Link is approached by two kids in Mabe Village

In our last guide, we left Link as he emerged triumphantly from the Tail Cave with the Full Moon Cello and Roc’s Feather, a magical item that has gifted him the rare and wonderful ability to… err, jump. In part three of his continuing adventures, we deal with a dastardly dognapping, step into a suspicious swamp and delve into the game’s second dungeon.

BowWow And Goponga Swamp Walkthrough

Returning to Mabe Village

The Owl tells you of Goponga Swamp

Start heading back towards Mabe Village and you are immediately stopped by the wise Owl, clarifying your goal on the island and suggesting your next destination:

Hoot! That is an Instrument of the Sirens!
I have to admit, at first I did not believe you were real…
That instrument, along with the seven others in the set, has the power to wake the Wind Fish!
You must collect them all! I was instructed to give you directions…
Your next goal is north, in Goponga Swamp! Hoot, indeed!

Goponga Swamp will be our ultimate destination, however, Link’s quest is rarely without detours. Return to Mabe and you’ll see what we mean.

The village kids let you know that Moblins have attacked

As you enter the village’s southern entrance, the two kids that usually play there (Joonya and Kidoh) frantically approach you and let you know that the village was attacked while you were gone:

Hey, buddy! It’s serious! Yeah, really serious!
Yeah, it is! The moblins came to the village!
Yeah, that’s right! A whole gang of moblins!
Then… It’s for real! They all went to the house…
It was a really bad scene, with the m-m-moblins!

Link finds out that Moblins have stolen BowWow

The house they’re talking about is Madam MeowMeow’s (in the centre of the village), her pet chain chomp BowWow conspicuously absent. She laments:

AIEEEEEEEE! It’s terrrrible! My BowWow was dognapped by… M-M-MOBLINS!
OHHH! AHHH! Please! Somebody help my poor BowWow!

That someone, of course, is you. You’re not just doing this out of the goodness of your heart though – if you were to head directly to the Goponga Swamp, you would find that he is name-dropped by a sign there, and it turns out he’s actually the key to gaining access to the next dungeon.

Before leaving Mabe, visit the tool store and trendy game to pick up any items you haven’t purchased yet (we recommend completing the first steps of the trading quest if you haven’t already, and purchasing a shovel, as BowWow can help sniff out buried secret seashells).

Rescuing BowWow from the Moblin Cave

Returning to Koholint Prairie to track down BowWow

The game is vague about where exactly the Moblins reside, seemingly because the designers want you to take the initiative to explore some of the new paths opened up by the Roc’s Feather item you picked up in the Tail Cave – specifically, the path north of where you found the toadstool and the paths available on Koholint Prairie (where you took the toadstool to gain the magic powder).

The latter (Koholint Prairie) is the one you should visit first – accessible from the Mysterious Forest’s northeast exit. Use Roc’s Feather to jump over the pits surrounding the heart piece, head north and then east.

An Owl Statue imparts some cryptic wisdom outside the Moblin Cave

On the lower pathway, you will find an owl statue with some cryptic words and the entrance to the Moblins’ Cave. Step inside and you’ll encounter a couple of rooms of Moblins to defeat: in the first, a sword and shield Moblin (which must be staggered with your shield before you can do damage with your sword). Then, you’ll have to clear a room of four spear throwing moblins (keep your shield up until there is an opening to attack).

The Moblin Chief charges face-first into a wall

In the third room, you will have to fight the Moblin Chief. Deflect his spear-throws with your shield and watch for him beating his chest with his fists – this means he’s going to charge, and if you get out of the way in time, he will slam into the wall and become vulnerable to hits from your sword.

Link rescues BowWow

Once the chief is dealt with. head through the next door to the final room and free BowWow. BowWow is a very useful ally – in addition to clearing the path to the next dungeon, he will attack enemies and even tell you to dig for secret seashells!

Heading to Goponga Swamp with BowWow

Link heads north from the Mysterious Forest

Return to the Mysterious Forest, and the clearing in which you found the Sleepy Toadstool (via the log leading to the short cave system – you may want to take one back to the witch if you are running low on Magic Powder, as this item is used in the next dungeon). If you head north you will come across a pit that previously blocked your path – use Roc’s Feather to jump over it and continue north to exit the forest.

Link and BowWow open the Bottle Grotto in Goponga Swamp

Explore the area on the other side of the pits here if you want – there are rupees in the caves and a new NPC to meet (Mr. Write, who doesn’t have anything useful for you at this point). Once you’re done, head east to Goponga Swamp.

Pots aplenty in the Bottle Grotto

Head to the northeast of the swamp, weaving in and out of the vines as you go. BowWow will attack any Goponga Flowers he sees, including a Giant Goponga Flower blocking access to a chest with 50 rupees inside, and most importantly the flowers in front of the entrance to Goponga Swamp’s dungeon – the Bottle Grotto. When you’re ready, step inside.

Bottle Grotto Walkthrough

Bottle Grotto: Locating the Compass

Link uses Magic Powder to light the flames

Welcome to the Bottle Grotto – a dungeon which, as the name suggests, features plenty of the as-yet unliftable clay pots, a fact that that the first room is keen to impress on you. The treasure chest in this entrance will be unreachable until you get the dungeon’s key item – the Power Bracelet, so for now just head forward.

Link dispatches two Stalfos to reveal a small key

The next room is darkened – a lone spark patrolling the outer edge, a raised platform with two unlit-torches in the middle. At this stage in the game there a few tools in your inventory, so use the best candidate – equip your magic powder and throw it at both torches. When they’re both alight, the door on the right of the room will open – head through it.

Link performs a spin attack to kill a mask-mimic

In the next room you’ll encounter a couple of Stalfos (skeletons) including your first lime-green Stalfos (these guys jump and try to stomp on you – dodge them and hit them when they land). Killing both enemies rewards you with a Small Key. Use it on the locked door at the bottom of the room.

Link retrieves the Bottle Grotto compass

In the next room, you’ll encounter your first Mask-Mimic. These shyest of guys have a couple of interesting properties: firstly, they are invulnerable to direct attacks (those masks must be strong). Secondly, they mirror your every move – move up, they move down; move left, they move right, and so on. They are vulnerable to bombs, however the cheapest way to kill them is to use the walls and obstacles in the room to get close, then face away from them and charge a spin attack on their exposed back.

Link hits a gem switch to access a chest containing a small key

With the Mask-Mimic felled, a chest will spawn on the paved area in the upper right, containing a compass – cluing you into the presence of keys, chests and the main boss.

Bottle Grotto: Acquiring the Stone Beak

Link negotiates some blade traps in a darkened room

Once you have the compass, exit the room and head right. On the next screen you will want to hit the gem in the center of the room, this will cause all blue barriers in the dungeon to fall (and orange barriers to rise). Head south and attack the gem behind the orange barrier (you can reach). Deal with the Shrouded Stalfos (use your shield to create an opening to strike) and open the chest for a Small Key.

At this point, rather than heading right you should return to the room with the two torches and use the key in the door on the left side of the room.

Link contemplates crossing a trench

Having spent your Small Key on the lefthand door, carefully trigger the blade traps by standing near their path, waiting for them to move, and crossing past them while they return into place. Deal with the bats and light the torches with your Magic Powder if you’re having trouble seeing. Exit via the top exit.

Link claims the stone beak

The next room includes a couple more torches to light, a trench to jump and a Hardhat Beetle that deserves to fall into the trench. Open the chest here to pick up a stone beak you can use for hints in various parts of the dungeon.

Link minds the gap to reveal another small key

The beak retrieved, return to the tall room with the red/blue barriers and exit via the lower right (the owl in the top of this room will tell you how the barriers work, which you will already know at this point).

Bottle Grotto: Fighting the Hinox Miniboss

Link charges up another spin attack to doom a pair of hapless mask-mimics

Jump the trenches in the next room and head to the lower right. Step on the button and a chest will spawn on the ledge above, containing another Small Key. Head to the top exit.

Link finds out which blocks to push in a pot-filled room

In the next room you’ll find another pair of Mask-Mimics. Dispatch them the same way as before – use walls and obstacles to get close to them, face away and kill them with a spin attack.

Another Small Key will drop from the ceiling on the other side of the barrier. Loop back around via the exit at the top right of the long room with the orange/blue barriers and pick up the key. Head back to the room you were just in and exit via the right.

Spend a key on the door in the upper right of the next room, once you have used your shield to flip the Spiked Beetle.

Link jumps across a darkened room

The next room appears to be a dead-end, putting you in close confines with a Spark to avoid. The Owl Statue provides a hint about what to do here:

Make every block design the same. A new path will open.

The Switch’s updated graphics and slightly tilted perspective actually makes the solution here a little less obvious than in the Gameboy original, since what were once two differently patterned sets of boxes are now more explicitly a pair of blocks either side of a pair of floor tiles. Nonetheless, the solution here is straightforward: push the blocks inwards so they cover the floor tiles and a set of stairs will appear in the upper right of the room.

Traverse the next sidescrolling area with some easy jumps and climb the ladder to exit.

The Hinox throws Link in the Bottle Grotto

Head to the one-way door at the top of the next room – light the torches if you need them, kill the Keese (bats) and avoid the Spark.

The Owl Statue offers hints about the order in which enemies should be killed in a later room

Congratulations, you’ve reached the Bottle Grotto’s miniboss – the Hinox. This cycloptic giant has two main attacks. It will charge at and try to grab you (throwing you at the wall if it is successful). It will also occasionally throw bombs at you. The key here is to keep your distance, keep moving (perhaps by running over the crumbling tiles, which it will not step on) and wait for it to charge you – when it misses there will be an opening to get your sword swipes in.

Once the Hinox is defeated, a blue portal will open, a fairy will appear and the door in the bottom right will open. Head through it to continue your adventure.

Bottle Grotto: Retrieving the Dungeon Map

Link tries to keep his footing

Skirt the outside edge of the next room and place the Stone Beak into the Owl Statue for a hint relevant to a later room:

First, defeat the imprisoned Pols Voice. Last, the skeletal Stalfos…

Exit via the doorway in the upper right.

Link gets the dungeon map

The next room introduces the Vacuum Mouth – a black-hole like entity that draws Link and enemies inwards. If you’re feeling brave you can actually reach the Vacuum Mouth’s platform with a well-timed Roc’s Feather jump and a whack of your sword (if it grabs you, be prepared to trek back from the beginning of the dungeon). Alternatively, walk away from its gravitational pull and move around the room freely when it momentarily stops.

Entering the long horizontal switch room

Open the chest to receive the Dungeon Map and head to the exit at the top of the room.

Bottle Grotto: Purloining the Power Bracelet

Link encounters a ghost

You emerge into a long, horizontal hallway. Your progress to the right is blocked by those unliftable pots – dispatch the Keese, check the chest for some Rupees and pick up the Magic Powder refill.

You should still have a Small Key at this point (check over the rest of the guide above if you’re missing one). Use it on the locked door on the left wall.

Lighting the torch makes the ghost vulnerable

The ghost in the next room will resist your sword attacks – at least, until you light both torches, making the Ghost vulnerable.

Link Claims the Power Bracelet

In the light, the ghost is easily dispatched – a chest spawns in the upper right of the room.

Chucking pots around with the power bracelet

Open the chest to receive the Power Bracelet, finally allowing you to pick up and throw pots. The Game Boy versions require the Power Bracelet to be equipped to a button (same as all other items), however in the Switch remake you can always pick up pots by facing them and pressing ‘A’. Press the button a second time to throw.

Bottle Grotto: Finding the Nightmare Key

Negotiating some barriers to get a small key

With the Power Bracelet secured, Link can become the pot chucking menace that other Legend of Zelda games allow him to be from the word go. Use your pottery-phobic powers to clear the top route in the next room of obstructions and walk over the retracted Orange barriers (if you hit an earlier switch the blue barriers may be down instead – in which case, you will need to take the bottom route and jump the gap).

In the middle of the room there is a gem to cycle between orange and blue barriers – use this to lower the single blue barrier, stand on it and raise it again.

A choice of exits in the long horizontal room

Step off the raised blue barrier and open the chest for a Small Key. Stand on the leftmost orange barrier and hit the gem to raise the orange barriers again. Head right off of the raised orange barriers and over the lowered blue ones.

Link contemplates a puzzle involving a stalfos, poe's soul and keese

At this point you could spend your Small Key, however the path to the right leads to the Dungeon’s Nightmare and you do not yet have the Nightmare Key. Instead, head through the exit in the lower right of this room.

Moving the blocks to free and kill the Poe's voice

There are three enemies in the next room – a bat, a rabbit-like creature trapped behind some blocks and a spear-throwing Stalfos. The rabbit-like creature is called a Pols Voice – a fact that may make you recall a message from earlier in the dungeon. Indeed, if you take the stairs and navigate through a side-scrolling area (complete with green pipes and Mario-series Piranha Plants) you will arrive back in the room with that very message:

First, defeat the imprisoned Pols Voice. Last, the skeletal Stalfos…

Claiming the Nightmare key

The message clues you in to the order in which you must kill the enemies in this room – rabbit-like Poe’s Voice first, the (unmentioned, bat-like) Keese second and the skeletal Stalfos last.

To get close to the Poe’s Voice you must push the top-right block downwards and the top-left block to the left. Grab a pot and throw it at the Poe’s voice, then kill the bat and finally the Stalfos.

Unlocking a locked door in the long horizontal room

Clear the room and a chest will appear in the upper right, containing the Nightmare Key

Bottle Grotto: Defeating the Nightmare/Dungeon Boss – Genie

Dispatching enemies in a pot-filled room

Return to the locked door and use your last small key to head through.

Using a pot to lower a lift

Dispatch the enemies in the next room to reveal a set of stairs to the next area. Helpfully, you should be able to find a fairy and/or some hearts in the many pots here.

Approaching the Nightmare's door

The next sidescrolling area is the first to feature a puzzle – the first lift you encounter will drop when you stand on it, however the one on the far left won’t budge – you need to be heavier, so grab a nearby pot and step on the lift to make it fall.

The Genie taunts Link

You’ve finally arrived at the Nightmare’s antechamber – jump the gap, insert the key, and ready yourself for battle.

Whacking the Genie's bottle

The Bottle Grotto’s Genie is a fireball-juggling fiend contained in (what else) a bottle. Run back and forth horizontally to avoid his fireballs and wait for him to taunt you and hide in his pot.

Throwing the Genie's bottle against the wall

Strike the pot with your sword and he’ll berate you, saying:

Your little sword won’t break this bottle!
Even the walls here look tougher than that dinky thing!

Genie separates into two mirages

Well, that was certainly a helpful thing for him to say: pick up the bottle and throw it against those tough, tough walls. Repeat the cycle of dodging fireballs, striking the bottle and throwing it against the walls a couple more times and it will break.

Claiming the Conch Horn

Freed from the bottle, the Genie will duplicate itself and circle you. Eventually, one Genie will be revealed as the real one and will throw a large, homing-fireball – do your best to dodge it, run at him and use your sword to attack him. Once you’ve hit him three times, he will combust, furnishing you with a heart container.

Head through the newly opened door on the right of the boss room and claim the Conch Horn, the second instrument needed to wake the Wind Fish. The screen will then fade to white and you will see another cryptic message:

The prairie is waiting…

Link's adventure continues in Part Four, where we journey to Kanalet Castle and the Key Cavern.