Link learns about his goals in the Mysterious Forest

In part two of our Zelda: Link's Awakening walkthrough we journey into the Mysterious Forest to locate the Tail Key to open the Tail Cave.

Mysterious Forest Walkthrough

Finding The Tail Key

Having retrieved your Sword and Shield, it’s time for Link’s adventure to begin in earnest. You should head north out of Mabe village, past the ledge above a well (jump inside for a Heart Piece) to enter the Mysterious Forest.

Before you go:

  • Consider starting those steps of the game’s compulsory trading sequence you can already complete
  • Visit the Mabe Village shop (house to the east with a shield sign above it) to buy some bombs (not essential at this stage, but can be used in the upcoming dungeon)
Link reads a sign saying he has arrived at the Mysterious Forest

Inside the Mysterious Forest you will be stopped again by the Owl with some words of wisdom:

Hoot! Ho, brave lad, on your quest to wake the dreamer! Welcome to the Mysterious Forest!

…By the by, have you ever visited the Tail Cave, which is south of the village?

Go there with the key you find in this forest…

The Wind Fish is watching… Hoot!

Link is taunted by an obstructive Raccoon

Take the path north and then right, fighting the moblins you encounter (put your shield up to deflect their spear throws, then strike them with your sword). Turn north to a little clearing and speak to the Raccoon: Remember his words – you’ll need to know his weakness later.

“As a raccoon, my nose is verrry sensitive ta stuff like dust and powder…”

Explore around the forest and you’ll be unable to find the elusive key – when heading north from the Raccoon he will taunt you and you will find only a fairy fountain – an opportunity to heal up and work on getting your own back on the Raccoon

Getting Rid of the Raccoon with a Sleepy Toadstool

Link reads a sign about crumbling floors

From the Raccoon’s words you’ll understand that the solution here is something to do with “dust and powder” – as it happens, a witch in Koholint Prairie (accessible to the northeast) can make you some Magic Powder from a type of mushroom in the forest. The mushroom – the Sleepy Toadstool – can be picked up from an area in the woods accessed through a hollow log.

To get to the log from the fairy fountain, turn east and then south (Alternatively, head south from the Raccoon’s clearing and take a turn east on a narrow path between the line of trees.

Link smashes purple rocks to access a chest

Enter the log and you emerge into a cave. Dispatch the Keese (bats), smash the purple rocks and push the grey rock to access the chest for 50 rupees. Exit north (taking care not to stay too long on the cracks on the floor – otherwise you’ll fall through!) and follow the passage round to emerge into a room with lots of round rocks.

Link contemplates a block puzzle

Unfortunately the Heart Piece in this room is inaccessible for the time being (the skulls must be lifted and thrown – consider dropping a pin on the game’s map to remember this for later). For now, push two round rocks down to make a path to the south exit.

Link poised to pick up a toadstool

Emerge from the log and deal with the sword and shield moblins by readying your shield – when they attack they will bounce off and leave you an opening to get a sword hit in. The ingredient you need for the Magic Powder (the Sleepy Toadstool) can be seen to the left – pick it up.

Visiting the Witch on Koholint Prairie for Magic Powder

Link wonders how he's going to get back through a block puzzle

Now it’s time to turn your Sleepy Toadstool into the Magic Powder you need to get rid of that pesky Raccoon. Run with us back through the cave you came through (push the lower right rock up one space, and then the rightmost rock up two spaces).

Link finds the route to Koholint Prairie

Head to the northeast of the Mysterious Forest – there is an exit here to Koholint Prairie. If you’re having trouble finding the route, head north from the log/cave network entrance and then east once you find the log behind the three stones (pictured above).

Link enters Koholint Prairie

Emerge onto Koholint Prairie and follow the path south. Sidestep the monsters here for now.

Link finds the Witch's house

At the end of the trail you find a witch’s home within some suitably spooky trees – step inside.

Exchanging the Toadstool for the Magic Powder

The witch quickly notices that you’ve picked up the Sleepy Toadstool in the woods (if you haven’t, see the section above). She’ll give you some magic powder for your troubles. As prompted, equip the powder to your X or Y button in your inventory (+).

Using the Magic Powder on the Raccoon

Return to the clearing and throw some Magic Powder on the Raccoon – that’ll teach him for blabbing about his weakness! Suddenly he twirls out of control and turns into Marin’s father Tarin.

Link obtains the Tail Key

Head north from Tarin and instead of the fairy fountain, you will finally find the treasure chest containing the Tail Key – you can now use it to open up the Tail Cave gate.

With the Tail Key acquired we can now continue the Zelda: Link's Awakening walkthrough by visiting the Tail Cave and Defeating The Tail Cave Boss.