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Link’s Awakening guide: Catfish’s Maw walkthrough

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Find the compass, map, keys, special items, and instrument

Link’s Awakening Level 5 - Catfish’s Maw walkthrough and maps Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Our Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw walkthrough shows you how to find the dungeon entrance, navigate every room, solve every puzzle, and beat every boss. We’ll also direct you to any useful items — like the compass, map, keys, chests, special items, and the instrument — along the way.

Catfish’s Maw is an easy dungeon to find — it’s the giant fish head cave in the water to the south. And you don’t need a key to get in.

Table of contents

Finding the Catfish’s Maw entrance

Link’s Awakening Koholint Island map with warp pads
Martha’s Bay warp pad is located along the bottom of the map in the center.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Head south to Martha’s Bay. If you use the warp pad, you’ll end up close to the dungeon entrance, and you should’ve activated the pad if you followed our guides for carrying more bombs or taking the ghost home. And if you met Manbo to learn Manbo’s Mambo on your Ocarina in our guide, you can warp straight there.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw entrance
Approach Catfish’s Maw from the Martha’s Bay warp pad.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

From the Martha’s Bay warp pad, head up and to the right. Drop into the water and swim to the right. It doesn’t look like there’s a path through, but you’ll switch to a sidescrolling area that will bring you right to the entrance.

Catfish’s Maw item and boss locations

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw map showing important items and boss fight locations.
Catfish’s Maw map showing important items and boss fights.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

The map above shows an overview of the Catfish’s Maw dungeon. We’ve marked the locations of the important items like the Compass, Stone Beak, and Map, as well as the Hookshot. We’ve also marked the boss fights and the entrance and exit to any sidescrolling tunnels.

Find the Compass

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Compass location
Head left three rooms for the Compass
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Inside the dungeon, go left (your only option), killing enemies and opening doors, until you reach a room with a chest and some stairs. Open the chest to get the Compass. Take the stairs down.

Find the Stone Beak

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Stone Beak location
Stone Beak location
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Work your way left through the sidescrolling area by using the weighted blocks to create a jumpable staircase.

Link’s Awakening Small Key puzzle with purple crystals and blocks
Push the two blocks together in the room with the Stalfos to get a Small Key.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Back above ground, smash through the Stalfos and the purple crystals to clear some room, and then push the top two blocks together (this will create a square of blocks in the middle of the room). A Small Key will drop.

Go back downstairs, through the tunnel, and one room to the right — into the room with the Keese and the Iron Masks. Use your Small Key to go up through the locked door.

Keep heading left, taking out enemies and avoiding the traps around the perimeter of the room. Tout the two Iron Masks, and a chest with the Stone Beak will drop.

Make sure you grab the floating bombs — they’ll come in handy in a second.

Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 1

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to Master Stalfos mini-boss fight 1
Path to Master Stalfos mini-boss fight 1.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

From the Stone Beak, go right for two rooms, and then turn and go up. Fight the Stalfos here to open the doors. Talk to the Owl Statue to learn that If you can’t destroy a skeleton with your sword, try using a bomb.

Go up.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Master Stalfos mini-boss fight 1
Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 1
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Keep your shield up while Master Stalfos swings and kicks at you, and try to work your way around to his left side — the side not holding a shield. When you get to his side, swing with your sword. If your hit gets through, he’ll collapse into a pile of bones. Plant a bomb, and then get clear.

Hit him with three bombs in this way, and you’ll defeat him.

Go to the right to find that Master Stalfos has stolen your prize. Go up.

Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 2

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to Master Stalfos second encounter
Path to Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 2
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Your only goal here is to get through the door on the right, but you’re going to have to reset this room a couple times to do it. And you’ll have to dodge a couple Sparks while you do it.

Link’s Awakening five block puzzle to get to Master Stalfos second encounter
How to navigate around the five blocks to get to Master Stalfos.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Push the center block up, and go to the left.
  2. Turn around and head back to the right.
  3. Push the center block right, and go up.
  4. Exit the room, and come back one more time.
  5. Push the center block down, and step on the switch. That’ll open the door.
  6. Go right to find Master Stalfos again.
Link’s Awakening Master Stalfos mini-boss fight
Attack Master Stalfos on his left, and then bomb his bones.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

This phase of the fight goes the same way as the first. Work your way around to his left, hit him, and then bomb his bones.

Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 3

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to Master Stalfos third encounter
Path to Master Stalfos’ third encounter.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Go left from the Master Stalfos part 2 room. Push the block left, and go up. Go up to the top of this room and exit to the left.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw puzzle along the path to Master Stalfos third encounter
Take out the Green Zols in the room with the diagonal line of blocks. Push one of the blocks left to get to the final Zol.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Take out the Green Zols as you find them. Push one of the solitary blocks to the left to get access to the left side of the room. Kill all the Zols to unlock the door to the north.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Master Stalfos third encounter
Master Stalfos doesn’t learn any new tricks, so fight him the same way again.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Go through the door at the top to find Master Stalfos again.

Fight him the same way, and then exit to the left.

Find the map

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Map item location
The Catfish’s Maw map is in the chest in the room left of the third encounter with Master Stalfos.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Smash the pots and take out the three Stalfos in this room. The Catfish’s Maw Map is inside the chest.

Master Stalfos mini-boss fight, part 4 and find the Hookshot

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to final Master Stalfos encounter
Return to the entrance with Manbo’s Mambo, and then follow this path to the final Master Stalfos encounter.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Play Manbo’s Mambo on your Ocarina to return all the way back to the dungeon entrance. (Or you can go on foot.)

Go as far as you can to the left, down the stairs, through the tunnel, and back to the room with the crystals and the Stalfoses. Head left again.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Hookshot
After defeating Master Stafos for a fourth time, you’ll get the Hookshot.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Fight Master Stalfos one more time, and you’ll get the Hookshot.

Go to the Gohma mini-boss fight

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to Gohma mini-boss fight
Path to the Gohma mini-boss fight.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Play Manbo’s Mambo again to get back to the dungeon entrance. Go left two rooms. In the room with the Iron Mask and the Keese, loop back to the right along the top of the room.

Use your new Hookshot to jump across the gap, and open the chest for 100 rupees. Hookshot back across, go left, and then go up.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw using the Hookshot to cross a trapped room
Use your new Hookshot to cross the room with all the Blade Traps.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Ignore the enemies here, and go left again. Hookshot across the room with the Blade Traps, and continue left.

Hookshot across, open the chest for a Small Key, and then return right through the door along the bottom of the right wall. Hookshot back across and go right again.

Link’s Awakening using Hookshot to pull down a bridge in Catfish’s Maw
Use your Hookshot to pull down a bridge in this room.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Head to the bottom right corner of the room, and use your Hookshot to pull down a bridge. Go up.

Go left and unlock the block in the bottom left corner. Continue left.

Gohma mini-boss fight

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Gohma mini-boss fight
Poke each Gohma in the eye with your Hookshot, and then slash it with your sword.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

The two Gohma will generally stay on the same right-left row they start on. Your goal is to wait for them to open their eyes and shoot a green ball at you, block the projectile, and then hit them in the eye with your Hookshot before they close their eyes again.

When you hit them, they’ll be stunned and you can land several hits in a row. Take out both Gohma to earn a fairy and create a portal back to the entrance.

Find the Nightmare Key

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to a helpful Owl Statue
Path to the Owl Statue with an important clue (Dive under where the torchlight beams do cross …)
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Starting from the Gohma mini-boss room, backtrack to the right. Go down and through the leftmost door along the bottom. Go down again, and then right to return to the room with the crystals and the Stalfos. Go up twice to get back to the Master Stalfos part 1 room.

Go right, and then down the stairs. Go left along the hanging platforms in the sidescroller room. Fight your way past the Stalfos and exit to the right.

Take out the Stars, and then talk to the Owl, who will say to Dive under where the torchlight beams do cross …

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to the torchlight beam puzzle the Owl Statue told you about.
Path to the torchlight beams puzzle room the Owl Statue told you about.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Backtrack to the left, back through the underground tunnel.

Go up. Push the center block up, and go left. Go through the exit in the top left corner of the room.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw torchlight beams puzzle solution
Use the Owl Statue’s clue to know where to dive.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Swim to where the four torches meet, and dive down.

Swim through the tunnel and exit.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Nightmare Key location
Use your Hookshot to extend the bridge, and collect the Nightmare Key.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Use your Hookshot to extend another bridge, and open the chest for the Nightmare Key.

Find the last Small Key

Starting from where you picked up the Nightmare Key, backtrack to the stairs, and through the underwater tunnel. Go down, right, and then up.

Jump the gap to the north, and then head right. Get to the lone tile straight below the chest. Hookshot up to the chest and open it for 50 rupees. Head right.

Hookshot across the gap, and open the chest for a Small Key. Head back to the right, and then turn up. Hookshot the bridge and go up. Open that chest for 50 more rupees.

Get to the boss fight

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw path to the Nightmare
Use Manbo’s Mambo and the portal to the Gohma mini-boss fight room as shortcuts to this dungeon’s Nightmare.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Play Manbo’s Mambo to return to the dungeon entrance one more time. Use the portal to return to the Gohmas’ room. Exit to the upper right.

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw using the Hookshot in the sidescrolling tunnel
Use the Hookshot to navigate the sidescrolling tunnel.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Go down the stairs and through the sidescroller tunnel — where you learn that pressing up will let you fire your Hookshot straight up.

Unlock the block above you, Hookshot across the gap to the left, and use the Nightmare Key to open the door.

Slime Eel boss fight

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw Slime Eel boss fight
Pull the Slime Eel out of its hole with the Hookshot, and then attack the pink body segment to defeat it.
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Let’s start with this: this fight is irritating and difficult. We’ll help you though it, though.

During the entire fight, you’ll be blocking or jumping over the Slime Eel’s tail that’s poking out of the middle of the floor.

There are two holes each in the top and bottom walls. The Slime Eel will poke its head out of one of these holes. Your job is to Hookshot it just as it comes out to pull it out of the hole. Look for the blinking pink body segment, and attack it as much as you can.

Sometimes when you pull it out, there won’t be blinking pink segment. When this happens, just dodge and block the Slime Eel until you get another chance.

Keep at it until you defeat the Slime Eel.

Pick up the Wind Marimba

Link’s Awakening Catfish’s Maw instrument Wind Marimba
Collect the Wind Marimba
Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo via Polygon

Pick up your Heart Container and go up to find the Wind Marimba. On your way back outside, you’ll get your next clue: SHRINE.