Marin Finds Link on the beach

With the release of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch, Zelda remake powerhouse Grezzo has returned to the series’ first portable outing, allowing a new generation to experience this charming adventure for the first time.

Whether you remember these most non-Hyrule of fields when they were all pea-soup green or this is your first Zelda game, there’s a chance you’ll get stuck at some point. Don’t worry – our comprehensive walkthrough is here to help you get unstuck so you can get back to enjoying the game.

Zelda: Link’s Awakening Walkthrough series

Zelda: Link’s Awakening Part One: Mabe Village: Getting Your Sword and Shield

Link awakens in Marin's home

Link’s Awakening opens with Link awakening in unfamiliar surroundings: Marin and her father Tarin have given you shelter while you recover from the shipwreck in the game’s intro sequence. She suggests that you head to the beach and warns you about the increased monster activity that has accompanied your arrival – in this opening section you’re going to need to locate a sword and shield so you can safely make your way across the island.

Tarin gives Link his shield

Your shield is thankfully very simple to find – simply talk to Tarin to get it back. In the Switch version it’ll always be equipped on the R button from now on, and it will keep you safe from various monsters on the way to the beach and beyond.

Link steps outside of Marin's house

Step outside the house – welcome to Mabe Village. Take this opportunity to explore and familiarise yourself with the layout and the residents, including (clockwise from north):

  • Weather vane: directly north Marin’s house. A key location later in the game, Marin can often be found singing here
  • Quadruplets house: a two-entranced house you’ll visit as part of the item quest, located on the cliffs at the northeastern edge of the town
  • Cave and northeast exit: there’s nothing to see here for the time-being
  • Tool shop: shop selling various items including a shovel (for secret seashells) and a heart piece. Located north east of Marin’s house
  • Telephone booth: directly south of Marin’s house. These booths are littered across the island and dispense hints about what you should be doing next
  • Trendy Game: a shack in the south east corner with a claw game - win various items including a Yoshi doll (a trading quest item) and a heart piece. 10 rupees a go
  • Old Man’s Ulrira’s House: residence of the telephone booth operator, southwest of Marin’s house – doesn’t have much to say in person
  • Path to beach: route in the southwest of the village – your next destination
  • Library: contains books that explain basic controls, a map of the island and a hint about an essential item for the late game
  • Well: convenient hole in the west you can’t wait to throw yourself into
  • Mysterious Forest: access via the north west - where you’ll be heading after the beach
  • Fishing hole: Area in the north where you can play a fishing minigame
  • Madam MeowMeow’s House: house in the middle of the village with a Chain Chomp tied up outside
Link drops down a ledge on the way to the beach

When you’re ready, head south out of the village as per Marin’s suggestion:

“Follow the lane south to reach the beach where I found you.”

Note that you can quickly drop off ledges on the way down. Keep heading south until you reach the area directly above the beach (yellow/orange floor in the Switch version).

Link reads a helpful sign post about sea urchins

Heading east you’ll eventually find your way blocked by Sea Urchins. A nearby sign sympathises with your predicament:

“Beware of sea urchins! Don’t touch them with your bare hands!”

Link moves a sea urchin with his shield

Follow the advice of this helpful sign - hold your shield with R and push the Urchins to clear a path to the beach – and your sword.

Link hears about the Mysterious Forest

Before you can pick up your sword, an owl swoops in with some words of wisdom – he recommends going north and entering the Mysterious Forest. Pick up the sword (it must be yours, your name is engraved on it!) and head back to the village – either to continue the quest in part two of our walkthrough, or to start work on the trading sequence below.

The Link’s Awakening Trading Sequence: Part One – Yoshi Doll, Ribbon, Dog Food and Bananas

Trading sequences are a recurring element in the Zelda series – you’ll pick up one item that a character is looking for, trade it and they’ll give you another item, and so on. However, the one in Link’s Awakening is unusual in that it is unavoidable if you plan on actually completing the game.

Because you’ll have to follow these steps sooner rather than later, we’ll guide you through the steps of the trading sequence as they become available to you – and the first four items are available from the very beginning.

Step One: Getting the Yoshi Doll

Link hears about the Yoshi Doll

While exploring Mabe Village you will undoubtedly come across the house in the southeast offering the wonderfully named ‘Trendy Game’ – a UFO catcher/claw crane game in which you can win various prizes. Directly outside a kid named Suhni mentions that he has been trying to win the Yoshi Doll in the game, and while you’d be forgiven for feeling like you have bigger windfish to wake, helping him get that doll will serve you well in the long run.

Once you have 30 to 50 Rupees or so (chop some of the nearby grass for some quick cash) head inside and play the game.

Link positions the trendy game claw vertically

The claw crane is 10 rupees a shot – and not exactly the easiest thing to nail first time. Press X to move the crane forward and A to move it to the right: just like real claw machines, you only get one go at moving the crane in each direction, so if you over/undershoot you’ll find you’ve wasted a turn.

Press X to move crane forward, try to get the light of the crane as close to the centre of the carpet square as possible (as in the screenshot above).

Link positions the trendy game claw horizontally

Next, press A to move the crane to the right until the light is directly above the Yoshi Doll’s head – hopefully you’ll grab the doll, if not, keep trying until you are successful (clear some more grass outside if you need to have another go). You may also want to have a go at grabbing the heart piece

Step Two: Yoshi Doll for Ribbon

Link is accosted leaving the Trendy Game with his Yoshi Doll

Step outside with your adorable Yoshi doll for some bad news – Suhni pounces and asks if you’d like to donate the cute but functionless doll to his mother, Mamasha.

Link locates the house with two doorways in Mabe Village

As the needs of the questline outweigh your legitimate need for plush merchandise, head north to the house which he describes as:

‘the one up north with the two doors’

Link exchanges a Yoshi Doll for a Ribbon

Inside, Mamasha asks that you trade the Yoshi doll. In return, she’ll give you a ribbon. “Maybe you can trade the ribbon for something else!” muses the game. Maybe indeed.

Step Three: Ribbon for Dog Food

Ciao Ciao mentions wanting a new accessory

On your travels you may have already come across the CiaoCiao, a very fashion forward Chain Chomp who is after a new accessory. Ciao Ciao can be found in the kennel on the side of the house in the centre of Mabe Village.

Link trades the ribbon for a can of dog food

Obviously, the Ribbon you received is the perfect accessory for any spherical giant-toothed metallic horror, so speak to Ciao Ciao, hand it over and receive the Dog Food.

Step Four: Dog Food for Banana

Sale mentions that he collects canned food

South of Mabe Village, you may have found the banana plantation and the house of Sale the blue alligator. In addition to a sideline in fetching headwear, Sale also mentions that his hobby is collecting rare and unusual Canned Food.

To get to Sale’s house, leave Mabe Village via the south exit and jump down the ledges – instead of going down the final set of steps to the beach, head east and follow the path (in the Switch version you will notice the ground changing to a yellow/orange colour when you’re at the right elevation).

Link trades dog food for bananas

Bring the Dog Food to Sale and you’ll receive some Bananas in return. Unsurprisingly, you’ll be on the lookout for a monkey to take them of your hands (not the one on the plantation – he’s just a local jerk), but this is as far as you can go with the trading quest for now. Check out part two to continue with the main quest!