Link outside Martha's Bau and Catfish's Maw

In an eventful part five, Link travelled to the Yarna Desert and Angler’s Tunnel, emerging with the Flippers that will allow him to swim in Koholint’s many rivers and lakes. Plunging into part six, we’ll be progressing the Trading Quest nearly to its conclusion, before diving into Martha’s Bay and the Catfish’s Maw dungeon.

Route to Martha’s Bay Walkthrough

Learning Manbo’s Mambo

Outside Manbo's cave

In the last part of our guide, we suggested acquiring the Ocarina from the Dream Shrine in Mabe Village in anticipation of a useful song available immediately after the Angler’s Tunnel (take a look if you are currently Ocarina-less). Ocarina in hand, you should swim immediately west of the Angler’s Tunnel entrance and into an opening in the cliff-face flanked by two fish reliefs.

Manbo plays Link his Mambo

Inside you will meet Manbo, a friendly sunfish devoting full time to floating and ready to share his song with passing adventurers:

I am Manbo, child of the Sun Fish! Have you got an ocarina?
Ahaha! Then I can teach you my song! Bloop!

Watch the short sequence as Manbo and his friends play their song and you’ll get Manbo’s Mambo added to your ocarina. Manbo explains:

When you play my mambo, you can warp to a warp point around the island!
Try this tune in the dungeons too!
And since today’s a special day, I’ll let you warp to Manbo’s Pond too. Cha-cha-cha!

An even larger chunk of Koholint Island is now open to you with the Flippers you found in Angler’s Tunnel, and this warp song will doubtlessly come in useful as you travel to your next objective (In the Game Boy versions, the tune will only take you to Manbo’s Pond).

Guiding the Pink Ghost to its Old Home

Link finds himself followed by a pink ghost

Speaking of which – your Owl friend hasn’t actually shown up yet to tell you where to head next, though the mysterious voice in Angler’s Tunnel mentioned a bay. You may already have a good idea where this is, however, your quest is about to be derailed - After a short time roaming around, you will suddenly find yourself haunted by a pink ghost (who will prevent you from entering dungeons). It demands:

…the house… take me…
…the house…at the bay…

The Pink ghost sees its old home

The ghost’s house can be found immediately west of the secluded bay in which you found Marin in part five. Head to Mabe Village and journey east beyond the beach.

(Before going inside the house, you may want to do a dash jump across the line of pits between the trees in order to search for the Martha’s Bay warp point, assuming you haven’t activated this already).

The Pink ghost inside its old home

Inside the house, the ghost will mournfully float around examining its former possessions:

…Nostalgia…
…unchanged…
…boo hoo…

Eventually, it will make another request of you:

…Enough…
…cemetery…
…Take me…my grave…

Guiding the Pink Ghost to its Grave

The pink ghost is led to its final resting place

The grave can be found to the west of the Witch’s house. The fastest way there is to play Manbo’s Mambo and head to Manbo’s Pond. As you roam, the ghost will helpfully clarify:

…take me…my grave…
…with the flowers…

Link recieves a fairy jar from the pink ghost

Approach the grave and the Ghost will offer its thanks as you put it to rest.

…Thank you…
…a jar…for you… put something inside…
…bye…bye…

(The fairy bottles are exclusive to the Switch version – you can pick up another one in the reeds of the fishing lake).

The owl directs Link to Martha's Bay

Finally, your Owl friend will arrive, apologising for his tardiness:

Hoot! It has been some time since our paths crossed, lad.
You must dive into the waters of Martha’s Bay to enter the Catfish’s Maw…
The closer you get to the Wind Fish, the more restless he sleeps.
Carry onward! Hoot!

At this point you could seek out the bay as there’s no barrier to entering the Catfish’s Maw. However, a good chunk of the remainder of the game’s trading sequence is now available and worth pursuing. Best of all, it will (eventually) take you where you’re headed anyway.

The Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence: Part Four – Hibiscus, Goat’s Letter, Broom, Fishing Hook, Necklace and Scale

Step Nine: Hibiscus for Goat’s Letter

Link trades a hibiscus for a goat's letter from Christine

The previous part of our guide included steps six through eight of the Trading Sequence (Stick, Honeycomb, Pineapple, Hibiscus). Return to that guide if you are not yet caught up.

Having received the Hibiscus from Papahl near the Mountain Waterfall, you may recall encountering a goat in the Animal Village looking for one. Her name is Christine, and she lives in the third house in the north of the village.

Oh, you brought me a Hibiscus! How Sweet!
Well, since you are such a gentleman, I have a request to make of you. Will you listen?
I would like you to take this letter to a Mr. Write who lives on the border of the Mysterious Forest, please!
[You traded a Hibiscus for a Goat’s Letter! …Great?!]
You know, sometimes I can’t help eating a delicious piece of paper, even if it’s a letter to my darling Mr. Write…
How embarrassing!

(It’s worth noting that if you return once you have delivered the letter to Mr. Write, Christine will give you a secret seashell.)

Step Ten: Goat’s Letter for Broom

Link outside of Mr. Write's home

Cast your mind back to your early adventures and you may remember a house in the northwest of the map, north of the Mysterious Forest. This is the home of Mr. Write, a letter-writing fanatic and subject of Christine’s affections. (He’s also transparently the same design as Dr. Wright, the Mayoral advisor in Nintendo’s SimCity ports and an obvious reference to SimCity creator Will Wright. Subsequent events are assumed to be non-biographical).

Link trades the goat's letter for a broom with Mr. Write

Hand over the Goat’s Letter and Mr Write will be very pleased:

What’s this?! A letter for me?!
I’m so happy!
And look! The letter came with a photograph!

Christine has indeed enclosed a photograph – it’s not exactly a true likeness, but Mr. Write seems impressed nonetheless:

Mmm… She’s so beautiful… I must give you something for your trouble…
Hmm… Well, it looks like all I have is this Broom… How’ll that be?
[You got a Broom as your reward from Mr. Write! But that photo was not of…]
Oh boy! Letter writing is such a great hobby!

With Mr. Write successfully catfished, you should head to Mabe Village to find a new owner for your Broom.

Step Eleven: Broom for Fishing Hook

Link trades the broom for a fishing hook with Grandma Yahoo

While you’d be forgiven for assuming that the person on Koholint Island most likely to be in need of a broom would be the Witch that lives barely seconds away from Mr. Write, video game logic is rarely so convenient. Instead, Grandma Yahoo can be found outside of the house immediately south of where BowWow is chained up, complaining about a broken Broom. Approach her with the replacement and she’ll excitedly say:

YAHOO! YAHOO! A new Broom?!
For me? It is, isn’t it?!
Ok! In return, you can have this Fishing Hook I found when I swept by the riverbank!
[You exchanged the Broom for the Fishing Hook! What will the fishing hook become?]
YAHOO! A new broom! Superb!

Step Twelve: Fishing Hook for Necklace

Link outside the entrance to the fisherman's fishing spot

The trading quest now finally brings us to Martha’s Bay, the area where we will find the next dungeon. Martha’s Bay is south of Kanalet Castle, West of the Animal Village and East of the Ghost’s house. Play Manbo’s Mambo and warp to Animal Village. Head west and take one of the sets of stairs into the water. Head south into the little inlet in the southeastern corner of the bay – swim under the bridge and enter a sidescrolling area where you will find a fisherman.

Link exchanges the fishing hook for a necklace with the fisherman

Hop out of the water and onto the boat, then speak to the Fisherman:

Oh! What is that you have in your hand? It’s not a Fishing Hook, is it?
You had better let me have it. I’ll give you my next catch if you let me have it…
Keep your eyes open and watch a pro at work.
The Fisherman casts his line and quickly snags something:
My, that’s a BIIIIG one!
[The Fishing Hook became a Necklace! L-l-lucky!]

Step Thirteen: Necklace for Scale

Link returns the Necklace to the Mermaid in return for a scale

You won’t have to go far to find the owner of the necklace – look for the Mermaid in the open water to the north of the bay:

Ahh! That’s it! That’s my Necklace! Give it! Give it back!
I will give you a scale as I said!
Promise! You’ll only take one!
[You returned the Necklace and got a Scale of the mermaid’s tail. How will you use this?]

The answer to that question will have to wait for now, as we’ve gone as far as we can with our current abilities – rest assured, we’ll be finishing the quest once we leave the next dungeon.

Catfish’s Maw Walkthrough

Entering Catfish’s Maw

Link over the diving entrance to the Catfish's Maw

The Catfish’s Maw is pretty tough to miss, prominent as it is in the south-western corner of the bay. In the lower left corner of the rock formations you will find a stream of bubbles rising to the surface: swim above them and dive (press B) to enter a brief underwater side-scrolling area. Surface and enter the cave.

Catfish’s Maw: Locating the Compass

Catfish's Maw starting room

Welcome to the Catfish’s Maw. The exit to this initial room is on the left of the room – a hint perhaps at the direction you’ll be taking a lot, early in this dungeon. Step through and head left in the next room. In the following T-junction you will find that you have to kill all enemies before you are able to progress – a common element of this dungeon. Take the left exit when it opens up.

Link receives the Catfish's Maw compass

Open the chest in the next room to receive the compass. (The Helmasaur enemies in the screenshot need to be attacked from behind for now).

Catfish’s Maw: Acquiring the Stone Beak

Link jumps over the counterweighted platforms

Once you have the compass, head down the staircase available to the left of the same room. You will enter a sidescrolling area with a sequence of chain platforms – stepping on the rightmost platforms will raise those on the left.

On the second set of these, avoid resting on the first stone too long, and wait a little longer on the second – this should ensure that you can reach platforms 3 and 4, and easily jump to the ladder on the left side of the room.

Link pushes blocks into a square formation

Clear the next room of enemies and purple crystals – watch out for the new red Stalfos who will throw bones at you as well as dodging backwards from your sword swings. Push the moveable blocks together to form a square shape and you will receive a Small Key.

If you head left at this point you will find a dead-end. The tiles in this room form a soon-to-be familiar skull shape with four differently textured tiles in each corner. Expect to come back here eventually.

Link unlocks a door at the first T-junction

Finally, it’s time to head right – return through the rooms you have just been through until you reach the T-junction with the locked door at the top. Spend your Small Key and head through the door.

Link dodges blade traps

Once through the door it’s time to turn left again – and in the next room you’ll be – you got it – going left (while avoiding/jumping those spike traps!)

Link recieves the Catfish's Maw stone beak

In the next room you’ll want to take out the Helmasaurs again to spawn a chest containing the Stone Beak.

Catfish’s Maw: Fighting Master Stalfos – Encounters 1 to 3, Claiming the Dungeon Map

Link hears wise words from an owl statue regarding an upcoming boss

Return right two screens and head up. Use your stone beak in the Owl Statue for some timely advice:

If you can’t destroy a skeleton with your sword, try using a bomb.

Head through the door at the top of the screen.

Link places a bomb on the Master Stalfos' bone pile

Well, what do you know – a skeleton you can’t destroy with your sword! Guard against its sword swings and maneouver towards his sword-hand to get an attack in with your own sword – he will collapse into a pile of bones. Follow the Owl Statue’s advice and plant a bomb – this will damage him. Repeat three times and he will run off.

Note again the tile pattern on the floor in this room – vaguely skull like, with a single differently textured tile.

The Master Stalfos leaves a note to taunt Link

In the corridor outside you find a treasure chest with a message from the Stalfos you just fought:

I’ve got what was inside this box. Come and get it, if you can!
-Master (Stalfos)

Astute players will figure out that we’ll be spending the next chunk of the dungeon seeking out rooms with the skull-tile pattern in order (returning to “room four” to the left of the gem-filled room we found our first small key in, later in the sequence).

If you head right, down the stairs in the current room you will enter a short sidescrolling area and can find another Owl Statue with the following message:

Dive under where torchlight beams do cross…

This route is otherwise a dead-end, so return to the corridor with the looted chest, then head north.

Link turning left at crossroads with five blocks

The crossroads here features five blocks, the centre one of which can be pushed to open up two exits (while blocking the third). We actually want to head through the righthand door first, but it is currently locked.

Push the centre block upwards, head left and transition to the next screen – then immediately turn back round. The blocks will reset. Push the centre block right and step on the button to open the righthand door. Head to the top of the screen to transition, return and reset. Finally, push the centre block downwards and head through the now open door to the right.

Second encounter with the Master Stalfos

You’ve found the Master Stalfos again – the fight proceeds exactly the same way as before, and ends with him running off to another skull-tiled room.

Link heads left in northern area

Head back to the crossroads with the five blocks. Push the centre block to the left and head upwards again. Continue going up – you will need to jump a trench and avoid some shrouded Stalfos. Leave via the top-left exit of this room.

Link pushes a block to get at a Zol

In the next room you will need to defeat all enemies to open the gate at the top. The Zol (green blob) on the left-side of the room can only be reached by pushing the fifth block from the top to the left.

Master Stalfos third encounter

The next room contains your third encounter with the Master Stalfos – don’t expect anything different from this encounter, even his dialogue is the same! Once he retreats for the third time, head through the door that has opened to the left.

Link recieves the Catfish's Maw Dungeon Map

A chest is waiting for you in the next room, containing the Dungeon Map.

Catfish’s Maw: Finishing Master Stalfos, Hunting the Hookshot

Link returning to the south of the dungeon to head left

As observed above, the fourth Master Stalfos encounter is found in the extreme southwest of the dungeon. Follow your route back down to the first T-Junction you encountered and head left for several screens – past the compass room, through the sidescrolling area with the counter-weighted platform blocks, and through the gem-filled room in which you found the first Small Key.

The Master Stalfos defeated

The Master Stalfos appears for the fourth and final time – he has no new moves, and finally does you the service of exploding into magenta flames like every good miniboss before him.

Link receives the hookshot

Best of all, he leaves you the Hookshot, a tool with a bunch of uses in this dungeon and beyond, for instance it can:

  • Stick into and pull you towards wooden objects, including blocks and treasure chests
  • Grab retractable bridges and pull them towards you
  • It’s useful in combat too – you can use it to steel Helmasaur helmets, for instance, and it is used for the upcoming bosses

Catfish’s Maw: Finding the Nightmare Key

Link hookshots to a chest

Head back to the right. At the T-Junction room containing what was the dungeon’s first unlockable door, you can head through an exit in the upper right to test your hookshot out on a chest containing 100 Rupees. Fire your hookshot at the wooden block on the other side of the chasm when you’re done.

Link heads north at the crossroads with the five blocks

You may remember passing a number of chests on the route between Master Stalfos encounters 2 and 3, so let’s see what’s in them. Go up several rooms to reach the crossroads with the five blocks and gain access to the top route again (push centre block up, head left and return, push centre block right).

Jump the trench in the next room, then jump diagonally across to the one piece of land opposite the chest. Hookshot across to this chest for 50 rupees. Head right.

Link hookshots to a chest containing a small key

Hookshot across the gap and open the chest in the next room to receive a Small Key. Return to the previous room and head north. Use your hookshot to pull the bridge towards you and open yet another 50 rupee chest. Hookshot back to the main part of the room. Then head back down to the crossroads. Push the centre block down and head left.

Negotiate the blade traps and enemies in the next room and head to the exit in the top left.

Link about to dive where the light from the torches crosses

This room contains the spot “where torchlight beams do cross” that you should dive into – step into the deep water and press the B button. Head through the underwater sidescrolling area and exit via the ladder.

Link grabs a bridge with his hookshot

Shoot your hookshot at the extendable bridge across the large pit. Follow the path round to the chest.

Link claims the Catfish's Maw Nightmare key

You’ve just successfully located the Nightmare Key – but you’re not out of the woods yet. In fact, there’s another Miniboss to fight before we find the dungeon’s main boss.

Catfish’s Maw: Miniboss #2: Gohma

Link about to head to the top door in the blade trap room

It’s time for a healthy bit of backtracking. Head back to the first room after the first door you unlocked – that’s back through the underwater passage, down at the crossroads with the five blocks, back through the room where we first fought the Master Stalfos. Follow the stream south and turn left. (or, if you have Manbo’s Mambo – play it and head two screens left, one screen up, then one screen left).

In the room with the four blade traps and the two Helmasaurs, take the top exit.

Link heads left for one last small key

Though that bridge to the right of the next room is certainly tempting, head left for now.

Link hookshots past blade traps

Fire your hookshot at the wooden block across the next room to sail past the moving blades and head through the exit to the upper left.

Link hookshots to a small key containing chest

Use the chest to hookshot your way across the chasm. Dispatch the Helmasaurs and open the chest – you’ll receive another Small Key.

Link opens up a bridge on his way to the next miniboss

Return to the room with the extendable bridge – smash the pot halfway across the bridge’s span for a fairy (bottle it if you have space and health to spare).

Link about to unlock a lock block

Head left and spend one of your Small Keys in the Lock Block.

Link stuns the last remaining Gohma with his hookshot

In the next room you will encounter the dungeon’s second miniboss – two Armored Arachnids called ‘Ghoma’ – impervious to your sword attacks, spitting projectiles out of a single giant eye. Those huge peepers are just begging for a poke with something sharp: wait until their eyelid starts to shake and fire the hookshot (if their whole body starts to shake, step out of their way instead). The hookshot to the eye trick will daze the Gohma, leaving you a good opening to let off a flurry of sword strikes.

Rinse and repeat until both Gohma fall. Head out of the upper right exit.

Catfish’s Maw: Defeating the Nightmare/Dungeon Boss – Slime Eel

If you’ve been following this guide up to this point you should have the Nightmare Key and a single Small Key – if you do not, push one of the blocks in the next room downwards, and go looking for whatever you’re missing. Everyone else should head right and then down the stairs to enter an sidescrolling area in the underground.

Hookshotting along the way to the nightmare's chamber

Moving left you will see a couple of devices tucked in certain corners featuring an arrow-shaped notch. Aim up and fire your Hookshot to be pulled up to them, and exit using the ladder.

Link hookshots across a chasm near the Nightmare's chamber

Spend a small key at the lock-block that is in the way as you emerge into the next room. Hookshot across the gap and head to the left to find the Nightmare door – use your Nightmare Key and step inside.

You emerge into an empty arena and receive your standard-issue Nightmare taunt:

Ssso…you are the outsssider, come to wake the Wind Fisssh…
KEEE-HEE-HEEEH! I shall eat you!

A square area in the centre of the arena falls away and a spiked tail emerges.

The Slime Eel emerges

This is the backend of the Slime Eel – its fanged maw suddenly bites into four corners of the arena and the battle commences.

Attacking the Slime Eel's Weakspot

The hookshot is critical once again – while avoiding/jumping the Eel’s tail, you need to fire the hookshot at its head. The further away you stand the better: the Eel gets pulled towards you, exposing a vulnerable weakspot at the top of its neck for you to hit with your sword.

Watch out for the fake eels that sometimes emerge – these short eels have white pupils in black eyes and will bounce around before self-destructing.

Do enough damage and the Slime Eel dies, berating you for your apparent ignorance:

TSSSK, TSSSK! You don’t ssseem to know what kind of island thisss iss…
KEEE-HEEE-HEEE! What a fool… KEE-HEE-HEH!

Head through the top exit to the treasure room.

Link holds aloft the Wind Marimba

Well, you’ve finally received instrument number five: the Wind Marimba. In the light that follows you hear the ominous and mysterious voice again:

...SHRINE…
The island’s secret in the shrine…

Continue reading as Link faces the reality of Koholint Island and delves into the Ancient Ruins to access the Face Shrine in Part Seven.