Link and Marin stare out over the ocean

In part five of our Zelda: Link's Awakening walkthrough Link will be seeking out Yarna Desert, serenading a sleeping Walrus, and entering the Angler’s Tunnel to deliver cold steel straight to a fish’s illicium (oof!).

Additionally covered: getting the ocarina from the dream shrine, and three conveniently placed steps in the trading quest.

Angler Key Location, Animal Village, Yarna Desert and Mountain Waterfall

Learning about your next destination

The Owl speaks of Yarna Desert outside of the Key Cavern

As you leave the Key Cavern you’ll immediately be stopped by the Owl, who as usual, establishes your goal in the next chunk of the adventure:

Hoot! How many instruments have you gotten so far?
When you play the instruments in front of the egg, the Wind Fish will wake and you will leave this island.
Now, you must hasten to the Yarna Desert!
The dark, monstrous inhabitants of the sand will show you the way! Hoot hoot!

With Roc’s Feather, the Power Bracelet and Pegasus Boots in your possession, Koholint Island really opens up – you will be able to reach most sections of the map and may want to wander off in search of heart pieces, secret seashells and other paths. The route towards Yarna Desert is quite specific and we’ll get to it in due course – there are two detours we recommend taking first.

Detour: Dream Shrine and the Ocarina

Before we head off in search of the Yarna Desert, it’s worth returning to Mabe Village to complete the Dream Shrine now that you have the Pegasus Boots. This detour is non-essential, however getting it out of the way now will ensure that you can pick up a very useful song for the Ocarina immediately after the upcoming dungeon.

Entrance to Dream Shrine

The Dream Shrine is in the northeast of Mabe Village, behind some rocks. Enter and get into the bed.

Dashing in the Dream Shrine

You will enter a single room dungeon filled with Arm-Mimics mirroring your movement while standing on crumbling tiles. Charge up a dash attack and run along the four sides of the shrine to take the mimics out.

Link recieves the Ocarina

Check both pedestals in the centre area for 100 Rupees (righthand chest) and the Ocarina (lefthand chest).

Link learns the Ballad of the Wind Fish from Marin in Mabe Village

The Ocarina can be used to learn a small number of songs from certain characters around Koholint. After exiting the Dream Shrine you should head to the Mabe Village wind vane to find Marin – she will teach you the Ballad of the Wind Fish in a sweet scene (the song can be used for a secret seashell later in the game).

Heading to Animal Village (on the Way to Yarna Desert)

Entrance steps to tunnel towards animal village and Yarna Desert

The way to Yarna Desert can be a little tricky to find. Your access point – a set of stairs under a river - is actually discretely hidden under a bush. Head to the small wooded area below Kanalet Castle and the Shell Mansion – walk to the river to the east. Across the water you can see a set of stairs with no obvious counterpart. Swipe your sword at the bush on your shore to expose the stairs. Head through the tunnel and emerge on the other side. Head south.

Animal Village entrance

To the east is Animal Village. The characters here speak fondly of Marin and a few will note that the way to Yarna Desert is currently blocked. Take a look around the south of the village and you will find a hugely useful warp point, as well as a house standing slightly apart from the others in the south-eastern corner.

Finding Marin and waking the Walrus

Chef Bear also has some helpful information about the Walrus blocking the entrance to Yarna Desert.

Hi ho! Yeah, I know, that tub of goo is asleep right in the way to Yarna Desert!
Once he’s asleep, he won’t budge for a loooooonng time.
But hey! Take Little Marin and wake him up with her singing!

If you want to confirm it for yourself, head out of the village, turn south and then east to find the Walrus, who is loudly snoring and somehow articulating little Marin emojis.

Link finds Marin by the shoreline

Return to Mabe Village (ideally, using the warp point in nearby Ukuku Prairie) and you will find that Marin isn’t in her usual spot by the weather vane. Head to the beach and go east – beyond the banana plantation is a small, isolated bay with a log – Marin is here, looking out at the horizon.

Marin offers her service as a Walrus Waker

Approach her and watch a cute scene between Link and Marin:

I wonder where these coconut trees come from? …
Tarin says there is nothing beyond the sea.
But I believe there must be something over there…

When I discovered you, Link, my heart skipped a beat!
I thought, this person has come to give us a message…
… … … …
If I was a seagull, I would fly as far as I could!
I would fly to faraway places and sing for many people!
If I wish to the Wind Fish, I wonder if my dream will come true…

The conversation turns to the Walrus and Marin agrees to come with you, with the following bizarre visual:

Link holds Marin aloft like an item

Marin will follow behind you and is ok to travel through warp points, so head back to the Animal Village and the Walrus (head south from the village, then east).

Startling the Walrus with Marin's Ballad of the Windfish

Marin will sing and the Walrus will jump with a start before agreeing to slide into the sea. Marin will head back to Animal Village for now. Finally, you can get into Yarna Desert!

Yarna Desert and Lanmola Miniboss

Fighting the miniboss in Yarna Desert

Aside from a number of buried secret shells, there’s not a lot to do in Yarna Desert besides heading north to the enclosed area with the quicksand. As you enter the arena, a voice sneers:

Annoyance! You are only getting in the way!

A red, centipede-like enemy called a Lanmola will burst in and out of the sand – hit his head repeatedly with a charge attack to do damage and avoid the vortex at the centre of the arena (you will survive being drawn in, but the boss will be fully healed when you return).

Link claims the Angler Key in a cave in Yarna Desert

After several hits he will explode and relinquish the Angler Key, which will get drawn in by the quicksand. Follow the key and pick it up.

Using the Angler Key to reveal the Angler’s Tunnel Entrance

Angler Key in hand, exit Yarna Desert to encounter the ever-helpful Owl:

Hoot! The shape of the key shows a fish, swimming up a cascade of water!
Go now to the mountain waterfall!
A leap from the top and you will reach your goal!

Link reads a signpost on the way to the Angler's Tunnel

The mountain area in question is in the north-east of the map. If your travels haven’t already taken you there, you will need to head north from Koholint Prairie (above the Moblin Cave from which you rescued Bow-Wow, and in the Switch version, Dampe’s Hut). Head east below the cliffs, but pass the two ladders leading up and stick to the grassy area for now.

Climbing down steps on the way to the Angler's Tunnel

Continue heading east until you find a ladder down. Continue to head east here, defeating the Pig Warriors as you go.

Link uses the Angler Key

About halfway along this plateau you will find the fish-shaped keyhole for the Angler’s Key opposite a huge waterfall. Insert the key and the waterfall will part to reveal the entrance to the Angler’s Tunnel.

Climbing to the top of the waterfall requires you to head back to the west (though for now you should quickly detour east to activate a warp point for Tal Tal Heights)

Climbing the Mountain Waterfall

Link climbs towards the mountain waterfall and Tal Tal Heights

Head back east and climb back to the level you were at previously. Continue back east and climb the first of the two ladders on this level – this leads you to the Tal Tal Mountain Range. Chuck the rocks aside and enter the cave.

Solving a sliding block puzzle in a Tal Tal cave

Inside the cave, head right. Use your sword to quickly destroy the upper left purple crystal (don’t be too slow, otherwise the floor will crumble). Jump the gaps and push the two central rocks up to create a path to the stairs (you can get to the heart piece by pushing the middle of the lower right rocks down twice – you’ll create a pit and take some damage, but you can jump due right over this gap and rush to the heart piece).

Exiting the cave in the Tal Tal Mountain Range

Head east through the next tunnel and climb the stairs. In the next room there are two exits on the lower wall – the first leads to a chest and the second leads to where you need to go next.

Link spots Papahl lost in the mountains

Step outside and you’ve nearly made it to the top of the waterfall – but wait, who’s that on the upper level? Head into the cave east of the outcrop he’s standing on.

With the Angler Key safely in our pocket, let's continue our Zelda: Link's Awakening walkthrough and explore the Angler's Tunnel before learning How To Defeat The Angler's Tunnel Boss (Level 4).