Chapter 12: North Face Shrine
  1. 12.1 Arrive at the North Face Shrine
  2. 12.2 Get the L-2 Power Bracelet
  3. 12.3 Obtain the Map, Beak, and Compass
  4. 12.4 Collect two keys
  5. 12.5 Defeat Smasher
  6. 12.6 Reach the dungeon’s eastern wing
  7. 12.7 Crack open the Nightmare Key’s chest
  8. 12.8 Reach the boss’ lair
  9. 12.9 Defeat Facade

12.1 Arrive at the North Face Shrine

la12-1map

Your focus will now shift to the northern shrine. You’ll first need to escape the southern Face Shrine area and its army of Armos statues. Again, use the shield to bounce each of the statues out of the way without activating them, and dispatch any of the Zols that unearth themselves as you go by. The route out of the area is the same way you came in; unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts.

Once you emerge back into the prairie, quickly escape the Bomber on screen by heading west one screen. Take care of the Tektites on screen and then start working your way northward. The best strategy is to head to west of the first row until blocked by the doughnut rocks, lift the two rocks immediately north, head east through the two bushes, and then continue north.

Once you transition northward, two Bombers will be on the screen dropping Bombs on you. As fast as you can, head to the west. Once you make it there, you’ll find two sets of steps leading into the water. Take the southern one and then swim one screen south. There’ll be (unfortunately) one more Bomber here, but of greater interest is the island on screen with two Armos status on it.

la12-1cSwim over to the island, and then touch the Armos on the left side of the island to activate it. Once it is activated, you can either defeat it if you have the Bow or, better yet, you can stun it with the Hookshot or the Boomerang. When Armos are stunned, you can walk on top of them without taking damage. Seeing as how there’s a secret staircase beneath the Armos, stunning it and then walking on top of it will allow you to descend the steps.

There are two Angler Fries and a large gap, which you will need to Hookshot over, in order to reach the other side of this cavern. Neither of these are difficult to bypass though. Once topside again, walk up and to the right to find the repository for the Face Key. This will open up the northern Face Shrine, allowing you access to the next dungeon.

12.2 Get the L-2 Power Bracelet

la12-2map

Face Shrine has two major themes. The first of them, as you might have already guessed, is faces, which is an artistic theme. The structural theme, however, is throwing things into other things. As a result, before doing anything else, your goal is to acquire the major dungeon item.

Wizzrobes wouldn't be quite so annoying if only they weren't resistant to the sword. Bombs work well, but use Bombs wisely.

Wizzrobes wouldn’t be quite so annoying if only they weren’t resistant to the sword. Bombs work well, but use Bombs wisely.

Head west and encounter the first new enemy of the dungeon: the Wizzrobe. Wizzrobes are functionally stationary enemies that disappear and appear on a strict timing schedule. They will phase in, pause momentarily, shoot out a beam in the direction they faced (always towards where you were when they phased in), and then phase out, repeating the cycle. What makes Wizzrobes interesting is that they are immune to the sword. You will need to use other means to defeat them. While you can stun them with the Boomerang and the Hookshot, the only two ways to deal damage to them are via arrows using the Bow or, better yet, Bombs. It takes four arrows to destroy a Wizzrobe but only one Bomb. If you want to use Bombs, the best time to place them is while the Wizzrobes are despawned; this way, the Bomb will blow up during their phased in cycle. If you also have the Bow, consider equipping the Bow on one button slot and Bombs on the other; pressing both buttons simultaneously will combine these into a Bomb Arrow, which means a fast-moving explosive projectile. You won’t need to worry about timing but instead just worry about aiming.

If you defeat the four Wizzrobes in this room, a door will open leading to a chest with 50 Rupees. Ultimately you’ll need to go through the northwest exit. Bypass the Spark and Mini-moldorm and follow the hallway until you come across the Crystal Switch in the next room. You’ll find a Mask-mimic in this room, and you’ll need to execute a Spin Attack to strike this enemy in the backside.

Once the Mask-mimic is dealt with, turn your attention to the Crystal Switch. In order to head north, you need to ensure that the Crystal Switch-enabled blocks are down. However, unfortunately this is the wrong orientation for the rest of the dungeon, so you’ll need to flip it as you’re exiting. You can do this with Bombs or, with a lot greater difficulty, the Boomerang. Place a Bomb next to the Crystal Switch, and then run to the rightmost exit leading northward. Don’t leave the screen until the Bomb explodes, however. Once it explodes (and provided you’re standing on or past the block), continue north.

No need to light the lamps. You'll find a Zol in each of the four alcoves.

No need to light the lamps. You’ll find a Zol in each of the four alcoves.

You’re now standing on a pink pathway that will turn to the right and head straight into the wall between two braziers. That’s a tell-tale sign of where to go. Place a Bomb in between the two wall sconces in order to open the way forward.

The next room will be dark, and while there are two flames you can ignite with Magic Powder, you don’t need them. You will find four Zols hidden within this room, one of them in each of the indentations of the block structure in the middle. Defeat all four in order to cause a secret passageway heading down to appear.

The basement area will have three Goombas in total, but there will also be two new enemies: Giant Bubbles. These large enemies will slowly move diagonally about the room, possibly even reaching into the corners. Be careful to stay out of their paths as you navigate this section.

Head upstairs, and you’ll immediately be assaulted by a Mini-moldorm and two Wizzrobes. If you used the Crystal Switch correctly, you’ll be able to attack them. Once the three enemies are destroyed, head north to the next room where you can open a chest containing the upgraded Power Bracelet.

12.3 Obtain the Map, Beak, and Compass

la12-3map

la12-3aWith the upgraded Power Bracelet, you can now lift up the huge Elephant Statues that you’ll see everywhere in the dungeon. Before doing that, make sure to get the Fairy in the clay pot on the right; then remove the Elephant Statues and enter the one-way door going north.

You’ll return to the room with the Mask-mimic. You can smash the Elephant Statue against the sealed door heading east for a quick 100 Rupees, but ultimately you’ll want to head northwest. Flip the Crystal Switch, place a Bomb next to it, and then run for the northwestern corridor. Once the Bomb blows, move on.

You’ll be stuck on the left half of the room, but that’s okay. There is a Zol or two to harry you, but you’ll just need to lift up the clay pot in the upper-left corner to find the switch that opens the sealed door.

Three Wizzrobe will haunt this room, roughly in a diagonal line from lower left to upper right. Use either Bombs or arrows (or both!) to defeat them. Once all three are dead, you will find a treasure chest containing the Map. For now, leave the Crystal Switch the way you found it (with the door eastward acceptable) and continue north.

Most sealed doors in this dungeon can be opened with thrown pottery.

Most sealed doors in this dungeon can be opened with thrown pottery.

First, head east, and you’ll find the chest with the Stone Beak. Then return to the previous room, lift up a clay pot, and hurl it into the sealed door on the northern wall. It’ll open, allowing you to proceed.

You’ll only have one way to go as you’re blocked off from the northern door, so head east once again. There, guarded by a single Star, you’ll find a chest containing the Compass.

12.4 Collect two keys

Defeating these Wizzrobes will give you the first of two needed keys.

Defeating these Wizzrobes will give you the first of two needed keys.

Head up to the raised platform to the Crystal Switch and flip it once. Then proceed around the raised corridor, heading south, east twice, and then north. You’ll end up in a room that appears mostly empty at first (except for all the lowered Crystal Switch blocks). There’s just one Anti-fairy hovering about the room… and two Wizzrobes. Defeat the two Wizzrobes and eventually a key will drop down from the ceiling.

With the key in tow, you’re technically done with this side of the dungeon. So at this point, you have a choice to make. You can skip back to the dungeon entrance using Manbo’s Mambo, or you can do a little extra exploring before you do so. The northwestern room of the dungeon can be opened up by, yes, another thrown Elephant Statue. You don’t have to head this direction; it’s totally optional. However it will lead to nice rewards. Then, you can skip to the dungeon entrance from there.

Secret Seashell
By heading to the northwestern room of the dungeon, you can acquire both 100 Rupees and Secret Seashell #24. Just take the staircase out of the dungeon, and you’ll suddenly appear in the Rapids Ride portion of the map, where the chest resides. To get back, throw the two horse heads so they land right side up.

From the entrance, head east this time. You’ll come to a complicated set of conveyor belts moving Elephant Statues around. Don’t lift them as they’re blocking the Traps within the small cubby holes along the north wall; instead, just walk slightly under them to bypass them.

This will lead you to yet another new enemy for this dungeon: the Flying Tile. These tiles will lift out of the ground and then fling themselves at you one by one until they’re all spent. The sword will easily destroy all of these, but so too will the shield guard against them. The best strategy is to stand just above the lower-left clay pot, face the right, and raise your shield. Do nothing else. All of the Flying Tiles will then just glance harmlessly upon your shield. Once all of them have broken, then the sealed door heading north will open.

The next room will have a locked door and a sealed door. You have the key to unlock that door, but doing so will cause you to end up one key short later on. So instead, once again, lift up the Elephant Statue and throw it at the sealed door to open it.

Now you’ll have to face four Wizzrobes, and all of them are standing in a diagonal line. It’s recommended to use Bombs on these guys as, otherwise, 16 arrows is a bit pricey to spend on them. Once they’re defeated, head northward.

Dodge the Star, the Spark, and the two Water Tektites in the next room as you navigate the extremely close quarters space. The path will eventually continue northward; keep walking until you find a chest in the watery shallows. It’s the one that will have your second key.

12.5 Defeat Smasher

la12-5map
The dungeon does its best to hide the fact that the two "eye" rooms are actual rooms.

The dungeon does its best to hide the fact that the two “eye” rooms are actual rooms.

With two keys, it’s now in your possession, it’s time to backtrack. Head back south three rooms, following the narrow corridor, until you reach the room that had the four Wizzrobes. Then return west to the room that had the locked door. Now’s the time you’ll want to spend your first key to open it.

On the other side, two red Zols will be ready for you, and also the two lanterns along the upper wall will throw fire so long as they’re alive. Kill them as quickly as you can to stop the onslaught. Then, just across the room from the southern door will be a weakened section of wall. Drop a Bomb in the center of the northern wall to open a path forward. Get ready as it’s time to face the mini-boss.

That mini-boss is Smasher. Smasher Is a blob-like creature that is extremely quick on its, er… feet(?). It will rapidly skip across the room to a gigantic medicine ball. It will then lift this ball high over its head before, a moment later, tossing it at you to try to deal you damage. If left unchecked, Smasher will continue to chase after this ball, grab it, and throw.

However, two can play this game. You probably won’t be able to grab the medicine ball the first time, but after that, you can totally walk over to it and pick it up with the Power Bracelet. Once you have it in your possession, Smasher will start to freak out and run away. Don’t let him (or do, actually; it really doesn’t matter) and throw the ball so that it’ll land on Smasher.

Keep repeating this process several times until Smasher gives up the ghost. When it dies, the midway point will emerge in the dungeon. Sad to say, this waypoint isn’t that far deep into the dungeon, but I suppose it will help if ever you die or are low on health.

12.6 Reach the dungeon’s eastern wing

la12-6map
The door north goes back several rooms, but you can break the chain by unearthing this stairwell.

The door north goes back several rooms, but you can break the chain by unearthing this stairwell.

Head north. Strangely, you’ll see a passageway leading north from here, yet there’s no room on the map. Heading north will actually rewind you a few rooms so that continuing north is an infinite loop. However, you’re not at a virtual dead end; lift up the Elephant Statue on the left to reveal a secret stairwell.

One Goomba with a free heart will be wandering back and forth down below, but there are two Sparks, a large number of spikes beneath, and several ladders hanging over them. Make your way over to each stone pillar as you travel to the left, and then climb to the top of each ladder before falling off to the left, catching each in sequence.

Once you’re back upstairs, you’ll come across a new Flying Tiles trap. You could ignore it, but there’s another key in this room, and getting it requires waiting out the storm. Dig out the shield and stand in the bottom left corner of the room. Face to the right, and hold up the shield. Every single Flying Tile except for the one directly above you will hit the shield and be deflected; for that one other tile, quickly face north with the shield before returning your gaze eastward. Each of the Tiles will leave a pit beneath it as they fly, and when all are done a key will drop from the ceiling. Get it with Roc’s Feather, and then use it against the locked block to the north.

Make sure you dash beneath the Thwomps. It's the only way they'll let you pass.

Make sure you dash beneath the Thwomps. It’s the only way they’ll let you pass.

Two more Sparks guard this room, and you have yet another Elephant Statue that you’ll need to throw at the sealed door to open it. This is followed by two horse heads that you’ll need to throw so that they land standing tall before you’re seen fit to advance. However, once you do, you’ll be heading into the basement again.

This passageway is by far the easiest. The only enemies here are Thwomps. Don the Pegasus Boots and dash your way across each of the two screens before climbing back up to the surface.

12.7 Crack open the Nightmare Key’s chest

la12-7map

You’ve met the Pol’s Voices before, but now you have a much easier way of defeating them. Sure, you could do it the hard way with Bombs, Arrows, or the two clay pots in the room, and that’d work. However, if you take out your Ocarina and play Marin’s “Ballad of the Wind Fish,” all three Pol’s Voices will be destroyed in an instant, unlocking the doors.

With the Ocarina, Pol's Voices aren't really so tough any longer.

With the Ocarina, Pol’s Voices aren’t really so tough any longer.

A sidequest for medicine (DX Version only)
From here, you have a choice to make. There are two optional treasure chests remaining, and to get one you must get the other one. Those treasure chests will contain 200 Rupees and then a Secret Medicine. (In the original Game Boy release, the chest with Secret Medicine is 50 Rupees instead.) If you want to get the chests, go north. Navigate past the Sparks as you move the clay pots out of the way. In the room beyond, you can collect the chest containing 200 Rupees. However, to get the Secret Medicine, you will need to hit the Crystal Switch so that the orientation of the blocks is opposite the way you came into the room. Once done, head back south to where you came up from.

la12-7b

The Dodongo Snakes are slightly trickier this time with the pits. They're no less annoying.

The Dodongo Snakes are slightly trickier this time with the pits. They’re no less annoying.

When you head south, you’ll uncover your favorite slothful enemy, the Dodongo Snakes. This will be your second time fighting them, but this time there’s a twist: There are pits dug into the floor. However, the strategy for defeating them is essentially the same. The snakes will alternate travelling horizontally and vertically, so make sure to stand to one side of them with your Bombs at the ready. Once they come your way, feed them an explosive dish. Once both are defeated, you’re free to travel to the left.

Use your Hookshot to grapple onto the block on the left side, and then unlock the locked block that’s in the way with your last key. Continue northward, defeat the Star in the corridor, and then you’ll come across a chest. However, ironically enough, trying to open said chest will find no success; the chest itself is locked! However, as with most things, brute force pays dividends. Throw one of the clay pots into the chest to force it open. Ta da! You’ve got the Nightmare Key!

12.8 Reach the boss’ lair

la12-8map

It’s finally time to take down the boss, but you’ll have to do a bit of backtracking. Head south four times—falling off the upper ledge into the water and passing the Water Tektites and Star—until you reach the room with the four Wizzrobes. Defeat them once again to open the doors leading outward.

If you want the Secret Medicine, and you took that small detour for the Rupees and the Crystal Switch, now is your time to get it.

Obtaining the Secret Medicine

Step One Once you’ve defeated the Wizzrobes, exit the room via the southern door.

Step Two Defeat the two Stars in the next room. Then make sure the Crystal Switch blocks look like this. If not, you'll need to flip a Crystal Switch. (The easiest one is just west of the dungeon entrance.)

Step Two Defeat the two Stars in the next room. Then make sure the Crystal Switch blocks look like this. If not, you’ll need to flip a Crystal Switch. (The easiest one is just west of the dungeon entrance.)

Step Three Climb up the small staircase and then jump off of the dais onto the raised block.

Step Three Climb up the small staircase and then jump off of the dais onto the raised block.

Step Four Move up one block. Then, use Roc's Feather to jump to the raised block in front of the other staircase.

Step Four Move up one block. Then, use Roc’s Feather to jump to the raised block in front of the other staircase.

Step Five Avoid the Trap by jumping over it after it triggers horizontally.

Step Five Avoid the Trap by jumping over it after it triggers horizontally.

Step Six Return northward to claim your Secret Medicine!

Step Six Return northward to claim your Secret Medicine!

To reach the boss from here, head west and then north three times—past Smasher’s room—until you reach the first two Elephant Statues. Again, lift the left one, head downstairs, cross the spiked pits, and climb back up.

You'll need all four Zols to die to open the door. Thankfully, you can let Vacuum Mouth do your dirty work. Just don't fall in yourself!

You’ll need all four Zols to die to open the door. Thankfully, you can let Vacuum Mouth do your dirty work. Just don’t fall in yourself!

This time, you’ll want to head south from the Flying Tiles, and you won’t need to wait for them to finish.

You’ll find another Vacuum Mouth in this room, and it will—in short bursts—try to drag you towards the pit that surrounds it. Resist it with all your might, but in the meanwhile you will need to force the four Zols in this room to spawn as the door forward won’t open until they’re dead. The best part is that you don’t need to worry about killing them; the Vacuum Mouth will do all the tedious work for you. Cause them to spawn and then keep moving; eventually all four will be sucked into the pit, and the door forward will open.

There’s one more Wizzrobe to defeat, but now you’ll have to deal with a new trap in this room: the Beamos. Beamos have a single eye that rotates around its body; whenever it happens to spot Link as it rotates, Beamos will fire a long laser beam at you. As a result, if there’s direct line of sight between you and the Beamos, you should constantly stay on the move.

Lighting all the torches will convert the Sparks into fairies, which is nice right before the boss.

Lighting all the torches will convert the Sparks into fairies, which is nice right before the boss.

To make it through the room, you’ll need to defeat the Wizzrobe (easiest with a Bomb given the Beamos) to open the sealed door. Then to reach the upper half of the room, you can push the block on the far right into the pit at the edge of the room. Be ready to dodge the laser beam immediately thereafter, and then rush through the door as the low railing will not block the beam.

You can dodge the final two Sparks to head straight for the boss door. However, if you have some Magic Powder, light the two unlit torches; this will transform the Sparks into fairies, refilling your health right before the final challenge. Once you’re ready, head on in.

12.9 Defeat Facade

Facade, the final boss, is fought in two phases, though your general task remains constant throughout the whole ordeal. You will need Bombs, and it’ll telegraph his weakness at the beginning of the fight: its mouth. However, Facade, for what it’s worth, will not make this a cakewalk.

“Okay, listen up! If the Wind Fish wakes up, everything on this island will be gone forever! And I do mean… everything!”

During the first part of the fight, Facade will cause the pink tiles of the room to rise up and attack you. It will start with the tiles in the upper-left and lower-right corners (alternating between the two) and move clockwise across the room. As tiles are flying at you, make sure to dodge them, first horizontally and then vertically as they move onto the east and west walls.

Defeating this boss really isn't hard. After the initial barrage, just wait and place Bombs on its mouth.

Defeating this boss really isn’t hard. After the initial barrage, just wait and place Bombs on its mouth.

Once the pink tiles are all gone, Facade will fling the four clay pots in the corners at you; dodge them in a very similar fashion. This will end the first phase of the fight.

For the second phase, with nothing left to throw at you, Facade will open up holes in the dungeon floor around it, trying to trap Link. Again, stay on the move and be nimble, ready for the regular opening. Always plan a way out.

For your part, you just need to drop Bombs on Facade’s mouth. The boss will phase in and out, so as Facade is phasing in, that’s your cue to drop a Bomb directly on its mouth. It will explode and cause Facade to immediately despawn from the floor. It will be back though, so it’s time to rinse and repeat. All you need are five hits with Bombs, and Facade will call it quits. However, it won’t leave without giving you a stern warning.

But with Facade dead, there’s nothing that’s keeping you from the Coral Triangle. Go and collect the sixth of the Instruments.

la12-9d

More Guides for Link’s Awakening