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Link’s Awakening guide: Finding the Angler Key

Find the key that opens Angler’s Tunnel

You need the Angler Key before you head to Link’s Awakening Angler’s Tunnel dungeon. This guide will walk you through opening some shortcuts, a couple steps of the trading sequence, exploring new areas of the island, and finding the Angler Key that you’ll need for the next dungeon.

Below, you’ll find a walkthrough for every step of the process.

Table of contents

Blow up the stone skull

Link’s Awakening blow up the stone skull to open a shortcut
Blow up the stone skull to the northeast of Key Cavern to open a shortcut back to the west.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

After you complete Key Cavern, Owl will tell you to go to Yarna Desert. We’re going to have to put in some work before you get there, though.

From the Key Cavern dungeon, head right, up, and left. Blow up the stone skull with a bomb to open a shortcut back to the west side of the island.

Talk to Tarin — Trading sequence: Stick for Beehive

Link’s Awakening trading sequence Tarin swap the Stick for the Honeycomb
Meet Tarin to continue the trading sequence.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Head up from the (blown up) stone skull to find Tarin. Hand him the Stick you got from Kiki the Monkey on your way into Kanalet Castle and, after his plan goes awry, pick up the Honeycomb. You’ll need this in a minute.

Head to Animal Village

Link’s Awakening path to Animal Village
You’ll find Animal Village all the way east across the map from Mabe Village.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

To get to Yarna Desert, you’ll have to pass through Animal Village. Starting from the shop in Mabe Village, head east. (If you go directly from Tarin’s bee adventure, also head east — you’re two arrows farther along on our map above.)

If you haven’t yet, stand on the teleporter in Ukuku Prairie to make sure it’s active. You don’t have to warp anywhere, but we’ll want it in a few minutes. Go past the teleporter, head up through the field with the Pincers, and then keep heading east.

Go south and through the stone skull path you blew open a minute ago. Go north and then east to end up right below the Kanalet Castle gates.

Head south from there and look for the maze-like area on the left full of sword-wielding Moblin Pigs. Turn right to find a sign for Animal Village.

Link’s Awakening hidden stairs path to Animal Village
Find the hidden stairs that lead under the water over to Animal Village.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Just right of that sign, look for a bush at the end of a row of trees. Slash the bush to reveal a staircase. Head down the stairs.

Sprint your way across the waterlogged tunnel and climb up the stairs on the other end.

Head south to find Animal Village.

Talk to Chef Bear — Trading sequence: Honeycomb for Pineapple

Link’s Awakening Animal Village Chef Bear house location
Chef Bear’s house is in the southeast of Animal Village.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Cut southeast across Animal Village’s field to the house in the bottom right. Head inside and talk to Chef Bear. He’ll ask for the Honeycomb you got from Tarin earlier and give you a Pineapple in return.

He’ll also tell you that you need Marin to get past the walrus blocking the path to the desert.

Back to Mabe Village and find Marin

Link’s Awakening use the Animal Village warp pad to get to Ukuku Prairie and head west to Mabe Village
Warp from Animal Village to Ukuku Prairie to return to Mabe Village
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Head straight south out of Chef Bear’s house to find another teleporter. Use this one to warp back to Ukuku Prairie.

Go west from there to get back to Mabe Village.

Head straight west past the shop to the Flying Rooster whirligig where Marin is always standing. She is, of course, not there.

Head to the bottom left corner of Mabe Village — by the library — and go down to return to Toronbo Shores. Head all the way down to the water, and turn right.

Link’s Awakening Toronbo Shores Marin location
Marin is all the way to the east along the water in Toronbo Shores.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Keep heading right until you run out of beach. You’ll find Marin standing next to a log. Stay and talk to her for a while.

At the end of the cutscene(?), Marin will start following you.

Move the walrus

Lead Marin back to the Ukuku Prairie warp pad. Use it to return to Animal Village.

Link’s Awakening path to the walrus in Animal Village
Once you’ve collected Marin, warp back to Animal Village and follow this path to the walrus.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Head up the path and turn left at Chef Bear’s house. Cross the field to the left and take the turn that goes down. Turn right at the bottom to find the walrus.

Before you go interact with him, take the narrow path that leads up. Follow it all the way around the entirety of Animal Village to find a Heart Piece in far top left in the narrow alley behind all the buildings. Make your way back to the walrus.

Interact with him and, after a quick dance, he’ll jump out of the way. Marin will head back to Animal Village, and you’ve got a clear path into Yarna Desert.

Yarna Desert

Link’s Awakening Yarna Desert path to the Lanmola
Path to the Lanmola in the Yarna Desert.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon
Link’s Awakening Yarna Desert Lanmola falling through the sand
The Lanmola won’t attack you directly, so just avoid it and fall through the sand.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Turn north and head up. Your ultimate goal in Yarna Desert is to defeat the Lanmola in the quicksand area at the top, but don’t worry about it yet.

Walk into the center of the quicksand and fall through. (This isn’t really quicksand — it’s more of a sand whirlpool? But we can’t think of a better word for this area.)

Link’s Awakening Yarna Desert bomb wall under the Lanmola
Bomb the north wall in the room under the Lanmola.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Place a bomb against the crack in the wall at the top of the screen. Head into the new room for a Heart Piece.

Go back down and turn right.

Head up the stairs to return to the surface. (Now you know what to do if you fall through again.) Head left to return to the Lanmola.

Fight the Lanmola for the Angler Key

Link’s Awakening Yarna Desert Lanmola fight
Attack the Lanmola’s head while avoiding the center of the sand.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

The Lanmola won’t attack you, per se. It will just pop up, move to a different part of the quicksand, and dip below the surface again. Your job is to hit it in its head (the red part) several times without falling through to the room underneath.

Take your time here. The Lamnola is easy enough to avoid, and it moves in straight lines. If you fall through, your progress resets, so avoiding the center of the quicksand should be your first priority.

Hit its head seven or so times, and it’ll drop the Angler Key.

Fight your way back out of the desert toward Animal Village. Owl will appear again with a hint about where to go next — the mountain waterfall — to reach the Angler’s Tunnel.