Link’s Awakening [10] – The Face Shrine

Maybe it’s the game, but I prefer to think it’s me. By this point, I started to get the hang of Link’s Awakening. The game can be difficult, but as long as I’m focused and I avoid carelessness, I can easily get through most of the challenges it throws at me. It requires skill, but it’s fair and forgiving when it needs to be. At no point did I feel tricked out of a victory.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Face Shrine

As usual, you get the first room of the dungeon.

I Tried Clearing the Face Shrine

For instance, inside the Face Shrine, there are a couple of rooms with teleporting mage enemies, called Wizzrobes. A sword briefly stuns them, but doesn’t hurt them. They, on the other hand, hurt me quite a bit, especially if I don’t move as they teleport. Since I just got back from fighting Armos, I immediately went for the bow and it worked. The dungeon also had a couple of arrow sources, so it made sense.

Eventually, though, I ran out of arrows. Instead, I was drowning in bombs, so I gave those a shot, but the sword doesn’t stun for long enough. Instead, I tried the hook shot and this worked like a charm. The hook shot keeps them stunned and a single bomb kills them. This made a couple of hard rooms extremely easy, all thanks to me using my brain instead of just mindlessly slashing, like most games train me to do.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Horse Heads

My route kept leading me around these guys, but never down to their level.

Another memorable room was the one with the two horse enemies. They’re new and they look unique, so the regular route through the dungeon had me going through a room with two of them several times, but I couldn’t reach them on my first two passes, because I was on a route that was separate from the main part of the room. It seems unimportant, but it’s nice “foreshadowing”, making me more interested in what type of enemies they are, or if they’re even enemies at all, since they aren’t moving.

I Got Stuck

I got the map, the compass and the owl beak relatively early. The first owl statue I found was a bit cryptic, probably because I didn’t discover what it’s referring to yet.

Enter the space where the eyes have walls.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Head Statue

I tried capturing the glitch, but it doesn’t appear on screenshots.

The thing is, even though I found two possible locations this was referring to, I just couldn’t figure it out. The first one was in the eastern part of the dungeon, after the mini-boss room. There was that “false exit” maze screen-based games love to use where taking the wrong exit takes you to an unexpected room. There’s a room with two of those large statues, which could be eyes, and there’s also a room with flickering lights on the wall surrounding an exit. I couldn’t apply the hint to any of those, but thanks to a graphical glitch, I’m sure one of the statues hides a staircase. What glitch? Using a bomb on the same tile row the statue is on causes it to flicker and reveal the staircase beneath. The second potential location is to the northwest of the dungeon, in a room with the two patrolling Sparks. There’s a weird two tile wide platform in one of the corners and again, there are two flickering lights on the wall which could be eyes.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Eyes

I thought the eyes might be those lights, but I was wrong.

I went back and forth for a while, but I just couldn’t figure it out, so I decided to go back outside and do some more exploring.

I Got another Photo at the Animal Village

I checked out the houses at the Animal Village one more time and one of them contained a Zora. It was a friendly Zora, so the mouse photographer just happened to pass by and take a picture. I don’t know it these photos are just collectibles or something else, but I got one more.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Zora Photo

Link and a firendly Zora.

I got to the beach where there was an empty cave I used a bomb to get in. Back then, I though a fairy might be in there, but my health was full. Now, I thought to myself I might have actually needed the Magnifying glass. I was right.

I Was Offered the Boomerang

There was a moblin or something similar inside and he offered me to trade any B item for one of his. In hindsight, the Zora told me about the creature, I just didn’t get it. First, I wanted to give away the shield, since I can buy a new one at the shop, but he wouldn’t take it. Eventually, I figured out he wants items like the shovel, the feather or the boots and I wasn’t willing to give any of those up yet. Also, the item in question is a boomerang.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Grass Staircase

This is the staircase towards the second brazier. I usually dash, jump, switch to sword and hit to clear it. I’m not sure if there’s a better way.

After thinking about it, I decided to give away the shovel, but only after making sure I got enough secret seashells for the sword. It was time to start digging around and exploring. I was at 13 now, so I needed either 2, or 7 more.

I Searched for Seashells

After a lengthy time spent exploring, I’ve found 2 by dashing trees, one next to the Tail Cave and one in the Savannah a screen east and south from Mabe Village. I’ve also found one by digging in Madam Meow Meow’s dog house.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Seashell Island

This is where I got one of the seashells.

Since I was at the village, I also wrote down what the last book in the library said:

Round and round, the passageways of the egg…
?? … Hmmmmmm, this book reeks of secrets…

Just for you guys, I had to refer to a Unicode table to write those arrow characters.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Boomerang

I think the shovel is the best trade for the boomerang. I don’t think it’s needed at all after the seashells. You can trade it back, of course, but hopefully, I won’t have to.

When I got a total of 18 shells, I passed by the mansion, so I checked if that’s enough, just in case – it wasn’t. I continued to explore and in about an hour, found two more. One was in the swamp close to where I got Richard’s key and I can’t remember where I got the last one. There were definitely two in the Tal Tal heights, so the last one was one of those, probably. I got back to the mansion and got the level 2 sword. Now, I can shoot the sword at a distance when I’m at full health, just like I could in the first game.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Seashell Sword

I’m sure now, it takes 20 seashells. I’m also sure you can get more.

Now that I didn’t need the shovel, at least for the time being, I went and got the boomerang. I finally decided I should try my luck with the dungeon again.

I Went Back to the Face Shrine

It’s always good to take a break when you’re stuck. It turns out, I didn’t need any new items. I just needed to find a bombable wall in one of the rooms. It was clearly marked with a tiled path, but I failed to see it. I bombed it, got through and this got me to the item of the Face Shrine.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Level 2 Power Bracelet

Lifting these statues looks ridiculous.

The item of the Face Shrine was an upgraded Power Bracelet, which pretty much unlocked the rest of the dungeon. I could now lift and throw the huge statues I was stuck with. I got access to all the stairwells, found the Nightmare Key as well as a bunch of rupees and eventually, got to the evil boss of the Face Shrine – Facade.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Horse heads.

Horse heads are just items. Both need to drop without toppling over to trigger the door.

I Fought Facade

Facade was easy and straightforward. I loved that the game actually reflected on the fact that each boss up to now gave me a hint on how to defeat it, by having Facade nearly say it to, stopping itself from doing it at the last moment.

Zelda - Link's Awakening DX - Facade

The Facade is one of the easier bosses, especially in the strategic department.

The trick here was to first dodge everything it threw at me and then just use bombs against it. Each bomb made him create holes faster, but it was overall easy to dodge, so after a few of those, it died and I got my heart container and the next instrument.

Now, I have to go to Tal Tal heights, to the tower there. I’ve been there while exploring already, so I know where it is, but I have no idea where the key to it is.