There is no random chance in the first half of this level; all of the enemies you encounter will always appear in the same location and order. That being said, it is extremely important to remember how each of these enemies attack so that you can safely navigate your way through the cavern.
Cave of the Grote Green Grub
- 10: Drop into the cavern and proceed right. As you do, you will notice two flying squirrels clinging to the stalactites, waiting for the opportunity to descend upon you and attack. As you get close, both of these squirrels will drift to the right. When they dive, they will loop once and continue to drop before climbing back up and hovering in the air. It is after the loop that you can swing your sword and attack them. If you continued to run, you will assuredly hit them.
- 9: A third flying squirrel will drop to the right, and repeat the same pattern as the previous two. However, a fourth flying squirrel will surprise you by dropping off to the left. Lure it into dropping and continue underneath it. You can turn around to attack it when it drops, or simply run past it and ignore it. The next squirrel drops right, but after that, you will see a squirrel that waits much lower. It drops to the left and it will collide with you if you don't stop and attack when it falls.
- 8: There is only one single squirrel in this section. It starts high and drops to the left. You can ignore it or attack it as you proceed on your way.
- 7: A low-lying squirrel will drop to the right as you enter this section. Attack as it approaches you. Then a high squirrel will drop to the left. After that, you will notice a frog on the floor. Don't get too close, as these frogs breath fire. Let it scorch the air, and then run in and jump over it as it prepares to breath again. Attack it from behind.
- 6: A high squirrel will dive down to the left, and then you will encounter another frog. Repeat the same pattern of leaping over it between flame blasts and attack it from behind. You will then see a frog facing right, but do not rush in! These frogs can bend over backwards and still breath flame at you! Even more troublesome is the low squirrel waiting just beyond the frog. If you do not execute this correctly, you will be killed by one or the other. After the frog bends over backwards to breathe flame at you, leap over it and stand perfectly still on the other side. You should be in a perfect position to spin your sword and strike the squirrel as it descends. Then you can turn around and kill the frog.
- 5: After surviving the pincer attack of the frog and squirrel proceed to the end of the cavern. One more backwards-facing frog awaits you. Leap over it between blasts and attack it from behind. Then leap over to the first small island in the water.
- 4: You will begin to see White fox clan members emerge from the water below. They blow deadly bubbles up into the air. These bubbles can be difficult to predict, so it is best to time your leaps from one island to another just after the last bubble has cleared the air, and before the next set are launched. After the first two big islands, the next small island bobs up and down. Time your jump accordingly. The island after that sinks when you stand on it, and contains a watch bug above.
- 3: Two more bobbing islands appear before another island which sinks when you stand on it. You must time you jumps so that you land on each island, but also avoid the bubbles being blown by the next White fox clan member in the water. Another watch bug hovers above a sinking island. It is followed by one more bobbing island, and another sinking island with a watch bug above it.
- 2: After you cross the water, a frog will be waiting for you at the entrance of the next cavern. Wait below it and jump up to attack it when it is done blowing fire. Then head inside to the den of the stage's boss.
Boss: Grote Green Grub
The Grote Green Grub is actually a very large burrowing insect that crawls in and out of the rock found among its den. It contains a head and six body segments. It will either appear through the floor or through the ceiling, with plumes of smoke and debris announcing it's arrival. In order to kill the boss, you must attack the head. But in order to attack the head, you must first remove all six of his body segments. Each one you attack will send your sword flying, so be prepared to pick it up. When the grub is down to just a head, a long skeleton, and a tail, then you can attack the head. Every time the head is struck, the insect goes into a scurry, looping around and quickly exiting the room through the floor or ceiling. Hit it three times and it will be destroyed. If you lose your sword and feel you are being chased by the grub, immediately head for the safest corner and wait. The grub will never trample you in the corner, and will return to the rock so you can retrieve your sword before the next appearance.
- The flying squirrels dive more sharply towards the ground, making them far easier to predict and combat than their arcade counter parts.
- The frogs breath a smaller stream of fire at an upward angle (shown right) with a longer break in between breaths. Though no frog will be posted facing the wrong way, they will still bend over backwards to attack you if you leap over them.
- No White fox clan members will be visible in the water, but the bubbles will still appear nevertheless. They are a little slower, but seem to appear with greater frequency.
- There are bobbing islands, but no sinking island. The bobbing islands can remain submerged from fairly long periods of time, so wait until you see them rising before you jump to them. Running and jumping on these bobbing islands can be fairly problematic, so be sure to run to the edge of the island and stop before leaping.
- The boss' den is much more sparsely decorated, but the basic strategy is still the same. The one significant difference between the arcade version and the NES version is that the boss has no noticeable reaction to getting struck in the face. This can result in you getting killed if you attempt to hit the head while the grub is marching towards you, as it will not stop and retreat.
4-1: At the very beginning of the stage, walk to the left and squat for several second above the center rock in the ledge. You will be transported to a tunnel with a cache of eggs. Most (not all) of the eggs can be cracked open by jumping on them. A majority of the eggs you crack will contain baby worms that resemble the boss at the end of the stage. However, a few may contain 500 point scrolls, or even extra lives. Two gaps in the tunnel spew poisonous eggs. The first gap has a scroll floating over it, while the second one contains a princess doll. Collect the doll it endure one extra hit through the rest of the stage. The tunnel is long, encompassing seven segments, and when you climb up the ladder, you will be deposited at 4-8, bypassing the flying squirrels and frogs.
4-11: You will see two regular islands after a bobbing island. Stand on the right side of the first regular island, and jump straight up three times. On the third jump, the second island will turn into a fish. Simply fall into the space between the island and the fish to be transported to the belly of the fish. Walk to the right to reach the end of the fish and exit to return to 4-12. There are no items to collect, this is simply a "shortcut" that allows you to bypass the more difficult island jumping section.