet Castle, is the Seashell Mansion. No one knows why the Seashells are related to the Mansion, but so it goes. Who will question the Wind Fish anyway?
If you enter the Seashell Mansion while holding exactly five Seashells, no more and no less, you will trigger bright flashing lights and a magical present dropped from the ceiling. Open it up to receive a bonus Seashell to make it your sixth.
7 The lazy Seashell near the mansion
It seems like the Secret Seashells are playing an elaborate game of hide and seek with Link; some of the Seashells have hidden themselves far afield from their home base in central Koholint. Others… well, this one decided to be lazy and didn’t get quite so far.
Go to the Seashell Mansion and then head one screen east. Hidden beneath the upper-rightmost bush is one of the Secret Seashells. Sure it may not be the cleverest hiding spot, but don’t look a gift Seashell in the mouth.
8 The rock in the doughnut field
Requirements: Power Bracelet
Ukuku Prairie is one of the largest areas in the game, and its geography is fairly diverse. Towards the southeast corner of the prairie, to the east of Richard’s Villa, you can find these round objects that seem to have small holes in their middles. Perhaps they’re supposed to be boulders or something, but they also resemble doughnuts in a weird way, even if you can’t eat them.
Moblins haunt this section of Ukuku Prairie, but little do they suspect (or perhaps they do suspect) the secret that’s hiding under the lone rock that’s trying to pretend very hard that it’s also a doughnut-boulder. Lift up the rock to uncover a Secret Seashell hiding underneath.
9 The doughnut field overlook
Requirements: Bomb, Roc’s Feather, Shovel
Towards the southwest corner of the doughnut field where the previous Secret Seashell was found is a small cave that, when taken all the way via the obvious route, exits south of the doughnut field. However, there’s a secret passageway within that tunnel that leads to a Secret Seashell.
Finding the seashell on the ukuku prairie overlook
10 The outlook near the mermaid statue
If you’re getting this before beating Key Cavern, then the only way to access the western side of Martha’s Bay is via the doughnut field cavern where the two previous Secret Seashells were found. Otherwise, you can use the Pegasus Boots and Roc’s Feather to cross the gap east from the House by the Bay to reach it.
Regardless of how you come to western side of Martha’s Bay, you’ll find a single telephone booth this side of the bay where you can call home to Grandpa Ulrira. If you walk one screen east of this telephone booth, you can get a great view (though certainly not an close-up view) of a golden mermaid statue. However, you do have the privilege of sharing this view with a single bush. Hacking that bush down with your sword will uncover another of the Secret Seashells.
11 The second bonus Seashell
Requirements: Exactly 10 Seashells
You must have EXACTLY 10 Seashells in your inventory when coming to collect this one. Once you obtain your eleventh, this one is locked away forever.
Return to Seashell Mansion just south of Kanalet Castle. If you enter the Mansion when you have exactly 10 Seashells, no more and no less, you will trigger the second bonus prize that the Mansion has to offer you. Lights will go off, and a present will drop from the sky. You can unwrap your gift to discover that it’s your 11th Seashell.
12 The bush by the solitary grave
Requirements: Power Bracelet, Shovel
When you first visit the Witch’s Hut, you’ll notice a rock that’s blocking a staircase down the cliff face one screen to the west. If come back to visit after obtaining both the Power Bracelet and the Shovel, you can find the Secret Seashell held within that valley.
Lift up the rock with the Power Bracelet and descend the steps. Within this valley, there will be an endless stream of Zombies that come and attack you; defeating one will always cause another one to rise in its stead. So you’ll just, unfortunately, have to look for an opening in the stream to do your business.
On this screen there will be a single bush surrounded by strange plants. If you mow down the bush with your sword and then dig in that spot with the Shovel, a Secret Seashell will pop out.
13 Richard’s secret storeroom
Requirements: Five Gold Leaves, Roc’s Feather
Once you’ve successfully obtained the five Gold Leaves from Kanalet Castle, return to Richard’s Villa. He will honor his half of the deal by allowing you to get the Slime Key, which is hidden deep within the Pothole Field that makes up his estate. To get there, you will need to push the crate that Richard was standing next to off to the side and then climb through a small cavern to reach the field.
However, whilst in the secret tunnel filled with Zol, there is a branch in the tunnel. Take the left branch. A boulder will block your path, but you can softly push it so that it falls into the pit. Use the Roc’s Feather to jump over the pit and open the treasure chest to uncover a Secret Seashell.
14 The tree near the telephone booth
Requirements: Pegasus Boots
Once you leave Key Cavern with the Pegasus Boots in tow, head one screen north and then one screen west. You’ll see a telephone booth on this screen, but there’s also a solitary little tree decorating the other side of the path from the telephone booth. Use your Pegasus Boots to dash into the tree. A Secret Seashell will pop out from it.
15 The tree outside Tail Cave
Requirements: Pegasus Boots
If you return towards the Tail Cave area once you have the Pegasus Boots, you can find a Secret Seashell stuffed in a tree. Just one screen west of Tail Cave is a lone tree on a secret by itself. (You might remember you met the Owl here at one point.) Dash into the tree, and a Secret Seashell will pop out.
16 The owl on Martha’s Island
Requirements: Pegasus Boots, Shovel
If you leave Animal Village through the western entrance, continue to head south. You’ll need to deal with Buzz Blobs and Bombers here, and both can be pretty vicious. Continue to follow the pathway as it bends westward, and eventually you’ll come upon a bridge that leads northward offscreen.
Cross the bridge, and you’ll arrive at Martha’s Island at the south end of Martha’s Bay. You’ll see a little owl statue on the island that will babble nonsense, but if you dig just to the left of it with your Shovel, you will uncover a Secret Seashell.
17 Beneath the Southern Shrine Armos
Requirements: Pegasus Boots, Power Bracelet
Once you cross the river and arrive on eastern Koholint, head north. Hug the wall to the south until there’s an opening through the cliffs, and then finally head through. You’ll arrive in South Face Shrine.
This area is a proverbial maze of pillars and Armos, so you’ll taking the wrong direction will lead you to a dead end. Head south and then head around the row of Armos and pillars so that you can travel west from the bottommost channel. As you follow the path around, Zols will pop out of the ground, and some will be awaiting you on the ground as well.
Once you travel west, you’ll find the path blocked by an Armos. Go up to it and touch it; this will animate the statue. You can’t kill it right now, but your sword will knock it out of the way. Travel through the narrow gap and continue west, quickly turning north on the next screen. Again your pathway will be blocked by Armos, but the upper-right Armos will move out of the way if you poke it, so continue right once you have an opening.
You’ll see four Armos statues here. The bottom-right one will animation if you coerce it, and once it moves you will find a staircase leading down that was under it. Head into the cave to discover a chest with a Secret Seashell.
18 The corner of the desert
Requirements: Marin, Power Bracelet
In the far southeast corner of the island, deep within Yarna Desert, you will find this Secret Seashell. However, to actually reach the southeast corner, you’ll need to travel to the northeast corner of the desert—near the cave leading out from Lanmola’s cave—to find the path through the desert sands.
Head south from there, hugging the eastern walls and you continue along. You’ll have to deal with a Pokey on the way, but really there are no other obstacles. Once you reach the dead end, sweep away the lower bush with your sword. You’ll find a Secret Seashell underneath.
19 The small island off the shore
In the far south of Koholint Island, just south of Martha’s Bay, there’s a small inlet from the ocean that holds a small island protected by a rocky reef. This island is just south of the telephone booth that’s northeast of the House by the Bay.
Once you have the Flippers, you can swim out through the narrow channel between the shoreline and the rocks to reach the 2×1 island. Use your sword to hack at the bush growing there to reveal a Secret Seashell.
20 The island near Key Cavern
After you have the Flippers, return back towards the lake just east of Key Cavern. The lake spans a 2×2 block of screens, and the northwestern screen of the lake has a small island with a single bush on it. Swim out to that island using the Flippers and then stand on the northern side of the bush. Mow it down, and then a Secret Seashell will pop out from under the bush. (Note that, if you stand anywhere else when mowing down the bush, the Secret Seashell will fly out into the water and sink. You can still get it, but you’ll have to swim offscreen and then back to the bush to try again.)
21 Next to the mountain home
Requirements: Flippers, Power Bracelet
High in the mountains, just above Mambo’s cave, is the Hen House. From the Hen House travel to the east, crossing the bridges using Roc’s Feather. You will eventually come to a trio of rocks, though one of those rocks hides a Spiny Beetle. Kill the Spiny Beetle by lifting the rock off of its back, and then lift up the easternmost rock to reveal a Secret Seashell.
22 The secret cave in the mountains
Head into Tal Tal Mountain Range and journey to the point where you jumped off the cliff to reach Angler’s Tunnel. However now continue east as far as you can, reaching a tunnel at the end of the road. Inside that cavern, you can find another hidden Secret Seashell.
Navigating the Tal Tal mountain cavern
23 The ghost’s reward
Requirements: Angler’s Tunnel completed, the Ghost returned to its grave, Power Bracelet
At some point after completing Level 4: Angler’s Tunnel, you will be haunted by a ghost. In order to progress the game, you will have to take the ghost back to its old home in the House by the Bay, just beside Toronbo Shores, and then later to its resting place, the lone grave just west of the Witch’s Hut. After you have done this, the ghost will tell you that he’s left a reward for you back at his house.
Backtrack from the lone grave back down to the shoreline to the House by the Bay. Enter in, and lift up the clay pots within the house. One of the clay pots will ultimately reveal a Secret Seashell.
24 The Face Shrine interstitial
Requirements: L-2 Power Bracelet
Early in the sixth dungeon, after you’ve acquired the L-2 Power Bracelet, you’ll find yourself towards the northwest corner of the dungeon after having navigated several room’s worth of Crystal Switches and their associated blocks. In the room just south of the corner room, if the Crystal Switch blocks prevent you from accessing the northern door, hit the Crystal Switch to the east. Then return and throw an Elephant Statue into the door.
Inside, you’ll find a treasure chest and also a staircase. This staircase actually leads outside onto an island in the center of the Rapids Ride. Open the treasure chest to gain a Secret Seashell.
25 The long gap outside Kanalet Castle
In order to obtain this Seashell, you must have the Rooster accompanying you. Once you complete the seventh dungeon Eagle’s Tower, the Rooster will leave you, and this Seashell will be impossible to obtain.
After you’ve awakened the Rooster from the Mabe Village weathercock, journey over to Kanalet Castle. From the (formerly closed) gate of Kanalet, head west one screen. There you’ll find a row of five potholes all in a row. Pick up the Rooster so that you can fly over these potholes over to the staircase on the far left. Enter the underground section to find a treasure chest containing a Secret Seashell.
26 The chest in Eagle’s Tower
Requirements: Access to Eagle’s Tower
The treasure chest containing the Secret Seashell is on the first floor of Eagle’s Tower, but this chest is only accessible from the second floor. There are, however, two ways of obtaining this chest.
First, you can go to the room where you fight Hinox. From this room, you can drop down either of the two holes along the left wall of the room. Second, two rooms north of this is a room with a series of Flying Tiles. As the tiles come out of the ground, they will reveal holes in their wake. Drop down any of the holes along the western wall.
Either way, you’ll end up along a raised platform along the western wall of the dungeon. Proceed along this narrow corridor all the way north until you find a chest. Open it up for the Secret Seashell.