Chapter 19: Sword & Shield Maze
  1. 19.1 Claim two keys
  2. 19.2 Obtain the Compass
  3. 19.3 Collect the Map
  4. 19.4 Upgrade to the Hyper Slingshot
  5. 19.5 Earn two more keys
  6. 19.6 Defeat Frypolar
  7. 19.7 Sneak through the icy basement
  8. 19.8 Obtain the Big Key
  9. 19.9 Collect two more keys
  10. 19.10 Cool two more quadrants of lava
  11. 19.11 Get the last key
  12. 19.12 Set up the minecarts for the last ride
  13. 19.13 Reach the boss’ lair
  14. 19.14 Defeat Medusa Head

19.1 Claim two keys

Start by heading north. The dungeon’s second room is full of Wizzrobes with an Anti-fairy as icing on the cake. The Wizzrobes are annoying, so consider leaving them be since there’s really no secrets to be found in this room. Your first objective should be to head to the east.

This next room will introduce one of the main mechanics of the dungeon. At the end of a long pit is a statue whose eye seems to be missing from it. This standard trope should pique your curiosity. But since you don’t have any arrows to shoot it, use your Slingshot to fire a seed of your choosing at it. Once it hits, a key will drop from the ceiling amongst all the pottery. Collect it, and then head back to the west.

Two things that don’t mix: Magunesu and ice.

From the Wizzrobe room, now take the other exit northward. This room will have three of those same statues in this room, and you might think that you can solve it now; unfortunately you’ll need to hit those statues simultaneously, so it’s no dice from here. The chest these activate is an optional one, but you’ll need to get midway through the dungeon first, so it’s best to come back to get after you defeat the mini-boss, which will provide a teleporter back to near here. So for now, just head north.

The next room will mix two rather annoying concepts: ice-covered floors as well as Magunesu. Thankfully, you’ll rarely have to deal with both simultaneously. Use the Magnetic Gloves to pull them towards you, and then destroy them with your sword. Once you defeat them, the door leading northward will open up.

The next key is in this room, but you’ll have to kill all the enemies in order to get it. As for the easy ones, there’s several red Zols and their corresponding Gels to kill. The only real challenge with them is the entire floor is covered in ice, so you’ll be slipping and sliding away. The really tricky one will be the Hardhat Beetle that will be following you wherever you go. There are no pits to drop it down into; however, there is a magnetic orb in the far northwest corner of the room. You’ll need to Bomb open several cracked blocks in order to free the magnetic block, and then use the Magnetic Gloves to eke the orb out. Once it’s free, use the Gloves to plough over the Hardhat Beetle. Once it’s defeated, the second key is yours.

19.2 Obtain the Compass

Head east. There’s a few Keese in this room and a huge number of Sparks. The Magical Boomerang will be your friend in converting these Sparks into fairies, but otherwise this room is fairly straightforward. Keep heading east, and you’ll spot the first locked block of the dungeon. A few green Zols are hiding in the floor, but this room is certainly less stressful than the other ones. Use one of your two keys on the locked block, and then take the staircase downstairs.

The advantage of being downstairs is that you won’t have any more ice to deal with; however, you’ll be out of the frying pan and literally into the fire. This room has lots of narrow pathways, and Ropes and Keese will be on patrol. Carefully navigate the pathways, killing enemies as you go, and then head south.

Floormasters are never fun to worry about. Don’t let them catch you!

The next room may not seem treacherous, but it’s more difficult than it might seem. At first blush, you only need to deal with Keese and Rolling Spiked Traps; those are easy enough to avoid with Roc’s Cape. However, you also need to constantly be on your feet as Wallmasters will drop from the ceiling. If these guys happen to catch you, then they’ll take you back to the beginning of the dungeon. There’s an endless supply of them, so don’t bother trying to kill them all. All you really need to do is to go down the staircase in the lower-right of the room.

This will be one of the two side-scrolling areas of the dungeon, and this room is one of the trickiest of the lot. Outside of the Keese in the room, two fireballs will be circling a central platform at an extremely quick pace. Roc’s Cape will get you to the central platform, but without a Pegasus Seed to speed you along, you’ll almost certainly take damage because they just move so quickly. Hurry onto the left. You’ll then just have to deal with three Podoboos, the worst of them is right in the middle of the moving platform in the center of the room. So long as you watch out for that one, you should be able to get through the room without trouble. Simply head back up the stairs to get to the southern section of the basement.

Still within the fiery depths, you’ll need to island-hop over the lake of lava while avoiding a treacherous Rolling Spike Trap. The feat isn’t that tricky, but certainly you’ll want to time your jump over the rolling log. Once you’re clear of the trap, head south.

Prepare to meet the most annoying enemy ever: Fire Keese. They aren’t particularly destructive, but they can be increasingly annoying. Fire Keese, unlike normal Keese, are flying higher than you can jump. You can only hit them when they start to fly after you… that is unless they drop down in an attempt to set you on fire. Thankfully, once they do so, they’ll lose their fiery blaze, but still they can only be hit while in pursuit. While you’re dealing with these, you’ll also have to dodge two Giant Bladed Traps that are circling through the room in a counterclockwise fashion. To proceed, you’ll need to step on the switch in the upper-right corner of the room near the lava. Once pressed, continue eastward.

Quickly proceed up the steps in the next room, and you’ll be back in an icy room. Not only does this room have Keese, two Spiked Beetles, and Floor Spikes, it’s also entirely covered in ice. If you want to be really cheeky with this room, simply equip Roc’s Cape and fly over the spikes to the east of the stairs in order to reach the chest; otherwise, you’ll probably want your Shield to flip the Spiked Beetles. Once you arrive at the chest, you’ll have earned the Compass.

19.3 Collect the Map

When you have the Compass, head back down to the fiery basement. Watch out for the Zols as you proceed to the east, but kill them to stop the stream of projectiles being fired at you. Use your last key on the door to the east.

Once again, you’ll be thwarted by another turnstile. You want to go south, but this will force you to head northward out of the turnstile. However, all of this is solved simply by doing one loop. Walk into the turnstile, head north to the raised walkway, and simply wander back to the west. Drop off of the raised walkway, and simply re-enter the door leading back to the turnstile. Now you can head south.

This room will have a Keese and two Wizzrobes in it. Though you’re probably raring at the bit to kill them, hold off unless you have to. If you do kill anything in the room, you’ll need to leave the room and then come back in. The reason for it is that, after a few seconds but only if you don’t kill anything in the room, the Armos statue blocking off the enclosed southwestern area will come to life. If you kill anything before that, it’ll stay still until you leave and come back. Once it activates, lay waste to your enemies, and ascend the steps in the bottom-left corner.

From there, all you’ll need to do is head to the east, and you’ll find a chest with the Map of the dungeon.

19.4 Upgrade to the Hyper Slingshot

However, there’s a task even more important than getting the Map to do while you’re here. Just to the north, on the other side of the block wall, is a magnetic orb resting next to some stairs. You’ll need to use the Magnetic Gloves to set this on an out-of-the-way switch, and you can only do it while you’re on this side of the block barrier.

Use south polarity to pull the ball. As you’re doing so, walk one square to the west to cause it to be pulled onto the block wall. Then walk one step back east and release your clutch on the orb. Then, using north polarity to repel the ball, walk five tiles to the east, all the way to the edge of this enclosure. This will push the orb back one level — though it’ll still be over the lava. Then walk two paces back west, and this will deposit the orb on a button. This switch will cause a much-needed walkway to appear on the other side.

Once you’ve done this, head west and then back down the stairs. From there, head now easterly. You’ll now need to face the dastardly combination of a Ball and Chain Trooper and a Bubble. Thankfully, however, you don’t really need to deal with either of them if you don’t want. Simply don Roc’s Cape and quickly head for the staircase on the other side of the lava river to head back upstairs.

Hopefully where you’ll ascend looks familiar. This is where you just were, but now on the other side of the block wall. Now you’ll have to deal with the Fire Keese, the Zols, and the Bubbles that up until now you had avoided. Head west, and look for a chest surrounded by four blocks and four Armos. You’ll need to activate the bottom two Armos so that you can push the block directly in front of the chest left or right one square. This gives you access to the chest, which will upgrade your Slingshot to the Hyper Slingshot, capable of shooting three seeds simultaneously.

19.5 Earn two more keys

Head back east. This time, you’ll want to take the northernmost passage, which will then give you access to the bridge you just created by dropping the magnetic orb on the switch. Take the bridge, and head down the staircase you find at the end.

Downstairs, head to the north and use the jumping platforms to leap over the river. Head to the west, and you’ll have returned to the infamous turnstile room. Head into the turnstile, which should now be in a position to let you go east. Head east, and at the dead end will be a chest with the first of two more keys you need to acquire. Once you have it, head back west, walk into the turnstile, and be shunted out the northern exit.

Head east, back the way you came, but this time take the stairs down off the raised walkway. There’ll be a long gap of lava before you, but using the Magnetic Gloves with a northern polarity will pull you over it thanks to a southern magnet on the other side. Head through the door going eastward.

The next room is a staging room for the mini-boss, which is coming up soon. However, of primary interest are three statues with no eyes. Hopefully these look familiar to you! Now with the Hyper Slingshot, you can fling three seeds at each of these. Stand directly west of the central statue, and back up to the wall behind you. Firing from there will hit all three statues simultaneously, causing a hidden staircase to appear. Head upstairs back to the icy first floor.

This room isn’t so much treacherous as it is tedious. There are two Bubbles in this room; thankfully they won’t cause you much grief, though there is one Darknut on the left side of the room that you will want your sword for. However, the tedious part is the fact that you’ll need a handful of Bombs to clear through the cracked blocks. Blow your way through the lower passageway as it’s slightly more economical Bomb-wise, especially as there are pots there that may help you fill up. Once you make it to the left side of the room, set a Bomb just in front of the block in front of the chest, and it will blow up the cracked blocks on either side. Push the block out of the way to get the second key.

19.6 Defeat Frypolar

Make your way downstairs, and then unlock the door heading to the east, leaving you with just one of your two newly acquired keys. This will bring you face to face with the mini-boss Frypolar.

Frypolar is the living contradiction of fire and ice all in one enemy. Frypolar, therefore, has two different forms. In its fiery phase, Frypolar will regularly shoot streams of fire that you will need to dodge, preferably by positioning yourself in between its streams of fire. After several attempts to damage you, Frypolar will flip to its icy form, and, like this, it will attempt to strike you by hurling an icy pillar up through the floor to stab you. Both can cause a bit of damage.

The key to this is that opposites attract, or at least opposites cause big amounts of damage. Whenever Frypolar is in its icy form, you can shoot it with an Ember Seed to cause it damage. Doing damage to its fiery phase is a little more circuitous. You can actually use a Mystery Seed of all things against the icy pillars to cause them to shrink and, therefore pick them up. However, you’ll have to wait for Frypolar to flip back to its fiery form to damage it by hurtling these icy remains into it; however, the damage you do will be spectacular.

Regardless of which form Frypolar is in, hitting it with a Mystery Seed will cause it to swap forms. It’s easily the fastest way to use those ice chunks.

Otherwise, this boss isn’t all that complicated. Just keep using Ember and Mystery Seeds until Frypolar goes down. When it does, you’ll receive a Fairy and a teleporter back to the beginning of the dungeon. As mentioned earlier, you can use the teleporter now to use the Hyper Slingshot to retrieve the optional chest from before that you missed.

19.7 Sneak through the icy basement

You’ll need to be fast on your feet to hit all seven torches. Worry about the outermost ones first.

Most of the mini-bosses thus far have been slightly further than halfway into the dungeon. However, you still have a fair amount of work to do before you receive the eighth Essence of Nature.

Start by heading north. Dispatch the lonely Keese in the room before dealing with the seven unlit torches. This looks like a job for Ember Seeds and the Hyper Slingshot. However, you do need to move fast to light them all before the wink back out. Hit the three on the right side with a triple blast, and then immediately turn left to light the central torch. Then quickly walk around it to fit the three on the left. Once you get all seven lit, a staircase will take you upward back to the ice-filled upper level.

Head north, and then an ice block puzzle will confront you. These ice blocks can be pushed multiple times, and, once you push them, they’ll keep sliding until they hit another obstacle. Your goal is to get all three ice blocks into the three yellow tiles on the right side of the room.

Solving the Ice block puzzle

Step One Push the bottommost of the ice blocks to the right. This will then occupy the bottommost of the three yellow tiles.

Step Two Push the leftmost ice block southward into the block wall below it.

Step Three Then push the same ice block to the right. It will run into the ice block sitting in the yellow tile.

Step Four Push the same ice block upward. However, do not yet push it into the yellow tiles. Leave it rest there for now.

Step Five It’s time to focus on the last of the three blocks. Push it to the left, and then push it down. This will cause it to run into the block wall… exactly where the previous ice block once hit it.

Step Six Just like last time, push the same ice block to the right, and then upward. Now the two ice blocks not in their final positions will be just next to the two free yellow tiles.

Step Seven Push the two ice blocks onto the yellow tiles. Once you’ve done this, a secret passageway will open up.

Head down the steps, and you’ll find yourself in the other side-scrolling portion of the dungeon. In the first room, the Keese will be annoying, but the slippery surfaces are worse. Use Roc’s Cape and perform jumps to each floating platform, quickly jumping again once you land on each one but before you slide off. Then for the last leap, make it count as you sail leftward.

On the next screen, you’ll have to deal with mobile conveyor belts. You’ll want to gradually walk towards the left as you land on the first one. Let it take you up, and then you’ll need to temporarily transfer onto the other conveyor belt as it slides just above the one you’re currently on; remember, that one’s heading the other direction, so switch directions to the right until you can land on the original conveyor. Resume your leftward direction after you do so, and then leap for the upper passageway. This will allow you to ride the giant Spiked Thwomps as you make your way to the staircase on the far left.

19.8 Obtain the Big Key

You’ll be facing Mini-moldorms as soon as you emerge. Kill them quickly. There’s a switch in this room that will extend a bridge over the gap leading to the left. That bridge will take you earlier in the dungeon to where you first headed down to the fiery basement. There’s nothing left for you that way, however, so just proceed to the east from here.

This room is much easier than it looks.

This room is actually easier than it looks. Red Wizzrobes will warp about the room, casting their spells, while two green Bladed Traps travel in sweeping circular arcs about the room’s center. Really, all you need is Roc’s Cape. Jump over the path of the two Traps to reach the center; maneuver around the central block, and then leap again to reach the doorway to the east.

You’ll immediately be assaulted with a bunch of Ropes and a few Gibdos. You’ll want to clear them out so you can focus on the upcoming task at hand. There’s a Crystal Switch at an odd angle over a large void. You might think you need to use the Hyper Slingshot here, but that’s not the case at all. Instead, use the Magical Boomerang to tweak its path so that it strikes the Crystal Switch, causing a bridge to extend southward. Head that way.

For this next room, you’ll need to complete two separate tasks to move forward. For the first, step out onto the moving platform, and beware of the Keese. You might as well kill them as they come near. Lift up or slash an upgraded sword at exactly one of the clay pots at the ends of the central island. Then use that now-free space to push the pot that was next to it onto the switch in its middle. That will unseal the door to the southeast corner of the room. Head south through it.

You’ll enter a room with a Ball and Chain Trooper, and this one you do have to fight and kill. Go toe to toe with it and smash it to smithereens. Once you do so, a chest will appear, though it’s on the other side of the room. Return north, and now you’ll need to kill all the remaining enemies here. The Pols Voices can actually be destroyed with a clever trick. They hate all sound, so play whichever animal’s Flute you have in your inventory to kill them in an absolute instant. Once they and the Keese are gone, you can head through the southwestern door. This will take you straight to the chest containing the Boss Key.

19.9 Collect two more keys

Use the raised walkway to head south, eventually dropping back into the room that contains the ice puzzle. With that wing of the dungeon done and dusted, you’re ready to start your final trek to the boss room. So use your last key to unlock the door to the west. A handful of Sparks will be revolving around some blocks, but otherwise they’re the only threat. Continue westward.

Kill the red Zol in this room, and then observe the three ice chunks high on the platform nearby. These will constantly regenerate, and you’re going to need them for a specific task. Pick one up with the Power Bracelet; then head through the door to the south.

In four of the rooms in this area, you will see a red, 1×1 tile that represents a pit to the floor below. Fire Keese will eventually stream out of this from the fire in the room below. However, you can stop this from happening. Quickly head to the bottom-right part of the room, avoiding any Zols that pop up, and toss the ice chunk you’re carrying into the pit. This will also serve to perform a unique feat. The room directly below you is mostly filled with dangerous lava; however, this single ice chunk is enough to permanently solidify the lava in that corner of the room below. One down, and just four more to go!

Head down the steps in this room to see what damage you’ve wrought. You can, if you want, head east to get 10 Bombs from a treasure chest, but your main objective is in the bottom-right corner of this massive room. Walk around the now former lava-spewing statue to find a treasure chest on the other side; this will contain a small key.

Head back upstairs back using the stairs you came down on, and then head back north to the room with the three ice chunks. In the upper-right of the room, you’ll find a crack in the wall. Bomb it open, and head through. When you step through, you’ll find a ghost of an Armos statue trace a pattern on the ground. You’ll need to follow this pathway exactly. Any misstep will mean you’ll have to start from scratch. If you manage to replicate the ghost’s pathway, you’ll get a key dropping down from above, making your total two once again.

19.10 Cool two more quadrants of lava

Head back south to the room with the ice, and then grab another ice chunk from the dais. The only way to go from here is northward, so hop in the minecart. Since you’re carrying a block of ice, you’re stuck in terms of enemies approaching, but the minecart should kill any Stalfos that gets in its way.

It will take you over to the room to the west as well, but once you reach the end of the line, you’ll see a red pit just like before. It’s locked behind a locked block, but you have keys for that. Drop the ice chunk on the floor momentarily, unlock the block, and then toss it in to solidify the northwest quadrant of lava.

Hop back in the minecart (don’t hit the switch to change the tracks). The railway will take you east and back south to the ice room, where you should naturally collect another piece of ice.

Once again, hop in the minecart, head north and west, and at the end of the line, place the ice chunk on the floor. Now you can hit the switch to change the tracks. Recollect the ice chunk, hop back in the minecart, and now it will take you along the southern route. This will simply take you back to the room on the east, but it will leave you there this time. Toss the ice chunk into the red pit there, and you’ll have three quadrants of the lava chamber solidified.

19.11 Get the last key

Bringing ice further on won’t be of help yet. Just descend the steps.

Unfortunately, the fourth quadrant isn’t so straightforward. And even if it were, you’ll need to accomplish yet another objective before you’re ready for the boss: getting one last key. And now that you’ve filled these three quadrants, you’ll be able to get it.

Hop back into the minecart to head west. Hit the switch to reset the tracks back to their original configuration, but don’t return to the minecart just yet. It’s time to spend the one key you still have on the room to the south. There’ll be two Spiked Beetles there waiting as well as a Beamos; together they’re not a fun combination. As such, the best solution is simply to break for the stairs on the right side of the room to head back to the lava-filled basement.

You’ll find this convenient stairway that can now be accessed in the cooled lava.

The lava that used to be all around you is now all solidified, so use this to your advantage. As you head west, veering south slightly as you do so, you’ll find a staircase nestled amongst a tangle of blocks. Navigate around them, and then ascend the stairs at their end.

From here, you’ll be in a cordoned-off area of the dungeon, and there’s only one path forward from here. Head east, and note that the Armos here will activate should you touch them. However, you don’t need to fight them unless you need hearts. Further east and then south, you’ll enter a room with Sparks, yet another chance to gain hearts by turning them into fairies. At the far end of the room is a chest. Smash the pots in front of it to earn the dungeon’s last key.

19.12 Set up the minecarts for the last ride

It’s time to return from whence you came. Head north twice, and then west twice to bring you back to the stairs. From there, head back to the fiery basement.

When you reach the basement, you’ll discover that there’s a narrow passageway through the blocks that’s accessible now that the lava has solidified. Head up and out of the tangle of blocks where you entered the room, and then weave your way through that narrow passageway. Follow this passageway to the south, and you’ll re-enter a familiar area here. Kill the annoying enemies here, and make your way to the west.

There’s still lava in this room, but you’ll be taking care of that shortly. For now, simply utilize the stairs before you and head back upstairs.

You might have noticed, if you paid attention, that before you went back downstairs for the last key in the last section, that there was a minecart track in that room; however, no minecart was available as it was unfortunately stuck within this room. And like that, there’d be no way to get ice to this room — where the last red pit is — since ice carried downstairs will melt immediately.

Only two Sword Stalfos are guarding the minecart along with the infinite supply of Fire Keese. But the minecart is the major objective. Hop in it and let it carry you northward. With this in place, you now have a complete train route from the ice room to where the ice needs to go.

19.13 Reach the boss’ lair

Leave the room with the Beamos and the Spiked Beetles by heading north, though consider killing the Beetles as that will definitely help you out by having to deal with fewer enemies whilst you’re messing around with ice over your head. From there, hop in the minecart in this room, which, provided you hit the switch earlier, will take you back on the track’s original configuration back to the room with the ice.

Grab a chunk of ice, and hop back in the minecart. From here, the logical flow should be apparent. Head south through the formerly locked door, then hop in the minecart in the room with the Beamos. This will bring you to the last room with the red pit. Throw the ice in it, and now the room below you will have all of its lava solidified.

Take the steps downstairs, and now you will have a free passageway to wander north. Do so, continuing northward twice, and eventually you’ll find a locked block on the far north end of the massive space. Wind around the rocks and rubble to reach the keyhole, and use your last key to clear it. There’s now just a handful of pots here to refill your health before you go in to face the dungeon’s final enemy.

19.14 Defeat Medusa Head

Medusa Head can be a pain in the butt if you go in with the wrong strategy in mind. It is extremely fast-moving and likes to stay just out of sword reach. Furthermore, it can be exceptionally tricky to corner given its sheer speed. It also likes to teleport from one location of the room to another, usually done in order to change its attack pattern.

Outside of ramming into you, Medusa Head has three primary methods of attack, and every single one of them is telegraphed by the position at which it teleports in. By far the most common attack is to quickly move about in a somewhat erratic pattern whilst shooting fireballs at you. However, if it spawns in at either the upper-left or upper-right corners of the screen, Medusa Head is about to shoot laser beams from its eyes; it will do so by quickly sweeping across the room to the other corner.

Otherwise, if it spawns in the room’s very center, Medusa Head is going to come in spewing blue projectiles in a spiral pattern for about a second. These blue projectiles don’t deal damage; however, they will turn Link to stone for a few moments, meaning that the enemy now has the perfect chance to get free, cheap shots at Link.

All three of these things can be simply avoided with Roc’s Cape, especially the laser beams and the blue orbs that turn you to stone. For the laser beam attack, simply be in the air as the laser passes beneath you. Do the same for the blue spheres; even if you’re near Medusa Head during this attack, you can simply float over it. The fireballs are slightly trickier, but still possible to avoid.

From there, the major problem is actually scoring hits against Medusa Head. Charged Spin Attacks are always good, and the best time to execute that is when Medusa Head is attempting to turn you to stone. Jump over the blue spheres and let go of the spin upon landing. Shooting seeds at Medusa Head will stun it, but if doing that at the expense of pocketing your Cape or Sword momentarily isn’t your jive, you can simply resort to avoiding and striking at the crucial opportunity. To be honest, once you learn how to avoid all the attacks, the boss is pretty much cakewalk.

Once defeated, head north to get the final Essence of Nature, the Changing Seasons.

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