The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - A Step-by-Step Guide thumbnail

A Link to the Past - A Step-by-Step Guide

Explore Hyrule like a pro

Alex Legard

Written by for Guides on 🧝

A Link to the Past is actually a tricky game to complete when compared to modern Zelda games because many puzzles are cryptic and have unexpected solutions. So, here is everything you need to know to complete this classic game!

│ One of Video Chums' core principles is "it's better to be late and thorough than it is to be early and misinformed". 🧐

Before we begin

Welcome to my walkthrough for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past! This step-by-step guide will cover everything from the beginning of the game until the end after defeating Ganon. I will explain how to do all of the main story objectives and also give the locations of useful optional items that will make your playthrough smoother. However, I will not explain how to complete the dungeons except for Link's very first trip into Hyrule Castle 🏰 because they're much more enjoyable to explore on your own. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

For an easier time, keep these maps that highlight good-to-know locations open so you can refer to them as you play 🗺️:

Map: The Light World → Map: The Dark World →

Rescuing Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda 🧝‍♀️ talks to Link 🧝 in a dream, hoping that Link will rescue her in the castle basement. A sleepy Link wakes up to find his uncle leaving, and he tells Link to stay behind at home. First, open the chest to find the lantern then leave the house.

There are not a lot of places to explore this early on so walk north to Hyrule Castle 🏰. The door is blocked but take the right-side detour then walk north along the castle wall. Pick up a suspicious bush then fall into the hole. Your uncle will be there and he will give you a sword. Walk into the castle courtyard, go into the castle, and find the stairs leading down into the basement. Continue through the basement until you find Princess Zelda 🧝‍♀️ locked in a cell. Defeat the ball-and-chain guy, pick up the big key 🗝️, and unlock Zelda's cell. She will follow you so bring her up to the main floor of the castle.

Go to the throne room which is the room north of the main entrance. Push the sword decoration to the right to reveal a secret passage and make your way through the secret passage. It's a long treacherous journey full of rats 🐀, bats 🦇, and snakes 🐍 so persevere until you reach Sanctuary.

Kakariko Village and Lost Woods

Open the nearby chest to find your first heart container ❤️. Once outside, open your map 🗺️ and go to the house marked on the map 📍. There's a lady inside who doesn't know where the elder is but instead tells you the legend of the Master Sword. Elsewhere in Kakariko Village, there's a little blue-haired boy who knows the elder's location and he will mark it on the map 📍 for you.

It costs 100 rupees to buy a bottle so fall down a well in northeastern Kakariko Village to find 70 rupees 💰 and some bombs 💣. Bomb the cracked wall 💥 to find even more rupees 💰 and a heart piece 💗. Then, go into the green-roofed house and climb down to the basement. Open the four chests for 80 rupees 💰 then bomb the cracked wall 💥 for another 30 rupees 💰 and another heart piece 💗.

Buy the bottle from the merchant for 100 rupees. Find the second bottle by going through a house's back door somewhere in Kakariko Village. Find the bug net in one of the houses after talking to a sick boy 🛌. Go to the Lost Woods north of Kakariko Village. Pick up a suspicious bush in the middle of a 3-by-3 square and fall down the pit to find a third heart piece 💗! Elsewhere in the Lost Woods, you might find a mushroom 🍄. Pick it up because you'll need it later.

Travel one screen south of Kakariko Village. Find the brothers' house and bomb the west wall 💥 then you'll find the 15-second game. Win the game to earn yourself a 4th heart piece 💗 which should increase your heart total to 5!

A Link to the Past: Kakariko Village and Lost Woods screenshot
The shopkeeper knows what's up

Eastern Palace

Open the map 🗺️ and once again, walk to the marked location; a hut in the Eastern Ruins. Talk to the elder, Sahasrahla. He wants you to find the first of the 3 pendants and after that, he'll give you a magic artefact and tell you the legend of the Master Sword.

Go to the nearby Eastern Palace (there's nothing special you need to do to get there) and complete the dungeon to claim the bow 🏹 and the Pendant of Courage 📿. Return to Sahasrahla and he will give you the Pegasus Boots 🥾.

A Link to the Past: Eastern Palace screenshot
Link begins exploring his first dungeon

Pendant of Power

You need to find the Book of Mudora 📖. It's located in a house one screen down from Kakariko Village on top of a bookshelf. You need to dash with the Pegasus Boots 🥾 to knock it down.

Then, go to the south-western desert 🏜️ and find the Desert Palace. The entrance is blocked but it can be opened by using the Book of Mudora 📖 on the large stone. Then, complete the dungeon to claim the Power Glove 🧤 and the Pendant of Power 📿. The Power Glove lets you lift heavy stones all around Hyrule.

A Link to the Past: Pendant of Power screenshot
It wouldn't be a proper Nintendo game without a desert

Getting the Ice Rod and Flippers

The ice rod 🧊 is located in a cave northeast of Lake Hylia after you bomb a cracked wall 💥. 300 rupees 💰 can be found in a cave southwest of Lake Hylia after bombing another cracked wall 💥 then talk to the thief inside and he will give you free money.

If you still don't have 500 rupees, go to the graveyard east of Sanctuary then push the northwestern grave and fall down. Bomb the western wall 💥 and the next room will contain a 300-rupee chest 💰.

Go to the northeast part of the map 🗺️. If you have the Lost Woods mushroom 🍄, now is a good time to claim the magic powder. Just use the mushroom 🍄 on the witch 🧙‍♀️ who's brewing something in her cauldron. Then, walk one screen west, come back, walk inside the witch's shop, take a couple steps right, and pick up the magic powder.

Continue northeast while using your Power Glove 🧤 to throw the large stone. Walk through the Zora's domain until you meet a large Zora who sells you the flippers for 500 rupees. Sweet 😁! You can leave by swimming down the nearby waterfall then walk west for another free heart piece 💗.

A Link to the Past: Getting the Ice Rod and Flippers screenshot
Link finds a cave containing the ice rod

Pendant of Wisdom

Travel to the foot of Death Mountain ⛰️, west of Sanctuary, and go into the cave near the lumberjack brothers' house. Escort the old man 👴 through the dark cave. He will thank you and you can talk to him at any time for a full heal. He'll also give you the magic mirror.

Climb to the top of the mountain as high as you can. Step onto the blue portal to enter the dark world which is a mirror of the light world with minor differences in layout. You can also use the mirror to warp from the Dark World to the Light World at any location. You'll need to walk from the dark world portal a few steps northwest then use the mirror to go to the Light World at exactly the right location. You should end up on the Piece of Heart plateau. Pick up your free heart piece 💗 and drop down on the north side. Complete the Tower of Hera to receive the Pendant of Wisdom 📿 but don't forget to find the moon pearl! You need it later so you don't transform into a bunny 🐰 in the Dark World.

A Link to the Past: Pendant of Wisdom screenshot
Link is such a good mountain climber; taking the stairs...

Hyrule Castle 2

Descend Death Mountain ⛰️ and with all 3 pendants, go to the Lost Woods to claim the Master Sword! Soon after, Zelda 🧝‍♀️ will contact you telepathically while saying she's under attack at Sanctuary! Rush to Sanctuary as fast as you can. Unfortunately, you get there a little too late. Rush to the top floor of Hyrule Castle 🏰 and take the door outside; you should be on top of the castle walls. Using the Master Sword, destroy the magic seal and complete Hyrule Castle 2 🏰 which is a linear dungeon and there's no special item to collect. This dungeon has plenty of combat challenges, though.

After defeating the wizard Agahnim at the end of the dungeon, he will teleport you into the Dark World on top of the Pyramid of Power. You'll be in your human form only if you collected the Moon Pearl from the Tower of Hera. There's also a free heart piece 💗 on the right side of the pyramid.

A Link to the Past: Hyrule Castle 2 screenshot
Only a true hero can wield the Master Sword!

Bottle Under the Bridge

If you need to go back to the dark world at any point, you can go through the portal in Hyrule Castle's front gate. The mirror also leaves behind a portal every time you use it. On top of that, there are many hidden portals around the game world.

On your way to the Palace of Darkness, now is a good time to pick up the bottle under the bridge. In the dark world, swim onto the river and on a shallow patch of water, use the mirror to go to the light world. Swim under the bridge and talk to the sleeping guy.

A Link to the Past: Bottle Under the Bridge screenshot
You can also get the bottle as soon as you get the flippers after a long swim

Palace of Darkness

The Palace of Darkness is marked 1 on the dark world map 🗺️ and you'll have to get through a little maze to get there. You'll also meet a cheeky little monkey 🐒 who loves rupees. In fact, he wants 10 rupees 💰 to follow you and 100 more to open the palace doors.

Inside, the Palace of Darkness contains a magic hammer 🔨. Use it to clear pegs across the world that are blocking your way. Each dark world dungeon also contains one of the 7 imprisoned maidens. You need to free all 7 if you want to clear the seal to Ganon's tower.

A Link to the Past: Palace of Darkness screenshot
This boss was no trouble at all

Swamp Palace

The Swamp Palace is easy to find and it's marked 2 on the dark world map 🗺️. Before going inside, use the mirror to go to the light world then inside the structure, solve the puzzle to drain the water. Pick up your free heart piece 💗 as well.

Return to the dark world and you can continue to the Swamp Palace proper. The Swamp Palace contains the hookshot, an extremely useful item that lets you grapple across long distances.

A Link to the Past: Swamp Palace screenshot
Link: 2 - Ganon: 0

Collecting the Flute

Go to the grove near Kakariko Village in the dark world and talk to the tree dude who will tell you to find his flute. He'll give you his shovel so you can find it. Go to the light world and dig in the northwest part of the grove underneath some flowers to find the flute then return to the tree dude in the dark world and play the flute for him only to watch as he turns into an actual tree 🌳. Finally, go to light world Kakariko Village and play the flute in front of the bird statue 🐦. A bird inside the statue will destroy the statue and fly away! How strange. Now, whenever you play the flute in the light world, the bird will come and let you fast travel to various locations.

A Link to the Past: Collecting the Flute screenshot
Dig on this tile to find the flute

Skull Woods

Skull Woods 💀 is located in the dark world forest and it's marked 3 on the map 🗺️. At this point in the story, this part of the dark world is cut off from the dark world that you've been exploring so far. This is because unliftable black rocks are blocking the way and the bridges are also out of order. So, you need to find a hidden portal under a stone just north of light world Kakariko Village. The way is blocked by an unliftable black stone but there's another way to get there through the Lost Woods.

Once in the dark world, walk a few steps north into Skull Woods 💀 which is quite a maze-like dungeon as it has several entrances and many disconnected parts. You'll find the fire rod 🔥 within and it's quite useful for one-shotting those annoying mummies.

A Link to the Past: Skull Woods screenshot
Mothula is everyone's favorite Zelda boss, right?

Gargoyle's Domain

The Gargoyle's Domain dungeon is in the middle of thieves' town and it's marked 4 on the map 🗺️. Grab and pull the pitchfork and the way will open. Inside the dungeon, you'll find the Titan's Mitt 🧤, which is an improved Power Glove that lets you throw black stones.

A Link to the Past: Gargoyle's Domain screenshot
How dare Link pretend to be an innocent maiden

Red Sword

Go south of thieves' town in the dark world to find a frog dude 🐸. Use the mirror and he will follow you into the light world. Take him to the blacksmith's house east of Kakariko Village. The blacksmiths will thank you by forging a new sword for you. They will take your sword for a while but all you have to do is go one screen west and return to the blacksmiths.

A Link to the Past: Red sword screenshot
Fun fact: blacksmiths don't actually stand around holding hammers above their heads

Half Magic

If you've been following this guide, you should already have the magic powder but to summarise: find the mushroom 🍄 in the Lost Woods and deliver it to the witch 🧙‍♀️ at the witch's house, travel one screen west and come back, go inside the house and pick up the magic powder. Anyway, go to the blacksmith's house, jump down the well, and you'll find a bloody altar. Use your magic powder on it, the bat 🦇 will get angry with you, and you'll get half magic: an extremely useful upgrade that halves the drain rate of your magic power.

A Link to the Past: Half Magic screenshot
Now, useful items like the medallions don't cost so much magic power

Bombos, Ether, and Quake Medallions

To collect the medallions 🏅, use your Book of Mudora 📖 on the strange stones. The Bombos Medallion is in the eastern desert 🏜️. To get on the plateau, you need to warp from the dark world.

The Ether Medallion is also in the light world, west of the Tower of Hera in northwestern Death Mountain ⛰️. Finally, the Quake Medallion is in the dark world in the Zora's Domain area. Throw a stone into the circle of stones in the water.

A Link to the Past: Bombos, Ether, and Quake medallions screenshot
Here's the (former) location of The Ether Medallion which you need to enter Misery Mire

Ice Palace

In the light world, swim to the center of Lake Hylia. Nearby is a fairy fountain ⛲ where you can throw rupees in exchange for extra bomb 💣 and arrow 🏹 capacity. Bomb the wall 💥 and fill your bottles up with fairies as well. After you're done wasting your rupees 💸, throw the black stone outside, and step into the dark world portal. The dungeon is a few steps north.

The ice palace is an extremely difficult dungeon. You need to bring a medicine of magic and save it until the boss fight. It's even better if you have the half magic. If you run out of magic during the fight then the boss will be impossible to kill. So I repeat, SAVE A MEDICINE OF MAGIC FOR THE BOSS. Be sure to find the blue mail within; you'll take less damage against everything!

A Link to the Past: Ice Palace screenshot
Enemies should be less dangerous now that we have the blue mail

Misery Mire

First, you need to have collected the flute, freed the Kakariko statue's bird 🐦, and collected the Ether medallion 🏅. In the light world, play your flute and fly to #6. Lift the black stone and take the portal to the dark world. Find the dungeon entrance, stand on top of the Ether symbol, and use your Ether medallion 🏅. The rain will stop and the dungeon will open its doors. This time, the dungeon item is the Cane of Somaria: a strange cane that has many uses but it's most useful in the next dungeon, Turtle Rock.

A Link to the Past: Misery Mire screenshot
You'll notice I shot all of my arrows...

Turtle Rock

Before you go to Turtle rock, make sure you have the ice rod 🧊, fire rod 🔥, Quake medallion 🏅, a medicine of magic, and all the items from the previous dungeons, of course. Once again, SAVE A MEDICINE OF MAGIC FOR THE BOSS.

Return to the Tower of Hera but walk east as far as you can then climb to the top of the plateau. Hammer 🔨 the 3 pegs in the correct order: right, top, left. Enter the newly discovered dark world portal, stand on the Quake symbol, and then use your Quake medallion 🏅. The door will open so stroll right on in. To get past the first room, you need to use the Cane of Somaria on the red wireframes. A red platform will appear that will let you travel over the red path.

This time, the dungeon item is the mirror shield 🛡️ which is a fabulous shield that lets Link reflect laser beams! After defeating the dungeon boss, you've finally rescued Princess Zelda 🧝‍♀️, too!

A Link to the Past: Turtle Rock screenshot
Link: 7 - Ganon: 0

Ganon's Tower

With all 7 maidens freed, go to Ganon's Tower which is just a couple screens west of Turtle Rock. The maidens will use their magic to dispel the seal to the tower. It's a very long dungeon where you need to find the big key 🗝️ in the basement floors before you start to climb the tower. Make sure you don't miss the red mail in the basement as it provides even greater protection than the blue mail!

The boss of the dungeon is the evil wizard, Agahnim. After destroying the wizard, a dark bat 🦇 will appear and fly away to the Pyramid of Power. Who could that dark bat be, I wonder...

A Link to the Past: Ganon's Tower screenshot
Agahnim thought he could defeat me...

Showdown with Ganon

You can battle Ganon right away but you can't defeat him yet even with the Master Sword so go to the bomb shop at the same location as Link's house but in the dark world. Buy the big bomb 💣 for 100 rupees and walk it over to the Pyramid of Power. There's a cracked wall around here that can't be destroyed by a regular bomb. You need to lay the big bomb 💣 instead.

Toss your bow 🏹 into the fountain ⛲. The fairy will improve your bow, giving you the silver arrows. You can also do the same with your red sword to get the golden sword. When you're done, fall into the Pyramid of Power and defeat Ganon, using your silver arrows to destroy him in his final form. Take the last steps north to claim the Triforce. Ganon will be sealed away once again and the dark world erased. Congratulations on completing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past! 😄

A Link to the Past: Showdown with Ganon screenshot
Ganon doesn't scare me!
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